Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wins and Losses

Weigh-in Wednesday!
Last Week's Weight: 169.8
Current Weight: 167.6
Change: -2.2
Total Loss: -60.4

Following a weekend of dangerous food possibilities (read: my parents were in town so we ate a lot), I'm extremely excited to report a loss -- and a big one at that! To be totally honest, I have been bombing at recording all of my food, for reasons that will become apparent below. But, with this loss I have renewed motivation that despite not achieving all of my monthly goals, I can do this. So, here are some wins and losses for the week:

From now on I refuse to quantify my weight loss in anything other than weiner dogs.
And workouts will be calculated in terms of slices of pizza earned.
WIN - New lowest weight (in over a year!). Over 60lbs lost from my highest weight, and 12lbs lost since April. 

LOSS - I lost my cell phone last week, which meant no food tracking for 2 days until I got a new one (sad face), and also a lot of money out of pocket to replace it (extra sad face).

WIN - I still worked out 6 times last week, including one double-header, even with parents in town. Tried 3 new classes in 3 days!

LOSS - Accidentally set my alarm for 4:45PM last night instead of AM. So I missed my morning class. And will get charged $20 for missing it. Ugh.

WIN - Despite having guests in town and travelling in the last few weeks, I've been making good food decisions probably 80% of the time but...

LOSS - Bought Jif Whips Chocolate Peanut Butter Spread the other day and have confirmed that I am not allowed to have it in my apartment due to eating almost half the container in 3 days.

WIN - My replacement Fitbit came in, so I'm back at it with tracking my steps (after 3 weeks off because it bit the dust at some point during my camping trip).

WIN - Grocery shopped and cooked after my parents left, so I've got a fridge full of healthy eats for the week (we don't need to talk about the frozen pizza I caved and bought and is sitting in my freezer). 

WIN - I read four separate blog posts/tweets yesterday about the magical meditative powers of adult coloring books, so I spent some Amazon credits I had laying around on this one. Here's hoping it works because I have a feeling work is about to get crazy pants for the next couple months.

How was your weigh-in Wednesday?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dangerous Food Possibilities

Weigh-in Wednesday!
Last Week's Weight: 168.2
Current Weight: 169.8
Change: +1.6
Total Loss: -58.2

Super quick weigh-in accountability post, because I already skipped last week and I'm in the midst of three weeks packed with dangerous food possibilities (camping, cousins visiting, work summer party, parents visiting). While I'm not HAPPY about the gain, considering the time of the month (ahem) and the less-than-perfect food decisions I made last week, and OMG the best burger of my life that I ate last night, I'm not terribly surprised about this weigh-in.

If you're visiting Chicago, you MUST go to
Au Cheval for the absolute best burger of your life.

And, on a more positive note, in anticipation of the upcoming dangerous food possibilities, I've packed this week with butt-kicking workouts. So far it's working because I was SO sore this morning from new workouts the last two days. Here's this week's game plan:

Monday: FlyWheel (AM) + Kettlebell Boot Camp* (PM)
Tuesday: Iron & Oar* (AM)
Wednesday: Tabata Boot Camp* (AM)
Thursday: GoRow Circuit (AM)
Friday: Brawl (AM) and may add a second workout, depending on how I'm feeling
Saturday: TBD, possibly something with my parents
Sunday: Rest

My goal for the month was to attend five new ClassPass workouts, and the workouts starred above are all new (technically I've been to Iron & Oar before, but this was at a new exclusively Iron & Oar studio with a new teacher, so I'm counting it). Including Shred, I'm at four so far this month, so just one more to go!

Tried any new workouts lately?

How was your weigh-in Wednesday? 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekend in Review

What a whirlwind! Between my camping trip, moving floors at work last week and then my cousins visiting, August has been a blur. My cousins drove over from Cleveland and spent this past weekend with me experiencing some of the best things Chicago has to offer: rooftop Air & Water Show viewing,

a beautiful ride on the Navy Pier ferris wheel (I'd never been!),

and of course, deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati's (if anyone tells you there's a better pizza place in Chicago, they're lying).

All in all we had an exciting and action-packed weekend with plenty of fun and (too much!) food. 

On a less-touristy note, you know you're getting old when legitimate exciting points of your weekend include running into Lester Holt in your friend's apartment lobby and buying an olive oil mister. 

But not old enough to stop quoting Meal Girls :)

And I had another exciting moment this weekend when I hit my 150th Classpass class! After my second (equally brutal) Shred415 class on Friday, I was ready for something low key on Saturday morning, so Corepower Yoga's Hot Power Fusion was calling my name. 

So that's my weekend in review! August isn't slowing down just yet, though. Next weekend my parents are visiting for the first time in two years, so I'm excited for a short work-week ahead and then getting some quality time with John and Mar. Until then, I'll be on a veggie-only detox and working my booty off all week. Follow along on IG and keep me honest.

How was your weekend?

Monday, August 10, 2015

YOLO Weekend

I was fully prepared to come back after my weekend of camping and tubing and joke about how this city girl can totally hang in the wilderness (aka our campground with running water and a pool). But the universe had other plans. 

So our group of 28 set out to go camping at Rising Sun Campground in Monterray, Indiana. Bless my friend who organizes these outings because I can barely plan a trip for 5 people. Anyway, we arrive, set up camp, have some drinks, make a bonfire, go to bed. The following morning we meet up with the campground folks and see our bare bones black rubber tubes, like the ones that go inside a tractor tire. We were roughing it so we didn't think too much of it. The campground owners were going to drive us up stream, and we would just tube on downstream until we got to the campground. Being that our tubing excursion was supposed to last 2.5 - 4 hours, I slathered on a whole lot of SPF 50, thinking we'd be back before I needed to reapply (FORESHADOWING). And we were off. 

The tubing was a whole lot of fun. For awhile. We had river beers, we had sandwiches, we had perfect partly sunny conditions, it was perfect. But then after taking a lunch break, we realized we had no idea how long we'd been tubing, and no idea how much further we had to go (no one had phones because we had nowhere waterproof to stow them). And, the sun was starting to beat down, making the black rubber tubes really uncomfortable to touch. I kept flipping mine over every half hour or so, thinking the cool river water would make it more comfortable. About an hour after lunch we pulled up on a shore and have some snacks and regroup for a few minutes.

We set off again, thinking the end was probably very near (we'd be on the river for roughly 4 hours at this point). The tubes were getting more and more uncomfortable to the touch, but I figured maybe I was just getting a little sunburned. The skin under my arms, across my back, and under my knees was getting burning more and more from contact with the tube. Each time we rounded a bend, I assumed the campground would come into sight, and each time it didn't I got a little more worried. 

After many bends and no sight of the campground, we finally spotted it a ways ahead. At this point everyone was SO READY to be off those godforsaken tubes, rinse off in the shower, and chill out at camp. Well, we dismounted the tubes, and almost sprinted for the showers only to find... nope, the burning wasn't stopping. In fact, it was getting steadily worse and it was in almost the same spot on everyone (across their back, along the underside of their arms, under their knees). 

The tubing trip quickly turned sour when we realized that we all had some type of chemical burn on the places where our skin made contact with the tube. Probably 20 of the 28 of us had some type of irritation in varying degrees of severity. We think the irritation was caused by either the chemical used to clean the tubes (LOL if they do that), or, more likely, that the mosquito fogging they did on the campsite the week before we arrived also covered the tubes. Anyway, on top of an absolutely awful front of my leg sunburn (our maximum 4 hours trip turned into nearly 6 hours), my arms/back look like this from the burns where my skin was touching the tube:

Thank GOD my friend's boyfriend hadn't drank and so he drove us the two hours home on Saturday night, rather than spend the night at the campground. I had one of the most miserable nights of my life. My skin was so inflamed I couldn't sleep no matter what position I tried, so I basically filled my tub with lukewarm water and laid in it, propped my computer up on the toilet and water OITNB until I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. Pretty glamourous.

Apart from the searing pain (it's Monday night and everything still hurts) and embarrassingly red skin that people at work kept asking me about, I'm probably most annoyed that I couldn't even work out today. Also, the river killed my Fitbit, and wearing anything other than a sports bra and flowy clothing is a big fat nope.

All this to say, I have started this week on the wrong foot, and need another day or two do get myself back together. I might be skipping this week's weigh-in, but I'm definitely going to try to make it to the yoga class (not hot yoga, i ain't no fool) I signed up for tomorrow night. My daily Fitbit goal is out of the question until I can replace that bad boy, but once I can walk instead of hobble, I'll be back to trying to hit my goals. 

And hey, I learned a valuable pro-tip from this whole experience: Noxzema is like magic potion for burns. 

Ever have a camping trip go awry?

How do you regroup after a rough start to the week?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Weigh In Check In

Weigh-in Wednesday!
Last Week's Weight: 169.0
Current Weight: 168.2
Change: -0.8
Total Loss: -59.8

GUYS. I'm so close to the 60lbs lost mark again. It's been over a year since I've been in the 160s (before last week's weigh in), so I'm happy to be movin' on down! I tried hopping on and off the scale to see if that would make me magically lose .2lbs but then it went up .2 instead and that's a big fat NOPE so let's just stick with the original weight :) 

Weight Watchers hasn't robbed me of a point from my daily target in awhile (currently at 28PP/day), so I feel like that change is coming up soon. In the meantime:

Just kidding. But I'm camping this weekend which means there will be YOLO eating, so I have to keep it locked up until then. The good news is that my first attempt at zoodles was a great success, so I've got my meals prepped for the rest of the week!

Anyway, just a short update today, but it appears my back to basics (again) approach is working. Hope everyone else had a solid weigh-in Wednesday.

How was your weekly weigh-in?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

ClassPass Studio Review: Shred415

If you start a conversation with other ClassPassers, Shred415 will inevitably come up as one of the top workouts around Chicago (PS - they're in St. Louis, too). To be honest, I was a little intimidated based on how many people called Shred one of the hardest workouts. But, at long last, I finally signed up for an 11am class last Saturday in the Old Town location, so it was time to find out for myself.

For starters, the workout is 60 minutes long. With the exception of yoga/barre, almost all of the classes I take are 45-50 minutes long, so knowing that you're locked in for a solid hour of pain working out can be a little daunting. Shred415 gets its name from the four 15-minute alternating intervals that make up the class: two on the floor, two on the treadmills. The classes have different body focuses: arms/abs, butt/legs, shredded abs or total body, and there are "express" (45 minute) versions of each. This review is for a 60-minute total body class.

The studio is dark, which I loved, because it helps you quickly get into a focused mindset. The instructor asked anyone new to come over and introduce themselves so he could explain the 4x15 format and answer any questions we had. I had planned on treadmilling first so I could end class on the floor (ha), but the class was pretty full so I ended up starting on the floor. The benches were already set up with a variety of dumbbells from 5-15lbs, which was nice. The instructor cranked the music and it was time to sweat.

Photo via Shred415
Each group (floor/treadmill) did a quick warmup, all expertly cued by the teacher. I'll never know how teachers who teach dual-group classes like this (Trainology is another example) can keep straight the timing for each group, because it's basically like teaching two classes simultaneously. The floor group began with jumping jacks, side planks, plank jacks - not too hard. But the work quickly picked up with cardio bursts like a bunch of different bench jumps, weighted squat jumps, and burpees, followed by more strength work like lunges with shoulder presses, single arm rows, multiple push-up variations, etc. Our instructor also gave easy/hard modifications for almost every exercise, which was great. The set went by really quickly because each separate exercise lasted no longer than 45-seconds, and then it was time to run.

Running was definitely the more intimidating interval to me, especially because I haven't run in... awhile. And 15 minutes of running is a decent amount for a non-runner. What I didn't know is that Shred offers three pace levels for the treadmills: walking, jogging, running. So, every time the teacher gives a speed cue, they actually give three speed cues (for example: 4.0, 6.0, 8.0), so that each pace group knows what the target speed is. The running interval consists of sprints, inclines and longer-duration periods (4-ish minutes at a time) of steady running with incline changes. I elected to follow the jog cues, and actually managed to keep up with them the entire class, only slightly decreasing speed (but still jogging) during the highest inclines. It was tough -- but like the floor, it goes by surprisingly quickly. 

Following the second set, it's back to the floor for another 15-minute floor interval (our second floor interval had a lot more abs), followed by the final 15-minute interval on the treadmill (this one including much faster sprints than our first set). In terms of rigor of workout throughout class, it was absolutely one of the hardest workouts on ClassPass. I probably gave about 90%-95% effort. I was WORKING for sure (and to be totally honest, I had a moment of nausea right after our last treadmill sprint), but I wouldn't say I went all out as hard as I possibly could.

Overall: Can you say burn baby burn? I torched over 750 calories in this 60-minute workout, making it one of the highest calorie-burning classes I've been to, even if you adjust for the length of class. From what I've heard, all of the instructors bring a different personality/style to class, but all are equally professional and really push students to give their all. The class is easily scalable for a variety of levels (I actually even know a few pregnant ladies who do it), but very much a challenging workout across the board. I now totally get the hype around Shred415, and I see how you could definitely get shredded by adding this class into your regular rotation. Which is why I'll be back again very soon :)

What you ever been to  Shred415 class?

What's the hardest workout you've ever done?  

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August Goals

Holy cannoli, how is it already August? It feels like this year (and especially this summer) has gone by at breakneck speed. 

I had my favorite kind of weekend that was equal parts lazy, active, social, and anti-social. I kicked off Saturday with my first class at Shred415 which was a butt-kicking way to start the weekend. Recap coming later this week! Followed that with a trip to get my new obsession food: a bagel with chive cream cheese and smoked salmon. Then I obviously had to go to Old Navy because I was in the neighborhood and workout clothes were 30% off. Their clothes are my favorite and you can't beat $45 for two tops and a fun pair of patterned crops. 

From there I spent the rest of Saturday cleaning and lounging at home, leaving only for a Chipotle and froyo run because it had been far too long since I had either.

Sunday started bright and early meeting up with my friend Sara for a long bike ride. We planned to ride to the South Loop for brunch (about 8 miles) and back. It was a HOT one, so it's safe to say we earned our breakfast burritos. 

We made it back home just in time to beat the rain, and then I had a pretty lazy afternoon before breaking open my new spiralizer! 

I've been wanting to pull the trigger forever, so I'm glad I finally did! I whipped up lunches for the week then settled in for all my Sunday night shows. I hit 18,000 and 16,000 steps over the weekend, so lounge time was much deserved :)

It's been awhile since I've set out monthly goals, but I'm feeling like I'm on a huge motivational upswing, which I plan on riding out through the month. Without further ado, August's goals:

  1. Try 5 new ClassPass classes. Truth be told, I felt like I was in a little bit of a rut two weeks ago. I was going through the motions and still working out 5-6x a week, but I could tell from my daily step counts and my general lethargy that my head just wasn’t in the game. I've gotten into a pretty set routine of doing certain classes on certain days (and don’t get me wrong, I love all those classes), but I also think maybe I was just getting a little bit bored. So, I’m aiming to mix it up more this month and give at least 5 new classes a try. Already hit up Shred415 on Saturday. One down, four to go!
  2. Drink a gallon of water a day. When I'm well-hydrated I definitely feel my best (case in point: I only drank about 40oz of water before my flight home last Thursday and I was bloat city by the time we landed). I'm aiming to up my normal 80-100oz even further and shooting for a gallon a day.
  3. Try 3 new recipes. Because I gotta break in this fancy spiralizer, duh.
  4. Track every single thing. With and upcoming camping trip and guests visiting Chicago the next two weekends, this will be no simple feat. But, just because I fail to track it doesn't mean it doesn't count. So tracking it is. 
  5. Hit my step goal 5 days a week. I recently bumped my daily step goal from 10,000 steps to 12,000. The bonus of living in a city is that you walk a lot. The downside of living in a city is that you walk a lot even when it's hot/windy/rainy/snowing/winter/summer/football season. But 10,000 had become less of a challenge, so the new goal is to hit 12,000 steps at least 5 days a week.
What are your goals this month? Any classes I should check out -- I'm open to suggestions (even just class types!)