1st Injury and Recovery

Ok. So technically I wasn’t injured doing Crossfit, but I was injured doing a HIIT class at the Crossfit box. I sprained my ankle, mildly, but it got me thinking about what is important in my life. I wasn’t able to teach my dance class on Saturday because I have pain when I put my full weight on my foot. It’s improving with each day and I will be back to 100% by next Saturday.  I fell so deep into the Crossfit and gym buddy culture and mindset, that it’s nice to get a little reprieve, a break from working out. I have been going there  3-5 times per week, and at times taking 2 classes back to back. It was bound to happen.

I got injured in a class that is taught by a coach that isn’t my favorite. Coaches have different personalities and motivation strategies, but this one seems to think that if you say you can’t do it or are struggling, you just aren’t pushing yourself enough. Which is ironic because I usually am out of breath in his class, which is 100% plyometrics, ladder drills and sprints. Plus I paid $225 per month to be there and am taking 7-8 classes per week, believe me I’m trying.

They also all assume that you are trying to get in shape for “the summer” when I’m just trying to get in shape for life. They don’t know that I’ve lost 44lbs so far, so yes I am one of the largest folks in there at a size 14, but I’ve come a distance. Some also don’t pay attention to limitations. But in the end, if you get injured, it’s your fault. Even though folks are screaming at you to go harder, you are supposed to ignore it or tell them that you are having pain. So with that realization…… I’m going to start running my own race and paying attention to what I can and can’t do. I also will only listen to the trainers that I trust. Some trainers see when you are having difficulty and tell you to modify, others tell you to push harder. I’m going to stick to the former teachers from now on.

Can we also talk about peer pressure and gym buddies for a minute? In my previous post, I said you are who you hang out with, BUT if your gym buddy wants to work out 6 days per week, you have to just say no if your body can’t handle it. I’m going back to 4 days a week (S,M,W,TH) and my gym buddies can go together on the days that I can’t.

I started the post saying that I know what is most important now and it’s not working out at the Crossfit gym, it’s my dance class. They were unable to find a substitute for my dance class on Saturday, so due to my decision to take a HIIT class, they were teacherless. The site manager sent me a pic of the ladies dancing to a video of me that one of them recorded in order to practice at home. I am making a difference in these women’s lives, I feel it, and I don’t want to spoil that trying to do suicides sprints and box jumps. This internship, which is over in maybe 3 months, is the top priority for me now and I really need to take care of my body and add more rest to the mix. So I made a new rule, no more HIIT training on Fridays at all so I can be 100% on Saturday.

If I feel OK for the rest of the day, I will return to “the box” tomorrow morning, then rest on Tuesday and then do a double on Wednesday. If my gym buddy says anything, I will just tell her to kick rocks… in the sweetest way possible.

Motivation Monday

When you have a lot of weight to lose, it requires a lot of motivation, not so much willpower. Some folks believe that willpower is not finite, but as someone that has dealt with intense cravings, willpower can only get you so far before you tell yourself, “screw this, I can start again tomorrow or Monday.” For better or worse, weight loss has always been in the forefront of my mind. When I see a new health magazine at my job, I always take it.  I keep a binder filled with weight loss stories, recipes, pictures and I retain any interesting tidbits that the magazine offers. I also post 1-2 pictures of cover models in my kitchen, just as a reminder to stay on track and so I never forget what I’m trying to do. I’ve plateaued for awhile, completely due to poor eating habits, so I brought it up a notch. Phone screensaver. I plan to reach my goal weight by my birthday in October, and I only need to lose 6 lbs per month.

In order to be on schedule, I need to reach 183 by April 1. Seeing this picture on my phone is the reality check that I need when I’m craving a cheat meal or about to go down the road of no return. Every cheat meal matters so I’m trying to limit them to 1-2 per week. This screensaver reminds me to stick to my plan and ever since using this trick, I broke the plateau and am the lowest I’ve been since 2012. If you try it let me know how it works.

What tricks do you use to motivate you for weight loss?

Weighing in

The dance class that I taught yesterday was NOT good. I didn’t rehearse the dances the day before like I usually do because I spent the prior day at a spa with a friend. I got home really late and then didn’t prepare that morning. So I was pretty much winging it. I made a few mistakes and in one song, I missed a mark and actually went to rewind the song so we could redo it, which I’m pretty sure is a faux pas. It was a vital part of the song though. Thank goodness this is an internship and I’m not getting paid. When you are dancing in front of a crowd, and they are all watching you… there is nowhere to hide and you can’t cover it up.

Today was my zumba certification class and it went well. I LOVE Zumba and I love to dance. I love great teachers and the one that taught the class was exceptional. I want to be a great teacher and I plan to put more effort into this. I’m glad that I am in this 6 month internship because it gives me time to perfect my craft, work on cueing  and just get better. That way when I start trying to get a job at a gym or studio, I will be 1000 times better and will also have 6 months of experience under my belt. But tomorrow is back to reality. On the scale of importance, I would rank 1) Fitness instructor development 2) Crossfit obsession and 3) Current job. With each new thing, the job is getting lower and lower on the totem pole.

Now onto the main event–>

IMG_0835Here is my current weight. I’m going to do a post tomorrow on maintaining motivation and how to do it. I was plateaued for 2 months going back and forth between 188 and 187. I made one change last week and have now reached the lowest weight that I’ve been since 2012. Motivation is hard to maintain, especially when you are stressed or feeling low. I set a goal of being 183 by April 1 and I’m pretty sure that I will be below that by the end of the week.

 

Crossfit

I gained some weight over the holidays due to excessive eating and drinking. I went back to eating better but the weight wasn’t falling like it was before. At 5’3 I have found that the best way for me to lose weight consistently is to exercise but I couldn’t find the motivation to do it. I was instagram and came across this ad for a 6 week crossfit challenge at a gym that was close to my job. So I signed up.

I wanted to be somewhere for 6 weeks in order to get back into the exercise schedule. Even though I want to lose weight, I lack discipline and I often make excuses so this felt like a good solution. And boy was it a solution. Crossfit is the hardest and most challenging thing I’ve ever encountered in regards to exercise. Has anyone tried it? They focus on functional exercises where you are lifting your body weight, kettlebells and barbells. It’s tough. Mondays workout involved 4 rounds of running 400 km, 10 deadlifts and burpees until time. And it was 30 degrees outside. Studies show that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. But all the muscle in the world can’t counter a bad diet. I like crossfit because of the community aspect. I already made a friend and everyone that is a newbie like me is always in shock of the next f*ed up thing they are going to have us do. My goal is to make 1-2 more friends and exchange numbers.

After this challenge is done I think I might actually buy some classes from this gym. I like being challenged and I need to lose more weight. I’m going to set up an appointment to see a nutritionist again because if I’m going to be exercising, I want to make sure that I’m eating as clean as possible and getting proper nutrients on this plant based meal plan. I know that I will lose weight quickly if I:

  • exercise consistently
  • drink 8+cups of water per day
  • sleep 7+hours per night
  • limit processed foods and sugar
  • cut off alcohol

If I plan on reaching my goal weight in 6 months, I need to follow these steps. I plan to do a post on discipline in the near future. A lot of the advice is usually “just do it”, use the 5 second rule, or live like the person that you want to be.

 

Vegan Weight Loss and Smoothie Recipe

I’m back with a food prep blog. I went to the gym this morning and went hard. A little too hard and have some tightness in my back, either from a deadlift or clean/press. I work for a back doctor, so I know what is going on and tomorrow will be a rest day for sure. Which is great because I need to start goal setting for next year and figuring out what is next in life. Here is the gym pic…

IMG_6112
Too many weights…

Now I am not a perfect person, but one thing I have perfected, is my breakfast. It is easy to get overwhelmed by choices (and  sugar) so I try to have the same thing everyday. I really do and people think it’s weird, but SO many specialists recommend automating 1-2 meals per day for weight loss because it makes life a little easier. For breakfast, I make a simple smoothie.  Since I am in the process of losing weight, I try to intuitively keep my calories down, without actually counting calories.

For instance, my morning smoothie could easily become a calorie bomb. When I started plant-based eating, I would have 2-3 bananas, 4-6 dates and a cup of berries in my smoothie and believe me, it was DELICIOUS. As someone who loves sweets, dates and bananas are a godsend and as someone that loves caffeine, I was bouncing off the walls from the sugar rush. However, after I met with a nutritionist, I realized it was too much sugar and too many unnecessary calories. When you are trying to lose weight, every calorie counts, even as a vegan.

There is a great article in this month’s Women’s Health magazine titled, “Losing Their Veganity”. Many women become vegan to lose weight yet they end up gaining weight so return to eating meat. One nutritionist quoted in the article said that one of her clients was consuming a smoothie bowl for breakfast that was 700 calories after the calculations. Some of us, myself included, follow these folks that are eating 4-5 bananas in a smoothie, but we go to sedentary jobs while they run and bike all over the city. It doesn’t matter if you are eating meat or not, calories count and do not let anyone fool you. If you are gaining weight, you might want to count for a few days or see a nutritionist. And here is my breakfast smoothie!

Vee’s Breakfast Smoothie -~300 cals*

  • 1.5 cups lemon water (3-10 calories depending on where you look. I just juice a lemon and put it in a mason jar and keep adding filtered water so it maintains its lemony goodness. Discard the lemon at the end of the week.)
  • 1 large banana (120 cals, less if smaller)
  • 2 cups kale (66 cals)
  • ~1 cup mixed berries (70+ cals)

*The lemon water cuts the kale’s bitterness and makes it so I don’t need almond milk, peanut butter or any other calorie additive. I usually have an apple as a snack mid morning and am ready to go for lunch at 12pm. My lunch and dinners are usually substantial (rice bowls or pasta) so saving 200 cals in breakfast helps a lot because I sit most of the day. If your job is more active, you could add chia seeds, peanut butter, or even omit the lemon water and use a milk substitute.

I prepare the bags on the weekend. I take one out the night before and put it in the fridge that way it defrosts a little. (I find if I blend straight from freezing, the kale doesn’t blend all the way through). You can change up the berries or the fruit for variety (I added peaches and nectarines in the summer). You can even change up the greens. When I get bored of this, I have some oatmeal for a few days and return to this. Try it!

image1
Lemon Water
IMG_6124
Packing the bags
IMG_6123
Storing it in the freezer

High Stressed Times

I had a lot planned this weekend. It involved working on the blog, working out excessively and watching a whole bunch of fashion videos. Then my cat had a hairball at 9pm on Friday night and has been throwing up ever since and I’ve barely gotten any sleep. At least not a consistent block. On Saturday, I had plans to catch a movie with my friend so I did that. My cat was recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and was started on Methimazole. For some reason I thought my cat’s vomiting was in response to bad food or the fact that I was serving him water from a Brita filter that might have been overdue, so I continued giving him the medication. That was when his vomiting increased to every 20 mins since 1AM Sunday morning. I ended up taking him to the ER and my stress level was at its peak. I didn’t get to do much on my to do list. I washed my hair, did all of my food prep and laundry, took out my A.C. and wrote some posts. But looking into Pixie’s eyes now, I realize it’s worth it. Yes, I want to quit my job. Yes, I want to reach my goal weight this year. Yes, I want to be a health coach. But I can’t forget the basics. Like Pixie who has been with my for almost 9 years, my friends and family. Nourish those relationships too, because it is all about the journey, not the destination, so what is the point of going on the journey alone, when you don’t have to?

 

Instagram Food Pics?

FullSizeRender (1)

I think this is a great idea for weight loss, lifestyle changes and diet improvements. I’m just not sure how my current followers would feel about seeing my food pics all the time. My sister started a second Instagram which has a lot of followers, but some of them are from her main Instagram. When you create a second Instagram account using the same app, your new account is suggested to the followers of your old account. But thinking about it now, I guess there really isn’t anything wrong with it. My weight loss and fitness instructor journey is kind of a side project. I have been a secretive person in regards to my goals and what I do in my spare time, and no I’m not a drug dealer. I’m finding that even as I discuss my veganism with coworkers, I am becoming more articulate and my soundbites are becoming clear and have actual facts. In addition, discussing my goals will give me more accountability because people might ask  how things are going.

Speaking of which… My gym membership is $69.99 per month. I am setting a goal of 4 times per week or else I am cancelling the membership. I have another membership that I had to sign up for (6 months for $75!) in order to do my instructor training, so if I’m unable to follow my schedule, I’m canceling the pricey by the end of October.