Monday, September 30, 2013

September Summary

I started off September really well tracking my food and fitness daily, staying on top of everything, and making good progress. However, after the 18th, things seemed to unravel. I just wasnt organized. Things were just too chaotic in the house and I dont even really know where my September checklist ended up. Not good, I know.

That being said, despite all the chaos and the disruptions, September wasnt too bad. Being on the Whole Life Challenge definitely helped. Ive been 100% on track with that (I think thats why I became a bit complacent in my tracking; I knew I was eating clean and working out daily). I worked out every single day, and in general, the weight that I had put on towards the end of the month (4 days of bad eating and barely any movement) all came off along with another pound or two.

I still havent got back to my lowest weight (which is almost 2 kg/4 lb lighter than I am now). Im annoyed at that. I was hoping that being on the challenge would help me move past this plateau, but it hasnt yet. I know that my food has been ok, but my workouts have not been intense enough. I didnt make it to the gym for my normal weights/cardio workouts for 2 ½ weeks. My workouts mainly consisted of BJJ training, walking, some weights, and Kajukenbo. It just wasnt enough. I know better. I just couldnt get myself do to better.

I know that fitness is more than just a number. I do feel strong. I do feel fit. I feel good (and exhausted) after I finish training. My clothes still fit nicely with my smallest size jeans not at all snug. However, it's not good enough. This is not my goal weight. This is not my goal size. I'm still not near my goal weight, and it is frustrating. 

I know that in order to change I've got to do something different. Small changes do do not work for me. They need to be big ones. Even if it's just one or two changes, they need to be major ones. 

October will be different. It's time to give it all I've got. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Circuit

Sundays are a dilemma for me. I don’t have class so technically I have the day off (our weekends are Friday & Saturday so that gives me a 3-day weekend). My dilemma is this – hit the gym for a long workout or use the time at home to get myself organized for the week (meal prep, laundry, tidying up, grading, etc.).

I really thought I’d be hitting the gym, but the luxury of having a few hours to myself in the house is way too tempting. So I’ve decided, once and for all (at least for the rest of this semester) that I’m going to stay home. I’m going to get all my tasks done plus I’m going to use all the great weight/exercise equipment that we have here to get in my morning workout.

There are some exercises that I don’t like to do at home, especially without someone around (e.g. heavy squats or chest presses). I don’t know why I was letting that limit me before. I’ve come up with a routine that I can follow at home, primarily using dumbbells. Since my focus is now on lower reps, higher weights, it’s definitely easier for me to do this workout at home.

Here’s my Sunday plan:
Warm-up w/dynamic stretching
Practice my Kajkenbo forms
Weights/Exercises (4 sets of 20 reps)
  • -       dumbbell squat w/heels on plate
  • -       dumbbell 1 point row
  • -       lunge rear foot elevated w/dumbbells
  • -       1 arm dumbbell snatch
  • -       kettlebell swings
  • -       push-ups
  • -       reverse crunch
  • -       plank hold (1 min)
  • -       leg raises
  • -       back raise
  • -       burpees

Cool down

I did the workout today plus went for a 3 km walk. It took me 1 hour and 15 minutes (not including the walk). It was tiring and challenging, but it felt good. I think it’s a good routine to help me keep up with my weight training at home.

It’s almost October – gotta make sure I’m fully on track so that I can end this year on a high note (and a low weight)!! 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Do You See What I See?

The past few days have been interesting because I've been going out to eat more than usual since D's parents are visiting. So far we've been choosing restaurants where I know I can order something that will enable me to stay true to the Whole Life Challenge.

While others are eating curried potatoes, fresh hot bread, and different creamy sauces, I've been sticking to my grilled proteins and steamed or grilled vegetables.

For me, it's been fine.

However, as usual, the reactions from others have been a bit different. Luckily I haven't had any 'you're crazy' comments. Rather it's been along the lines of 'Poor you.'

Luckily, I don't feel sorry for myself at all.

Last night when a long plate of dessert samplers came out (complimentary because they had a problem with some of our orders) it was quite interesting.

Everyone dug in to taste the different desserts - chocolate fondant, apple crumble, creme brûlée, and a few others ...

I was actually a little surprised that I didn't even feel a touch of desire for desserts. That's saying a lot since I really do have a sweet tooth. However, the desserts just didn't appeal to me. It's like I was viewing my food and my eating options through a completely different lens. It felt quite good.

Interestingly enough, this morning was a slightly different story. D asked if I would bake him my carrot cake for his birthday. I was really touched because of all the possible birthday desserts he could have chosen, he wanted one of mine. I was also a bit nervous because it's been at least 2 years since I've baked a cake (though I did make some cupcakes a few times).

As I was frosting the cake, I have to say that I was really tempted to have a taste. It just looked so fresh and moist ... I didn't lament over it, but I did take a moment and think - damn that looks good. I'd love a taste.

Since I knew that everyone would be eating cake today I didn't want to really stick out as the only one not having anything, so I decided to make myself my own version of a carrot cake - one that would be Whole Life Challenge friendly.

Instead of flour I used ground flaxseed and ground almonds. I added shredded carrots, shredded coconut, and eggs. I'll post the proper recipe later.

I have to say, I was really impressed with how it came out. The recipe needs a bit of tweaking, but it was moist and quite flavorful.

Socially, it was nice to sit down and have something similar to what everyone else was eating. I got over my desire to taste my original carrot cake and took satisfaction in hearing all the oohs and aaahs from everyone else. I'm glad I haven't lost my baking touch.

I don't plan on making baked goods (whole life challenge friendly or not) often, but it's nice to know that I have a tasty option out there.

what's left of my 'real' carrot cake and my mini WLC-friendly carrot cupcakes

Friday, September 27, 2013

Love First

I was making a list of all the things I have to do and all the things I want to do – and it really was overwhelming. For the past few weeks I feel like I’ve been wearing myself thin (not literally – I wish!) by doing things for others and making others a priority. Although it really is important to me to help people out and make time for others, I know that I shouldn’t do it at the expense of things that make me happy.

In the middle of the week I found myself getting irritable, getting annoyed at so many things. That’s when I told myself – This has to stop. There is no reason why I should be getting so worked up. If someone is doing something that I don’t like or that I feel needs to be done differently, then I need to tell them so that they know (instead of holding it inside like I normally do). If I feel like I am making a special effort to do something for someone and it isn’t being appreciated or respected, then I need to do something to make that change.

That’s when I realized – I need to put myself first. I need to do what I love first. I don’t mean this to be selfish. Actually, I feel like doing what I feel needs to be done first makes me more relaxed and less uptight, which in turn makes it better for everyone else.

With that in mind, instead of rushing around and grabbing some fruit or a date for breakfast, yesterday I took some extra time and made some scrambled eggs. I can’t tell you what a difference just that little thing made. I felt healthy. I felt satisfied. I went to work without feeling agitated.

Since we’ve had visitors coming in and out and now we’ve got lots of dinner plans to eat out over the next couple of weeks, I haven’t done a proper grocery shop. That has left me finicky with my food. I’d open the fridge and see a bell pepper and hardly anything else. It’s tough for me to think of what to eat when I don’t have the proper supplies. That’s why I was just grazing on nuts and other simple stuff because preparing anything was too big of a chore.

I told myself – who cares if we’re going to eat out for dinner most nights this coming week. I still need ingredients to prepare breakfast and lunch. So I went ahead and did a big shop. Again, I felt so much better knowing that my fridge was full and that it was going to be easy for me to quickly whip up some grilled shrimp and vegetables or a baked sweet potato and some chicken. Having those options again alleviated some stress.

The other thing that was bugging me was the fact that I had given up my morning gym routine in order to accommodate others – run errands with my dad, meet up with a friend, or whatever. No more. Not lifting weights has definitely left me cranky and has made me feel flabby. I don’t want to feel like that. So once again I’m rethinking my schedule, putting in things that I want to do first, and then filling everything else in. Again, as soon as I came to that realization, I started to feel better.

I know that I can’t please everyone even though I want to. I know that I can’t do every single thing that I want. However, I can still organize my time in a way that helps me make the best of the situation.

This time, I’m putting what I love first. Aside from unalterable priorities (e.g. work), everything else is flexible.

One of my friends shared this link on being happy. I think its really worth a read.

Make time for yourself. Youre worth it. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

MMA Fitness Training

Professional MMA fighter Ray Elbe will be leading a women's only training program here in Kuwait. Check out the pic for more details!

Catching Up and Complaining

I just haven’t been able to make the time to sit at my computer and type out a proper post. Aside for just checking my email and glancing through Facebook I’ve been running around, cooking, cleaning, working, and sleeping.

The challenge for the next two weeks in the Whole Life Challenge is to get 7 hours of sleep (per 24 hours, so if not all at night, then during a nap). Not only have I been making sure to get those 7 hours of sleep because of the challenge, but I’ve also been NEEDING the sleep because I’m tired!

My dad left a few days ago and day before yesterday my in-laws arrived. You can imagine how busy all that has been. Since my brother isn’t driving and his paperwork isn’t complete, I’ve been doing additional driving around for him – which wouldn’t be too bad if it wasn’t for the insane traffic here in Kuwait (was at a standstill for 25 minutes yesterday on a highway –ugh!!!).

I haven’t quite got the hang of cooking for 3 people yet. I used to make enough dinner so that I would have some food leftover for lunch. However, now I need enough lunch for 2 people – so that means I’ve had to either cook extra or cook again. I’ve most had to cook all over again.

My eating has been good in terms of staying true to the challenge, but it’s been bad in terms of being lazy and tired – so just having a few dates for energy to get me through the day, just picking on a bit of food here and there. I know it’s not healthy, and I need to rectify that. I need to make sure I eat right (the right amount, the right things, at the right time) in order to get the proper energy that I need. I know better, but I just don’t feel like I’ve got the energy to pull it all together.

I’ve been exercising daily. My morning workouts have taken a hit because of extra errands and work. I’ve been exercising in the evening – either Kajukenbo class, CrossFit, going for a walk, or Jiujitsu. I feel like my workouts have been mild (moderate at best) and it’s just not enough for what works for my body. I’ve also been working out with/training my brother to help him with his weight loss progress (he’s lost about 12 pounds in the past 2 weeks). We do a combination of kickboxing, weight lifting, and walking.

So, there’s a lot going on. I wish I could say that things are slowly falling into place, but they’re not at the moment. I feel like I really won’t be able to get a handle on things until the middle of next month. In the meantime, I’ll just keep doing my best.

By the way - sorry about the problem on my blog (re the photos covering the text). I'm not sure what happened. Hopefully that's been resolved now. For some reason my notifications (of when people post and comment) have also not been showing up. I haven't figured out how to fix that yet, but hopefully I'll be able to soon.