Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Last Few Pounds

Today a gal who is fairly new to step approached me to tell me she has been following my blog and fitness foods album on Facebook and has started steaming sweet potatoes and brocolli. She just started step about 3 weeks ago and now has been a regular attendee, using two level risers! She has the same trainer as me and you can see her do extra cardio around LA Fitness. I am so proud of her :) - way to go! ....
So proud that all day today, I worked as fast as I could so I can find time to write another blog. This morning I weighed in at 123.8lbs, another pound lost from this weekend. The past two months, the weight loss has been slow now because as we all know, the last few pounds are the hardest to lose. My goal is 115 for being 5 foot 1 (and a half) and before I had doubts I can ever reach that. Now, I am beginning to believe I may actually get there. Like I told my friend, Emily, I had no expectations of ever being a size 2. I was content actually with being a size 6 and this past weekend, fit in my first size 2 jeans ... not just denim jeans, but white jeans! I have always been scared to wear white for many reasons as I am sure you gals can at one point in your life relate too.
Some things I added to my routine to continue the weight loss is adding additional cardio before my group exercise classes. On Mondays before Jackie's bodyworks class, I usually will run 2-3 miles and have also increased my dumbbells to 12 pounders vs 10. What I like is I am already warm when I begin bodyworks which enables me to use the 12 pound dumbbells more throughout class. After Jackie's class yesterday, I was good and exhausted. Great workout! :) ...
Tuesdays is what I call pure cardio days. Today I ran 4.2 miles before Stephanie's step class. I have also added another level to my step bench, now using two risers. That alone increased the intensity of the workout and of course, calories burnt. I was exhausted afterwards! Went home and ate some garlic spinach, half a sweet potato and tilapia seasoned lightly with cumin. I was starving! ....
Tomorrow is Missy's turbokick and upper body training with my trainer. I normally do about 20-25 minutes of stairmill right before class. Sometimes I just go straight to turbokick since I want to have enough energy left to lift heavy with Neil. Just depends on my mood in the morning (and if I get enough sleep!).
Thursdays are usually killers. Tracy's bodyworks class at 8:30am is fabulous! I like to get a few miles of running right before her class so you will most likely find me on the treadmill knocking out 2-3 miles. I normally do Jackie's step class right after, but lately have not had any energy left after Tracy's intense bodyworks class or I simply just have to get home and start work. Jackie's step class is great though and I SO miss being there.
Fridays I like to mix up ... I am either at Jackie's step class from 8:30am-9:00am before I train w/ Neil again for legs. Or I am running upstairs 3-4 miles on the treadmill. I love leg days! (before I never could say that lol) ...
Saturdays are fun and something I look forward to after the long week - hubby and I make it our "gym date" where we do cardio for about 20 minutes on the elliptical side by side and then we do chest and triceps together. If the weather is nice, we take Alexander at the park for a brisk walk in his red buggy :) ....
So to sum it up ... I finally got past the 130s by doing additional cardio before class and mixing up what I do. As far as diet goes, I still make sure I eat my egg whites and oatmeal pre-workout to give me the energy I need, especially with the additional cardio. The only thing I wish I had more was sleep, but realized I can't at this time fit it all in one day. I am happy to get 4-5hrs a night, which I know is short from the recommended 7-8hrs. It is hard for me to give up exercise and to just work, work and work. I feel I am a more productive and energized (accountant, wifey and Mom) after getting a good workout. It really does make a difference physically and mentally.
I hope everyone is having a great week so far! Keep up the training and clean eats! It works :) ...
XoXo,
April

Monday, March 28, 2011

Steamed Brocolli and Sweet Potatoes/Flaxseed

Every Sunday, I steam brocolli and sweet potatoes for Jason and I's work week. The ground flaxseed goes in my pre-workout oatmeal along with the bee pollen, wheat germ, cinnamon and fruit. I've grown to love my oatmeal! :)

Lean Proteins

Tilapia, Chicken Breasts (hubby likes his w/ a garlic salt and paprika) and mine (cumin and lemon pepper) - hubby grills every Monday evening for our work week :) ....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Happy Springtime! :)

Happy Springtime! Has everyone filed their individual/business income taxes?!? Started spring cleaning? Started planning summer vacations? Getting excited that winter is finally over? (although, it was quite chilly today in Dallas - my car temperature registered at around 54-61 degrees while hubby and I were running errands). I made a point today to set aside some time to write a blog amidst tax season. I just finished working another 7 days, totaling 70hrs, but SO miss writing about exercise, nutrition and fitness in general. Plus the emails/texts I've received from family and friends requesting another blog! Aww, I feel special you guys/gals want to hear what I have to say lol :) - thank you for your support! ...
Well, my schedule is quite busy as you all know. My alarm is set at 6:00am every weekday and my day ends usually around 1 or 2am. I start my day off with making hubby's lunch for the day (usually two grilled chicken sandwiches made with low-fat swiss or pepperjack cheese, 4oz grilled chicken breasts lightly marinated in paprika and garlic salt and grilled by hubby on our grill, lettuce on bollilo bread). I pack him his steamed brocolli and half a steamed sweet potato, banana and orange. I do put his occassional treats of a rice krispie treat, small goldfish in tupperware or a bite-size candy for his hardwork at the gym. While that is getting put together, I am making Alexander's breakfast which usually consist of 1 scrambled egg mixed w/ vitamin D milk and cut up fruit of the day! Mama's breakfast is always last (Moms you know we come last and take care of others first, right?!?) which consists of my 3 egg whites and 1/2 cup of boiled oatmeal (I mix in with 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed, 1 tbsp bee pollen, 1 tbsp wheat germ, ground cinnamon and 2 sliced strawberries - yummy!).
After breakfasts are ready and lunches made, I usually hear my two boys getting ready and Alexander comes out running to Mama and gives me my sloppy morning kiss! My favorite! While he is eating, I get his bag and Mama's gym bag ready, and Daddy usually comes out and we sit for a few minutes to chat and hang before we start off our days. Despite the lack of sleep lately, I treasure my mornings w/ my two boys. A very special time.
I detailed out my morning routine because some of you have asked how I still find time to do what I do. I just simply make time and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel with my current schedule. I enjoy cooking clean meals and being around the people I love, even though groggy eyed :-/ at times. Also, to give you a sample of my diet which I know I have promised to blog about soon.
You may notice one of my best friends (and clean eating sister) Emily in the picture above. This blog is partly dedicated to her. I have known Emily now for about 4-5 years. She is my cousin Bryan's girlfriend and is currently studying to be a teacher at TCU. Emily and I have had our challenges with weight, but have always remained supportive of each other. She started following my routine of exercise and eating clean a few months ago (i.e. Tosca Reno books and Oxygen magazines); and the numerous people I've taken time to detail out how I do it, Emily and my other best friend, Deepa have managed to really stick to it. It is hard in the beginning definitely, but as Deepa and Emily have seen/experienced, it pays off! ...
To date, Emily and I both have lost a total of 75lbs combined and still counting. She too has a hectic schedule with school, work and Bryan! :) - but we both know that is no excuse to not take care of our bodies first. She is venturing out this week and will be starting bootcamp tomorrow! I am so proud of her accomplishments thus far, and I know she will reach her goal of 125-130. We also plan to run our first 5k marathon this summer together too!! ... Go Emily! And finally an update on my journey .... As of 3/26/11, I currently weigh at 124.7. Last month, my personal trainer measured my body fat, which I was a bit nervous about. I started out at 37.7% in June of 2010 and was at 24.4% end of February! We will be measuring again in May 2011 and my goal is to be around 16 to 17% body fat by then. I have tried to hold off on shopping because I am still losing, however, I found myself needing the basics: v-necks, shorts and jeans. Dallas weather (except today) has started to get warmer and so I bought a couple of shorts to last me until I reach my goal of 115 and size 2 jeans at Express! Yes, size 2! - I couldn't believe it myself. I ended up purchasing some white jeans too (pic above) which I have never worn in my life. I feel amazing and again despite my 70hr work weeks, I love the energy that comes with exercise and clean eating! I have also recently started running and have reached 6 miles in 1 hour (all you runners out there, is this okay? :). I figured maybe running a marathon can be next on the good ol' bucket list? ;) .... I am trying to get my Daddio here to join me! Am so proud of my parents too for exercising and starting to eat clean. Mom works out at 24hr Fitness in Mesquite and does zumba, bodypump and kickboxing! Proud of you Mom <3 and Daddio has a membership at the city community center and I make sure he is running and eating well. Lolo and Lola have to be around long for their Alexander :) ...
I hope everyone is enjoying spring and has started/continued moving and try the Eat-Clean lifestyle. I started back in June 2010 and I tell you there is no magic "pill." It's all about exercise and what you put in your body that will yield results. Emily and I lost our 75lbs this way, the natural way. And you can too! Any questions, just let me know. I love hearing from you :) ...
Many, many thanks again to all who have supported me in my journey - just to name a few: Emily, Deepa, Daddio, Mom, Jason, Neil, Michele, Ariel, Julie, Jackie, Missy, Stefanie, Tracy and many others! ....
Have a great week and happy training! .... :o)
April

Friday, March 4, 2011

Quinoa

My post-workout meal: Quinoa: cook quinoa according to instructions. Then put minced garlic, onions and cook (should only take about 5 minutes). Here I've added steamed brocolli and tilapia (with avocado slices for healthy fats). Enjoy!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Family/Tax Busy Season/Fitness/Friends/Blog - Making it all Work!

Been awhile since I've written "Thoughts for Thursdays" - it is 11:29pm, so I think I can get this in before the clock strikes midnight :o) ....
I have now started working my annual overtime mode for busy season about 3 weeks ago, and finally found some time this evening to give my blog some much needed love. It is now mostly in the 70s here in Dallas, spring is definitely in the air. Winters here don't last but one month (and hubby and I love it!) - shorts, skirts, sandals season is here! I can tell you I did not have this much excitement last year regarding spring/summer clothing. Whatever season, it was long black pants for me, whatever will hide the thunder thighs, muffin rolls, extra weight, etc. **big sigh** ....
While working this evening, I could not help recall gaining about 5-10lbs during busy season. I used to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in the International Assignment Solutions tax department from 2007 -2010. I had to admit we were spoiled ... delicious busy season dinners, sweets in candy jars, endless desserts, delicious bagels and Saturday morning donuts brought in by our partners or managers! Needless to say, I did not have much time to make it in the gym, nor had the energy to eat clean. I was also new to mommyhood and unfortunately let myself go. Well, that is definitely changed for season 2011! ...
I am blessed and thankful to have the flexibility of my job where I work remote from home, still working for PwC clients, returns, etc. Hubby and I decided it is best since we are still trying to grow our family (another topic and no not yet lol) to have this flexibility, yet still be able to have a dual income household. I honestly have to say that taxes interest me and there is not a day that goes by, I do not learn something new! What a dork, right?!? ...
Now, what I love most is being able to balance family, fitness and career all at once. Yes, I do lose some sleep (okay a ton and drink a bit more coffee than usual), but it sure is better than my old days. Stats-wise, I am now down to 127lbs (from 165 back in June 2010) and 24.4% body fat from 37.2% (June 2010). Life has been wonderful and I have met new friends along the way! Being fit energizes me and everyday I wake up happy and ready to tackle the day! I've really embraced this clean eating lifestyle and enjoyed seeing transformations of friends/family who have also embraced the same. My target goal is 115. Now that about 40lbs have come off, the rate of loss has slowed down to about 1-2lbs per week. Diet has been tight and strict, with about 1-2 cheat "meals" on the weekends. It has been 8 months living this "clean" eating lifestyle and I honestly do not miss my old eating habits. I always tell my friends/family how important it is "treat" yourself once or twice a week. For me by doing this, I remain focused throughout the week and gives me something to look forward to.
This month I've also tried some new superfoods: I've added bee pollen and wheat germ to my pre-workout oatmeal (already prepared with cinnamon, flaxseed and fruit) and whole grain quinoa! If you are wondering, I ordered them from Nutsonline.com! Quinoa I had always read up in Oxygen magazine as this superfood packed with protein (which is hard to believe since it is a type of grain). My BFF and clean-eating sistah, Deepa suggested I make it with garlic and onions and it was simply delicious! I usually eat quinoa as a postworkout meal with tilapia and steamed brocolli or steamed sweet potatoes (half). Try it sometime! ...
Quinoa postworkout meal:
Remember, your taxes are due 4/18/11! I hope to blog weekly post tax season :) - till then, happy training and happy spring! ...
-April