Tag Archives: New Year’s resolution

Sticking to my Resolutions

9 Jan

new years resolutions

Happy New Year.  2013 brought me a cold.  Yay.  I’ve mostly  recovered, but still sniffly.  Despite this minor set back, I am determined to make good on my New year’s resolutions.  I started my first biography last night.  I decided to go with Diana: Her True Story by Andrew Morton as my first book.  Princess Diana was one of England’s most iconic figures, and with the short time she had on this earth she influenced so many people’s lives all over the world.  I’ve only read the first few pages, but I think it’s gonna be really good.

I also signed up for a Spanish speaking course through Babbel.  It’s a subscription based program that makes it really affordable to learn a new language.  I like it because it teaches you words visually, has you type them, and incorporates speech recognition so you know if you are pronouncing the word correctly.  It seems promising so far.

I also thought I would “weigh” in on my cardio experiment.  I lost a total of 2 pounds of fat, 1/4 of an inch from my waist, and 1/2 an inch from my hips!  It just goes to show consistency is key.  I feel great and despite a week of the sniffles I have gotten back into the gym, and I’m ready to ramp it up!!  Hope everyone has a very happy 2013.

 

 

Nothing Ventured Nothing “Lost”: Week 1

4 Dec

8 days down, 23 days to go!!

I set a resolution for next year to maintain at least 10 minutes of cardio 5 days a week in an effort to maintain consistency in activity.  A week ago I began an experiment to see what type of results I could achieve with no less, but no more than 10 minutes of cardio exercise everyday for 30 days.  I wanted to prove how much being consistent plays a role in weight loss, and to establish a routine that would make it easier for me to stick to my New Year’s resolution.  I promised to “weigh in” each week so here are my results from the first week.

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Ventured

Normally I prefer to workout first thing in the morning.  I like to get it out of the way, and I love how energized it makes me feel.  Besides, I’m usually so exhausted by the end of the day that the last thing I want to do is work out.  I started the week out like this with good intentions, but Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I just felt like sleeping in so I made up my own 10 minute cardio routine that I did as soon as I got home from work.

My week looked something like this:

Monday

* 2 minute warm up on treadmill, 10 minutes at 5 mph, no incline

Tuesday

* The same treadmill workout as Monday

* Light strength training: arms & chest

  •  Hammer curls; 3 sets of with 10 lbs. weights, 12 reps each
  • Chest press; 3 sets at 40 lbs., 12 reps each

Wednesday

* See previous cardio workouts

* Strength training: shoulders & back

  • Lat pull down; 3 sets at 40 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Seated Row; 3 sets at 40 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Delt Raises; 3 sets at 10 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Shoulder Press; 3 sets at 10 lbs., 12 reps each

Thursday

I made up my own 10 minute cardio routine that required no equipment.

  • Jumping jacks, high knee jog in place, side squats with hop sequence, scissor skier, and jump rope

I alternated between each exercise performing each for 30 second intervals until I had completed a full 10 minutes.  I then finished with a quick 5 minute ab routine.  I really like this 8 minute ab workout.  It’s robotic so I mute the sound, blast my Britney, and just watch the routine.

Friday and Saturday I repeated my Thursday routine, and after weigh in this morning I was motivated to push myself a bit harder when it comes to strength training.

Sunday

* Cardio: Elliptical level 8, 5 minutes forward, 5 minutes backward.

* Strength training: Legs

  • Leg extensions (quads); 3 sets at 50 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Seated hamstring curls; 2 sets at 50 lbs., 1 set at 55 lbs., 15 reps each
  • Leg press; 1 set at 70 lbs., 2 sets at 90 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Calf raises; 2 sets at 35 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Squats; 3 sets holding one 8 lb. weight in front of me, 12 reps each
  • Lunges; 2 sets holding 8 lb. weight in each hand, 12 reps each

* 8 minute ab routine incorporating weights and swiss ball

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Lost

When I stepped on the scale yesterday morning I was a little disappointed to see that I had actually gained a pound.  I am well aware that it is common to gain some weight when you initially start a new exercise program.  There are several reasons why this may happen ranging from caloric intake and types of food you are eating to water retention related to glycogen storage and even sleep patterns.  I even found some great articles that explain in simple terms why this happens.  You can read about them here, here, here, & here. But it’s still a little discouraging when you’re seeking instant gratification.

However, instead of letting it hold me back, I chose to let it motivate me.  I am going to keep going, and I have resigned myself to practicing a little patience.  I decided to incorporate a little more strength training and tweak my diet a little. I tend to eat fairly healthy.  We are pescatarian so we get a variety of tons of veggies and fruits, and for the most part we cook most meals at home.  But if I’m honest there was that piece of pecan pie and chocolate chip cookie at work. (Damn you holidays!!).  And the animal style grilled cheese with fries from     In-N-Out didn’t help either. 😉

In one week my overall weight went from 138.6 lbs to 139.8 lbs.  My overall body fat percentage went from 28.9% to 29.5% and my muscle mass went from 36.1% to 35.8%.  All of my body measurements remained the same.  I am proud that I stuck to working out every single day, and I feel great.  I have my workout routine for the next 7 days prepared, and I am going to try to make better food choices so here’s to hoping for more positive results next week!!

Resolving Resolutions (or getting there)

18 Nov

Thanksgiving is less than a week away!! I can’t believe how fast time has flown by. Before we know it Christmas will have come and gone and it will be time to implement my New Year’s resolutions. I have been doing some research, but I need to get on the ball.

A friend recommended a great free podcast that teaches you to speak Spanish. It’s called Coffee Break Spanish, and its so easy to follow. It’s kinda funny because the two people teaching the lessons are Scottish. So you have these people with really thick Scottish accents teaching you Spanish. I’ve listened to a few lessons already and really enjoyed it. There is also an option to buy more course materials for more visual learners like myself. I still don’t know if it’s going to be the language course I select, but it’s nice to know I have choices. I recommend checking it out if you’re looking to learn Spanish. And I welcome any advice from others who have found courses they liked.

Spanish

I have also been giving some thought to what biographies I would like to read, and have been polling suggestions. Naturally I googled the top best selling biographies, and one that caught my eye was Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand.Its the story of an air force lieutenant who was one of three survivors of a plane crash that left him stranded in the Pacific Ocean for days only to be taken as a POW of the Japanese military. I actually saw an episode of shark week that told this very intriguing story, and the book came highly recommended by my mother in law. I think this and Steve Jobs’ biography are on my list, but I’m still taking suggestions. Any advice?

The one resolution I have been considering the most, however, is the commitment to do no less than 10 minutes of cardio 5 days a week. Especially after three weeks of travel, unhealthy eating, and virtually no exercise other than walking the Vegas strip in one day. I. feel. worthless.

The whole point of committing to this particular resolution is to improve consistency right? That is why I chose 10 minutes. I mean, let’s be honest, no matter how tired, unmotivated, or blah you feel 10 minutes of activity is easy peasy. Whether you choose to hop on the treadmill, go for a quick dip in the pool, or take a brisk walk, 10 minutes is nothing.

I have decided to conduct an experiment, and I have recruited my best friend Kate over at Hesson Haus to join me. I know how easy it can be to incorporate this amount of sustained cardio activity into my schedule everyday, but I was curious about what type of results I could actually achieve when it comes to weight loss. I have decided to monitor these results for a span of 30 days.

So here are the rules:

  • During this time I will do NO MORE, but NO LESS than 10 minutes of cardio activity every single day. I will try incorporate some weight training when I can, but the commitment of cardio will be consistent. That is the point after all.
  • I will weigh myself once a week. I have a very handy scale that measures weight, body fat percentage, and muscle mass. I will also monitor any changes in my body measurements.
  • Kate & I will post results each week. Accountability is a great motivator, and having a partner helps to ensure success.

I hypothesize that, for me, the difference in the numbers I see on the scale will be minimal, as in no more than a 5 pound weight loss. I believe it takes a more rigorous routine to see big results, but it takes consistency to maintain those results. I also predict that my overall feeling of well being will improve, and being healthy and feeling good is the most important thing.

My goal in this experiment is to develop a routine that will make it easier for me to stick to my resolution, and more importantly help to establish a lifelong routine of a healthy active lifestyle. Hopefully, it serves to inspire others along the way. All it takes is 10 minutes. Join us! And link back to this post if you want!  The Countdown begins Monday!

exercise

New Year’s Resolutions

22 Oct

Okay, okay I know what you’re thinking….It’s not even Halloween!  How can you be thinking of New Year’s Resolutions?  Well, I say to you, you can never plan too far ahead for anything:).

I recently had a discussion with Tyler about all the things in my life I have always wanted to accomplish, but never really thought were possible; become fluent in spanish, learn to cook like Giada De Laurentiis, play the piano and the list goes on and on.  I decided these things weren’t impossible, they just require the initiative and discipline to follow through.

I got really excited as we were talking, and decided I would set goals for myself 3 at a time.  I promptly voiced that my first three goals would be to learn Spanish, play the piano, and train for a sprint triathlon.  Tyler just looked at me and shook his head.

What? I could totally do it.

He nicely suggested I not take on so much at one time because I might get burned out more easily and give up.  I hate when he’s right.  Then I remembered a blog post I read by A Beautiful Mess.  I was inspired.  I decided to be more specific in my goals, but instead of giving myself until 2013 to accomplish them, I would turn them into resolutions for the year.  I wanted goals that would have a positive impact on my life and would stimulate my brain.

So here are my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Learn Spanish.  Becoming fluent in Spanish would be an amazing accomplishment for me.  When I worked a contract in Austin, TX, a lot of my patients spoke Spanish as there first language.  It was then that I started seriously thinking about learning to speak it.  Although we had translators, I think it would have been so much more therapeutic if I would have been able to communicate with them on a more personal level.  Spanish is such a beautiful language, and I think being bilingual  opens up so many doors in that you are able to understand a different culture in a whole new way.
  2. Read 1 Biography every 3 months.  I love, love, love to read.  But I have noticed rarely do I read anything other than fiction novels.  Unless you count Redbook or Women’s Health magazines. I don’t.  There is just something about taking a break from the everyday, and getting lost in another world.  But its time to expand my library.  People are fascinating, and I always love to hear stories of perseverance & rising above it all, or just how someone handles what life throws their way.  I thought that reading trues stories about notable celebrities, historical figures, or successful moguls might inspire me.  At the very least I think broadening my library will introduce me to new writing styles which could prove to be very influential.
  3. Do at least 10 minutes of cardio exercise 5 days a week.   This may actually be more difficult than learning Spanish.  Just kidding.  I actually like being active.  However, I would not call myself a “gym person.”  On average I probably work out 2-3 times per week, and some of that is in the gym on the treadmill or elliptical and doing strength training exercises.  But a lot of it is done by just getting outdoors and having fun, which I prefer.  I love hiking, biking, surfing, playing (at) tennis, swimming, etc.  However, I don’t see the types of results when it comes to weight loss that I would like.

Part of this is probably my diet, but a lot of it has to do with consistency.  I will be really diligent about going to the gym for a few weeks, and then life happens and before I know it it’s been a month since I’ve been.  My overall goal is to be as healthy as I can be.  I figure if I do that everything else will fall into place.

I hear all the time you should try to do at least 10 minutes of activity everyday.  So that is what my goal is, to strive for consistency.  Sure there will be days when I do more than 10 minutes of cardio, but for 5 days of the week there won’t be any less than that.  Wish me luck!

So why, you ask, am I planning these resolutions so far in advance.  Well, for someone who likes to gather as much information as I possibly can, this gives me plenty of time to formulate a plan.  I find that I am more successful with the follow through if I have an outline or strategy in place.  A little neurotic I know, but it works for me!!

I have two months to research the types of biographies that would be most interesting to me, and the best way to go about learning Spanish whether it be Rosetta Stone or taking a class.  It also gives me time to work out an exercise routine that works for me.  Although, I may have to start working on this resolution a little earlier with the season of eating upon us.  

I like the idea of blogging about my progress because it helps hold me accountable. Hope you enjoy my journey, and as always any suggestions for good books to read, resources to learn from or just healthy encouragement are welcome!