Thursday, May 31, 2012

Upper Body Workout and New Swim Gear

Good morning!

I haven’t had a chance to share yet, but on Tuesday morning I did an upper body weights workout that still has me sore today. I know that I said I was going to be working on Stage 2 of NROLFW, but to be honest I am a little bored with it. The workouts seem to use the same basic moves (which are similar to Stage 1), and I miss targeting the minor muscle groups (New Rules only targets the major muscle groups, and all of the workouts are total body). When I was in Lansing a couple weeks ago, we did a chest workout that left me sore for days and it felt  really good. So instead of doing my planned NROLFW workout on Tuesday, I went back to the basics and did this one instead:

  • Incline dumbbell press: 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Overhead triceps extension: 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Pull-downs: 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Straight-arm pull-downs: 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Bicep curls (with dumbbells): 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Tricep pressdowns: 3 sets x 20 reps

I also incorporated supersets into my workouts (dumbbell presses and triceps extensions, the two pull-downs, and the curls and pressdowns) and my muscles were trembling when I was done! My triceps are probably the most sore out of all the muscle groups I worked, which makes sense because none of the New Rules workouts target your triceps.


Even though my upper body was really sore when I woke up yesterday morning, I still went ahead with my planned pool workout and it actually felt good to get my arms moving.


Oh yeah, and as you can see from the above photo, I finally purchased goggles and a swim cap! Two things that I didn’t think were totally necessary until I actually started to swim.


Those two things make such a difference! I never realized how much time I was wasting brushing my hair out of my face and constantly wiping my eyes. Not to mention the fact that now that I can actually see when I’m swimming, I don’t have to worry about running into the person I am sharing a lane with (you have no idea what a relief that is, haha). Plus, the swim cap keeps the water out of my ears! Win.

The only problem that I have with the swim cap is that my hair was still quite damp when I took it off. One of the reasons I got it is so that my hair doesn’t have as much contact with the chlorine (it’ll ruin my color and it makes my hair smell for days), so I was a little annoyed when I took it off and felt out wet my pony tail was. I’m not sure if there is a special technique to putting them on, or if this is how they all are but I’m open to suggestions!

Here are some recent eats:

I’ve been bringing back cereal for breakfast. This is a mix of 1/2 cup of Kashi Strawberry Fields and 1/2 cup of Kashi Go Lean with skim milk and a banana – very good combo!


New favorite protein bar, eaten as a work snack:


And a chicken chipotle wrap from Oryana.


This is my favorite wrap from their kitchen and I’ve actually enjoyed a couple of them this week. I had one last night for dinner and one after my bike ride on Monday as well.


YUM! So fresh and delicious Open-mouthed smile.

Time to eat some breakfast and get ready for work! Have a wonderful day everyone!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My First Ride on the Road

I don’t know about you, but I am quite sad that my glorious three day weekend is already over. Why do days off always go by so fast?? Boo.

While I spent the first couple days of my Memorial Day weekend celebrating, indulging, and having fun with friends, yesterday I got back on track and started my day with my first official ride on the road with my new road bike!


Those right there would be my brand spankin’ new bike shoes – I finally splurged and purchased shoes and clipless pedals that I’ve been wanting for a while. For those who don’t know, clipless pedals are a certain type of pedal where your shoe actually attaches to it. You have to wear special shoes (hence my new bike shoes) and they click into place so that when you are riding, you gain momentum from not only pushing down on the pedal, but pulling up on it as well. Here’s what the pedal looks like:


I was a little nervous at first because it’s easy to fall when you forget that you are attached to your bike (to remove your foot from the pedal you just twist your ankle outward). However, once the guy at the bike shop helped me learn how to use them I had no problems at all and didn’t fall once on my ride. I absolutely love them! I felt like I was going so much faster and I no longer have to worry about my feet slipping off the pedals, which was a problem occasionally on my other bike.

Here's a close up of the shoes that I got:


They are the Specialized Women’s Riata Mountain shoe and I really like them. I ended up going with the mountain shoe because it’s more versatile, was a lot more comfortable, and was 20% off Winking smile. They guy who was helping told me that it doesn’t really make a difference when you’re riding, and if I ever get really serious about biking I can always buy a pair specifically intended for road biking.

Here’s what the bottoms look like:


They are kind of awkward to walk in, but great on the bike.

I wasn’t really sure where to go exactly for my first ride, so I called my friend, Jenny, who sold me the bike and asked her opinion. She highly recommended a favorite route of hers that circles Old Mission Peninsula, and before I knew it I was signing up for an account on Map My Ride and plotting my route.


I loved this loop because I got to ride along the bay almost the entire time. I had a lovely view of East Bay on the way up the peninsula and rode along West Bay on the down.


There were so many gorgeous houses along the water. Can you imagine waking up to this view every day?!


While riding West across the peninsula half way through my ride, I enjoyed some pretty country scenery.


The ride was mostly flat, but there were three fairly decent sized hills. They were hard, but I made it my goal not to walk up any of them and I succeeded! Plus, the views at the top were totally worth it.

There was a south wind when I was heading back down the peninsula and that really slowed me down. According to my bike computer, I rode about 25 miles in a little under two hours. However, Map My Ride says the route is actually closer to 32 miles so I’m not sure which is more accurate. A friend suggested bringing my Garmin on my next ride to see what the true distance is, and I think I’ll do that. Either way, I was still exhausted by the end!

I think the reason I like biking so much is because I feel like it’s a sport that I’m not completely miserable at and it doesn’t feel like torture (as opposed to running) while I’m doing it. There were so many other bikers out yesterday and I really felt like “one of them” as they all waved to me when we passed each other. I actually passed someone myself at one point!


I can guarantee you that has never happened while I was running Winking smile.

Since the ride took me around two hours, I think it is something I could realistically do before work in the morning if I wanted. I would love to get a ride in at least once a week, and since I’m usually busy or out of town on the weekends, squeezing it in before work is really my only option. I’m determined to make it happen!

Time to go some studying done for my upcoming board exams. They’ll be coming up before I know it!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Celebrating Eric’s Birthday and the Best Chocolate Cake Ever


I hope that everyone is having a wonderful weekend. Mine has been great! As much as it bothered me on Friday, I didn’t want to let the horrible weigh-in ruin my day or weekend, so I didn’t. Life goes on and it’s not the end of the world.

arrived shortly after I got off of work on Friday and I did what any good hostess would do and put him straight to work in the kitchen.


Haha, alright; that wasn’t actually the plan. The plan was for me to make the patties so my dad could grill up some burgers for the four of us (Eric + Me + my parents), but since I don’t have a clue when it comes to seasoning Eric ended up seasoning the meat for me and then just took over all together when I wasn’t making the patties “right.” Apparently I’m not a good meat masher/mixer and there was big hunks of pepper and other seasoning in the patties. I knew he was good for something Winking smile.

Thanks to his mixing and seasoning and my dad’s grilling, the final product turned out fantastic.


Burgers, corn on the cob, and watermelon. Does it get any more summertime than this, folks?

Plus wine.


(Traverse Bay Cherry Wine Sangria for me and Merlot for him)

After clearing our plates and chit chatting for a bit, it was time for the best part of the meal…


That cake was my masterpiece that I whipped up on Thursday night and as soon as Eric blew out his candles we all dove in.


I used Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake recipe and frosted it with Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Frosting. However, what made this cake special was the filling that was between the layers.


Eric had requested that I figure out to make the crunchy fudgy layer that is in between the ice cream layers of ice cream cakes, but he didn’t actually want an ice cream cake. Essentially, he wanted me to make him a chocolate ice cream cake without the ice cream. Haha.

After a quick Google search on homemade ice cream cakes, I figured out that the crunchy layer he was talking about was really just crushed Oreo cookies and chocolate sauce, +/- a layer of fudge on top. I made my layer by crushing a package of Newman O’s “knock-off” Oreo’s (my mom is a food snob and hardly eats anything that’s not organic) and mixing the cookies with 1/2 cup of chocolate sauce (NOT fudge). Then I spread the mixture on top of half of the baked (and cooled) chocolate cake and put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes.


Then I topped it with the other half of the cake and frosted the whole outside. Not to toot my own horn, but this cake was seriously out of this world. Eric isn’t even a big fan of cake – or sweets in general – but I knew it was good when he said it was one of the best cakes he had ever had. Everyone gave it two thumbs up!

On Saturday I had plans to take him kayaking (we had some major cake calories to burn Winking smile), but those got pushed back because of the cold and dreary weather. Instead, we went to Bubba’s for lunch


and spent the afternoon moseying around the shops downtown.


We also managed to catch a late matinee before coming home to get ready for the rest of our evening.

It began with dinner at Red Mesa Grill, an excellent restaurant here in Traverse City that has an impressive tequila bar.



Of course I took advantage of that and ordered a margarita, along with the mango cashew chicken salad for my main meal. Home girl needed some veggies!


(FYI, this is on my list of Top 3 Favorite Restaurant Salads. It’s SO good.)

We capped off the night with a little bar hopping with some friends.



Brad and Elena gave us a ride home and after telling them about the amazing cake that I had made, they decided that they had to try it. So, at 2:30 am we raided my parents’ kitchen and demolished the last piece of cake in about ten seconds flat.


It was a great night Open-mouthed smile.

Once again on Sunday, the rain destroyed any chance we had of going kayaking so we kept things pretty low key. After a busy week and a fairly busy weekend it was nice to just chill at the house. Eric left early this morning and shortly after that I took my new road bike out on my first “real” ride! I’ll share the details tomorrow Smile.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Weight Loss Recap: Week Five

I was *this* close to not writing this recap today on account of the fact that a) I’ve been super, super busy this week and b) my weigh-in absolutely stinks. I’m actually very frustrated right now but trying not to let it get to me because the second the clock hits 6:00 tonight my fun weekend begins.


Last week: 185.5
Today: 188.5
Total loss: I’m still actually down 1.5 since I started, but the difference in scales makes it look like I’m up 0.5 pounds.

Like I said, this was frustrating. I overindulged last weekend and gained 1.5 pounds and I have been working hard all week to get it off. I’ve eaten very well this week – no night snacking, avoiding treats in the break room, counting calories – and I’ve worked out every single day. I biked on Sunday, ran 3 miles on Monday, lifted weights on Tuesday, got a crazy awesome spin workout in Wednesday, and swam 0.5 miles yesterday. So what does the scale do? Stay the same every single day this week and then jump up 1.5 pounds between yesterday and today. So. irritating.

I’m waiting for the day when this horrible cycle just comes to an end. One step forward, two steps back. Does it ever go away?! I suppose all I can do is keep it in control this weekend, work even harder this week, and keep marching on. If I’m being honest with myself, if I hadn’t stepped on the scale all week, I’d be in a great mood right now because I thought I did pretty well this week. Funny how that works, right?

Anyways, I don’t really have a topic to discuss today because I’m sort of writing this last minute before work. If anyone else has something they’d like to bring up, feel free to chat away in the comments!

Here’s a plain Jane breakfast for ya:


Just cereal and a banana. After eating eggs and toast every day for the last two weeks, I’m thinking maybe I need to switch it up. Cereal used to be a breakfast staple back when I lost the majority of my weight so I’m bringing it back!

Time to get ready for work and then it’s the WEEKEND! Have a great day and I’ll catch ya’ll later Smile.

Previous weight loss recaps:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Workout Schedule

Good morning! How is it already Wednesday?! I feel like this week is flying by! That’s a good thing though because on Friday night Eric is coming to TC and we’ve got some fun shenanigans planned for the weekend.

Actually, speaking of Eric, today happens to be HIS BIRTHDAY!


(favorite pic from his birthday last year)

He reads the comments so I’m sure he would love it if he got a few birthday wishes from ya’ll Smile. Things are going well with us, but unfortunately that’s all the update you’re getting right now. I like teasing you guys Winking smile.

Anyways, I finally renewed my gym membership! I went in on Sunday and got it all set up so that Monday morning I could walk in and get going with my workout right away. I must say, it feels good to be back in the gym. I thought I could get away without having one for a little while since I’m getting ready for the triathlon this summer (I don’t need a gym to run, bike, or swim), but I really miss the routine of having a membership and I miss strength training. It’s actually easier for me to wake up and go run on the treadmill than it is for me to run around the neighborhood – the drive to the gym wakes me up and I like not having to worry about the weather.

I set up a little “training plan” for the next month or so and tried to incorporate a little bit of everything. I am not worried about the biking portion of the triathlon, but I do have a lot to work on with regards to swimming and running. I need to improve my speed and endurance, and I do plan on doing some brick workouts when I get a little further along into my training. Here’s what my workout schedule is looking like for the next month or so:


I am most concerned with getting my running, swimming, and strength training workouts in (I just started NROLFW Stage 2 this week). Usually if I work out on the weekend in the summer I try to get a bike ride in, so I’m not stressed about incorporating biking into my schedule right now. However, like I said, as the triathlon draws nearer I’ll start doing at least one brick workout (running, biking, and/or swimming back to back like you would in the race) per week.

Of course, this schedule is not set in stone as I’m working a lot right now and the next few months are going to be extremely busy. I’ll likely switch days around during the week to accommodate my work schedule or other commitments that I have going on. No big deal. After all, the main goal here is to LOSE WEIGHT so as long as I’m burning those calories, I don’t care when the heck I’m doing it Winking smile.

Dinner last night was delicious.


Chicken burgers with 1/2 slice of Colby Jack cheese, avocado, ketchup and mustard


Plus fruit salad


And here’s breakfast:


Dippy egg and toast (no surprise there)


and I promise that is not a bowl of sour cream and salsa (that’s the first thing I thought when I looked at it)


it’s actually vanilla Greek yogurt topped with about 1/4 cup of leftover fruit filling from a pie that my Grandma made this weekend. Yum!


Off to work my friends!


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