I’m Back, Motherfuckers

Mostly. At least for now. For this post.

I feel like I’ve used that title before…

I think the last time I wrote (reread my last post for accuracy? Nah.) I mentioned that I bought a business and was going to stop writing because professionalism. Fuck that. I have a large enough client base that if a couple of them find this blog, pretty sure I’ll survive. Besides, most of them are of the generation that still thinks you have to double click every link on the internet to get it to open. Good luck getting here.

I’ve had a few people subscribe over the last year since doing fuck all with this blog. I figured it was time to get back on the horse. Or beat a dead one. I’m not sure which way this is going to go.

My name is Andrea and it’s been 15 months since my last entry.

I can't remember where I left my writing skills...

Are you in there, writing skills?

Just kidding. It’s been one year and 3 months. I hate when people give me lengths of time in months. Don’t fucking make me do math. Your kid is 17 months old? I DON’T FOLLOW YOUR BABY’S MILESTONES. GIVE IT TO ME IN REAL PEOPLE TIME.

I still live in a perpetual state of searching for a dietary lifestyle because I’m one of those people. I haven’t exercised regularly in months (I miss you, Girl Crush) but have fortunately also gotten older and accepted that I’d much rather ask someone else to do something for me than exert my own effort. And let’s be real, it’s typically men doing whatever it is I don’t want to do. I am no longer offended when there is some kind of physical activity and no one asks me to help. Lapse in my feminist ideals? Maybe. I’ve come to terms with it.

My latest dietary endeavor has been the ketogenic diet which basically means a hight fat, low carb diet that eventually leads to your body burning fat for fuel instead of carbs (ketosis). It has slipped from ketogenic to largely just high fat low carb because fuck, people. Any group/community I ever follow is just full of people talking about their (inaccurate) keto pee sticks and whether or not having that tater tot is going to put you out of ketosis. First of all, FUCKING GOOGLE IT. And if you are knocked out, surprise! It’s not a pass or fail type of thing. Your body can get back into ketosis if you fall off the wagon so quit your fear based bitching and grow some fucking ketogenic balls.

If you want to know more about the ketogenic diet, http://www.ruled.me/guide-keto-diet/ is a great place to start. It doesn’t really get more simple than that website. The guy who runs it also has free (donations appreciated) recipe books.

With that being said: TIME TO MAKE SOME FUCKING (not your) CAVEMAN CHILE.

Caveman Chili is technically a paleo diet recipe but that’s why they add the “not your” part of the title. GET IT?

Step 1: The first thing worth noting is that the instructions tell you is to cut your stew meat into small cubes. FALSE. Buy that shit pre-cubed.

Pre-portioned ftw

Pre-portioned ftw

Step 2: In a food processor, ground half of the stew meat until it resembles ground beef. ALSO FALSE AS FUCK. I don’t have time for that. There is pre-packaged ground meat for a reason. Laziness.

Chili 2

Like hell I’m going to grind my own beef.

Step 3: MEAT

Chili 3

Step 4: VEGETABLES

Chili 4

Check out my sweet, specialized cutting boards. Mats. Very useful, particularly since Husband likes to cut raw meat on our wooden cutting board. Thanks, honey.

Jesus. I just scrolled through the entire recipe. This bitch is long. Probably should have thought of that before I bought the ingredients. And started.

Step 5: ALL THIS SHIT

Chili 5

 

You see that (tiny) plant on the right? It’s there, I swear. That shit’s home grown (read: bought at HEB and watered only when almost dead) oregano. I wanted to use it and be all fancy. I didn’t have enough. Dried oregano it is.

Step 6 & 7: Mix ALL THE SHIT

Chili 6

Step 8, 9, 10, & 11: COOK STEW MEAT

Chili 7

Step 12: COOK GROUND BEEF

Chili 8

Oh my God. ALL THE OTHER STEPS TO COOK THE COMPONENTS

Step 16: MIX ALL THAT SHIT IN THE CROCK POT

Chili 9

Dammit. This one is blurry.

Step 17 & 18: Cook for a long time and then cook some more.

Step 19: Make taco salad because that took way too long and you want to eat before 10 pm.

I already ate some...

I ate some…

Dammit, Caveman Chili… you better be fucking delicious.

 

 

 

Chicken fried failure.

I’d still eat it.

Pissed blogger is pissed.

Son of a bitch. I weighed myself yesterday morning and was down to 146. I’m back at 149 as of this morning. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK? Weight fluctuates. Weight fluctuates. Weight fluctuates. Weight fucks you… wait. I don’t think that’s right. Or it’s more right than anything I’ve ever said. Take your pick.

I didn’t do kickboxing once last week. Why? Because there has been a change in my employment… thing. I’m not ready to talk about it yet but it’s amazing. So get ready to have your mind blown.

In a few weeks.

I had to wake up early as fuck for a dog sitting job which isn’t the end of the world but I got smacked right in the face by one of the dogs within 5 minutes of being at the house. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like the dogs, I just don’t want to wake up to a black eye tomorrow.

I’d like to draw your attention to this week’s charts. If you’ll notice, Gym Friend has been added to the list. But Andrea, is she even doing the C25k? No, she’s does the C210k which mean she is actually overqualified. BUT ANDREA, SHE HASN’T BEEN PARTICIPATING THIS WHOLE TIME. Why should she get to join 6 weeks in?

BECAUSE I FUCKING SAID SO,

I finally started the hypnosis! Survey says: weird as fuck. We didn’t actually do any hypnosis during the first session. She showed me two relaxation techniques that I’ve started doing daily. One is a countdown from 25 to 1 according to your normal rate of breathing, imagining that you can see the numbers and watching them count down. That one is a twice a day exercise. The second is a breathing exercise where you count to five while you take a deep breath, extending your diaphragm, not your chest. Hold that breath while you count to 5 and then release the breath to a 10 count. You do that three times, during which you are supposed to touch the tip of your index finger to the tip of your thumb. The exercise helps lower your cortisol levels which affects both stress and your eating habits. You are supposed to do this every hour. That is hard as shit.

The goal of these sessions is to help my relationship with food. I get seriously stressed out about food. Going to a restaurant? Don’t get the shittiest thing on the menu, Andrea. CHICKEN FRIED STEAK, PLEASE. Just eat half of the meal and take the other half home to eat later. OM NOM NOM NOM. I feel like I have little to no control over my eating habits which is complete bull shit. We did a couple other exercises that aren’t very easy to explain BUT WE DID THEM, OKAY? Based on the exercises, she said I am very visual which is extremely helpful to changing your habits.

This last session was the first real session (out of 4) and we did actual hypnosis. When we started, I couldn’t help but think “What if I can’t be hypnotized? What if I can’t relax enough or slow my brain enough to be hypnotized?” but, sure enough, it worked. You don’t go completely out of it. I could hear her talking but my conscious mind kept wandering so I felt like I wasn’t paying attention. I still caught some of what she said but she told me that was common and okay because my unconscious was still listening which was the point.

You're getting very sleep... and a lot less shitty.

When I snap me fingers, you’ll stop being such a disappointment.

I had my eyes closed and almost immediately started seeing this dark, navy blue spot form and it pulsated with a white border around it that moved kind of like fire. The other thing I remember is it was almost like walking through corridors but the walls looked kind of like they were made of jellyfish. There was a bright glow behind the walls and everything seemed iridescent. Who’s to say what any of that means but I like to think I was walking around my brain.

I’ve read some interesting things about the psychology of color since then.

Blue

Physiological Effect: In contrast to red, blue proves to lower blood pressure. Blue can be linked to the throat and thyroid gland. Blue also has a very cooling and soothing affect, often making us calmer. Deep blue stimulates the pituitary gland, which then regulates our sleep patterns. This deeper blue also has proved to help the skeletal structure in keeping bone marrow healthy.

Psychological Effect: We usually associate the color blue with the night and thus we feel relaxed and calmed. Lighter blues make us feel quiet and away from the rush of the day. These colors can be useful in eliminating insomnia. Like yellow, blue inspires mental control, clarity and creativity. However, too much dark blue can be depressing.

I find it interesting that it is often associated with the thyroid gland.

CHARTS.

chart

weight

Waist

hips

Neck

Two men walk into a bar…

I don’t have the time nor the patience to think of a good title.

Last night, at 11 pm I had a sudden realization: I forgot to write a blog. I HAD THINGS ON MY MIND, OKAY?

On a more important note, I figured out why I’m having such a hard time getting to a point where I feel like I can comfortably run a 10 minute mile.

I’M NOT RUNNING A 10 MINUTE MILE.

I decided to add my playlist to jog.fm and realized that the playlist I use averages less than a 9 minute mile. The fastest is a 7 minute mile. The average is… 8:50 or something. I think. Working with numbers based on intervals of 60 instead of 100 fucks me up. Working with intervals of 100 makes… 100%… ing… easier. Shit. I’m making myself sound dumb. I tried to do the math but it was hard. Math is not my strong suit.

RUN AWAY.

My point is, I’m proud as shit. I still worry that my time is going to drop down to a 12 minute mile without music, like it did at Tough Mudder (let’s be honest, 12 minutes is probably generous) but I don’t care enough to test it without the music. Good dedication, Andrea. Well done.

Speaking of motivation, even though I have technically been keeping up with the C25K program and I’m finishing the 3 runs within the week(ish) time frame, I’m really pushing it. I ran at 2 am on Sunday (technically Monday) and at 11:30 last night (also Monday). My third running days are supposed to be Saturdays but I keep having shit to do during the time I plan to run (after my Saturday morning gym class). And I refuse to run during the day in the heat. Fuck that noise.

Today, I start week 5. The past 4 weeks have been consistent in the sense that you follow the same pattern of running vs. walking for all three days. The next few weeks are going to be all jumbled from day-to-day which makes me nervous. I let myself run on my heels last night to remember the difference. I have to say that, even though it was wrong, it still felt so right. Then I went back to mid-foot running and got kind of sad. It did reenforce that heel running slows me down at least.

This entry is way too late. Let’s get our shit together and just go straight to numbers.

ChartWk5

Wk5WeightWk5WaistWk5HipsWk5Neck

A three pound loss from Victoria after a weeklong vacation is pretty damn impressive!

I’ll have you know that I just spent 20 minutes trying to find some kind of funny relevant image to add to this entry. I got nothing. The funny is just not in me today. The last two weeks have just drained my brain from any worthwhile humor. However, this did get a chuckle.

JesusWasHere

GOOD DAY.

Five pounds of fat from a 147.4 pound bag.

I had to take my laptop in to get the track pad replaced. They gave me a 3-5 day turn around time so I expected to be writing a brief, general update this week. They got it back to me in 12 hours.

Well, shit.

I’m getting pretty damn excited because I’m dropping weight steadily which has not happened in years. I’m only at 5 lbs less but GUESS WHAT.

5 lbs of fat

THIS MUCH OF ME IS GONE.

Okay, not quite. I’m technically only down 4.6 lbs but close enough dammit. I have waited MONTHS to use this picture. Cut me some slack.

My waist is the one measurement that has seen the most change which is a great thing. Fat in the midsection is far more “dangerous” than fat in the hips/thighs so… bam. Gettin’ shit done. Waist changes seem to be successful for everyone this week (Victoria is out of town so she is exempt from this week’s measurement update) which is fantastic.

I’ve started doing shin stretches to help with shin splints. I’d like to say they are helping but I can’t be certain. My shins did hurt less the last time I ran but I only remember to do them after I run. You are supposed to do them daily. I may or may not have also fallen down on the pushup challenge. I’m not quitting though. It just won’t be 40 pushups in 30 days.

Something I think worth noting is that there is such a thing as proper running form. It can have a major effect on issues like shin splints. And looking stupid.

Running formI can tell you right now, I was a major offender of a couple of these and probably still am, though hopefully getting better at this point. I looked down when I ran (I WAS TIRED), my shoulders were tense, I was slouching, and I was a heel lander.

Apparently, the shoulder thing is a general problem of life for me. I have been called chicken wing more than once in my kick boxing classes because I have a hell of a time relaxing my shoulders which makes my elbows stick out when I throw punches. I’m much better about it now but it still creeps up when I get tired. I’m not sure what it is. I think this means I should get regular massages. Because health. I’m not entirely sure how I managed to have tense shoulders AND slouch but it was happening, big time. I use the trick above (taking deep breaths to straighten yourself out) and I can tell you from personal experience, it actually makes running easier. You feel lighter because your body isn’t fighting against gravity to keep your face out of the pavement.

I am a heel walker. I know it. My husband knows it. My first set of downstairs neighbors knew it (I figured it out quickly though. I wasn’t elephanting it for the entirety of the lease). I’ve worked very hard not to do it but old habits die hard. I make a point of paying attention to how I’m landing now, periodically, when I run to try to keep it on the mid foot (ball of the foot). Heel striking is the worst way to run. For one, hitting the heel has a stopping motion so it’s like you are hitting the brakes with every step so you’re just slowing yourself down. Secondly, the rate of injury of heel strikers is insane. You can have problems with shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, stress fractures to the shin (and potentially the femur), heel pain, knee pain, and so on. However, landing on your toes isn’t a great way to run either. Running on your toes causes your calves to do too much of the work which can also actually lead to shin splints. Plus, the bouncing that happens from running on your toes is just plain ineffective. Going from the ball of your foot and rolling onto the toes as you lift is the best way to run for efficiency as well as to avoid injury.

Those were my main problems when I started and I am still very conscious of them. Old habits die hard so I feel like, after 27 years of running incorrectly, I should be checking in regularly. Everyone is different though. Some people actually argue for heel strike running which I personally think is stupid. But who am I to tell you what to do? I’m certainly no track coach nor have I done extensive studies on the subject. You have to experiment with and read up on these things yourself. Stop relying on other people do all the work for you. DAMN.

And now, onto numbers!

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 11.39.09 AM

1 2 3 4

Progress, mother fucker!

Breath in through your nose, blow it out your ass.

Thank you God, I am back on track. If you’ll remember, I had managed to lose two pounds by the weekend last week and then gained three by Monday. Someone suggested it may have been partially due to water weight. Fat, fat water weight. Well, whatever it was, it’s gone and I broke the 150 mark! I’d be lying though if I said my first thought was not “I’ve lost weight! I bet it’s because I’m losing muscle…”. What a fucking negative Nancy.

I just had my one year anniversary at my gym, Austin FIT Center, this past Friday. It has been a long road and I had to figure some shit out along the way but it has been worth it. I’m encouraged to see the pounds drop because that means my thyroid is finally under control. Suck on that, body. The hardest part though has been keeping up the motivation, especially when numbers don’t change for months at a time. What really killed it for me was the Alaskan cruise. Who knew 10 days could undo the motivation of 6 months? During kickboxing last week, we were finishing up with a quick ab workout which I was just kind of suffering through and then one of the other women made a comment about how it was hurting. Without missing a beat, my trainer said “The pain is your body changing!”.

Holy shit, he’s right.

And now I’m back. I can’t say that my motivation is back to where it was last summer 100% but that epiphany felt damn good.

A year from now you'll wish you had started today

Trust me, that bitch is right.

During my couch to 5k runs, I’ve started to notice that I’m able to breath in through my nose more. As recent as a month ago, I would not have been able to do that at all. I’m still not quite there yet. I don’t know if my lungs are at a greater than normal capacity or something but I take super deep breaths. I’ve noticed that my breaths take longer than other people so, if I don’t breath deeply enough, I feel like I am suffocating. I still feel the need to breath through my mouth every 5-6 breaths or so. I’m not sure what changed but I’m kind of excited about it. I feel more like a “real runner” every day.

Someone asked me why I’m taking it so slowly with this app. I can run more than a minute at a time and don’t need 2 minutes to recover. I usually run 10 minutes at a time (which is right around when I start to get bored) without any real issues and my recovery rate after a run is one of the things I am most proud of. The reason I’ve decided to actually follow the app the way it is programmed is because I figure there is a reason it is set up the way it is. Maybe it helps increase your stamina in a way that just running a mile a day just doesn’t. Maybe this setup is why I’ve been able to breath in through my nose more. I can definitely say it isn’t hurting me.

Well… more or less. The issue I’m having isn’t related to the app really. I’m starting to get shin splints (tibial stress syndrome). FUCKING LAME. Victoria mentioned she’s feeling it it too. Shin splints are common for runners, particularly if they run on a hard surface, like concrete. Shin splints can cause pain in the lower part of the leg between the knee and the ankle. They are caused by repeated trauma to the connective muscle tissue surrounding the tibia. There are stretches you can do to relieve the pain or, as Angie has mentioned she does, you can ice them down can relieve the pain and swelling. If you ignore them though, it can cause stress fractures in the bone. Reasons they happen can vary. In my case, I think it’s due to my severe over pronation. Hopefully the orthotics will help. I’ve started doing a stretch I found on Gizmodo. Supposedly, you’ll see some results in a week but continuous use is recommended.

Hot damn I am babbling today.

Fat and Muscle

The size difference between muscle and fat is crazy

Anyway, I am really encouraged by the progress everyone has made. Angie lost another half inch off her waist. I’m so proud! You bitch. I’d say I am most impressed by Victoria this week. Even though she didn’t lose pounds, she lost 2.5 freaking inches. She is working out with weights each week which means she’s gaining muscle (which most likely explains the weight staying the same).

Onto numbers!

(Fancy fucking charts this week!)

Week 3

Week 3 weight

Week 3 waist

Week 3 hips

Week 3 neck

C25Kill me.

Son of a bitch. Being an adult is unfortunate.

Week 1 of C25K is over. As of yesterday night. Yeah, it was late. At least I did it. I’ll be back on schedule tonight though with day 1 of week 2.

What's this? An actual motivational picture? Don't get used to it.

An actual motivational picture? Don’t get used to it.

I don’t know what the hell is up but the outside my calves burn like fire when I walk briskly. I thought it was just because I needed orthotics to correct my over pronation but I’ve had those for a couple of months now and it hasn’t changed. I don’t generally stretch before I run so maybe that would help. Other than that though, none of my other muscles get all that sore during a run. It’s pretty damn exciting to think that they have developed past that of an obese 45-year-old couch potato. Then again, it could just be that the pain in my calves are distracting me from the overall general pain that I used to feel everywhere else when I started running.

As I was making the calendar for the C25K, I realized that the 5k they dictate by the end is a 28 minute run which means you are running faster than a 10 minute mile. Fucking shit. Personally, I have to run to music if I want to get any kind of enjoyment out of it. Something about my feet hitting the pavement to a beat is extremely satisfying. However, I have to find songs at a 9-10 minute mile pace, which can be limiting sometimes. I have been using two different websites to build my playlist, though it hasn’t changed too much recently.

Song BPM is a simple website that lets you enter in the name of an artist and a title of their song and it will give you its bpm. For the record, a 10 minute mile is 150 bpm.

Jog.fm is a beautiful thing. You can browse songs based on most added, hot, bpm, newest, or A-Z. It’s brilliant. It made a huge difference putting mine together.

What do I run to? LET ME SHOW YOU! My current playlist consists of…

1. White Light – Gorillaz

2. Battle Beyond – Crunk Witch

3. Wolf Like Me – TV on the Radio

4. All Babes Are Wolves – Spinnerette

5. All You Rock and Rollers – Ghostland Observatory

6. I’m Not Okay – My Chemical Romance

7. Misery Business – Paramore

8. Threshold – Scott Pilgrim vs. the World soundtrack (skip ahead to 1:00)

9. Everything’s Just Wonderful – Lilly Allen

10. Paper Planes – MIA

11. New Low – Middle Class Rut (my favorite to start on)

12. Hero/Heroine – Boys Like Girls

13. Everlong – Foo Fighters

14. Little Sister – Queens of the Stone Age

It’s important to note that I do not have warm up/cool down music. I like to jump right into that shit. That gets you 45 minutes of music that’s generally 157-163 bpm. You’re welcome.

On a more personal note, last week was the week of self defeat. I managed to lose two pounds by the end of the week and then gained three by Monday. Thanks, Scumbag Brain.

123

I blame the Mardi Gras party on Friday. The King cakes, specifically. There were three… and I ate some of all of them. I also had fried chicken and waffles. Saturday and Sunday were barely any better. There was no need to count calories this weekend. Just tears.

Apparently, I get fat in my neck and hips. I’m actually kind of relieved that I didn’t gain on my arms. I’m realizing that those are my greatest insecurity.

chart week 2

Everyone else is doing great though! I am especially jealous of Angie’s INCH OFF HER WAIST. As someone who has had the relatively same size waist from size 4 to size 10, I am impressed as shit that she did that in one week.

I need to get my ass in gear.

WorkoutOnce

Fuck you, Scumbag Brain.

Don’t get too excited.

What’s up, fuckers.

It’s late, I’ve had a bad day, and this blog is two days late. Here are the mother fucking numbers I’ve decided to track. Fancier numbers to follow.

wk1chart

As you can see, not everyone has included the same numbers which is not a problem at all. You can track as many or as few measurements as you want. Danny is actually participating… his numbers will make an appearance in the future. If anyone decides they want to include numbers for the next week that are not listed on this chart, I am more than happy to add them.

Here is a picture that delights me.

fabulous-bear

END.