Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Funny Thing Happened When I Stopped Trying to Lose Weight...





It's only been about 2 weeks since I blogged about accepting my new happy weight and getting on with my life. Since then, I've completely shifted my focus. Instead of focusing on eating X number of calories and burning as many calories as possible, I simply focused on feeling great - making sure I felt well fueled on the days that I ran, and enjoying my new Pure Barre workouts and changes I could see in the mirror.

After almost 2 full weeks, I decided to step on the scale on Friday out of curiosity, since my clothes are feeling much looser.

I discovered that a funny thing happened when I stopped trying to lose weight....

I lost weight.

Yep, that's right. After months of stressing over the scale and the 5 lbs I gained while injured, and trying to adjust my diet, the thing that finally worked for me was just to simply stop stressing about it and start enjoying life more. Enjoying my food (and eating more of it) and enjoying my new low-impact, high-intensity workouts.

Just like that - 3 lbs gone.

Perhaps there is something to this "moderation" thing... and "fueling" my training.... :)

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Moving on...

It's been quite an enjoyable Saturday!

I went for my last long run before next weekend's Hotlanta Half Marathon...



...some one-on-one time with my big girl...

FroYo date! Mommy had the non-dairy almond butter flavor. YUM!

...some one-on-one time with my baby girl...



...and of course, some Sauvignon Blanc.

(source)
Oooh - and how could I forget?! My new running shoes arrived in the mail!! I've been wearing Brooks Adrenaline for a few years now. I scored another pair of the GTS 13 on clearance from Trivillage.com for just over $71 with free shipping. Whoop whoop! This was a long overdue purchase! My previous pair had zero tread left and logged well over 500 miles. No wonder my shins have been screaming at me...



How was your Saturday?!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

So. Busy.


Other than taking time to gush about Pure Barre on Monday, I feel like I haven't stopped moving and haven't sat down all week!

The transition of our 5-year-old to the elementary school for kindergarten has changed up the routine, which has been a little emotional for everyone. The girls are used to riding in the car to school together, and now the older one goes with daddy and the younger one goes with mommy. For some reason it just never occurred to me that would rock their world so much!

Anyway...we're all exhausted. The week has flown by, and I can best sum it up in 2 words: So. Busy.

I waited and went running a little later tonight so I could get some extra snuggles in with my big girl before bedtime.



A couple other random shots that represent the crazy busy week...

Crockpot oatmeal - a timesaver in the morning!

Snacking in the conference room in between calls,

Brain is fried. One more day to go before the weekend....

Tell me something about your week.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Pure Barre: 10 Classes Later...

I did it - I completed my 10th Pure Barre class today! And I did it just 2 and a half weeks!

Before I dive into my results though, I just wanted to quickly talk about a very nice compliment I received from a co-worker last week.

Disclaimer: This is in no way intended to be a "humblebrag"; but rather an example of the power of paying someone a compliment and a reflection of how far I've come.

I was in the kitchen making my coffee at work, when our facilities guy walked in. (By the way, one of the nicest people you could ever meet!) After saying good morning to each other, he said to me, "You know, I want to commend you on keeping yourself in such great shape." There was more to it, but that was the gist. Coming from a male co-worker, this could have come off a little creepy. But it was worded in a way that was incredibly complimentary, and reflected admiration rather than flirtation.

What a huge confidence boost! I went on to have one of those days where I felt like I could take on the world. And I definitely kicked some ass and took some names at work. :-)

This co-worker has now taken to calling me the "Queen of Fit." Wow. I'm still in disbelief of how far I've come. At age 22, I was the Queen of Hostess Cupcakes and Pepsi. Now here I am at age 31, 35 pounds lighter, significantly more muscular, and a soon-to-be 5-time half marathoner. All with 2 kids and a full-time job. I don't often pat myself on the back....but I'm totally patting myself on the back right now. ;-)


One of my faves from the summer!

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Ok, let's get to it! Just to recap: I signed up on July 23 for the "New Client Special" at the new Pure Barre studio near my office. It was $99 for 1 month of unlimited classes.

According to the Pure Barre website...

You can see results in just 10 classes! For optimal results, classes should be taken at least 3-4 times per week. Your actual results will vary, as it depends on how often you are coming and what you are eating!

See better results with Pure Barre
(source)

Obviously I wanted to optimize results! So I've been attending classes 3-4 times per week, taking some at lunchtime at the studio near work when I can, and some at the studio near my house. (Total bonus that they're owned by the same person so I can use my membership at both locations!)

I started noticing results about 6 classes in. My clothes fit differently, and I was really starting to see some more muscle definition. In the past, my first inclination would have been to weigh myself to see if I lost weight. But who needs to weigh in when you are clearly seeing results in the mirror?!

The things I've noticed the most:

  • ABS, ABS, ABS! Dare I say that I see a slight six pack starting to reveal itself?!
  • My hips feel slimmer. All of my pants and shorts feel quite a bit looser.
  • Much less arm jiggle! I've been lifting medium to heavy weights for a long time, and I've never seen the same type of results that I'm seeing with small, isometric movements with 3 and 5 lb weights. My tricpes are much more toned!
  • I feel much stronger. I went on and on like an idiot to my husband at dinner over the weekend about how much stronger I felt in my core while sitting up straight.
  • My confidence is through the roof. I rocked my bikini over the weekend without a single self conscious thought.
Left: pre-vacation (early July)
Right: after 10 Pure Barre classes

And the results in numbers? Drumroll please...
  • 1/2 inch gone from my waist
  • 1/2 inch gone from each thigh
  • 1/2 inch gone from each arm
  • 1 inch gone from my hips
This is just from 10 classes! I want to take 10 more! And 10 more after that!

I got an insider tip this weekend that I should expect to receive a 20% off deal if I sign up for another package before my current one expires. I'm eyeing the 3 months unlimited package. I think I know where my commission money is going this quarter...

I still cringe a little bit when I think about the cost of Pure Barre classes. But I feel like a million bucks, and maybe that's worth the cost..?!

Have you ever tried Pure Barre?

How much would you be willing to pay for a good workout?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

In the Zone

Another weekend in the books! They fly by, don't they?

It was a pretty standard weekend here that included a long run, swim class, grocery shopping, play date, dinner out, Pure Barre, and meal prepping for the week. That just about sums it, so I'm done now! Just kidding...

I set my alarm for 5 am on Saturday. I had a 9-miler on the schedule, and I'm hooked on getting my Saturday mileage in early in the morning. It's funny that I can't drag myself out of bed at 5 on a week day but on Saturday? No problem. There's something really enjoyable about getting up, having some toast and coffee on the peace and quiet, and then spending 1-2 hours outdoors all by myself, before I've even said a word or interacted with anyone. It's totally worth getting out of bed for.

Anyway, back to that 9-miler... I felt surprisingly great when I started out at 5:55 am. I was breathing comfortably and my legs felt fresh. I figured since I felt so good, I was probably running at more of a jogging pace. Much to my surprise, Runkeeper chimed in at the 5 minute mark to let me know that I was running a 9:30-ish pace. What?! (Have I ever mentioned that I have absolutely no natural ability to gauge my pace? Sometimes I think I'm running super fast when in fact I'm going at a snail's pace, and vice versa. I'm 100% reliant on technology.)

I continued feeling great and getting faster as the miles ticked by. I could definitely tell that I was in the zone. It wasn't until I hit some hills around mile 5 that I slowed back down a bit and started breathing hard. I got it back under control and was totally pumped to finish my 9 miles at 9:10 pace! I still don't think I'll PR at the Hotlanta Half, but I'll be a little closer than I originally thought.


We hosted a play date at our house in the afternoon that was super fun! Kids ran around the yard while mommys and daddys drank beer and chatted on the porch. Afterward, we went out to one of our favorite standbys - Mellow Mushroom. I got an enormous build-your-own salad with some pretty amazing grilled tofu. The rest of the fam had Hawaiian pizza. (Of course I had to snag some of the crust - YUM!)

This teeny peanut ate TWO slices of pizza!
I hit up an 8:45 am Pure Barre class this morning that was actually taught by a co-worker of mine. It was INTENSE! This was my 9th class, and I'm taking my 10th class at lunchtime tomorrow. Pure Barre promises results after 10 classes if you take it a few times a week. Let me tell you, they did not disappoint! I plan to write about my results so far tomorrow - some come check it out. Here's a teaser:

Left: mid-April just before my first round of the 21-Day Fix
Right: today after Pure Barre class #9

We have a very big day coming up tomorrow. My littlest munchkin moves up to the next class at daycare, and my big girl starts kindergarten at the elementary school! I swear I blinked and she was 5 all of the sudden.

Hope you all had a great weekend, and have a great week ahead!

Friday, August 8, 2014

5 Things Friday #9

How was everyone's week? I had a great week myself! I seem to be having more of those lately which is a nice change. I had been kinds of stuck in a rut for a while there...

Here are 5 things I'm loving this week:

1) Squeezed Lemonade flavored Vitamin Water Zero - I grabbed one of these out of the cooler while waiting in a ridiculously long line of back-to-school shoppers at Target last weekend. I'm totally hooked! It's got all my post-run electrolytes, and it's just the right amount of sweet. I picked up a few more the next day. I found them at Publix 10 for $10. Score!



2) My ginormous water bottle - I've had numerous coworkers express their jealousy about this beast of a water bottle. If you struggle to drink lots of water during the day, I highly recommend the 50 oz bottle. It came in especially handy today as I was fighting off a slight hangover. I had a little too much fun at the bar after work yesterday (totally out of the ordinary for me!). I drank 3 50-oz bottles of water today!


3) Melissa & Doug Magnetic Responsibility Chart - We've been having some serious behavior issues at home with our 5 year old. After numerous meltdowns (both hers and mine!), I finally decided to order this chart. It's too early to tell if it's working for her, but I feel a little relieved just to have something new to try!


4) Pure Barre - I know, I know; it was on the list last week too. But the more classes I take, the more hooked I'm becoming. And I am amazed at the changes I've seen in just 7 or 8 classes - particularly in my abs! How on Earth will I survive after my new client membership runs out?!

ALT IMAGE
(source)

5) Kashi Honey Sunshine Cereal - I have a love / hate relationship with this stuff. I love it because it's freaking delicious! But I hate it because I can't keep my hand out of the box! It's such a good snack. Good thing it's fairly low calorie. There are definitely worse things I could be snacking on.

Package shot for Kashi Squares, Honey Sunshine® Cereal
(source)
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I'll be up before the sun again tomorrow, eating my usual toast with PB and banana before embarking on my 9-mile run. 9 miles will be a breeze after running 12 last weekend!

What are you loving this week?

What do you have planned this weekend?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

BIG Day

Wow - this week is flying by! I hadn't intended taking 2 days off from blogging, but life is crazy right now. Crazy in a good way, but crazy nonetheless.

I've been on a roll with my running this week, despite some serious shin splints. I logged 2 of my fastest runs in quite a while, including today's 6-miler:

BOOM


Not bad, especially since I went running about 3 hours earlier than usual and it was HOT. 88 degrees to be exact. But lucky for me, it was a rare non-humid day. And I was definitely well hydrated thanks to this bad boy:



The hubby brought this home for me yesterday and I'm kind of in love with it. It holds 50 oz of water if you fill it right up to the top. My daily goal is to drink 100 oz of water, and for some reason it seems less daunting to have to drink just 2 of these instead of 12+ individual cups of water. I easily downed my 100 oz by 2 in the afternoon today! And I got a bit of a bicep workout just lifting this thing to my mouth when it was full! Ha.

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Today was a very big day for us - our first baby girl had open house at kindergarten! We met her new teacher, saw her classroom, and showed her around the elementary school. I'm pretty sure I'm going to cry when I drop her off on Monday!! I can't even believe she's already old enough for this.



Keeping it short and sweet tonight. I need to get my beauty sleep. ;)

How's  your week going?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

12 Mile Goals: Done and Done!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

My training schedule called for a 12-miler on Saturday - my last double digit run before my half marathon. As usual, my kids had swimming lessons at 9 am on Saturday morning, so I planned to get up and out the door early so I could enjoy the rest of the day.

I set my alarm for 4:50 am. It's funny that I can get myself out of bed that early on a Saturday but not on a weekday. It must be because I can take my time getting myself going and I don't have as many obligations ahead of me during the day. And likewise, my 5 year old has to be dragged out of bed most days to go to school, but on a Saturday, she comes bounding out of her room as soon as she hears me get up...

Anyway, I got up just before 5, put on my workout clothes, and started to fuel up.


I planned to head out at 5:40, which gave me about 40 minutes to eat and digest my toast, drink my coffee, and do some stretching. I stepped out right on schedule. It was a lovely 66 degrees outside, which is pretty cool for an August morning in Atlanta. Lucky me!

I had 2 goals for my 12-mile run:

1) Total time of 1:54:00 (~9:30 pace) or less
2) Negative split (run the last 6 miles faster than the first 6)

The result...



DONE and DONE!

I was very pleased with my average pace and even more pleased that I actually felt great the entire time. I'm definitely making an effort to be smarter about fueling both before and during my run. In addition to my pre-run toast, I ate a couple black cherry Clif Shot Blocks around miles 6 and 9. The sugar and caffeine boost definitely helped me finish strong. My last 2 miles were my fastest 2 miles. Exactly what I want for race day.

After swim class, I spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday, eating (I was STARVING!), drinking (hello Chardonnay!), and baking these lovely vegan scones with the munchkins. (I snuck in some Pure Barre this morning too, of course!)

Now I remember why I never make these anymore. They're so good, I can't stop eating them!!
If you subtract all the 5 year old tantrums and back-talking, it was a pretty nice weekend. :)

What was the most fun thing you did this weekend?