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Mediavore's "The Comeback Kid" Challenge


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Hello Rebels!

 

I'm Yvonne, a twenty-something living in Northern Virginia with my husband and two cats.  I joined NF briefly about two years ago for a challenge and then dropped off halfway through.  I put my health on the back burner while "life" got in the way, telling myself that it was okay to just focus on planning my wedding or buying a house or finding a job.  Since then, I've gained 10lbs and lost a lot of strength and endurance.  I realized that if I let "life" get in the way of my fitness, then I'm living the kind of life I want.

My primary goal is weight loss, but I'd love to be stronger and more self assured.  Even when I could run 5k I felt weak, so this time I'm focusing on strength training and cardio that I actually enjoy.  I'm calling this my "Habit-Building" challenge, because I want to train my lazy, reptile brain into working out 5x a week, eating according to a stricter diet, and cleaning up after myself regularly. 

 

My biggest challenge in this, er, challenge will be that I'm leaving for a week long Caribbean cruise during week 2 (cue: "aw, poor thing").  So it may look like I've dropped out completely.  But I'll be doing my best to keep up with my goals and you *will* see me back here as soon as that boat docks!

 

GOALS:

  1. Exercise at least 30 every weekday (M,T,W,Th,F) and include both cardio and strength training (+2 STA | +2 STR | +2 DEX)

    I'm lucky enough to have a fairly flexible schedule at work, so I can work out for 30 minutes in the mid-morning and take advantage of our office fitness room.  Since I've never been able to conquer morning exercise, and working out at night easily gets excused off, this is a perfect solution for me.  So far I've been doing moderate cardio and a few ST exercises, but I'd like to devote 2x - 3x a week to more intense ST.
    During the cruise I'm planning to get in some out-of-the-gym workouts and drag my husband along with me.  I feel if I can survive that week so early on, I can survive the rest of the 6 weeks!

     
  2. Follow the Primal Diet at least 90% of the time - allowing for 2 "cheat meals" a week (+4 CON)

    I love cooking at home and trying out new recipes and new vegetables.  Eliminating carbs like bread and rice will be hard, but allowing myself some cheat meals (as long as I don't go overboard!) will definitely help.  I think the key here is just taking it one meal at a time.  As much as I'd love to commit to 100% Primal, I know I'm going to make some mistakes, and I want to be able to accept that and move on without feeling like I've screwed up completely.
     
  3. Complete 50 push-ups in one workout (in as many sets are needed) (+3 STR)

    Oh boy, my push-ups are weak at the moment.  I ticked off 14 this morning (in 2 sets) but was struggling toward the end.  To complete this goal, I'll need a plan to increase my push-up # slowly and methodically.  I'm considering 50 push-ups in the same workout to mean they can be interchanged with sets of another ST exercise (I usually alternate w/ abs).  Doing 25 at the start of my workout and 25 at the end doesn't count, pansy.
     
  4. Spend at least 5 min per day cleaning and tidying the house (+2 CHA)

    I always have a clean house, that serves as my sanctuary and as a welcome space for guests.  ...okay, maybe not yet.  But for the next 6 weeks, I'm going to spend 5 min of every day (*excluding the cruise when I won't be home!) making my house more clean and welcoming.  Hopefully once those 5 min are done, I'll keep going, but if not, at least I've spent that time making my house a batter place to live.  This challenge is important because I tend to let housework pile up and binge-clean on the weekends.  I want to build a habit of cleaning up after myself instead.

 

STARTING STATS:

 

Weight:  169 lbs

 

Waist (at navel): 36.5"

Stomach (largest part): 39.75"

Thigh: 23.5"

Bicep: 12.75"

Bust: 34"

Level 10 Ravenclaw Adventurer

STR 19.25 | DEX 12 | STA 22.75 | CON 38 | WIS 21 | CHA 14.75
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 CURRENT: 12

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Monday, January 7, 2012

  1. From Fitocracy:

    • Elliptical Trainer:
      • 0:30:00 || Broke a Sweat
        (+163 pts)
  2. Push-Up:
    • 7 reps
      (+13 pts)
  3. 7 reps
    (+13 pts)
Plank:

  • 30 sec
    (+13 pts)
  • 30 sec
    (+13 pts)

Breakfast:  2 Hardboiled Eggs ✔
Lunch:  Shredded Pork and Bush's Baked Beans ✘
Dinner:  Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti Squash, Roasted broccoli ✔
Snacks:  String cheese, almonds, and dried cranberries ✔

Total:  2.5 / 3
Not a major deviance with lunch so I still gave it half a point.  In general I'm fine w/ eating beans (I know it's not 100% primal), but the sugar in those was pretty bad.  Also I didn't eat the broccoli slaw I brought because it got warm and tasted gross.  Oops.  Tried to make it up with a ton of veg at dinner.  I need to add more veg in general to my snacks and breakfast, still working out how to do so.
  14 Push-ups completed ( 7 x 2 ).  Still need to work out a plan to get to 50, but at the moment I'm slowly increasing from the 5 x 2 I did the week before.
  Cleaned for at least 5 minutes:  Tidied up after dinner and cleaned the cat litter.  Probably could have (should have) done more (like the dishes), but at least I did 5 min worth.  And the cats will thank me.  :tiger: :tiger:

Level 10 Ravenclaw Adventurer

STR 19.25 | DEX 12 | STA 22.75 | CON 38 | WIS 21 | CHA 14.75
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 CURRENT: 12

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Hello! I went ahead and decided to check out your challenge thread since you mentioned we have a lot in common and you live in the DC area, which is rather nifty. I like your goals and think you've got yourself off to a good start. Best of luck on your challenge and I will definitely send you some primal-friendly recipes. We've been cooking up a storm the past two weeks. What kind of stuff do you like and what does your timeframe look like for being able to cook/bringing meals for work/school/outings?

Storytelling Rebel
| Blog | Twitter

"“You've seen my descent, now watch my rising." ~ Rumi

 

 

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Hi Jess, thanks for the comment!  Are you guys going Primal or Paleo, out of curiousity?  I haven't gone so far as to cut out dairy, so I'm in the Primal camp.  My biggest goal is just to cut the carbs down to a reasonable level (by Paleo standards), and have those be mostly from fruit/veg.  I cook at home a lot, but between evening play rehearsals and work, I generally only have about 30 min to cook and eat (I try to prep ahead when possible).  Right now my husband is away on business, so I'm cooking for one, which makes it hard to get motivated to cook (the drive-through was my staple a few weeks ago!).  If you happen upon any Primal/Paleo cassroles-type meals that could be made in advance and divvyed up during the week, send them my way!  I usually take leftovers to work, and am not a fan of the lunch-salad (sorry Mark), so something easily packed is the best bet. 

 

What have been some of your favorite recipes so far?  I made a Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti Squash (Primal) last night that is now one of my new favorite meals ever.  Though in general, I prefer recipes that are paleo/primal by themselves and not a low-carb conversion of a recipes - just tastes better, I think! 

Level 10 Ravenclaw Adventurer

STR 19.25 | DEX 12 | STA 22.75 | CON 38 | WIS 21 | CHA 14.75
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 CURRENT: 12

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We're primal as well. We want to keep dairy for the time being. Someone posted an Italian "chili" in the recipe book forums that we made, and it was awesome. Also one of those big batch type of meals, so we stretched it out for about three to four meals for each of us (varying the sides, because we get bored easily). Salmon-basil burgers turned out awesome as well, but is another one that requires some heavy prep time (but reheats easily). Our cauliflower crust pizza was also awesome and again, reheats for future meals.

 

We have yet to find the perfect quick meal that isn't salad-based. When I get home I'll check to see what else we've made recently (those are just the most recent).

Storytelling Rebel
| Blog | Twitter

"“You've seen my descent, now watch my rising." ~ Rumi

 

 

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Tuesday, January 8, 2012

  • From The Rebel Strength Gude:
    Warm-Up
    Dumbell Division Rank 1: Session A (see Fitocracy for more info)
    Cool-Down

    I've owned the RSG for a while, but haven't actually used any of the workouts until now!  As I mentioned in my goals above, I want to integrate more ST into my workouts.  So today, instead of running on the elliptical for 30 min, I lifted some heavy things instead.  I will say, I was worried about not getting in any cardio, but the warm-up alone had me chugging water and panting in just 5 min!  I went a little light on the Push Press, and struggled the most with the pull ups.  Since we don't have a pull up bar in my gym, I improvised - set the lat pull down to the heaviest weight, stood on the bench, and lifted myself from there.  Even with the "boost", I couldn't get my chin to the bar, and instead just held myself up as long as I could (about 3 seconds).  I think I'm going to do some inverted rows in order to strengthen those muscles before trying again.
    All in all, a great workout!  It was faster than my usual routine, too, which is always a good thing.  I'm definitely feeling it today, even the warm-up lunges are making my hamstrings ache.  Based on this success, I'm going to do the RSG workout at least 3x (and maybe 4x) a week instead of the elliptical.
     
  • Breakfast:  1 egg, 2 Sausage Patties ✔
    Lunch:  Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti Squash, Roasted broccoli ✔
    Dinner:  Sushi: Rainbow Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, Alaska Roll, Baby Octopus Nigiri ✘
    Snacks:  String cheese, almonds, and dried cranberries ✔

    Total:  2 / 3
    Today was a planned 'cheat' meal, as I knew a couple of days ago I'd be getting sushi with the girls for dinner.  No way to make sushi Primal, IMO, but I tried to pick rolls with lots of sashimi (for the omega-3s and protein) and nothing deep fried or w/ crunchy tempura.  In retrospect, I realized I should have gotten a salad before the meal (to increase vegs) and cut out 1 roll in order to make this meal more healthy. 
    Still working on trying to squeeze more veg into my meals, I think that'll be a theme of this challenge.  I haven't had time to go grocery shopping, but when I do, I plan to stock up on some spinach, onions and peppers to throw in an omelet, and avocado to eat with breakfast.  Just to give myself more choices in the morning.
     
  • SO many pushups today!  The RSG  has 10 push-ups in the warm up alone!  Then 3 sets of "max reps" (which for me, was 7).  Total pushup this workout: 31.  Well on my way to that 50, even though I know I'd have to break that up into sets of 7 or even 5!  By the end of the 6 weeks I want to be able to do all 50 in less than 3 sets. 
     
  • 0 minutes of cleaning today.  I woke up early thinking I could sneak some cleaning in while making breakfast, but ran out of time.  Then my girls' night out ran til 11pm and I was too tired to even think about cleaning for 5 min.  Have already made this up today (Wed) by cleaning to 10 min this morning, but it's a good reminder to plan this in advance to I don't fall prey to the "too tired" excuse again.

Level 10 Ravenclaw Adventurer

STR 19.25 | DEX 12 | STA 22.75 | CON 38 | WIS 21 | CHA 14.75
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 CURRENT: 12

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Wednesday, January 9, 2012

  • From The Rebel Strength Gude:
    Warm-Up
    Dumbell Division Rank 1: Session B (see Fitocracy for more info)
    Cool-Down

    If I thought my muscles were sore yesterday, it was nothing compared to today!  All those squats and deadlifts and planks - oh my!  I'm loving this workout series so far, I definitely feel pushed to my limit.  I didn't much feel like working out today (it's the 7th day of consistant workouts, and my lazy reptile brain is trying to get me to give up), but after some online motivation I went and gave it my all anyway.  Nothing like pushing through a mental roadblock.
     
  • Breakfast:  2 egg, 2 Sausage Patties ✔
    Lunch:  Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti Squash, Roasted broccoli ✔
    Dinner:  Beef Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini ✔
    Snacks:  String cheese, almonds, and dried cranberries, hardboiled egg, tea with honey ✔

    Total:  3 / 3
    Not too much change in breakfast, lunch, or snacks.  Since I'm going out of town next week I haven't been buying groceries and have been trying to use up what I have.  After the cruise I'll try to change it up a bit.  I tried something new for dinner, modifiying a primal chicken enchilada recipe with some beef I had on hand.  I made my own enchilda sauce (really not too hard and tastes so much better), and piled on the cheese because nothing makes me happier than cheesy enchildadas.  I know I said a few posts back that I generally don't like to modify existing meals to make them primal.. yet that's all I've been doing so far.  I guess because the hubby is out of town and if I'm going to make something that potentiallt tastes gross, I'd rather do it when I'm the only one who sees the results.  And on that note... yep, tonight's dinner was kind of a #fail.  The toppings were fine, the homemade sauce came out great, but it just felt weird to be eating a somewhat mushy zucchini around all that deliciousness.  I think if I try again (and I do want to try her Sausage Zucchni Boats, because I think Italian + Zucchini is a happier marriage than with Mexican), I'll bake the zucchini shells while the meat is browning.  That should conquer the mushiness.
    In happier news - 100% Primal today!  Got in lots of veggies with both lunch and dinner so I call today a resounding success.
     
  • 10 push-ups as part of the RSG warm-up.  Today was leg-focused, and honestly, my arms did not mind the break.
     
  • 70+ minutes of cleaning today.  To make up for yesterday, I woke up early this morning to unload and reload the dishwasher.  Then, when I got home from rehearsal, I realized that I needed to actually start packing for this cruise.  Which meant unpacking the suitcase full of clothes that's been haunting me since we moved.  (Occasionally I realize something I want to wear is in it, and I'll open it up a crack, stick my arm in, and feel around for the right fabric.  Then I'll close it quickly so the avalanche of clothing doesn't explode.)  Most of the suitcase is summer-wear, which is why it hasn't been unpacked since September, but there were definitely a good deal of "Eh, I didn't really miss this" clothes that went staight into the donation bag.  So I got to do some clothing purge, which is always a good thing.  All in all, it took me about an hour to unpack and start sorting out clothes that I want to bring on the cruise.  Ruined my bedtime, since I had to do this all at 11pm, but at least it got done.

Level 10 Ravenclaw Adventurer

STR 19.25 | DEX 12 | STA 22.75 | CON 38 | WIS 21 | CHA 14.75
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 CURRENT: 12

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Thursday, January 10, 2012

  • 25 min Elliptical
    10 min of stretching

    I needed an easy, restful workout today - my legs were killing me from all the strength training I did earlier this week.  I warmed up on the elliptical, then did some nice deep stretches.  Nothing to exciting here, just keeping consistant.
     
  • Breakfast:  1 hardboiled egg ✔
    Lunch:  Beef Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini, Spaghetti Squash with Goat Cheese and Tomatoes ✔
    Dinner:   Chipotle Salad:  Chicken, Black Beans/Pinto Beans, Tomato Salsa, Sour Cream, Cheese, Guac ✔
    Snacks:  Almonds and dried cranberries ✔

    Total:  3 / 3
    Turns out that the Primal enchiladas that were bad for dinner were even worse heated up for lunch.   Today was a finish-up-leftovers kind of day, where I killed the last of the spaghetti squash and continue to eat my way through the dozen eggs that are way too old to last through the cruise (in case you've been wondering why I eat so many eggs).  I had a ton of errands to run in the evening and had to grab dinner out.  If you're Primal, Chipotle is basically the best option you have.  I cut out the rice and corn, but left in the beans since I consider them ok-within-moderation on a Primal diet. 
     
  • 0 Push-ups - rest day.
     
  • 5+ minutes cleaning.  This was basically just getting some laundry done that had been piling up. 

Level 10 Ravenclaw Adventurer

STR 19.25 | DEX 12 | STA 22.75 | CON 38 | WIS 21 | CHA 14.75
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 CURRENT: 12

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Way ta go!!! You are doing awesome!

 

PS

The cauli pizza is delish! Be sure and squeeze out as much water from the cauli after steaming to get a really good crusty crust.

 

Thanks!!  :redface-new:   And thanks for the tip, I'll keep that in mind!

Level 10 Ravenclaw Adventurer

STR 19.25 | DEX 12 | STA 22.75 | CON 38 | WIS 21 | CHA 14.75
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 CURRENT: 12

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Friday, January 11, 2012

  • 2 min Treadmill 3.0 mph

    I did not want to work out today.  I stayed up too late, had too much to do at work, and just did not want to spend the time or effort.  I forced myself down to the gym anyway (after getting a kick in the pants from a friend) and managed 20 min of  light walking.  Not an exceptional workout by any means, but it did get my ass out of my chair for 20 mins, which is better than nothing.  I'm going to try and get in another 20 min later today if I can, so that I really hit that 30 min goal.  Days like today, I'm just glad I didn't cave in to my excuses. 
     
  • Breakfast:  2 hardboiled eggs  ✔
    Lunch:  Shredded Pork, Broccoli Coleslaw, and Bush's Baked Beans ✘
    Dinner:   ✔
    Snacks:  String Cheese ✔

    Total:  2.5 / 3
    Similar to Tuesday, lunch gets only a half point because of the amount of sugar in the baked beans (I don't consider beans in and of themselves to be not-Primal, just something to eat in moderation).  Again, trying to finish up leftovers and clear out the fridge before we leave tomorrow. 
    Since I posting this early, I'm not sure what we're having for dinner, but will try to update before I leave tomorrow.  For now, we'll just assume my willpower holds out and it's something Primal even if I have to eat out (probably a salad from Wendy's or Chipotle again... yikes).
     
  • 0 Push-ups - rest day.
     
  • 5+ minutes cleaning.  Folding laundry, straightening the house in readiness for our cat-sitter, washing pots and pans. 

Level 10 Ravenclaw Adventurer

STR 19.25 | DEX 12 | STA 22.75 | CON 38 | WIS 21 | CHA 14.75
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 CURRENT: 12

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WEEKLY SUMMARY:  1/7 - 1/11
 
I'm posting my first week summary early because I'm leaving for vacation early, early Saturday morning.  So Week 1 only covers Tuesday - Friday, Week 2 will cover Saturday - Sunday, and then I'll be back on schedule with Week 3: Monday - Sunday.  Make sense?  Good!

 

I think this week was a strong start to the challenge.  I may not have been hardcore or completely dedicated, but I showed up every day and would give myself a solid "A for Effort".  As can be expected, the hardest part of this week was just adjusting and creating a new routine to accomodate my goals.  This meant going to bed earlier so I could wake up earlier, planning out meals, and blocking off time to exercise and clean so that I couldn't blow them off.  On the days I didn't do these things, my goals really suffered - not cleaning, scrambling to put together meals, and lack-luster workouts. 

 

I will give myself a gold star for not blowing off any of my workouts this week - I laced up my shoes and put in some gym time, even if it was just minimum effort.  Multiple times this week excuses came creeping in (I'm too tired!  I have work to do!  My muscles hurt!) but I pushed through and told myself that I am not the kind of person who listens to excuses anymore.

 

Dear excuses,

 

tumblr_m4fiuu4SEw1rpil81o1_400.jpg

 

Here's a goal-by-goal breakdown for the week:

 

  • 5 / 5  :star:

    As I mentioned before, these weren't all "productive" days at the gym, but I showed up and worked toward consistancy.  Worth noting:  I think this is the only time in my life I've ever worked out 5 days in a row (I'm usually a 3x a week kind of girl), so this was definitely a challenge!  I'm sore all over (getting better after taking 2 restful low-impact cardio days) and mentally tired of it, so having 2 weekend days to recover my stamina will help.  I'm hoping it'll get easier with time.  I'm planning to spread out the RSG workouts to every other day (M, W, F) until my muscles get used to it.
  • 13 / 15    :star:

    I definitely used both of my cheat meals (in only a 5 days period!) which will make next week (an 8 day period) even harder.  I really need to crack down on meal planning, since multiple times this week I come up short trying to find paleo meals at home.  Making a meal plan and having more groceries will help when I get back from the cruise.  I did try out some new Primal meals (with varying degrees of success) and ate breakfast consistantly, so those are both positives.
    During the cruise...?  Well, my gameplan is to take advantage of all the buffet options to eat Primal as much as possible on the ship so that I can save my 'cheat' meals for island excursions when I may have less of a choice about what I can eat.  This means no blowing my cheat meal on a cheeseburger the first night of the cruise!  I plan to write down my meals every day to keep me accountable so that I won't feel compelled to say, "Well, I already messed up once, might as well..." 
     
  • Max:  30    :star:

    I think this week was a solid start on the push-up challenge.  On Monday, I could barely do 2 sets of 5 reps, and by Wednesday I was up to 3 sets of 7 reps.  Still improvement to be made, but that's what the next 5 weeks are for.
     
  • 4 / 5   :ambivalence:

    When I first wrote this goal down, I thought it would be easy.  Just 5 min a day.  It's not that I'm especially messy or lazy, I just tend to save all my cleaning for the weekend.  I want to try and break the habit of letting the house go to hell and then spend a whole day picking it up.  Thus the 5 min a day idea.  Turns out, it's harder than I thought to get those 5 min in.  The most reliable time was to spend 5 min cleaning the kitchen while I cooked, but even then I didn't always take advantage of that time.  So even though I made up for my 1 day miss by putting in more time the next day, I'm considering this goal not met for the week, since consistency and habit building are the main take-aways.  Next week is a freebie since I'll be out of town all week (I guess I could clean my stateroom..?) so I'll have to work even harder during week 3.

Just a reminder - I will not be posting at all next week.  I'll be back with a week-long cruise update on 1/21 or so.  Wish me good luck with staying on top of these goals, I'll need it! 

Level 10 Ravenclaw Adventurer

STR 19.25 | DEX 12 | STA 22.75 | CON 38 | WIS 21 | CHA 14.75
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 CURRENT: 12

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WEEKLY SUMMARY:  1/12 - 1/20
 
Sorry this is late!  Getting back into town, caught up on work, and fighting a stomach bug kept me tied up on Monday and Tuesday.  As I mentioned last week, I grouped all the cruise dates into "Week 2" for ease of tracking, which is why this week goes from Sat - Sun.  "Week 3" will resume Mon - Sun updates.
 
I thought going in to this challenge that this week would be the most difficult to stay on track.  In fact, it ended up being easier than I expected.  I think being waited on hand-and-foot and having full days with nearly nothing to do may have helped a little.  ;)  Kind of like when Mark Sisson wrote about a week in his life and we all realized how much easier it would be to stay Primal with a personal chef/housekeeper named Diva and all the free time in the world to swim and hike.
 
That said, this was clearly not a 100% week.  I missed a wokout day on Friday and ate a lot of sugar (even though I avoided most other carbs).  Still, I'd say I was on track somewhere between 80 - 90% of the time.  The real key to success was actually telling my friends what I was doing.  Normally I'm embarrassed to talk about my health goals, since I worry that it can cause some bitterness and resentment when people want to enjoy themselves and someone is on a diet.  My husband knew, but my other friends figured it out pretty early on when they saw me unwrapping my breakfast burrito and only eating the insides.  After that, I spoke with them one-on-one (as it came up) about how I was trying to cut out Primal and exercise even though it was vacation.  By the end of the cruise they all had my back, helping me pick things that were gluten-free on the menu and being my watch dogs that I didn't stray from my goals.  I like to think my example even guilted them helped some of them eat healthier and not go overboard during meals.
 
Even though I set pretty strict goals for this challenge and didn't live up to them all the way, I think this week was a success.  Here's a goal-by-goal breakdown:

  • 5 / 5  :star:

    Sunday:  Walking: 1hr, Dancing
    Monday:  ST including: Squats, Deadlift, Planks, Push-Ups followed by 1 hour of Zumba
    Tuesday:  SCUBA diving - (1) 30 min session, (2) 45 min sessions
    Wednesday:  ST including:  Bench Press, Bent Over Row, Shoulder Press, Bicycle Crunches, Push-Ups
    Thursday:  Climbed Dunn's River Falls, Dancing
    Friday:  Slept in like a boss

    As you can see, this week had some interesting fitness opportunities, even if they weren't the most strenuous.  I got my friend to come out to Zumba with me - a class I really love but don't get to do very often.  One of the reasons we went on the cruise was to go SCUBA diving in Cozumel, Mexico.  It was my first time and I fell in love.  We saw so many cool things in the coral reef!  My husband and I want to get certified and go more often, so this was just the first step in a new adventure. 
    Climbing a waterfall was another checkmark on my bucket list.  The River Falls weren't too taxing, but we made the most of them - scrambing up rocks and blazing our own trail.  There were also dance parties every night on the boat, though I only went out on Sunday and Thursday nights.  By Friday I was too tired to get up and work out, and our last cruise stop (a resort in Haiti) didn't give too many opportunities to exercise.   However, since I did a ton of walking and later dancing on Sunday, I decided to count it.  New rule, I guess - weekday workouts can be made up on the weekend.
     
  • 80% :ambivalence:

    Being on a cruise with friends meant there was a lot of drinking involved and I didn't just stick to a Primal-approved glass of red wine.  While I avoided breads, rice, white potatoes, and other carbs and starches, I did eat dessert every night (most often something with sugar and dairy, like Creme Brulee or Sorbet).  Other than those indulgences, I really don't think I strayed very far.  Having a goal of 90% Primal really kept me on track and I ate a lot of fish, vegetables, and lean meats.  My biggest 'cheat' meal was when we went to a crepe restaurant and I went all out with a savory crepe and half a dessert crepe (mmm Nutella).  Other than that, I may have had a bite of someone's breaded chicken or fries, but the majority of my meals were Primal.

    But since life isn't a diet - here's some awesome things about this food this week:  I got to try frog legs and escargot for the first time; the food was Ah-Maz-Ing and has already inspired me to try to recreate some of what we ate (like a heavenly Butternut Squash soup with caramelized apples); the menu on the cruise marked which foods were gluten-free and they were great about swapping mashed potatoes for steamed veggies (although sometimes the gluten-free options weren't actually GF, so I got very friendly with asking our server to check with the chef).  Most importantly, I didn't feel deprived or compromised.  If I really wanted something not-Primal, like a crepe or dessert, I just ate it and accepted that it would not wreck my diet in the long run.  Obviously, this doesn't work if you do it at every meal, but it helped me feel like I had options.
     
  • Max:  30  :star:   

    This week was a little weak with pushups, though I made sure to include some in all my ST workouts.  Still working toward my goal, even if I don't have a strong plan in place. 
     
  • 0 / 0  

    No cleaning this week since I wasn't at home.  I'm going to miss having my bed made every morning though!

 
 
Now to end this extremely wordy post, here's some vacation photos!

 

5100189d55fdd_Cruise_Formal.jpg

 

Formal night, and our last night on the cruise.  I looooved getting dolled up, and seeing my handsome husband in a tux!

 

408230_10100925700850093_1491689617_n.jp

 

Getting ready to SCUBA!

 

51001af676070_DSC_0402.jpg

 

At Dunn's River Falls, Jamaica

Level 10 Ravenclaw Adventurer

STR 19.25 | DEX 12 | STA 22.75 | CON 38 | WIS 21 | CHA 14.75
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 CURRENT: 12

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Monday, January 21, 2012
 
I'm playing catch up because I missed a few updates so here's 3 days in one!  Monday was pretty awful due to getting home late from the airport (3am), sleeping in til 11am, and catching a stomach bug that had me in bed resting most of the day. 

  • None

    With my usual routine thrown off, I didn't manage to get in a workout today. 
     
  • Breakfast:  None (slept through it)
    Lunch:  Oven-roasted chicken and steamed veggies ✔
    Dinner:  Butternut squash soup with carmelized apples and walnuts ✔
    Snacks:  None

    Total:  2 / 2
    Waking up late meant no breakfast, and coming home from vacation meant no food in the house!  I made a quick run to the grocery store and managed to not come home with a frozen pizza.  Later that night I made soup based off a recipe I had on the cruise, but barely managed more than 1/2 a cup because my stomach was queasy. 
     
  • 0 Push ups
     
  • 0 minutes of cleaning today.  I really should have cleaned something, since we had barely-unpacked suitcases lying around and a guy come in to clean the air ducts, but I felt lousy and spent most of the day resting.
     

Tuesday, January 22, 2012

And if Monday was bad, can you believe Tuesday was worse?  That stomach bug had me in full grip and I ended up leaving work early so I could go home and fight it off.  I used a cheat meal to eat some chicken noodle soup which finally got me on the road to feeling better.

  • None

    I felt nauseous and dizzy all day, and figured that skipping excercise was better than trying to do something and making it worse.
     
  • Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs ✔
    Lunch: Butternut squash soup with carmelized apples and walnuts ✔
    Dinner: Amy's No Chicken Noodle Soup and crackers ✘
    Snacks: Peppermint Tea ✔

    Total: 2 / 3
    I'm not sure if all the dizziness and nausea was carb flu (or maybe sugar withdrawal after eating so much of it on the cruise) but when my paleo Butternut squash soup didn't sit right I went back to my time-honored cure for sickness:  Amy's No Chicken Noodle soup.  For some reason it always makes me feel better.  I ate some club crackers with it (in for a penny, in for a pound - oops) and drank lots of unsweetened peppermint tea all day in order to settle my stomach.  One way or another it worked, and I was feeling better by that evening.
     
  • 0 Push ups
     
  • 0 minutes of cleaning today.
     

Wednesday, January 23, 2012

  • 30 min elliptical

    Finally feeling back to normal, but I didn't want to push myself and risk upsetting my stomach again.  So I took it easy with 30 min on the elliptical at a moderate pace.
     
  • Breakfast: Poached eggs with tomato, smoked salmon, and mozzarella ✔
    Lunch: Salad ✔
    Dinner: Oven-Roasted chicken ✔
    Snacks: Peppermint tea ✔

    Total: 3 / 3
    I felt a ton better today, but still didn't have much of an appetite.  Breakfast was cruise-inspired again, there was smoked salmon every morning on the ship and I loved it.  Paired with a few fresh veggies and eggs to make a healthy spin on eggs benedict.  Ate out for lunch, grabbing a salad and then my boss surprised me by bringing in another salad because she wanted me to try it with beets.  So two very healthy salads for lunch (though I'm still not a fan of beets).  Maybe that's why I wasn't super hungry for lunch, and just picked at the leftovers of Monday's chicken instead of making a real meal.
     
  • 0 Push ups
     
  • 5 minutes of cleaning today.   Cleaned the cat litter... and that's about it.  My weeknights are completely taken over by play rehearsal this week so it's hard to muster up the energy to clean.  I know I should be habit building and planning time to clean, but it's just not happening.  This is easily my weakest area right now.  :(

Level 10 Ravenclaw Adventurer

STR 19.25 | DEX 12 | STA 22.75 | CON 38 | WIS 21 | CHA 14.75
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 CURRENT: 12

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Glad to hear you're feeling better and got over your bug! I've also been struggling with habit building when it comes to cleaning. Last week I definitely took a dive in points because I didn't muster up the energy most nights. So you're not alone there.

 

Love the pics! Looks like you both had a great time. :)

Storytelling Rebel
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"“You've seen my descent, now watch my rising." ~ Rumi

 

 

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WEEKLY SUMMARY:  1/21 - 1/27

 

So this week pretty much sucked.  Coming back from vacation really knocked me flat on my goals: I had a stomach bug, rehearsal every night, no food in the fridge and no time to cook, and our house needed a deep clean - not 5 min of tidying. You can tell that when I didn't even record 4 of the days this week that is was pretty rough.  Diet was pretty much the only thing I did well on, everything else took a major dive.  But it's now Monday and I'm still here, so I have the opportunity to improve next week.

  • 2 / 5  :blue:

    Monday:  None

    Tuesday:  None

    Wednesday:  30 min Elliptical

    Thursday:  30 min Elliptical, Pushups

    Friday:  None

    So, I skipped 3 workouts and half assed the rest, which annoys me the most because I had a really good streak going until now.  It just makes me want to work harder though, so I don't end up becoming one of the 82% who give up on their goals.

     

  • 19 / 21

    I ended up eating out A LOT this week, and I'm honestly surprised I didn't cheat on my diet more.  As it was, this week was a lesson in foraging through SAD restaurants for Primal food.  In addition, I ended up skipping meals because I just wasn't hungry, whether from being sick or apathy.  Not my best week ever, especially in terms of clean eating, but I managed to keep the carbs down, drink... less... and not go overboard.  On Friday in particular, I went out to a Mexican restaurant with friends.  I wanted SO BADLY to order some enchiladas or a burrito or a tamale... :fat: But I'd already used my 2 'cheat' meals (Chicken Noodle Soup and a baguette at Panera) so I went for Mexican Chicken and Veggies instead.  And you know, it felt really awesome to be able to eat out and not cave in to those cravings.

     

  • Max:  15

    Very week this week.  I did a few obligatory push ups, but I really wasn't working toward this goal.  The one positive was that I hit a new PR - 15 pushups in one set.  But then I only did one set, so, not too impressive.

     

  • 2 / 7    :blue:

    Youch.  Just looking at that number is embarrasing.  Especially because I lived with a sink full of dirty dishes and an overflowing laundry basket all week.  On Saturday I spent 6+ hours really cleaning the house, so it's back in good shape now, but the whole idea behind this challenge was to make it a habit and not have cleaning-binges.  Still, it felt like there was so much to do I couldn't even begin (lame excuse, I know).  I'm hoping that since the house is pretty clean now, I'll do better next week at keeping it picked up.

Level 10 Ravenclaw Adventurer

STR 19.25 | DEX 12 | STA 22.75 | CON 38 | WIS 21 | CHA 14.75
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 CURRENT: 12

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Monday, January 28, 2012

  • From The Rebel Strength Gude:

    Warm-Up

    Dumbell Division Rank 1: Session A and B (see Fitocracy for more info)

    Cool-Down

    Today's workout was a punishment for slacking off last week. I pushed myself harder than I have yet on this challenge and it felt awesome! 2 other women were running on the treadmill as I was lifting weights, which made me feel a little awkward, but I reminded myself that I'm a Rebel and just got it done. I hit PRs in all my exercises today, doubled up my workout (combining A and B ) and finally found a way to make inverted rows work in my bar-less gym. Feeling good.

  • Breakfast: 1 pear ✔

    Lunch: Amy's Italian Vegetable Soup ✘

    Dinner: Potbelly's Farmhouse Salad ✔

    Total: 2 / 3

    Some days you plan to have a cheat meal, and some days you're scanning the ingredients like and realize halfway through your soup that it has brown rice and chickpeas in it. This was one of those days. I checked the ingredients at the store before I bought it (in general I love Amy's soups), but I guess I saw the "gluten-free" label and didn't think past that. My mistake. But that's the whole point of my 90% Primal goal - so that I can make a mistake and move on without guilt (not to overindulge on a bunch of carbs 2x a week).

  • I really "pushed" myself on the pushups today (get it??). 12 reps for 3 sets makes for a total of 36 - adding just a couple more really adds up!
  • 5+ Minutes washing dishes

Level 10 Ravenclaw Adventurer

STR 19.25 | DEX 12 | STA 22.75 | CON 38 | WIS 21 | CHA 14.75
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 CURRENT: 12

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You were sick, had a lame week, but you're still here and ready to dominate Monday. I hate cleaning binges, but I can't convince my husband that it's easier to keep things up. Too many years doing USMC "field days" I guess. Good luck coming back this week.

 

Thanks  :)  I really want to get back on track, I'd hate to reach February 18 and feel like I didn't give this challenge my all.

And my husband hates the fact that I binge-clean too, one of the reasons I'm trying to break that habit!

Level 10 Ravenclaw Adventurer

STR 19.25 | DEX 12 | STA 22.75 | CON 38 | WIS 21 | CHA 14.75
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 CURRENT: 12

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Tuesday, January 29, 2012

  • 10 min Elliptical Warm-Up

    Dumbbell Exercises:  Bent Over Rows and Tricep Extension on a bosu ball; Tricep dips, Tricep kickbacks, Lunges (see Fitocracy for more info)

    Cool-Down

    I saw a guy doing ST exercises on a bosu ball at the gym recently and couldn't wait to try it out.  I used slightly lighter weights so my form wouldn't get thrown off.  It was really fun, actually!  I used it like this for Bent Over Rows and Tricep Extension:

    bosu-squat.jpg

    I can imagine it would be even harder flipping it over and balancing on the flat, black part.  I'd like to improve my balance in general, so I can guarentee I'll be using this more in the future.

    I actually didn't intend to do some many tricep workouts today (although it was the only part of my body that didn't hurt after yesterday's workout...), I just ran out of ideas and didn't want to do the RSG Dumbbell Session C or D, which tend to repeat exercises from A and B.  I tend to run dry on inspiration, so I should probably work on learning more exercises.

     

  • Breakfast:  Starbucks Latte, Fruit & Cheese plate (-crackers) ✔

    Lunch:  Porkchop with apples and onions ✔

    Dinner:  Jimmy John's Club Unwich  ✔

    Total: 3/3

    Still eating out way too much - having rehearsals ever night that are 5 min from work, but 25 min from my house make it really hard to justify going home, eating and then driving back out again.  So meanwhile I'm foraging restaurants for Primal-friendly meals.  I hadn't thought to look at Jimmy John's (a sandwich chain that was completely new to my when I moved to the East Coast), but Paleo at Penn listed it in her summary of good restaurant chains to eat Primal.  Their Unwich is just a sandwich without the bread, nothing too revolutionary, but you'd probably not be surprised how few sandwich places offer this.  Anyway, it was a little challenging to eat, but tasted good and filled a deli-sandwich urge.

     

  • No pushups today, giving my arms a break.

     

  • 5+ min:  Cleaning cat litter

Level 10 Ravenclaw Adventurer

STR 19.25 | DEX 12 | STA 22.75 | CON 38 | WIS 21 | CHA 14.75
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 CURRENT: 12

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Wednesday, January 30, 2012

  • Treadmill:
    Warm-up
    12 min @ 5.0 mph (1 mi)
    17 min @ 3.5 mph (1 mi)
    Cool Down
  • Breakfast: Veggie Omelet ✔
    Lunch: Fruit Salad ✔
    Dinner: Chili ✔

    Total: 3/3
     
  • No pushups today, rest day!
  • 5+ min: Dishes...

Level 10 Ravenclaw Adventurer

STR 19.25 | DEX 12 | STA 22.75 | CON 38 | WIS 21 | CHA 14.75
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan
PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 CURRENT: 12

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