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HobbitGirl's (somewhat) Unexpected Journey


HobbitGirl

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Hi everyone!

 

Careening towards my 40s, I started on a quest to generally lose weight, look better, and feel better about myself back in July. And a funny thing happened...I started working with this trainer who specializes in CrossFit and I FELL IN LOVE with weightlifting and box runs and deadlifts and kettlebells and just the whole CrossFit deal. Also, I started getting stronger. As my username gives away, my "race" is definitely hobbit: under 5 feet tall, fond of second breakfasts. I've been a petite, physically weak female my whole life and after a month or two with this trainer, suddenly I felt muscles growing in my legs and and my arms and my balance got better and it was like WOW! I'm actually getting stronger! It was such a rush, and it still is.

 

So, my Main Quest is to improve both my strength and my balance. 

 

My Side Quests:

 

1. Get down to 25% body fat in the next 6 weeks. (I was at 26.7% as of last Tuesday.) My weight is currently 91 pounds (down from 97 in July...getting towards the low end for someone my height, but still OK.

2. Build strength in my legs during every workout in preparation for my first attempt at cross country skiing and then make the aforementioned first attempt at cross country skiing.

3. Sleep: At least 8 hours every night.

 

Life Quest:

1. Pass both of my graduate school classes (without losing my job!).

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Thanks, Momo!

 

Today's:

 

15 minutes on the treadmill...just for warm-up...3.5 mph, incline 3.0

Very Modified 300 workout:

Lat pulls, 30 lbs, 20 reps

Deadlifts, 30 lbs, 20 reps (my first DLs with 30 lbs!)

Pushups (on knees), 50 reps

Box runs x 50, box about 12 inches high---probably should have added another 1/2 inch of height

Floor wipers, 30 lbs (first FWs with 30 lbs!), 50 reps

Clean & press, 25 lb barbell, 20 reps

Lat pulls, 30 lbs, 25 reps

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I tried my first spinning class tonight! My friend is the instructor and she's been trying to get me to try out her class for months. So, tonight was  the night. I would have really enjoyed it, except I think I am just a tad bit too short for it. Even with the seat as far down as it would go, I was still hurting in some lady parts that I really didn't think were supposed to hurt (not muscle pain). I asked my friend, "um, is it supposed to hurt there" and she said no, the bike's too tall for you. So that was a bummer but I'm glad I tried it. If they ever get shorter bikes, I'd definitely give it another go!

 

Sleep: Almost got my goal of 8 hours last night, but no banana. Lights out was 10:35, lights on 6:15. I notice those 20 minutes! Tonight I intend to be in bed by 9:45.

 

No exercise other than the 20 minutes or so in Spin class (and for most of  that time the resistance was pretty low on my bike, as I hadn't quite gotten the hang of turning it up!) I lifted weights yesterday and Saturday, including a whole bunch of deadlifts with a heavier barbell than I've used before, and today my right leg is definitely feeling it.

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Gah, so frustrated with these stupid carbs tonight. I thought I ate pretty healthy today but per MyFitnessPal I still somehow managed to come in over 165 g (barely, 167 g, but still!) 

 

here's what I ate today:

 

Breakfast, Steel cut oats 1.5 servings (about 1/4+1/8 cup) with about 1/2 cup almond milk and 1/2 cup raspberries

1 cup of coffee with maybe 1 oz of cow's milk (fat free)

 

Morning snack: 1/4 cup almonds (natural, no salt or any of that jazz)

 

Lunch: Salad consisting of iceberg lettuce, about 2 or 3 slices of betts, a couple of small tomatoes, some cucumber slices, green peppers, mushrooms, and about 1 tbsp of light olive oil dressing (w/balsamic vinagrette)...all veggies were less than 1/2 cup each...oh yeah and maybe 1 or 2 tbsps of edamame

Cuban chicken and black bean soup: about 4.5 g of fat, included carrots and celery and a vegetable base along with the aforementioned chicken and black beans

 

Afternoon snack: about 1/2 cup of fat free cottage cheese with about 1/2 cup of blackberries

Another 1/4 cup of almonds

 

Had some (5) wheat saltine crackers when I got home

Dinner: Baked potato with 1 slice of light provolone cheese and 2 tbsps of fiery salsa (yum)

Green beans (canned), about 1.5 cups

 

I was planning on this being a rest day from exercise, having exercised for 3 days in a row, but I may do the beginner's bodyweight workout in a bit.

 

Sleep: Technically I did well last night! Lights out 9:45, lights on around 6:30 but it took me a long time to fall asleep and I still woke up groggy. So the email Steve sent out today regarding sleep came at a perfect time. 

 

Well, hope everyone is doing well on their quests!

Help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure

Nothing ever lasts forever....

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Friday at last! I gave myself a cheat day yesterday; dinner was a grilled cheese & chicken sandwich and 1/2 glass of red wine. I had a workout scheduled for 7AM today, thus the 1/2 glass...also my tolerance is waaay low due to losing weight and to being out of practice with the whole drinking thing and I did need to drive home on our first icy roads of the season.

 

Tomorrow I'm going to see Catching Fire with some coworkers/friends; planing to sneak in a healthy snack...most likely celery with peanut or almond butter.

 

Two workouts with my trainer in the last three days. Wednesday was all Bosu, all the time:

Pushups with knees on Bosu, then dragging Bosu with feet (actually quite fun once I got the hang of it)

Overhead lunges (walking lunges while holding Bosu overhead)

Situps on Bosu

Bosu man-makers

Bosu squats

Lunges without Bosu, but with one foot behind me on a weight bench that was high enough to challenge my balance, which is a BIG weak spot for me

Bosu jumps (bubble side up)

Bosu jumps redux (flat side up)

As noted above, my balance is sucky, so the flat side jumps were pretty challenging---my trainer had me hold his hands while I was jumping on and off to make sure I didn't fall. I did pretty well, though---very encouraging

 

This morning:

20 minutes on elliptical (level 10)

10 Burpees

Boat crunches x 20

V-crunches x 20

Seated Russian twists w/8 pound ball x 30 (15 reps on each side)

C-walk with resistance rope (not sure what that thing is called?)

Resistance rope: bicep curls, tricep extensions, rows

Another 20 V-crunches

Pistol squats x 20 on each leg

Man-makers w/8 lb dumbells and 10 mountain climbers each instead of pushups...planning to try it with 10 lb dumbells tomorrow.

 

Thinking about getting my trainer a small gift card for Thanksgiving...maybe a Starbucks card, nothing major.

 

Diet: Fairly clean, kept to my calorie goals except for yesterday's cheat day, which was probably around 1330 calories total. 

Still working on keeping my snacks clean. Had half a small (individual-sized) bag of baked Lays this week---not as bad as some potato chips out there, still want to keep moving towards "real" instead of packaged food. 

Help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure

Nothing ever lasts forever....

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Catching Fire was awesome! You should definitely see it when you get a chance. There were a few things from the book that got cut out, but overall it was pretty faithful and Jennifer Lawrence was excellent. My only complaints were 1) not that much archery was happening and 2) the theater had the volume up WAY loud. That shit HURT. 

 

I smuggled in some cashews and grapes for my healthy snack...my friends got an enormous thing of popcorn but I only had about two handfuls of it (no "butter" topping)

 

So I worked out yesterday---moved up to 10 lbs on the man-makers! I was about to chicken out and stick to the 8 lbs but I had said on here that I would give the 10 lbs a shot so I had to do it! This accountability stuff works.

 

2 sets each:

Burpees x 15

Static squat with overhead plate (basically Around the Worlds while squatting) x 10 in each direction w/10 lb plate

Man-makers x 10 with 10 lbs and mountain climbers instead of pushups

Seated Russian Twist w/8 lb ball x 30 total

Barbell squat x 10. 30 lbs the first set, 25 the second set...I have a logistical problem while working out by myself with getting the 30 lb over my head and onto my shoulders. I probably could have done both sets with the 30 lbs otherwise

Bosu jumps (round side up) x 15

Dumbell L-lifts standing on one foot - 5 reps per foot - 8 lbs the first set, 5 the second set (still working on that balance)

 

One set:

Sumo squats x 15 w/30 lb BB

Knees to elbow x 20

Bentover Row with 30 lb BB x 15 - only my 2nd time doing 30 lbs on this one and the squats

Plyometric lunges x 20 total (10 on each side)

Push Press x 17 w/25 lbs BB - this is the hardest one!

V-crunches x 20

 

No gym for me this morning; I'm going to do the advanced body weight workout at home, do some homework, hit the shower and head to church.

 

Happy Sunday everyone!

Help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure

Nothing ever lasts forever....

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I didn't quite make the 8 hours of sleep mark last night. I've been pretty consistent with getting 7.5 hours, but I've gotten to 8 hours 4 nights out of the last 7, and last night was a 7.5 hour night.

 

Did 3 sets of the advanced bodyweight workout yesterday, excluding the chin-ups (inverted rows) and using Burpees as a warm-up. I substituted stair jumps for the step-ups...I hope my downstairs neighbors aren't too annoyed with me! I held on to the handrail during the first set out of fear of not making the sair and twisting my ankle, but by the second set I had let go.

 

My floors are parquet, so they're slippery when I'mdoing lunges and pushups and the like; I discovered that my bathroom tile is much less so. So, I do the shoulder dips on the edge of my bathtub and pushups and the plank on my bathroom floor. I got through the first set of pushups without my knees on the ground, and was still able to get the full range of motion, which made me happy. It's a good workout, and I didn't even have to change out of my PJs!

 

I had a tuna salad sandwich for lunch yesterday, which was pretty tasty. I don't like seafood but I'm trying to give it another chance, because I want protein and chicken and turkey all the time are getting a teensy bit old. Unfortunately the tuna salad did have mayonnaise, which put more bad fat into it than one would like, so I had to watch my fat intake for the rest of the day. Dinner was turkey with 2 cups of boiled cauliflower and a serving of fat-free cottage cheese. I'm also getting a little bored with the cottage cheese...I like it because it's low-fat and relatively low carb but I already eat nuts and I don't want to eat more fruit due to the sugar. So, still working on that one.

Help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure

Nothing ever lasts forever....

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Dude 8hours of sleep.. I need to do that challenge next. You deserve mad props for getting (read as allowing yourself) so much sleep! especially with a giant serving of stuff on your plate. My mind is so bogged I can't fall asleep easily. You need to share tips pretty please! :)

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Momo, I've actually been averaging about 7.5 to 7.75 hours most weeknights...still working on it, though.

 

Meh, tonight was sucky in terms of diet. My dad got into town yesterday and the past two nights we've all had dinner at my sister's house with her, her hubby, and 3 kids. Good times, and last night we had whole wheat pasta with broccoli, edamame, and walnuts. Pretty healthy, and I watched my intake of the pasta. Tonight, on the other hand, was fish sticks and tater tots (sweet potato). I didn't eat that much; I don't think my stomach cares for fried food anymore.

 

Well, tomorrow's another day, Thanksgiving that is, and my green beans are going to be the healthiest thing on the table. 

This is what I like about this health quest thing: each day you get to get out of bed and do your best.

 

Today was a rest day from exercise after working out 5 days in a row. I did tire jumps with my trainer last night and I can feel it today.

 

Monday night's workout:

 

"New & improved" man-makers: dumbell push-up, row, mtn climbers x 10, then up and bicep curl & press (10 lbs)

Static squat w/dumbell L-lifts (5 lbs)

V-crunch with 10 lb DB x 20

Ab rollers - obliques x 30

Plyometric pushups x 20 

Standing lunges - knee all the way to floor and back up x 30

Sumo squat w/high bar - 25 lbs x 15

Core - hands & knees, alternate arm and leg off floor, w/5 lb DB 

Push press on stability ball (yikes!) - 25 lbs x 10

Skull crushers on stability ball - 10 lbs x 15

 

Tuesday night's workout: 

 

Circuit - 30 seconds each:

SB (stability ball) sit-ups

SB plank 30 secs

Curl & press (8 lbs)

Renegade row (8 lbs)

Bridges with 10 lb plate

Static crunch 

Pushups on tire (knees off of the floor)

Tire jumps

Tire hits with sledgehammer (It was fun to hit something after those godforsaken tire jumps)

Box runs

Finished w/30 more tire jumps

 

Tire jumps are never easy and those last 30 knocked me out. It's good, though; if I'm going to ski I've got to build up those leg muscles. 

 

For tomorrow morning, the exercise plan is a 4 mile walk/run. My plan is to try running 1 mile, power-walking the 2nd, running the 3rd, and power-walking the 4th. This week I signed up to do the ColderBoulder, a 5K on the campus of the University of Colorado Boulder, located about an hour away from me. I had been doing a lot of walking until about 3 or 4 months ago, when I started having some pain in my right knee. I'm hoping that the strength training I've been doing in my legs, and the weight I've lost, will have alleviated that problem by now. We shall see.

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Thanksgiving went about as well as a day devoted to gluttony can go for someone on a quest to improve her fitness:

 

Exercise: Completed the 4 mile run/walk as planned...almost. I believe in listening to my body and after running the first 0.5 mile I received a clear message from my right knee and that message was "No distance running for you, girl." So I power-walked about 98% of the remaining 3.5 miles, but I went as fast as I could go and completed the whole 4 miles in about 70 minutes. Not my best time, but not horrible either.

 

Thanksgiving dinner: I lifted my eating plan from SammyShark and from Steve's suggestions: fill up on turkey and fresh veggies in order to not overeat the less healthy options. When making my plan, I forgot that we wouldn't be serving ourselves: the person sitting closest to the veggies, or sweet potatoes, or whatever, serves each person and passes their plate back to them. This is how I ended up with maybe 1/2 cup of sweet potato casserole, 1/2 cup of stuffing, and maybe 1/4 cup of regular white mashed potatoes with bacon on my plate, in addition to turkey, my garlic green beans, and steamed yellow squash. I did still stick to my plan and ate the turkey and veggies first....but I did eat more of the sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and stuffing than I would have otherwise. The turkey, BTW, had been smoked outside on the charcoal grill by my brother-in-law and was OUTSTANDING. My green beans came out pretty well, too. I drank 1/2 glass of Merlot and plenty of water. I don't know what is up with me only wanting 1/2 glass of wine lately...when I was younger Thanksgiving would have been a 2-glass night at the very least. Growing up, I guess.

 

Dessert was 1 slice of apple pie plus about 1/2 slice of the blueberry-peach cobbler that our friend made...it was home made, unlike the apple pie, and when someone bakes you a homemade dessert, you at least try it. It was all tasty but I know packed with sugar and carbs.

 

So yesterday I did 3 mile walk (power-walking all the way) to my gym where I did essentially the same workout as Monday night:

 

New" man-makers: DB push-up, row, mtn climbers x 10, then up and bicep curl to press - 10#

Static squat w/L-lifts (5#) x 20

V-crunch with 10# DB x 20

Stability ball plank x 30 seconds

Plyometric pushup (medicine ball 4# - couldn't find the 6 pounder)

Standing lunges - knee all the way to floor and back up - 20 total

Sumo squat, high bar - 25#

Core - hands & knees, alternate arm and leg off floor, 5# DB

Push press   - 25#

 

I was planning on resting from exercise today, but once I had my breakfast (bowl of oatmeal with strawberries and almond milk, plus one egg scrambled with a baby portobello mushroom, cooked in olive oil)...I just felt like I wanted to exercise. So I did the ABWW, using 10 Burpees as a warm-up, subbing stair jumps x 20 for the step-ups, and subbing man-makers with 10# DBs and mountain climbers for the chin-ups.

 

I'm starting t really like those mountain climbers....I feel like each time I do a set I'm able to lift myself up higher off of the ground, and that is quite fun!

 

The only part of my challenge that I am struggling with is my life quest (grad school)...speaking of which, back to studying now for me. Happy December, y'all.

Skull crushers on bench -  10# DB

 

 

 

 

Anyway, 

Help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure

Nothing ever lasts forever....

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Holy cow, I've got to get to sleep earlier tonight. Last night was not bad in terms of bedtime - lights out was 9:50, lights on 6:00. But I had the craziest, most vivid nightmares I've had in a long time, for what felt like ALL NIGHT LONG. I kept telling myself, you're dreaming, it's just a nightmare, but it was like I couldn't get myself  to wake up and I started freaking out, like, what if this isn't a nightmare and I'm actually losing my mind? I finally woke up from all of  that but it was not a very restful night. I worked out today but I was yawning almost throughout...so hopefully lights out by 9:30 tonight.

Help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure

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Well, damn. I went to do my body fat assessment with my trainer tonight and the little electrical reader we've been using said 26.5%---only 0.2% down from the last reading about 1 month ago. My trainer said that once your body fat gets down to around 25 or 26%, the reader becomes a lot less accurate, and that we should do my measurements. I didn't really want to do that tonight, because I didn't want to take the time away from my workout. Maybe on Thursday.

 

Tonight's workout was something my trainer calls The 50...not the Filthy 50 (madness that way lies), but similar in that you do 50 reps of each exercise before going on to the next one:

50 tire jumps

50 pushups - I did the first 20 with knees off of the floor, that's the most I've ever done in a row! Then I went to my knees for the remaining 50

50 TRX bicep curls

50 up-downs (just like a Burpee without the pushup)

50 situps (I did these on the stability ball in 2 sets of 25)

50 lunges

50 KB swings - 20# KB

 

Sleep last night was better than the previous night...lights out 9:35, lights on 6:00. Some odd dreams but nothing like the fucked up nightmares of the previous night, thank goodness. 

 

Of course I'm bummed about the body fat thing...but I'm eating the best I can and I know I'm getting stronger, since I can do more and more pushups and my weights are getting heavier. So, things are OK.

Help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure

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It's time to up the sleep ante. The past couple of nights I have been *technically* meeting my sleep goal of 8 hours: lights out shortly before 10, lights on at 6, but based on how tired I am during the day, especially the afternoons, that's not really going to cut it. So I think my goal should be at least 10.5 hours between lights out and lights on. Also need to work on actually closing my eyes and going to sleep once lights are out, instead of lying in bed and thinking about random crap for at least a half hour.

Help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure

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I haven't posted in a week! Mostly due to Internet problems: my cat chewed  through the power cable to my router, thankfully without electrocuting herself. BUT, I called to get a new cable and was told that the old router was "out of date" and it was time to get a new router. I just got the new one set up tonight. They claim it's 3 times faster than my previous one. So far I haven't noticed *that* much of a difference but it's only been 10 minutes or so.

 

So I have been meeting my goal of working out 4 days a week. I've only worked out twice this week, so I'll need to work out tomorrow and Sunday, and then I'm working out with my trainer on Monday. That's OK, though---my trainer was telling me he works out for an hour and a half, every day that he's at the gym, which is 5 days a week. He works like 12-15 hours a day--that kid barely ever sees the sunlight during the week. 

 

Sleep: Still struggling. Some nights I get in my 8.5 hours between lights out and lights on, other nights it's more like 7.5. I don't usually go below 7.5, so I guess that's OK, but still not where I want to be.

 

Eating: Fairly solid so far, despite the onslaught of the Christmas eating season. I had a chocolate chip cookie on Sunday. Tuesday I was ver proud of myself---we had a potluck at work with an entire friggin' table of desserts and I didn't have one. Yesterday was the annual luncheon my hospital gives us, and I did let myself have a cupcake. So, that's 2 sweets in the space of 5 days. I have another potluck coming up on Sunday and I'm going to try to hold out on the sweets...although I have been thinking about just doing the 80/20 thing. 

 

Thinking of sneaking up to Eldora for some snowshoeing around Christmastime...after some severely cold weather, the temps are back to being pretty decent and I want to get outside and see the trees and the beautiful Colorado winter sky.

 

Life quest: I am sooooo close to the end of the semester, I can taste it. I have one more final exam due online this weekend and that's IT until after MLK Day in January. On Wednesday night I had to give a group presentation....I was up there talking for something like 20 minutes---I'm not sure I've ever had to give a presentation that long before. It went OK; the professor asked us some hard questions that we couldn't answer, but that  happened t o all of the groups. I definitely could have done better on that project. My next challenge is going to be to re-commit to school the way I've committed to my workouts, while not slacking off on my workouts, and still eating clean.

if only studying could give an endorphin rush like deadlifts, I'd be all over it. 

Help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure

Nothing ever lasts forever....

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LIFE QUEST ACCOMPLISHED!!!! I passed both classes...B- in both. Again, this is considerably down from the 3.9 I had prior to this semester, but considering that I was more or less convinced I was going to flunk for most of the past 3 months, this is AWESOME! 

 

I just needed to really prioritize studying. This past weekend, my sister asked me to babysit...I always say Yes when she asks, because I love spending time with my nephews and niece, and because I like helping my sis and brother-in-law out. But this time I knew I had to say no to give myself time to study for my final exam, and so I did say no. 

 

Gods be praised!

Now, off to the gym!

Help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure

Nothing ever lasts forever....

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