Category Archives: check in

November is Here!

Ok, it’s a week old.  This week has been so crazy that I just realized I hadn’t posted about starting INSANITY yet!  Or my weigh in from Monday.  Or anything else I’m supposed to do.  I have been 100% on track…just really all over the place.  My sister

So I’m a few days in – and of course I’m loving it so far.  This kind of workout – athletic drills sweat dripping so much that I can’t see, ect is one I really enjoy sometimes.  Especially in the mornings.  Sometimes with Turbo Fire my brain is not really awake at 5:30 am and I would get so confused about the choreography even though I knew it.  Which makes very little sense because at heart I have all the rhythm.  But anyway, this is easier – do this one move until I say do this other move.  Ok.  I can do that.  And I can push hard because I don’t think, I just do.  I just finished week 1 today.  Followed the schedule as is, no adjustments, no additions.  Have that bad boy posted on my wall and I check off the box when I’m done.

Insanity is so weird.  Like how jumping jacks in the warm up are crazy hard but the cross jacks later are easy (easy in comparison to how the jumping jacks feel, not easy in comparison to laying on my floor like I do after the workout).  They are effectively the same motion, with a very very small difference.  I sometimes wonder if I just really need the long warmup/stretch before I can really do that move effectively?  Or has my soul been worn down so much that hard doesn’t exist?  I don’t know…but I will keep working at it.  For now I do what I can do for that warm up interval and if I really can’t do any more I do the modified ones with as much jump as I can.  In general if I need a break, which I do sometimes, I first try to downgrade the move (so maybe a power jump becomes a squat for a break until I catch my breath and get back into jumping).  Next step is to gulp some water and walk around my basement until I can get back into it.  Some moves don’t really have a good downgraded move, but most do.  I just try to move as much as I can in general.  I also saw improvements in my fit test!  I will have to do another post with my changes from the summer 🙂

Diet wise, still doing the same thing.  I have had meat – when the man was in town we went out and had meat.  I still don’t cook it at home, but I do occasionally indulge when on the town.  I haven’t noticed any stomach issues, even with the first meal.  But I still think I enjoy vegetarian meals 95% of the time.

Weight – I know you have been waiting 🙂  My signal here is so busted, so I can’t add the pic (will add later) but I am 245.4 as of Monday 🙂  Very happy with this of course.  Of bigger news, pretty much all of my clothes are too big, a lot of my XL tops that I was working to get back into are starting to be too big.  My pants are all falling off except the 18W and some of the smaller cut 20s.  In general, I need about $200 to go shopping and buy all new pants, a few new tops, and a sweater or two.  Oh I’m good with a sale, I can make $200 go very very far 🙂  I’m also apparently only 9 or so lbs away from just being obese (as opposed to severely obese) on the body mass index.  I know this index is not exactly the best for everyone and I tend to carry mad amounts of muscle so I don’t always look as big as my weight would indicate.  But it is nice to know that I’m not gonna be severe anymore, ha!

Signing off for now.  I hope you all went out and voted today 🙂  It’s a big responsibility to elect the leaders of our country, so research your candidates and your referendums/amendments/proposals and let your voice be heard 🙂

Also a reminder – for daily pics and lots of details on upcoming challenges.  I’m putting together a fighter fit challenge for January 2013.  Main program is Les Mills Combat, but any program is welcome!  The goal is to plan now for a commitment in January so you are already good to go, resolution already started.  And if you want to join me through the holidays on any program, please shoot me an email at healthyengineer@ (new email!) and let’s discuss.  Have questions?  that works too 🙂 I really want to help people get through the holidays losing weight and maintaining health – so let’s goooooooo!

Back to the (new) Normal

Okay seriously ya’ll…it is SO nice to not have to cook everyday like we were on the reset.  Like SO awesome.  It’s also nice to be able to not have a sense of dread when I go out to eat.  Today I went out with my fellow bridesmaids for my girl T’s wedding and it was very easy to eat vegetarian.  Yep I’m still doing that.  One of my friends commented how weird it was to hear me to say I’m eating vegetarian and not missing meat because I’ve always been a meat evangelist.  I told her that I’m still getting used to that myself.  But I am finding it very easy still.  I told her I’m not a committed vegetarian, so don’t flip out when she sees me with a burger 🙂

Other than not having meat, the other reset habit I have maintained is drinking a LOT of water (still about half my bodyweight in ounces) and not snacking.  After years of believing that I had to eat 5-6 small meals a day I’m enjoying eating just 3 regular meals.  It’s just easier  – both for travel and for planning – than the small meals.  It’s also cheaper and I’m finding the budget much easier to stick with, even though I’m shopping at Whole Paycheck more now.  Breakfasts I’m sticking with shakeology for now with misc frozen fruit and almond milk for now.  Although I do have a plan to have some pumpkin oatmeal since it’s getting chilly and a smoothie isn’t going to be my first desire when it gets below 60.  Lunches and dinners have been a variety of things.  Now that I’m back home from NC I did a meal plan for the week again that includes both vegan and vegetarian meals and portions large enough for leftovers (can you tell I love me a good leftover???).  As I’m new to doing my own plant based meal plan and am honestly not sure how big my servings will need to be, I picked up a few Amy’s frozen vegetarian meals and a variety of pre-made soups in boxes and cans.  I figure these are my new backups.  I threw away a lot of old canned foods in my pantry and organized my spices and vinegars and oils and grains and nuts and seeds.  The (new) normal around here is so different that it really took me a few hours to get my kitchen ready and organized so I could do better with planning.  I actually now have a list printed out of all of the spices/oils/vinegars so I won’t buy the same stuff over and over again (like I did during the reset, oops).

And the new habit I’m bringing back – it’s exercise baby!!  Since the reset was over (okay maybe including the last day of the reset) I’ve exercised regularly again.  I love it.  I have lots of energy and feel like I’m powering through them.  I have followed the reset advice and not going full out.  Since I don’t trust myself to really follow this advice, I’m making sure I do by planning exercise that isn’t too intense.  Like the elliptical at the hotel or playing Dance Central at home.  I haven’t done anything that I know is one of my intense hard workouts yet intentionally.  Not just because of the reset guidelines, but also because I’m scared of hurting my knees.  I don’t have the best knees and I’m concerned that with 3 solid weeks off jumping right into my old routine will leave me broken.  So far I’ve definitely felt stiffness in my knees but no pain, so I know I’m doing the right thing.  I’m not sure what I want to do first as far as stepping up intensity, but it may be a more gym based strength training program for a few weeks to build up my legs a little more before jumping back into the interval training I love so much.  I will tell you it’s really nice working out without the 20 lbs I had on me a week ago.  I feel amazing right now because last time I worked out I didn’t feel this light.

Anyway, I’ll be back tomorrow with my menu for the week and possibly a recipe to discuss.  I’m diving into vegetarian cooking with something that isn’t just roasting veggies!

Resting and 6 Weeks In!

I forgot to post my check in!  I didn’t have one last week because I was on travel for work.  But here we are halfway through my nutrition program.  I’ll be honest – traveling sucks for weight loss and consistency.  Every time I go on travel and I come back home I feel out of control with eating and eating right.  It’s really hard for me to just jump right back on track and this week with the two work trips, little to no fresh food in the house, and general exhaustion.  The general exhaustion is a theme here.  I think I’m too much like my mom in that I really don’t take breaks and vacations and I’m always “on” all the time.  I haven’t taken a proper vacation (meaning more than 3 days in a row out of the office for only relaxation purposes) in literally a year.  Additionally, I’ve spent a lot of my time running through airports (according to my tripit account I’ve been away from home on 15 different trips already this year) and I think that plays into the stress and lack of rest.  I think I’m just so run down that the mental energy tank I need to work out and focus on diet and work and be a responsible adult is about empty.  Looking at everything now, I think that same thing happened last year and contributed to the breakdown I had with diet and exercise.  I was just exhausted and out of the strength to do all that stuff.  Lesson learned.  I am definitely going to think about this because I see the breakdown coming.

Now for the check in.  It wasn’t as good with so much travel and these breakdowns.  I was the same weight.  But I did lose .1% body fat, so that’s good.  Means I’m maintaining and not losing muscle.  I also had a HUGE drop in my stomach measurement – 3 inches.  I’m sure that comes from being active, even though I wasn’t eating as well.  And also that is why I probably stayed the same instead of gaining weight.  This week, I took some time off from exercise kind of accidentally.  I was supposed to meet with the trainer Monday and Wednesday in the evening and it really threw me for a loop.  I cannot do evenings anymore like that, I was exhausted every night and had lots of trouble sleeping and lots trouble waking up.  Noted.  Now I’m switching back to mornings this weekend, which is odd because I’m going on vacation anyway, but I’m hoping to stay active in the morning while I’m gone.  I’m really ready to get back to my mornings because I can tell the difference and tell why I wasn’t working out as consistently when I was doing evenings (I just switched to mornings in January of this year).  If work was stressful and awfully annoying (which this week has been every.  single.  day.) I had zero energy, desire, and willpower to do anything.  And I never got into it….the whole thing was just bad.  So I ended up with a bit of down time this week because I was so exhausted.  I am ready to hit it hard and get back to the schedule that works for me tomorrow.

4 Weeks In!

Check in Time!!!!

Weight – down another 2 lbs and passed the 10 lb mark!
BF% – up .3%. Now this doesn’t mean I gained any fat…keep reading
Lean Mass – DOWN 2 lbs and Fat Mass all stayed about the same

See, this is what happened this week.  I lost 2 lbs, but the machine read it as coming from muscle mass.  So because of that, my body fat went up.  The goal is always to lose fat and not muscle, but the bottom line is that if you have a lot of weight to lose like I do, you will lose some muscle and a lot of fat.  But the other issue is that I do my body fat in the evenings so the readings may also slide around because I’m eating all day and exercising or not exercising the morning of my readings.  All of that impacts my numbers.  But the big thing – I’m losing weight and I’m definitely losing inches.  Some of my pants are starting to look like MC Hammer is my stylist.  Not cool.  I still have some smaller sizes that fit weird because my bum is still the biggest part of my body and hindering my drop down in pants sizes.  So it will take a little longer to get down in pants.  But my shirts are definitely about to go down a size.  That is definitely happy dance time.  I’ve been at this a month and I’m incredibly pleased with all of it.

Had my first training session tonight.  Oh my lord.  Homebody gave me a great workout/assessment and I’m already sore in the abs and the thighs.  I did a LOT of squats and lunges.  Weighted jumping jacks.  Planks.  Some new evil ab torture exercise called ballet drops.  I was sweating to a point where I just took my glasses off because they weren’t staying on.  It was intense.  And I loved it.  I have 3 sessions left (everyone got one free one, so I have 4 total).  I am excited to get them in.  I wish I could work with this guy long term, but budget wise, I’m not sure I want/can/should spend the money.  Maybe every few months buy a few to get myself a new outlook on life?  We will see…but I’m looking forward to getting one in next Wednesday.

3 Weeks In

Yesterday was my 3 week check in at Max Muscle.  How did I do?

Stats as compared to week 2 check in:
Weight: -5 lbs (yeah…I don’t know.  but I also don’t care and am happy!)
Body Fat: 41.1% (down .8%)
Excess Fat lbs: -4 lbs
Lean Weight: -1 lb

I don’t have all of my inches recorded from my sheet since she didn’t send me the update yet.  But I did lose basically everywhere except my forearm and my hips.  Those stubborn hips!  I lost over an inch on my thigh and I could tell before she even measured.  The last few days I have been feeling like my thighs look better, so it was interesting to see the tape confirm.

Leslie was really happy with my progress so far (duh, right?) and I don’t think she is going to update anything as far as the plan and what I’m eating.  I think it’s interesting that she thinks I’m hungry and I always tell her no.  I’m not hungry.  I actually struggle sometimes to eat all the food on the plan because I’m so unhungry.  I think it’s because most people assume that being big = eating TONs of food.  I didn’t eat tons of food.  I’m not saying I didn’t overeat, because I did have larger than necessary portions.  But every meal wasn’t a whole pizza or a snack of a box of doughnuts or a whole this or entire that.  90% of the time, I just ate the wrong stuff.  Like a Panera Sandwich and soup and cookie isn’t a ton of food.  But it still can be over 1000 calories in one sitting.  So food wise, I’m eating much much more at one time than I was before.  Also things like lettuce and fresh vegetables and oatmeal fill you up FAST.  Yes, I can probably eat half a box of captain crunch in one sitting with milk.  But I cannot eat that equal volume in oatmeal at all.  I spend less in groceries eating clean because of this and actually find it MUCH easier to stick to the budget.  I imagine once I finish stocking my spice rack and some other clean eating basics, I will be under easily.

Anyway, 3 weeks in, I’m down 8 lbs and a whole lot of inches…who can complain!  Still working on doing better, being cleaner, and being more active.  But I’m happy with these steps I’m taking and the results I’m seeing!

2 Weeks In

Tuesday night I had my 2 week check in with Max Muscle and my nutrition plan.  Want to see how I did with 2 weeks of eating right?

Weight: -3 lbs
Body Fat: -.9%
Fat Mass Lost: -3.78 lbs
Lean Mass Gained: +.78 lbs
Chest: +1 in
Waist: -.5 in
R Bicep: -.25 in
Hips: -.5 in
R Thigh: -1.75 in

Note that initial measurements were in the morning wearing sweats and now I check in at night after work and eating 4 meals of my 6 wearing my usual layers on top and fitted thicker leggings on the bottom.  So the measurements are hard to read into a lot considering I know my clothing was very different.  I’m going to consistently wear the work clothing from here on out so that should help.  I’m most excited about the almost 4 lbs of fat that I’ve lost.  That’s more important than the 3 lbs on the scale because that means that I’m actually losing fat – not just water weight and muscle mass.

I’m pretty pleased with this info and it was exactly what I needed after a rough day.  I was really down on Tuesday and seeing that my hard work is making a difference really helped me perk up and have the motivation to keep it moving.  My nutrition coach made some tweaks to my program – dropping the overall calories a bit (about 200) and bumping up my protein for a few meals and down on the carbs.  I’m happy about those tweaks because I do struggle to eat all my food sometimes.  I also get BREAD for lunch – hello sandwich 🙂  I still have sweet potatoes that I made before I got this tweak so I’ll probably have those this week, then next week I can have a sammy and salad for lunch, nice and a few more options open up for sure.

Okay I’m beat – I just knocked out an Insanity workout (Plyo Cardio Circuit) and now I’m going to get ready for work.  I have a meeting up north and I’ll have possibly the afternoon to work at home meaning I can finally knock my laundry out while reviewing some documents and answering emails.  Multi-tasking is my thing 🙂


Happy July!!

I’m excited for the half of the year mark because I gotta be honest – 2011 has been a rough one.  My life is about 180 degrees different than I thought it would be this time last year and I’m hoping to really turn it around by doing the best for ME for the rest of the year.  I also got invited to be in a wedding next year – so that is hella motivation to focus on myself if nothing else is.

I decided to go talk to a nutritionist and try to get a better plan for myself and food.  I’m struggling pretty hard with trying to stay on track and stay with the program and I think this will be good.  This place I would do a check in with weight and body fat so definitely encourages me to stay on track so my check ins are showing the right trend.  I should be getting my plan later today or tomorrow and I’m pretty amped about it.  The nutritionist was super nice, asked lots of questions about why I’m struggling and what my hopes were for the program.  Whenever I figure I will probably start on Tuesday with the plan unless I get the plan early enough today that I can hit the grocery store and prep for lunch tomorrow.

I also am considering joining a gym again.  She was all about my cardio but really thinks I should push the weights again.  I used to lift heavy and I have slowly this year switched from the more traditional heavy lifting thinking that cardio would be better for weight loss.  I’m willing to go back to it – I actually really loved lifting heavy!  I was actually really happy to hear that she thinks the heavy lifting for my body type will be beneficial and give me great results along with the nutrition program (she is also a trainer).  So I’m thinking of joining a gym.  There is a gym near me with really great hours and a really great price (half of what I was paying at the old gym) that is just opening, so I may go check that out.  I really am going to dedicate myself the next 6 months to get the body I want by 2013.

I’m still doing really well with my list I posted of little steps.  The walking has been limited just because it’s been about 100 degrees the last few days and it’s just too hot out to walk.  I have tried in the AM to get it in but even then, it’s been almost 90 in the morning!  Crazy!  But either way I’m doing well with the other items so I’m happy.  When the weather gets more reasonable I’ll be outside again and moving my body.

California Love

Still out in the middle of nowhere California working.  It’s a pretty heavy labor assignment I have out here – I’m standing up pretty much all day doing inventory.  Not the glamorous part of my job for sure – but something that has to get done.  It’s about 100+ every day here, so I’m pretty hot and tired by the time we are done.  I haven’t worked out because of it yet and that’s very annoying – but I’m not sure I can do anything about it.  We will see how today goes and if I’m not so tired now that my body has had one day of this work.

Struggling with meals out here.  The guys I’m with will eat pretty much anything and have a strong affinity for Jack in the Box for every meal.  Not exactly my cup of tea, but I have no rental this assignment, so I’m pretty  much stuck.  Just trying to make the best choices and chugging LOTS of water because of the weather and salt content of the food.  I really hate not having a car – it ruins my ability to really do what I need to do.  Grocery shop for healthy foods, eat at better restaurant choices, ect.  I’ll have one our next inventory trip, already decided that!

Other than that, just trying to do what I need to do.  I read a really inspiring blog post from a friend of a friend that put some things back in perspective for me.  It’s not a diet plan any different than what I’m trying to do right now – eat clean and move my butt.  It was just written in a really really straightforward get your shit together and do what you know you are supposed to do kind of way.  And I needed that after these last few travel days that have made me feel that I’m falling off track.  She broke it down in a numbered list and I’m thinking of tackling 2 of them a week or every 2 weeks or something.  It was a good breakdown of exactly what I have had in my head to do but as someone who has actually done it – it was written much less cluttered than how my head has been trying to process it.  Clarity from someone who has been there done that I guess.  I’m still milling over the list and how to go about doing it because it is good sound advice in a clear action plan kind of way and maybe I’ll post more about that later this week after I process it fully.

Hump Day

Today was a crazy work day, but I packed my giant refrigerator on my shoulder with delicious healthy food and stayed on track.  Adding back fruit carbs was a perfect decision.  I don’t get the weak and woozy feeling I had on Monday anymore and I feel pretty good in general.  I obviously struggle with eating clean like everyone does and there was a birthday today.  I was brought a cupcake by the birthday girl.  Homemade.  Ugh.  I caved and had one and it was delicious.  Having sweets like that only every once in a while sure make me appreciate them a lot more than I did before.  According to my scale I’m heading down the numbers nicely this week.  After a few weeks of  overindulgence, being on track is showing me very rapid results, lol.

Exercise wise, I’m still on the cardio only assignment I put myself on this week.  I’m itching to bodyrock, but my bicep is still hurting so it’s a no-go.  It is feeling much better and I have more mobility without pain today than I’ve had since I hurt it Sunday (grass cutting injury, go figure) so I’m just going to continue with what I’m doing.  I’ve decided to go a full week of no strength training on my upper body to make sure it’s nice and healed when I get back to bodyrocking.  The worst thing you can do is get back on an injury too fast and I’ve done that before.  As much as it sucks to not bodyrock for a week, I know that this time off be the best thing I can do for my body.