Category Archives: Workout

Ok, I’m back! I hope!

I know, I know, I’ve been a total slacker lately.  Between trips, red eye flights, jetlag and now my newfound insomnia (ugh! Nothing like being sleepy all day then being unable to fall asleep at night), I’ve been a zombie during the day, and to be honest, not very inspired to write.  

Yes, a week ago I was doing this…

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And now I’m not inspired to write?  What IS WRONG WITH ME?

Today, I finally went back to the gym (still using GAIN Fitness!), and remember how my last workout was hard and it sucked?  Turns out there was a reason for that.  So from now on, instead of hitting the gym for 1 to 1.5 hours 3 times a week, I’m reducing that to 40 minutes, 5 times a week (though I can totally change my mind next week if things start feeling ok again, we’ll see).  No more weight increases for a while either, and totally dropped down the weights today, as things still feel HARD.  But at least I haven’t given up, and when the doctor tells you to take it easy, you listen, right? (So maybe my track record on that listening thing is not that great, but baby steps.)

On the bright side?  Despite feeling like crap and spending most of last week lying on the couch, I actually managed to lose a couple of pounds, and I’m at my lowest weight this year (and let’s face it, after reducing my workout length and intensity, that won’t last long…).  I’m back at tracking my calories at MyFitnessPal as well, mostly to make sure I eat healthy and eat enough.  All those trips in June got me eating a lot of crappy food, and I have a month to catch up eating healthier food before our R&R trip to the US, where you know it won’t be pretty.

But yep, I’m back!  Got lots of trips to blog about (bumming at a resort in Malaysia, elephant riding pictures to share, tiger petting pictures to drool over, snorkeling in the beautiful waters of the Philippines…).  And have I mentioned how Chiang Mai is one of my favorite places in Asia?  It was great to be back!  Here’s hoping it’s not the last time!

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Filed under Asia, Pictures, Weightlifting, Workout

Back to Working Out…

And it’s not pretty!

I took a little break due to getting surprised by the flu, with fever and horrible chest cough, then after a week off because of that, last week I was able to get one workout in, and it wasn’t too bad, I just scraped the cardio (the whole jumping around thing) in between sets, but that was mostly due to time constraints.

But then, my hostess duties took priority, and I flew to Coron with Tracy, with no gym in sight, got back and we were busy busy busy, out of the house for the better part of the day.

So it was no surprise that when I finally got back to it yesterday, it was HARD.  Since I knew I would have to do two workouts back to back (as I’m flying to Thailand tonight), I took it easy and reduced all sets to only 7 reps so that today my body wouldn’t be too beat up.

The one surprise I had was that the 7 reps were freaking hard, and for some things (like deadlifts, jump squats and lunges), I actually had to grossly reduce the weight even with the lower number of reps.  Talk about humbling, and to be honest, frustrating as hell.

Can one really lose all progress so quickly?  It’s not like I felt like I was being challenged – I make sure I feel challenged each time I workout, since that’s the point – is that it really felt too hard, as if I should reduce the weight even more, as if it had been months since I lifted any weight at all.

Today, it wasn’t any better.  I upped the reps to 10 again, since I won’t be back until Tuesday, so dealing with soreness in the meantime will be ok, but I still had to keep the weights lower.  Even my grip was failing, despite using much lower weight.  It’s not just the muscles that got weak, the grip too?  Ugh.

If I hadn’t just beat the flu, I’d be thinking I was coming down with something (you know that overall weakness of your body when you are about to get sick? That’s what it felt like).

Here’s hoping for making a bit of progress next week.  And next time I have a guest over, I HAVE to fit those workouts in, even if it means waking up super early to get them done or dragging them down to the gym with me.

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Filed under Weightlifting, Workout

So what AM I doing wrong?

I mentioned yesterday how my weight, measurements and all that good stuff have been stuck for the last couple of months, and here I am still 16lbs above what I was when I crossed the finish line of those marathons (which were so long ago, that I’m starting to doubt that I ever actually ran that far…).

I’m not dumb, and I know there are two culprits for not losing more weight:

1) I’ve been really really relaxed about keeping track of my calories on the MyFitnessPal app

I’ve been eating healthy at home, keeping track of my portions as I did when I was inputting everything in and all that good stuff, but when I do go out to eat, I don’t always make the right choice.  And counting calories gets really really boring really really fast, specially on trips (where all bets are off, but I do like it that way:  I go to another country to experience the culture, and that includes the food, but I usually walk around enough to somewhat compensate for the damage). 

Let’s face it, it’s not the trips that are making me fat, it’s getting lazy about writing every single thing down I eat to make sure I’m not eating too many calories (or most importantly, when I eat out, because at home I’m actually pretty good about the whole thing, since, you know, I have healthy meals cooked for me, and I don’t have to lift a finger and all that…).

At least I’m not gaining, something I wish I could have said last year…

2) Lack of cardio.

Since leaving Muay Thai, I haven’t been getting any cardio in.  At all.  And I know people lose weight all over the world by doing weights only, but obviously that doesn’t work for me.  What good is it that my muscles have amazing definition if I have a thick layer of fat covering them up and no one can’t tell?  I may be healthier and stronger, but damn it, I want to look good too!  (And anyone that says otherwise, is lying.)

So instead of going from a leg to an arm workout, skipping rest completely, as I was doing, I now have been taking 30 second rests in between each set; except instead of resting, I’ve been jumping. Literally.  It looks totally awkward to jump around without a jump rope, but I usually have the gym to myself, so why do I care? I jump slowly, I jump fast, I jump twisting my legs around, I jump forward and back, I crisscross my legs, whatever, I keep changing it each time. 

(And FYI, Footloose came up on my playlist, and oh, man, I forgot how freaking perfect that is for things like jumping!  Seriously, play it, and don’t tell me it doesn’t make you want to jump around too?  Or am I just outdating myself?  Can I call it a classic and leave it at that?)

So anyway, jumping for 30 seconds at a time might seem like nothing, but I’m getting at least a good 12-15 minutes of pure jumping when it’s all said and done. Plus, it keeps my heart rate up when I do my weights.

And because I haven’t forgotten what brought me to this blog in the first place, now after the gym I’ve started doing this:

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I know, I know, I know.

Half a mile is nothing.

NOTHING.

But it’s still better than nothing, no? And with all my injuries this year (stupid foot, stupid hip!), I want to take it very very very slow.  Half a mile for a couple of weeks, 3 times a week, then increase it by a quarter of a mile, and so on.  I’m actually seriously considering capping it all at 3 miles for my time in Manila…  It looks like I rather jump out of the window than do more than that on the treadmill, and I have to stop beating myself up about it.  I can pick up long-distance running again when I get back to DC in a year (OMG, a year from now! Yay!).

But, take notice that my slow-ass can run slightly faster when it’s only going for a half a mile (and that’s after killing myself at the gym, thankyouverymuch).  So all of this might actually help me get a little faster, since I’ll be increasing my distance very very veeeery slowly.  And I’m also using the Five Fingers in the meantime since it looks like I’m finally doing low mileage enough to get my feet used to it (and since my feet are troublesome, I think it’s worth giving it a try).

Wish me luck.  And next time you’re struggling to get those double digits mileage in, remember the chick over this side of the world, who is struggling to get a lame half a mile in.  And feel instantly better about yourself!  (I mean, we have to look at the good side about this, right?  And if it is I make other people feel like rockstars by comparison, so be it!)

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Filed under Diet, Treadmill Run, Weightlifting, Workout

Weight Loss Plateau

I bet if you’ve been looking at my recent pictures, I’m not telling you anything new – anyone can see I haven’t lost any weight, since I last wrote about it in March. 

And yet, I’ve been hitting the gym consistently, 3 times a week.  Even though I stopped going to Muay Thai a month and a half ago, I’m still dropping a good 1 to 1.5 hour sweat on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, moving things around so I still get the three workouts in, even if I go on a trip.

The weightlifting?  It’s making me strong!  I can see how much I’m improving from week to week (I can now deadlift holding 35lb dumbbells on each hand, for 4 sets of 12 reps,  and am thinking of increasing it if my grip can hold it – which for me is a big deal).  I can also see how my calves are getting their muscle tone back and how things feel tighter to the touch, even if outwards, they are still (very) jiggly.

But the weight?  Same.  Stuck.  No change.  “Oh, but it could be measurements?” you say?  Nope.  Stuck there too.  My fat legs are just as fat as they were 3 months ago.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s the picture I took back in March…

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Here’s the one taken after yesterday’s workout, I even put the same shirt on for proper comparison (though I can tell the gray shorts are not doing me any favors…).

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On the side view, you can *kinda* tell that maybe my legs are in better shape, and maybe my it-looks-like-I’m-constantly-3-months-pregnant-stomach-pooch is slightly diminished.  (My hips are actually looking wider, but can I blame that on the gray vs black shorts, pretty please?  The measurements have not changed.  Plus, it’s that time of the month and all.)

So what I’m doing to change and actually see some change?  I’ll talk about it tomorrow.  (No worries, I won’t be breaking any grounds with amazing ideas or anything.)

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Filed under Diet, Weightlifting, Workout