US Wellness

Monday, August 27, 2012

Blog Name Change

8/27/12: I actually started making this post last week and forgot to finish it.  So the first part is from last week and then a little from today. 

Paleo Update:

I was *very* well-behaved last week with food until Saturday when I knew I was going to be in a carb-fest situation.  After having pizza on Saturday night there was about a 16 hour period following that where I was "off the wagon."  Sunday morning we went to Wildberry and I had eggs benedict and then in the afternoon I had a piece of cheesecake.  By dinner I was feeling crappy and I decided it was time to go back on.  Weekend weight: 140.8 lbs.

Kickboxing Update:

I've been doing this for about 4 weeks now - just one night a week. I may move to 2 nights a week shortly, but I always feel that my legs are still sore from kicking or being kicked from Monday to Wednesday so I usually skip it.  I think that overall, I'm doing okay, but I get frustrated with myself really quickly.   

Thursday night I did class again.  I feel like things are going somewhat better, but sometimes when I punch my wrists hurt.  Not badly, but just annoyingly. here's some completely unexpected news.  As you read up there I was 140.8 last weekend.  I weighed myself this morning and I was 136.6!  What?!  How did that happen?!  I have no idea! According to my math that makes me about 17 lbs lighter than January 1.  I'll probably try to do pics/measurements again.  Also, I think I'll stick with kickboxing for a little bit and then return to Crossfit asap. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Vitamins and Lab Meat (<-- Yuck)

Because of some of my recent reading I've begun wondering if I'm vitamin deficient.  I have definitely struggled with my vegetable intake even though its improved.  While we were at Sam's Club on Saturday I went to the vitamin aisle and picked out a Women's Active pack.  Its basically a little cocktail of vitamins to promote girl stuff and energy.  Vitamin Link  I also got a Niacin tab to support my breakdown of carbohydrates.  Obviously, I haven't had enough time to notice any differences as I've only taken it for 2 days, but hopefully I will be able to report on this by the middle of next month or so.  This morning, I also took a fish oil tab because I'm unsure if I'm getting enough Omega 3 fats.  I believe, ideally, it should be a 1:1 ratio of omega 3 vs. 6 (the bad fat).  Don't get me wrong, I think I need to do better with the veggies, but I figure supplementing it can't hurt in the meantime.

I seem to be very tired lately - aka accidental 3 hour naps - even after I'm "rested."  My hair seems to be less brittle, but I can't attribute that to diet at all.  I got a better haircut and I've been treating it with a hair mask often to try to reduce my split ends.  That seems to be working.  If you've expereienced the same thing then you might like:  Moroccan Oil  I got a little kit with sample sizes in it and I gotta say that the hype is true.  Love this stuff and I will definitely get more of it as needed.  Back to the point of this paragraph, I'm hoping that I will see improvement/continued improvement with these things and perhaps with my skin, too.  It is beyond annoying to me that I'm almost 30 and I still deal with breakout issues all. the. time.  :\ 

I was going to talk about some other random things, but this article just caught my eye:  Lab Meat
That is the absolute most disgusting thing I have ever heard of.  Never will you catch me eating meat made in a lab!!! Blah!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Size Confusion

Shopping for pants is torture.  You reach a point, though, when you're swimming in your clothes and belting them just looks ridiculous. The plan was to hit up Woodfield and come home with khakis, cropped black pants, and some dress pants for work. 

We started at Nordstrom Rack which turned out to be a complete waste of time.  It was cluttered and unorganized and there were zero dress pants that I liked.  On to Woodfield, we started at the Gap.  I picked up a colorful pair of skinny jeans, the black crops, and some khakis.  I know my size varies across cuts, but I wasn't prepared for the drama of the dressing room.  I tried on the khakis first, in a 6.  Perfect fit.  I am elated.  Moving on.  I try on the black crops in an 8.  They fit ok, but I'm worried that maybe the legs are a little tight.  I decide to pass.  If I move up to a 10, then I am psychologically damaged and the waist will be huge.  Finally, the coral colored skinnies - which if I must say were freakin' adorable.  I had brought a size 10 with me into the dressing room and they fit, but they looked horrible.  We leave the Gap and even though I ended up with great khakis I feel defeated by the other pants. 

At Express I walk in thinking that I probably won't find anything because they have a 30% off everything sale AND I have coupons.  This if, of course, a recipe for terrible selection or pleats as a new trend for fall.  I was pleasantly surprised to get 2 pair of dress pants that fit perfectly in a 6.  Thank you Express for the redemption that all my hardwork wasn't for nothing! :)  Again though, the red skinnies were a no-go.  I will rock the colorful denim trend this year if it kills me! 

On a side note, what the effffff is going on with the "going out clothes" at Express?!  They are gaudy, too revealing, and just generally ugly.  It looks like the Kardashians puked up their horrid style all over the store.  I am thankful that I am no longer in need of those clothes.  Here is yet another sign that I am drifting farther and farther away from my college days!

Switching topics competely, I downloaded a new book.  I took a little hiatus from reading for pleasure for the past few months when we were moving and unsettled.  Feels good to be really excited about learning new things again.  I haven't been sucked into non-fiction since I finished The Hunger Games series.  Instead, I took an interest in relationship/self-improvement books due to a challenge to check one out by a friend.  I went through 4 of those and now I'm onto something of a similar style. 

Here's to another week of challenging myself to be active every day and to resist eating cheat foods.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Paleo is changing??

 Upcoming Paleo Changes?

I came across this yesterday and I had mixed feelings. It is very difficult to be super strict or do the Whole30.  A more relaxed approach seems nice.  I think that it makes Paleo seem like less of an "extremist" kind of thing and pulls it back into do-able lifestyle.  Other things I agree with:
  • I do agree with the first comment that evolution of this practice is a good thing 
  • Just don't eat processed, shitty foods and if you do then only once in a while   
  • Fruit was encouraged so that makes me happy  :)
  • There probably is something to the comments in the 5th section about paleo for weight loss and paleo for optimum health. I still consider myself in paleo for weight loss and when I get to where I want to be - paleo for optimum health. 
Questions I had:
  • On the other hand, it didn't really tell me where I should be looking to get said carbs.  
  • Also, I think that I wouldn't be where I am now with goals unless I had been very strict for a while. 
  • When do you relax? 
  • Is that for everyone? 
  • How harmful is it to eat strictly for longer? 
  • Who decided this change? 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How do you figure out what works best for you?

You hear it all the time - There is no "one size fits all" way to get into shape.  There are so many variables that can effect this -stress, eating, body predisposition, sleep, and etc.  To make it more complicated, these things affect eveyrone differently.  So, how do you figure out the right combination that works for you? I honestly have no idea and that might be one of the most frustrating things about trying to change my habits.

Beyond the fads and ridiculous "lose 10 lbs and 10 inches in 10 hours by drinking 10 protein shakes in 10 minutes" nonsense, there are tons of seemingly legitmate ways to get into shape.  Every so often Yahoo! runs an article that sums up this dilema into a bottom line of: eat less calories than you expend.  Mathmatically and biologically, that is bound to create some change, right?  I dont know about everyone, but being in a diet/exercise plan like that makes me crazy.  It makes me irritable.  Have you ever tried to eat less than 1,200 calories per day?  OMG, its annoying and I get so jealous of non-dieters and their food.  Then, let's say you cheat and you eat something worth 200 calories.  You head off to your globo-gym and you have to be on the freakin' eliptical for three hours straight just to burn off the cheat, let alone make a dent in your other daily caloric intake.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.  I feel like this plan breeds hungry, work-out crazed lunatics.  I've been there.  When I get really into it, that's when I start to play this game with myself about just how few calories can I eat in a day? (READ: I become psychotic.) Clearly, this is not sustainable for me nor anyone else really. 

Moving on - so what SHOULD you do for exercise?  Stick with one thing? Mix it up? Machines? Aerobics? Weights only? Weights and cardio? Cardio? Crossfit? Yoga? Zumba? Pilates? Yozumbalates? <-- No one steal this idea.  I may be on to something here! ;)  I guess what you choose depends on how you want to look?  I don't think any exercise (in moderation) can really be bad for you, but you can't expect muscles if you're only doing cardio.  You wont necessarily burn all of your fat if you're lifting weights.  You want to make sure you're doing something fun so maybe you want to throw in dancing or pilates?  For me, I think the best combination (arrived at through much trial and error...mostly error) is Crossfit and weights.  Ask anyone - I wasn't sold on weights AT ALL prior to last Christmas.  However, they 100% made the biggest change to my body I've ever seen. (and quickly)  I really miss lifting weights and I hope that soooon I will be back at a CF I like and I can resume them.  I think intense cardio (aka kickboxing or CF) will be my key to making the rest of the changes I would like to happen.  I suppose you also have to do what you're motivated to do or perhaps not if its not giving you the body you want?

As much as I have read and experienced I still don't think I have this figured out.  I ran onto an article yesterday about residual fat being attributed to eating fructose.  I, of course, curse this article because I like to eat fruit.  Cavemen had fruit...that's not exactly fair now is it?  Fruit might not affect some people, but it could be my hang up.  This food peice continues to stump me.  What is acceptable to my body and what isn't?  I 100% think that gluten is not a friend, but dairy? I'm still undecided.  Carbs are a "frenemy."  They seem ok and harmless, but then they take up permanent residence on and around my butt. 

Back to my orignial do you know what works?  I guess trial and error, educating yourself, and trying to control the other variables in your life that might be impeding your progress.  As for me, I think I've made progress, but it will be an ongoing experiment to determine the best approach.  I guess I just have to become okay with that!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Post Vacation Update

Hey blog fans its been a busy few days since I updated last.  I do have some cool things to share with you, though! 

  • I started kickboxing.  I was complaining to Mark about not really working hard in a workout (especially with Zumba) and that I was missing some intense cardio.  As I'm sure I mentioned in previous posts, I've lost around 15 lbs and I've been able to maintain that with just a little bit of flux.  (Whoo freakin' hoo!)  I know that I've lost muscle since I quit OLY lifting temporarily, but I'm sure I can get that back quickly.  My only real complain is that I'm still packing a little layer of fat on my hips and thighs and I. want. it. gone.  I think for now, without Crossfit, blasting it with cardio is the way to go.  Enter kickboxing.  Mark does this weekly and I've never really been very interested.  He mentioned me trying it and I actually liked it.  It was tough and a definite workout, but its fun.  I've been twice now and Mark has only sustained one injury from me so far. ;) 
  • Mark and I took an impromptu vacation to Savannah, Ga and Hilton Head, SC, over the last weekend.  Oddly enough, it was my first time being in the Atlantic Ocean.  The beach at Tybee Island was relaxing and I got to shop at a really a huge outlet mall. Overall, I think a weekend away was much needed and I'm glad Mark set up the trip for us!
  • I weighed myself last night and I was 142.8 - which I was VERY happy about.  I've been cheating and eating carbs left and right.  I had 2 days last week where I stuffed myself with pizza, had airport food, ice cream, crab cakes, and a gyro.  All this and I'm still 142?  I'll take it.  It's back to eating paleo, now.  It just feels better to eat that way, even though crap food tastes good.   
  • On a similiar topic, none of my pants fit.  This is a good thing, however, I hate the thought of having to buy all new pants.  I DREAD shopping for pants.  I have the weirdest body shape.  I'm tall, but I don't have extremely long legs so my inseam is inbetween regular and long.  I'm very skinny around the waist, but I have a bigger butt and thighs so trying to accomodate all of that sucks.  I have an extremely long torso so low waisted jeans are not flattering on me and that's all they make now it seems.  I don't like funny washes or details on jeans.  I just want a plain dark wash.  I have discovered that this is impossible to find!!  Of all brands, I found that Jessica Simpson jeans at Macy's were close to what I needed, but not perfect.  They were only $60 though, so they were sufficient for now.  I am totally open to suggestions. 
  • One of my very best friends is moving back to Chicago.  I cannot wait.  I have been without an old (affectionately old) girlfriend here in the city for a loooooong time.  I miss girl stuff.  Don't get me wrong I like my sports and tomboy stuff, but I need elevated levels of estrogen.