Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Unplan Plan

Here is my deal. I like to plan and organize. I, however, sometimes...alot of time have problems with follow through. My current situation is as follows...

This is my pretty workout plan for December. I had mapped out when I would lift what muscle group, when and what type of cross training and walks I would do. Each workout has a specific goal whether to gain strength, endurance, or increase VO2max. Clearly I put some thought into this.

The December plan was to kick off this past Sunday afternoon after my post-church nap. But, yup you knew it was coming, Sunday morning I developed a ridiculous headache which I've been having alot recently. I woke up from a two and half hour nap with a dull pain and knew a workout of any sort was not in the works.

Monday was suppose to be Stair Beast and Yoga (more on this later). My plan was that after my 5:30 client I would step away and the take the 7:30 yoga class. However, I got invited to watch the finale of The Sing Off with some friends I rarely get to see. Plus my 5:30 had been moved to 4:30 so I would have had an extra hour to do nothing so I ditched my workout plans for hang with friends...there went day number 2.

So here is my revised plan...

a weekly to do list. BTW there was a top half to this sheet but it go cute off in the picture. 
You can get this and other printable to do list here!

Obviously nothing is set for a specific day that way if something comes up I have the freedom to not feel guilty that I missed a workout. Also I have a tendency to workout by my whatever mood I'm in. Now if I'm not in the mood to face the Stair Beast I can do a walk instead...or  if I am in the mood to do legs no biggie. Although I will have to think about what I did last. So if I had a hard cardio I need to either rest a day or do my recovery walk. Same for strength training...no working out same muscle group to days in a row.

The thing about squeezing in workouts is that you have to figure out what works best for you. So doing a day-by-day training plan doesn't work for me.Good to figure this out now then in a couple of weeks when my walks switch to runs! Let's see if the Unplan Plan helps me focus and get done what needs to get done.

What's your to-do list style look like?

Till then,

How many trips does it take...

to decorate a Southern Belles apartment?

This is my first Christmas living all by myself! Which means for about a week I've been making trips to Hobby Lobby picking up Christmas decorations. I love that all their stuff is 50% off...all the time? It does beg the question...why not just mark everything down and call it a day? Well their psychology worked on the Belle and suckered me in about three times. Total I think I spent $30 to decorate my bathroom and living room. 

Yesterday was tree trimming day! My dad had my tree up in Rusk and brought it home over Thanksgiving sans the stand. I went out and got a regular tree stand...

meet my evil nemesis.

I first had to screw these screwy things in...which was not east and rather painful. Then I stuck the lowest section in the stand  which was difficult because the lowest layer of branches couldn't unfold and ended up causing the tree to be placed precariously in the stand. Finally after much pain and time, no lie an hour, then it was time to put the second section on. That was I realized I had put the WRONG section in first! After wrestling, once again no lie, with the stupid thing I finally got it detached from the stand and took a much needed lunch break. Eventually I got the tree up, however, I wouldn't look a it wrong...it might topple over, it isn't the sturdiest of trees.

A few of my favs...

My Baby's First. We've had Santa riding a bike since I was a kid. 
I used to take it off the tree and play with it.

These two are newer. I just got the boot one...what can I say I'm a Southern Girl. 
My Spurs one a college friend gave me...its made from a light bulb! Just in time because Christmas came early when the NBA lockout was ended! GO SPURS GO!

And the finish product. I'm missing a star topper and a tree skirt. Trip number 4?

It's def not my best tree and I think it might get replaced next year but it definitively feels like Christmas!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Merry Study Break

Happy Thanksgiving! Yes I know I'm a few days late.

How was yalls Thanksgiving?

Mine was kind of on the quite side this year. One of my step brothers, the loudest of the brood, and his wife are in China for the year so we were missing two.

I wasn't planning on heading home till late Wednesday, after a client, however she needed to leave town earlier than anticipated so I was home by 11:30am. Where I was put right to work raking, my least favorite yard work. We ran some errands and then Melissa, my stepmom, started in on Turkey day prep while dad and I sat around lazily.

The next morning I woke up to this...

homemade, even the crust, Apple Pie that Melissa made!

After sticking I the pumpkin pie, my first ever,  in the oven we started on feast 1 of the day; bacon, eggs, and biscuits while watching the Macy's parade. My favorite part is always the part before the parade actually begins, with all the Broadway shows. Every year I am amazed that the stupid shows they come up with, this year was Spiderman...really? I watched a good part of the parade before I headed to the gym and attacked the Stair Beast. On the way home swung by Walmart and waited in this...

for one item that was forgotten.

About an hour later we were eating. About 30 after that we were on the sofa watching the Cowboys game. To kill some time before the BIG GAME I took the dog for a walk and of course to burn a few extra calories. Which by the way, I didn't eat as great as I had wanted however, I did manage to still lose 2 lbs this week!

Finally it was time for the 97th meeting of the Lone Star Showdown...Texas verses A&M. My mom's side of the family is all Longhorns so it's sort in the blood. My Stepbro and his wife are Aggies...

which they got to watch a few seconds of the game via Skype.

We didn't watch too much of the first half of the game, I knew it wasn't going to be pretty for us. I also knew that if we were going to win it would be because of the 2nd half. While we have struggled with having a QB that can pass the ball, the Ags have struggled to hang on during the 2nd half of the game. Which is exactly what happened. The Ags have up 10 points in the 3rd due to turnovers. They did score with 1:25 left in the game, taking the lead by one point. McCoy managed to pass the ball down the field before he made a huge rush putting us in great field goal range. By this point I was the only one in the house awake so when Tucker made the field goal winning the game my excitement came in the form of a muted happy dance.

It makes me sad that our rivalry is over and that I never got the chance to watch it live. All I have to say is I hope yall have fun in the SEC, good luck against those top 3 teams!

Now I'm about to tackle this...

more on this tomorrow.

Till then,

PS To all my favorite law students HAPPY MERRY STUDY BREAK!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Losers

I'm not to sure what has gotten into me this year but for whatever reason I am SO ready for the holiday season!

I was talking with one of my clients last night as we worked out and I asked her "Ok so what's your plan for Thanksgiving?" While she is on WW and I'm calorie counting we both agreed that our plan was to work our butts off till Turkey Day, eat a reasonably yummy meals, and then right back at on Friday. So here are some tips for a successful "loser" Thanksgiving.

1. Workout! I know super top secret tip. I know the line at super market is super crazy, you are madly cleaning for the in-laws, and you are writing your Black Friday shopping list but make sure and squeeeeeze in a workout. Even if its just a quick 30 minute walk around the block.

2. Figure out how much your Turkey Day meal is going to cost you...calorie or points wise. For my clan not only is dinner a big deal but so is breakfast. We have a tradition...bacon. It's one of two times a year we will eat REAL oink oink bacon...the rest of the years it's gobble gobble bacon. ;) So last night I put into my calorie counter breakfast and most of dinner...how do you put families traditional  "Green Slime" into the tracker? Anywho without Slime I was already 300 calories over for the day. This let's me see that I really need to get my workouts in, make them quality, and to stay within my 1,200 limit till Thanksgiving.

3. It's ok NOT to pig out. I know crazy thought. When I entered my info into my counter most of my servings where 1/2 cup measurements for things like yams and stuffing. Let me tell you as a carb-aholic I love me some Thanksgiving sides so much so that I could skip the Turkey all together. So this year I will be measuring out my servings. Luckily for me, my family won't be too surprised.

4. Make healthy sides. My first Thanksgiving when I was on WW I made my own sides. I made WW versions of stuffing, yams, and pumpkin pie. While I won't be going that extreme this year it is always a good option. There are plenty of lighted version of things...believe your family won't notice the difference.

5. Don't feel guilty about your meal. Ok so maybe the thought of eating over your calorie count makes you a bit anxious, don't stress! It is the holidays, if you have done the work in the gym, stayed within points, didn't pig out too much you should be fine. And if one week of maintaining your weight is what you get then so be it!

Till next time...


Monday, November 21, 2011

Moment of truth

Well I woke up this morning and stepped on the scale...


Yea not going to lie that's a bit embarrassing.

So lesson #1 for the Maintenance road...still weight yourself every week. When you've had a busy season...or holiday season and a couple extra pounds creep back on you scale back your food intake and attack those extra pounds in the gym. Hard lesson to learn but hey better at 165...

This morning I had my usual cup of coffee. Right now I'm really into pecan coffee with a splash of vanilla creamer. I also had a blueberry bagel thin, blueberry yogurt, and an apple. Nothing to exciting but defiantly did the trick.

Ok so last Friday I figured out my Heart Rate zones for the Elliptical Crosstrainer and the StairMaster. Originally I was just going to do the talk test on the Crosstrainer buuuuut that proved to be a challenge. The point of the talk to test is to increase your speed in intervals until you can't say the Pledge of Allegiance then note your HR. When you do this with running it's pretty easy to do...just hit speed button. However, on the Crosstrainer there is no speed button...your legs are the speed button.  My goal was to increase my strides per minute but it was hard to maintain whatever stride I was at. Second, I was up to like 175 strides per minute and was no where near being out of breath...my legs however felt like they were about to fall off. I ended up stopping the test at 175 strides. Not to sure the Crosstrainer will be my main mode of making gains in my VO2max.

Since on the StairMaster you can increase your speed via steps per minute I decided to add that in. I waited 20 minutes to let my HR recover and then attacked the beast. It took awhile but eventually I found my breaking point and got off huffing and a puffing. When you find your HR you then take percentages of your HR to find your zones.

So now what do I do with that information? Well according to Be a Better Runner I want mainly work in zones 3 & 4, very little in zone 5a. Then when I am doing interval training via the StairMaster I want to be in zones 5b and 5c to make gains in my VO2max. I'm thinking one day of cross training isn't enough so I need to maybe revise my plan for cardio. I'll give it some thought and let yall know what I come up with.

Till then,

Sunday, November 20, 2011

So what if it's the Holidays?

Ok we're friends right? So let's be real.

Right around the time I was about to hit goal, fellow WWers were telling me that Maintenance would be the hardest part. I thought "Naaaah, not me!" Then the real world hit. The last few months, maybe the last eight months, have been stressful; from living at home, moving into my first real adult apartment,  becoming a trainer, and other personal things. When I get stressed out I have a tendency to eat the stress away...or really attempt to because let's face the facts here...you can't eat the stress away. Which I defiantly learned while losing weight...however the last few months I've sorta reverted back to the old ways, ie I've put back a few lbs. To be honest I'm not a 100% sure how much I weight, you start to avoid the scale, another old tactic. I have a feeling it's around 15 lbs, which on a 5' 4" is no bueno. I'll know for sure tomorrow when I weight in. 

For my age, sex, and height my healthy weight range is between 110-145. When I joined WW my original goal was 135, something sorta in the middle. Then I decided that I should first strive for the top of my healthy weight range, 145, which is the goal weight I hit March 2010. 

It's said that 90% people put back the weight they lose. Well I REFUSE to be part of that 90%! Firstly, hello I'm a Personal Trainer...need I say more? Second, relying on food is not that answer for when you (the collective you that is) are stressed out. Giving control is something I struggle with so I have to learn to trust the Lord, that no matter what is going on in my life I am relying on Him. Third, I have BIG dreams when it comes to fitness...MS 150...NYC Marathon...Ironman. I don't want to just complete a ride or a race I want to have some crazy PR story in both my sports. 

So the plan this time around is to reach and MAINTAIN 135. However, I will be calorie counting this time around with my calorie point being 1,200 calories a day, which is 2lbs a week. It doesn't sound like much but I was thinking about it and if WW says you can lose up to 2 lbs a week with their point system which must equate to around 1,200 calories. Plus with the amount of training I am doing earning some extra calories for the holidays should be too much of a problem. Which brings me too...

In case you are wondering, yes I realize that I am starting this three days before Thanksgiving. But I know that not only maintaining weight during the holidays is possible but that you can shed some lbs too. No matter what the season the name of the game is always portion control. With that being said here is the plan for this week.

1. Burn a minimum of 500 calories 4 days a week this week
2. 2 leg workouts, 1 upper
3. 3 days x 3.2  miles walking= 9.6 miles
4. 1 cross training day done in Zone 4 (more on this tomorrow)
5. 1 yoga day (more on this...later this week)
6. Stay within 1,200 Monday-Wednesday, Friday-Sunday
7. Eat a good Thanksgiving but no pigging out...that portion control thing. 
8. Don't stress if all of this weeks goals aren't hit just strive to do my best.

Alrighty here we go! 

Till tomorrow,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Let the beat drop

When I was in major weight loss mode I was little Miss Cardio. I was thinking back on it and a typical week was four or five days of cardio for 60 minutes, mainly on the elliptical or Cycle class. My goal was always to burn at least 500 calories. If my hour was up and I was less than 50 calories away I'd do longer just to get those last 50. I was hardcore what can I say.

These days I'm more a strength training girl. Staying on the elliptical for 60 minutes would drive me up the wall! But since for the next few weeks my main cardio is walking I'm not getting the calorie burn I want and I need my cross-training to get me ready to run. So I need three things...

1. I want that 500 calorie burn again
2. I don't want it to take an hour
3. I want my VO2max to increase, maximum capacity of an individual's body to transport and use oxygen during incremental exercise Wiki Source

Because of those three things I swung by a battery store yesterday to get this thing going again...

I love this thing! I've had my Heart Rate Monitor for a few years now...which I don't think they make this model anymore. The new model is the F7. So the contraption work like this, you wear this thing around your chest...

The strap transmits your heart beat to your watch, telling you Beats Per Minute, calories burned, and workout length. Mine of course is the cheapest model. More expensive and sport specific HRMs break down the info even more, like speed and distance. Garmin's even uses GPS and displays a map...which you can enter a specific route. 

I recommend my clients get a Heart Rate Monitor...even over other calorie counting devices. First of all, those calorie counters on cardio machines are totally inaccurate. When I got my F6 I discovered that the machine was OVER counting by 300 calories! That's a whole mini meal! Which if you are a WW, is three extra points I didn't earn. It doesn't make sense but the more calories you burn the more you need to increase you Daily Caloric Intake. So it's important to know exactingly how many calories you are burning during you workouts. 

Recently, thanks to Be a Better Runner I am understanding HR Zones not just with running but all types of cardio. This is why I prefer HRM over other calories counting devises. Those other devices will tell you how many calories you burned during a workout or throughout the day but not how hard you are working during your workout. However, as a trainer, I want your HR at a certain point so I know you are burning the number of calories needed and to make the proper Cardiovascular gains.

For me personally a HRM is going to tackle all three of my previously mentioned wishes. If I workout in a higher HR zone I am going to burn calories faster. Let's say I am working out in my zone 2 (let's say 130 BPM) and let's say I burn 10 calories per minute. However, if am working in my zone 4 (let's say 150 BPM) I can burn 20 calories per minute. See how I can get to my 500 calories faster? Or if you do workout for a certain duration you are burning more calories during a workout at a zone 4 than a zone 2. BTW, those numbers are all made up and just an example of generally how HR zones work. There is alot more that goes into HR zone training which is why I'm loving Be a Better Runner. Anywhoo, training at higher HR zones will increase my VO2max, which basically is a measure of how quickly oxygen gets into your body and how efficiently your body uses the oxygen. Which as you can imagine is a tad bit helpful when trying to run or anyother sport. 

Tomorrow I plan on finding out my zones for the Elliptical, which BTW your zones are different each cardio machine or sport. So your zones for running won't be the same on a StairMaster. Have I convinced you to run out and get a HRM? I'm definitively not saying you HAVE to have one in order to lose weight or to make gains in your respective sport. But if you have an extra $120, for your basic HRM, and are wanting to make your workouts more efficient they are the way to go!

Till next time

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Sometimes you make a plan but once the plan is rolling you realize that it needs to be tweaked. Well let the tweaking begin.

Last week I started walking at my favorite 3 mile loop, The beauty of the day. I, of course was passed by all these runners, which left my a bit envious. By the time I was back to my car on Friday I was debating whether to move up Phase 2's start date. My knee felt fine so surely I could begin training by the end of November, two weeks early.

Then Sunday hit, I had a familiar dull aching pain in my knee and reverted to wearing my knee strap to church, where a friend of mine who is a physical therapist informed me that doing the leg extension puts to much torque on the tendon. So when a friend and I workout our legs yesterday I skipped the leg extension and replaced it with a step up. The knee felt fine till I was stepping off the step. I could totally feel it stabilizing itself...great...clearly if my knee is struggling to stabilize itself on slight impact then the impact on running is not a good idea. I seriously doubt that in two more weeks my knee would be ready.

Now for the tweak. I had been doing three days walking 3 miles, one cross training day, and a three day split. The original plan was to do a three day split with a bonus leg day focusing on such thing like stabilization, however squeezing in that fourth day is hard. So my cardio will be the same but instead of having a "back" day and a "Shoulders, bis, and tris" day I'll just have a one upper body day so I can get that leg stabilization day in.

As of right now I one leg down and one 3 mile walk. Let's see how the new plan works.

Till then,

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Belle gets interrupted

Hi ya!

Whatcha up to? I'm at my receptionist job about to tear into this thing!

This past weekend my church had our fall Women's Conference in which Jen Hatmaker, the author of Interrupted, came and spoke about the topic of said book, hearing from God. She told us the story of how God shook up her and her husband's life...to find out how you are going to have to read the book!

Anyways here are the main take aways from the weekend...

1. Prior to Jen's interruption she sounded very much like me. I've grown up and have a love of biblical knowledge. Hello my degree is in Christianity! However, there was a disconnect between what I know and my heart. Yes I should strive to live my life missionally and be Kingdom minded but there seemed to be missing that heart breaking for God's people. Now hear me when I say this, that does not mean it is always an emotional tear fest; there is however a stirring and calling of ones heart.

2. Then I realized I should go and do, even if my heart didn't quite line up or I didn't have a cause or country that broke my heart. It would be better to be God's hands and feet then to not. God could break my heart for what breaks His on the mission field...right? I had joined my church because of the emphasis in living missionally. I just needed to pick a mission trip and go.

3. I was then convicted of some sin in my life and realized that this was why I had this disconnect between the my head and my heart. So when the sin had been dealt with point number 4 came together.

4. One of the things Jen had mentioned that maybe God was speaking in your life...He was on repeat but for whatever reason you weren't heeding. So God had been on repeat in my life...even way back when I was a little girl. He had been repeating the word of adoption and he just completely broke my heart this weekend for orphans. Oddly (or not so oddly) November is National Adoption Month and this past Sunday was Orphan Sunday which was the focus of our worship service.

So those are the things reveled this weekend but now what? Well...

When I was a little girl, we are talking elementary age, I remember telling my mom that I wanted to adopt one day...what she reminded me of the other night when I was talking with her was that I had said "I want to have two kids of my own and adopt a third." I've several friends who have adopted or are foster parents. Ok well as a 25 year old single who is just starting her career adopting isn't really in the picture right now. I'm not sure why I thought that was the only way to minister to orphans.

Phew with all that being said I'm really excited about what God is going to do. For the right now, I do know that I am called to go to Cambodia in March. My church partners with an orphanage in Poipet, Cambodia; along the Cambodia-Thai boarder. Not to sure what we will be doing but I do know that we do have some construction going on.

As for the immediate I'm not to sure. I'm still praying and seeking how I am called to minister here on a daily basis. When I figure that out I'll let ya know!

Have you had your life Interrupted? What breaks your heart for God's people?

Till then,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The beauty of the day

Hello friends!

How has your week been?

Mine has been peachy. It's week two at my new gym and I'm getting into the swing of things. For example today I did my leg workout...which is my faaaaaaav...I feel so strong when I work my legs out. Any whooo the incline leg presses are a little bit different than the ones I am used to and I got stuck today.  I couldn't get it to lock and I couldn't lower it to a resting position like some others. So there I am, the trainer being smooshed in the leg press...one of the other trainers had to leave her session with a client to help me out. Needless to day I now know how to work that machine!

Well after working my legs, grabbing some lunch, and running an errand; where I also got to catch up with a friend, I headed to my favorite park to do my 5K walk. 

Today is absolutely beautiful! It's perfectly cool and sunny. I listened to some awesome worship music. I can't wait to be able to run again! I've got 5 more weeks till I move on to Phase 2 and can call myself a runner again! For now I'm just a runner in rehab...lol!

Stay tuned for tomorrow post! I've got exciting news and will be sharing a new-ish passion! 

Till then!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Adhere to the Plan

Can I just have a moment to share a weakness of mine...impatience. If there is something I want or need I want it now! Which I guess just makes my typical of our culture. Today is a rare cold day in Houston and hitting up my favorite park just sound ideal! Then I remember that I am on a mission and must adhere to the plan. Which right now means walking...for six weeks!

The best running plan I've found...saying I've never finished was via Adidas' Mi Coach. I used it when I was training for my 10K...which I did run the distance of a 10K during training and then proceeded to have "Runners Knee" thus knocking me out for the actual event.

Mi Coach is based on Heart Rate training; you spend a percribed amount of time in a certain HR zone. One day you might spend the whole time at your "Green zone" the next session a mix of "Green" and "Yellow." Check out the link if this isn't making sense.

You can tell your Heart Rate by one of two ways. First, you can by the whole Mi Coach kit and kobotle that has the heart rate sensor and adaptor, as seen below, that links to your smart phone. Or you can use just the app that looks at your pace via GPS to figure out if you are working hard enough. I guess there is really a third option...which I will get to later.
Either way you go the "Coach" tells you when it is time to hit a new HR zone or if you are out of your HR zone and need to slow down or speed up. It also links to you iTunes and the "Coach" voices over it. It also tracks your milage on your shoes and calories.

Mi Coach's running is also keeping with...

I stopped by Barnes and Noble yesterday to look at their running books. There are different schools of thinking about running. Some subrcibe to running and walking intervals...which sorry...to me is kind of sissy. This school belives it allows for better recovery and longer distances. All I know is that if I stop, I won't start again! Then there was books about running barefoots, just for women, for weight loss, yoga and running...you name it that got it!

Be a better runner takes your HR readings and applies it "Hard" and "Easy" days. It seems like the best attack plan and more importantly DOABLE!

All this planning is getting me amped and anxious to start running. Today is only day four, Tris, Bis, and Shoulder Day with day 2 of Mi Coach...patience is really hard for me. But this is for the long haul, not to just quickly train for a race but to be a runner...so I better get just as amped about Phase 1 as I am for Phase 2!

What gets you amped for your training?