Day #34 – Getting CrossFit

So… a lot of people have been talking about it and wondering what a CrossFit Functional workout is. This excerpt it taken directly from a document titled “Understand CrossFit“:

“The CrossFit prescription is “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement.” Functional movements are universal motor recruitment patterns; they are performed in a wave of contraction from core to extremity; and they are compound movements—i.e., they are multi-joint. They are natural, effective, and efficient locomotors of body and external objects.”

My good friend Suzie has been so helpful these last few weeks with advice, encouragement, compliments and really helping me stay motivated, learn how to not only workout better, but eat better too. As if that wasn’t enough, she invited me down to her gym today to help show me some of the basic exercises I can’t start doing at home to target different muscle groups and help fight these little weight plateaus I keep hitting.

So, This morning began my first CrossFit functional style workout. We jumped on the rowing machines for a while, did pushups, sit-ups, ball slams, burpees, and even went outside to push a sled called the prowler around a bit. Needless to say, but the time we were done…. my EVERYTHING hurt. It was def one of the most varied but fun workouts I’ve done since I’ve started Operation Get Skinny.

I also found out that I LOVE the rowing machine, and after a little research, learned that it’s an amazing way to workout. It’s one of the highest calorie burning workouts, targets your full body and is basically zero impact. Looks like I’ll be looking to buy a rowing machine ASAP. In fact, I already did a quick search on craigslist and found there’s plenty to choose from in the DC area. I’ll handle that purchase as soon as I get back from my travels this week.

So, anyway, in my typical workout post fashion, here’s the stats for a lot of the workout we did this morning:

Def a great workout. I’m nice a sore, felt like I pushed myself in ways I hadn’t before and it feels great. It really has become a bit of an addicting feeling!!

Day #33 – The Perils Of Drinking

As the last few weeks have been going on, a few things have become obvious:

1) People are right, cardio is boring, but it has to be done
2) Mixing up my exercises make the workouts easier to do and helps build muscle
3) The most important: Drinking is BAD!

It was a pretty easy trend to spot on my stats page, that each time I hit a slight weight plateau and didn’t lose anything for a few days, it was almost 100% every time right after a weekend or a few nights of drinking. I was doing pretty well with keeping my drinking in check, but with friends in town, birthdays, the sheer need to get out and enjoy myself a little… it got away from me a bit.

The result was an odd one to me a first, but a few friends brought up a very good point and explained it. It seemed that in one of my posts about how I thought my scale was playing games with me I made comments about how I didn’t understand how I could go out drinking all night then have a new record low weigh-in the next morning. A few comments from friends which you can see on the post explained it 100% on point. Dehydration.

So, I’ve come to the realization that it absolutely is time to buckle down and get serious about it again. “Everything in moderation” they say, right? (who the hell is ‘they’ anyway? whatever) Basically, I know one drink won’t kill me, or derail my weight-loss efforts, so for the next few weeks I’m going to have to cut back. I can drink more waters when I go out, I can have one drink a night when I do, and I just have to do whatever I can to resist the urge to knock back a few extra!

Also, as you can see… no posts about working out on this day. It was a crazy night last night, I was def in a little pain… and I really did need a break.

I WANNA EAT

HEALTHY!!! And I live in DC, what do I do?

Come on people, help me out here, seriously. There are obviously times I’d like to not eat more of my own bad cooking/diet food and actually go out to dinner, have a good meal and enjoy a night out with friends. You know, the normal ones who stay skinny and can still go out to eat all the time. (A.K.A. a$$holes) However, even though I kinda hate them a bit out of pure jealousy, I’d like to find some spots in the DC metro area that have a good balanced menu. Something for everyone, without leaving the dieters to eat nothing put salad and lentil soup.

Since I’m doing serious calorie counting along with my working out, its great to have places that will blatantly have a diet menu with a calorie limit. Listing the calories for each meal either right on the menu, or online is even better. I’ve been a few spots myself lately, but nothing really special enough to talk about.

Before I go knocking DC as one of the worst cities to eat in as a serious dieter, how about it folks, any places you can recommend?

Day #22 – Changing It Up A Little

As I said a few weeks ago, I was going to do two-a-day cardio for the rest of the month or at least as long as I could. Well, with a little bit of pain in the last week or so, I think I finally found the limit of what my body can keep it without a break. So between the pain from a few days ago, and yesterday’s unexpected break from working out I decided it was time to experiment with my workouts a little.

So today I started out by doing a little research on some other exercises I can do at home without really any gym equipment. It’s not like I got all that creative, I went right for some of the classics but with a new twist, push-ups. I started by trying to figure out how many calories a push-up would burn. The answer is about .825 calories per push-up, but that was the important part of what I had learned.

I found a program called One Hundred Pushups. The goal of the program is to be able to do 100 consecutive push-ups by following a 6 week program. It seemed like a pretty good goal to me so I kept reading. Not only do they have laid out for you exactly many push-ups you need to do in the right number of sets for the right amount of time, but they even have an iPhone app! Here’s a few quick screen shots as I get starts on Week 1, Day 1:

 

 

 

 

 

 

After my One Hundred Pushups workout, I did some plain old cardio on the treadmill again: 30 minutes, 1.91 miles and burned 245 calories.

And….. just for fun after that, I did 100 jumping jacks in 4 sets: 20, 20, 30 and 30.

Then, finally, I wrapped up with another 15 minutes of cardio knocking out 1 mile and another 132 calories!

Hopefully I’ll be able to continue to mix things up a bit like this!

Considering Begining My Bike Adventure

I’ve already starting talking to friends at work, so some whom are pretty serious bikers, about getting starting riding back and forth to work. Not only because my legs are starting to hurt a little bit from the running, but the 2 hours a day of workout time is becoming difficult to manage. I figure by being able to ride to work (from Chevy Chase, MD to Arlington, VA) that will give me a break from the high impact on my body of running, provide a little change of scenery and condense my time a bit. It already takes me about 25 – 30 minutes to drive to work anyway, if I ride… I think I might be able to do it about an hour according to the estimates.

It does being up a lot of questions though, so I’m getting start with my research:

1) Why type of bike should I be riding?

I’ve been told road bikes are a little more advanced, sometimes a little harder to ride, and hybrids just “aren’t really good at anything”. The advice I’ve gotten so far is to get a mountain bike, possible with a front fork, but put slick tires on it. A coworker has a bike setup that way that he’s going to let me borrow and see how it feels. (Hopefully right after this insane heat wave we’re having)

2) Where to ride?

Do trail maps exist out there for the DC area? I’m a little nervous about trying to ride along major roads right now, but if I have to do it a bit to get from trail to trail I’m sure I can handle it. Basically, I’m starting about 3 blocks from the Friendship Heights Metro station and ending a few blocks from the Ballston Metro station. Does anyone have a suggestion or maps of any routes?

3) Measuring my performance?

I know there are devices I can put on the bike to read speed and distance, etc. Any suggestion here? How about GPS enabled iPhone apps? Any iPhone apps that might have integrated maps or anything… like RunKeeper, but for biking?

4) Advice?

What am I missing? Should I have anything else to get started?

So, I think that covers most of it. Any help/advice any of you might have would be awesome… I haven’t been on a bike since I was about 17, so getting this going should be a pretty interesting adventure. I will surely be blogging more about my adventures, the things I learn along the way and of course, how it affects my weight-loss.

Research on…. coffee!

So I started things out this morning with a VERY simple question posted on twitter and Facebook: “I’ve heard that coffee with a few splenda & a splash of milk doesn’t count against a diet. Is this true?”

Wow oh wow the responses I got! Everything from “no, it counts” to “here’s options that are better for you.” First the highlights, then see the actual post below to read for yourself. From what everyone was saying, I learned a few concrete things:

1) Black coffee is better, no confusion.
2) Caffeine is a little rough on a diet, drink water to offset it.
3) There are a lot of sweeteners to figure out should you choose to use one!
4) I need to learn more about/try Stevia and Agave

There are just so many options out there for what to put in your coffee, it’s almost ridiculous. Sugar, cane sugar, splenda, equal, stevia,  and agave. From what it looks like, everyone agrees, if you’re going to drink coffee… the calories count. So for today, since all I had available was splenda, I went with my cup of coffee, 3 splendas and a little cream.

I’m going to look up where to order some agave and stevia and give those a try first, we’ll see what happens!

As part of all of this, a friend of mine did post a link to a very interesting article about artificial sweeteners and honestly, it’s really making me want to just stick to the natural stuff! Check it out: Are Artificial Sweeteners Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts?

Here is the conversation from Facebook:
CoffeeQuestion-Part01CoffeeQuestion-Part02