Thursday, January 26, 2012

Crazy Beginning to a Week (170.2)

Hello to my total of 5 followers, lol.
First thing's first...

Starting Weight: 225 lbs.
Last Weight: 172.8 lbs.
Today's Weight: 170.6 lbs.
Weight Loss: 2.2 lbs.

Woooooooooo! Not completely certain what I did to deserve this but yay!
Okay, so I'm going to try and not overwhelm myself with an incredibly long post. There's a lot I want to say but I have to finish (ehem, start) a 12-page paper on a topic yet to be decided and also pack for school, since I'm leaving tomorrow at 10am. Oy vey. Caffeine, get inside of me.

I ended up doing a yoga class, followed by a pilates class, followed by an advanced beginner latin jazz class. Yoga was great, but super painful. Then, I took a break and went to Subway for a tuna sandwich and some soup and then I went back for pilates. All of a sudden, I get horrid cramps. Sorry for the tmi, but  I'm talking paralyzing, want-to-cry, want to curl up in a ball and go to sleep until they go away, want to hurt everyone cramps. I hate this time of the month. I power through it but I HATE it.
(from No Strings Attached--if you haven't seen it, go on Netflix Instant immediately)

So I power through pilates. There are only about six people in the class and the instructor is super strict. The girl next to me kept getting reprimanded. I loved it because she pushed me to be perfect and it was great. But it hurt, especially because of my predicament. Cramps would not go away. I thought seriously about not going to my last class. And then, I realized....I HAVEN'T DRANK ANY WATER TODAY. I did yoga and pilates with no water, in addition to having drank a huge Diet Coke with lunch, which has caffeine in it. Stupid,  stupid, stupid. So I went downstairs, got a bottle of water and waited for my next class.

Me, angry at myself for forgetting to drink water, waiting outside of my class.

So I drink my water. Five minutes later, lo and behold, cramps are gone and I have TONS of energy. The next class was amazing and I loved it. This was the dance we learned:
Came home, made pumpkin tortellini, bummed around. Pumpkin tortellini = YUM!

In the morning, I went shopping. Here's some stuff I tried on and bought that I was excited about.

 Skirt-GAP (size 10); Shirt- GAP (small)

Same stuff, different angle

Same shirt. Jeans- GAP (size 8) [they're not quite a perfect fit yet, but they WILL BE lol]]

Shirt- Urban Outfitters (medium) Jeans- GAP (size 10)

Shirt- H&M (Medium); Jeans- American Eagle (size 8)

Sizes "Small," "Medium," "8," and "10" are ones that I never thought I would see. Especially not small or 8. I bought another shirt in a size small from H&M that you can sort of see in the corner of the last picture. I'm sort of in shock about it. Got measured at Victoria's Secret. Size 38D-DD. How I shrunk nearly 8 inches in waist and am still a D-DD is a mystery to me but I won't complain.

After that, we picked up G, since he doesn't live far from the mall and drove to Brooklyn. Then he and I went to the city for dinner and a ballroom lesson. Right before biting into a delicious cupcake from Crumbs, I realized that I hadn't eaten or drank anything almost all day. Not for a lack of trying. Just didn't really have time. But I shrugged it off and ate the cupcake. Crumbs cupcakes look a little like this....

Deliciousness- all 550 calories of it.

So we ate our cupcakes and went off in search for dinner. I was dizzy and nauseous and just feeling terrible for about an hour. G got a little worried when I stumbled on the sidewalk. I think it was mostly mental, but when I realized how stupid I had been, I got a little scared. Here's what I think happened: No sugar all day, blood sugar kind of low but not too bad--it's happened before. Then, I eat something which has TONS of sugar in it. Body says "WTF" and produces a TON of insulin, which brings my blood sugar SUPER LOW, which makes me dizzy and nauseous and terrified that I'm going to faint in the middle of Manhattan. I am fine now and ate a sugary treat after dinner with no reactions, thank goodness. But note to reader (if there is one): Don't eat sugar on an empty stomach. It will make you insane.

Okay. Off to write my paper/pack, I hope. Will hopefully blog again tomorrow!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tips on What to do When a Class Doesn't Challenge You

Today, I went to a class called "The Total Body Workout." It was only $10 since it was my first time and it was a lot of fun. The strengthening portion of it was challenging, but the aerobics part of it didn't seem to do much.

A lot of my friends ask me how I have the courage to keep going to new things. Mostly they ask how it can be worth the money to keep going to new classes when I don't know if they will be worth it.
Answer: I make them worth it. And with this post, I'll tell you how. I

If you're already a seasoned group exerciser, this post may be a little bit repetitive for you. But if you're scared to go out and try them or you're afraid to waste your money by trying new things, this may be of use for you!

So you get to a class. Everyone there is older than you and less fit than you. You know all the moves and the class seems to be lagging. Here's what I do and some things you can try. Remember that I'm not a doctor and you should always speak to one before starting any sort of fitness program. Also, you should listen to your body. If something I put in here doesn't feel quite right, stop immediately and consider consulting a doctor!

Now that my disclaimer is done...

1. Cardio If you're doing an aerobics or dance class and you know all the moves, take them a step further. A step touch can be done with a tiny step or a huge step. The huge step will probably help you burn more calories and get your heart rate up faster. So, the message here: If it's all step-touch, high knees and punches, step wider, bring your knees higher and punch harder.

2. Resistance Training If you're doing a class with resistance bands, one easy way to make a class more challenging is to grab a tighter band. However, the class might only have one type of resistance band or you may have had to bring your own. Either way, you're stuck with the one you have. Don't despair! The shorter you make your resistance band, the more resistance you'll get. An alternative is to grab a second resistance band, if it's possible. Another alternative is to do whatever you're doing wider, thereby creating more resistance. But be careful with this one -- you don't want to pull a muscle. If at all possible, use the first two suggestions.

3. Dumbbells Usually, I'm the first in line to grab a set of dumbbells. Reason? I want more than one set. I grab a set I'm comfortable with and then I grab a set that is 1-2 pounds heavier. It's something I picked up from a lot of seasoned exercisers. You're setting yourself up to succeed before the exercise even begins. Start with your regular weight.  If you find that the strengthening exercises are too simple for you, grab the heavier pair and get to it. An alternative, if you're only allowed one pair (hasn't happened to me yet, but you never know), is to do the exercise slower and hold the positions longer. The slower you exercise, the more effort you're putting in. Since the exercises aren't difficult for you, pay close attention to make sure that you are executing perfect form. You'd be surprised how much more effective an exercise can be when you do it correctly.

4. Stretching/Yoga/Mat Work This one is pretty easy because there are usually multiple levels of difficulty in yoga and stretching. If you are reaching for your feet in a sitting position, straighten your knees more, flatten your back more, make the stretch deeper. But don't go beyond your limit because it's really easy to pull or even tear a muscle. In this portion of you wok out, it's not at all frowned upon to ask the instructor for a way to make the position more challenging. Normally, it won't take more than a few seconds to tell you how to challenge yourself a bit more.

I hope this helps those of you that are afraid to spend money on new group classes! If all else fails, keep a positive attitude and a smile on your face. You're still working out. One day of not working to your absolute full potential will not hurt you as much as you think. Plus, you can always go for a run afterwards, if you still feel cheated in some way. Perhaps in another post, I'll detail what makes group exercise so great and beneficial, but for now, this is it.

Let me know what you think! You guys have any extra tips?

Rough Start

So I don't remember this happening, but there is evidence that I woke up this morning, turned off my alarm and went straight back to sleep. But I literally have no recollection of this happening. My sleep pattern has been way off so I can't blame my body for having this natural reaction. So obviously dance did not happen. But that's okay. Tonight, I'm going to do a "Total Body Workout" class at 6:30 and I'm going to try again tomorrow with dance.

I woke up at around 1 today and I'm going to try to get to sleep by 12 because tomorrow, I am going to force myself to wake up at 7:15am to get to a class at 9:30 in the city. Here's the schedule tomorrow if I can get myself out of bed on time.

9:30-11 Beg. Contemporary
12-1 Pilates
1:30-3 Bas. Jazz
6-7:30 Bas. Hip Hop/Funk

So far, I've had a 2 eggs, scrambled, with shredded cheese, peppers and cherry tomatoes, along with a piece of toast. Then I had a banana and 2 squares of dark chocolate.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Falling off the Horse and Getting Back On

First, a quote: "When you wake up in the morning, remember that you are younger today than you will ever be and let that make you happy."
I went to my great aunt's birthday party yesterday and heard this from my great uncle, who is by far the wisest man I know. He has a motivational quote and saying for every situation. And they are all equally meaningful. I think this quote is something we should all live by and I plan on putting it up on the wall in my apartment when I get back.
I fell off the horse this weekend a lot. Friday was fine. Yesterday, however, was bad. I had cereal in the morning, then 2 sushi rolls and then I went to my great aunt's birthday which had a lot of delicious food. And then my best friend slept over and I sort of made a plan for my semester, which was great but was done over much snacking on Pop Chips and Cheez-Its, along with a REALLY cheesy Mac and Cheese. I mean, it's not the worst thing that's ever happened. It's really just one bad day. This morning, I had a bit of leftover pasta and a banana and I will probably have a salad for dinner.
And my parents are coming home tonight, which means that my life goes back to normal!! Tomorrow, I'm going to dance classes galore!
11:00 am-12:30pm Jazz
1:45pm-2:45pm Yoga
3:00pm-4:30pm Basic Ballet
4:30pm-6:00pm Beginner Ballet
I can't wait. It's going to be great. Exhausting but great. I am going to need some serious snacks. I'll probably bring walnuts, dried apricots and a granola bar.

After that, I'm going to come home and cook some delicious pumpkin tortellini along with a salad and probably watch some TV since I'm going to be so tired.

This may sound depressing, but for some reason, I feel like I have a real reason to get up in the morning. For the first time in not a very long time, but long enough. This last semester was a bit of a stall for me. But I'm back on it and better than ever. I won't go into details about this plan I have since it isn't quite weight-loss related...But let's just say, this semester is going to be a good time.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dance Lesson & Merrell Down and Dirty 2013!

Today was a pretty lazy day, overall. I've been doing or attempting to do work for my paper that is due tomorrow before 11:59pm. I did the other one in one night as well and got a 95/100 so I'm not too worried. It's only 4 pages or so. For the next paper, I need 12 pages, though. And I'm leaving for school on Friday morning so it's probably not a good idea to wait until the last minute on that one.

I tried the thing where you have three 400-calorie meals along with snacks and I really liked it. I think it's effective and I'm going to keep trying to do that. After my lazy day, I finally got up and went to my dance lesson for an hour. It's a lot of ab-work and a lot of leg-work. I'm pretty sore. I really love it, though. I think we're ready, in at least one of the dances, so that's good.

On another note, I really want to do the Merrell Down & Dirty Race one day:
I don't think I'll be able to do it next year because I'll be in school and probably not in the correct shape yet, but the year after that, it is SO on. It's a 10K run, complete with ladder walls, mud pits, Marine hurdles, high walls, low walls, tunnels and more! It looks absolutely awesome. They do it in a bunch of different states, so if you're interested, check it out! They may be doing it somewhere near you.

Tomorrow, I'll be working out in the morning and then meeting with D to go food shopping and then to G's house for Shabbat dinner. Yay, no more being alone in the house and bored out of my mind!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jazz Dance, Dinner and Exciting Weekend Plans!

My parents are on a cruise and I've been left alone with my house and my dog, who is sick and needs medication every day. The whole thing makes me nervous because I don't like being alone so the first few days were very stay in bed, watch tv, don't leave the house. Yesterday, I had to leave for jury duty and I was not happy about it but I'm getting used to it now, which is good, because I'm about halfway through.

This morning, I went to a jazz class. Great workout and a lot of fun. I left about a half hour early because I loved the warm-up but the choreography required a lot of really fast jazz technique that I know nothing about. I am not a jazz dancer. I'm not even sure I'm a ballroom dancer, but I'm good at pretending with that. So I did the warm-up, learned a bit of choreography and left.

Now I'm back home and doing a bit of work while waiting for my friend to come so we can go to dinner. Unfortunate side effect of my parents not being home: I don't have a car so I can't go grocery shopping. Therefore, I have nothing and have been eating out every day. It's really unfortunate, but one of my closest friends from school (let's call him D) is coming to visit me and stay with me Friday night and Saturday night. Yay, no being alone after tomorrow night! He is also going to take me to the supermarket to get some groceries on Friday. Better late than never, right?

Tonight, I'm going to dinner with a friend and then writing a paper for my winter class. Tomorrow, I'm going to work and then I have a ballroom dance lesson with my favorite teacher and my wonderful partner, who also happens to be one of the best guys I know (let's call him G).

Friday, D and I are driving out to visit G and have dinner with his family. Saturday, I have work (I'm hosting a birthday party at the community center I work at) and then we'll figure out plans from there.

Food Today
1 wake-up wrap (150 cals.)
1 coffee with skim milk and sugar (120 cals.) -- next time I get Splenda -__-
1 6-inch subway wheat sandwich w/ tuna, lettuce, tomato, pickles, olives and a little bit of mayo (470 cals.)
1 small broccoli and cheese soup (200 cals.)
1/2 a bag of sunflower seeds (80 cals.)
Strawberry pastry (120 cals.)
Later: Probably some vegetables and rice from the place we are going to get dinner. I assume it'll be around 300 cals since there is no meat or dairy and no sauce.
Total: 1,440 cals.

As I figure, I should be eating this much to lose about a pound and a half per week.
Weight this morning: 171 lbs.
BMR: 1619.75
Assuming I am "lightly active" (I believe I'm more but let's estimate): BMR * 1.375 = 2227.16 (That's how much I would need to eat to maintain)
-750 (1.5 lbs) = 1,477 cals

So I'm pretty much on track today, although since I'm not an expert calorie counter, I'd like to stay under 1400, if at all possible. Alright, back to studying.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Get to Know Me!

Hey everybody. I plan to blog every single day. And when I set a goal, I usually stick to it. For the next couple of days, I'll be posting up a couple of goals for whatever is left of the month and hopefully letting whoever is reading this get an idea of who I am. Enjoy the survey and feel free to repost!

LAYER ONE: On the Outside--

Full Name: Rachel
Birthday: September 12th
School: Junior year of University

Major: PPL- Philosophy, Politics and Law and English- Rhetoric (Hopefully going to law school)
Current Location: New York City
Eye Color: Hazel
Hair Color: At the moment, I'm back to my natural color of black. Planning on keeping it that way.
Righty or Lefty: Righty
Zodiac Sign: Virgo

LAYER TWO: On the Inside

Your Heritage: Russian/Azerbaijani/Jewish. But I'm a mutt. I also have a bit of Latvian, Lithuanian and probably other things.
Your Fears: I don't have fears of specific things--just phobias. It's actually something I'm working on. I have general fears, I guess, of being alone, being allergic to something, getting sick.
Weakness: Laziness, chocolate, pizza...To name a few, lol.
Goal(s): Check my side-bar. But, ultimately, I want to be 135 lbs., become a runner (whatever that means), go to law school and help people, in more ways than one.
Relieve Stress: Ballroom dancing, mostly. It clears my head like no other.

LAYER THREE: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow--

Your thoughts first waking up: Fuck jury duty. Just fuck it. (Keep in mind, it was 6:30, which is only one hour after I've been going to bed lately. Trying to go to bed early did not quite work out.)
Your bedtime: I don't really have one. I probably should because I desperately want to be a morning person--they seem to be able to get so much more done.
Your most missed memory: Being a kid, honestly. I didn't appreciate it enough and really desperately wanted to grow up. But I enjoy every moment of being 20 years old now and that's what really counts.

LAYER FOUR: You’re picking--
Pepsi or Coke: Diet Coke. I love it, even though I know it's bad for me.
McDonald's or Burger King: I guess McDonald's. But the only thing I ever eat there is breakfast. It's something my dad taught me.
Single or Group dates: Depends on the relationship, I guess. First date should probably be single. But once you've gotten to know one another, group dates could be fun too. A healthy mix of both is probably best.
Lipton Tea or Nestea: Nestea, all the way.
Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate, yum.
Cappuccino or Coffee: Coffee. I have a small addiction.


Do Drugs: Nope!
Think you've been in love: Not yet.
Want to get married: One day, absolutely.
Believe in yourself: Definitely.

LAYER SIX: In the Past Month--
Drank alcohol: Yes
Gone to the mall: Yup!
Eaten Sushi: Yes, lol. I love sushi.
Gone skating: No
Colored your hair: Nope, but I will soon.
Done something exciting: Yeah!

LAYER SEVEN: Have You Ever?--

Changed who you were to fit in: Sure. I did it all the time, as a kid. I still do it sometimes.
Hid something from someone: Yup.

LAYER EIGHT: Getting Old--
Age you're hoping to get married: 24-26 seems right for me. But it all depends on the person, of course.
Age you're hoping to have children: 26-28.
Want to travel to: I want to go everywhere and see everything. At the top of my list is Australia, New Zealand, Spain and India. But I also want to see South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, places in South America, other states in the US that I haven't been to.

LAYER NINE: Perfect Mate--
Best Eye Color: Blue, green, I don't really care.
Best Hair Color: I hae a thing for brunettes.
Short or Long Hair: Not too short, not too long.

LAYER TEN: What were you doing--

5 MINUTES AGO: Watching "Switched at Birth" -- guilty pleasure.
1 HOUR AGO: Watching "The Biggest Loser" -- I'm having a bit of a lazy evening. Not getting any sleep and then having jury duty took a lot out of me.
1 DAY AGO: Trying to go to sleep but failing.
1 YEAR AGO: Getting ready to go back to school for my first semester back from my injury, I think.

LAYER ELEVEN: Finish the Sentence--

I Love: life and all its oddities.
I Feel: sleepy.
I Hate: people that are rude.
I Hide: my true feelings.
I Miss: being up at school.
I Need: to finish what I started.