November 11, 2012

{Fitness Corner} Whole Life Challenge Complete!

So I finished the 8 weeks of the Whole Life Challenge.

The results:

I lost 1.5 inches off of my waist and 1 inch off of my hips.
My arms and thighs are the same (but I think they are more defined and that I have gained muscle).
I lost 5 lbs. (I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight! Finally got rid of those last stubborn 5 lbs.)
Plus, I am stronger and can do 1 pull-up unassisted by bands. Amazing!!!
I went down a size in pants. All my pants are hanging off of me (even a few pairs of pre-pregnancy pants fit me loosely than they used to. I didn't have any problem finding an excuse to buy some new clothes, LOL.)

I am very happy with my results. I feel stronger.I am very proud of this accomplishment of getting through the challenge. I wasn't perfect and I had to lose points because I forgot to record my point one day, I traveled to NYC and Denver for business trips. Although I have to say that I was pretty good while traveling. I was selective of the times that I would stray from the nutrition and I made it a point to move everyday. In Denver, I was actually very good even though I had to eat out the whole time. I would ask for substitutions and made very good choices.

So now the question is do I keep this up...

Well, the last weekly challenge was to make 3 goals to complete. So my goals were:

1. Do 5 unassisted pull ups by June 2013
2. Cook 3 paleo meals a week by the end of December
3. Workout and mobilization for 10 minutes for 6 days a week by end of December

I am definitely keeping up with the workout and mobilization. I love doing crossfit, I feel strong and amazing doing it. So there is no question about that. The fact that I can do 1 unassisted pull-up is amazing to me. I know that I can get to that 5. By next June that will be 1 year of crossfit. So I know if I keep it up, I can do. Also, I love stretching and yoga, I've been practicing yoga for almost 10 years so why would I stop now. 7 days a week was a challenge, but with the requirement of only 10 minutes for a workout and 10 minutes for mobilization, it became totally doable. So why not continue!

Taking fish oil every day is no big deal. I do it anyways.

The nutrition part of the challenge was the most difficult part for me. I never diet and I have never been any good at sticking to something or depriving myself. I love to eat. But I liked that I was eating healthy and I think that I will try to stick to the paleo-like diet with the occasional exceptions. I don't miss the dairy too much. I thought I would want cheese all the time, and at first I did but I can also live without it and do not need it everyday like I used to eat it. It used to be an everyday snack for me. I loved to just have cheese and crackers or cheese and nuts. I think there was a time when I would live off of cheese sandwiches. I think to have it on occasion will be fine, just not on a daily basis.The grains are a little harder, but I did it for 8 weeks and I am okay without it. I know from time to time I will want some cake or bread. In fact, one of my biggest cravings is pizza (bread and cheese!). I had a slice of NY pizza when I was in NYC. But it better be a really good pizza for me to have it. a frozen pizza or a pizza from Pizza Hut is not worth it for me. So I plan to stick with it and allow myself some exceptions for special occasions like the holidays.

So, I made it and I am better for having done the whole life challenge. I am glad that I did and I hope that I can continue to make my fitness and health a priority. I love feeling stronger and healthier. I feel great and I feel in control, it really is awesome. It was a lifestyle change and I think that I can stick with it even without the challenge and accountability. At least, I hope that I can. I realize that the freedom from the challenge this first few days will allow me to give in a few times, but I trust that I will get back on track. I know that I actually crave fruit now instead of candy. I also, know that something has to be really worth it for me to eat it. So that piece of candy better be really good to be worth it. I think that is the key, to be mindful and determine if straying from healthy eating is really worth it. There will be times when it is, but as long as I come back to it I will be fine.

October 7, 2012

{Fitness Corner} WLC - 3 weeks in

So I am 3 weeks into the Whole Life Challenge and it has been going really well. I am really proud of myself for sticking to it. I've lost 3 pounds so far, about a pound a week, and my clothes are fitting loosely. I actually have several pairs of pants that are too big for me. It is great, but a little sad since they are work pants that I bought not long ago, which means I need to buy some new pants. I love that but it is hard since I hate to spend money when I just bought new pants. Oh well, I guess there are worst problems to have.

The workout and mobility part of the challenge is not big deal. I workout regularly anyways and on my rest days I have been going for walks or practicing some yoga at home. I did forget one day to do my mobility and lost a point. I was really upset with myself about that. I have been earning bonus points so I am still good overall.

The nutrition part has actually gone a lot better than I thought it would. Going on a paleo-like diet hasn't been so bad. No grains, no dairy, and no sugar is not as bad as I thought it would be. It took me a while to not feel hungry all the time, but now I am doing pretty well. I still have my cravings especially for some yummy, sweet baked goods but I am dealing with it. It has been hard going to kids birthday parties with the yummy treats and very little options. I have had many dry salads. It is amazing how even the salad dressings that you thought would be okay have sugar in it. Actually, there are so many things that have sugar. It is crazy.

I have been learning to make baked goods without flour or sugar in it. I made some banana muffins and they are pretty good.


I don't miss the dairy too much, except for cheese, but it hasn't been so bad. I actually think that even after the WLC that I will try to stick to this paleo-like diet for the most part and try to keep up eating healthy. That isn't too say I will stick with it as strictly as I have, I do want the occasional pizza, glass of wine, or cupcake. But on a regular basis, cooking and eating this way has been great not just for me but for the family as well. It is definitely nice to stay away from all the processed junk.

Just 5 weeks to go with this challenge and ahead of me are two trips that will make this challenge a challenge. Traveling takes me away from my regular routine, and away from a kitchen so I hope that I can stay strong. The first trip is to New York and that one will definitely be tough. I am saving as much of my bonus points because I am sure that I will splurge. There is a lot of really good food in NYC. I will do my best to stay strong!!

September 16, 2012

{Fitness Corner} Day 1 of WLC

The Whole Life Challenge began yesterday. I did the prelim WOD, it wasn't too bad. The WOD was 7 kettleball swings, 7 burpees, and a 50 meter run AMPRAP in 9 minutes. The burpees were hard, as usual. I got a score of 108, just short of completing 8 sets. I got through the day and earned all my points for the day.

The nutrition past was tough. On more than one occasion, I was tempted and felt hungry. I really wanted some cheese. It was especially hard when Baby Bear wanted cheese and crackers for her snack. I realize that I often finish her left overs even when I'm not really hungry. I made her some brown rice with dinner and though we all ate the same thing, I could not have the rice. I really love my rice. It is tough.

Today, I was hungry. I ate well but was hungry. Although, I am not sure that I am hungry or just craving something I know I can't have. I want my carbs. I want crackers and chips. Oh bread sounds so good too. I can do this. I know I can...

September 6, 2012

{Fitness Corner} Whole Life Challenge

I know that nutrition is the only way I am going to lose that extra 5 lbs. of baby weight. I've always known that it is about nutrition. Even my CrossFit trainers tell me that I can do all the WODs, but without the nutrition I won't see the best results. I'll get results but nutrition will get me much farther along.

Our crossfit gym is participating in the Whole Life Challenge. It is an 8 week online challenge beginning on September 15, that focuses not only on nutrition, but the a life style change including working out and mobility. I've decided that this is the challenge I need to make the changes I want in nutrition. This challenge will keep me accountable. The diet part will be the hardest part of the challenge and constitutes the majority of the challenge. There are points that can be earned each day and the most points are for the nutrition portion. The diet that the challenge follows is a Paleo-like diet, which means no grains, no corn or soy, no dairy, no alcohol, soda, or juice, and no artificial or processed foods. For me the hardest things will be the grains and dairy. I have been trying to limit my bread intake, but with this challenge I will have to totally eliminate it. That also means no rice for this Asian girl. I have stopped drinking milk, so that is fine, but greek yogurt and cottage cheese have been a big part of my diet. I guess eliminating cheese is a good thing since I love cheese so much and it can be a weakness. It is not a strict Paleo diet, but it is Paleo-like.

I am doing this to become more fit. I made the decision to make fitness a priority again and this will help me get back on track. Diet and nutrition have always been my largest struggle. I love to workout and be active but I also love to eat. So I have never been one to diet or stay on one. So I am hoping that I cam make a habit of eating right and making healthy choices. I think the whole life challenge will be the push I need to stick to it and improve my nutrition.

I hope to get stronger, I hope to lose some weight, I hope to feel better about myself and my body, and I hope to improve my nutrition and diet overall.

We'll see how it goes...

September 2, 2012

{Fitness Corner} Back on Track (again) and doing Crossfit

I am back... It has been some time since I have actually really posted on this blog. Life has been quite busy. Health and fitness has always been important to me and since having Baby Bear 3 years ago, I have been doing my best to get back to my pre-pregnancy body. Well, I tried to do it on my own, there have been many attempts but I have not been successful. I workout on a regular basis and eat decently, but I have not been seeing any results or changes. I do fit into most of my pre-pregnancy clothing but I am not comfortable wearing the form fitting clothing that I used to wear since I am still trying to get rid of those last 5 lbs of baby weight that won't seem to budge.

I decided that I needed to do something, Baby Bear is now 3 years old and I don't have any really excuses except for trying to find time. Life is busy as a working mother with a toddler. Well, I decided it was time to force myself to find the time and really focus on getting back on track. Doing things on my own was not enough and not making an impact. I worked out on a regular schedule but I wasn't seeing any results. I had done bootcamp to get in shape for my wedding and I know that working out with others and having that regular push really helped me and pushed me to keep going. Plus knowing that I shelled out money for it kept me on it.

So in late June (just after Baby Bear's 3rd birthday), I decided to join a crossfit gym close to home. I though about doing bootcamp again like I had before, but I also heard a bit about crossfit, so I decided to do a little research (can't help it, after all I am a psychologist who does research for a living). As I did my research, I liked what crossfit had to offer me and opted to give it a shot.

What is crossfit?

From Wikipedia: CrossFit describes its strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement," with the stated goal of improving fitness (and therefore general physical preparedness), which it defines as "work capacity across broad time and modal domains." Workouts are typically short—20 minutes or less—and intense, demanding all-out physical exertion. They combine movements such as sprinting, rowing, jumping rope, climbing rope, weightlifting, and carrying odd objects; they use barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, kettlebells, medicine balls, and many bodyweight exercises. These elements are mixed in numerous combinations to form prescribed "Workouts of the Day" or "WODs."

Compared to bootcamp, crossfit offered smaller classes and more of a community of people to workout with. Also, tracking and logging your progress is strongly encouraged. Being the data driven person that I am that really appealed to me so that I can see evidence of my progress.

So I am in month 2 of crossfit and loving it. I love that the workouts or WODs can be modified or scale to my personal level, the classes are small and the trainers at my crossfit gym are awesome and really work with you to ensure you have the right form and basics.  I am constantly challenged. I haven't done the same workout twice quite yet. I feel stronger and I love the intensity of the workout and just feel great at the end of WOD. Beat and tired, but great and kind of proud that I made it through the workout.

I have seen progress from just the regular warm-up routine which consists of 3 rounds of 30 seconds of reps of pull ups, push ups, sit ups, and air squats. I've done push ups, sit ups, and squats with no problem. But pull ups, those are tough. So I started with the bands to assist me. I started with really thick green bands and after a few weeks, the trainers moved me to the next level (bands with less resistance). And just last week, the trainers moved me to the next level. I feel stronger with my pull ups. It will be a while before I can do a pull up without the assistance of the bands, but I am working towards it. Crossfit has been great for me in this short time. So far I love it.

May 16, 2012

{Creativer Corner} Teacher end-of-the year gifts

Today is the last day of Baby Bear's first year of preschool. To thank the teachers for an amazing year, I put together some teacher gifts to show them how much we appreciate them. We absolutely love Baby Bear's teachers.

May 2012_3

This was inspired from this blog, where you can also download the tags. Since I really didn't have time to design my own tags this time around, this was a nice and easy gift to put together. The cups included a Jamba Juice gift card, M&Ms, and Jelly Belly candies. I wanted to get them soemthing that would be useful for them. So I hope they enjoy them. I know that the Christmas gifts that we gave them get good use; I see the coffee cups at school being used often. They need to keep hydrated during our warm summers and they work summer school through the summer, so these seemed like they would get some use.

May 1, 2012

{Creative Corner} Princess Tulle Wands

For Baby Bear's preschool fundraiser I decided to make the princess wands instead of buying the cheap plastic ones. Look at what I made...


I think they turned out pretty good. I use the tutorial from this blog. They are very easy to make, I think any little girl will love this.


March 13, 2012

{Creative Corner} DIY Easter garland

I decided to do little Easter decorating. I was inspired by something I had pinned on Pinterest, which was inspired from this blog.


It is very easy and inexpensive to make. I bought 2 bags of plastic eggs from Party City. I used some yarn I had on hand and some extra ribbon I had laying around. I threaded the yarn through the little holes in the tops and bottoms of the eggs (which make the threading oh-so-easy). Then tied some ribbon in between the eggs. Voila, an Easter garland. Total cost was just under $2 since all I had to buy were the plastic eggs.


March 2, 2012

My birthday!

My birthday was a couple days ago. It was a busy month, with getting sick and then Baby Bear getting really sick. Then just last weekend was the conference that I had been planning for the last year as one of the co-organizers. So I was literally exhausted when the end of February came around. Well my birthday just happens to be the end of February. Usually it is the last day of the month on February 28th, but this year is a leap year. I figure that my birthday doesn't end until it is March 1, so on leap year I get to celebrate for TWO days! There is a story behind that: One year my mom called me a day late to wish me a happy birthday and it was a leap year, so she told me that she wasn't late, I get to celebrate for an extra day. So I have just always gone with it.

Because I was so tired and in need of some me time, I took the two days off and pampered myself with a massage and facial. It was awesome! I had a very relaxing birthday and it was a great way to celebrate the completion of the hard work I had put in on the conference. I am surely glad that the conference came before my birthday; otherwise I would have had to work through my birthday. It was a great day or two :)

February 14, 2012

{Creative Corner} Valentines for school

I made some Valentine's for Baby Bear's classmates and friends. Goldfish crackers wrapped up in little wrappers that I designed and made myself. A simple valentine.



For the Valentines for teachers, I was inspired by something I found on pinterest that led me to this blog. So I made my own version.