What is this all about?

I started this blog to keep me accountable in my fitness and clean eating journey. My first post was in March of 2007 and I've been posting ever since. As you will see I've had many highs and lows...but this is all about the journey...not just the destination

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hot Strength Training

Hot yoga is very popular in my neck of the woods. It is practiced in a room that is heated to 105 degrees and is supposed to rid the body of toxins and promote greater flexibility . I've always thought about trying it. But just when I get serious about trying it, I remember my basement .

So I have a little home gym in my basement. It is the home gym when I use but it also doubles as a play room- which is not the safest environment since my 6year old son thinks he can lift weights.. but I digress.

I have a treadmill, weights, a mini trampoline, a chin up bar (that is sitting on the floor because I can't actually install it) , my indoor cycle station (bike+trainer) and some elastic bands. Oh yeah and of course my LL Cool J workout book and assorted Oxygen magazines with workouts flagged. All in all - I have enough to get a decent workout in my basement. And for the last few weeks, I've been doing strength training a couple of days a week at home. It all sounds fine until you factor in one small detail. My basement is literally AN INFERNO. It gets sooo hot that I have trouble working out on the treadmill because my lungs start drying out.....

The problem is that at night our old house gets pretty cold - so we turn on the heat. Well the furnace is in the basement and the venting system in the basement was so poorly designed that the heat blows right into the main room in the basement. There is no way to redirect it and we only have 1 zone - so if it is off in the basement --the rest of the house is cold. We have a window in the room and I keep it open , but it doesn't do much . But ...perhaps there is a benefit to this.

If one believes that Hot Yoga in a 105 degree studio is beneficial, maybe I'm selling my 120 degree basement short. Perhaps my Hot Strength Training is actually beneficial. Perhaps I'm increasing my strength and flexibility and ridding my body of unwanted toxins.... So who needs Hot Yoga when you have Hot Strength Training......hmmm
Burned 640 calories from exercise
Consumed 1760 calories --- In a moment of weakness I had cow chip-- put me over :(
But still had a 300c deficit.
the water is still probelmatic... I'm going to try adding lemon

Monday, October 13, 2008

Prework power nap

I got up at 4 am arrived at the gym by 5 ish. I did weights and then took an intense spin class. Usually Friday spin is the toughest, followed by Monday and then the Wed class is not worth attending since it is way too easy.

Anyway -- today's class was a super tough class. There were very little recoveries (reminded me of SEBY's class ) and lots of seated climbs. We then did these sprints at an level 8 resistance . My legs were yelling obscenities at me.

When it was all over , I felt great - as I usually do. Great because of the endorphin rush and great that I didn't stop -even though my legs wanted to.

The problem was that by 8:30 , as I was preparing to grab my laptop and walk out the door, I had an overwhelming urge to take a nap. So I did.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

weekly wrap up

So here is the scoop:

4 1/2 hours of cardio
1 1/2 of strength training

Better - but still not where I want
The good:
  • More conscious of sugar
  • More protein , less carbs
  • More water
  • Encouraged hubby not to get Pizza

The bad:
  • Difficulty staying strong when bad things are in the house
  • Struggling bit with non dairy creamer (which has absolutely no redeeming qualities)
  • Still need to drink even more water

Overall --1lb down

Not horrible.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

a good day

Day by Day --- minute by minute... Yup that is what I did today.

Hard to get my butt out of bed. I was up late (and early) watching the international financial markets tumble and listening to debate post rhetoric. Anyway -- I finally got up and made it to the gym. I did heavy legs (5 sets of my circuit + hamstrings and squats) and hill climb on the treadmill .. (level 15 at 3.8mph).. Total calorie burn 622.

Food -- well, ok, so here is part of the problem. There are these cookies...called "Cow Chips" and I have had a love affair with them for the past 2 years. The good news is that these cookies are located in a mall that I don't visit too often. So I would have them every now and then. That is until last week. So I started a new gig in a new building (same company). The new building has a Cow Chip bakery right in the cafeteria. I think they pump the fumes through the exhaust so that as you approach the building you smell those daxx cookies. So my daily challenge is to resit the cookies. Some days I win, some days I lose. Today I lost.

Because I am committed to not eating more than 1500c per day, I needed to cut back on dinner in order to not exceed my goal. So while everyone else had chicken w/noodles and veggies. I had egg whites with veggies and a tablespoon of cheese. It was delicious.

So all in all
  • Calories consumed 1550
  • Calories burned 622

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

21 days...

So I'm definitely recommitting. I'm recommitting to being superfit..... Superfit means
  1. being able to have an above average heart rate recovery after rigorous cardio
  2. being able to maintain average heart rate above what is expected for my age group
  3. Being in the "normal" weight category (not low end of overweight)
  4. Having a body fat percent in the mid to low 20s. (low 20s is pushing it a bit)

and....I'm taking names. So join me...

Here is the deal..... I am committing to making good choices minute by minute, day by day for 21 days in a row. 21 days is the time it takes for something to become a habit...so say the experts. Good choices means veggies and proteins, shakes, very little sugar and refined carbs, LOTS of water, not more than 1500 calories per day. Daily exercise.

And I am going to be accountable. I will blog daily and report out progress.

Yesterday... 1 hour cardio/ 10 minutes of strength training/1900 calories :(

Today ..no exercise/1700 calories

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Name change?

Lately I've been wondering if I need to change the title of this blog. When I started it almost 2 years ago, I was on my way to transforming my body and my fitness level. I had gone from a sedentary person who was 60lbs overweight, to an incredibly fit triathlete. Through this blog, I've documented my struggles and successes..and it has been good. I reached the peak fitness - as evidenced by heart rate recovery, cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength. and it felt great.

Well, right now I don't feel so great. Yes I am still much fitter than I was, and yes I am still a triathlete and yes I have maintained 43lbs of my 56lb loss. The difference right now is discipline . I am still working out but the biggest problem is discipline with food choices. In my mind, I know what I need to do...but I have trouble executing. I remember months ago having iron discipline -- no matter what was in front of me , I could resist. Now , well not so much. I am really having trouble with sugar - in particular.

When I think about what works for me -- I've narrowed it down to a few things...Good food choices "in the moment", consistent rigorous exercise - to maintain metabolism, consistent muscle strengthening and most importantly-- food tracking. Also this blog is a key factor in my accountability. I notice that when I don't blog , there is usually a correlation to my consistency and discipline.

So if I consider how I feel today, I would change the name to "My journey from being fat to an incredibly fit triathlete to being a struggling to stay on track triathlete" But I won't ...because the truth is, this blog (and the title) actually helps me to remember who I am and what I am capable of. I know that I am strong and disciplined... and can do anything I commit to. I just need to commit again.

About Me

My photo
West Coast, United States
I am a christian woman, wife, mom to 2 great kids, a member of Delta Sigma Theta, A Jack and Jill mom, sister, daughter . I am also incredibly fit but wasn't always. I am a recovering fat girl - who takes it one day at a time.

Alonda the Triathlete!

Alonda the Triathlete!

The backstory-----How did I become a triathlete...

In February 2006, I went on a ski trip with my new colleagues from work. On the way back, I sat next to a girl named Wendy - a really friendly woman who talked about her experience as a newcomer to Seattle. She told me how her main source of making friends was through her workout buddies. She also mentioned that many of her friends participate in triathlons and that (get this) I should consider doing one too. I thought she might have been delirious from all of the skiing. I assured her that I was not the one. She obviously had mistaken me for someone else. Perhap my heavy coat prevented her from seeing what was underneath (50 lbs of extra weight and lots of evidence of no exercise). She continued with this crazy talk, speaking of how fun it is and how supportive the Danskin Triathlon is. I wanted to be sure that she and I were thinking of the same thing... Triathlon (swim bike run -some huge number of miles -all on the same day right after each other). Yup this was it. I chuckled and told her to have fun.
A few weeks later at the office, she mentioned it again. Now at this time, I had been contemplating joining my company sponsored health club (PROCLUB) and in particular the weight loss program called 20/20. After all, I had really packed on the pounds. I arrived in WA 50lbs overweight and pretty unhappy with myself. I actually started to think that completing triathlon would be a good goal...impossible but a good goal. I decided to go for it. At the same time I also decided to join the weight loss program. My first meeting with my trainer ..Anthony Parker was on 3/14/06. I told him ..in all of my fatness, that I wanted to do a triathlon. He looked at me and said hmmm, ok.
I began this really intense workout and nutrition program and began building my endurance. My first meetings with Anthony consisted of walking on the treadmill for 20 minutes and then doing stairclimber or eliptical for 15 minutes. Followed by a bit of strength training. I did this 3x a week (between 6am and 7:30) and then worked out on my own 2 other days. I had absolutely no endurance and could not run for more than 1 minute. Over the months, my endurance grew ..slowly at first then more rapidly. I also figured that I needed to improve my swimming skills if I was going to swim for 1/2 a mile. I took a Total Immersion Class.. which teaches swimming efficiency. Let's set the record straight here... I could swim well enough to save myself if I was thrown off of a boat. I was a decent (not great) swimmer. At the start of the class, I could do 1 (that's right ONE) lap and then I started breathing heavy. At that point I new the triathlon was totally out of reach. After all 1/2 mile was equal to 20 laps. I left the 1st day of class feeling scared and dismayed that I was too aggressive. Maybe I should have set my goal for 2007.
The next week's class, I asked the teacher what I needed to do to build my endurance. He said just keep at it, it will come. You know what, it did. Each week I got better and better. 4 weeks later I was able to swim 9 laps. I then started swimming before my workouts with my trainer (a little crazy but hey). My trainer was pretty impressed. I also started biking on the weekends. In fact in May I did a 30 mile bike ride as a part of the Tour De Cure for Diabetes. I really love biking...:)
Ok so I still had not tackled the most difficult part, the running. Not only could I not run but I absolutely hated it. I started adding running to my treadmill work. Anthony suggested intervals. We started with 2min run 2 min walk . I did this for weeks extending the time and the speed. I was up to running at 5.5 and walking at 4.0. Then Anthony said ..let's see if you can run a mile. I thought he was kidding. I did not think I was ready for that. This was May 5th (a day after my birthday). Guess what I did it. And I didn't feel like I was going to die. I was on top of the world. All day I had a little extra spring in my step. I just kept replaying in my head the "goal attained" message on the treadmill. I just could not believe it.
I kept it up, continued working out 5x a week. I took another swim class "Triathlon Swim Training" to help even more. This class was filled with drills and specific swim workouts. I really saw progress. By the end of the class, I was able to swim 28 laps. Now the challenge was to swim in Open Water. That's right. The triathlon was going to be in Lake Washington.
I finally felt like I could really do it. I didn't have a specific time goal , my goal was to finish. The week before the race I was sooo nervous. I was doing mini triathlons with a few really good girls. I kept up with them during the swim but one bike ride was particularly hilly and....they left me in the dust. I felt so bad and really began to rethink whether or not I should do the race. I spoke to one of the girsl about my bike performance , and she said that my bike was holding me back. That day, I decided to retire my 35lb mountain bike for a 19 lb feather light road bike. Boy what a differnce. This was a risky thing to do so close to the race but it worked for me.
The other thing to mention is that I met up with a wonderful group of women called the Soul Sistas. They are a group of African American Women of all ages who participate in triathlons and bike races. They are so awesome.We (the soul sistas) took pictures the day before the race... I'll post when available.
So the day of the race..... Everybody in the house is excited and up. My kids and my nieces - who were visiting from NJ are all up and ready to root me on. I left early so that I could get ready.The goal was to meet me by the swim finish. This was alll pretty tricky because there were 40 waves of swimmers starting every 3 minutes. All I can say about the swim is that it felt much longer than 1/2 a mile. I kept focused and didn't get nervous. I focused on keeping my breathing relaxed. It worked ...and by the way I wasn't the last swimmer in my group YEAHHH. I don't know how it all worked out but as soon as I finished my swim, I saw them. Byron , Tyler, Paris, Ahlia and Ivy were all waiting there for me with the most beautiful handmade signs saying GO MOMMY, Go AUNTIE, I love you. It was so terrific. Once I saw them I was energized.... Now on to the bike.
The bike was the best part of the entire race. I love my bike and I love to fly down the road. The entire 14 miles of the race was closed to traffic. Our longest stretch was on the express lane of one of the largest highways. Imagine flying down a highway with nothing in your way (but other riders on your right). It was so amazing. I was going pretty fast but could have gone faster - but wanted to save my legs for the run.
Now the run... I hate running and I am really bad at it. I am slow and not terribly efficient. After biking hard for 40 minutes, your legs are really worked up. During the after bike run, your legs turn into "bricks". They are heavy and hard to move. If you push through , you can get over the feeling and get into a stride. Well I also felt pains in my knee. So instead of running the entire 3.2 miles I decided to walk run. In the end it was actually fine - but while doing it I was a little disappointed. Danskin is great because there are so many supporters on the way. Cheerleaders who are yelling "go for it" from their back porch. It was just what I needed. In fact I heard Destiny's Child Im a survivor , on my way and that was what I used in my head to keep me going.
So when I realize I am about 1/2 mile from the end, I start getting super excited and very emotional. It is all coming together now -- all the training, the visualization of actually crossing the finish line and my waiting family. I got on my cell phone to cal my husband, just to make sure he was at the finisth line. He cracked up that I called:)
When you come close to the finsih line, there are all these spectators lined up waiting for you. It is so great! I ran through a narrow entry to the wide finish line area. And there they were.. my family (My hubby, kids and neices) - with signs and smiles. When I crossed the finish line, my name was announced and the official put a medal around my neck. Well I just lost it and started crying. I could not believe that I had just completed a triathlon. I was officially a triathlete.