Waiting for something

… or should I say, weighting?

I had kind of a crappy and hectic December, which bled into January. On top of that, I was feeling down about ending the year feeling like I failed fitness-wise. January has evened out but it’s still not on the upswing yet.

I’m one week into my 12 week weightlifting program. Everything feels so new and different. A trainer gave me my exercise plan and told me what “macros” to eat, and I’ll meet with her twice a month to go over progress. Other than that, it’s up to me to do everything else. The first day was scary as hell. I was terrified to be on the weight floor with all the giant muscled dudes. I imagined them all laughing at my red puffy face, trying to lift 20 lbs. However, now that I’ve gone about 4 times, that feeling has calmed down a lot.
I know, it’s only one week and you can’t judge anything by one week but after all of my rounds of “dieting” it feels drastically different. Every other time, I’d be hungry the whole week and then feel lighter, and the scale would usually move quickly the first couple of weeks. This time, I spent the whole week in pain, sore from the new exercises, and all I wanted to do was sleep (even though I got my usual 7-8 hours). I was also eating more calories than what I’d normally eat on a “diet”. Normal diets usually give me 1200-1300 calories; this time I get to eat around 1500. Just 200 calories – one protein bar of a difference, yet it makes me feel a lot better. I’m not as hungry. BUT I don’t feel any lighter or tighter; I actually kinda feel bloated. And the scale did not budge, despite being 90% clean on my diet. In fact, I think I gained 1 lb last week. I’m trying to resist the urge to drop down to 1300 calories, because you aren’t supposed to go too low when trying to build new muscle. But man, I feel so heavy. All of these unknowns are giving me anxiety!
The good news – according to my heart rate monitor, I burned 350 calories during the ~45 minutes I spent on legs the other day. Unfortunately today I think I injured myself trying to to do barbell lunges. On my first set of lunges, I did something wrong and then I couldn’t finish the workout. It hurts just going up the stairs now. Ugh.

 

Recipe: Tofu and Kale Rice bowl

Last week was great for me. I eased back into cardio with three days of easy jogging. My eating was on point up until the weekend, when I drank a few beers and had a cheat snack of poutine but I still stayed within my calorie goal.
There is a funky, veg-friendly joint in Providence (AS220) that makes a most delicious dish they call RKT – rice, kale, tofu. I was craving that the other night but didn’t want to venture out, so I improvised something similar. It’s not an exact duplicate; the real restaurant version uses tons more oil, garlic, and salt but it was enough to satisfy my craving. I had never done tofu this way before and it came out really tasty.
tofu rice bowl

Tofu and Kale Rice Bowl

4 servings
  • 1 block of firm tofu, pressed and cut into cubes
  • Tofu seasoning: 1/2 teaspoon each of dried oregano, smoked paprika, and kosher salt; 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice (yield 3 cups cooked)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (sub olive oil for vegan)
  • 1 bunch of dinosaur kale
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • spray oil
  1. Press the tofu and cut it into cubes. Mix the tofu seasonings together in a bowl and sprinkle it over the cubes. Toss it around to make sure it’s evenly coated, and let it hang out while the rice cooks.
  2. Start cooking the rice. (no salt with the rice) 
  3. About 30 minutes after the rice has been cooking, start the main cooking. Heat a pan over medium-high and spray it with oil. When it’s hot, add the tofu. Let the tofu cook until it looks brown and seared before you start flipping things over. This step takes a while to get most of the sides done; about 2 mins per side so be patient.
  4. In between turning the tofu, wash and tear the kale into bite sized pieces, then mince the garlic. When the rice is cooked, stir the butter into the hot rice. Since this doesn’t have any sauce, the butter helps give it a good flavor.
  5. When the tofu is done, dump it into a big bowl and put the pan back on the stove, but turn the heat down to medium. Add the olive oil and garlic. After a minute, put in the kale and let it cook for another minute, then add the almonds.
  6. Add the kale mixture to the tofu in your giant bowl, then carefully mix in all of the cooked rice. Divide it into four servings
Hearty, nutritious, and delicious. Almost vegan. MyFitnessPal tells me that each serving has 414 calories / 47g carb / 17g fat / 23g protein.
It’s not great on sodium but if I reduced the salt, it would taste like cardboard. It feels good to be eating nutritious food again.  I lost one pound from last week, so I’m on my way back to normal.

Weight Loss Wednesday – 2014 Year in Review

I promise this is my last 2014 recap post. Let’s check in with how I did on my 2014 weight loss goals. Spoiler alert: not good. But first let me say that’s gonna be crazy hard for me to come clean about… let’s not say failure, but more like backwards progress, haha. It’s also hard to actually tell you how much I weigh. For real.

January 2014 – I started the year at about 137 lbs. This was right before the marathon, and I was ecstatic about feeling light. This was my lowest weight in a decade. Right after the marathon though, I gained a bunch of mystery water weight that took a couple of weeks to fade out.

beforeafter_1

June – In the June photo, I am about 134. I finally hit my initial weight loss goal, which was 135. I never thought I would look like that, and I didn’t even see myself like this until I compared the two photos. During the week that I took this photo, I was notified about my trip with Fitness magazine, so I was determined to keep up my progress. I stopped weighing myself daily.

August – San Francisco. Here I am at my new all-time low of 131. Holy crap. I bought multiple skirts in sz 4. For the first time ever, like ever in my life, I think to myself, I am happy with my size and even if I didn’t lose any more weight, I’d be happy at this size.

SFday3_7

I maintained through September, when the magazine was released, and then through October when I went to FitBlog. Maintaining 131 was difficult. If I indulged a little, I had to do strict damage control right afterwards. After October, I was tired of it. And hungry. I let the diet slide, and I slowly let the abs & arms routines die out in favor of running. Meanwhile, between October through December, I spent about 4 weeks away on the road, which made eating and exercising hard. I stopped weighing myself.

December – I finished the year at….  136. Fuck. Eight months lose 5 lbs, and less than 3 months to gain it all back. I know, it’s silly that it took me 8 months to lose 5 lbs. My height and my hormones are part of the equation but I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty relaxed about it. I don’t regret going slowly though.

On the bright side, I took a new January photo, and I still look better than I did in last year’s January pic. Sorry, I’m not ready to show it. It’s embarrassing. My clothes still fit, though some of the new size 4 stuff is a little snug so I’m not wearing them right now. I’m definitely still smaller in clothing size than I was last January even though I am nearly the same weight.

On an even a brighter side, I did a lot of other great things in 2014! I ran a ton, including a motherfuckin marathon. I never thought I’d be able to say that I completed a marathon, nevermind a marathon plus three halfs in the same year.

2014medals
(Oops, one of the medals in this picture did not belong. So I earned 7 medals, plus there were 3 races that didn’t have medals)

I think I ran 10 races total. I also hit 5k and half marathon PR’s. I guess technically my marathon was PR too, if I’m allowed to say that.

Sigh. I wanted to be like POW, here is my January to December transformation >insert drastic transformation pic here. But that did not happen. I guess between the pluses and minuses, I’m at a neutral point? I’m not happy with the scale at the end of the year, but at least I know that if I did it once, I can do it again. And faster this time.

I hope my past stumble won’t keep me from progress. I want to get to 130 by March and then my super ultimate goal of 125 by December. I also want to keep working on running faster; hopefully dropping more weight will help with that. Finally, I want to complete another marathon.

Let’s keep looking forward.

 

 

New makeup – Tarte Bon Voyage Collector’s Set

Happy New Year! How did you do on last year’s goals? I didn’t really have any, so I guess I win.

I almost made it through 2014 without buying any new makeup. I bought very little and then did a big splurge right at the end of the year. I also almost succeeded in my goal of only buying natural/clean makeup. Let me share all of the beauty related things I’ve picked up since November and haven’t started using yet.

During the Sephora VIB sale, I cashed in a gift card and bought this Tarte Bon Voyage Collector’s Set. I didn’t buy it last year and regretted it ever since. I don’t see it on the website anymore, so it’s a good thing I jumped early.

2015mu_4

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2014 Travel Wrap Up

Hey there! Sorry I’ve been missing! Not only was I spending the holidays in Chicago, but I finally just got internet at my new apartment.

2014travel

Here is my 2014 travel recap. Twelve months, 12 plane rides, 13 states (not counting Mass, RI, CT). Four of these were work trips but most of them were fun trips.

Wow. I thought I travelled a lot in 2013, but I know I beat the record this year. My only regret is that I didn’t keep a journal or scrapbook to document this awesome year. I’m tempted to knit myself a Where’s Waldo style hat and take a picture every place I visit. My wish for next year is to have fewer of these small trips and instead go somewhere bigger.

Cheers to learning, eating, and seeing the world.