Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 30 Update! And, why so much exercising?!?!?!

First, I want to say thanks to you all for reading this post! When I started my blog, I didn’t intend it for public consumption, however, as I go along this journey I am learning that writing about and dialoging with others about my experience has helped push me further. Community is key and I am grateful for the online community this blog provides. Second, I will write daily updates about how my day went and try to have them posted by 9pm or so. Before each update, I might spend a few sentences talking about an issue/idea/challenge related to health/nutrition/etc.! Third, please feel free to comment, ask questions and otherwise make this a dialogue! Fourth, I’ll try to make the posts brief—no one wants to read a dissertation in one sitting (or ever)! LOL

January 13, 2011

First, Happy Founders' Day to all my SORORS! Alright, back to the topic at hand! :)

Second, some of you may have looked at my plan and said—“wow, that’s a bit much!” Exercise six days a week, no eating out, a gallon of water daily! Whoa! While I do not feel that I NEED to explain my choices, I would like to discuss why I think they are important—not just so that I can get ready for the shoot, but for life. The fact of the matter is I already had been exercising 5 times a week, drinking water and eating out minimally. I am just ramping it up a notch to see what happens! Therefore, over the next few days, before my update, I will share a little bit about my choices regarding each of the three areas: exercise, eating, and drinking.

Today, I want to begin with EXERCISE! I begin with exercise, not because it’s the MOST important, but because exercise is where many of us get hung up, get our feelings hurt, quit, and otherwise have a bad relationship.

When I began my lifestyle change a year ago, I started with an exercise program not with the immediate goals of losing weight. I started because I felt like everything in me had stopped moving or was having a hard time doing so. I also knew that I had to change my eating habits, but I couldn’t quite fathom that, especially with all of the conflicting advice circulating. So, I did what I thought was best: I joined a boot camp program and went as many times a week as I could—5x a week for three weeks! After my three-week trial period was over, I decreased it to 3-4x a week. During this three-week period, I drastically changed what I put into my body (more on that tomorrow). This, coupled with exercise, allowed me to begin to drop some weight! (Not very much initially, though.) My trainer, Dustin Maher, told me straight out, exercise is only one part of the equation, and a small one at that. 80% of weight loss is what you eat while only 20% is exercise.

So, if this is the case, why am I exercising so much now???

Honestly? (And, in this blog I feel l can be honest.) It’s because it makes me FEEL SO DARN GOOD! I like to sweat. I like being presented with a challenge and SUCCESSFULLY completing it on my own terms. I like seeing my progress—like going from only being able to do knee push-ups a year ago, to doing 15 full push-ups now.

Also, as a graduate student who spends my days writing my dissertation, mostly alone, especially during the week, it provides me with a community of like-minded people who aren’t afraid to work hard, grunt, and sweat it out! These people have seen me at my worst: just waking up at 5am, to get to class by 6am! Some of them wouldn’t recognize me at my best! LOL I found that I like to exercise in community. Before I found my current fitness facilty (D3 Chicago), I went to the South Side YMCA (a great facility) and I found that as I would work out on a machine or use the selectorized equipment I would strike up conversations with people—I love to talk fitness! Others’ enthusiasm encourages me!

Additionally, exercise motivates me to make healthy food choices. (More on that tomorrow)

Lastly, exercising, working my muscles, and engaging my cardiovascular and respiratory systems, makes me strong! And, that’s what I want to be. I am beyond the point where I simply want to lose weight. Yes, that will come with continued healthy choices. I am at the point where I want to be stronger. I want to do a bicep curl with a 25lb weight or lift a 30lb kettlebell; I want to outrun, out-jump, out-squat—MYSELF! Continued use of my muscles will get me where I want to be strength-wise.

So, that’s it folks! That’s why I exercise. When first starting my lifestyle change, I exercised because I felt I had to—it’s what all the experts said I had to do. Now, I exercise because I LIKE IT! Weight loss is a by-product.

Enough ranting, on to the update!

Day 30 (I'm counting down, folks!) update:

Boot Camp Class 50 minutes (Full body workout)
Glutes and Leg Burn Class 25 minutes (concentrated on specific areas)
Cardio P90X 45 minutes (Overkill for the day, yes, but I have a group of friends who I work out with every Thursday. I didn't want to skip my morning workout because we were testing on strength exercises we did a month ago and today was follow-up. Even though I worked out today already, I didn't feel tired or sluggish during Cardio P90X.)

5:25am Banana (pre-workout)
7:45am Protein Shake (with ½ cup soy milk, 5 frozen strawberries, 1 cup h2o) and 8 almonds
11:45am Banana, 2 oz chicken breast, 10 almonds
2:35pm Apple, bowl of homemade chicken veggie soup (with a tablespoon of gelatin for protein boost—I’ll talk more about this tomorrow.)
4:35pm Apple, 10 almonds
7:45 pm: 3 oz chicken breast and cabbage sautéed in 1 tablespoon of EVOO with onions, garlic, and red pepper

128 oz h2o!
½ cup soy milk (in smoothie)

How do I feel?
I feel GOOD! I finished Cardio P90X, which is hard, about an hour ago. Still have energy though its the end of the day. :)


  1. I LOVE this post!!! Look how far you've amaze me. Thank you for posting the food portion-I love seeing what others eat and it offers new ideas...please keep including!! EVERY DAMN DAY...keep doing it-we are all behind you 150%!!

  2. I need the Boot camp info. We've been working out in the OUTDOORS to burn more. Do know you're work is encouraging sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo soooooooooooooo many others. LIKE ME!!

  3. @B--EDD!!! :)

    @ Joyce, Clink on the word "boot camp program" in the post and it will take you to Dustin's boot camp web site, which has all the info you need!!! :)