Friday, April 26, 2013

The Secret

So lately everyone's been asking me "what's your secret?". I laugh a little on the inside every time. I have no secret, being/getting healthy isn't some secret... It's pretty obvious actually: eat right and exercise. See, no secret! All too often we make excuses about why we can't so the simplest things, believe me, I know. I'm too tired, my foot hurts, I already took my bra off for the day (come on girls, you KNOW you've said this one a time or two!).

The truth is, you can either keep making the excuses or you can start to make the time to take care of yourself. It's a choice, you just have to make the right one. I made two choices: MAKE the time to exercise and find a useful way to keep track of what you eat.

EXERCISE: If you have an hour to waste on Facebook or Pinterest, then you have an hour to spend on exercise. Choices. "But I live like 20 minutes away from the gym or it's cold outside." Excuses. If you can't get to a gym or you aren't into/able to go outside, drop a little $ on an awesome workout DVD and some small weights. Jillian Michaels: crazy and scary, but awesome easy workouts! Or maybe use your late night Pinterest time to "pin" the links to the zillions of free online at home workouts (many require nothing but your body weight). BOOM, excuse is now invalid!

FOOD: fruits, veggies, lean protein... all good things you need, but how do you know at you're eating is really GOOD for you? How do you know you've eaten the right balance of calories, fats, carbs and gotten in the essential vitamins and nutrients you need? Now do you know if you've had too much? There are all kinds of ways people manage food intake. When I first started out, I became a huge fan of calorie tracking and thanks to smart phones, an app made it super convenient and easy!

If it goes in your mouth, it goes in your app. Every last little thing you eat or drink in the day. There's no sense in leaving something out so your "count" looks good. It went in your mouth, it's going to make its way to your hips, butt, etc... Put it in your log and learn from your habits.

About 2 years ago, after many years of constant digestive issues I finally found a doctor who put something real to my problems: a gluten allergy. I cut it out (well mostly, sometimes I cheat and eat something I shouldn't and regret it later- physical regret, not mental regret haha). Making that change really forced a change in my overall eating habits. Less unnecessary carbs, like pasta loaded with sauce, and more healthy foods, like fruits and veggies. (DISCLAIMER: I do not recommend a gluten free life as a fad diet, only go this route when medically necessary.). I really felt like my eating habits were fine. When I started using the app, I was shocked... At how much I was UNDER eating. Yes, under eating. Days when I barely had 1,000 calories. I didn't necessarily feel hungry on those days, but seeing those numbers made me realize how unhealthy can go both ways. I upped the calories and made sure I did it in a healthy way. I shoot for around 1,400 on average every day. That still seems low to me, but it's comprised of solid servings of lean protein, fruits, and veggies. 1,400 "good" calories feels a heck of a lot better in you than 1,400 calories of crap does! Each person is an individual and you need to research how much food YOU need based in your lifestyle, activity level, size, etc. keeping track of what you eat keeps you honest about what you're doing.

So there you go, there's the big secret! I'll post some of my daily food logs another day, check back!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Super Star!!

Gym Super Star, right here (toot toot my own horn!).  If you go to Golds @ Willow Lawn (or just want to go in there and see how awesome I am) check out the wall above the cubbies or the Personal Trainers desk and see your gal!

When I first started down this road, I planned to blog about it.  Well, actually I planned to keep a running word document to be posted later.  Like many other good intentioned ideas, I forgot to write anything more than my initial post.  So, I’ve gone back and put it into past tense and added my current reflection of life at the gym over the past 6 months.  It’s a long post, but I hope that someone who comes across it, friend or stranger, finds some level of inspiration and hope for themselves.  Here it is:

Back at the end of September some friends got together for a little visit, as always, we took the standard “girl group pic” and as always, someone posted it on Facebook.  I cried.  Seriously, tears rolling down my cheeks.  Why this picture, why now? I don’t know.  There are tons of pictures of myself I’ve hated over the past years.  In general I tried to hide in the back, no easy feat when you’re short!  In my head I knew what size I was and what I really looked like.  Standing in front of the mirror I could twist and bend and convince myself I wasn’t as big as I really was.  Pictures don’t lie and this one was staring me in the face.

After the tears dried up, I decided to join the gym.  Walking in that door was honestly one of the most difficult days of my life, but I had to face the demon.  All day I debated whether or not to sign up for personal training.  I really couldn’t afford it, but I decided it was worth the expense to get my life back together.  I was genuinely scared of the gym and a nervous wreck all day the first day I met with the trainer.  Pretty quickly during that workout I realized how truly out of shape I was.  Everything seemed impossible and at that moment I thought maybe I’d made a mistake.  Wouldn’t staying fat and unhealthy just be easier?  Of course my excessively logical side kicked in and I realized that it’s not.

Soon enough the training became fun and I really loved the weekly push to lift something heavier, do something better, and go a little farther.  Pretty soon the hard work started to pay off.  Each week got a little more challenging, in a positive way!  The area I dubbed “the man room” (aka the weight room) became my second home.  I was secretly motivated by all the crazy meatheads back there.  Not that I want to be a Jersey Shore-esque kinda gal, but seeing even the weakest looking guys back there made me want to push myself and be strong… for a girl of course! 

As I reflect back on the past 6 months or so, I think about the things that really made me feel like I made it and I could keep making it.  Making life better, making myself better, making this journey better.
1.      The 1st time I bought pants a size smaller
2.      The 2nd, 3rd times, 4th times I bought smaller pants!
3.      The day I took 10 bags stuffed full of clothes to Goodwill.
4.      The day squats became a piece of cake (so of course the trainer was like, oh let’s add weight to this… hm, great!)
5.      The day I benched more than just the 45 lb bar (65lbs, whoo, haha!)
6.      The day I ran 5 minutes without stopping.  Then the day I ran 10.  I’m by no means a runner, but I’m working on building up to being one!

I know my trainer will probably never see this, because honestly I’m a little embarrassed by just putting it out there in the blogosphere, I couldn’t imagine showing it to him.  Never the less, I am so grateful for him (and yes I've told him that!) and all his encouragement, motivation, and never ending faith that I could do it!  I am forever indebted to him to teaching me how to be an effective exerciser.  I’ve become a better person for it!  I can’t sing the praises of personal trainers enough for anyone out there who’s thinking about getting fit!  It is seriously the best investment you can make in yourself.

6 months, 40 pounds, 15% body fat, 4 dress sizes…. GONE!  The journey hasn’t ended yet, I’m just on to bigger and better goals.   Okay, now I’m crying again, but this time they are happy tears!

New goals for 2013:
1.      Do 5 legit pull ups all on my own
2.      20 good, easy push-ups not on my knees 
3.      Run a 5 or 10k

If the girl who complained her way through high school PE, makes every excuse in the world, and would rather be lazy can do it... you can do it!  Love, Anne :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rocked the Reno

Well folks, it was a labor of love... not so much for me, mostly for the guys who did all the work, haha!  Finally, some pictures of the finished work, though I do still need to get furniture for the room so it actually looks complete!  Check out the before & after views:

Left view before, where the w/d originally stood

Left view after, w/d are now beind the closet on the left and the door to the dining room has been taken out

Right view before

Right view after, new broom closet there on the right

Opposite side before

Opposite side after. Nothing changed here, just the paint color
 Not sure if you can see the coloring in the after pictures well, but the walls are a light grey (Silver Drop), the trim is a crisp white (Silver Dust), and the ceiling is a barely there blue (Coastal Fog) all from Behr.  The floor is a just painted tan, I'll put an area rug down later.  Picking out the paint colors for this room as inspired me to change up my whole house... though I haven't actually done any of that work, I'll save it for cooler days in the fall.  Once I get furniture in there I'll update the blog.

Gotta give mad props to Wes Barger and the BWB Construction team for the great work they did on what turned out to be the room of disaster!  If you are ever looking to do any renovations, repairs, etc definitely go with them!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The last mile is always the longest

Or something like that. I don't run, the last time I ran was probably a drunken stumble up to Lane Stadium because I heard kick-off about to happen and I was gunna miss it!  Okay, back to the reason for waisting your reading time...

In just a few short days I've gone from having a whole wall taken down to a room almost finished!  There are a few things left to do before I can take back over and start the fun part of paint colors and decorating!

Check out the before/in progress below...


In progress.  The W/D will be in the closet on the left now!

On the right will be a smaller storage/broom closet

Monday, July 9, 2012

New Deck!

For three years, stepping out on my deck was basically a crap-shoot.  The boards were so warped and rotten, it was only a matter of time before one step out the door landed a person straight through to the ground.  It was like Deck Roulette.  No more!  Got me a brand new deck, yippie!

You cant tell how bad it is in this picture, but the deck was ollllld, to say the least!


Time to have a cookout!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Renovation Vacation

Well… the time has come… a major renovation project… well, at least more major than I can do on my own.  At some point in time, round about ’84 I’d say, someone turned the old porch into an enclosed porch/sunroom area.  Why 1984 you ask? Well, because I still have the washer and dryer from 1984 as proof (no, they won’t be staying much longer).  Whomever did the work certainly didn’t have an eye for design or function, at least not one I can figure out.  Genius put the washer and dryer right in the middle of the room, rather than on a side wall, therefore cutting down on the good “usable” space for the sunroom part.  Behold…

Door to Nowhere

Well, the room was “ugly as homemade sin” (as my friend Angela’s husband William likes to say).  Well, maybe not ugly, but very bland.  There was a Door to Nowhere (one point was a window, someone made into a door, but to go through it meant you had to climb over the dryer, lame). Something had to change.  So I covered the Door to Nowhere with a curtain, pulled up the old worn out carpet, put in new doors, and painted the walls and floors.  I fashioned another curtain to disguise the appliances as best I could.  Still, the “sunroom” felt more like a hallway to the back door.

May the odds be ever in my favor... 

Day 1: Must try to have vision.  I can see it all coming together, I’m just more of a finished project, “oh let’s pick out pretty paint colors and furniture” kind of person, not so much on the demo and drywall.  The odds were not so much in my favor today, shit happened...  What was supposed to be a simple tear down of some 70s wood paneling turned into a full exterior wall replacement.  Not only was the thing COVERED in mold (yikes!) but apparently it was also the final resting place of six birds (GROSS!).  Birds and mold gone and the entire side of the room taken off, here’s what it looks like partially put back together….

On the left will be the enclosure for the washer & dryer, behind closed doors, out of sight!  On the right will be a broom/ storage closet.  The third picture is the outside of the new wall in progress.

Oh, and what was supposed to be a simple replacement of deck boards turned into a total deck redo, what did I get myself into?!

Whar'd ma deck go?!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Years Resolution

Okay... this is probably the most common resolution in the world, I guess I'll just join the ranks.  In 2012 I'm going to stop being fat.  Yes, I said stop being fat.  Not loose weight, be skinnier, but stop being fat.  Somewhere back many years ago I started eating less healthy and exercising less and less.  It happened by my choices of food, one too many beers, and plain laziness... so this year I choose to stop those bad habits!

It's been 5 days since I started my new commitment and so far (aside from NYE) I've stuck to my calorie count/eating plan and have exercised more in 1 week then I have in the past 6 months.  I downloaded an app to help me keep track of my eating habits, learn where I need to make changes, enter my exercise and weight... and hopefully watch that number steady drop in a meaningful way!  I'm already feeling better in general!

Oh, and if anyone is looking to be a free personal trainer, I'll gladly be your client :o)