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A Hike and A Workout

12 May

Wednesday was Day 3 of this new workout plan I am trying (you can read the deets on the plan by going back a post or two). Even though Day 3 is a body circuit day I figured that didn’t mean I couldn’t do other stuff as well, so I went for a hike. πŸ™‚

I worked Wednesday, my normal day off, 10a-4:30p and when I was done I was sooooo close to this hike called Quarry Rock I figured I shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to go. I used to climb this particular trail on an almost weekly basis two years ago, last year I didn’t climb it as much which is unfortunate. I didn’t do as many hikes in general last year, not really sure why.

So this was my first time on the trail in a while. It has changed a bit, not in a bad way or anything, just natural changes that you will find in a forest. It is definitely showing the signs of lack of rain though, which sucks. The trail is drier, there is less green, the bridges built to get over the water aren’t really needed since there is barely any water. It is kind of sad when you think about it.

But! On the plus side I took pictures, so lets focus on those! lol

New signs have been put up, I’m thinking because of the stupid people you see on the trail wearing flip flops (not even joking!). Or I suppose they could be because some people head in to the wilderness with no idea about what they might encounter, and might not be properly prepared for the possibilities. Meh, who knows!

The next pics are views from the top…

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Isn’t it so pretty? Makes the hike up completely worth it! πŸ™‚

While I was sitting up there, even with my sunglasses on, it felt like the sun was searing a hole through my eyes straight to the back of my head. Poor eyeballs. 😦 So I didn’t stay up there as long as I wanted to, but I did stay up longer than I used to. When I hiked this trail on a regular basis I used to get to the top, take a quick glance, then go right back down because I was hiking the trail primarily for exercise, not to enjoy nature. This time, it was such a harder climb than it used to be for me that I decided to enjoy being at the summit.

That climb really made me realize how lazy I have been. I used to be able to hike Quarry Rock without even thinking about it, which is why it was a great hike to do at the end of a busy work day once a week. It was exercise without being extraordinarily demanding. Now? Ha! Now it is hard apparently. There were parts where the only positive thing I can say about myself is that I was still technically going forward, felt like I was moving in slow motion through molasses, but I was still moving, so that’s something…

I have decided that I will hike Quarry Rock once a week, weather permitting, for the next couple months, get back in the groove of dealing with inclines and rocky surfaces an all that.

Here are a couple pics I snapped on the way back down to show you the shape the forest is in, see what I mean about drier than normal and a little sad looking?

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When I got home from the hike I immediately started on the exercises for Day 3. Each set included:

30 seconds jumping rope

15 squat jumps

10 bench dips

15 standing calf raises

20 shoulder presses

10 side lunges (each leg)

25 crunches

I had to make some modifications due to a variety of factors but I did my best to keep to the spirit of the exercise I was modifying so I’d still get the same, or at least a similar, benefit.

The exercises I modified are the jumping rope, the squat jumps and the shoulder presses.

The jumping rope I can’t do because my apartment has an extremely low ceiling, there isn’t enough clearance for the rope. Also, there isn’t enough open space for the rope when it is going around my body. So yeah, not happening. Instead I ran in place for 30 seconds, I didn’t half ass it or anything, I basically sprinted in place for the same amount of time I was supposed to be jumping rope.

As I learned on the Monday, squat jumps and my knees are just not friends. Instead I did normal squats. I didn’t realize until just now when I was re-reading the exercise list that the alternate for the squat jumps was a 30 second wall sit, oops. I’ll do that next time. I don’t think it was soooo bad that I did normal squats though…

The shoulder presses, ok, so this is a weird one. I have free weights, they are only 5lbs and 8lbs but whatever, it is a start! So I have the weights and I know how to do a shoulder press, but I can’t do them in my apartment because the ceiling is too low. I can’t raise my arms above my head when standing and straighten the elbows because I am hitting the ceiling. Instead I did a forward lunge, maintained the lunge position, and did 10 shoulder presses. Then I stepped back, did a forward lunge with the other leg, maintained the position, and did the other 10 shoulder presses. I figure it might even be better than just doing shoulder presses because I am utilizing my core more to maintain balance and using my leg muscles to ya know, stay in the lunge position.

So yeah, that was how the workout went on Wednesday. Haven’t quit the new program yet! lol πŸ˜›

Now Comes The Exercise

10 May

I warned you in the last post this one would be about the new exercise plan so don’t blame me if you’re all “omg all she is writing about is working out, ugh” πŸ˜‰ lol

I found the work out plan I am going to follow by complete and total fluke, such a pleasant surprise!

I can’t lay claim to any part of this plan, I found it here…

http://www.popeyescanada.com/strongtothefinish-en.html

It is the Popeye’s Supplement company website. I was on it seeing if my protein powder was on sale (sadly, it isn’t) and noticed they are having a contest. I can’t enter because it is already started but that doesn’t mean I can’t read the information they have on the site and learn from it.

You select your gender and from there check out four different workouts. I have made copies of all of them with the theory that once I have gotten good at the beginner level I will be able to move up to the more advanced workouts and well, might as well be prepared for that, right?

Here is what the beginners workout plan looks like…

Capture

For some reason the part that most appealed to me was that all the workouts can be done at home. Normally I don’t like working out at home, I like being lazy at home. Buuuuuut there are advantages, like, I don’t have to worry about making myself presentable to the world, I don’t have people in the gym watching me, I can work out at anytime of day or night, my shower is less than ten steps away so when I’m done I can get cleaned up super fast.

Oh, and the biggest perk is that I have no excuse to not work out. My gym closes at 10pm Fridays and Saturdays which means I can’t get there after work and I don’t care for working out prior to going to work so I have used those two reasons for more often than not skipping my Friday and Saturday workouts. Well, no more!

Something else I like about this plan is the alternate exercises. It is smart to not keep doing the same exercises for weeks and weeks and weeks in a row so having things to swap out to keep the body guessing is good. Also, as I get stronger I can add weights to the moves, add more reps and sets, make it more of a challenge. πŸ™‚ Plus it alternates cardio with the full body circuit and even throws in a rest day and a stretching day. It’s a good mix.

I wasn’t intending to have Day 1 be a Monday but I wanted to start the program right away and I found it last night so right away meant Monday. Whiiiich actually turns out to be a good thing because if you’ll notice on Day 2 and 4 I will be doing cardio and in the alternate exercises one of the options is “sport” and those are the days I have dragon boat practice which means my dragon boat practice can be substituted in to this work out plan and count. Yay! I figure I am probably still going to do a separate 30 minutes of cardio on those days, cause why not? But if life gets in the way and one day I can’t fit in time for a run or hike I won’t be missing out completely cause I’ll still be going to practice. Maybe my logic is flawed but it makes sense to me…

So today after work I went for a one hour hike with a friend then came home and immediately did Day 1’s workout. I had to make some minor changes, after the second set my knees were hurting quite badly so during the third set I did 20 squats instead of 15 squats and 5 squat jumps, the squat jumps were killing my knees. Also, in set 3 I did my push-ups on an angle because I felt it was better to do angled push-ups with proper form than pathetic push-ups on the floor that weren’t giving me as good of a workout as they could be. I’ll get stronger and be able to do all three sets of the push-ups soon but until then I’ll do one set angled, build those muscles!

There ya have it, my new work out plan. Easy in the sense I can follow it and have no excuses to not work out. Challenging enough that hopefully it will start me on a lovely path of getting more fit. πŸ™‚

Care to join me?

 

Another New Plan

9 May

I feel like I am always coming up with new plans that never work out. New plans to eat healthier, work out more, lose weight, get stronger, blah blah blah.

I know I am not alone with this, this random stage where ideas are hatched, plans are formed and possibly even followed through for a while but then discarded for all sorts of “reasons” only to leave room for regret because follow through was once again not your thing. I read other peoples’ blogs, I’ve read this story many times over. And each time I feel for that person, because it is a sucky stage. Every time I start the cycle over again, and then fail, I get more demoralized and convinced I will never lose this weight…I’m pretty sure others feel the same.

Plus, it must be super boring to come here to see what I wrote about only to read about yet another Great Plan but a couple weeks later realize I haven’t commented on my new Great Plan in a while.

I firmly believe to be successful at any weight loss plan you have to hit your breaking point, or as a friend calls it, have your “a-ha!” moment. I had that back when I initially lost all my weight but this time around, with all these different plans, and ideas, and attempts I hadn’t had it. I don’t know why I hadn’t had it, it’s not like I didn’t want to succeed, shrug, but for whatever reason it just hadn’t happened.

Yesterday though, it happened.

Gotta say, it was pretty awesome. πŸ™‚

I’d been toying with actually signing up for Weight Watchers, starting next month, cause I can’t afford it this month, if only to get me started. But for some reason that idea wasn’t inspiring me.

I toyed with trying to find the money to get a personal trainer for however many sessions to get me in to a routine and force me to be less lazy. But the cost of a trainer didn’t appeal to me and again, something about it didn’t feel right.

Then out of nowhere I thought about the old meal plan I used to follow, the high protein, high healthy fat, low carb meal plan combined with daily exercise. It was hard core, hard to maintain even when I was super dedicated, and kind of miserable at times because I was eating almost the exact same thing every day. Plus, the plan has you tracking your micro-nutrients and the amount of carbs I was allowed was soooooo low and I love carbs soooooo much, it was kinda sucky at times lol.

But…it worked!

When I started that plan I had already lost over 30 pounds, I was trying to get that last 5-10 pounds and tighten up. This means I was already in the mind set of watching what I ate, and working out often, and was used to following a healthy life routine. Plus, I was starting all that exercise when I was in better shape than I am now so while it was a challenge it was do-able.

This time I am starting farther away from my goal and I am trying to be realistic about what I can handle so I don’t end up quitting.

I don’t want to eat the exact same foods, in the same order, 7 days a week. I don’t want to never splurge. I don’t want to order salad with no dressing topped with a grilled chicken breast every single time I eat out because that is the only “safe” meal I can find on a menu.

I know to hit my goal I will need to make sacrifices and I am ok with that. I won’t get where I want to be without stopping habits I have formed and routinely doing things I haven’t been doing.

But I can’t just half-ass this. I need a plan, a detailed, written out plan that I can refer back to when my brain blanks on day 2 and I can’t remember what the hell I am supposed to be doing for breakfast lol

So I wrote down all the foods I ate on that plan, then I tweaked a bit. Instead of only eating chicken and tuna for my protein I added lean beef burger patties, fish steaks, hard boiled eggs, maybe quinoa (I’m currently researching to decide if the protein I’ll get from quinoa is worth the carbs).

I decided that I’d be allowed 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of dressing on my salads. I might even let myself have cheese every now and then…crazy huh? πŸ˜‰

Then, after thinking of little tweaks I wrote down what I will eat and where (at work or at home) on the different days of the week. This might seem strange but I did it because three days of the week I have no structure decided by work. Two days of the week I work 3p-9p and 2 days of the week I work 7a-3p. When I started this job the transition to my odd work schedule threw me off, because this meal plan was not only food specific but very structured for how far apart the different meals were eaten and where in the day you exercised in relation to your meals. I couldn’t make every day the same anymore and I quickly spiraled in to not following a plan because I couldn’t follow my plan perfectly.

I’m hoping by being a bit more relaxed with the timing, and being willing to switch things up a bit, I can make it work.

For instance, I am supposed to start my day with 1/2 an apple and a simple protein shake. Then a half hour to 45 minutes later have one egg, 2 slices of turkey bacon and the other half of the apple. Well sure, that is fine on my days off and my days where I start work at 3pm but the days I work at 7am? Uh yeah, not gonna happen. So, the days I start at 7am I will have 1/2 cup of oatmeal for breakfast when I am at work.

Does it follow the rules of the plan exactly? No. Is it something I can actually do, that is relatively healthy, and maintainable? Yup.

I have to be ok with these little changes. And sure, maybe I’ll get more hard core as I really get in to things and revert back to how it was last time I followed this plan but I have to ease in to that level of dedication, re-drink the kool-aid so to speak lol

keep-calm-and-drink-the-kool-aid-8

I am so psyched to start this new plan but I won’t be following it properly until Saturday because I have to wait for Friday to be able to buy groceries so until then I will make do with what foods I already have. I can increase my protein since I already have protein rich foods. I can work on the timing of my meals, so I get used to that structure again. I can start to cut out unnecessary carbs (sadness 😦 ) and I’ve already got my grocery list written and ready to be filled.

Maybe this lull before I can start this plan full time is a good thing, it will allow me to prep and plan and psych myself up even more. πŸ™‚

meal plan

This is an example of my meal plans for the different types of days I have. It isn’t exact or set in stone. The proteins can be swapped out and moved from one day to the next. For ease of making the document I put in mostly chicken but I have another page written up with other meal ideas that are high protein, low carb, high healthy fat. Plus, I’ll have to work on the timing, figure out where my exercise fits in to each day and maneuver some meals around that – my large protein shake for instance will best benefit me if I have it after I exercise. So I will probably end up moving that to when I am home after my 3p-9p shift because I tend to work out after that shift rather than prior. But it is a framework for me to move within, which is what I know I need to succeed.

So ok, sorry to bore you with the food portion of my “Great Plan”. But writing this and putting it out in to the world helps me, it helps me stay committed to the plan (theoretically) and helps me believe I can make it work.

I feel I should warn you my next post will probably be about the exercising portion of my new plan, especially since I’ve already started the workouts lol

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