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The New Hotness

 

Team Phoenixborn

Okay okay, I know I haven’t been writing. I have Reasons™ that involve things like job interviews, 100-and-Firelands weather, pulled my back, being a Responsible Adult™, and other such nonsense that, while I’ve been doing my best to keep on track, it’s the bloggingthat has gone by the wayside.

And that’s okay.

I have plans.

The first step in the plans?

New website, complete with my own domain. YAY!

I’m gonna plug Safe Shark Hosting here, because Vitae is awesome and got my blog transferred within hours of signing up. Also? Amazing prices. So yeah, if you’re looking for a great place to get a webhost, check him out. Great sales and all that. (Seriously, I got my domain for $3 for the year. Totally worth it, considering I was thinking about getting a domain anyway!)

A new domain requires a new focus, and I want to be a little less about JUST my journey, and actually push that focus outward a bit. People have been telling me I’ve motivated them, so I want to do more!

So…Team Phoenixborn. Because it’s not just about me, but I’ll gladly be your coach, teammate, and cheerleader. If you’re reading this post on my old blog (firebudgie.wordpress.com) then please update your links. I’ll be adding forwarding at a later time, but right now I have a lot of other design stuff to do.

If you are already here, welcome to the new hotness! I can’t wait to see where this will go!

A Fitness Bucket List

SetGoals

Saying “I want to lose X number of pounds” or that “I want to get fit” is nice and all, but sometimes you need a goal to work toward to really push it. Last year my goal was BlizzCon and Krystal’s wedding in a 1-2 punch at the end of October. While meeting my goals was kind of at the mercy of what my body chose to do (“LOL PLATEAU!”) having a looming deadline kept me pushing.

My birthday was two days ago, so I began writing out a new list of goals to focus on for the next year. I WANT to include BlizzCon 2013 in this list, but it hasn’t been announced yet so it’s hard to count it. That’s not to say there aren’t other things to work toward.

Right now my first goal is to join a gym. Guess what? Happy birthday to me! I’m researching the gyms in the area, and while I think I’ll end up joining the one closest to me, you never know if there will be one that offers something that I just can’t live without. For example, the nearest one is a standard gym with separate weight rooms, cardio rooms, and offers personal training. There’s also a Curves nearby, and there’s even a boxing gym which could be interesting. I think there may even be a Crossfit gym, too, but I don’t know its status. I really wanted a place that has a pool, but the one I know of is far enough away that I don’t think I would be compelled to go as often. There’s another standard gym not too far from here. They might offer something or have better rates that would make the extra couple miles of travel worth it.

A gym would be a great investment in my health and fitness. For the strength training plans I’ve been following, I’ve maxed out the amount of weight I have on my bar and dumbbells. It’s hard to continue improving when you can’t increase the weight. I would also love to go for a run right now, but we’re having a thunderstorm. I don’t mind running in the rain, but would rather not during a thunderstorm. In addition, our summers get very hot and humid, so it would be nice to be able to hop on a treadmill or get in some other cardio if the weather is potentially dangerous.

So the big question is finding a gym that I like, and ensuring that I’m committed to using it…which is why I’m setting up a goal list in the first place!

Not gonna lie, if there was a Pink Iron in my area, I’d join in a heartbeat.

PinkIronGym

Goal #2: Sign up for a 5K race. The closest gym to me sponsors a 5K in the fall, and they even posted the race map…which I have been walking most of already! I walked/jogged the entire course the other day, and it wasn’t too bad. The worst part is The Hill through one of the neighborhoods. I’ve always seen a running club jogging down the hill, and now I know it’s because it’s apparently a route that’s a measured 5K. So you know what I’m doing? I’m working my way up to running it, and going in a direction to run UP the hill. (I don’t know if the race goes up or down the hill, although the map has it marked “Uphill” but I figure this way I am putting a little extra work in.)

On the subject of running, I hit a non-scale victory the other day by running over a mile on a particular trail non-stop! I know that might seem silly to the people who are used to running several miles non-stop, but I don’t think I’ve run a full mile since college. I then walked a quarter mile, jogged a quarter mile, walked a half mile, jogged another quarter, walked The Hill, jogged a quarter mile, walked a half, jogged a half mile, and walked the final quarter mile home. I remember starting going on walks in March and being winded and tired after only walking 1.25 miles. Now my distance is nearing 5 miles in the same time it used to take me to do 3, and I’m running more. If I keep it up, (I’m loosely following the C25K plan) I am sure I can do a whole 5K in September!

Goal #3 is to continue the running and getting in shape. Why? Have you ever heard of the Krispy Kreme Challenge? According to the site, the course is now 5 miles…just a little over what I walk already. The challenge is to eat the dozen doughnuts before reaching the finish line. I love me some Krispy Kreme Doughuts. I grew up with them. I giggled in college when people first discovered these “new” doughnuts. The Challenge is more or less a local race for me. So why not? They don’t have the information up yet for 2013, but this year’s challenge was in February. I’d assume it would take place around the same time. And yes, I know how many calories are in a full box of Krispy Kremes. I would likely sign up as a casual runner and not attempt the full-dozen challenge. But exercising more means you can eat more, right?

ODNSGainWeightAfter1BadDayOfEating

I’m researching other races and events to join. There are several in the area, especially in the spring. If I have dates to look forward to, I can keep on track and not “Oopsie, where did the time go?” by the time BlizzCon rolls around again.

While I’m looking into running races, I don’t want to stop my strength training. And now we’re back to the “Why I want to join a gym.”

Whenever BlizzCon is to be held (3 of the 4 times I’ve gone it’s been in October, but it was in August one year), I want to be able to cosplay this year. I want to look like this:

ThoseAbs

Holy crap, that’s hot. And I KNOW I can do it!

Thing is, I want to get strong not JUST to look hot, but to be able to USE that strength as well. My final goal on my list?

Fall 2013. Tough Mudder.

I have ALWAYS loved obstacle courses and ropes courses. Sure, I have a terrible fear of heights, but this stuff I can do. I need to get into shape for it, but I know I can do it. Whenever I went to summer camp, I always first signed up for horseback riding, and then ropes or obstacle courses.

This is not a race, but a challenge. And there’s nothing I love more than a challenge to get me fired up. I know that in order to join, I need to be way more fit than I am now. So guess what I gotta do?

You guessed it…I need to stop dreaming and start DOING. Well, I’ve started, but now I have some goals to focus on.

BWForgetSkinny

One month later…

OtherWaysToMeasureProgress

The title of this post is a little misleading, as it hasn’t exactly been one month. But it’s close enough. I took pictures on Thursday, May 3, 2012, and then started my diet and exercise schedule on Sunday, May 6, 2012. Or you could be even more technical and say I started on Monday, May 7, as Sunday is my “cheat” day. On May 6 I did a walk workout, but as far as food was concerned I ate like it was “Dimanche Gras.”

However, it’s been 4 straight weeks of workouts and trying to eat better. I still need to work on the eating better, but I have made clear progress even if the scale hasn’t been so kind.

I haven’t missed a workout, and have felt an increase in stamina and strength. I really need to get some new weights or plates because for many of my exercises I have maxed out the weight on my barbell/dumbbells, and those exercises have become too easy. As I mentioned in my last post, my walks are getting longer in distance, shorter in time, and I’m adding more periods of jogging into the walks. I’m going to shake up my workouts a bit soon, although I’m going to keep the same schedule. I don’t want my body to get into “muscle memory” territory…although it HAS been nice to have finally mastered some of the moves I was doing. Especially the ones involving the stability ball. Yeah, those moves know what they are. I showed you!

Not gonna lie, I’m bummed about the scale not showing my progress too. This coming month I’m going to focus more on diet since I pretty much have the exercise handled. I’m pretty sure my main issue is still not eating enough throughout the day. I also forget to track (oops!) and when I do I discover at the end of the day that I’m missing x-number of calories, so I tend to cram those in as a post-dinner meal. But that also affects my sleep, and that just doesn’t make me feel good. So goal for June: GO BACK TO TRACKING EVERYTHING EVERYDAY TO MAKE SURE I’M EATING RIGHT.

But overall, I’m proud of what I HAVE accomplished. I debated posting these pictures, and finally decided to go for it. I’m not entirely happy with them…it’s not where I expected to be. But the progress is obvious, which keeps me motivated to keep pushing forward. (Pics under the cut to save your eyes and stomachs. XD)

Read the rest of this entry

Day 44 – I AM FIREBUDGIE, HEAR ME ROAR!

YEAH Lift WeightsThe 100 Push-ups/200 Sit-ups/200 Squats program…OWNED!

Today was the last day of the 6-week program, and despite some struggles, panting, grunting, groaning, complaining, cursing, and gritting my teeth I got through it!

These programs are designed to help you build up to doing 100 CONSECUTIVE push-ups and 200 CONSECUTIVE crunches and squats. But total today, over 9 sets, I did 245 push-ups, 378 crunches, and 331 squats!

The next step, really, is to take the test and see how many you can do consecutively. Well, I won’t be doing that today…maybe not even tomorrow because I want to let my muscles recover. But probably Sunday, I’m going to see where I stand.

I’m glad it’s over. It feels SO GOOD to have set a goal and succeed in doing it. It’s not the end of my workouts, of course–it’s just the beginning! But I think it really helps to set up a program with a finite amount of time so you have that “light at the end of the tunnel” to look forward to. And trust me, this is the third time I’ve started this program, but only the first time I got through it. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it!

What have I gotten out of it? Well, the most obvious result is my arms. OMG I HAVE TRICEPS! And yes, biceps too, but my triceps are popping like I’ve never seen them before! I never even saw them THIS defined when I rowed crew! Second is my legs. SOLID! Sure, my upper thighs need to lose some padding, but my legs themselves feel AMAZING. My knees don’t appear so knobby anymore with the muscles above and below them. And my core feels stronger too! The results are harder to see, and even difficult to feel with my hands, but I can tell my waist is tighter under the extra padding.

My heart rate monitor also has a “fitness test” in which it monitors your heart rate at a resting state to determine your fitness level. I took it on May 9, and had a result of 35, which was the low-end of “Moderate” for my age. That was a little over 2 weeks ago after I had ALREADY been doing this program for a while. I took it again today, and got a 38, which is in the beginning of the “Good” range. And this was only the first fitness program I’ve done, so it can only get better from here!

I’m also glad this program is over for other reasons: I think my body was finally beginning to adapt, as my heart rate monitor showed that I wasn’t reaching the same peak as I was in Weeks 4 and 5. That’s expected, and now it’s time to switch it up to work my muscles in different ways. I have a new strength-training program planned for the next month, so this is good timing. I think I got all I could out of this program for now.

Also, doing 245 push-ups puts a lot of pressure on the wrists. I would occasionally pause in the middle of a set (especially the final set where I work until exhaustion) to stretch and flex my wrists. I’m going to look into other ways to both strengthen them and correct my form some more for when I do this program again.

But overall, I felt this was a good “Intro to strength training” to get myself on a schedule, do some basic exercises that I could do anywhere (I have done this program in a hotel room on a trip before), and see some progress that keeps me motivated. It was a long 6 weeks, but SO worth it!
I Did The Hundred (Push-ups) Badge I Did Two Hundred (Sit-ups) Badge I Did Two Hundred (Squats) Badge

Tomorrow will also be the last day of the SparkPeople Boot Camp, so that’s two programs completed at the same time.

If I could give any advice to people considering programs like these, it’s this: You can do it if you put your mind to it. Just give it an honest try!

Yesterday’s report…. Read the rest of this entry