Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fit & Organized

I had a date with Equinox last night : )  I dressed up for the occasion in a baseball cap and Nikes.  It was exactly what I needed..40 flights of stairclimber, a little strength training, and the elliptical.  I reached that exhausted but exhilarated level...drenched in sweat and feeling good.  

This morning was my first group pilates session.  The studio is right down the street, and the people in the class were really friendly.  It's not as intense as my sessions at the gym, but it's a nice waker upper on a Saturday morning.  Duyen and I took our beach cruisers out and had a simple lunch at a neighborhood cafe.  My grilled chicken sandwich was soooo tasty & I managed to avoid the french fries.

Since I'm a crazy perfectionist (and trying to stay busy on a 
Saturday night), I thought it might be fun to get organized, track my workouts visually, and make note of eating habits.  So I headed to Ross and Target and found the cutest stuff - Fit and Fresh food containers, a Real Simple calendar where I can track my workouts w/colorful tabs, an erasable magnetic calendar for the fridge, and 2 journals.  I highly recommend these Fit-Fresh containers...genius!  I also found a great alternate to my boring Total cereal -   Kashi's Go Lean crunchy fiber twigs, soy protein grahams, and honey puffs.  It's filling but not too sweet.  For dinner tonight I grilled up some salmon on the Foreman and added brown rice and broccoli.  

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fantastic Friday

Today was a great day.  I woke up early and hit the Strand for a beach walk....tried not to think about how much I'll miss the ocean if I move to Portland.  Later on I met my mom for lunch.  I love spending time with her...we're really close and I can talk to her about anything.  We shared a tasty seafood salad (one of my favorites with lots of shrimp and crab) on the outdoor patio and I had to tell her that I'll be accepting the position if it's a good fit.  I'm not sure she was ready to hear that (sigh).  I'll keep thinking it through during my workout tonight.  For dinner I made a colorful salad with herb chicken, ricotta, red pepper, spinach, and balsamic vinaigrette...mmmm.  I'm also loving garlic hummus with low fat triscuits. 
P.S. Happy Hour on No Gym Thursday was not so happy : (  Political gossip and "who's who in LA politics" talk killed it...I felt completely uncomfortable and insecure since I'm not "in the know." I'll try solo in the City next time.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Friday Thursdays

Thank goodness its Thursday! (Today is really my Friday b/c I have a 9/80 schedule). I'm really excited about checking out the Edison, and obviously not in the mood to work super hard considering I've posted twice today! Anyways, I ran an errand near City Hall today and came across a great discovery - there's a fresh food market on Thursdays. Woo hoo! That reminds me that there's also a Wednesday market in the business district. I had completely forgotten about this. This is the first really warm day we've had in a while (80ish!), and City Hall was stunning in the blue sky (pic post tomorrow). I'm definitely going to extend my lunch breaks on Thursday, hop on the DASH bus, and stock up on fruits and veggies.

On another note, it snowed again in Oregon. My BF Becky mentioned going up to the mountain when I'm up there next weekend. Woo hoo! I hope the weather holds and we'll get a chance to go snowboarding. Thanks for all the comments...I'm officially a blog addict thanks to you guys : )

First No Gym Thursday

Today is No Gym Thursday. Unfortunately I woke up late and had to rush out the door. I usually don’t dress up too much for work, but I wanted to wear a really cute red dress for Happy Hour. Oh well…I’m going to have to settle for the no shower look today…ugh : ( I branched out and invited a girl from work that I don’t know very well (the only person I work with in the 30ish/single zone)...we’ll see how it goes.  I'm hoping to have a good time with friends, hopefully get to know a co-worker, and enjoy downtown.

Unfortunately it was also No Gym Wednesday last night...put on my clothes, got in the car, and didn't have the energy. So I had way too many carb snacks instead and went to bed early. It’s ok though…I needed the sleep and I have a 3 day weekend ahead. The weather is supposed to beautiful, so I’m hoping to spend most of my time walking on the beach (maybe some running if my knees will take it) and hitting the gym. Or maybe I’ll break out my beach cruiser for a ride along the Strand. I bought this bike last summer and I'm so in love with it! I’m staying away from the nightlife this weekend…that’s always hard for me to do because I’m not much of a homebody and my friends always go out on Saturday nights. Pilates starts on Saturday, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Me" Reminder - I'm a cowgirl at heart

I usually have mid-week burnout on Wednesdays, so today I decided to post reminders of when I've felt really strong and alive. As I prepare for the Portland interview next Friday, I'm hoping these memories will encourage me to always go after things that really matter.

In September I took a solo trip to the Lazy L&B Ranch in Wyoming - something I had dreamed of doing as a kid. Every morning our wrangler Claire would lead us on one challenging trail ride after another. When we reached wide open spaces, we would coax our horses into a steady lope. Thank goodness for all of those horseback riding lessons!

On the last ride of my trip, I gave my horse some extra rein and tapped him for a little get up and go. He took off at a full gallop, and it was the most exhilarating feeling. For some reason he spooked as he passed the horse in front of us and he took off like off like a lightning bolt! I fell to the side but still managed to hang on to the reins. I clung to that horse for 1/2 a mile, riding side saddle with one arm the whole way.

Thankfully he gradually slowed down after climbing up a hill. I remember sliding off gracefully while holding the reins, fearing he would bolt again. I'll never forget the look in that horse's eyes standing there on that hill. Claire, our wrangler who saw the whole thing unfold, hurried up to me. I was shaking but smiling at the same time. She said that I should have punished him immediately. That was the furthest thing from my mind...that horse made me feel more alive than I've ever been. In that instance, he represented everything that I strive to be - strong, powerful, and beautiful.

Quote of the Day: "For one to fly, one needs only to take the reins."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Small Victory

Before I left work yesterday, the nonprofit called to offer a 2nd interview in person. I’m surprised because I didn’t feel very confident with the initial interview. So now I’ve completely switched gears from thinking about my cheesy date (and lack of a follow up text or call) to a more important matter – if I were to get the job, am I ready to move back to Portland?

I hit the gym and sweated through a 30 minute core workout, more strength training including dips and pull ups (my weak factor), 10 minutes of bike intervals at RPM over 110 (such a killer!), and my standard elliptical routine. Thankfully I discovered a few new songs to get me through my workout.
Warm up/Cooldown – Now and Always (David Gray is my all time favorite!)
Strength training – Get on Your Boots (new U2 song)
Intervals – Mausam & Escape (Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack)
Elliptical – Paper Planes DFA Remix, Disturbia, Live your Life

I'm still having trouble with overeating in the evening, but I'm hoping that these strenuous workouts will make up for it. Despite some carb loading now and then, I can see that my tummy area is finally toning up a little. And the good news is that my favorite work pants fit this morning! I put on a really cute pair of heels and a turquoise scarf to celebrate this little victory. It's definitely worth all of the hard work.

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Weekend - from Mediyolkre to Eggscellent

I had one of those weekends where I wished it were still Sunday. It started out with dinner on Friday night with Stef. We caught up on dating stories (or lack thereof!) and trying different “scenes” in LA…Stef’s now my partner in crime for No Gym Thursday. I crashed pretty early after watching What not to Wear (the best show ever!). Saturday morning I hit the beach for an hour walk. It was cold and crisp and felt great to be outside…I realized how much I miss my Strand walks after being sick last week.

Saturday afternoon I had my last training session with Ms. Bootcamp. I was still feeling groggy even after my morning walk, so I had to mentally psyche myself up beforehand. It was a tough workout, but not too exhausting. The kinesis machine is perfect for combining strength training with a little bit of cardio. I was feeling great afterwards and did another half hour of core training, 10 minutes on the stairmaster (the one that has real steps…I climbed 50 floors!), and 30 minutes on the elliptical. I set a record of being at the gym for 2 and a half hours…now that’s crazy good!

Duyen and I had plans to go out in Manhattan Beach for dinner and to our favorite martini bar that night, so I did a little shopping beforehand. I was bummed after trying on a zillion things in the Guess store and nothing fit. That’s the worst feeling, especially after a tough workout earlier. I shook it off and headed to Brass Plum and found the cutest pair of black skinny jeans and a few accessories. I paired the jeans with a trendy top and black heels and felt really great before heading out.

Dinner was hilarious and annoying at the same time. 3 overly loud Italian guys were sitting next to us at the bar and proceeded to serenade us with Dean Martin songs. It was super embarrassing because the tiny restaurant was packed, but somehow really charming at the same time. Wayne, our strikingly handsome bartender, made a magical drink out of champagne and Chambord. As it bubbled over, Johnny H (yep, that was the Italian’s name) said that it meant I would have good luck (hmmmm…). I felt like I was on vacation in my own town.

The Italians were a little too rowdy, so we left and headed over to Upper Manhattan. I was instantly attracted to a cute guy sitting at the bar and we ended up talking for the rest of the night. His name is Jeff, and it just so happens that he lives a few blocks from my apartment. Anyway, he invited me to breakfast Sunday morning…I’ll admit that I was a little overwhelmed by it all…it’s been a while since I’ve had that butterfly feeling...see egg photo :) During breakfast we tried to come up with names for the restaurant’s naming contest. Since our omelettes were terrible, Jeff suggested “Mediyolkre.” He he he. Genius : ) As he dropped me off, I realized how much I wanted to see him again. So later that night I sent a text thanking him. [Cheesy alert]: he replied back, “Glad you didn’t think it was mediyolkre.” So cute, so I replied, “It was eggscellent…hope we can do it eggain soon.” Now I’m crossing my fingers for a 2nd date. Aaagh…the agony of dating. I’m going to channel all of this nervous energy into my workouts this week.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Solo in the City - No Gym Day

This may seem a little funny, but I'm going to designate Thursday as No Gym Day. Here's the reason why...I'm a single gal working in downtown LA, and I keep wondering why I'm not meeting many professional people with similar interests (aka guys). I commute from downtown to the beach where I live every night, and being at the gym 5 days a week isn't helping much in the dating department. To bring myself out of the social duldrums, I'm going to try Happy Hour solo in the City. I don't have many friends who work downtown, and I've found that I'm much more approachable when I'm by myself. So for the next month I'm going to try 3-4 different scenes:
1. Library Bar - a literary-minded lounge offering a sophisticated drinking space and after-work social scene
2. The Edison (bloggers are calling it the WOW spot in downtown...a vintage, professional vibe with amazing cocktails and cabaret/theater/circus shows)
3. Lakers Game at the new LA Live ESPN Center or Yardhouse Brew Pub
4. The Edison again (supposedly it's THAT good!!!)

Food Friday

I was so excited when I looked in the fridge after grocery shopping last night and it was stocked with ALL healthy goodies. A year ago I was eating out all of the time and had forgotten what it was like to eat fresh foods. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering what my favorite meals are, so I'm jotting them down today.

- Total cereal with blueberries & skim milk
- Low fat cottage cheese with fresh pineapple chunks
- Silk Light Chocolate soy milk & a banana
- Alicia's smoothie - ½ frozen banana, handful of frozen blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, small handful/scoop of regular old-fashioned oatmeal (uncooked), 1/3 cup plain nonfat organic yogurt (like Nancy’s that comes in the big bin), 1 tbsp honey (small squirt), and 2 scoops soy protein powder (vanilla or plain flavor – Genisoy brand). Add enough water to cover the fruit, and blend.

- Caprese salad - iceburg lettuce, spinach, baby tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, & low fat vinaigrette
- BBQ Chicken salad - iceburg lettuce, Fresh & Easy bbq chicken strips, cilantro, tomatoes, avocado, salsa, black beans, & Kraft Catalina fat free dressing
- 1/2 turkey sandwich (avocado, turkey, tomato, sprouts, lettuce, wheat bread w/at least 4 grams of fiber and less than 100 calories)
- 1/2 tuna sandwich w/light mayo (or mix with avocado) on wheat

- Grilled salmon fillet with miso sauce, microwavable brown rice, and steamed broccoli (5 minute meal using George Foreman grill)
- Lean Cuisine with added veggies
- Light burrito (wheat tortilla, black bean mix, mozzarella cheese, fresh & easy chicken strips, avocado, & fresh pico de gallo)
- Caprese or bbq chicken salad

- Fruit (strawberries, cherries, clementines, grapes, Honey Crisp apples, oranges)
- Almonds
- Rice pudding snacks - blueberry/pomegranate flavor
- Kraft stringums string cheese
- Low fat triscuits
- Fiber One chocolate & oats bars (35% daily fiber!)
- Sugar snap peas

In addition to my fitness goals, I decided it might be fun to have a few food goals too:
- Attend 1 Saturday market a month to get fresh fruits and veggies
- Take a cooking class
- Bring my reusable grocery bags to the store (I always forget them!)
- Buy better knives (maybe that pink Kitchenaid set at Ross is still there...)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Group Fitness "Reformer"?

I've decided to overcome a small hurdle and join a group fitness class. My private pilates sessions at the gym were amazing but too expensive. So I decided to take a semi-private class through the city for much cheaper. For some reason I've always been really self conscious in any kind of group fitness class. Usually it's my lack of coordination and inability to relax that get me. So we'll see how this will definitely give me something to look forward to on Saturday mornings, and it's right down the street. Hopefully my core will be thanking me for it!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rx for a new week

I'm feeling so much better today...I'm finally back on track.  I tried fixing salmon on my George Foreman, and it turned out sooo delicious.  I also found pre-cooked brown rice at Fresh and Easy and micro'ed some broccoli. It was a 10 minute meal that I'll definitely be eating more often.  On another note, a funny thing happened when I was sick this week.  On Tuesday, I weighed in at the doc for my appt. and I was 167.  At my follow up appt. on Friday, I was 161.  Huh?!  It just goes to show that weight loss can fluctuate dramatically due to water gain/loss.  So I still have no idea what the number is.  I haven't been able to hit the gym in a week, so I'm really excited to go work out tomorrow morning.  The new job potential and interview are still on my mind...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Terrible Tonsilitis

I've had tonsilitis since Monday night : (  This is definitely not fun stuff.  I tend to get sick a lot ...maybe it's the lupus or just overdoing it in general.  And just when I was feeling oh so sorry for myself coming out of the doctor's office, I received a call from a nonprofit agency in Portland, my hometown.  I sent in my resume 3 months ago, and I figured I wasn't selected.  But it turns out that they're interviewing candidates next week.  My mind started reeling...thinking about why I'm restless lately, what changes I could make, and if a major career move is a smart decision.  More thoughts on this tomorrow...   

Monday, January 12, 2009

Small Changes

Jenny has a great post on her "101 Reasons" blog today about making small changes and a serenity fitness prayer. Since I haven't listed my New Years resolutions yet, here are my "small changes" for the first part of 2009:
1. Take the bus to work at least 3 times/week and jog a few blocks to my office
2. Sunday nights - prep meals for the week and plan outfits through Wednesday (saves time in the am). Make sure workout clothes are clean.
3. 1 Diet Coke per exceptions!
4. Take a group fitness class (pilates, volleyball, etc.)
5. Bedtime no later than 10pm. Read to calm down from late workouts.
6. Find a cute yellow lab to walk (wishful thinking?!?)
7. Stay positive and stay focused.
8. Blog, blog, blog :)
I log in to and realize that I set a goal weight of 155 by the end of Feb. I'm still hovering around 164, and as much as I don't want to focus on the numbers, maybe I should treat it as a challenge in the next month and a half. Wish me luck! :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Motivation Part II

During my training sessions, when Ms. Bootcamp asks, “are you feeling it?” (such a stupid question!), I reply back “lovin’ it,” no problem,” “this is a piece of cake,” “I’ve got it,” “under control,” etc. I also smile, joke a little, or visualize something fun like wakeboarding or volleyball to take my mind off the movement. It’s been a while since I’ve had to trick myself into staying positive in order to power through physically difficult moves. I developed these mental tricks when I used to run a lot. The harder it got, the more I pumped myself up. The great part was that this outlook carried over into my personal life. Maybe I just need a little push (ok…a BIG push) from Ms. Bootcamp to rediscover a little of the old me : ) Beyond the scale, what motivates you?
Daily quote: "Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven't half the strength that you do."

Motivation Part I

Now that I’m back into my routine and working out with Ms. Bootcamp, I’ve had time to think about what really motivates me. Not what motivates to keep my butt off the couch (thankfully I’ve always loved the gym), but the motivation to “do one more forever” (love that quote!). I had a great realization in my strength training session last night. It’s not really weight loss or going down a pants size or being ultra toned (although these things are great benefits). The real reason I stay motivated is because of fear of physical limitations.

I was the classic kid in middle school who would stay home to avoid PE, couldn’t run for 2 minutes and dreaded the annual “mile time” day, and was so negative from all of the teasing over the years. After reaching somewhat of a peak physical fitness level at 17, I vowed to never let myself be physically limited again. In high school I looked forward to “mile time” day and actually trained for it ahead of time. I had the fastest mile time and beat our top athlete. That same year I ran the Hood to Coast, a 196 mile relay from Mt. Hood to the Oregon Coast.

There have obviously been ups and downs since 1996, but when I start to get out of shape I remember that powerless feeling that lurks in carrying extra weight. In all honesty, it scares me. Recently I took a camping trip with a few guy friends and we brought our mountain bikes. The guys were so excited about our ride in the morning, but as we hiked the trail the night before, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it. Even though the terrain wasn’t that difficult, I was too out of shape. I skipped the am ride but had more energy that afternoon (more like a beer buzz!). We took a ride around the lake with the guys and I pushed myself to go faster and race them back to camp. I was surprised at that burst of strength. It’s been a few months (and a few more pounds) since then, and time to get in better shape.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

California Roll

Lately I’ve been trying to eat more fish and I’m wondering about sushi…after ordering takeout last night, I noticed that the crab mix was loaded with mayo. And there aren’t many veggies in sushi rolls…hmm…any thoughts on quick fish options, either takeout or at home? Maybe I need to break out the George Foreman and grill up my own salmon : )  If you're a sushi addict too, check out this non-edible version - - so cute!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Margarita has a great post on her Glamour blog about not being able to stick to her program because she isn't getting enough sleep. I've been wondering why I'm so negative lately, and a lot of it has to do with lack of zzzs. I'm struggling with working out late and being in such a good mood that I don't want to go to bed until 11pm. I'm going to stay tuned to Margarita's blog to get advice on how to calm down from a workout quicker and get to bed earlier. Tonight is all about sushi and sleep!

Fit TV - Reviews

There are bunch of new shows on tv that claim to be fitness/makeover related. I’m bummed that these shows focus so much on weight, as opposed to self empowerment and overall health. And I’m always surprised by the number of “get fit bride” shows. Isn’t this a journey for your personal fitness, and not just a 2 month ordeal to fit into a wedding dress while your future hubby continues to be a couch potato?

Biggest Loser: for some reason I can’t get addicted to this show, no matter how hard I try! I think the time slot is too long, and the contestants aren’t really owning it until the show is near the end. Some of it is pretty cheesy (the camera angles are hilarious), and other parts are downright mean (tempting people with desserts, breaking them down, etc.). Considering the rigorous workouts, I have a hard time believing that the contestants will be able to maintain their weight loss after they’ve left the show. I’m all for skipping the season and just watching the finales.

Fit Tribe: hmmm…I had high hopes for this show because the premise is great…a group of girlfriends getting fit together. Unfortunately the 1st half hour focused on weight and emotional breakdowns…I turned it off right then. Did anyone else watch the end…did it get any better?

Fat Free Fiances: despite the dumb title, this show is surprisingly one of my favorites. The people are realistic, the husbands join in too, and eating habits are covered as well. The results are shown over the course of an hour, not an entire season. The show has both a nutritionist and a trainer, and the contestants are responsible for their own success. It’s fun and inspiring to see the wedding at the end.

Discovery Health Challenge: more whining contestants and ridiculous workouts (diving for treasures and whatnot). Only watched 5 minutes.

Ruby: I had high hopes for this one too, and it was slow and painful in the beginning of the season. Ruby appears to have no self motivation and her friends continuously dote on her. When Ruby starts her program, her friends continue their unhealthy habits. I know this is harsh, but you’re on national tv for gosh sakes…come on…get excited, get your butt moving, and stay positive. The show is actually getting better, and I’m learning a few tips like establishing a support network, taking trips to celebrate accomplishments, and enjoying a makeover. For some reason I’m addicted…the ½ hour time slot is good too.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Workout Bliss

I can’t wait to get back in the gym after a rough day. I’m not as excited about the training sessions however…I would prefer to work out on my own. After wolfing down a whole pizza (yep, getting back into my healthy eating routine just didn’t happen today), I sluggishly head to the gym. Ms. Bootcamp was continuously emailing me over the holidays and I decided to quit whining and make the best of my 2nd training session. To my surprise, it was soooo great. She pushed me way harder than I’m used to, and after each move I felt stronger. She knew the fine line between being able to do one more and collapsing or throwing up! Every minute of it was challenging, but this type of workout is what I need to start the New Year off right. I feel great again and my tummy is thanking me for it.

Back but not on Track

I got home last night and stayed up way too late. Today I'm having crazy food cravings, so I gave in and devoured a Twix bar. Otherwise I managed to keep the eating somewhat under control. It's tough getting back on track, but I know that tomorrow will be better. Tonight I have another session with Ms. Bootcamp (that's what I'm calling my new trainer). I'll try my best, and if it's still too strenuous I'll have to let her know. I should not assume that my limitations are weaknesses.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Pepto Please

My trip home was very relaxing. I really enjoyed seeing friends and family, seeing the snow cover my hometown, and sleeping in : ) Overall I tried to watch what I ate…I turned down lasagna for a healthy salad for Christmas dinner, ate healthy breakfasts, and tried to fill up on fish and veggies. It was tough though, especially when Wall Street garlic pizza and TCBY indulgences were absolutely necessary! Despite the cold, I bundled up and headed out for a few walks. It wasn’t near enough to keep my body up to speed though. I came back home feeling nauseous and bloated…ick.