Another Mom Update (or Almost All Done)

While my mom has already finished all of her prescribed treatments for breast cancer, there are still a few things that still need to be done.

First of all, my mom is still getting chemo every 3 weeks. This is not something that was part of her original treatment plan. But once my mom was diagnosed, she applied for a drug trial and got accepted. The drug trial is for this other chemo. She has 3 more treatments of it, so it feels like it’s almost done.

Since my mom tested negative for the BRCA mutation, that also eliminates a lot of things that we were prepared to have to go through. My mom is done working with the geneticist now and I only have a few things that the geneticist recommended for me to do. Mainly, I need to go get a mammogram this year, which I will do in the next month or two (I was waiting to see what potential job schedules could be like before scheduling a doctor’s appointment). But that’s pretty minimal. The reason for me to get a mammogram is to have a baseline one to compare future mammograms to, not to necessarily look for cancer (although I’m sure they will do that too).

Finally, my mom had to go through some medical tests to make sure that her body is free of cancer (or at least as far as they can tell it’s free of cancer).

First, a few weeks ago she had a CT where they checked her pelvis, chest, and abdomen. My mom told me that it might take a day or two to get the results from the test, but about an hour after the test my mom got a phone call saying that there are no signs of cancer in any area that they looked in. So that’s pretty awesome news!

And then last week my mom had a mammogram and MRI and both of those came back clean as well!

So besides the 3 remaining chemo treatments (and me getting a mammogram), the cancer journey is almost over. It’s been over a year since my mom was diagnosed and it feels like it flew by in an instant and has been going on for years at the same time.

I’m excited for my mom to be done with everything. For almost the entire time during this journey my mom has pretty much been able to do everything that she has always been able to do (she’s a rockstar that way). One of the last things to get her back to her “old” self is that she will be dyeing her hair back to blonde next week (when it grew back it came in brown). Once that’s done, even when she choses not to wear the wig, people who didn’t know what had happened will have no idea.

I’ll still blog occasional updates on things (and you all know that I’ll totally be blogging about my first mammogram), but it really feels like the journey is coming to an end. I’m so grateful that my mom has really kicked butt through all of this and that it looks like the end of this journey will really be the end.

Adding Variety (or Trying To Be Adventurous With My Food)

I’ve talked about my food rut before. I pretty much eat the same few things every single day. I have 2 or 3 different things that I will make for breakfast, lunch is pretty much always a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with some fruit, and dinner is some sort of salad or frozen entree.

Some of this food rut is due to my OCD and other parts of it are due to laziness. I’m not a huge cook, and especially during the summer when it’s so hot I don’t want to use any appliances in my house.

But within my few things I eat each day, I’m trying to change up some individual items.

For breakfast, instead of eating plain greek yogurt, I’m adding some granola that has flaxseed in it (I actually don’t mind the taste of flaxseed). That might not seem like a huge change, but it is for me. And I’m noticing that I’m not as hungry when lunchtime comes when I do add in the granola.

Dinner is still a tough one for me. 3 nights a week I’m getting home from Orangetheory at dinnertime and I’m starving. I need something to eat quickly. So I’ve been eating salads from Subway (no dressing just vinegar) or frozen entrees from Trader Joes (I’m loving the cod dinner right now). I’m working on trying to pre-make salads at home, but it seems like the veggies go bad before I use them up. So spending a little money to get a salad made isn’t too horrible. I’m also looking into some no-cook or slow cooker only recipes that freeze well. It’s tough when you cook and it makes 4 or 6 servings. I’m ok with leftovers the next day, but I don’t want to eat it multiple days in a row. So I need something that I can freeze.

My latest attempt at adding variety to my diet was changing up the fruit I eat at lunch. Most of the time I eat a banana and occasionally I’ll have an apple, but that’s pretty much it for now. I’m not a picky eater, I just am set in my ways.

So the last time I went to Trader Joes, I walked around trying to find another fruit that looked good to me. I saw some peaches that looked nice so I got them.

A day after I purchased the peaches, the mass recall of fruit (including peaches from Trader Joes) happen. And yes, I double checked everything and the container of peaches that I purchased is on the recall list.

I haven’t returned my peaches yet (maybe I’ll do that tomorrow), but now I’m definitely not eating them.

I’m trying to not see this as a sign that I shouldn’t change things up. It’s just dumb luck.

But it probably will be another week or so before I end up trying another fruit for lunch time. For now, I’m back to my bananas.

Weight Loss Update (or Why I’m Trying Not To Get Frustrated)

So I’ve completed 3 weeks of my Orangetheory challenge so far. I’ve been working out 3 days a week (and burning about 500 each workout) and I’m trying to eat below my calorie goals (which seems to happen about 6 out of 7 days).

You’d think that I would have lost a good amount of weight so far. Maybe even in the double digits. That’s what I thought I would have done by now.

But instead, I am currently down 6 pounds from where I started at the beginning of the challenge.

I should be happy with those 6 pounds. They say that you should lose 2 pounds a week to have a maintainable weight loss and that’s exactly what I’m doing. And I know that my body composition is changing and I’m gaining muscle so that could also cause my weight loss to stall a little.

But I still keep thinking about how when I did the RFO diet I would lose about 6-10 pounds a week (my first week I lost 14). And I’m aware that that was a medically supervised starvation diet and that the weight loss was not maintainable. But I still miss those days when I lost a pound a day.

It doesn’t help that all over the media there are people losing weight at a rapid fire pace. On Extreme Weight Loss, people lose 100 pounds in 90 days. And yes, almost all of those people have more weight to lose than I do, but it’s still a message that sticks in my head. It’s possible to lose more than I am right now.

So why am I stalled?

Besides the reasons that I’ve already listed, I know that the weather is affecting me as well. It’s very hot right now, and with my house having horrible insulation, it’s very hot even when I go to bed (averaging at 90 degrees when I go to sleep each night). I have a fan next to my bed, so that helps, but I’m still overheated. And when I’m overheated, my body swells up. So my clothes feeling tighter is an illusion. It’s a frustrating illusion, but I know that I haven’t gained weight.

Right now, there’s not much I can do to make myself lose weight faster. I’m thinking of cutting my calories back a little (maybe from 1600 to 1450), but I’m not going to do anything drastic.

I just have to keep pushing along and eventually my body will catch up to all the hard work I’m putting in. I just have to make sure that I don’t give up before that happens.

Santa Barbara Weekend (or Family and Friends Time)

This past weekend, I was up in Santa Barbara (which if you aren’t familiar with the California geography is about 2 hours north of Los Angeles). My friend Rayshell was celebrating her 30th birthday and her parents offered to throw her a party. So the party was held at her parents’ place in Santa Barbara.

I’m sure at some point in my life I’ve been to Santa Barbara, but it must have been when I was little because I don’t remember ever going there. I know that I’ve never been there as an adult, so that’s at least 13 years.

I knew about the birthday party a few months in advance (Rayshell wanted everyone to have the chance to make hotel reservations if necessary). My sister-in-law’s parents live in Santa Barbara, so as soon as I knew that I would be up there, I texted them to see if they could meet up while I was there. My sister-in-law’s mom wasn’t sure if they would be in town while I was there, so she asked me to text closer to the date.

When I texted her again, she let me know that my brother and sister-in-law were going to be in Santa Barbara the same weekend. So I made plans with everyone to meet up with them for a little bit on Saturday before I went to the party.

I drove up by myself and got to my sister-in-law’s parents’ house in about 2 hours (traffic wasn’t my friend the entire way). It was so great to see everyone. I hadn’t seen my brother or my sister-in-law’s parents since Christmas and I hadn’t seen my sister-in-law since our NYC trip.

I was only able to stay there for about an hour, but it was a nice visit. My brother and sister-in-law are going on a trip to Africa next month. They are going to be going to Tanzania, which is where my family went when we went to Africa in 1997. So we were chatting about different things to prepare for the trip and memories that my brother and I have when we went there as kids.

After my visit, I got back on the road to head to Rayshell’s parent’s house. It was only about 10 minutes from my sister-in-law’s parent’s house, so that was easy.

The party was in the backyard and they had hired a taco man to cater dinner. Technically, he was more than a taco man because you could also get a salad, a burrito, a quesadilla, or nachos. I opted for the beef nachos because they looked so amazing!

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I totally made the right choice! My nachos were awesome!

I was sitting next to my friend Sarah Levin (who I refer to as the “other Levin” and she does the same to me) and it was so nice to get to catch up with her. She recently got engaged and will be getting married soon. So I got to see the ring and hear all of her incredible wedding plans.

And of course, Sarah and I wanted a picture with the birthday girl.

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Not only is Rayshell in a Levin sandwich, Sarah and I are dressed alike (blue dresses, black sweaters). I thought it was pretty funny.

Also at the party, there was a magician. He reminded me of the magicians who perform the close-up magic show at The Magic Castle. There were some tricks that I’ve seen before, but there were also a bunch that I had never seen and I was amazed how they were done (I might have googled some of the tricks because I just couldn’t understand how he could have done it).

And one of the final tricks of the show was the magician juggling a machete, a bowling ball, and a torch lit on fire while balancing on a board that was on top of a plastic pipe.

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I know you can’t see that he is balancing in the picture, but trust me, he was. And he was very close to the tree in the backyard so everyone was nervous that he would catch the tree on fire. But fortunately, everything was safe and not on fire at the end of the show.

After the magic show, there was some dessert and then people started to head out. Some people had to make the drive back to LA, some were headed to their hotels (or houses if they were locals), and some people headed out to the bars. I was very lucky that Rayshell’s parents said I could spend the night at their house. Hotels were very expensive (especially for a Saturday night in the summer). So while everyone else was leaving, I was helping with some cleanup.

And while putting away the leftover alcohol (which I didn’t have any of), I discovered the biggest tequila bottle I’ve ever seen!

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It’s Costco brand but everyone said that it was great.

After cleaning up, everyone who was staying at Rayshell’s parents’ house just hung out outside for a while talking around one of the fire pits that they have.

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It was a very relaxing way to end the evening. And before we knew it, it was 1am and we were all exhausted. I slept in the living room on the couch, and it was a perfect place to crash after a party (I can’t imagine trying to make the drive home after the party).

The next morning, we all had breakfast together and then I headed back to LA. Sarah needed a ride back so I drove her and that gave us even more time to catch up and just have fun talking.

It was such a perfect little mini-getaway! It felt like a vacation but I didn’t have to go that far.

Thank you so much to Rayshell’s parents for letting me stay at your house! You are both so generous and were amazing hosts! And Rayshell, even though I’ve wished you a happy birthday a couple of times by now. Happy Birthday again! I hope you had a great time at your party! I know I did!

Week 3 Of Orangetheory (or Pushing Myself Even In Extreme Pain)

I’ve successfully completed week 3 of my Orangetheory challenge. And this week was definitely a challenge for me. My body is starting to realize how tough it is to work out really hard 3 days a week. Hopefully my body will adjust to that soon (I think it was in shock for the first 2 weeks).

This week, I had the same trainer every class, Ashley. I think Ashley is pretty awesome. She does push me hard, but she understands that there are times that my body is just not able to do it. And she’s more than happy to give me modifications for all the strength workouts (sometimes without me having to even ask for them).

Monday’s class went really well. I had a great calorie burn that day and I didn’t hurt too much during the workout or after (which is a victory for me). I post photos on Instagram, twitter, and Facebook after every class and I want all my pictures to be different, but I’m starting to run low on ideas. After Monday’s class, Ashley suggested that we show off how crazy my calorie burn really was in those 60 minutes.

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It’s a little hard to tell from the picture, but I burned almost 500 calories in that class!

Wednesday’s class had a really tough cardio segment. It was another run/row day. In my case, it was a walk/row, but that really didn’t make it much easier. I have a tough time with the transitions between the treadmill and the rower. I have to take a minute to step down from the treadmill (I feel like I’m going to fall off) and when I stand up from the rower my legs are a little shaky. I’m hoping that there will be some more run/row days soon so I can work on feeling more comfortable with that.

But I am feeling much better on the rower now. In the beginning, that was a challenge for me. It was uncomfortable and I had weird leg pains while on it. But with Ashley’s help, my form is getting much better and I’m really starting to enjoy rowing now.

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My Friday class was a big challenge for me. Typically in class, we split into 2 groups and one group does 30 minutes of cardio (typically treadmill) while the other group does strength work (plus rowing) and then half way through we switch. I always do the cardio part first because when I’m tired and walking, I’m much more likely to have hip issues. So that plan has been helping.

But on Friday, things were switched up. I started in the cardio group. We did 15 minutes of treadmill time and then we switched with the strength group. Then after 15 more minutes, we went back to the treadmill. And after 15 minutes on the treadmill, my group finished with 15 more minutes of strength.

I was fine for the first 30 minutes. But as soon as I stepped back onto the treadmill for my second treadmill time, my hip popped out. And what that means is my femur bone is not where it’s supposed to be. So instead of things feeling okay in my hip joint, my bones were grinding against each other (it feels similar to when you grind your teeth but much stronger). I tried to walk the best I could, but it hurt so bad. Every few minutes I stood on the side rails of the treadmill and attempted to pop my hip back (I can do it on my own, but I need to have a good wall to brace myself against). I wasn’t able to pop it back during class, but I was able to finish the workout. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t my best day, but I did it.

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Fortunately, as soon as I got home on Friday, I was able to pop my hip back in and took some painkillers right away. It helped, but I was still pretty sore all weekend (which is typical for when this happens to me).

I’m excited to see what the next week brings, Ashley will be my trainer on Monday and Friday and JZ will be my trainer on Wednesday. And after next week is done, I’ll be half way through my challenge! Time really has flown by!

Not Letting A Slip Up Be A Set Back (or I Splurged Again)

While I thought I had learned my lesson about splurge meals, I guess I didn’t. I did another splurge meal, but it was more of an afternoon than a meal.

A little back story.

Over the years, certain grocery stores feel “unsafe” to me. I know where the things are that I like to eat, and with muscle memory it seems like I just walk to those foods and put them in my basket. So I’ve avoided certain grocery stores over the past few years.

Now I go to 2 different stores near my house, an Albertsons and a Trader Joes. I used to go to Albertsons a lot more, but there are more “bad” foods for me there. So I only go for certain items that I know I can get at Trader Joes (which used to include a specific sparkling flavored water but I haven’t had one of those in over a month).

But even though I go to this particular Trader Joes, it’s starting to feel unsafe for me.

Yesterday, I had to go to Trader Joes to pick up a few items (mainly household things). I decided that since I wasn’t doing my usual shopping, I wouldn’t walk through the aisles the way I typically do. I thought that would shock my muscle memory and I would be able to walk out with just the few things I needed.

I got my items but ended up right next to one of my “bad” foods, which happens to be the fresh mozzarella. I wasn’t planning on buying it (I didn’t need it), but somehow it ended up in my basket along with a few other things that I used to eat all the time but have tried to avoid lately.

And like I was on auto-pilot I bought those items, brought them home, and ate them (in a particular order which I’ve always done).

And as soon as I did it I felt sick. There was no need for me to eat these things. Looking back, I had forgotten to eat at all before going to the grocery store (the graveyard shifts throw off my meal times) and that was a huge mistake. I try to never go to the store hungry. Not only does that make me feel like I need a certain food, my willpower is lowered and I just don’t think about it.

But I’m trying to tell myself that just because I had a bad few hours yesterday doesn’t mean I can’t have good hours after that. In the past, I would always tell myself that I could start a diet on “Monday” (Monday is really any arbitrary day in the future). I would tell myself that I would get what I wanted until then and then once “Monday” comes I’ll be good.

I’m not doing that this time. Today is a workout day at Orangetheory Fitness and I have all my meals for the day planned out (and I’ll be under my calorie goal so that will help with the excess of calories from yesterday).

This is progress for me. It might not seem like it, but I know that it is. I just have to accept that slip ups will happen from time to time and that I have to be ok with that. And that I can get back on track immediately and don’t need to go crazy.

I’m going to try to eliminate those “bad” foods from my diet, but I’m slowly removing “bad” foods. I haven’t gotten any fast food in a month (unless you count one In-N-Out burger on the way to Lake Tahoe). And there some delivery food that I used to get way too often and I haven’t ordered it for 3 weeks (which is really good for me). And there are other foods from Trader Joes that are “bad” and I have been able to avoid getting them for over a week.

It’s baby steps, but there is progress. I’m just trying to be patient with myself and more accepting of my flaws and slip ups. And just because I’m accepting doesn’t mean I’m ok with them. I just know that I can’t be too harsh on myself because if I do, I’ll just go back to how things used to be.

Underemployment Is Frustrating (or Trying To Find The Balance Of Flexibility And Work Hours)

I know that I can’t be too frustrated about my employment situation yet. I was just laid off from my one regular part-time job on Monday afternoon. But still, I’m getting really tired of what the trend is like now for jobs.

First of all, let me say that if I could find a “normal” full-time job that was open to letting me take some time off here and there for auditions (which means only having about one days notice about the time I’d need to take off), I’d be more than happy to take that job. I probably wouldn’t love working a job that much, but I would totally do it. But most full time jobs either need someone with a master’s degree or the ads are very specific and say “no actors”. I’m not going to lie about being an actor (and pretend that my auditions are doctor and dentist appointments like I know some people do). I’d rather be up front and honest, and most past employers have appreciated that.

But the situation I’m in now is having so many different jobs but none of them have guaranteed work from week to week. The box office job is the most stable, but even that one might only be 8 hours a week (if I’m lucky). When I emailed the box office about my open availability, they didn’t know if they could even get me on the schedule before September (which is what we agreed upon before).

The survey coder job is also not reliable in terms of hours. Right now it’s pretty decent because I’m in training, but once that’s done, there will only be work to do when they need the help. I have no idea what that means in terms of hours per week, but I’m sure that there will be some weeks with a lot of hours and possibly some weeks with no hours at all.

And that’s kind of what all my jobs are like right now. I guess there could be a long-term substitute teaching job at some point, but in all the years I’ve worked for my school district, the longest sub job I’ve ever seen was 3 days long. While that would be awesome, I need more than that.

And I just got hired with another job, but it’s kind of like an on-call position. There is hourly pay (although it’s pretty low) but it’s independent contractor work. So pretty much 30% of what I make has to be saved and paid during tax time (I’ve been told 30% is as high as I could owe so I’d rather save more money than not have enough).

I’m trying not to be a little crazy about all this. It took me a while to find the assistant headhunter job so I need to give myself time to find another day job that has some stable hours. And I did re-open my unemployment claim so I will hopefully have a little extra money (although with the hours I’m working graveyard right now, I might only get about $20/week from my unemployment claim).

The one thing that is going my way right now is my friends. I’ve been very open about how I need a new job and people are keeping their eyes out for anything that they see that I might be right for. While I’m not applying to everything they send to me (I know some of them either don’t pay enough or won’t be flexible at all), I’m so appreciative every time I get an email/text/tweet/FB message about a job that might be right for me.

There are so many people pulling for me right now, and that’s something that I’ve never felt before. It’s awesome and I know that I can’t let everyone down. So I have to keep searching and applying for tons of jobs and hopefully the next perfect day job will come my way soon.

Happy Birthday To FMIB! (or 2 Years And Finally Taking Myself Seriously As A Writer)

Today marks 2 years since I started blogging on here! I still can’t believe that I’ve been able to keep this up for so long. Even though there are plenty of days where I struggle thinking of what to post on here, I still have posted now every weekday for 2 entire years!

I really should stop being shocked at myself for being so consistent. And I’m also really working on taking myself seriously as a writer.

And that’s important to do now because I lost my one day job with steady hours.

So I’m down to 6 day jobs, but none of those have guaranteed hours. And some of them won’t have hours available to me until the end of August or beginning of September.

Since I haven’t been able to save any money lately (and I’m only able to make the minimum payments on my credit card), I’m desperately looking for new days jobs now.

I started applying for the usual types of jobs like receptionist/assistant/data entry type of work. But then some people encouraged me to pursue writing jobs. They said that I am a writer (I’m working on believing that myself). I have over 500 posts on here to prove that as well as over a year of monthly posts on two other blogs.

So I spent some time creating a new resume highlighting my writing experience (there really isn’t much yet) and started to apply for various blogging and copy writing jobs. I probably applied for about 50 or 60 jobs, but I have heard back from one already. They wanted to know my blogging background and I had to answer a dozen questions about how I would handle different job situations.

I’m so glad that when I responded, I could say proudly that I had been writing on here for about 2 years (I applied for the jobs earlier this week so my 2 year mark hadn’t hit yet and I wanted to be totally honest). I also was able to provide multiple writing samples about various subjects.

While the job hunt is getting me down a bit, I’m going to spend today in a celebratory mood. 2 years is a huge milestone! I should allow myself to be happy and proud!

And I know that there are a bunch of you who have been supporting and following me through the entire 2 year life of this blog so far and I have to say thank you! Every day I’m still amazed that there are people reading this and responding about things that are going on in my life! And if you are new to following me, thanks for all the support you’ve already given to me and I hope that my next 2 years on here will bring more fun posts to share with you all!

Cheating With Pie (or Trying To Splurge The Right Way)

In the past, I’ve been an all or nothing dieter. Either I’m on track or I’m going crazy. I’ve never been able to find a good middle (or what most people would call “normal eating”).

I’m really working hard at changing that right now. I am trying to stay under my calories every day as well as not trying to eat my exercise calories. So far, that’s going pretty well for me. Although I am eating almost the exact same thing every day. But I do get into food ruts occasionally and I think that that’s ok.

My big thing right now is each day for lunch I’m eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It’s not too bad in calories and it’s easy for me to portion control it (one piece of bread and the peanut butter is a single serving packet). And having that as my lunch every day has helped with the afternoon snacking. So I’m not planning on changing my lunches anytime soon (it’s also pretty cheap so that’s another plus).

There are so many diet books that say that you can splurge every once in a while. Lots of sources talk about having a cheat day, but I know that if I let myself have a day, that’s going to end up really badly. So I want to allow myself a cheat meal every once in a while.

I had my first official cheat meal this past weekend on Saturday. I went out for lunch and pie with my friend Emily. Even though this was only a cheat meal, it ended up in a way becoming a cheat day (I didn’t eat breakfast that morning and I had my leftovers from lunch for dinner).

One thing I learned about my cheat meal: I probably went a little overboard. Not in calories (somehow I was 1 calorie under my calorie goal for the day), but in richness or something else. Not to be too gross, but my body was very unhappy for about half a day after that meal. It’s a few days later and I still don’t feel as good as I had been feeling before.

I need to be able to make cheat meals a part of my life. I need to be able to enjoy food every once in a while. But I need to balance those cheats meals better with my normal meals. And I’m still learning how to do that.

Sometimes I wonder how skinny people do it. It seems like an impossible task to lose weight (or maintain weight loss) and eat more than just lettuce all day. I know that part of my problem is that I do have a slightly slower metabolism than most people (I had that tested in the past), but that can’t account for all my trouble.

But I feel like for the first time, I really learned my lesson with eating the wrong things. In the past, I might have felt a little sick from overeating or indulging, but never as sick as I felt this time. My body must have started to get used to the good foods I’m putting in my system and is finally recognizing the bad foods as bad foods. I know that there will be another overindulgence or slip up in the future, but for the first time, I feel optimistic that my cheat meal will be just that and not a slide back down toward constant binge eating.

Second Week Of My Orangetheory Challenge (or I Guess I’m Tougher Than I Thought I Was)

Last week was week 2 of my Orangetheory challenge and I feel like I rocked the week!

I went to my usual Monday, Wednesday, and Friday class. Which if any of you want to join me for a workout, I’d love to have some blog readers there with me! Anyone who comes with me to a workout gets to go for free! Let me know in the comments if you want to come!

Anyway, back to my week. Monday was interesting. I was a little tired from the week before. My body is getting adjusted to working out so much in a week (but I know that this is good for me to go through). I’m still not loving the treadmill, but that’s why I know I need to do it.

I was able to increase my incline on the push and all out sections of the treadmill time this week. So during those times, I was at 10% or 15% incline instead of 6% and 10%. I consider that a major improvement. I’m also getting more comfortable with the TRX straps, which as I mentioned before, I had never done before going to Orangetheory. And of course, I had to take an awesome photo after my Monday workout.

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Wednesday was a crazy tough workout, but I loved it! The class was small so instead of having us workout in 2 different groups, we all worked out together. I actually liked that a bit more, but I know that that won’t be the norm.

The cardio section of the workout that day was so tough. We went from treadmill to rower and back again several times. My heart rate was so high and I was dripping sweat the entire time. But I did it and even though I felt that I might pass out from trying so hard, I didn’t.

I wish I could remember the strength section that day, but the cardio section wore me out so much that I don’t remember too much after that. I also got a picture with the cardio workout of the day so that helped me remember a little too.

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What that board means is we ran (I technically walked) .1 miles and then did a 100 meter row. Then we went .15 miles on the treadmill and rowed 100 meters and so on. Then after that we did a 200 meter row and 30 seconds on the treadmill (with me walking at 15% incline). Rowing is so hard, but I’m really starting to like it. I remember at my first class how difficult rowing was for me and how my body just didn’t want to go the right way. Now, while I’m still not perfect (my weight does affect that a little), my form on the rower has gotten so much better!

Friday was a big incline day on the treadmill. We did so many hills that I thought I would pass out. I would say a majority of my 30 minutes on the treadmill were spent at at least 6% incline. I was only down to 3% for brief breaks from the crazy incline. I’m working on getting my speed up as well, but that’s going a little slower than I’d like. I’m able to do a lot of the workout at 3mph and occasionally I kick it up to 3.1 or 3.2, but toward the end of the 30 minute treadmill section, I have to go down to 2.7 or 2.8. My goal is to do the entire 30 minutes at 3.0 or faster. Ultimately, I’d like to get it to 4.0, but I know that that is going to take a long time.

For my workout picture on Friday, I decided to put it out on social media to see what shirt people think I should get when I lose enough weight.

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Everyone except one person voted for the orange shirt. Anyone else want to vote on it? I don’t know when I’ll be able to fit into one of their shirts, but I hope it’s before my 8 week challenge is over!

Overall, I think I had a pretty amazing week at Orangetheory. The best part about it for me is I’m starting to realize how tough and strong I really am. At SoulCycle, while there is a weights portion of the workout, I never felt like I was really strong. Now when I’m lifting 16 pounds while doing squats or when I’m doing pull-ups on the TRX straps, I can really see what my body is capable of. And I know that with time I’ll continue to get stronger and stronger.

I’m a quarter of the way done with my challenge and to be honest, time is flying by! I can’t wait to see how I’m able to push myself this week!