Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cardio Hangover

Isn't exercise supposed to fill you with endless amounts of energy? I think I'm missing that part of the equation. After my big day at the gym yesterday, I went home to shower (boy, was it desperately needed and I enjoyed it immensely) and then headed back out to the grocery store for a quick trip but I was dragging like you wouldn't believe.

As I was on the bike yesterday, for what seemed like an eternity, I was reading my SELF magazine and saw some recipes that I wanted to try - is it bad that my mind turns to food even when I'm exercising? Anyway, the recipes of interest were a healthy macaroni salad and roast beef and artichoke lettuce wraps. I had the lettuce wraps yesterday for lunch. Note to self - don't go cheap on the roast beef. I don't eat a lot of roast beef, mostly because I'm really picky about excess fatty parts. It was actually delicious, but I think I might go with tuna as the protein next time. Other ingredients: lettuce (duh), roast beef, artichokes, chickpeas, zucchini, lemon juice, a little shredded Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. It was a light and refreshing change of pace. I'll make the macaroni salad today. I've never hard boiled an egg before so that will be new.

The rest of my day yesterday was pretty lazy and pathetic. I blame it on the excess cardio, but honestly I still would have probably been tired and lazy. So what does one do after a successful day at the gym and a really healthy lunch? You screw it all up by having a really unhealthy dinner. I was craving Mexican food from a little place called Carolina's (best tortillas ever). It was certainly yummy, but boy did I feel like doo-doo afterward. I really hope that I remember that feeling for a while and will use it as motivation not to do it again in the near future.

I went to bed last night at 9:00, which isn't too unusual for me but still a little embarrassing to admit. I woke up this morning at 6:30 and decided it was time to make up for those sinfully delicious machaca burritos and tortillas from last night. I hit the "dreadmill" for 35 minutes and then followed it up with some upper body weights and ab work. I hadn't done any strength training in a while so it was good to squeeze some of that in. I was tempted to go to McDonald's and get an Egg McMuffin and a Chai Latte at Starbucks later, but I came to my senses and went home instead. I made a healthy egg, spinach and feta wrap and had a big glass of water. Yay! I'm not completely brain dead when it comes to food.

Now for posting today's cardio, but before I do I need to make the smallest of retractions. I called my mother my "sworn enemy". Apparently that's a little too harsh for her (sissy!). Instead, I will consider her my "Rival Numero Uno". Hopefully, that's a little more palatable. If not, tough! It will build character.

Ignore the calories and distance - that's not the point. It's just the fact that I was up off of my you-know-what for 30+ minutes.
Have a good week!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bringin' It!

Things in the Raz family are getting ugly. My brother is disappointed that Mom and I aren't exchanging more barbs than we are in our cardio challenge. My mother all too happily heeds my brother's advice and wastes no time in telling me how WAY far ahead she is in our challenge. Really? I thought this was going to be an honorable challenge and that we would conduct ourselves with the utmost respect and sportsmanship. Apparently, I am all alone in my naive little cardio camp of 1. If mud is going to be slung, then I better start bringin' it and I mean that physically and verbally.

After a conversation with my dearest mother (aka "sworn enemy until August 1"), I got the slightest indication of exactly how "WAY" far behind I am in cardio minutes/bonus points. I have to say that her lead is sizable but not insurmountable. I may not be able to make a comeback all in one day, but gosh darn it I gave it a try. I should probably be embarrassed that I'm super competitive with my mother but I'm not.

My day at the gym was a long one, but well worth it if you ask me. There was no bleeding and my feet didn't go numb even once. Proof of my quality time with both the elliptical AND bike are as follows:

If my lower limbs are still functioning tomorrow, then I'll be at the gym again trying to log my minutes. I have to kick some 60 year-old butt, you know!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Lazy Weekend

My lazy weekend continues. I've watched entirely too much of the John & Kate Plus 8 marathon this weekend. I have absolutely no idea why. I'm not married, I don't have kids, I previously had no interest in them. I blame it on the sensational media coverage of them recently. It's like watching a train wreck. Don't get me wrong - the kids are very cute but it's chaos non-stop. I can't even take care of myself on most days. I think I need Kate to enforce my healthy eating. I wonder if she could make room for me at the table.

I digress. I successfully completed my cardio both yesterday and today. Yesterday was 30 minutes on the elliptical and today was 35 minutes on the bike.

In honor of the three day holiday weekend, I fired up the grill last night for some hamburgers. I don't know what I did differently, but they were really juicy and YUMMY! I even made Bobby Flay's Green Chile Sauce to put on top and it was wonderful. I forgot (not really, just lazy) to grill/roast the red onion and put it in raw - still delicious. I think I'm going to use some of the leftovers as a dressing for my green been salad today.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Just Barely

Today is the first day of my three-day holiday weekend. I'm afraid that there will be more bad news than good when it comes to my food intake, but at least I made a trip to the gym today. It was all I could do to get my cardio in - 36 minutes on the bike. I should have stayed and done some strength training, but I just didn't have it in me. Perhaps tomorrow...

I'm not sure where this puts me for the week in terms of our cardio challenge, but at least I squeezed in the 60 minutes. I'm sure my competitor has logged more "bonus" points. I need to rent a 5 year-old for a few days and chase them around for more "cardio time". Maybe my brother would ship my niece out to Phoenix for a visit. Nah, probably not.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Recess Here I Come!

Oh Lord what have I done? So I belong to this "Girls Night Out" group that I discovered online here in Phoenix. I occasionally participate in events like happy hours, hiking, indoor rock climbing, etc. Today I got an email about one of the girls trying to start a co-ed kickball team to join a league. I don't know what got into me this morning but I thought it was a totally cool idea and before you know it I'm replying, "Yes, sign me up!"

I should really stop, think and count to ten before making such life altering decisions. Ok, I'm a little dramatic. Who didn't love kickball as a kid? How tough could it be? It's not like it's softball where I have to hit a moving object with a tiny stick. I have issues with that due to my upbrining as a golfer - small stick, but a stationary ball - big difference.

So the games don't take place anywhere near my house, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to meet more people and get some fun exercise in at the same time. Hmmm. Will my mother allow me to count my kickball time as cardio. I see some negotiations in my future. :)

I tend to regret making decisions like this, but so far I'm still excited. Look out big red ball - you're mine!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

An Early Morning

After being very sluggish yesterday, taking a nap and going to bed at 9:00pm, I woke up this morning at 5:30am. Before I had a chance to talk myself into going back to sleep for a bit, I climbed out of bed and got ready to go to the gym.

I doddled a little bit around the house before I went, but I was there at about 6:30ish. I got my cardio in and did some upper body weights. I tried to use one of those benches that lets you do sit ups on an incline. I managed to get on the contraption with my legs strategically placed in between the pads. I did three sit ups. Normally, I'm quite good at sit ups and can do many of them. What I realized with this thingy-ma-bobber is that the incline was to steep for me. Unfortunately, I'm NOT smarter than the bench and I couldn't figure out how to change the incline. Maybe next time. I had done my time and decided to leave to do my other favorite thing in the world - grocery shopping! I find that if I go grocery shopping early in the morning before the crowds, I'm a much less annoyed shopper.

I'm off to run a few errands, but so far it's a good day - exercise, grocery shopping, healthy breakfast, cleaned the shower and have had 3 glasses of water. And it's not even 10:00am yet!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hot Damn!

I wish I could say that that exlamation was about a huge success that I have experienced, but instead I'm referring to the weather. I live in the desert of Phoenix (aka The Valley of the Sun), so it should come as no surprise to me that it gets hot here. I'm entering into my third summer here, so you'd think that I'd be less of a wuss. I'm afraid not. The temps have officially hit the triple digits and they are here to stay for a long while. The first month or so of the heat seems to knock me out - tired all of the time. I know what would help - drinking more water. Why has that been so difficult for me lately?

Maybe I need an Agua challenge in addition to my Cardio Challenge. I need to challenge myself to drink at least 6 glasses a day - I can't commit to 8 right off the bat.

As for the cardio, my mother probably has the leg up on me this week. I hit the gym last Sunday and then again today. I've met my 60 minute goal for the week, but I'm not happy that I only went two times this week. I'm hoping I can get some rest, drink lots of water and find a little more energy this week.

Oh! I almost forgot to add that I made it to a farmer's market today. I haven't been to one in a long while, so it was fun to check it out. I picked up lots of good veggies and look forward to enjoying them this week. I've learned one very important thing about myself - if I don't go grocery shopping and have my fridge and pantry full of yummy stuff, I will fall off the fast food wagon and treat myself to just about anything I desire. Unfortunately, I don't love grocery shopping so this happens a little too often.

I did 35+ minutes of cardio today on the elliptical. I did my usual 30 minutes and then tried another few minutes doing it backwards. Wow, that felt awkward.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I apologize for my blogging faux pas. An award was bestowed upon me by my mother and I have not properly displayed the honor on my blog. I look forward to passing it along to other wonderful bloggers, but I first have to find time to follow ya'll.

Hopefully, I will squeeze in a trip to the gym tomorrow and I will have something to blog about.

Have a good Monday!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

So Far So Good

I'm happy to say that both my mother and I have survived the first week of the carido challenge. There weren't any cheap shots and I do believe that we both behaved ourselves. That can only last for so long. :)

I'm sad that the weekend is nearly over. I enjoyed my day off from work on Friday, despite the fact that my golf game was rather pitiful. I'm still enamored with my new, cute golf shoes so at least I had that going for me. I also made it to the movies with some friends and saw Star Trek. I'm not a Trekkie by any means - I've never seen any of the movies and I've maybe seen a total of 10 minutes of the TV show. It was still a big summer blockbuster that I felt compelled to see. It was pretty good, but I'm also easily entertained. :)

Yesterday was a busy day, but I can't recall why. Do you ever have those days? All I remember is building a 4-drawer dresser. It took FOREVER! I actually like projects like these. I love getting all organized and following directions. It wasn't anything fancy, just a piece of furniture from Target for the guest bedroom. I only had one goof that, of course, I noticed at the very end. I put one piece in upside down. It was entirely decorative and not functional, but I couldn't let it go. I had to take several pieces apart just to fix it, but it made me happy to have it done properly. It was very satisfying and it was practically a workout. My hand is still sore from the screwdrivers and hammer.

Today I had brunch with a couple of girls. I treated myself to eggs benedict and a bloody mary. Both were ok - I've had much better. It was a nice change of pace and I didn't feel too bad about splurging because I went to the gym this morning for over an hour. I have a sneaky suspicion my arms are going to hurt a lot tomorrow - they had that limp noodle feeling when I was washing my hair in the shower. Oh well, no pain no gain, right?

30 minutes on the bike this morning. Good news - my photo skills are improving!

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

I Could Have Done Without That

I'm taking a vacation day today. I'm not doing anything spectactular, but I'm happy not to be in the office. I'll be leaving here shortly to go play some golf. We got a great deal that includes green fees, cart, lunch and a sleeve of golf balls. The lunch is a hot dog or hamburger so I will have to decide which will do the least damage.

Today is garbage day. That means my roommate has to finally pick up the dead lizard in the backyard. I let him keep it an extra week - don't ask why. He threatened to bring it into the house instead of walking it around and putting it in the garbage directly. So when he went outside I locked him out. I knew he was going to mess with me, but after I asked him if he threw it away he swore that he did. I should have known better. I opened the garage door and was expecting him to scare me with it. I thought I was safe because I didn't see anything on the garbage can itself. However, I found it strange that my roommate felt compelled to follow me out to the garage when I was headed to the gym. Yep! He had put the dead lizard on the hood of my car so it would be looking at me when I walked toward my car. I hate my roommate with the fire of a thousand suns. Geez Louise! My heart rate shot through the roof before I ever got to the gym. Needless to say my roommate got quite the kick out of it. Once his mission was accomplished he threw it away. Jerk.
I managed to compose myself and made my way to the gym. I did the bike today, as I was a little bored with the elliptical.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just Say No!

I had to summon my inner Nancy Reagan last night.

You see, I decided to join a friend of mine for a drink after work. I was chatting with my parents on the phone on my way to the sports bar and a certain someone mentioned to me that this friend might be a bad influence on me and my attempt at a healthier lifestyle. I didn't take kindly to the implication that I can't think for myself. To be honest, I can screw up and be a dum-dum on my own, thank you very much. (No, I'm not actually proud of that.)

It did get me thinking, however. I decided to make an honest effort at not throwing my fairly successful eating day away by blowing it on a few beers and a bunch of bar food. I spent 15-20 minutes looking at the menu trying to figure out how to minimize the damage. I opted for the 10" veggie pizza. My friend and I ended up splitting the pizza in half, so I only had 3 small pieces. I also limited myself to one beer. All in all, I was ok with my outing. It could have been much worse, trust me! A big thank you goes out to American Idol - I left the bar early to get home to watch the show and it may have prevented the temptation to eat or drink more.

My big concern was getting home and feeling hungry again. I hate the evening nibbles. I was good until my roommate went out to pick something up and came back with two ice cream cookie sandwiches. Yikes! He bought the 2nd one for me and asked me if I wanted it. I briefly thought about it and decided to go with what I learned as a little girl - "Just Say No!" Hey, ice cream cookie sandwiches might as well be drugs. Both are dangerous.

Cardio challenge note: I didn't get up early this morning like I did yesterday, but I'm hoping to get to the gym this evening. Congrats to V on her day - she isn't going to make this easy. :) Oh, one more thing - I don't think I said I would accept the pedometer for golf. That's four hours of "cardio". I said you could use the pedometer to report a walk in the neighborhood. Don't try to squeeze in your grocery store trips and golf rounds as minutes of cardio. Good try, little lady.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Look at Me Go!

It's amazing what I can get done in the morning when I don't hit the snooze button twelve times - sadly that isn't an exaggeration. The alarm went off at 5am and I was ready to continue with my usual routine, but at 5:20 I decided I needed to get up and go to the gym. After all, my mother had recorded her Day 1 of the Cardio Challenge and I didn't want to be left behind.

Pardon the lack photography skills on my part. I took the photo while still using the elliptical. I was afraid if I stopped or paused, the machine wouldn't show my time. The blurriness makes it look like I was on the elliptical for 3,005 minutes, but I can assure you that's not the case. It was 30:05.
I was so proud of myself I almost went to McDonald's for a cheeseless Egg McMuffin. Thankfully, good sense prevailed and I went home and made my own breakfast sandwich. I tried one of the new Alternative Bagels (only 110 calories) and quickly made some eggs with my Egg Beaters. Yum!
Last night was a big accomplishment, too. You see, I LOVE Mexican food and beer. Cinco de Mayo is the perfect reason to indulge and normally I would. Somehow my calorie count during the day left me with enough wiggle room to have Taco Bell! Hey, I don't discrimate when it comes to Mexican food - it's all good in my book. One bean burrito and crunchy taco later and I'm a very happy girl. Que Bueno!
Adios for now!

Monday, May 4, 2009

This Should Be Interesting

A challenge has been put forth. My mother and I are both motivationally challenged when it comes to doing cardio exercise on a regular basis. So the question is this: can two lazy people motivate each other to not be so lazy?

If our battles on the golf course are any indication of what is to come during this challenge – it could get ugly. Sometimes there is no mercy. I complain, she cheats, I get pissy, she manages to beat me, she has uncanny luck and I get pissier. I could go on, but I will spare you the details. Fortunately, this challenge doesn’t involve any luck. There will be bragging rights, but we are both attempting the honorable goal of being more active so we’re both winners. Yeah, right! I still want to win and I know she does, too. Let the heckling begin!

The rules, which will evolve as we undoubtedly become cardio queens, begin with us committing to 3 days of cardio per week for a cumulative total of at least 60 minutes of cardio time. We each earn points for any additional time above and beyond the 60 minutes. Time must be reported via photos of our cardio machine and achieved time. The photos will be posted on our respective blogs - mine and hers. The challenge began yesterday and will run through August 1st. The winner gets a $25 gift certificate to the store of their choice. My mother has selected Whole Foods, which is an interesting choice considering she doesn’t have one where she lives.

Some of you out there might assume that I would have the advantage over my mother because of our respective ages. Not so. I don’t have a very good track record with challenges – I’ve signed up for the SELF Magazine Challenge two years in a row and haven’t done a darn thing with it. I agreed to a long run challenge with my brother and a fellow runner to keep us on track for our half/full marathon training and I weaseled out of it pretty early on. I completed the half marathon, but my training was pretty miserable for the last 2 months. I need to figure out a way to transfer my desire to win on the golf course to winning in the gym.

It’s all in good fun and I look forward to all of the friendly banter between the two of us.

By the way, my mother has graciously agreed to accept my 32 minutes on the elliptical from yesterday morning without visual documentation.

One quick note from this past weekend – my week had its usual highs and lows with regard to my eating and exercise. My Friday, however, was sabotaged by my co-workers who wanted to go out to lunch. We went to a place called 2 Hippies and the Magic Mushroom Burger. How could I say no to a place like that? My only choices were hamburgers or hot dogs. I went with the Roasted Green Chile Hamburger, no cheese, fries and orange soda. Who knew an orange soda was 200 calories – I could have had two beers for that!

Game on, Mi Madre!