21 March 2014

In a Nutshell

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Blog friend Jen recently asked me how my exercise routine is going, so I figured it was probably time for a bit of an update. The whole going to the gym or going out running thing has never really been successful for me - because I am intrinsically lazy. If I have to make an effort to start exercising, it pretty much means immediate doom. Plus I huff, puff, beet-faced perspire and the last thing I also want is for anyone to watch me throw my body around either. It ain't pretty, folks.

What has worked (and what I've been doing pretty much for the last few months) is at-home exercises. So workout DVDs, free weights and my treadmill have been my go-tos. And getting a heart-rate monitor a few weeks ago really has given me some perspective on how well I really am doing.

In a nutshell I exercise just about an hour each day, every day, unless I'm traveling for work, etc. I either run/walk/do weird side-jogging or lunge exercises on the treadmill or some Jillian Michaels DVD (either one longer one like Shed and Shred or two of the shorter ones, like Ripped in 30). My heart rate monitor tells me that I am burning between 350-400 calories per workout (ladies who burn like 600 calories in 45 minutes, I have not idea what you gals are doing, but you need to tell me!)

Between this routine and making an effort to eat more whole real foods (vs processed, or going out to eat a lot), I'm noticing muscle development and able to maintain my current weight. So I've been pretty pleased.

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But ... let's face it, we're all our worst critics and I've got a pooch that just won't go away and my underarms like to say "hi" when I'm waving. And I know no amount of exercise will make that stuff go away unless I change my diet. While I'm generally eating healthier, I don't monitor how much I eat and I know I am still consuming way to many carbs (my precious).

What's a girl to do? Right now, I have something ridiculous going on and have purchased my first Bailey 44 dress that just happens to hug about every curve and have that hanging in my kitchen. I figure that would be a nice physical reminder to myself every time I go in there to nosh on something - you want to eat those crackers with cheese and watch that dress gather dust, or  you want this healthy yummy apple instead?

So that's where I'm at. Not trying to lose weight and not thinking I'm fat (I actually rarely weight myself), but I'd sure love to get more lean and toned. I'd love some muscle definition! And I know my muscles are in there, I know I've got abs, they just can't get out yet!

If any of you ladies have any advice on portion controlling, carb cutting or want to tell me I need to start on a program like Insanity or P90X to see some real results, I'm all ears! (And thanks in advance!)

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Sweater: J.Crew merino leather pocket (sim cardigan, tee, grey)
Skirt: J.Crew pleated crepe (worn here - sim steal, jeweled, mini, midi)
Necklace: Purple Peridot (worn here - the original, sim)
Bracelets: F21 (sim wolf, lion), Rachel Leigh (sim striped), Asos, J.Crew factory (sim)
Shoes: Zara cap-toe court (worn here - sim pricey, t-strap, round)
Clutch: Rebecca Minkoff (worn here - sim, sim, crossbody)

62 comments:

  1. I love this sweater and don't know why I never purchased it. I do bootcamp workouts that are a bit more intense so I usually burn about 600 calories.

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  2. Hi Lisa. I love making my weekly stops in your blog and catching up with your gorgeous outfits. This is the best this week. I love that over-sized sweater and how you made it so feminine and pretty with the pink skater skirt. As usual gorgeous accessories, especially the necklace & shoes.

    Hope all is well. Have a Great Weekend, Ada. =)

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  3. 1. I love that top! Leather pockets? Adorable.
    2. I do the Kiara LaShae dance work outs on youtube. It's FREE and it's fun. I probably look goofy doing it but I can really feel the difference! I also started walking the two miles to work/two miles home and it feels so nice plus I do not have to pay for parking, so I save like $36 a week.
    -ash
    www.stylizedwannabe.blogspot.com

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    1. I am making a general effort to walk more overall now too - every little bit helps!

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  4. I started working with a nutritionist and I've lost 3 BMI--I eat alot of protein for two days or I "lean out" and then day 3 I carb load. Its not too hard/ bad to commit for 48 hours. Its been very effective. Sounds like it might work for you if you just need to tone, but you always look fab to me!

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    1. That sounds like a nice idea - set small goals for myself. Yeah, when I think about low carbing it for a week or two, it just never works out!

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  5. I'm in Weight Watchers, and it's the first time I've done something where I'm actually full. It takes a little getting used to, but I've lost 13 lbs since last fall with it. It's a lot about portion control, without making me measure out every little thing... I can eat what I want, just sometimes it has to be less (cough, Panera bread bowls) and it pushes me to eat more.

    I'm starting to work out more, and I hear T25 (Insanity, but only 25 minutes a day) is good, and the same company that does T25/Insanity has this portion control diet called 21 Day Fix where you actually get little containers to help you measure food.

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    1. *pushes me to eat more stuff that's good for me

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    2. Ooh, I didn't realize there was a shorter version of Insanity, I need to check that out!

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  6. Love the black and the hot pink. Such a fun combo. What type of monitor do you use? I am thinking of getting one. I love your motivation in the kitchen. So funny! I recently bought the Tracy Reese column dress and just don't think I am brave enough to wear it. I recently started Weight Watchers to help shed the baby weight (it is breastfeeding friendly, which was my main reason for using it) and it amazed me how much I snack or blindly eat. Have you tried using My Fitness Pal app and tracking your food intake and exercise? I've used it before and really like it.

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    1. Yeah, I likely blindly snack too much as well. I've tried MFP but tracking my food and exercise got old and I stopped it after about a week - but I can totally see how it works!

      I bought a Polar heart rate monitor off Amazon - my model was about $50-60 and has the little wristwatch and the strap with the monitor that goes around your upper ribcage area. It def works better than relying on the monitors on exercise equipment!

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  7. For what it's worth, it sounds to me like you're doing exactly the right thing. Just keep it up, and you'll be golden! The main thing is for people to find a way of exercising that works for THEM, and that's what you've done. Also, weighing yourself is nonsense anyway, because people's weight fluctuates so much - it's like how we're always taller in the morning, because we've been stretched out at night and so our spine is straighter and longer. (Any doctor's appointment that requires you to be measured, my mom will book the earliest slot in the morning that they have. Because no damn doctor gets to tell her she's getting shorter with the years! ;) )

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    1. Yeah, like I had a stretch where I weighed myself several times a day - that was pointless! My weight varied all through the day.

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  8. Thanks for sharing! An hour a day is fantastic! Sounds like you are doing all the right things.

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  9. Ahahaha! I just bought a flaming pink skater skirt from boohoo and now I have an idea of how to style it. Thanks, guru!

    As far as my exercise/health regimen: I don't own a scale and I gauge my body satisfaction based on my clothes. If they fit and I feel great, then I go about my business. Once I feel that telltale tightening around the boobs or the waist, then I know it's time to hit the treadmill. I'm also not a foodie, though - I often forget to eat - so my strategy is effective only inasmuch as I follow that. During the summer, when food is easily accessible and I have a tendency to graze, I have to be more vigilant. But when I work, my "plan" is usually sufficient enough.

    Did that make sense? ;p

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    1. Yeah, I don't have that "problem" of forgetting to eat, hehe. ;o)

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  10. To try to ward off horrid preggy pounds, I've been doing yoga, which has actually helped a lot. But right before my wedding, my husband and I did Insanity. It did actually work really well, but it is not for the faint of heart. I found it very challenging. I don't really buy into the diet stuff, but obviously eat a lot of veggies, fruits and lean foods when I try to tone up or lose weight.

    BUUUUUT I still think you are super small and have nothing to worry about! I love the pop of pink here!

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    1. Thanks, girl! Another vote for Insanity ... but I'm kind of scared of it!

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  11. Love the combo of the black and pink! I've been doing yoga every morning before work and it's been great. It's not easy to get up out of bed and work out, but it's way easier than trying to convince myself to work out in the evening after a long day of work.

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    1. That's funny, because I personally prefer working out in the afternoons - I feel like working out in the mornings just wears me out before the day even starts, hehe.

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  12. Congrats on the exercising, Lisa. I am so impressed with your dedication! I really need to be doing this too. As for portion control, I find that snacking on a handful of nuts a couple times a day really helps me not feel hungry. Plus, they are so good for you. There is also a study done that says a couple of pieces of dark chocolate helps you feel full and not overeat later. I avoid sugar as much as I can. It was difficult at first but after a while you really don't crave it that much. And it is in everything. I am a crazy label checker.
    xo,cynthia

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    1. For the longest time I thought if I avoided carbs, I was fine. But you're right, the truer culprit is likely sugar and that totally is in everything!

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  13. Carbs are my downfall!!!! I'm doing barre and yoga at a studio & ordered a couple of barre DVDs to do at home. You just need a mat (recommend manduka pro lite) and a set of hand weights and a cheapo Pilates ball. It's supposed to lean out the body.

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    1. I have no idea what barre is (out of the loop here) - but I heard a lot of people dig it, so I need to check it out.

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  14. Good for you! I'm still trying to figure out how to shed the pregnancy / baby weight, your strategy sounds perfect, can't go wrong with portion control and exercises!

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    1. You've got breast feeding and soon chasing the little one around, you're golden! My sis actually got smaller after she had her son than where she was before she was pregnant. Pregnancy takes a lot!

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  15. I love this sweater...this entire outfit!! And I write this as I eat chips with one hand and type with the other :/

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  16. This is such a beautiful look. I adore the pink it's such a stunning colour. The clutch is very fabulous.

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  17. Climbing is really good for the arms and the core. I usually climb 3-5 times per week. And it's fun and flowy, so I want to do it (because I too am inherently lazy).

    I've done P90x and Insanity. I think P90x would be better for you if you're wanting to target your arms.

    Regardless, it sounds like you've found something that works for you, so that's awesome.

    This outfit is so cute. I really like the long top, short flouncy skirt look.

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    1. We've got one of those pullup bars that go over the doorframe but I've been too scared to use it - I don't trust that it'll hold, hehe!

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  18. For me, it's easier to eat less than it is to exercise more. The book that really helped changed my thinking about dieting is The FastDiet by Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer. With this method of intermittent fasting, you eat regularly 5 days per week and restrict calories (600 for men, 500 for women) 2 days per week. If you don't want to read the entire book, you can just read the introductory material for The FastDiet Cookbook; the content is shorter but the science explanations are still there. Or you can watch the free documentaries online. You can also check out thefastdiet dot co dot uk. Insideoutstyleblog has a great testimonial about how the FastDiet has worked for her (blog post titled "Losing Weight and Gaining Health" on March 6, 2014). I also want to try HIIT (high-intensity interval training). Basically, I have strong short-term self-control (fasting for a day and sprinting are easy for me) but I have weak long-term self-control (definitely need to work on consistent habits and stamina).

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    1. Thanks for the tips! I like the idea of shorter goals - like trimming back for two days - seems like more doable goals versus cutting carbs or calories and just staying that way.

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  19. It sounds like you have a pretty decent routine going! I really hate going to the gym when it's more than 5 minutes away (I was so spoiled in college!), so I do pretty much all at-home workouts and runs around the neighborhood. I say that whatever activity you enjoy and will do consistently is the best one. (Also, aren't heart rate monitors awesome?! What kind do you have?)
    As for eating, it sounds like your diet is already pretty great! I've been doing nutrition consults at a clinic that offers a low-carb diet to its clients for weight loss, and I'm toying with the idea of trying it myself for a week or so, just to see what it's like. I'll let you know how it goes!

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    1. Thanks - that sounds interesting!

      (I use a Polar heart rate monitor - I don't know which model I have, but it was only $50-60 on Amazon. Looooove it).

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  20. Yeah for your muscle gains! I am impressed :) I love your pink skirt - it's such a fun and happy colour!

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    1. I kind of really enjoy feeling stronger in the arms. I can kind of see tiny triceps when I flex now!

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  21. Looks like you are doing well with at home gyming! I need to get myself more active :) I like blogilates on youtube :) She is great at making you workout and is very encouraging

    katattack2000.wordpress.com

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  22. Love that sweater! Gives some edge! An hour a day is awesome, sounds like you are in a good place!
    Kim
    www.superchicmom.com

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  23. I strongly recommend Focus T-25! Did it for 18 weeks and lost 26 inches. I had lost 31 pounds before that and adding the exercise was the last part of the equation.

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    1. Another vote for Shaun T - sounding like he's the man!

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    2. He is! I did Insanity for 9 weeks after Focus and didn't like it as much. I felt like I got better results in shorter workouts. Now I'm doing Daily Burn. Haven't missed a workout since July 1, although I would never consider myself a workout junkie. Just realized, finally, that exercise makes you feel good! Go figure......

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    3. Going to check out Focus immediately! Thanks!

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  24. Love that tunic and bag! you look great!

    http://simplysassysstyle.blogspot.com/

    dawn

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  25. You're really doing a great job....exercising and eating healthfully and not obsessing about every calorie or every pound.

    I have always been into exercise. I was a competitive swimmer when I was younger so it's no big deal for me to workout nearly every day. But it took me a LONG time to realize the importance of nutrition. Not until I turned 40 did I really take it seriously.

    So do you want to know what you need to do next since you've nailed the healthy eating and exercise part? Accept yourself!!! Look, you haven't developed any freaky eating or exercise habits, you're not obsessing over calories or your weight. So just accept the fact that you look terrific but will never be "perfect". I think "perfect" isn't really attainable without becoming rather compulsive and neurotic about food and/or exercise. (Been there, done that, and it is not fun or healthy.) So just accept the fact that you might have a little tummy (and I'm sure it is very little!). You look and feel fantastic. What's most important is your physical and mental health. So maybe work on loving yourself the way you are.

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    1. Aw, thanks for your words of encouragement, Lisa! I def need to do that - we are always our own worst critics, aren't we? I do enjoy how exercising is making me feel stronger overall and I like seeing teeny tiny muscles pop up - I'm never going to look like one of those fitness girls and need to be OK with that!

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  26. Lisa, I think you look great doll! Keep it up! You have a great plan. I'm about to go back to the park and walk. I have a treadmill at home, but while we're in SPRING I want to get out before it gets too hot.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. True! It's brutal hot in the SE too - and humid, bleh!

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  27. I think if eating too many calories is your sin (as is mine). It's good to keep track of how many calories you have in a day. Just being more aware of what you're taking in helps!

    7% Solution

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    1. Honestly I am too lazy to track regularly, but I think it may be a good idea to track for at least a few days to get an idea of how I may be overdoing it right now. Need to "dust off" My Fitness Pal maybe!

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  28. I love this top, you look lovely..as always!
    Rosalyn
    www.just2fancy.com

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  29. What a cool top! Love the pockets and the striped bag. Before I got pregnant, I was eating mostly paleo/low-carb. I loved paleomg.com for creative, delicious recipes. It made me feel like I wasn't really missing out on anything.

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  30. I like that top. How awesome are those pockets! You look great and it sounds as if you feel good, so just keep doing what you're doing. Consistency is the key.

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  31. LIsa,
    You have posted yourself in this perfect black and pink outfit, with a striking bag, you look fabulous, so please dwell on you r" imperfections". I am telling you, you look great. I am glad you are eating healthy food, that is great, but don't fuss about your weight. If you continue exercising and eating healthy foods, your body will be where it is supposed to be, and I am sure it will look good on you! I ah happy join you on this journey, but give yourself the credit that is due! You are awesome! One hour a day-- an inspiration.
    Truly, you should see yourself as the lovely creature you are.
    XX, Elle
    http://mydailycostume.com/

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  32. I love the detail of the leather pockets on this sweater! You always have such unique pieces!

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  33. Judging by your comments, looks like I'm not the only one trying to shed some baby weight! :-) It's so tough. I haven't been breastfeeding so I don't get the benefits from that. It's SO HARD not to feel frustrated when I have friends who gave birth almost the same day I did and they're only like 5 lbs from their pre-pregnancy weight. I'm WAY more than 5 lbs away from mine. I have been trying a fitness app, Noom, that's just like My Fitness Pal. The only thing I like about it is that it tracks my workouts using GPS and it's cool to see exactly how far I'm going when I run, etc. However, it only allows me 1330 calories a day (adding some if I workout) and I feel hungry A LOT. It's so tough. I'm like many people here who said they don't depend on the scale and just go by how they feel and how their clothes fit.

    I SO know what you mean about only burning so many calories when working out. I'll finish a run & it feels so hard for me and my app tells me I only burned like, 250 calories. Sooo frustrating.

    For my birthday (on Wednesday) I'm going to gift myself a month membership to a yoga studio around the corner from my office & start going once or twice a day. I'd like to go before work and then they have a 45 minute one in the middle of the day. I did Bikram yoga a few years ago and LOVED it so I'm excited to do that again.

    Anyway, it sounds like you have a good system going. I say keep doing what you're doing and you'll see the results you're looking for. Keep it up!

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