Friday, October 24, 2014

Where have I been?

Living life...

This is my excuse. And a damn good one if you ask me. It's been exactly 14 months since I posted on the blog. I have thought of blogging almost every day, but life came first.

My life has changed dramatically. For the better if you ask me. In fact, if you would have told me on Aug. 9, 2013 (my last post date) of everything that had transpired in my life over the last year, I would have said you are out of your mind.

My view at the beach. Little did I know I was cooking something...
Where did I leave off?

In August of last year, I was self-employed. Enjoying several freelance jobs that included managing social media, designing websites and writing. Life was good. Little did I know that it was going to get better.

I had been applying for jobs here and there not really thinking that I would get another full-time job. Freelancing is liberating. I applied either way because I wanted/needed more experience if I was going to get into marketing and away from journalism. Toward the end of August, I got an interview and landed the job.

I started my new job and was thrilled. I had always wanted to work at at my alma mater. I finally got my chance. I was extremely excited. So excited I remember getting a bad cold. I was sick my first day. Fun times!

It ends up I was a little more than sick. As the weeks, kept passing by I didn't feel right. My cold cleared up but I didn't feel right. I kept telling Andy that something was wrong. I would drink my beloved coffee (there are about 5 Starbucks on campus - Yum) and just feel off. In fact, I would eat food and it just wouldn't sit well. I remember telling Andy, "Something is wrong. If I don't start feeling better I need to go to the doctor." I had a lot of headaches too.

Sadly, this didn't make me the greatest new employee. I mean I had started a fantastic job and already I was feeling shitty all the time. I toughed it out. But looking back, my coworkers must have thought I was crazy. It took me a long time to finally put it together. When October rolled around, I started to suspect I was pregnant. Now in my defense, I was still eating no sugar, no grains. For some time there I was even ketogenic. I had heard enough from some of the ladies that they didn't get their period toward the beginning of their diet as hormones regulated. When I missed one period I didn't think anything of it. When I missed the second one - I hit major freak out mode.

First glimpse of my future little prince!
Boy did I freak out!

I ended up taking several tests. Two came out negative. Which continued to make me wonder what the heck was wrong with me. I still had no period and I started to feel progressively worse. I convinced myself to take one more test a week later...

This kid was a ham from the womb!
It didn't take the full amount of time to get the two lines that time. I even took one more test to make sure I wasn't seeing pink lines. The second one only confirmed the first...I was pregnant!

Intense cheer season with my big baby! 
I remember thinking - How could this happen?!

I have been with Andy so long. We have been so careful. And the year, we finally start planning our wedding, I get pregnant?

Needless to say, I was majorly stressed. I wasn't expecting to get preggers. My daughter was going through all her competitions and hello - I started a new job. Oh and I forget, Andy had started a new job around that time too.

I tried to stay active while preggers. I did lots of walking.
My world!
It was so many changes. And I had the worst 'all day' sickness ever. Of course, the minute you know you are pregnant it gets worse, right? I couldn't eat much. I lost weight. I was miserable.

I still think back to those first days when I found out and can't help to remember how overwhelmed I was.

Flash forward to today, I have a happy family of four. Mr. Lucas will be turning 5 months in less than a week. No matter how overwhelmed and crazy everything was back then it turned out great. I was happy before I got pregnant, but apparently it was possible for me to get happier. Because this little guy brought in an additional ray of sunshine I couldn't even imagine.

As I catch up with the blog, I promise to update you all on my birth story, more on the baby, breastfeeding and getting back to fitness after your world is rocked with the birth of an amazing little person.
The new addition to our family!

Friday, August 9, 2013

My #NSNG Update

Happy Friday! This week has seemed to crawl by. I have been excited to write this post. I need to jot down my feelings and ideas in regards to this lifestyle change. I can't believe it has almost been four weeks since Andy and I decided to take this plunge.

If you have no idea what I am talking about you can catch up here.

Things have been going extremely well. At this point, Andy has lost 10 pounds and I have lost 7. Regardless of the scale, there have also been some other noteworthy improvements. We both feel great!

I can't say enough how amazing it feels to not crash in the afternoon. Before I would have lunch and start getting sleepy right after. This doesn't happen anymore. I don't feel bloated or sluggish. I also don't have these huge hunger moments. Everything I eat fills me up and keeps me full longer. By the time, I get hungry it's not that bad hunger feeling that gives me a headache and makes me cranky.

In terms of exercise, this has been a bit more difficult. I haven't been seriously focusing on working out. My workouts have been sporadic. The workouts I have had haven't been the greatest until this past week.

I felt fatigued through Top Gun and during track every week. I hear this is a normal process while your body adjusts to burning fat for fuel. I feel, however, like this week it all finally clicked. I felt steady amounts of energy throughout the whole workout. I know my body pretty well and I know I still got tired but it was more from my lack of endurance than my energy levels.

I am excited. I already hit numbers on the scale that I haven't hit in a long time. A few years ago I lost more weight but it was from being depressed. Yes, I starve myself when I am sad. And since I am typically a happy person, well, I gorge on food.

Here is a typical day of meals:

Breakfast - Two eggs scrambled with kale or spinach, cheese and cooked in coconut oil. Bacon. I have my coffee with heavy whipping cream and two Stevia. *Out of all the artificial sweeteners Stevia causes the least blood sugar changes, which is why I use it. It's something I don't want to rely on but I am taking it one step at a time.  

Snack - Mixed nuts with berries (typically strawberries, blueberries or cherries).

Lunch - Salad (I don't like this option not a fan of salads) or some meat with veggies cooked in olive oil. Yesterday for example I had a 6oz steak with asparagus (this is my preferred option).

Dinner - Meat and veggies. Yesterday Andy cooked hamburger meat and sautéed kale with onions and kidney beans (delish!)

So there you have it. I will say this has been our diet 98% of the time. We have had some minor slip ups but have done it together and have kept it small. Especially because the one time I had some ice cream cake I ended up getting a huge headache. I can't guarantee that they are both related but it's a huge possibility. I was sleeping after the cake. I can't imagine what would have stressed me out while sleeping.

I will say it is a lot harder then I thought to amp up on the fat. Everything at the supermarket is processed to smithereens. For example, try finding yogurt with a normal fat content it is virtually impossible. I know Vinnie says he drinks like small cups of olive oil, however I am not ready to become that hard core.

Have you ever changed your diet significantly? What was the hardest thing you had to give up?

Top Gun Recap

I know you have all been waiting to hear what happened at Top Gun this year.

I must say I had a grand ol' time.

It wasn't a PR day and I was more then ready for the outcome. The goal was to finish and have fun. And boy did I have fun. 

My posse (my bro and fiance) were working and couldn't make it out. I had a busy day lined up. I had to leave the race at a reasonable hour and get my daughter to a stunt clinic. 

With that in mind, Mini-Me and I set out at 4 a.m. so I could get there in time to pick up my race packet. You have to love a teen who will wake up early to watch her mom tri. I spent the majority of our car ride trying to wake her up by playing reggaetton and booty music. She thinks I'm crazy and loves it.

We got to Ft. Desoto Park right on time. I always forget how bad the mosquitos are out before the sun comes up. Here is a tip don't leave your car without mosquito repellant. In the 15 minutes it took me to get my packet I got tore up by mosquitos. 

Once we got my packet, we headed back to the car to get all my stuff and get marked up. I organized my transition area and couldn't help notice that everyone in my row had a super suped up bicycle. Jeez my poor Padme looked sad next to all the fanciness. 

My wave didn't start until 7:30 something. Mini-Me and I had a lot of time to kill. We walked around chatted with some friends. I even warmed up in the water, which was super choppy. 

Right on time my wave got going. My wave was a tad crowded. I decided at last minute that I wanted to try this whole dolphin dive that everyone does. I ran in and then tried it. I did a few of them but the water was shallow and somehow I ended up scrapping my shoulder and knee. This was a day of trial and error so this was mistake number one. 

Swim time - 12:16

I finally got swimming and as I mentioned the water was choppy. For the first time ever during a tri, I got kicked and swallowed water. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath. I knew going in that I was undertrained. I made sure to take my time. I didn't want to over do it. 

Once I passed the second buoy it was only a matter of time before my hand was hitting the floor I had to get up and walk/run a long to get out of the water. Then you have about a quarter of a mile to get to transition. This is probably my least favorite part of the tri. 

I got into transition. Poured water on my feet. Put my New Balance Minumus on. Grabbed my helmet and was out on the bike. I lalagaged a lot in transition. 

T1 time - 6:42 LOL!!

I got on the bike and I had a water bottle with some sweet tea Nuun in it. This was my only source of nutrition for the day. I am on the #nsng way of life and I love that they have a more minimalist nutrition approach. I am not saying this is for everyone. So far, it is working for me. 

I felt like I was going fast on the bike. But when I looked down at my watch, I wasn't going fast at all. At one point I went to take another swig of Nuun and I dropped my water bottle. Fail number 2! I went 6 miles without being able to drink anything, which was fine because I needed to go to the bathroom and release some fluids really bad. I should have gone before my wave started but I didn't need to go as bad then. 

Being on the bike helped me keep the urge in check and I somewhat forgot I needed to go.  The wind wasn't too bad until I bad my way back toward transition. I was glad to be off 

Friday, July 26, 2013

My Non-Diet Diet

A few months ago, I was reading my buddy Karen's blog - Working it Out, where she mentioned the Angriest Trainer podcast. I love listening to podcasts. If I am on a long drive I am usually listening to podcasts before music. Even on long runs I usually pick a podcast over music.

When Karen mentioned the podcast on her blog I decided to look it up and see if I too would like it. The Angriest Trainer is none other than Vinnie Tortorich, a badass trainer, triathlete and author of  "Fitness Confidential." He and Anna Vocino are the main speakers on the podcast. I started with episode 1 and instantly I was hooked.

Anna and Vinnie are hilarious. They also provide loads of useful information. Their goal is to reveal to us how our good intentions have been stolen. Aside from that Vinnie is a carnivorous vegan and a huge proponent of this lifestyle. He bases his diet on NO Sugar, NO Grains or NSNG. It is basically a low carb, high fat diet for those that need specific name.

After over dosing on the episodes a bit, Vinnie started working on my brain. I half-heartedly started NSNG before going to San Fran. I really only watched my grain intake and kept from eating too many sweets (which is not really my problem). I didn't lose a whole lot of weight but it was enough that people started noticing a leaner Jess. :)

Of course, I went to San Fran and everything went to the crapper.

Ten days ago today, I decided to start over. This time I put it in my head that this will be a lifelong change. And instead of doing it half-heartedly I decided to go hard core, at least for now. Between the podcast and other reading I have decided to experiment and push myself into ketosis.  Basically this is where you teach your body to burn fat for energy instead of carbs.

I don't think I am in ketosis yet. Apparently, you are supposed to feel crappy, be extremely thirsty and have stinky breath. From what I have read the more you work out the faster you get into keto by burning off all the sugar. I haven't been working out a lot and I imagine I have a lot to burn off. :)
I am eating way less of this...
and way more of this...
and this!
It hasn't been super hard, yet. I don't it a whole lot of sweets and I love meat and things that have lots of fat like bacon, avocados and nuts.

My main problems will come when it gets close to that time of the month when I will be craving sweets. That will be a toughy to resist. Also, I have seen rice a few times and seriously just want to dig my face in it. LOL

I love mi arrozito!

I will keep you all posted. It will be interesting not taking any extra sugary things during Top Gun. I plan on sticking with good ol' Nuun.

Have you ever attempted going into ketosis? What did you learn?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Top Gun Updates

T-minus 3 days people until Top Gun.

I am by no means where I would hope to be right now. Yet her were are 3 days away. Top Gun was my first triathlon. I still remember riding my brother's mountain bike and thinking what the hell did I get myself into.

Last year, I did Tarpon Springs Triathlon and feared for my life. There was a crazy storm and yet I was able to PR.

What will this Saturday bring? I have no idea but I am excited.

My workouts last week have been a bit non-existent. Trust me I don't expect to break any records on Saturday. I am just going to have fun and hang with the loads of friends that will be out there.

If you have seen from my recent posts my daughter just started cheerleading for a football team and I will have a whole new task of figuring out how to get her everywhere while still training, working, etc. Mini-me has cheered and tumbled before but this will be the most intense program she has ever been in. She wants to cheer in high school and I hear this is the best league to get her going. Just to give you an idea, she will be practicing on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and has games every Saturday. And if I wasn't busy enough, I got a wee bit too excited and decided to get super involved and become the Team Parent. :)

This new chapter in our life should be interesting.

In other news, I started a new eating habit. I will elaborate more in another post. I am also getting a massage on my shin. I feel like my shins somewhat healed but there is some sort of knot on there that is trying to wreak havoc on my training. My favorite massage therapist should be able to work a miracle!

Happy Hump Day!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Watching the "Weight of the Nation"

A few months ago, I started listening to the Angriest Trainer podcast featuring Vinnie Tortorich and Anna Vocino.
In one of the earlier podcasts, Vinnie was discussing this documentary that was on HBO called The Weight of the Nation.
The documentary sounded interesting and I decided to check it out at my future in-law's house. The documentary is still available to watch if you are interested. The documentary is filmed in four parts focusing each one on these topics - Consequences, Choices, Children in Crisis and Challenges.
Those documentary included a lot of things that 'us active folk' know but added a few things that were jaw dropping.

Here are some of my take-aways:

  • If you ever blamed obese people for being lazy or eating way too much then you should watch this immediately. 
  • Once you have gained a large amount of weight, when you attempt to lose the weight your body fights you. Losing the weight and keeping it off will be a life long effort. 
  • French fries and pizza tomato sauce count as vegetable servings in school lunch rooms. 
  • Obesity is worse for those who live in poverty. 
  • Obesity will cost about $300 billion in medical costs by 2018.
  • Junk food makers (i.e. soda, cereal etc) have a 90% profit margin while those that grow fruits and vegetable only have a 10% profit margin. 
These were some of the larger points that stood out for me. There was SO much more. If you haven't seen this I highly recommend it. 

I am following this show up with another recommendation from Vinnie - Why We Are Fat and What To Do About it by Gary Taubes. 

What were your take aways from HBO's The Weight of the Nation?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Operation Life 7/1 -7/15

Happy Monday! Hope everyone has had a good day. Seems like I came back to blogging to only take another little hiatus. It's hard getting back into the blogging groove. And when life's little miracles happen that doesn't help the cause either.  Here is a quick run down of what has been keeping me busy:
Andy and I celebrated our 9th dating anniversary. Official one year till wedding countdown begins!
We celebrated at Mise en Place, which was delicious.
My future SIL had her baby 7 weeks early. I was in and out of hospital helping. Baby and momma are doing good. Isn't she precious?!
Somedays were hectic. I went from work to track to hospital only to get home super late.
I left on my final trip of this year. Enjoyed celebrating my BFF's 30th birthday in San Francisco and Napa Valley.
We had an amazing time!!
Did I mention that we were a total of 17 girls traveling and partying to celebrate? 
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With all the craziness I am sure you are wondering how much working out I accomplished? Not much. But I wasn't a complete slacker either. The worst part of it all really was my return back from San Francisco. I got sick on the last day of the trip and I was jet lagged. Seriously, there were nights I was only getting between 2-4 hours of sleep. It was no wonder that by last week I was starting to feel extremely rundown and icky.

Yesterday, I started to feel somewhat human again. My ear is still popping, but I am feeling MUCH better.

I plan to get back to the grind tomorrow with a track workout and swim. Top Gun is a little less than 12 days away. A fact I didn't realize until I read Meghan's blog. Will I be ready? I think so. I feel as if I have the bike and swim distance down. I probably won't be fast but I can get 'er done. As for the run well I am trained up to 2 miles. LOL I may have to wing the extra 1.1 mile. It should be interesting.

Hope everyone has a great week!