Tuesday April 8, 2014: Back to Weight Watchers

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I have gone back to the Weight Watchers. Lately my I have been gaining a little every week and I’m getting close to my heaviest weight ever. I have to do something to get my weight under control.

For the past 2 weeks I’ve tried counting calories but that just isn’t working for me. After thinking a couple of days about it I decided to renew my subscription to Weight Watchers. In the past this has been the only program that has been working for me so it’s worth to give it a try.

I started yesterday and since the website has lots and lots of recipes I’m using that to my advantage. My plan is to make my breakfast and lunches (at least on weekdays) from WW recipes. For my dinner I use my own recipes and sometimes one of the WW.

The funny thing is that I joined this weekend and today I got a leaflet on my desk that they are offering a 13 week “Weight Watchers @work” program which is for free. There will be a coach at work every week during lunch break. I haven’t decided yet if I will join that too because I don’t really want to lose weight with people I see at work every day. A colleague (male) of mine is still thinking about it too and asked if we could go together if he would go. I might do that although I don’t think he will join.

For now I’m doing it on my own. I prepped my work lunches for this week Sunday evening. My breakfasts this week didn’t need much prepping, I can make them in the morning. So far (and yes it’s only 2 days LOL) it’s working, especially the fact that I just have to get my containers with my lunch out of the fridge in the morning, makes it so much easier.

I’m giving this whole weight loss thing one more last chance because I’m not happy in my body at this weight, not to mention the fact that a lot of my clothes are too tight at the moment. I’ll keep you updated in the next weeks how it goes.

Q&A from my last post:

Lori you asked if I know what bird is nesting in our birdhouse: it’s a great tit (that’s what google translation gave me). There are 2 of them and they are not around the entire day but parts of it and then they are busy making the nest.

Debby the swan on the nest was in the wild. This is the second one I’ve seen this season, the other one I saw in my village.

Workouts:

Monday: 30 Day Shred

Normally Monday is my rest day because I clean my house at night. But I switched that and took my rest day Sunday and did the cleaning Sunday morning. Today I did the workout that started my working out with DVD’s: the Shred. The first workout DVD I ever bought, I even did level 1 which was, of course, my first DVD workout too.
Total time: 27 minutes.

Tuesday: Running

Already a bit lighter at the end of my run, think I’ll be running in daylight by the end of this month. We have had lots of rain Monday evening and night but by the time I did my run it was dry. I don’t often have to run in the rain early in the morning which definitely is a pro. Not a fast but a good run with 2 walk breaks.

Stats:
Distance: 3.2 K / 2 miles
Time: 00:23:37
Weather: dry, not much wind, 10C (50 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Paul McCartney – With a little luck

Photo a day challenge:

March 31: Faux.

April 1: Something purple.
Flower in my garden.

April 2: In my hand.
A leash with Bella on the other end of it.

April 3: Shapes.

April 4: Good together.

April 5: Not mine … hers!

April 6: A taste of Spring.

April 7: Where I’d rather be.
I am where I want to be. I like traveling from time to time but there’s no place where I’d rather be than at home with my little sweetheart.

April 8: Hobby.
I have always loved walking with Bella but the past year it has become more of a hobby when I started doing long walks in nature at the weekend.

Meals:

Saturday April 5

Lunch: a big salad with cucumber, radish and grilled chicken that I spiced with a lemon-pepper and a honey-mustard dressing I made myself of olive oil, white vinegar, mustard and honey.

Dinner: Lasagna of rutabaga with minced meat. I didn’t use pasta instead I used the rutabaga. This was a delicious meal. I made two portions so I could eat it on Sunday for dinner too.

Monday April 6

Red curry with beef, pak choi and red pepper with yellow rice.

Tuesday April 7

Chicken breast with potatoes and green beans in a musterd sauce out of the oven. New recipe but not spectacular. Not going to make this dish again.


Thursday February 13, 2014: Weekend!

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It’s amazing how many medals our Dutch skaters are winning at the Olympics. We already have won more medals than ever before and it isn’t over yet. They are really great athletes, all of them.

My weekend has started. Tomorrow my friend T. is coming over for her birthday dinner. As you might remember: we cook for each other as a birthday gift.

Saturday morning I have a 10K walk planned in a town that’s a 15 minute drive from here. Right now the forecast is that it will be dry in the morning so if it stays that way we will go.

I’m waiting for a message from K. Her little baby boy should have been born already but I guess he’s comfortable in his mommy’s belly. But it should happen any day now.

Workouts:

Thursday: Jillan Michaels Killers Buns & Thighs, level 1

Workout for the buns & thighs, 30 minutes (without the warm up and stretching) of 3 circuits, every move in a circuit was repeated. I could keep up with the exercises although I did the beginner version if that was available. Good workout.
Total time: 40 minutes.

365 Days In Nature:

February 8

February 9: Wanted to find some color on a cold, cloudy, windy day and I did.

February 10: I’ve been looking for flowers/color again today and found these, actually pretty close to home too.

February 11: This is what happens if you bring some bread at your walk :)

February 12: Sheep.

February 13: Bought 2 azalea’s last weekend to bring some colour in my living room.

Meals:

Wednesday February 12

 

Noodles with pork, vegetables and Chinese herbs.

Thursday February 13

Sauerkraut with mashed potatoes and sausage (forgot to take a photo).


Friday February 7, 2014: Last “free” weekend

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I’m joking that it’s my last “free” weekend but it’s the last weekend that there isn’t an organized walk. As of next week there’s an organized walk every week till the beginning of July and if there isn’t one close I will do a part of a trail. There’s only 1 weekend in these months that I haven’t planned anything. It is my intention to do this every week but it depends on the weather. If it’s raining cats and dogs I won’t go, it has to be fun.

I also planned some races. I have signed up for 1 so far. Till June I will only do 5K’s, during Summer it’s my plan to train for 10K’s and do some 10K’s in September/October.

I look forward to hopefully lots of beautiful walks in the next months and some good 5K’s.

Have a good weekend.

Beebox content week 6:

Eggs, Jerusalem artichoke, apple juice, apples, mushrooms, pastrami, pears, leek, red beets, arugula, brasing steak, onion, carrots, beer, sauerkraut, bok choi.

Workouts:

Wednesday: Turbofire

I had a 30 minute workout and a 10 minute stretch scheduled. But when I started the Fire workout I just wasn’t into it. I ended up doing a little over 10 minute and then moved on to the stretch.
Total time: 24 minutes.

Thursday: The Firm Express

Nice short cardio and strength workout.
Total time: 21 minutes.

Friday: Jillian Michaels Banish Fat Boost Metabolism

This workout is without weights, all you use is your own body. It’s more cardio then strength although there are some strength exercises in it. Besides a warm up and cool down it has 7 circuits of about 6 minutes each. You can do them all or just some. Today I did 4 circuits, the warm up and the cool down.
Total time: 37 minutes.

365 Days In Nature:

February 1: Woohoo more signs of Spring.

February 2: If you ask me, we have a little bit too much gooses, seaguls and swans at the moment. Think it’s because the winter has been so mild so far.

February 3: Sunset after a beautiful sunny day. This was chosen as the header of the day (every day they pick the best photo of the day before as the header for the group).

February 4: Taken last weekend.

February 5.

February 6: From last weekend.

February 7: Last one from last weekend. Glad it’s weekend again and I can take new photo’s. Can’t wait for longer daylight and Spring, that will give so much more photo opportunities.


Tuesday September 17, 2013: Great reunion.

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The reunion last Saturday was super. I had such a great night. Almost everyone was present and it was so great to hear everyone’s stories about their lives. Everyone could get along with each other immediately and everybody was having a great time. A single girl and I were the only one that didn’t have kids but one of them kept the average up because she has 10 children. Some are divorced and in a second or third relationship. What was remarkable was that almost all of us didn’t have a father anymore. Most of our mothers are still alive. Because I come from a small village and most of our parents still live there, we all still have a connection to the village. I really enjoyed myself, it was such a fun night. I didn’t take photo’s myself but someone else did, still waiting for them.

My cold isn’t completely gone but it’s getting better day by day. Hopefully I’m a 100% by the end of the week.

Workouts: 

Running Monday
It seems like I do nothing else than start over. Due to the cold I had last week, I have started the new training program again. My cold isn’t completely healed but I felt well enough to give running a try on Monday morning. It was a pretty slow run but it went okay, I did all the running parts as I was supposed too. Positive: my legs felt very fresh because I haven’t done much the past days. It’s a start and from this point I am just moving on. 

Stats:
Distance: 4.1 K / 2.5 miles
Time: 00:31:44
Running: 2-3-5-5-5 minutes.
Paces: 6:54 – 6:41 – 6:42 – 6:42 – 6:39
Weather: dry, hardly any wind, 10C (50 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Elvis – I just can’t help believing

Strength Tuesday

Jillian Michaels Body Revolution, phase 1, workout 4, 33 minutes.
I really like these workouts: 4 circuits of 3 to 4 exercises that are repeated twice with 1 minute cardio in between. Today focus was mostly on back exercises.

Meals:

Saturday September 14

I made lunch with the ciabatta bread, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese from the beebox, added some green pesto and put it in the oven for a while. I usually buy the cheep mozzarella but this was the real deal: the cheese was so tasty. Delicious lunch!

Sunday September 15

I had a butternut pumpkin in my Beebox this week and decided I would make a soup of it. I have never made anything with pumpkin myself. I used a recipe from the Beebox website. I followed everything but I think the measurements were wrong because there was way too much cayenne pepper in the soup. It was so freaking hot, I didn’t finish my bowl and threw the rest away. But I did taste the pumpkin a little and it’s definitely worth making something else with pumpkin someday.

 

Monday September 16

Pork chop with cooked potatoes and rainbow carrots (yellow, orange and red carrots) from the Beebox. I cooked the carrots first and roasted them after that in the oven with some olive oil, honey and cumin powder -> delicious!

 

Tuesday September 17

 

Made a recipe from Ainsley Harriott’s Feel Good cook book: sausage (pork) with a potato tortilla and tomato salsa. Yum!


Thursday August 29, 2013: Giethoorn

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Yesterday we went to Giethoorn. Little history about this village:

Giethoorn used to be a carfree town known in the Netherlands as “Venice of the Netherlands” It became locally famous, especially after 1958, when the Dutch film maker Bert Haanstra made his famous comedy “Fanfare” there. In the old part of the village, there were no roads (nowadays there is a cycling path), and all transport was done by water over one of the many canals. The lakes in Giethoorn were formed by peat unearthing.

When we arrived it was around lunchtime and we had lunch first at one of the many restaurants. It was pretty busy for a Wednesday, lots of tourists, especially many Germans. After lunch we went to one of the many companies that had electric boats for rent.

The boat ride was about 2 hours. The first part was the best because we went through the canals in the village. Lots of pretty houses to see there.

The second part was on the lake and through a nature reserve. Although the reserve was beautiful, it was a lot of the same if you look at if for about an hour.

What was special is that we saw storks. I have seen a stork before but usually 1 that was on a nest high up in the sky. This was a group of at least 15 storks which was pretty special to see.

After an afternoon on the water, mostly in the sun and driving back home for over an hour, we were pretty tired when we were almost home around dinner time. I didn’t feel like cooking and we decided to try a new restaurant just outside our village. We both had a burger and although it was good, we didn’t think it was worth the money we had to pay for it. We probably won’t be going there soon again.

Here’s an impression from yesterday.

Don’t you even think about going away without me:

Workouts:

I want to get back in my morning workout routine before I go back to work next Monday. I think it will be easier then to get up at 5.15 am again for my workout. I haven’t done much this month and boy, am I out of shape! I ran yesterday and did a strength workout this morning and both were very hard. Once again it is clear I need to workout regularly because if I’m not I’m out of shape in no time.

Running Wednesday
I have taken a few steps back in my 5K training program. My last runs were hard because I didn’t run on a regular base. I’m back at week 4 where I had to run 8-10-8 minutes with a 2 minute walk break. And even this was hard, I had to take a short walk break at the last 8 minutes. I did finish the run but it took a lot of effort and it was slow.

Stats:
Distance: 4.2 K / 2.6 miles
Time: 00:30:48
Running: 8-10-8 minutes.
Paces: 6:58 – 6:55 – 7:06
Weather: dry, hardly any wind, 16C (60 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Beegees – Massachusetts

Strength Thursday

Jillian Michaels, Ripped in 30, level 1. 25 minutes.
As said I’m out of shape and I didn’t finish the workout. There’s a lot of work to be done the next months for me!

Meals:

Wednesday August 28

Lunch: bread with parma ham, mango chutney and chicken. This was delicious! It looks big but the bread was very light and I hadn’t had too much after finishing it.

 

Dinner: Cheesburger.


Friday July 19, 2013: Summer

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I haven’t blogged in over a week, mostly because I didn’t have that much to say. Life is good but not much exciting happening. I stopped doing the photo a day because I missed a lot of days taking a photo. I might pick it up in August again.

Summer has arrived in Holland. We’ve had 2 weeks of great weather with only 2 days that weren’t that good. This week it’s great too but from Sunday it’s getting hot (> 30C / > 86 degrees). I know that’s nothing compared to the temperatures some of you have but for my country it’s hot. The downside is that it’s probably will get humid. I have to adjust to the warm weather, having trouble doing my workouts, cleaning my house and walk with Bella. But I’m getting used to it now.

Last night we had a dinner planned with 5 of my favorite colleagues. The girl lives in the same village as I do and we picked the restaurant and decided we would do it in our village. That meant I could bring my car home after work and go to the restaurant on my bike. The weather was perfect and the company was very good. The guy in the white shirt has got a promotion in our company and will be a manager on September 1 and I will work for him then. Can’t tell you how happy I am with that, right now we have a woman ad interim on that job and I don’t really like working for her. She’s okay but there isn’t a click I have with the other managers I work for.

Workouts:

Running Saturday
I missed one run this week but am ready to move to the next level. This week had 3 minutes of walking breaks which even for me is too long. Next week is a 2 minute walk break. The run went great: 4 x 5 minutes. The last interval I ran 7 minutes because that’s what I have to do next week and since I missed a run I wanted to check if I’m ready for the next step and I am.

Stats:

Distance: 4.5 K / 2.8 miles
Time: 00:32:27
Running: 4 x 5 minutes.
Paces: 6:36 – 6:17 – 6:26 – 6:27
Weather: dry, cloudy, not much wind, 16C (60 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Katy Perry – Firework.

Running Monday
Week 3. This week I have to run 5-7-7-5 minutes with 2 minute walk breaks. It went very well. Not much to say about this run.

Stats:

Distance: 4.5 K / 2.8 miles
Time: 00:31:49
Running: 5-7-7-5 minutes
Paces: 6:33 – 6:26 – 6:30 – 6:28
Weather: dry, cloudy, not much wind, 16C (60 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Beegees – Too much heaven

Jillian’s Tuesday
Jillian Michaels Body Revolution, workout 3. Total time: 35 minutes.
4 circuits of 3 exercises, mostly upper body. Every circuit was done twice with a 1 minute cardio interval between sets. This is the third workout I did of this program and I like the set up of the workout. And as always she makes you work hard.


Wednesday May 29, 2013: Is 45 a turning point?

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That’s what I have been thinking about a lot around my 45th birthday last week and my conclusion: yes it is.

R. and I are both strong believers that if we want to get old healthy, we have to live as healthy as possible. At this moment we both are healthy and we need to keep it that way. And that’s why I have been thinking about what I want to change/continue from here on.

Live healthy

I still have about 10 kg (22 lbs) overweight. I’m going to give it one more serious try to lose it. If I fail, I think I just have to accept that this is it. I started using Fatsecret for counting calories last Monday. I also found this website where you can enter your weight, your length, your activity level, your goal weight and the amount of calories you want to eat less every day.

I entered all the information and choose to eat 550 less calories a day. Based on all the information you get a “plan” with how much you will lose every week (0.5 kg/1.1 lbs in my case), how much calories you can eat every day (this goes down a bit every week but never below 1700 in my case) and when you will hit goal weight if you follow this, in my case that will be around October 15th (around the date of my planned half marathon).

I am not following a diet, I keep eating the way we are doing lately because it’s already pretty healthy. The only thing I have to change sometimes is portion sizes. The first few weeks of using Fatsecret will give me more insight in that. I also try to stay away from processed foods as much as possible, there will be desserts, snacks and cake or pie in the future but I have to make it myself, that’s my rule. And last I have to cut down on the wine. I love my glass of wine too much to eliminate it completely but I can definitely drink just 1 or 2 glasses on the weekend.

I’m not going to bother you with numbers in the coming months but I will give an update every now and then how I’m doing and if everything goes according to the plan.

Running

I am still training for a half marathon in October in Amsterdam. But I still have a long way to go after almost 1.5 years of miserable running but I’m getting closer every run. I have made a few decisions for my training plan:

  • Run 4 times a week in July, August and September (I now run 3 times one week and 4 times the other).
  • Add speedwork sessions in the above mentioned months.
  • Follow the training plan.
  • Recovery weeks every 4 weeks (will run but no other workouts those weeks)
  • No races! I thought about that for a while, there aren’t that many races during Summer here anyway. I will do my own “race” every month when I will run a 5K like it’s a race to see if my times improve, based on those times I can adjust my paces for training if necessary. If there happens to be a 5K on the day I have planned my own, I might do that but basically no races till October.

Other exercise

My goal for a long time already is to move at least 30-60 minutes a day. I am counting my run, other workouts and the daily long walk with Bella for that. I walk Bella 3 to 4 times a day but the other walks are short ones that I don’t count.

There is some improvement possible here, namely that I walk Bella 30 to 60 minutes every day, no matter what the weather is. Well maybe not when it’s raining very hard because Bella doesn’t want to walk then. I now skip the long walk sometimes due to weather or not making time for it. This has also gave me the idea to make a photo of something we see on our walk everyday and post a collage of that every week. So here are our first results

The walking event we did last Saturday was fun to do too and I’m going to look up some other events so we can do one of these events every month or so. My long runs are always on Friday or Saturday and these events are often on Saturday or Sunday so that shouldn’t be a problem.

Long post, if you are still reading … thank you for that. I needed to write down my thoughts about this and wanted to share it with you. I’ll finish by saying: bring on the next 45 years (at least).

Workouts:

Strength Monday

Jillian Michaels Body Revolution, phase 1, workout 2. Total time: 36 minutes.

4 circuits that had to be done twice with 1 minute cardio between the sets. Main focus was on back, triceps and biceps and a little bit of abs. Great workout.

Tempo Tuesday

This week the tempo run goes from 30 to 35 minutes and the tempo parts from 3 to 4 minutes. I had to do just 1 4-minute tempo in this run. I did do it but don’t have the exact pace. The run itself was very great, the weather was gorgeous, even at 5.30 am. 

Stats:
Distance: 5.2 K / 3.2 miles
Time: 00:36:20

Speed per km: 8.59 km/hour (5.4 miles/hour)

Time per km: 06:59
Weather: dry, not much wind, 10C (50 degrees)

Last song on Ipod before finish: Robbie Williams – Supreme

Strength Wednesday

Jillian Michaels, 30 Day Shred, Level 2. Total time: 27 minutes.

3 circuits of 3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio and 1 minute abs. I like the Shred workouts because they are tough but short.

Meals:

Sunday May 26

 

I made a recipe from Bill Granger’s Easy cook book: beef tenderloin with snow peas and mushrooms. I added some green asparagus that I had in the fridge. I ate this with noodles. Very tasty and definitely coming back one day on the menu.

 

Monday May 27

 Sticky chicken: chicken marinated in olive oil, red pepper, honey and lemon. We had a salad with some pumpkin seeds and baked potatoes with it. The chicken was good but not special enough to make it again.

 

Tuesday May 28

Easy dinner: steak tartare with mushrooms and green asparagus. No carbs for dinner, didn’t want to have potatoes or rice.

 

Wednesday May 29

 

Red curry with pork, green beans and cashew nuts. We had yellow rice as a side dish. Good!


Friday March 15, 2013: Mishmash

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I’m glad to say I am all better, except from the bruises on my left butt but that just needs time to heal, also my lower back needs a bit more time to heal.

Wednesday night I had a date with my friend K. We had sushi for dinner. I took photos of the food but totally forgot to let someone take a photo of us. The thing with K. is that the minute we see each other we start talking and don’t stop till we say goodbye, it’s always like we had seen each other yesterday even if it has been 3 months. Being around her is so comfortable.

 

My company sponsors the Dutch Moto GP team. The official team presentation for the press was held at our office yesterday. I am not particularly interested in Moto GP but R. is. I went down to see the presentation and it was fun to see.

 

I can’t believe the weather. For crying out loud, Spring starts in a week and it’s still Winter. It’s cold and we had some snow this week. We are breaking weather records but not the ones that make you happy. Last Saturday we broke the rain record: it rained nonstop for 24 hours, the old record was almost 100 years old when it rained 23.5 hours. Last Monday we had the coldest March 11 in a century. It’s way to cold here for this time of year and I’m so done with it. Last year around this time I was already running in my capri’s. Now I still have to wear thermo clothes under my winter running clothes. The cold effects my running and my walks with Bella because I’m so done with it, I can’t get motivated anymore to run or walk in the cold, I’ve had enough. Let’s hope warmer weather will be here soon. I know I can’t wait.

And finally: how stupid is it that Google Reader stops at July 1? I’ve already looked into other readers and am testing feedly at the moment. So far it’s working good but I have to test some more. Do you have any suggestions for good readers?

Workouts:

Plank challenge March

I have to restart this challenge but won’t start till my butt and lower back are completely painfree, probably next week.

Monday morning I did a short easy run, just to see how it would go. And it went very well, better than expected. I didn’t take walk breaks. It was freaking cold though, the temperature wasn’t that cold but there was a very cold hard wind.

Stats:

Distance: 3.2 K / 2 miles
Time: 00:22:52

Speed per km: 8.40 km/hour (5.2 miles/hour)

Time per km: 07:09
Weather: dry, hard wind, -1C (30 degrees)

Last song on Ipod before finish: P!nk – Who knew

 

I had one more workout program on my wish list: Jillian Michaels Body Revolution. It was hard to find a seller in Europe but after a couple of months I finally found a seller on Ebay Germany and I could buy the program. This makes my workout collection complete, I have a great variation of all kinds of programs: strength, cardio and yogalates. I did the first workout of the program last Tuesday and it was a great workout, I like it a lot. I had 4 circuits, every circuit was done twice and existed of 3 exercises. Between the circuits was a 1 minute cardio interval. All the workouts are about 30 minutes.


Monday December 17, 2012: Mishmash

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Daily stuff:
A post without any pictures. While writing this I realized I didn’t take pictures of anything last week.

Saturday morning R. and I went shopping. This was unique because we both hardly go shopping and we don’t shop together. We went to a men’s and women’s store in our village and both scored a great outfit. I bought mine in a store that won a reward for the best store in Holland this year and the service was fantastic. I know you are going to say: show me.
I will but not today, I have a Christmas lunch at work next Friday and I will wear it then and will take pictures too.

Yesterday, it was exactly 10 years ago I started my current job. I was supposed to have a small party at work this afternoon but my manager has been sick and extremely busy the past couple of weeks and he asked me if we could celebrate this in January. He wants to prepare it good and give me the party that I deserve. I don’t mind to wait a little longer so we postponed. I did get my bonus letter this morning and got a great bonus for working 10 years at the company. It’s all going to my savings account for a new car.

Only 2,5 days of work this year and counting down!

Workouts:
Last week was a terrible workout week, not even worth mentioning. I did only 2 workouts last week. The plan is to finish the last 2 weeks of this year strong and I started this morning with a Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed & Shred workout. I loved this workout because of the great variation in exercises. It had yoga, plyometrics, kickboxing etcetera in it.

Total time: 39 minutes.

Bella and Fran’s Autumn challenge: walk at least 30 minutes every day:

Days till the end of Autumn (Thursday December 20): 90 days
Success: 69 days
Fail: 18 days

Almost at the end of this challenge, only 3 days to go and already I’m very happy with our result. This will be our last challenge but that doesn’t mean we give up the walking. We will take our daily walk as much as possible.