Amazon In Training

Only Superman owns more spandex.

My Favorite Things: Xersion Semi Fit Tanks

Had Rogers and Hammerstein a penchant for stretchy pants, they might have extolled the praises of JCPenny’s in house brand, Xersion. I know, I talk about this line a lot, mostly because the quality is good, they do their basics well, come in lots of great colors, they do prints well, and they are savvy enough to “be inspired” by good design on the market. They are also really inexpensive, which is right in my price range, but the quality is well beyond stores like Old Navy even though the price is comparable.

Consider the Xersion Semi Fit Tank. The fit is almost dead on to Lululemon’s CRB, and the fabric feels very, very similar (I think I may prefer it- it doesn’t have the ‘sticky’ quality that supplex has). It also comes in great colors and prints. Now, some of the prints feel matronly (or Jazzercisey- there, I said it) but some really nail it.

This tank is tagged at 20$, but I’ve never seen it sold for more that 11.99$. And for a woman whose go to gym outfit is leggings and a racer back tank they are everything I could ask for and the first thing I grab for.

(Did I mention their website is lousy? They may have the same style tank in three different spots, and the one in the small thumbnail isn’t even one they have available when you click through to the product description.)

Here’s a selection…

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Cute Tank Alert…

I picked up one of these tanks last week at JCPenny for 12 bucks. The fabric is nice, the print is so summery, my only complaint is that no attempt is made to line the print up, front to back. Oh, well. Still, very cute.

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If

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;”

-excerpted from If by Rudyard Kipling

I was hoping I’d be more successful this week, but my results stayed the same as last week. 😦

I talk a lot about process oriented goals and not getting caught up in the scale, but when you are having a lot of success and then suddenly you seem to stall… Yeah, it is disheartening. You wonder why you are trying so hard.

So don’t get so caught up with success, Me, that your commitment hangs upon it instead of just taking things one day at a time. And also, Me, don’t let perceived failure stop you either. This isn’t about a number on the scale, and it’s not a race. This is about living in such a way that you can be your best self every day.

Just keep… Something or other…

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Egg White Delight

I get people asking me all the time, “What are you eating?” These people are mostly my children. With that in mind, here is my current go-to breakfast, inspired by McDonald’s delicious and relatively expensive ($3.00 a pop) Egg White Delight.

You need:
An English muffin (I like Thomas’ Hearty Muffins Multigrain Light)
A slice of Canadian bacon (wow, look how multicultural this recipe is turning out! 😉 )
A slice of cheese (You can use American or Swiss if you want to keep with our theme, but I like pepper jack for its kick)
1/3 cup of egg whites (buy a carton- don’t worry about its nationality)

Breakfast, Assemble!

I have a microwave egg cooker and I cook the eggs and the bacon together, then add the cheese when you place the egg on the toasted English muffin.

I like this breakfast because it has a nice punch of lean protein and is pretty filling for my morning. It also clocks in around 250 calories so it is really easy on the calorie budget. From a cost standpoint, each one is $1.47.

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Taking the Pain Out of Food Journaling

Food Journaling (or “tracking”) is an important piece to managing your food intake- after all, that which gets measured gets managed! But some parts of it are a pain, or difficult, or even stressful if you are an all-or-nothing perfectionist like me. Here’s how to take the pain to of tracking.

1. Measure, measure, measure. Get a couple sets of measuring cups and measuring spoons. Get a food scale. Measure everything. This is the most accurate way to estimate your calorie intake.

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2. Ate something and have no idea how many calories? Google it. Pick the answer that sounds like a slightly higher estimate, just to be safe. But don’t get hung up on finding something that matches exactly. The really important thing, in fact the key to success is that you a. control portion size. B. Continue tracking your next meal.

3. Make your food journal fun. Splurge on nice writing instruments- I bought some fun gel pens so I could track in colors.

4. Make process goals. Instead setting goals like “I’m going to lose 2 pounds this week” set goals around journaling- ie. “I’m going to journal everything this week.”

5. Don’t give up- the more you do it, the easier it gets. Write foods you use all the time on a cheat sheet in the back for quick reference.

It seems counter-intuitive: I say “get obsessive about what you are eating but don’t get TOO obsessive”, but there’s a balance. If you are too militant about it you will make yourself crazy and quit, too lax and you won’t get results and quit. But this how I find balance. What works for you?

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Secret Fitness Weapons: The Food Journal

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I am absolutely, unequivocally and dramatically more successful when I keep a food journal. This is a technique I learned at Weight Watchers, where you commonly hear the phrase, “If you bite it, write it!”

At Weight Watchers, food is given a point value. It used to be more closely tied to calories but now it is a much better indicator of the food’s value for you- ie, simple carbs have a very high point value. So Weight Watchers does a great job of teaching you to be smart with your dietary “budget”- filling, good-for-you foods are relatively “inexpensive” (most fruits and veggies are free).

Weight Watchers Centers always stock a nice food journal and you don’t have to be a member to go in and purchase one. I bought mine for $6.95.

Currently, I am just tracking calories, but the Weight Watchers journal works great for that, too. You could use any sort of pocket notebook, but I like the pages dedicated to meal and exercise planning.

The last time I was really consistent about exercise, I lost 17 pounds in 14 weeks. I was not as careful about my diet as I could have been- I know I didn’t journal very well (if at all). However, by journaling my food AND consistently exercising I am down 20 pounds in slightly over 7 weeks. That is what accountability for ya.

In the picture above you can see a few of my food journals from the past. I always like to recover them with scrapbook paper. Here is my current one: I covered it with Avengers Duck Tape.

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Superhero Running Costume Ideas, Part 1: Captain America

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Instead of doing something productive, I’ve been brainstorming ideas for my costume for the Avenger’s Half Marathon in Nov. This first idea probably involves the least amount of work.

The core piece is this Under Armour T Shirt. Kinda spendy at 45$, but not so costumey that it couldn’t be worn again.

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Next, I’d make an a-line running skirt out of this Lycra. The stripes are one inch wide, so I think it would have an ‘American flag’ look to it, although wider stripes might be even better.

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I’d layer black Lycra shorts under the skirt, white compression running sleeves with red mitts, maybe add red compression calf sleeves (here’s a great resource for custom running sleeves) and a blue visor with a big, white “A” on it. Good to go!

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Enjoy Going to the Gym With This One Weird Trick

It is 2014. Why am I still having the same experience in the gym I had 20 years ago? I don’t have anything else from 20 years ago!

(in all actuality, the reason I am having the same experience is because I pay 10$ a month for my membership)

BUT this is the experience I’d like to have when I go to the gym:

I’d like to select my goals by computer when I start a workout program. Endurance training, build muscle, work on certain muscle groups, rehabilitation, weight loss- there would be infinitely customizable program options depending on your goals.

Then, each time you went to the gym you would have your program, perhaps on your smart phone. You would swipe your card at a cardio machine and the machine would pull up your workout and set the time, duration and intensity based on your goals and how you are progressing along your program. For instance, if you are training for an endurance event, some days would be short and fast, others long and steady, it could even give you an interval workout.

On to the strength machines- you swipe you card and it tells you how much to lift and how many reps. It automatically increases your weight over time in line with your fitness goals.

Finally, on my phone or pc, it would give you reports so you could track your progress, a social media component complete with badges and unlockables, a food journal, and a way to sync with any personal fitness monitors. I love charts and graphs and data.

Yeah. This is the experience I’d like to have at the gym.

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I’m In! I’ll be running the Disneyland Avengers Half Marathon!

I knew this would sell out fast, and I was really sweating it out as I typed my information in this morning. This will be my first RunDisney race! Now the training begins- 233 days to go!

Avengers Half Marathon

I went ahead and signed both of my kids up for the kid’s races, and ordered a commemorative necklace, but I passed on the other goodies. I used to work for Disney so I have TONS of that crap and not enough energy to resell that stuff online.

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KT Tape

I’ve been seeing a physical therapist for my knee (yeah, thanks for that, boot camp). She taped my knee up with kinesiology therapeutic tape and I am loving it! Apparently, it pulls against the muscles in a way that activates them. I went over to Wal-Mart and picked up some.

There are much more expensive brands out there, but she raved about this and the price is excellent. And it comes in fun colors, too! Black may or may not be your idea of fun.

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