ACL on the road to recovery: Week 3

This week started out kind of rough, goal wise.  I’m going to focus on the things that went well, and then decide what things I can improve upon for next week.

Mental goals:

My goals here related to what time I went to sleep, and getting meditating each day.

Sleep:  Sunday through Tuesday I was asleep between 10:00 and 10:30.  This isn’t great, but better than what I was doing last week.  Wednesday night, however, I did a bad job.  I didn’t go to sleep until midnight.  And I surely felt the difference on Thursday!  Meanwhile, Thursday night I went to bed around 10, and Friday I was asleep by 9:45.  So those two nights were a success.

Meditation:  The beginning of the week was a fail.  Thursday, probably due to my lack of sleep Wednesday night, I was very anxious.  I dragged myself to karate, but when I got home, I was still feeling major symptoms.  I knew I couldn’t go to sleep that way–so I took 15 minutes of guided meditation with my friendly meditation app, headspace.  OMG! IT WAS AWESOME!  It totally did the trick!  The meditation calmed me down and relaxed me.  I slept really well that night–partially due to being exhausted, but also because of the meditation. Surely, if I had tried to go to bed that night without meditating, I would have gotten very little sleep!  Since Thursday, it has been much easier to set aside the time to meditate.  I needed a reminder!

Exercise Goals:
Going to karate was probably my only successful exercise goal.  I definitely need to focus on this a lot more this coming week.

Nutrition Goals:

I did well with eating dinner–but not so much with lunch.  Preparation is really important towards being successful, and I failed to prepare.  I bought all the materials for lunch, but failed to put them together prior to the week’s start.  So I need to set up all my lunches for the week today.  On the bright side, on Thursday and Friday, I determined I wasn’t eating yukkie bad for me food and bought a salad at Wawa when I got my coffee in the morning.

So, what can I do to improve for this coming week?

Exercise:  I am going to set aside a specific time RIGHT WHEN I GET HOME to do my exercises.  I am keeping to the same order:

  • Mondays and Thursdays:  Go to Karate 😀 😀
  • Tuesdays:  Arm Day
  • Wednesdays:  PT exercises/Leg Day
  • Fridays: Ab Day
  • Saturday and Sunday:  Go for a walk


but specifically going to exercise the instant I get home, so I don’t have time to “relax” and then never get to my exercise.

Mental:  I must work harder on making myself go to bed earlier.  There is nothing else to it.  It’s not like I’m doing anything important, I’m just watching tv or playing on my laptop.  I also learned that meditating at any time of the day can help, and if I don’t make it in the morning, there are other times that I can fit it in and it will do me good.  Right now I’m having trouble getting going in the morning, so my goal for this week is to fit it in where ever it will go.

Nutrition:  Preparation, preparation, and preparation.

That’s all for this week–see you again next week!



2 years of Max Fitness, Part 2!

My fitness class is divided into 10 week sessions.  At the beginning and end of each session you take a picture.  And apparently pictures are worth a lot of words, so….

I started in November of 2012, although I didn’t take my first picture until my first official 10 week session, from Jan-Apr 2013:

1 Max January-April 2013 Challenge

 My second 10 week session, from Apr-Jun 2013:

2 Max April-June 2013 Challenge

My third 10 week session, from Jun-Aug 2013:

3 Max June-August 2013 Challenge

My fourth 10 week session from Sept-Nov 2013:

4 Max September to November

My fifth 10 week session, from Jan-Apr 2014

5 Max January-April 2014 Challenge

And then…I lost motivation..and although I attended classes sporadically, I never took an after picture for the April-June 2014 challenge….

So anywho….next up, is Session # 6, June-Aug 2014, with a brand new before picture!

6 Max June-August 2014 Challenge

And finally (phew) Session # 7…which just finished last week.  Last week was also my 2 year anniversary, as it were…as I started the program on November 12th.  Yup.  I looked it up.  Crazy?  Yup.

7 Max September-November 2014 Challenge

Anywho…I also believe that there are some things that can’t be seen in a I feel when I can walk up stairs without being winded…or when I can pick my 4 year old niece up over my head to give her a ride on my shoulders…or when we do planks in karate class and everyone groans and I’m like, yay, I got this!…or the first time I did pushups not on my knees…or the confidence I have gained regarding my body…none of those things show up in the pictures…but they are true just the same.  😀

2 Years of Max Fitness

Two years ago, my karate school started hosting a fitness and nutrition program called The Max Challenge.  If you are interested, click here for a list of locations.  They are mostly concentrated in Central NJ, but also have locations in Staten Island, NY and recently opened two locations in California.  I knew I needed to supplement my martial arts training with additional work at home, but I honestly just didn’t have the willpower to do so.  I don’t actually like exercise.  Especially not for exercise’s sake.  I have stuck with martial arts because in addition to exercise, I also have met friends and am learning a skill.  Both of these are super important.  I started martial arts right after I moved to the area, and I didn’t really know anyone.  I figured a good martial arts school would be a great place to get to know people, and I have made some really important friendships along the way!  And I LOVE learning.  If I could become a professional student, I would.  I like learning new things, and this has kept me committed to my training along the way.

In any case, I saw the addition of this program as the answer to my lack of motivation. And it very much has been.  When I started the program, I was using 5 and 8 lb weights.  When I gained a little confidence, I was using 8 and 10 lb weights.  Now I use 12 and 15 lb weights, and can use 20 lb weighs for certain exercises, such as a deadlift of chest presses.  I have seen an amazing increase in my cardio, and I have gone down a pant size and a half.  None of which is any kind of miracle story, but all are steps in the right direction towards being more healthy.

Now that I am (hopefully) nearing my black belt test (for my martial arts class, NOT my BJJ class), which, if I work hard and am dedicated, might be as soon as April 2015 (pleasepleaseplease) I want to find some way to renew my inital enthusiasm for the program.  I love the people I work out with, and the instructors, I just have to fight really hard to get out of bed at 4:30 am, 5 days a week, to work out.  And if anything, now is when I should be the most dedicated, as my goal is (again, hopefully) almost within sight.  It is definitely one of those cases where when I go I am glad I went, but I don’t realize that until I get there…and 2 or 3 days a week my bed is just so warm and comfy, and I fail to get out of bed on time.  Has anyone out there had to renew their enthusiasm for something?  Any pointers?

Snow is not good for the diet…

Since I live by myself, I decided that I would spend the recent snowstorm that hit the northeast with my best friend and her family…what could be better then at least one whole day of playing with my 2 1/2 year old niece?

Oh, but…there were pancakes and bacon and CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES and ICE CREAM…and coffee with real cream and sugar…

Needless to say, I didn’t eat well this weekend.

I did however, spend a whole weekend with my niece, Madelyn, who is super duper amazing.  We jumped, and played pretend, and played with her train set, and danced, and went snow sledding.

I did also get some functional fitness in, shoveling out my car, so I can feel kinda happy about that…

I have already accepted I may pay the consequences of my over-indulgence this week, so I am tenitively hoping for just not gaining any weight.  I hope that if I am good the rest of the week, it will even out.  Probably not, I’m sure those chocolate chip cookies have glued themselves to my thighs, but…they were good 😀

I can’t wait for next week.  My school (I am a teacher) has a winter break, and we get the whole week off.  I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!


Rediscovery of the importance of having a goal

About a year and a half ago, I started on a journey to loose weight.  I made a goal with my karate instructor that my next belt would be one size smaller.  It worked.  I lost 10 pounds, got a new belt, it is a size smaller and the world was great.  Since then, I have not been successful in loosing any additional weight.  I know that part of the reason is because I have gotten stronger, and so when there is an easier option, my lazy self does the easier option.  In a way, it was a lot easier when EVERYTHING was hard.

So, I decided to make my next tourney a goal.  It’s the first tourney I’m going to do as a blue belt, so I kind of feel a little more pressure to perform well.  During karate class, we usually end with a 5-10  minute workout of varying types…usually some combo of situps, pushups, squats, burpees, etc.  So I imagined that I was on the mat during competition, and every time I felt like pausing, I thought “if I were competing right now, if I stopped I would get choked out.  I would keep pushing.”. And that prevented me from “letting” myself take a break.  Did I have to slow down? Yes.  Did I stop? No!  Did I push myself harder then I have been?  Yes!

Note to self for the future- HAVE A GOAL!

I had an energy epiphany!

I recently noticed the number on my scale increasing instead of remaining stable/decreasing. YES I KNOW, WEIGHT IS NOT AN ACCURATE MEASUREMENT.

However, I noticed a consistant increase, which concerned me.

So, I took a look at what I was doing. One thing I noticed was that since the evil time change, I haven’t been sleeping very well. I’ve been waking up exhausted in the morning, barely getting through my work day, coming home, napping, dragging myself to karate, showering, and going to bed. Repeat.

It occured to me, that beyond the evil time change, the other thing that changed about the same time is my marching band ended, which meant I come HOME right after school. Prior to the time change this did not occur. There was no NAP!

At the same time, I read an email of exersise tips sent to me by Sparkpeople, and it mentioned a good way to get by mid afternoon blahs is to do some exersise instead.


I swear the difference was IMMEDIATE! On Tuesday of this week, when I got home from work, I dropped my school stuff and immediately got changed into work out clothes and spent a half hour doing stuff on my wii fit, and took a shower afterwards.

AUTOMATIC RESET BUTTON! That evening, I went to Target, the grocery store, and a choral concert held at the hs I work at. Not tired at all.

Go to bed. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. next morning wake up: Bright Eyed and Bushytailed–Well, as much as I can be in the morning *grinz*. Had energy all day, came home, and repeated the “home” procedure of the day before. Yet another successful day.

I am so excited to have noticed and been able to correct what was wrong. I know that even last year, I wouldn’t have been able to fix what was wrong and would have continued to try to take a nap after school, being “tired.”

I was thrown off because I wasn’t having trouble getting to sleep, I just wasn’t sleeping WELL. I’m still sleeping the same amount, but the QUALITY of sleep has changed. Now I am waking up feeling much more rested and reset to start my day.


Apology to my body–and goal reminder

Dear Body,

I’m sorry.  I haven’t been treating you very well lately.  I’ve been running all over the place, trying to have 16 hour days with only 5 hours of sleep.  I can’t really blame you for rebelling!  And then to top it all off, this week I forgot to go grocery shopping so I have been eating gross school food for lunch.  I’m sorry–but I thought it was better then starving you!

I PROMISE that this weekend I will set aside some time inbetween band and my bjj stripe test to do the following:  1.  RELAX, 2. GO GROCERY SHOPPING, and 3.  Do some minor cleaning so you don’t have to live in a pig sty.

I am reminding myself of my goal–my next karate belt is one size smaller then my current belt.  It’s all set aside for me and waiting.  When I go to karate on Saturday we are going to go visit it.  But until then, this picture will have to do:

This is my next karate belt, one size smaller then the one I'm wearing now!

Thank you body for being patient with me.  I realize the error of my ways and am taking steps to correct them so we can get along better and achieve our goals.