Saturday, July 28, 2012

Six Months In...

Hey readers!  It was one hell of a week let me tell you.  It was challenging, but I muddled through.  I also felt inspired because I knew I was completing my 26th week.  Six months into my new life...  I never thought I'd be where I am right now.  I'm on the cusp of entering the Century Club.  I've lost 87.2 pounds in 6 months.  It's still hard for me to put my mind around that, especially since I was able to do it without any serious restrictions.  I'm still eating carbs. I'm still eating fats. I'm still eating protein. 
If there is one thing that I've learned so far is that a diet that restricts either of those three items won't work for me.  I needed to learn how to eat and make tradeoffs.  I was able to lose this weight eating an occasional cheeseburger and piece of dessert or candy.  I'm much happier for it. 

When I see myself in the mirror, it's still a bit surreal.  I guess because it happened so fast.  I'm several weeks into stage two, and I'm almost down 30 lbs.  Milestone #2 is reaching 220.3 pounds.  I'm already at 257.8.  Before, losing 40 pounds seemed impossible.  Not anymore. 

As a matter of fact, I backed up off my exercise this week.  I weighed myself Wednesday evening to check in, and I found myself down 5 pounds with two more workout days in the week.  This worried me a bit because I was losing too fast.  So, I took a day off on Thursday, which I'm happy to say I enjoyed.  I think I've worked through my guilt issues when I decide to take a day off.  It seems that since I've increase my resistance workouts to three days a week, my weight loss is speeding up.  I'm definitely not losing muscle either because my arms are more defined.

I also changed my workout routine this week by backing off Zumba on Sunday.  I worked the bells so hard on Sunday that my legs were like jelly.  So, I'm going to continue with that.  I'm working Zumba down to only two days a week.  Since my gym is opening up on Monday, I'll still be able to work in a resistance class so I can get three days of weights in.  I'm finding that I enjoy the group classes more than working alone on a piece of equipment.  I really enjoy the interaction with the instructor and the other participants.  That's also why I like Zumba Wii and Jillian's kettlebell workout.  I don't feel like I'm alone.

So...how am I going to celebrate my anniversary?  Well, I worked out on the elliptical this morning, which killed me.  No interval running today due to weather.  I'm just glad I got it done.  Now, I'm just going to relax.  I'm really looking forward to my trip to Pittsburg.  Count down commences tomorrow...4 weeks to go.

Lastly, I'm going to be going out of town this week coming.  I'll be in Tennessee helping a family member move back to Ohio.  It will be interesting to see how I handle being out of my routine for another week.  I think I'll be okay.  I'm going to watch what I eat and make sure I get some exercise in...even if it's a walk.  Last time I was on vacation resulted in my largest weight loss week.  I don't think it will be like that this time, but it does make me feel better about stepping out of my routine and still being able to accomplish my goals.   My weigh-in and blog entry will be delayed.  I'll post next Sunday when I'm back in town.

So...let's here it for a great 6 months.  Let's keep that momentum going.  Thanks to all of you for your comments, support, ass kicks, and everything.  It really does make a difference.  My song choice for this week is a really happy tune since that's how I'm feeling.  The song title is a bit unusual...but very familiar to some of you.  Let's here it for Quincy Jones and a bit of Soul Bossa Nova.

Here's to a great six months! Let's celebrate with some jazz flute!




Saturday, July 21, 2012

It Was Only a Matter of Time...

Well, another week down.  It was somethin' else.  Things seemed to be moving along great.  Last week I was firing on all cylinders.  It was the last week that my gym would be closed for renovations, so I was looking forward to getting back to my regular schedule.  Kettlebells and I were getting along great.  I remember wondering where D.T. was.  He hadn't showed up for quite some time.  I felt a bit smug.  Perhaps, I had him beat.  Yeah...right.

D.T. and his damn cousin Murphy came back for a visit.  They showed up every single day.  Little BASTARDS! On Monday, D.T. tried to convince me to step off the elliptical after 45 minutes.  I was so tired, so why don't I just check out early.  And, I thought about it too.  I mean 45 minutes is a substantial workout, right?  What's another 15 minutes?  I decided to stay on and back off on my intensity.  I was able to finish my hour and cool down.  So, at least I had him beat that day.

Tuesday was just fucked.  All the way around.  Bad day.  It was so bad that I was totally not focused during Zumba.  What the hell!  I'm never not focused, especially during Zumba.  My footwork was off.  I was distracted.  It just sucked.  D.T. laughed.  He thought it was funny, and he was winning.

I sure didn't miss you, D.T.

Wednesday...I didn't want to do anything.  I wanted to go home after work.  I didn't want to hit the elliptical again.  I was afraid that D.T. was going to laugh me off the machine.  So, I told myself, "If I'm not going to work out at the gym, I'm going to do kettlebells when I get home."  And I did.  It was a great workout, and I felt my form getting better. However, it was only 25 minutes.  I didn't do my hour.  D.T. was snickering at me.  Just like he is in the picture on the left. 

Thursday.  I needed to complete another early morning Wii workout so I needed to get to bed early Wednesday night.  Guess what happened?  Couldn't sleep.  I popped up at 2:36 am on Thursday morning, and I couldn't get back to sleep.  When 3:00 am rolled around, I just got up.  Got dressed.  Completed by Zumba workout.  I felt like hot shit afterwards (disclaimer...I've never felt hot shit before, but I'm sure it felt like I did after that).  And that feeling stayed with me all day.  When I don't get enough rest, I feel nauseous.  I felt queasy all day long.  

Shove that email up your ....!

And if that wasn't enough...here comes Murphy.  Toward the end of the work day I get this email from Murphy that says, "Due to unforeseen flooring installation problems, the gym will be closed for another week."  It will open July 30th instead of the 23rd.  Really?  Really!!  GAH!  And I had to laugh because at that point, after the week I had, I wanted to cry. 

I even took a step back to reevaluate myself.  Was I really that upset about the gym being closed another week?  Is it that big of a deal?  HELL YEAH IT IS!  My workouts mean a lot to me.  It gets me to clear my head.  It's therapy for my body and soul.  I've been out of my normal schedule for two weeks now, and I'm anxious to get it back. 

So...after all of that mental drama, how did I do this week?  Here's the crazy part. I had the third best week since I've started.  4.6 pounds lost.  81.8 pounds down.  23.7% body weight lost.  So, I'm going to shut up. 

Now that I think about it.  I'm glad Tom and Murph showed up.  I need them.  They keep me focused on the big prize.  They keep me humble and honest.  They try to hang me up, but I'll always Keep Trying.  I'm come too far to let them get the best of me. 

Next week is my 6 month anniversary.  I can't believe it's been that long.  Time is passing by so quickly.  Thanks for reading.






Saturday, July 14, 2012

Is Will Power Overrated??

Hey readers!  I hope everyone had a good week.  I had a fantastic week considering that my gym was closed down for renovations.  I had no problems adjusting my schedule to use the secondary gym.  I even popped up this past Thursday morning at 3:15 am with no fuss, and successfully completed a full Zumba routine on the Wii.  It's quite the sensation to Shake Your Body that vigorously at 4 in the morning.  I did feel like death warmed over by 2 pm.  Let's just say I slept really good that night.

I've also had three sessions with the kettlebells now.  I really like the Jillian Michaels DVD that goes with kettlebells.  She has some very challenging workouts, and it really gets my heart rate up and the sweat is pouring off me.  I'm glad that the DVD has two different workouts.  So, when I master the first one, I can move to the second, which is even more challenging.  I can tell a difference too.  My guns are popping a little bit (LOL), and I'm starting to see some definition in my upper arms.  My waist line continues to shrink, and my endurance is way up.  I even took a full minute off my 5K time this morning.  Seems like I roaring on all cylinders...so TWO thumbs up for this week.

I also shared my blog address with the LiveStrong community so I want to welcome all of the members that have stopped by to say hi.  If you haven't had a chance, I strongly suggest you visit the site (http://www.livestrong.com/).  It is an amazing resource and you receive great support from many people who are on their way to better health and a better life.

A few people this week have asked me what I've been up to.  What am I doing to lose weight?  I know many are curious because I've lost weight before with low-carbing.  However, I've said this before, and I'll stress it again.  I do not feel that going on a diet that restricts carbs is the right way to go.  Your body is meant to use protein, fat, and carbohydrate to function.  Any diet that overly restricts any of the three will eventually lead to complications and failure. Now, don't start flaming me because you disagree.  This is my personal opinion based on my personal experience.  I was freaking miserable when I was on that low carb mess.  I'm much happier and satisfied now, and all I'm going is counting my calories, making good food choices, and moving.  That's it.

Then...some say that I don't have the will power or motivation to do it.  Believe me, I completely understand that as well.  But, I also feel that will power is bullshit.  It's not your will power that's holding you back.  It's a choice.  Either you decide to do it, or you don't.  When you HONESTLY decide to do it, then make it a HABIT.  Habit trumps will power every time.  Why?  Because we are creatures of habit.  Habit = Routine. 

Habit is defined by Webster Dictionary as "an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary."  Now, when exercise becomes a habit, your body craves it. It becomes involuntary.  You require it as part of your day.  That type of response is much stronger that will power.  That's why I feel that it's so important to make the time.  Find a time to do your workout.  Schedule it in your calendar if you need to.  Find what you love, and pursue it with passion.  Make it your own.  Embrace it.  Excel at it. Love it. 

"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Make Time...

Happy Saturday readers.  Another week has come and gone, and it was a SCORCHER!   It's been hotter than Satan's asscrack!  I hope you all had a nice Independence Day.  It's strange when a holiday falls in the middle of the week.  It makes you feel like the weekend came too early...and then you have to go back to work.  BLAH!

Anyway, I had a productive week.  I only worked Monday and Tuesday this week.  And, sadly, Tuesday was the last day my workplace gym was open for the next TWO weeks.  Some renovations are scheduled, and it will not open back up until July 23.  I am really going to miss it, and when I first heard about the closing, I was quite apprehensive.  I've been doing so well, and my workouts have become a vital part of my day.  What would I do?

Luckily, the other work campus also has a gym less than 5 miles away from my location.  At first, I thought I'd be able to "hotel" at the other campus so I can use the gym facilities without changing my schedule.  Unfortunately, that did not work out.  So, instead, I'm going to change my work schedule for the next two weeks and "make the time" to go.  I reviewed my calendar for the next two weeks, and blocked off time for my workouts.  I'll extend my workdays and increase my hours if needed. 

I guess some folks may call me a crazy, deranged workout fanatic because of my need to find time to work out.  I mean...I did wake up at 4 am to get Zumba one morning a few weeks ago, and I will be doing that again this week because of work obligations.  But, I don't see it that way.  

I see it as a necessity.  To me, it's like breathing and eating.  If I'm going to reach my goals to become a healthy human being, I need to be a work out fanatic. I need to meticulously count my calories.  And I need to maintain this intensity for the rest of my life.   

And it may seem easy, and some days it is...and some days, it's a real chore.  I just keep thinking of where I was 5 months ago when I was 70 pounds heavier.  I would literally hold my pee all day because I couldn't face leaving my seat to walk to the restroom.  I'd drive around constantly until the closest parking spot opened so I wouldn't have to walk.  If you're wondering why I'm a workout Nazi...that's why.  That's why I must make time.

And making time nets great results.  I'm wearing my last two pairs of jeans that fit when I lost the weight a few years ago.  My "skinny" jeans that were in the back of my closet are now too big to wear.  I looked at myself in the mirror yesterday from a distance and had to do a double-take.  I don't even look like myself.  I see a new me.  A workout fanatic!  And I love it! 

So...call me a fanatic all you want.  I'm going to Shake to Zumba, rock those kettlebells, run a 10K, and kick ass!  Watch me!  And if you want the same results, make it happen.  Make the time!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Avoidance Never Pays Off

Happy Sunday, readers.  We're into week two of phase 2, and I came to a realization this past Monday.  I've avoided it long enough.  I know it must be done.  It's not my favorite thing to do, but in order for me to reach my goal of great health, it must become a habit...a requirement.  What am I talking about?  Weights.  Resistance Training.  I need to incorporate resistance training two to three times a week along with my regular cardio routines.

I have always been intimiated by weights.  A lot goes into it, and if you do it incorrectly, it can result in injuries - which is why I always worry.  When I was on that low carb diet, I incorporated resistance training after losing 100 pounds.  I hired a personal trainer, who was fantastic.  She was extremely helpful and inspiring.  I was getting buff, and she was really pushing me - which is what I needed.  Unfortunately, I had to stop because of the expense, but it was really worth it, and I learned a lot.

Of course, I threw all of that out the window when I gained the weight back.  So, it is a necesity that I bring it back.  I want more muscle.  I want to be strong.  I want to have excellent upper and lower body strength...and of course, I want to invite someone to my "gun show" (thank you Ron Burgundy). 

So, avoidance is over.  I figured if I'm going to make weight traning a habit, I need to do it with someone or in a group setting.  On Monday, I attending a class called Metabolic Conditioning, which is a weight class.  We worked with hand weights (5, 8, and 10 lbs).  We did all sorts of combintations and even threw in planks and push ups.  Holey cow!  It was amazing...and amazingly painful!!  My body hurt three days after.  And, I love that pain.  That ache that sets in your muscles because your body is telling you, "W.T.F?!?!"  The W.T.F is what I'm looking for.  That ache means muscles are repairing and growing.

Since my body was in repair mode, I took Tuesday off (never took a weekday off since I started in January).  I also went to a free screening of Magic Mike...wow!  Total motivation there.  I saw it again with some wonderful ladies last night, and yeah, it was just as I remembered it.  Totally motivating, and I adore eye candy.

Anyways, since I'm incorporting weight training, I knew I needed something else that I could do at home.  I've been doing some research, and I knew I didn't want to work with hand weights.  I need something else. Something that will give me an overall body workout that I may be able to do with video or in a class.  What did I decide on?   KETTLEBELLS!!

Kettlebells have come highly recommended from many people that I've talked to.  They provide an overall resistence workout as well as getting your heart rate elevated.  There are several videos that you can use along with your kettlebells that provide different types of exercises.  I found a set of 5, 10, and 15 pound kettlebells online, and UNFORTUNATELY, I had to go to two WalMarts to find them.  That was hell all in itself because I deplore that store.  The things I do for good health.

Anyway, I rocked the kettlebells today before my Sunday Zumba workout, and I was killing it today.  My niece was cheering me on. I'm starting off slow, playing close attention to my form so I can avoid injury.  As I improve, I may add the Kettlebell class at my gym.  I think I'm going to like Rock(ing) the Bells.
Side Note:  I got my results from my blood work.  For some reason, I could not find my A1c measure so I don't know if it was recorded.  However, my blood sugar and cholesterol are great.  Check out the Biometric Measure page for updates.