Thursday, January 28, 2016

Alomst there, but not quite

I know, I know, it's been awhile since I've checked in.  I also know that I say that a lot... but, I'm still here, and I'm still plugging away at this weight loss journey.  I have not had nearly the success that I had in the first challenge, but I'm ok with that.  I've lost a measly five (5) pounds (net) in the last 5 weeks.  This past week,  I barely lost any weight hat's because we spent the MLK weekend in Florida at Disney World, Universal, and Sea World... not exactly the healthiest places on Earth.  I had hoped to do better than that, frankly, but it is what it is.

Final weigh-in is on Saturday, and it's highly unlikely that I will lose the last 15 lbs even as I subsist on fish and asparagus and then fast on Friday.  Frankly,  I think it was the fish and asparagus that doomed me last time and set me up for failure this time.  As you may recall, I lost about 8 pounds in the last week, and then gained most of it back.  I started this second challenge in a pretty deep hole because my starting weight for the second challenge was my final weight at the end of the last challenge.  In essence, I had to lose over 25 lbs for this challenge. The way I look at it, though, if I had deferred this challenge to February, I probably would have been up at least 7 lbs.  Moreover, it's hard to be disappointed in a total weight loss, to date, of almost 30 lbs.

So, I keep thinking about what's next for me.  I've found a schedule and a routine that I like and can manage pretty well.  Getting up as early as I do, does not interfere with my family time... mostly it just interferes with my sleep. 

I really like most things about VIP, except the price.  Because I'm unlikely to make my 20 lb weight loss, I will not get my money back.  Again, that's ok.  I never really expected to "get my money back," I was hoping to be able to continue working out either by rolling the money I paid up front into purchasing a membership or doing figure camp.  I'm kind of off the figure camp idea, especially because I haven't lost enough weight.  I'm not sure what my options will be in terms of purchasing a membership.  I've heard from others at VIP that it is expensive.  Given that VIP is not a traditional gym, only boot camp classes are offered, for me it seems expensive to spend almost $200 per month for a membership. But, we'll see.  If they offer me a deal of some sort, I will consider it.

I'm also considering some alternative workout facilities.  I recently purchased a Groupon to try Xtend Barre.  I went with a friend last weekend, and the HIIT (high intensity interval training) class that I went to was just as intense as any class at VIP.  I haven't tried the actual Barre classes, but from everything I've heard, those are tough too, in a different way.  They also offer something called Xtend Suspension, which I'm told is using the TRX, which I love.  I've registered for about 10 classes for the month of February and it only cost me $53, that should give me a pretty good idea of whether I want to continue doing that. 

After Xtend Barre, I plan to give Orange Theory a try.  The concept of this facility, which happens to be located in the same complex as the Xtend Barre facility, looks pretty cool.  I'm a little concerned about the idea of running given the issues I have with my numb leg, but I want to give it a try. It's also a bit on the pricey side  ranging from $15 to 25 per class depending on which package you buy.  I'm also not sure how many days a week they will suggest.

I guess that's it for now.  I'll check back in on Saturday after the final weigh-in, who knows, maybe I'll be surprised. No matter what, I'm thrilled with my accomplishments and look forward to trying to lose these last 10 pounds albeit at my own pace.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Bottle it up!

Yes, I'm still here plugging away at working out, eating right, and trying to lose weight.  I'll be honest, it's been tough the past few weeks with the holidays, some travelling, and a nasty stomach bug!

I gained some weight during the "off week," but was able to lose most of it during the holidays.  I am finally back in the negative column.

I don't really have much of note to write about, I just felt like I should check-in and note my progress.

Briefly: the meal plan for challenge 2 changed slightly by incorporating additional food choices and allowing a little more flexibility.  I found it to be a little overwhelming, however, and decided to stick with what I know and what worked, so I'm still basically following the  meal plan from the first challenge. Unfortunately, I've been "cheating" here and there... during the first challenge, I did not waiver in following the meal plan... this time, however, I find myself sneaking bites of chocolate here and a few cookies there.  I haven't been terrible, I just haven't been as strict with myself as I had been.

That said, I have still managed to lose a little weight.  I'm pushing myself harder and harder during the workouts.  As I mentioned in passing above, we traveled to North Carolina to celebrate the new year with some friends, and I was still able to do some serious "at-home" workouts. I've been slacking on the walking (ESC), but I'll get back into that routine soon.  I joined the rec center just for purpose of being able to walk indoors when it's just too frigid to go outside. My family and I also suffered through a nasty stomach bug that helped me lose about 2 pounds... definitely not the way to lose weight.

Finally, a brief NSV (non-scale victory): About 10/12 weeks ago, before I started this challenge, I would stand in my closet frustrated because none of my pants fit, they were all too tight. This morning, I stood in my closet, frustrated, because none of my pants fit, they are all way too big and baggy!  It is such a good feeling... a feeling that I wish I could bottle and save for the rest of my life.

Monday, December 21, 2015

A new challenge

So, I'm back at it!  VIP Challenge number 2 began this past weekend.  I completed workout number 1 of 30 this morning at 5:30 am.  Felt really good to get back to the same routine.  I didn't exactly take last week off, but I tried something different that the gym offers, Figure Camp.  I enjoyed it, but ultimately I decided that I want to lose more weight before I move onto tightening and toning.

Also this past week, I was nowhere near perfect with my diet. During my off week, I went out to eat a few times, drank some alcohol a couple of nights, and had some cookies and other sweets. I haven't stepped on the scale since the final weigh-in for the first challenge on Dec. 13. I imagine I have gained back a few of the pounds that I lost doing the fish and asparagus diet...  I'm planning to step on the scale on Wednesday or Thursday of this week to see where I am.

The next six weeks are going to be a challenge for me. We are heading to North Carolina for a few days after Christmas, and then in January we are taking the kids to Florida for a long weekend. I'm not as worried about making time for workouts, but eating the right foods will be difficult. I am going to do the nest that I can.

My goal is to lose another 20 pounds, I will have to work really hard to accomplish that goal.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

I did it!

I did it!  I lost more than 20 lbs in this, my first VIP challenge.  I know I haven't checked in here for over 10 days.  It wasn't because I stopped or faltered or cheated or anything like that.  I simply dedicated all of my spare time to working toward my goal.  In my book, I smashed that goal by losing 23.6 lbs in 6 weeks. AMAZING!

Let me back up-- The last time I checked in here, I had set a goal of losing 4 lbs in week 5. I did not quite make it as I only lost 2.9 lbs, leaving me with 4.8 lbs to go for the final week.  I lost 8.2 lbs this last week!  Again, amazing!

Here's what I did: First, I upped my ESC to over 1 hour every day.  I couldn't do it all at once, I had to make time 30 minutes here, 40 minutes there, etc, etc.  For the last 10 days, according to my Jawbone, I averaged 22,826 steps.  Second, I followed the VIP Emergency Instructions.  I think I mentioned those a few posts ago.  Essentially, the instructions were to eat fish and asparagus for every meal (5 servings) for the last four days of the challenge.  On the day before weigh-in, I did a mini-fast.  I ate nothing after 11:00 am and drank only 16 oz of water, 8 oz of black coffee, and a Smooth Move tea at 4:00 pm. For the record, the Smooth Move tea did nothing for me.  Third, I believed.  I set out to prove to myself that I could do this... workout 5 days a week at 5:30 am, eat clean, and lose 20 lbs, and I did it, and then some!  I'm very proud of myself.  I haven't felt this proud of myself since I passed the bar exam in 1998.

What's next?  Another challenge.  Yep, that's right.  I'm doing it again.  20 more pounds need to go!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Rough patch ahead

Checking in mid-week.  I'm still plugging away and repeating my mantra.  My at-home scale suggests I'm down 2 pounds already this week, maybe I can eek out another 2 pounds by this week's weigh-in.

That said, I'm heading into a bit of a rough patch.  Friday night we have my husband's office holiday party and Saturday we are headed out to dinner with friends and then to a Red Wings hockey game. I made my dinner selections ahead of time and will have to make sure that I keep myself in check.

We're nearing the home stretch, after tomorrow morning's workout, I will only have 5 mandatory workouts left.

Here's my current plan to finish this challenge strong!

Friday, 12/4 workout # 25, 5:30 AM at the gym
Saturday, 12/5 - planned rest day
Sunday, 12/6 - at home work out #26 (pending permission)
Monday, 12/7 workout # 27 5:30 AM at the gym
Tuesday, 12/8 workout #28 5:30 AM at the gym
Wednesday, 12/9 workout #29 5:30 AM at the gym
Thursday, 12/10 workout #30 5:30 AM at the gym
Friday, 12/11 workout #31 5:30 AM at the gym

Saturday is a mini-fast (no eating after 11 AM) and the instructions say "no exercise today" except for a light walk.

Sunday, FINAL WEIGH-IN! There will be a sign-up sheet on Monday, Dec. 7 for weigh-in times. I'm hoping to get an early slot...

Monday, November 30, 2015

This week’s mantra: 4 pounds down!

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m more than a little overwhelmed at the prospect of losing 7.5 pounds in the next 2 weeks.  People at the gym and on Facebook are talking about the final week’s “special diet” and “special instructions” we’ll receive, but I don’t think I can leave it all until next week.  If I only lose another 2/2.5 lbs this week, that will leave me with 5/5.5 lbs to lose the final week.  So, my mantra for this week is: 4 pounds down!  As I pushed myself during this morning’s workout, that’s what I kept repeating to myself to make me work harder. 

While I was working hard, I kept thinking about the following inspiration: “What the mind can visualize, the body can achieve.”  I wasn’t sure where this “quote” came from, so what did I do, I “googled” it.  Turns out, the original quote is from the author of a book called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and the actual quote is: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve no matter how many times you have failed in the past.”  Hill’s book was written in 1937 near the end of the Great Depression and was a financial self-help book that has sold over 20 million copies. When I found that quote, it rang true with me, but I knew there had to be a fitness angle to it.  With some further internet sleuthing, it turns out that there is a fitness related version of Hill’s inspirational quote, and it is attributed to none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. Apparently, Arnold is a huge proponent of visualizing fitness goals to coax your mind into believing that it’s possible to achieve what you’re working toward.  He believes that “your body can achieve what your mind can conceive.” 

So, that’s my mantra for this week.  With hard work and determination, I believe I can achieve a 4 pound loss this week.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Weigh in: Good news/bad news

This week's weigh-in has me down another 2.4 pounds for total loss in four weeks of 12.5 pounds. That, of course, is the good news. The bad news is that I still have 7.5 pounds to lose in the next two weeks to make it to my 20 lb goal.  In a word, that feels insurmountable.  Technically, I'm still "on track," but considering that I've only lost 7.5 lbs in the last three weigh-ins, I'm not sure how I lose 7.5 lbs in two weeks.

"They" say not to stress about it. "They" say to stick with the program and follow the instructions, which I have and I will.

I'm also aware of the final week's "emergency instructions," which I'm fully prepared to follow when the times comes. (I'll write about those instructions later.)

Here are a few things I'm planning to start doing this week in the hopes that I might drop 3 or even 4 pounds this week.   

1. I put my Jawbone back on my wrist.  I don't really now why I stopped wearing it back in September, but starting this week, I want to make a concerted effort to crack 12,000 steps, possibly more.

2. Along with number 1, I'm going to increase my ESC to at least 45 minutes a day, and hopefully get a full hour of ESC on the days when I can.

3.  I'm planning to eat fish for dinner each night.

4. I need to keep pushing myself even harder during the boot camp workouts.  One of the trainers reminded us today that with fitness, you only get out what you put in.  If you only give 50%, then you won't see 100% results.  This is not to say that I have been "dogging" it during the workouts, believe me, these workouts are tough, and when I started this challenge, I was really out of shape.  However, as I begin week 5, I can truly feel that I am stronger, and I have more stamina.  I need to remember to push myself further  now that I can do these moves for longer and am stronger. 

I really want to hit that 20 lb mark because this isn't the beginning of my weight loss, as I've mentioned, I'd like to lose 20 lbs more, and in order to keep going with these challenges, I have to lose this initial 20 lbs.