Didn’t go to swim class last night. Took a nap because I was literally nodding off on my drive home from school. Then went to the gym and did some intense cardio followed by some core exercises. Didn’t go to spinning to tonight. Did some semi-speed walking in the park instead. Not going to Y-pump tomorrow. Prob walking or doing cardio machines instead. Theres a new teacher celebration thats going to keep me late after school.
My favorite thing about my new workout plan is that it involves a variety of activities and doesn’t require a commitment to anything specific. As long as I do SOMETHING that keeps me active, I can ANYTHING I’m in the mood for! It’s perfect! And I get in much more exercise than I did when I required specific activities from myself. Back then, I’d just decide I didn’t want to stick to the plan and watch tv instead. Now I just do something else active! :-)
Weighed in today. I lost n.o.t.h.i.n.g. Nothing. I like to think on the bright side, so I guess I should also say that I gained nothing. I came out even. 146.6 two weeks in a row. That means I’m stuck on a plateau. What could be holding me up? Many things…. For starters, I got lazy with the tracking (“I know I’m not going over my points allowance.. Who needs tracking? It takes so much time!”). I need tracking. It starts again. Even with my binge on cool whip with cocoa powder and pistachio pudding mixed in… (Blech, I don’t even like cool whip. What made me think that was a good idea? Oh yeah.. It’s fat free. It will be “healthy.” Negative Inspector Gadget, negative.).
Besides not tracking, I also haven’t been sticking to my workout schedule like it’s my job. It was cloudy tonight, and I didn’t “feel” like working out. Waaa-waaa. Go cry to someone else IS WHAT I SHOULD HAVE SAID. It would also help if my workout buddy didn’t back out, too, but that is beside the point. On top of that, I got hooked on this show on Netflix called Damages. You may have heard of it. So, of course, I’ve chosen to watch almost three entire seasons worth of episodes in three weeks. Like that’s good for body. And, I guess not keeping up with this blog isn’t helping either.
If there is one thing I’ve learned from Weight Watchers, it’s that we all have bad days and make mistakes or fall off the wagon. Instead of beating ourselves up over it, we should use that mistake as motivation to do better later today or tomorrow. So, chocolate pistachio cool whip stuff, you’re my motivation to stick to the plan - food and workout - tomorrow. Swim class tomorrow! And, no IEPs due Wednesday, which means I can for sure go! Spinning class Wednesday, and Y-Pump Thursday. That’s a tall order, but, now that I’ve told you I’m going, I better do it. You’ll hold me accountable, right? Right? Almost forgot, I have the 5K on Saturday, too!
Yes, it’s been awhile since I posted… but, no worries. I’ve been sticking to the plan, for the most part. I’ve been weighing in on Mondays. This week I reached my 10 lb. mark!! Down 10 pounds from the first weigh-in about a month ago!!!! I went swimming tonight, too! I missed last week due to too many IEPs to write. :-( Here’s the problem: I’ve been busy. So, I haven’t tracked my food or activity in probably over a week now. It’s all good though. Now that I’m living the Weight Watchers healthy lifestyle, I’m managing to be disciplined enough to get in some activity on a regular basis, even if I don’t track the points. Same thing with the food. I now know what I can eat and how much of it I can eat and still stay within my daily points value. So, while I really should be tracking, I am pretty sure I’m staying within a reasonable range of the allowance.
In short, here are the highlights from the past two weeks:
- Down 10 pounds since last month!
- Walked six miles around Forest Park on Saturday!
- Went swimming on my own (not part of class) two weekends ago!
… in the water! I signed up for this masters swim class that meets once per week at the Y. I thought I might actually get back in the pool if I paid for a class. Well, I made it to night one. It was tough to swim laps for the first time in something like two years, but it was definitely well worth it. Not sure about how this class is gonna work out though…. In his own words, the instructor told me he was a hack. He said he trained himself, and he’s never swam competitively. How’s that for a masters coach? It gets worse. So, he gives me “advice” that I do not ask for… Now, I get why he thinks I might want some technique training… After all, I did sign up for a CLASS. However, as you may have noticed earlier in this post, I said I signed up in order to have some discipline in my life and get my butt in the pool. I thought it’d be great to be able to swim fly and not have everyone else in the lap lanes stop, stare, and ask me if I used to be a competitive swimmer. Yes, I did. Now, please just let me be. I thought I’d be with others like me. Not so much. Anyway, back to this coach. Not only does he give me unwanted advice, but he gives me WRONG technical advice. Stare straight down?! Lower my head position?! Watch my arm as it makes the full stroke motion?! You’d like to see ME work on my form?!?! Obviously this guy wasn’t lying when he admitted to not having any real training. Hey, props to him for completing triathalons, swimming with broken ribs, and taking a job he didn’t really ask for… I wouldn’t do it. But, I think I’m going to stick to the techniques that I learned from my professionally trained coaches. As the only other swimmer signed up for the class said to me, “If you’re looking for a real masters team, this isn’t it.” Thanks, buddy. At least I’m getting back in the pool….. and that’s enough for me.
I didn’t think it was possible after all the restaurant meals and beer I consumed this past week, but, yes, I lost 1.4 pounds this week…. which brought .4 pounds below my 5% goal!! Awesome. I am back on track!
I’m -20 on my weekly points allowance this week…. Yes, despite my recent post about how I won’t use those weekly point, only the earned activity points, a four-day weekend vacation stood in the way of my rule. I’m embarrassed to say it, but there was actually one day that I took in more than double my daily point allowance. That one can be attributed to the airport food. C’mon folks, get some fresh(er) food options. In addition to that humiliating setback, I’ve enjoyed a few more beers than my point allowance allows for…. but, what can I say? I like beer. And, I’m on vacation. And, it’s baseball season. Now, as I head out for Easter dinner at an Irish pub, let’s hope I can find something that allows me to not go overboard anymore than I already have.
Last week, my leader told me I was only one point away from my 5% goal… Something tells me that I’m not going to make that when I weigh in tomorrow. More than likely, I’ll spend the next week working off that 3.5 pounds I was down last week…. and then gained back this weekend. And, just think, I actually fit into a pair of pants I hadn’t worn in over a month last week. Boy, am I disappointed. :-(
Between baseball season beginning and visiting my brother in Alabama, I’m a little off track. What does baseball season have to do with it you might ask? Beer, beer, beer, shots, beer, hangover food. Add to that airport food and eating out while on vacation, and I’m pretty sure I’m not gonna see much of a loss when Monday’s meeting rolls around.
I know it sounds goofy, but I’m going to give it a try. What? Weight Loss Hypnosis. Yes, I said hypnosis. Remember that IdealShape shake I bragged about last week? (I swear by it, by the way). Well, the company also makes these CDs (also available on iTunes for download, I literally JUST found out) that you are supposed to listen to when you’re calm and focused. Supposedly they help aid in your weight loss. Since I’m an idiot and failed to realize the album was available for download, I’m importing the CD into my computer right now. I’m starting with the one they recommend you listen to first, Building Your Foundation For Successful Weight Loss. I’ll keep you posted.
Well, while I was slacking on my posts this week, I wasn’t slacking on my healthy eating and work out habits……. Wait for it. Wait for it. Wait for it.
I LOST 3.4 LBS…. AGAIN!!! I’m down a total of 7 pounds in only two weeks. So, this is what being disciplined feels like? I forgot. Best part - I managed to do it even after eating a girl scout cookie and drinking a few beers.
At the meetings, the leader always asks, “So, what worked for you this week?” Well, here’s what’s working for me. Non-negotiable workouts. Monday night, I go to my Weight Watchers meeting at 6:30, and then I go straight to Y-Pump class. NOTHING can stand in my way. Well, on second thought, that’s probably not true. I’m sure illness or a mandatory work event might be enough to get me off track, but I don’t take it lightly. I even turned down an offer from my dad to take me out for a drink tonight. And, he was paying. Non-negotiable.
Here’s what else is working. For those of you familiar with Weight Watchers, you can earn activity points, and you can choose to swap those for food points or just not use them. You also get an extra 49 points to disperse throughout the week, however you like. A way to treat yourself. Well, I don’t use those 49 points… I haven’t yet anyway… Maybe in an emergency situation like Thanksgiving dinner. I ONLY use my daily points and activity points for food. If I don’t do the work, there’s no treating myself. I think it’s working.
Yes, I lost 3.6 pounds after one week of holding myself accountable. I was so excited after weighing in at my Weight Watchers meeting tonight, that I was actually super pumped for my Y-Pump class. And guess what? The weights I used seemed a little lighter. The moves seemed a little easier. I don’t know if it’s mental or if they actually were easier, but I love the way this healthy eating and success feels! I can’t wait for next week’s results!!
By the way… I made a week’s worth of “Salad in a Jar” and ate the first one for lunch today. Delicious and filling. I also ate a side of fresh strawberries with salad. When I came home, I ate some plain greek yogurt (packed full of protein!) with sliced strawberries and bananas. Didn’t even need any sweetener! I started and finished my day with my IdealShape protein smoothies. For the record, I don’t sell IdealShape. I just really like them. I’m full, and I still have 9 points left for the day! I guess that’s what eating fresh fruit and veggies will do for ya.
Now, I’m about to shower and go take my measurements. Crossing my fingers that there’s even a slight change. :-)
Here’s your recap of the past few days. The weather has just been so nice, that I’ve been outside too much to sit and write on the computer… or so I’m going to say.
I was wrong about how sore I’d be the day following that class. Turns out that the next day wasn’t all that bad at all. It was the day after that (or yesterday) that the pain really kicked in! My arms felt like dead weight… not so good when trying to clean your parents’ house as a surprise for them upon their return from vacation. Even lifting a paper towel up above my head hurt.
I can’t wait to go back to the next Y-Pump class on Monday night!
Yesterday evening, Antoinette and I walked for ~ 100 minutes in the park. 7 activity points!! Just for walking and talking! Speaking of walking, I bought a pedometer. I’ve been wearing around the house and while out running errands. When I changed my clothes to go walking yesterday, I inadvertently forgot to place the pedometer back on the side of my pants. So far, I haven’t tracked an entire day of walking to see how many steps I get. Today will, hopefully, be the day! I keep reading that 10,000 steps per day is the recommended number of daily steps, but that seems like a lot. I have no idea how I’ll manage to do that, unless I go for a walk every night. I guess that explains why I’ve gained weight since leaving Champaign and Chicago… not as much walking around.
Well, I went over my PointsPlus daily allowance the past three days - 29 on Thursday, 29 on Friday, and 39 on Saturday. Although I went over, I DID make healthy selections, even when the craving for an not-so-healthy choice came across my mind. AND, even better, I didn’t really go over my allowance, because I still have activity points that I’ve earned that can be swapped for food points. I haven’t used all of those for the week yet. I weigh in tomorrow after school, so tune in to find out how much weight I’ve lost, if any, over the past week!
Thought I’d share one my secrets to staying full without using up too many points. Not only are these shakes tasty, but they really do keep you full! I have tubs of both milk chocolate and vanilla. I just placed my second order for more vanilla! Both are delicious, but I typically have the vanilla (mixed with frozen blueberries or matcha green tea) for a meal, and I save the chocolate (mixed with dark chocolate almond milk or strawberry preserves) when I’m craving a treat. The best part - alone these shakes are only 2 points. That’s right, only two points to keep your sweet craving satisfied and your tummy full! The add-ins are another 0-3 points, depending on what you mix in. That means your total won’t go above 5 points, unless you add something I haven’t tried yet. Not bad for a simple meal. I highly recommend these shakes!
If you order the starter kit, it comes with a blender bottle. I find this great for taking to work. I prefer to use my blender at home for a colder (ice added) and thicker treat, but the blender bottle makes it easy to enjoy the shake on the go.
I got an excellent work out in today! Antoinette and I met at the Y with the intention of doing some cardio machines and possibly a few weights. Then we had planned to go over to the park and walk for a bit.
Well, that was the plan… and a good one, it was.
We finished 30 minutes of walking on the treadmill and decided to go get a drink from the drinking fountain. That’s when Antoinette noticed all equipment laid out on the floor of the fitness room. She became infatuated with whatever was going on in that room. The instructor happened to be outside the room, near the drinking fountain, talking to someone else. When she finished her conversation, Antoinette stopped her from going back in the room and asked her what the class was all about. I thought to myself, “It sounds good. Maybe another time….” Antoinette must have had a different thought… Before I knew what hit me, I was covered in sweat from head to toe, and my arms and legs had all turned to jello.
The class is called Y-Pump, and it works all of the major muscle groups, one at a time, within the span of an hour. Despite the instructor’s somewhat self-important attitude, she was quite motivational and realistic. Instead of watching the participants make mistakes with the moves or only focusing on her own workout, she roamed the room and gave suggestions for improvement or ideas for modifications as they were needed. She seemed to really understand her role as the instructor. She also made it clear that, although not everyone in the room was at the same fitness level, we were all perfectly capable of participating completely.
I wish I had taken a picture of all of the equipment we used. It must have taken me at least three or four trips back and forth between my space and the storage closet to gather everything and then to put it all away. We used four different sets of weights, two mats, and some step boards and block things. We worked through legs, chest, arms, abs, and all I can say is that I will be incredibly sore when I wake up tomorrow. For now, I’ve logged in my activity on my tracker, and I earned 11 points!! In one day! My original weekly activity goal (the beginner’s goal, set by Weight Watchers) was 14 points, but now I’ve increased it to a minimum of 18 points per week, with the hope of quickly getting to the max level of 28 points per week. My new personal fitness goal is to increase the intensity of my workouts and get my heart beating faster, even if it means more sweat. I will definitely attend this class again.
On a side note, I picked up a schedule for the pool. I’m thinking about getting back to the pool… again. I ALWAYS feel SO good after I start swimming again, and then I question myself as to why I ever stopped. Looks like my choices are swimming first thing in the morning, at the butt-crack of dawn - 5 a.m. in order to get a full workout in - OR going late in the evening, at 8:30. I’d love to go in the morning, but, who am I kidding? After getting up at 4:30 one day, I’d be over it. Besides, what have I got to do in the evenings anyway?
I read somewhere (?) about someone (?) who made a goal of completing one 5K per month, whether by walking or running, in order to help beat her weight loss and fitness goals. I thought that was a great idea and something that I can realistically do. So, I figured I might as well give it a go.
I decided to make my first 5K (as part of this challenge, not the first ever) one that I am familiar with. When I taught at my previous school, I was a coach for Girls on the Run, and I ran with the girls in the 5K last spring. Even though I’m no longer coaching, I believe in the impact the program can have on young girls, and I want to continue supporting it. So why not make it an annual thing? Yesterday, I registered for the Girls on the Run St. Louis 5K on May 12 in downtown St. Louis. Training begins now.
I’m willing to take a 5K partner if anyone wants to register and join me. :-)
So I didn’t get in any activity yesterday…. I did clean and organize things around the apartment a lot, but I’m not sure that that qualifies.
I did eat really well though, I think. Weight Watchers recommends that you always eat a minimum of 26 points per day. Even after eating meals and snacks all day - and TRACKING them - I still didn’t get up to the full 26 points. How did I manage that? I drank two meal replacement protein shakes with plain light soy milk and frozen blueberries and plenty of the Teavana iced tea I mentioned in a previous post, and I ate a bowl full of fresh strawberries and bananas, a bowl of regular cheerios in soy milk, and left over Tex-Mex inspired wraps. I even squeezed in a piece of Dove dark chocolate with raspberry swirl. It was all plenty filling, and, more importantly, I feel good about what I put in my body.
So, I may not have earned any activity points, but I still consider yesterday a success. I do need to work on getting back into a normal sleep schedule. The debilitating 12-day illness I suffered through the last two weeks turned me nocturnal. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t get out of bed until after 10 this morning… on a Thursday. Spring break ends this weekend, so I should be able to get back into my routine next week. Xbox workouts in the morning, before school, and some sort of activity, whether it be running around the neighborhood, walking in the park, swimming laps, or doing the cardio machines at the Y with Antoinette, in the evening. I’m sure I can beat my goal of 14 activity points per week with that plan… The challenge will be sticking to it.
"Your body consumes energy at a certain rate based on two things: muscle mass and heart rate…That’s why high protein diets with exercise often wield the best results. Building up muscle mass will increase your Resting Metabolic Rate(RMR) and make it so you burn more calories throughout the day.”
Ah-ha. Motivation to get that workout in today. :-)
I’m a little late getting the details of my first two days up here, considering that it took time to actually set up and introduce this blog. So, I’ll just do a quick recap of the first two days….
Day 1: Monday, March 19
Weight: 157.2 lbs.
Daily Points Used: 23 out of 26
Activity Points Earned: 2 > scrubbing the old cat litter boxes clean.. fun stuff ;-)
I played around the the Weight Watchers e-tools and found out that they are actually extremely useful. Imagine that. I tracked my food all day long and entered in some of my go-to foods as favorites. Although I got hungry from time-to-time, I managed to stave off the hunger and make healthy choices when I did eat. Even after visiting my grandma, whose house is often full of sweet treats, I still managed to finish the day three points short of the daily goal of 26. Way to go, me!
Day 2: Tuesday, March 20
Daily Points Used: 27 out of 26 (Hey, I’m allowed to swap my activity points for food! It’s one of the great things about Weight Watchers.)
Activity Points Earned: 4 > walking around Carondelet Park with my exercise buddy, Antoinette :-)
I went to the grocery store and filled up my basket with fresh fruits and veggies, plain light soy milk, and canned black beans and corn. I made a delicious (well, sorta - I may need to play around with the spices.) dinner of Tex-Mex-inspired lettuce wraps… that I proceeded to wrap in fiber-packed flour tortillas. They were colorful, healthy, and even made my kitchen smell good for hours!
Oh! And, I’ve been drinking this absolutely fabulous iced tea from Teavana: Weight To Go! Pu-erh Tea. It’s a unique combination of fruit and mint that I, admittedly, was hesitant about when I purchased it. I love mint teas! I don’t feel quite the same when it comes to fruity teas. Enticed by the health and weight loss benefits Teavana claimed on their website, I decided to give it a try… and, I’m glad I did! I went through an entire 64oz. pitcher of it yesterday, and I’m on my way to going through another one today.
Well, that’s my recap. Stay tuned to hear how Day 3 goes. Now it’s time to figure out what I’ll be doing to earn my activity points today…
I knew I used to look and feel good, so I took a look at my old photos from college to give me a little added motivation. It worked!
Comparing the before photos (before I became an out-of-control eater and lacked the motivation to get in my daily workout) and after photos (the ones that show the disgusting chubbiness I carry around with me today) was all I needed make myself feel like crap. How did I let this happen? Oh well… nothing I can do but make some changes. And changes I will make.
Before v. After: Dressed up
Summer 2004 - Size 4
Summer 2011 - Size 8
Before v. After: Swimsuit
Summer 2004 - Confident in a two-piece
Summer 2011 - Wouldn’t be caught dead in a two-piece
Before v. After: A Workout?
Spring 2004 - Kams Cat Fights
Fall 2011 - Halloween 10K
So there you have it. My shameful before and after photos. Stay tuned for the “after after” or “back to before” (whatever you want to call them) photos. It might not be soon, but you WILL see them. Because I am not giving up.
Spring break and record-breaking summer-like weather are here. On the morning of Monday, March 19, I pulled out my denim capris (the ones I purchased last summer when I realized my waistline had outgrown all of my other capris from summers past) and attempted to put them on. Ahh! Although they zipped up, they were tight and uncomfortable. I decided that I’ve had it!
So, I finished getting dressed, sat down on my couch (uncomfortable as it was with flabby fat hanging over the edges of my capris), and went to weightwatchers.com. I had briefly tried Weight Watchers with a friend last fall, but she got pregnant and stopped going, and I moved and started a new job. Basically, I made excuses for not being healthy. Well, not any more. I rejoined Weight Watchers right then and there. $42.95 per month is nothing if it can get me back into the clothes I already have hanging in my closet. After signing up online, I went to the location nearest my house and weighed in for the first time since November…. 157.2 pounds! Yikes! That’s even higher than when I originally joined in back in October.
Driving home in shame, I considered my recent history. I get upset about my figure, say I’m going healthy, stick to it for a day or two, and then, when someone offers me a brownie or cookie cake, I just can’t say no. What happened to me?? In college, I was one of the most disciplined eaters and exercisers that I knew! Where did all of the self-control go?
If there is one thing I’ve learned from working in the field of education it’s that accountability is apparently key. So, when thinking about how I could hold myself accountable to actually following the plan this time, the idea to start this blog popped into my mind. Not that anyone is actually going to read it. But, if I take the time to write about the process, it will be more at the forefront of my mind when I’m faced with the tough choice of accepting that piece of cookie cake or politely turning it down. And, if anyone out there ever does read this…. well, then, I have someone else to be accountable to, as well.
I am not giving up this time. I WILL get my figure back. My clothes WILL fit again. I WILL regain my self-discipline. In the words of the famous but fictional Barney Stinson… CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!