Tuesday, April 30, 2013

30 Day Shred: Level 2

I had my first workout at level 2 last night!

First, the facts:  It was the same 3-2-1 format,  3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, 1 minute of abs, and it ran just around 25 minutes total.  The only equipment needed is a set of dumbbells.  I burned 225 calories according to my HRM.

I thought this was definitely a step up from Level 1.  There were a couple of times when I had to do a beginner version of a move or take a five second (but no more!) breather.  The compound moves during this level are definitely more difficult but I guess that's how it's supposed to be.  I remember wishing during Level 1 that the legs were utilized more and this level takes care of that.  Also, get ready to love the plank.  She uses it quite a bit.  I have a love-hate relationship with the plank.  I love what it does for your body but I hate doing it. 

Am I sore?

Not really.  I was pretty sore after level 1 so I guess that means I have gained some strength :)  I can tell I did a good workout last night because I have a slight bit of stiffness in my smaller muscles.  If I roll my shoulders I can definitely feel that I worked them pretty good last night.  It must be those darn planks.

I'm excited for this new level and challenge and have to remind myself that the more I put into each individual workout, the better my overall results will be. 

Also, just as a note, you're supposed to be doing this program for 30 days straight.  I'm not doing that.  Instead I'm doing 6 days a week w/ 1 rest day. 

Today's Menu:

B:  Larabar (blueberry muffin)
L:  French Spring Soup (basically a whole bunch of spring veggies in a delicious broth)
D:  Pulled Pork + Cole Slaw

Friday, April 26, 2013

Weight Watchers Weigh In: Week 32 plus 30 Day Shred Update

Weigh-In:  -1.6 pounds

A couple of things:  Even though my weigh-ins are on Friday mornings, two weeks ago, I decided to do a weigh-in on the following Saturday morning just for fun.

That fine Saturday morning, I registered my lowest weight for 2013.  It was a nice surprise even though I'm acutely aware of how much my weight fluctuates.  And just for reference, it was about 3 pounds lower than my weigh-in this morning. 

Like I said, that ultra low weigh-in was TWO weeks ago.  And you know what?  I haven't really been able to get it out of my head.  First, I had that giant spike last Friday (+3.6 pounds) and though I lost weight this week, it is still, like I said, about 3 pounds lower than that magical Saturday weigh-in.  I'm really happy that I still had a loss this week but honestly that Saturday reading was still plaguing me.

Until yesterday and today.

I went bathing suit shopping yesterday.  I tried on suit after suit but I couldn't find anything that fit.   It took me 3 rounds in the dressing room before I realized the reason nothing fit was because I was grabbing the wrong size.  On my fourth try, I grabbed one size smaller of everything and though I was skeptic that was the problem, I walked out that day with three different suits.  Yes, three.  All in the smaller size.  I don't know about you but for me that is a giant victory.  And it was a nice start to help me get over that whole lowest weight thing.

Then today, I decided to do a measurement update for my 30 Day Shred.  The first numbers are my starting numbers, the second numbers are my measurements as of today:

Chest:  40"/40"
Ribs:    33"/32.75"
Waist:  33.5"/33"
Hips:    42"/42"
Belly Button:  34.5"/34.5"
Upper Thigh:  24"/23.75"
Leg @ Knee:  18"/17.5"
Left Arm:  12.25"/12"

As you can see, I've made a little bit of progress after only 8 workouts!  I'll be doing my 9th workout of Level 1 tonight and if things go as planned, I'll be starting Level 2 on Sunday.  I'm excited to move on to Level 2.  I watched it last night and it's definitely a step up and I'm totally ready.

Anyway, as I was writing down my new measurements I realized something.  Those starting measurements for the 30 Day Shred are actually my final measurements from Slim in 6.  And you know what?  Those were taken TWO DAYS after my magical Saturday morning weigh-in.  You see where this is going?  The new measurements are my numbers as of TODAY and even though I weigh some 3 pounds more than I did 2 weeks ago, I have actually lost 1.25 inches overall since that magical Saturday morning.

In fact, check out my measurements from February 15, 2013:

Chest:  41"
Ribs:    34"
Waist:  35"
Hips:    43"
Belly Button:  35.5"
Upper Thigh:  24"
Leg @ Knee:  18.25"
Left Arm:  12.5"

February 15th was also one of my Friday Weigh-In Days.  And you know how much I weighed on February 15th?  The exact same amount that I weigh today except that I am smaller by 7.75 inches.

The point is, TAKE YOUR MEASUREMENTS PEOPLE.  As long as I keep losing inches, I kind of don't care what the scale says.  The scale is just one form of feedback and probably not even really a good form at that.

Now, on to my Weekly Roundup:

1.  I earned around 15 AP.  I think that's a pretty good guess.  I did six 30 Day Shred workouts.  (NOTE:  I DON'T EAT MY AP)

2.  I ate 244 points.  I was aiming for 220-225 but didn't quite hit the mark.  I'm going to aim for 220-225 again this week.  (No AP points are calculated in my weekly totals)

3.  I drank water.  In fact, it's getting easier so I'm hope that means it's becoming a habit.

4.  I ate very well.  I had my weekly sushi and I also ate out yesterday at Hugo's.  I've mentioned this restaurant before.  It's a god send.  They serve all sorts of vegan, gluten free, allergen free options and everything is made organic and fresh.  I had a club sandwich with a side salad.  Other than that, I made everything else I ate.  I made borscht, beef fajita lettuce wraps and portobello mushroom pizzas.  Oh yeah, and I managed to keep the sweets at bay :) 

Today's Menu:

I'm on vacation!!  I didn't go anywhere so I guess it's technically a stay-cation but I don't care,  I love not being at work.

I've only had lunch today and it was a portobello mushroom pizza.

Have a great weekend!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Weight Watchers Weigh In: Week 31

As of this morning I am + 3.6 pounds.

I am going to blame Jillian Michaels for most of this.  I started the 30 Day Shred Wednesday night and I am SORE.

The big muscles are mostly ok.  They are just tender enough to let me know that I got in some good workouts.  However,  those little muscles that you didn't know you had, those are the ones that are killing me. 

So I'm going to say I'm retaining some water.  And the thought of doing my workout again tonight.  UGH.  It's going to hurt isn't it?

Honestly, I'm not concerned about this weight gain at all (thank God) and I'll tell you why.

First, last night after work, I decided to go through my closet and try on my jeans.  I've been rockin' a size 14 since Dec/Jan and I was able fit back into my 12s.  Some of them looked good, some of them were tight (Don't you love the size differences between brands?).   The important part is they FIT.  And second, this morning I was rushing to put on something for work and grabbed a shirt from my closet that I have worn only once.  Yes, ONCE.  I wore it and before I knew it, I got a little fluffier so in my closet it sat.  I don't know why I grabbed it but I just did.  And it fit.  Not a little bit but perfectly.  Actually, I think it looks better on me now then when I first got it.

So there you have it, the reasons why I'm not too upset about the gain.

Now on to what I did to be so awesome ;)

Weekly Roundup:

1.  I earned 12-ish AP.  Well, I earned however many AP 4 Slim in 6 workouts and 2 30 Day Shred workouts will get me.  All I know is I worked out 6 days this past week!!  Go me!!

2.  I ate 235* points.  It's a little more than I should have.  I'd like to see that number be lower next week by around 10 points.   *Number does not reflect any AP*

3.  Water.  It's official, I am a water goddess.

4.  What did I eat?  Well, part of the reason I ate so many points is because I made some chocolate chip cookies last weekend.  Do I really need to say anymore?  Other than those cookies, I had fabulous meals.  I cooked everything I ate except for the sushi I had for lunch yesterday (yes sushi again - I still can't get enough of it) and some bread products I decided to try.  But examples of my meals include:   Yellow Chicken Curry, Chicken Soup, BLT on English Muffin and Sloppy Joes!  This was the first week I ventured out and bought some gluten free bread products.  I chose the Food for Life brand english muffins which are surprisingly good.  And I chose the Udi's brand hamburger buns for sloppy joes.  Both had a decent ingredient list and fit the bill for me knowing what was exactly in them.  For the sloppy joe meal I just used the bottom of the roll and ate my sloppy joe as an open faced sandwich but it was really, really nice to have bread again.  I probably won't be buying these products very frequently because they are WAY expensive and also I'm really digging making everything myself.  But it was a nice treat.  If any of you are doing the gluten free thing, I recommend both of these items.

And even though I'm not torn about my gain, I am going to be tightening up my eating for this coming week (My Weigh-Ins are Friday so my points reset on Friday too).  I want to be sure to log everything I eat, take a break from sugar (I miss you already cookies), and get in my exercise even if it hurts. 

And with that I bid you Adieu.

Today's Menu:

B:  english muffin + peanut butter
L:  chicken soup
D:  tuna salad

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

30 Day Shred: Day 1

In case you can't tell by the title of this post, I decided to do the 30 day shred as my next workout adventure!

For those that don't know - the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels is a workout program consisting of 3 levels.  Each level is a separate workout (around 20 minutes long each - not bad right??) that you are to do for 10 days.  When those 10 days are up, you move on to the next level until, you guessed it, 30 days have passed.

So tonight I did Day #1 of my level 1 workout.  It took just under 30 minutes total with warm-up and cool-down.  She does a 3-2-1 system.  That means you warm-up, do 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardio and then 1 minute of abs.  You then repeat the 3 minutes strength/2 minutes cardio/1 minute abs for 3 circuits total and then cool down.

Sounds easy enough right?

After doing Slim in 6 this seemed like a good step up in intensity.  It moves faster so it seems easier but it's not.  You really do work HARD in those 20 some minutes of time.  I will say this, if you don't put in the effort and really try to get the most out of each exercise, then it probably won't seem very hard.  Also, it goes without saying but I'll say it anyways, your food choices will also play a big role in how well this program works.

I chose to make the most of my workout.  According to my HRM I burned around 270 calories for this one workout. 

Not bad for just around 30 minutes.

I even decided to take before pictures so that, hopefully, I"ll be able to see my progress when I'm done.

I also have my starting measurements since I just took them 2 days ago:

Chest:  40"
Ribs:    33"
Waist:  33.5"
Hips:    42"
Belly Button:  34.5"
Upper Thigh:  24"
Leg @ Knee:  18"
Left Arm:  12.25"

I'm really excited for the next couple of weeks to go by.  I had good results with Slim in 6 and now I'm hoping for even better results with the 30 Day Shred.

I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Slim in 6: Final Results

I completed my last Slim in 6 workout Monday night.

I'm done.  Finished.  Mission Accomplished.

I'm really glad that I stuck it out the whole way through.

And now, the results.

I did:

Week #1:   6 of 6 workouts
Week #2:   6 of 6 workouts
Week #3:   6 of 6 workouts
Week #4:   6 of 6 workouts
Week #5:   4 of 6 workouts
Week #6:   6 of 6 workouts

I lost:

1.6 pounds total and 7 inches total from my body during the 6 weeks.

Measurements (Start/End):

Chest:  41/40
Ribs:    34/33
Waist:  35/33.5
Hips:    43/42
Belly Button:  35.5/34.5
Upper Thigh:  25/24
Leg @ Knee:  18.25/18
Left Arm:  12.5/12.25

Final thoughts:

It's a little weird now being able to choose whatever workout I want to do.  It's easier for me to do a workout when I feel like I'm being told to do it via a program of some sort.  I'm extremely glad I did this, I'm very happy with my numerical results and I'm very very happy with just how I feel overall.  I actually read today that swimsuit season is only 11 weeks away and I definitely feel like I have a great base now to start working out much harder so that I'll be ready when it gets here.  Or as ready as I'll ever be ;)

So what's next?

I've been trying to pinpoint what I want to do next.  I definitely like the structure that these DVD programs (p90x, Insanity, Slim in 6 etc) give you, however, I think I might take a day or 2 and do some regular workouts before I start a new one because I haven't really decided what I'm doing yet. 

Workouts I'm Considering:

30 Day Shred (Jillian Michaels)
30 Days of p90x
30 Days of Insanity
30 Days of regular gym and strength workouts

Any Suggestions?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Slim in 6: Week 6 - almost done!

I'm so close.  So very close to being done.

In a few short days, I will close the book on this program.


No, not forever.  I actually have really enjoyed this program.  I know I've complained about how repetitive it is but the fact of the matter is, I like these workouts.  In fact, I will probably keep at least one DVD (level 2 or 3) in my rotation because I like it so much.

As far as results.  I will post my final measurement and 6 week weight loss numbers when I'm done.  But I've said it before and I'll say it again.

It works.  No, you're not going to magically lose all your weight in 6 weeks if you have a significant amount to lose.  However, you will gain some strength, look more toned, and feel stronger.  You'll also probably notice that your pants and shirts fit differently.  And if you're one of those really blessed people (of which I'm not), you might get even better results.

I think this would be a great starter program or a good get back into working out program for anyone.  Plus, it's cheap.  It doesn't require a gym membership or a lot of equipment.  You just need some space, the time, and a a long resistance band or a good set of dumbbells (at whatever weight you can lift - I did 5lbs).

A word about using resistance bands.  I found doing some of the moves (triceps especially) awkward using the bands.  I don't mean you can't do them I mean I, personally, thought it was an awkward movement to do while using a band.  For the tricep exercises, I always switched to a dumbbell and did kickbacks.  It was an easy switch out.

I'm happy this is almost over so I can start something new.  But I'm even happier that I did it.

I really do feel great.

Weight Watchers Weigh In: Week 30

Ah, Week 30.  It's amazing how fast time flies.  And since that time is going to go by no matter what you do, you might as well use every moment of it to make good decisions.

Am I right or am I right?

I clocked in at -1.4 lbs this week.

You can't see it right now but I'm giving a huge sigh of relief.  It's odd but I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.  No pun intended :)

I only mean that it's nice to have a visual reward for my work.

On to the stats ....

1.  I earned 8-12 AP.  I only got in 4 workouts due to being sick but the ones I got in were pretty good.  Again, I put a range for AP because as I've said before, I have no idea how to count exercise properly and since I don't count it towards my weekly points I'm not too concerned.

2.  I ate 217 points.  (No AP counted towards this number)

3.  I drank LOTS of water.  LOTS.

4.  I ate great.  I did have sushi 3 or 4 times.  I don't know why but I'm craving it like it's going out of style.  I always get the same thing too, just the raw fish sushi, no fancy rolls, no sauces just plain old fish protein and rice.  Delicious!  In the past 2 weeks I have also upped my non-starchy carb intake (you know, any vegetable other than potatoes basically).  Other than the sushi rice, the bulk of my food came from protein and vegetables in various whole forms.  I'm still not eating out (save sushi), drinking traditional soda (I do make the occasional Italian soda at home), not eating anything processed (read:  boxed, fast food, packaged etc) EXCEPT I do have one vice.  We like to treat ourselves to some Kettle potato chips on occasion.

We love these things.  Crunchy deliciousness.  My #1 choice is Trader Joe's Kettle Potato chips made with olive oil but these work because they are more readily available.  (side note: Trader Joe's is a PAIN to get into around here.  It's so busy ALL THE TIME.)  We don't normally go for flavors because I like to keep the ingredients list as little as possible.  The sea salt only has 3 ingredients (potatoes, whatever oil, and salt).  I know, I know potato chips aren't exactly of the whole food variety but everyone deserves a treat now and then.

It can be hard to eat this way when you want to eat out in the real world.  Not a lot of places serve food that's clear cut.  And it's doubly hard, nay, triply hard to eat this way since I have to be concerned over my food intolerances.  It would be different if I could just order something and not be concerned if something snuck it's way into my meal (eggs, dairy, gluten, soy).  But alas it doesn't work that way because I'll know.  I'll immediately have to go home and lay down and wait for the horror to pass.  I actually find myself apologizing to my boyfriend.  I feel bad that we can't go out to eat like normal people.   He always laughs and calls me crazy then lists all the reasons why it's not a big deal.  However, to be honest, I miss going out.  I just miss the experience.


Today's Menu:
B:  I missed it!
L:  steak + roasted acorn squash + mushroom and onion reduction
D:  zucchini noodles + tomato sauce + chicken

Friday, April 5, 2013

Slim in 6 Update: Week 5

I am smack dab in the middle of week 5 of Slim in 6 and still on the Burn it Up DVD.

Lets do a quick pros and cons list:

1.  I am definitely getting better at the moves which means I'm getting stronger.  Especially my legs.
2.  My stomach area is shrinking and so is my waist.  She does like to concentrate on the waist and guess what?  It works.
3.  I can see the difference in how my clothes are fitting.  Especially in my shirts and the stomach area.
4.  Even though it is not the hardest workout I've ever done, it's producing some pretty nice results.

1.  I'm a little bored.  When I do my workout tonight it will be my 10th time almost consecutively doing this one DVD.  And after tonight, I'll be doing this same workout, almost daily, 8 more times.
2.  I rarely completely finish the workout.  She has a floor workout for your butt and hips and no matter what I do, it  aggravates my back.  I'm over the phase of my life where my motto was:  "ignore the pain and do it anyway" because I always just end up hurting myself.  So I just skip it. 
3.  I'm going to say it again because it really is the biggest con:  I'm tired of doing the same workout.

I took my measurements again last night after I finished my workout.  I didn't see any changes since the last time I took them.

But I can give you a comparison to where I was this time last year:

Mar-12 Apr-13 May-13  June-13 TOTAL LOST
Waist 41" 34" 7"
Chest 43" 41" 2"
Left Arm 14" 13" 1"
Neck 13.5" 13" 0.5"
Rib 35" 33" 2"
Belly Button 42.5" 35" 7.5"
Hip 46" n/a n/a
Left Leg-Knee 19" 18" 1"
Left Leg-Upper 26.25" 23" 3.25"
24.25" LOST

Those were my starting numbers for P90x.  I quit measuring my hips because I could NOT figure out how to do it consistently.  I can, however, tell you that they are less than 46".    I've lost at least 4-5" inches in that area but again, since I can't do it consistently I just kind of stopped trying to take accurate measurements.  It was screwing with my morale to see that number wildly jump around.  Isn't it crazy what this information will do to your state of mind?

I'll update this chart as the months go on.

I'm excited to finish this program.  I have some ideas as to what I'll do next but that's all stuff I'll post about when the time comes.

Weight Watchers Weigh In: Week 29

The results are in:


I'll take it!

What I did this week:

1.  I earned, again, somewhere between 12-18 points.  I did six Slim in 6 workouts and I didn't wear my HRM for any of them so that is my best guess based on the 100 calores = 1 AP theory.

2.  I ate 180 points.  Wow.  I must confess that while I did log everything I ate, I did it in spurts so I had no idea that my number was so low for the week.  That number also does not reflect any of my AP as I'm not logging them anymore.  I was crazy hungry all week long but I thought it was mainly due to upping my exercise.  I was also aware I did not make enough food this past week which probably added to my hunger.  And because I'm limited in what I can eat (gluten, dairy, soy intolerance thing) I don't just go pick up food anymore because it's not worth it to get sick.  Also, I'm on a really strict budget right now as I'm smack dab in the middle of paying down my enormous student loans (UGH) very, very aggressively.   VERY.   So I guess I should plan more accordingly.

SIDEBAR:  Just a quick word on my student loans.  They are the bane of my existence.  I went to school twice.  TWICE.  And thus I accrued some serious student loans.  I've been paying on them for too long and they are not going anywhere.  So last month I decided enough was enough and it was time for me to get serious about getting rid of them.  They are my ONLY debt.  And if I could free up this monthly payment money, I'd free up some serious cash.  So for the next couple of years (yes YEARS), it is my goal to get rid of these bad boys.  With that being said, my food budget is going to have to be extra tight.  How it usually goes is:  I have my food budget, I grocery shop and spend my budget and then I buy more.  That has to stop.  And with that comes some creative cooking in the kitchen.  It really IS more expensive to eat whole foods.  Sad but true.  This is my first full month of doing this so I hope it works out.

3.  I did ok on the water.

4.  I ate really well.  Actually, I discovered a new (new to me) way to eat zucchini.  I make zucchini pasta!  Basically I just julienne a zucchini then boil the "noodles" gently in homemade vegetable broth and then treat it like pasta.  It doesn't taste like pasta per se but it is very satisfying.  Also, I really like zucchini.  I tried to get on board with spaghetti squash but I just don't like it.  This is a nice alternative.  It keeps the points low AND helps you bulk up on veggies.  Win win.  Also, I jumped back on the asparagus bandwagon.  I forget that I like it.  Just throw some olive oil, salt, garlic on it and roast it up.  It's pretty darn good.  I'm really trying to buy more seasonal produce because it's usually the most cost effective way to grocery shop.  

Today's Menu:

B:  coffee
L:  sriracha  shrimp + asparagus + tomatoes
D:  vegetable soup .. maybe?

Can you tell I'm out of food?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I've Calmed Down

Tis true.

The rage is gone.

It has been replaced by acceptance.  And by that I mean, I've accepted that I cannot control this process completely.  I can help it along by making good choices but I cannot take complete control.

Yes, I am a control freak.

 I'm also a very logical person so when I see the equation:  eat great + move lots = no weight loss, it drives me nuts because logically speaking, that shouldn't be the case.  However, my body is not a math problem, it's a freakin' chemistry experiment.

All I can do is commit to doing the very best I can for my health.  That means, eating right, getting in some workouts to make sure my lungs and muscles are in shape and not stressing the situation.  So that's what I'm going to do.

Not stress.

Today's Menu:
B:  zucchini noodles + tomato sauce + chicken
L:  ground beef vegetable soup
D:  easter ham + korean potato salad
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