Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Drop 2 Sizes Results

Sorry it has taken me so long to get to posting my results.

I finished the Drop 2 Sizes challenge a couple of weeks ago and I ended up liking it a lot more this time around.  I really got into the lifting part and I definitely gained some strength.

I worked out every week usually 3-4 times but the average came down to just 3 times a week.  I made sure to lift heavy and upped my weights with each phase.

Just for an example on lifting, I started the program doing some squatting exercises with no weights - now I can easily do squats holding 40-50 lbs (probably more).  For shoulders, I would do single arm presses with a 5lb dumbbell, I just used a 20lb dumbbell last week.  Same with rows, started around 8lbs, can use a 20lb no problem now.

My measurements:

Chest:  45"
Ribs:  36"
Waist:  38 1/2"
Hips:  49"
Thigh:  27"
Knee:  19"
Left Arm:  13"

Chest:  41"
Ribs:  34"
Waist:  35"
Hips:  45"
Thigh:  24"
Knee:  18"
Left Arm:  12"

Total Inches Lost:  -20.5"

So while I apparently lost quite a few inches, I've got to be honest, I really can't personally see that big of a difference in my after pics.  However, I do FEEL better than I did when I started.  I also gained strength, and I definitely can tell a difference in my clothing but mainly just my tops.  Due to my hormone problems, my belly fat is what increased what seems like 10-fold.  I was hoping that with all the work I've been doing with my doctor I would see a bigger difference in my belly and hips but alas I did not.  I did NOT lose a pants size of any kind.  And even though I have personal issues with my hormones right now, I think that even if everything was working properly, I would not have lost TWO pant sizes.

But there's hope, I am currently on a new regime from my doctor to try to get that belly fat to go away :)

It's quite the process.

Oh and as for scale weight, I lost 0.8 pounds.  

Like I said, I ended up really enjoying the lifting aspect of the DVDs.  So much that I am still doing the lifting.  In fact, right now I'm doing a combo of 30 day Shred and Drop 2 Sizes.  I'm doing 2 days of lifting from Drop 2 Sizes, and 3 days of 30 Day Shred a week.

I'm very excited to see my results for a couple of reason.  First, I'm working out 5 days a week.  This is truly amazing because when I started the Drop 2 Sizes three months ago, I could barely workout three days a week because I was so tired.  So my energy is clearly improving!  Secondly, there's just something about the 30 Day Shred that I love.  It's quick, simple, and the last time I did it I had some really good results so I'm excited to see what happens.  And lastly, with my new regime, I'm really hoping that this time I'll see some reduction in my HIPS.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Test Results and a Drop 2 Sizes Reboot

Hello world.

I got my test results back yesterday.  My thyroid numbers aren't moving so my dose is getting doubled.  I actually was expecting that to happen so it wasn't a shock.  I also found out that I am low in Vitamin D.  Like really low.  I thought that living in Southern California would have given me an edge with all the sunshine but alas, no.  So I'm also on a large dose of that.

I'm hoping that with getting my Vitamin D levels up my energy will also come back up because that would be super awesome.  I started supplementing with Vitamin D just under 2 weeks ago and I had noticed that my energy was slightly improved during my workouts.  Enough so that I actually WANTED to do them.  Maybe wanted is too strong of a word :)

 My doctor threw the Vitamin D test onto my blood work late last week to see where I was at and I'm so glad she did.  I'm not positive that's what caused the improvement in my energy but if it gets even better I'll be thrilled.

I'll keep you posted.

I also I told you all that I would try to revisit the Drop 2 Sizes challenge and I finally did.

Actually, I'm in the last half of phase 2 right now.  I started it about 6 weeks ago.  So you lucky folk will get to see what kind of results someone with hypothyroidism, fatigued adrenals, wonky female hormones AND low levels of Vitamin D will get :)

All I know is that if I get ANY sort of results, then all you normal people out there should be getting MAD results :)

And yes, I did lose inches at the end of phase 1.

I, of course, will post the numerical results when they come in.  I have just under 6 weeks to go I believe.

How is it going this time?

Much better.  The first time I attempted it, I was frustrated with the LACK of exercise.  But since then and the fallout of my energy and ensuing medical discoveries, lack of exercise is apparently what I needed.  Having to maintain 4 days a week of exercise was actually the absolute maximum I could handle.  In fact, there were at least 2 weeks that I could only handle 3 days.  But I am hopeful that with each week that passes I will gain more energy and will be able to add more days a week.  I really can't wait to feel like my old self again.

I'm not weighing myself at all.  The program tells you not to anyway.  Usually I cheat but I seriously have no desire to do so this time around.  I'm only taking measurements at the end of each phase.

I'm also not really following the food program outlined in her book.  I am on a strict gluten free diet (doctors orders due to thyroid) and besides, I feel pretty confident in my food choices.  I'm also still under doctors orders to keep calories between 1500 and 1700.  I personally prefer to err on the lower side of that but I don't always.  (She did a "body scan" thing with some machine in her office and calculated my calorie requirements based off my lean body mass.  The machine calculated me at a higher intake but she lowered it due to the hypothyroidism.)

And that's it for today kiddos.  Have a great weekend :)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

I'm Still Here :)

Hello all.

I haven't written in awhile.  I'm a little ashamed to say that I haven't had it in me.  I've been going thru some tough times with figuring out my weight loss puzzle.

I wrote awhile back about going to see my primary doctor because I felt like my body wasn't working anymore.  In fact, everything I tried to do to lose weight was JUST.  NOT.  WORKING.

Boy I had no idea how badly my body wasn't working.

It's been almost 3 months that I've been working with my wonderful Functional Doctor and I've learned quite a bit.

First some backstory.  I've documented on here for quite some time all of my adventures in weight loss.  And in January of 2013, I wrote about how I tried an elimination diet and how I changed my  eating habits and how wonderful that was for me.  Well, it was wonderful.  I lost weight, lost even more inches and felt awesome.  I really did.  I felt truly awesome.  And then in March of 2013 I started having some weird pains.  I never really talked about that on here but I am now because it ended up being an important clue in my weight loss puzzle.

In March I started getting pelvic pain that gradually got so bad it can only be described as horrifying. REALLY long story short, I went to my gynecologist who really had no information for me but just to "wait and see".  That of course was very disheartening.  I waited a month and went back because things were not getting better.  She still didn't have any news for me.  She ran a bunch of tests but they said I was fine.  One thing we both decided on was that I was going to stop my birth control (Nuvaring) immediately.  I'll be honest even without the pain I was going to tell her I was stopping it because I had been having signs of low libido, severe tiredness, and other hormonal symptoms that made me think it was time to take a break.

Enter my own research.  I spent day and night looking for what could be causing this pain.  I ended up going to a uro-gynecologist who gave me an official diagnosis of urethral syndrome.  She put me on an antibiotic and said it may or may not work.  She also gave me valium.  She said if at the end of the antibiotic cycle if I was still in pain then I should try anti-depressants.

Seriously not what I wanted to hear.  I started doing even more research.  I went on forums, searched medical journals.  I found lots of people who could describe what I was feeling but nobody had a solution to the problem.  It took weeks but I found one little item that clicked something for me.  It was a physical therapist who was in my neighborhood.  I called her and she actually sat on the phone with me as I explained my situation.  It was August now and I had almost no hope.  She didn't hesitate to tell me to come in and that she knew exactly what was going on.

You'd think that would be enough to make me happy but it wasn't.  I literally had no hope.  So I got my OB/GYN to write me a prescription and went to see her.  Another long story short, she really did know what she was talking about.  It took weeks of therapy but she got me to a place where things were actually looking up.  Where I didn't feel the hopelessness.  And while she couldn't give me an official diagnosis what we decided together was that it had to do with my birth control.  The hormones in the BC made the muscles in my pelvic floor essentially stop working and so they got tight and that caused me to be in pain.  So when I stopped the BC and putting the hormones in my body the muscles decided to start working again which caused even more pain.  So with some therapy I had to reteach my muscles not to spasm.

And once my pain started subsiding that's when my body decided to start gaining as much fat as possible.  It was September of 2013.  I had been off of my BC for 4 months, I was eating the same foods, doing my workouts and no matter what I tried, I just kept gaining weight.

Months went by and eventually it was January 2014.  I had put on about 35 pounds.  Yes, 35 pounds in 3 months.  CRAZY.  And when I say I tried everything I really did.  I tried strict paleo, low carb, high carb, Insanity, exercising craziness.  And I kept gaining weight.

And that brings me to when I went to see my primary and when I found the Functional Doctor.

Now that you know all of that (sorry it was a lot) I'll bring you up to speed.  What my new doctor has found out is that my thyroid isn't working properly, my hormones are not within acceptable ranges, and my adrenal glands are being overworked.  And you know what all of that together equals?

Consistent weight gain.

It took months of tests but I have the answers in front of me.  And again, here I am with a "diagnosis" and I still have trouble finding my hope.  Because in order for my body to lose the weight and start feeling good again, these things need to be fixed.  And that takes time.  And good lord are things moving slowly.

Right now I'm on Armour (thyroid hormone) and a slew of nutritional supplements (seriously, I take about 7 different types of vitamins, minerals and herbs).  And it's just a waiting game.  I started the Armour about 6 weeks ago but we're just in the phase of finding the right dosage for me (which can take months and months).  Once we find the right dosage and get my thyroid levels moving in the right direction, we are going to look at my hormones and possibly add a progesterone cream.  But that's in the future.  As for my adrenals, I'm off coffee, in bed by 10pm, getting stress under control, sleeping in a blacked out room, and eating as clean as possible.  I'm also on adaptogens (herbs).

And it's been rough.  The worst part is that I'm doing everything I'm supposed to be doing and I continue to gain weight.  I'm so uncomfortable.  It's so weird to have outgrown everything in my closet.  I went up a jeans size.  My bathing suits don't even fit and they stretch!!

But there has been an upside.  Apparently going on thyroid hormone was the last piece of the puzzle to my pelvic pain.  I'm actually really happy about that.  While I had gotten it under control it never really went away and once I went on that it has been the best it's been.  Once I started noticing it I found the research that showed how they were related.

So what happened to me?

It actually was something that happened when I was very young.  I went on a certain type of medication when I was in elementary school and poof.  This happened.  Of course please realize I'm way oversimplifying a very complicated medical history but that was the catalyst.  I went on a medicine that has been proven to cause thyroid problems.  And my thyroid stayed in the sub-clinical category for the majority of my adulthood which is why no doctor ever diagnosed me.  It's also why I've never been able to lose all of my weight.  Then when I went on BC, the hormones I was adding to my body were actually HELPING me in the beginning.  I was low in Progesterone and with that being added to my body I actually lost weight and got to my lowest adult weight.  And then early last year, my thyroid went from sub-clinical to clinical and things just started going downhill.  My hormones kept falling, thyroid was clunking out, my pelvic muscles failed and you know the rest.

So that's where I'm at.  I'm in the fix it phase of my journey.  Some days are better than others.  Some days I'm exhausted all the time.  Some days I feel like things are working and everything will be ok.  Some days I want to give up.  But I guess that all makes sense since we are talking about my hormones :)

I stopped blogging because it all got so complicated.  I gained so much weight I was embarrassed and a little ashamed honestly.  Because I gained a lot.  My measurements shot up and I didn't want to post anymore pics.  But the truth is, I shouldn't be ashamed because I had no control over what was going on.  What is going on in my body.  I can only control whether or not I do what my doctor tells me and I'm doing my best.

So where am I at right now?

I'm on a new dose of thyroid and in 3 weeks I have to get another blood panel to tell us whether or not I need a bigger dose.  I'm continuing with my supplements, working out, and eating between 1500-1700 calories (per her orders).  And what's interesting is that she isn't expecting me to lose a bunch of weight right now.  I hear her say this to me but I'm so desperate for it to happen it's like I don't hear her.  She tells me there is no way it's going to happen until we get my thyroid numbers moving in the right direction.  So fingers crossed that we hit that magic dose soon.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Insanity: Week 2

I'm in week 2 of Insanity.

A couple of things:

1.  I still like it.
2.  It's still hard.
3.  I still can't do all of the moves.

Sometimes I have to force myself to not get overly motivated during these workouts.  The moves are just plain hard and I find that I get so ramped up to do my best that I indeed start sacrificing my form in order to just keep pace with Shaun T and his crew.  This is not good.  I can tell when I sacrifice form, the body parts start hurting.  That's because since I'm not quite as fit as the fine looking people in the workout, I'm not actually performing the moves in the correct way.  My knees will creep out over my toes and my back will bend in awkward ways.  Not good.  But I do find that even going with my own pace, I still get in a good workout.  I'm always out of breath and the muscles are burning.

I took last night off even though I was supposed to do a workout :(  The flu or something similar is running around my office building.  It blows my mind how people come into work when they are clearly sick and should go home.  In fact, 2 people on my floor are at work this week when they clearly should be at home.  So last night I was feeling a little achy and was running a low grade fever.  It was (hopefully) probably nothing but my fiance took away my laptop (my workouts are on my laptop) and made me go to bed.  He told me to err on the side of caution and get extra sleep.  I hesitated because it made me feel like I was failing but he was right.  These workouts are really intense and I would rather take an extra night off then be out for a whole week.

I'm hoping last night was a fluke or that I did indeed do the right thing because I feel pretty good today (knock on wood).

Tonight I will be doing the Cardio Recovery workout.  Don't let the name fool you.  What it should really be called is crazy burning muscle workout.

I really like it.

What's next?   I have another Fit Test coming up next Monday.  I'm both excited and nervous.  I'm excited because I'm pretty sure my numbers will be improving.  And I'm nervous because what if they don't!!!


Either way, I'll post my numbers when I'm done.

Today's Menu:
B:  Turkey Sandwich (turkey, mayo, lettuce, GF bread)
L:  Spring Vegetable Soup with Quinoa Salad
D:  Roasted Chicken and Salad

Monday, March 10, 2014


Tis a reason they call it Insanity.

It really IS Insane how hard it is.

Thursday, March 6th, was my Day #1.

And before I get into it, let me give you the rundown of the program.

Insanity is a 60 day, 6 day a week high-intensity workout.  The first month, the workouts are around 35-45 minutes and the second month they are around the 60 minute mark.

The workouts are fast and intense.  Lots of plyometrics with squats, burpees, and kickboxing type moves.  There are also lots of various forms of push-ups and dips.  The only equipment you need is a a water bottle and some floor space. 

I did my fit test on Thursday and that was really an eye opener for me.  I know I'll improve with each week but wow even just the fit test was hard.  I then realized how much this process was going to physically hurt :)

And hurt it does.  I'm not as fast as ANY person on ANY of the workouts.  Nor can I do all the jumps that are required.  I modify when I have to and right now it's quite frequently.  I just have to remind myself to push as hard as I can and just keep moving.  Also every time Shaun T says "don't sacrifice form for speed" I listen hard.  I can't go as fast so I make sure the moves I CAN do are being done properly.  The people on the video may be getting in 5 reps for every 1 I'm doing, but I'm making sure I'm doing it right.  Speed will come with time.  And even with modifications, it still burns.  Good lord how it burns.  In fact, it burns right now.  I woke up this morning and oh how my body aches.  It's not crippling but it's there.

These are my Day 1 pics:

I'm also going to be very diligent about keeping a food journal again and tracking calories.  I always am mindful of how much I'm eating and I do still use Lose It but I think I'm going to make it a daily habit again.  And I'm going old school and using a pen and paper.

Today's Menu:

B:  breakfast casserole:  eggs, broccoli, potatoes
L:  beef stew
D:  bbq chicken, roasted green beans and baked potato

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Weight Loss Surgery and a Functional Doctor

As you all know, I'm trying to get healthy and lose weight.  And now with my upcoming nuptials I'm trying harder than ever.

Truth be told, the last 15 years or so has been me trying to lose weight in some form:  Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Richard Simmons, Body for Life, South Beach, Lose It, and good old fashioned writing it all down in food journals and calorie counting.  I've tried them all.  I've had my resting metabolic rate tested.  I've gotten my thyroid tested.  I've met with a nutritionist.  I've gotten advice from doctors.

I've run, lifted weights, ran some more, did double workouts, did cross-fit, played racquetball, went spinning, tried p90x, rowed, walked, flirted with pilates, tried step aerobics, the Firm, Tae-Bo, kick boxing.  I've worn heart rate monitors, Fit Bit, pedometers.

I've done a lot. 

I don't lose weight very fast.  I never have.  Ever.  In fact, I like to say that I maintain.  I'm pretty sure that if I didn't do all of these things I'd probably be 100s of pounds overweight.  That's no joke.  That's how easy it is for me to put on weight.  And all of that work I've listed, that's also how hard it is for me to take it off.

And over the course of 15 years I've learned a lot about myself and this whole weight loss thing.  I've learned that I work hard, that I'll try anything, and that I probably won't ever stop trying. 

And for whatever reason, the thought of getting married and not having figured out the "key" to my personal weight loss puzzle is driving me crazy.  So I started 2014 throwing everything I had at it.

I started the year with a Whole30 and, quite frankly, I've continued - with the addition of a few Paleo/Primal tweaks here and there.  I feel very confident about my food choices and that I'm on a good road with that.  In fact, dare I say, I feel like the lifestyle change has taken place.  I've never been a horrible eater but every now and then processed foods, soda, and treats would enter the picture.  And over the course of a year, I feel like I've found my place with eating and I'm really happy about that.

I tried a new workout using the Drop 2 Sizes workout and now I'm heading towards Insanity/DDP Yoga.  Working out, for me, is just something I have to do.

So a couple of weeks ago I had a moment of reckoning.  I was doing the work, I was eating the right foods in the right amounts, and I was exercising.  And it was like I felt my body give out on me.  What little weight loss I could usually squeeze out just wasn't working anymore.  I don't know how to explain it but for the first time I felt like it was out of my hands.

So I went to get a physical.  I figured, first things first, lets see where you're at.

I went to my primary doctor.  I've had her for 10 years and in 10 years I've seen her maybe 5 times.  Maybe less.  All I know is that I haven't needed her for much (knock on wood).  I go in and sit down with her to answer the obligatory medical family history questions and the next thing I know I'm asking about my weight loss.  And before I know what hits me, she wants me to get surgery.  Gastric Bypass to be exact.

I'm about 45 pounds overweight right now. 

And I just sat there.  She went on about how it has nothing to do with how hard I'm trying it's just that what she's finding is it's genetic and there's nothing I can do.  She said why spend all that time and energy when you can just do this.

It wasn't a very nice feeling.  I felt deflated.  I started wondering if everyone who looked at me thought the same thing?  Did my friends, co-workers and family members look at me and think "poor thing.  There's nothing she can do.  She should just go get weight loss surgery."

Then I started thinking maybe what I'm doing is a fluke.  Maybe I'm not working out as much or as hard as I think.  Who cares what my heart rate monitor says.  Or how many steps I took in a day.  Or the fact that I was running 6 miles a day at one point.  That doesn't mean you're doing it right or in shape or healthy.

Maybe I wasn't really counting my WW points the right way, or I wasn't adding my calories right, or I was eating and not realizing it.

So I did the tests, got my blood taken and went to meet my fiance.  I didn't want to tell him what she said.  But I did anyway.  And he was flabbergasted.  We've been together 6 years and he's seen the work I've done.  Hell, he does it with me.  And no, he does not have a weight problem.  I don't see how he possibly could with doing all of that with me :)

So I called my mother.  I actually was nervous she would agree with the doctor.  Again, flabbergasted.  I started feeling a little better.

I had one week before I had to go back and get the results of my blood work.  I didn't want to go back to her.  But while I didn't like being told that surgery was my answer, I knew that the reason I went to the doctor was to get help and I still needed to find help.

So I went to look for another type of doctor.  A Functional Doctor.  What's a Functional Doctor?  Basically they treat you by trying to figure out what is CAUSING the problem.  They don't treat the symptoms.  They try to get to the root of whatever is ailing you and then work with you to treat the system (the whole body).

I found a woman.  She was down the street from my apartment and in her profile she said she specializes in resistant weight loss.

So I called her.  Long story short, I went for a consultation.

I'll be honest, I didn't have high hopes.  I don't know why.  I guess I'm used to nothing working.  But it was exactly what I needed.  We talked about food, and my family history, and my medical history and we found some things that need some fixing.   She actually is trying to figure out WHY I'm not losing weight.  She also told me that her professional opinion is that I should not get gastric bypass. 

That made me feel better.

So am I fixed?


I'm kidding ;)

My blood work came back from my physical.  Everything looked good as far as vitals and organs, but my thyroid looked a little strange to my primary so she is running another test.  I took my results to my new doctor and she agreed that it needed to be looked at further.  Yes, I've had my thyroid tested before and they gave me the thumbs up that it was fine.  Oh well.  So I'm waiting on that test to come back.  Once that does, I'm going to try to move everything over to the new doctor.

I'm working with her right now to just get more data.  We're running a couple of tests and that combined with my medical history apparently made complete sense to her.  It was funny.  I was telling her my story and things that I hadn't thought of as being related to my weight loss struggle were just these clues to her and she kept saying "yes, that makes sense".

Long story short, as odd as it sounds I'm really glad my doctor suggested surgery.  Yeah, it made me feel horrible but it was an amazing catalyst to get me to find someone else.  I don't know if she's going to be able to make my body work the way it should.  But I really would love it if she does though :)

I'm also really glad I got my blood work done.  My numbers were good but I definitely think they could be better. And I think working with this new doctor, I'll be able to get it done.

Drop 2 Sizes: I'm done

Hello everyone out there.

So I have struggled with coming to this decision.  And that sounds completely over-dramatic.  Wow.  I didn't mean for it to.   Anyway, I have stopped the Drop 2 Sizes challenge.

I just am not into it.  Like super not into it.

I was forcing myself to do the workouts which meant most of the time I was doing them half-heartedly which really does not benefit me in any way.  And so the weeks went by and I was just trying to make it to the end when I realized I felt like I was wasting my time.  I have very specific goals this year with getting married and all so why was I wasting all of this time doing something that just wasn't working for me?

So I allowed myself to put it aside and move on.

Sorry folks.

I may try to pick it up again in the future, I may not.  

What didn't I like?  This is going to sound weird but it had me working out about 4 times a week and that didn't keep me interested enough.  I had too many days off.  I don't know about you but when I'm working out, too many days off are my kryptonite.  When I rest too much, it's that much harder for me to get started.  There was an option for a 5th workout but I didn't do it.  I'll be honest, when I'm doing a program, I do it as prescribed.  If it says work out 6 days a week, I work out 6 days a week.  If it says "optional", I just don't do it.

At first I thought it was because you were rotating the same workouts every week but I don't have that problem with the 30 Day Shred.  I just was NOT clicking with the workouts.  I mean, the strength training workouts are really good.  You can tell that given some time, they'd really work but they just were not working for me right now. 

I'm not completely writing it off because one day I'd really like to follow it through but definitely not right now.  I'm on a tight schedule with my wedding and I need to keep my head in the game!

Did I Have Results?

Not really.  Like I said, I was doing the workouts but my head wasn't in it.  I firmed up so that of course meant things got smaller but I could tell that since I wasn't putting my best foot forward I wasn't going to get the 2 sizes smaller that it promised.

And that wouldn't have been the program's fault - it would have been mine. 

So what's next?

Well, I have a couple of options because I do love my programs.

I was trying to decide between DDP Yoga and INSANITY DVD Workout - Base Kit

Yes, two VERY different programs.  My gut was telling me to do Insanity and my brain was telling me to do the DDP Yoga.

I probably should listen to my brain but the thought of trying to do Insanity makes me excited.  My fiance has had it for a long time and I never did it for some reason.  All I know is that it's hard hard HARD!  It's a 60 day, 6 day a week, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout.   I'll be honest, I'm no spring chicken anymore.  The knees don't bounce like they used to so I hesitate.  I also have some high arches that like to flare up the old plantar fasciitis.  And my back - well, I've talked about my back and how it hates me.  Man, I'm talking like I'm 60 not 36.  But it's those reasons why I'm thinking about the DDP Yoga.

If you've never heard of it, check out the link above for it and just watch the video about Arthur.  I remember watching that a long time ago and it was one of the "oh wow!" moments at the end.     

I actually already ordered the DDP Yoga but it won't get here for awhile.  Apparently it's takes a couple of weeks.  So in the meantime, I'm going to go ahead and start Insanity. 

Hey, if it breaks me then I can do the DDP Yoga to get better right?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Drop 2 Sizes: Week 4

Hello everyone.  I hope the weekend was wonderful to you all.  Mine was very nice but definitely not long enough.

It never is.

Today marks day #1 of week 4 for my Drop 2 Sizes Challenge which means this is the last week of Phase 1 for me!

I'm doing ok with it.  I've missed a few workouts here and there but I'm still in the game.  I'm working out hard and doing my best to up my weights with each week that passes.  I can tell I'm getting stronger which is very encouraging.  I'm modifying moves less and less and I am able to push harder in the metabolic workouts.

Have I lost any inches?  Honestly, I have no idea.  I can definitely tell that my clothes fit better than they did January 2nd.  My tops look better on me and I've even had to start wearing a smaller bra (1 cup and band size smaller).  Oh and I've gone down a dress size.  So yes, clearly things are shrinking.  But pant sizes?

After a workout a little over a week ago I was feeling overly confident and grabbed 2 pairs of my "control" jeans to try on.  I think the adrenaline was still surging through my veins or something because I was positive my "goal" jeans were going to fit like a glove.

Yeah, they didn't.  In fact, I am almost positive they fit even worse then before I started.  Seriously, I couldn't get them off fast enough.  I'll be honest, it was deflating and a little heart breaking.  So I walked around my apartment and  came up with a list of reasons why this might have happened.  These were completely based on no basis of fact or reality but apparently it's what I needed to tell myself to not give up.

1.  My muscles were crazy swollen from lifting like the beast I am.
2.  I was retaining water due to my upcoming time of the month (this one ended up being true because I got it the next day).
3.  I tried on the wrong pair of jeans.
4.  My legs were really sweaty and that's why the fabric wouldn't pull up.
5.  The jeans shrunk.

I don't know.  I'm telling you this because this week is the week I'm supposed to do my jeans progress report and I don't want to do it.

I WILL do it because I need to know how I'm doing but I might put it off until the end of the week.  Rachel says in her book that either way, you need to put them on because they'll tell you how you're doing.  She says if you don't see a difference then you know you need to step it up.

It's like she is talking to me ;)

I do, in fact, need to step it up.  I feel completely ok with what I'm eating so I know I need to not be so accepting of skipping workouts.  So that's the goal for precious Week #4.  Do all of my workouts.

Wish me luck.

Today's Menu:
B:  Apple Cinnamon Almond Muffins
S:  Apple
L:  Baked Chicken with Broccoli Slaw
D:  Steak and Roasted Vegetables

Monday, February 3, 2014

Whole30 Round #2 Results

Happy February!

I hope everyone enjoyed the Super Bowl yesterday.

I thought it was very uneventful.  Sad even.  It was like the Broncos collectively all had their worst game ever.  Like they were all drunk even.  It was weird.  Every time they showed Peyton close up you could tell from the look on his face that even he didn't know what was going on.

Like it was voodoo witch craft or something.  I was hoping for an exciting, close game so I was very disappointed to say the least.

You know what I was not disappointed in?  My Whole30.

January 31st marked my 30th day.  So that means this past Saturday was my first "normal" Saturday in this fine year of 2014.  And you know what I ate?

Rice.  Yeah, that's it.  I had some rice.  I had some yellow curry and instead of forgoing the magic grain, I decided to go crazy and eat some for dinner.  And that was the only naughty thing I ate for Saturday.  It didn't affect me that much.  I was a little more full than usual and I remember feeling sleepy (because I was so full) but other than that, it wasn't a big deal.

And then came Sunday.  And not just any Sunday.  SUPER BOWL SUNDAY.  We went to a friend's house for the big event and as you can imagine there was food everywhere.  And you know what I ate?

Some smoked pork, carrots, pea pods, broccoli, grape tomatoes, and fruit salad.  Oh yeah, I also had a small dollop of dip from the veggie tray.  And that's it.  And you know what?  I did it without thinking.  Well, that's not quite true.  I remember standing at the food table, surveying all my choices and as I looked at each food my brain automatically labeled it as a yes or no.  And then I took all the yes items.  And I did not feel like I missed out on anything. 

This is so different then my first Whole30 last year.  Do you know what I ate after I finished that Whole30?  I ate everything.  No lie.  I remember just feeling like I needed to eat everything.  I believe McDonald's and pizza rolls both played a vital role that time.

So what made this time different?  I have no idea.  It could be that I'm getting married later this year and I'm very motivated by that event.  It could be that I'm sick of feeling sick when I eat certain food.  It could also be something as simple as allowing white potatoes during my Whole30.  Or what I'm hoping it could be is that I do enjoy this lifestyle.  It's hard but I honestly do enjoy it.

All I know is that it's February and my menu for the week is very paleo indeed.  I'm definitely not sticking to the strict rules of the Whole30 because like they said in their book:
It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways

This isn't a way to eat 365 days out of the year.  And I totally agree with that.  There is no way I could personally sustain a Whole30 for longer than 30 days.  Heck, I technically didn't even do a "real" Whole30 because of the allowance of potatoes but I don't care.  The last 30 days apparently worked for me and I'm ecstatic. 

I lost 7.4 pounds.  As for pics and measurements, those coincide more with my Drop 2 Sizes challenge so I'll post those further along.  I kind of didn't care about the physical outcome (meaning weight and measurements) with my Whole30.  I did it to get myself back on track after the holidays and I feel like I was 100% successful on that front.

So what now?

I guess I'm transitioning into a paleo/primal thing but I don't want to label it either way.  I'll continue to leave grains out for the majority of the time.  If I do eat them, you can bet they will absolutely be gluten free.  I definitely will keep refined sugar out.  There are too many great alternatives out there not to.  As far as legumes.  I'm not too diligent about that one.  I'm not a big bean or peanut butter person to begin with.  I bought sunflower butter last week and I believe that might be my replacement for the rare times I want peanut butter.  And the only time I really eat beans is with chili.   And I make that maybe once or twice a year during the cold months.  So I'm really just not going to sweat it.  And then there is dairy.  My fiance does not do well with dairy so I'll leave that out when I cook.  As for me, since he's not eating it that will pretty much mean I'm not since I cook for the both of us.  And I have no problem with that.

This week I'll have at some point: tomato soup, a big salad to which I'll add meat, beef stir fry with vegetables, apple cinnamon muffins made with almond flour and the inevitable scrambled eggs.  Man, I love some good scrambled eggs.

I also will drink my coffee with unsweetened almond milk which I like just fine.  And beef jerky will make an appearance in the snack department as will an apple or 2.

And I'll just take each day and food choice one day at a time.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Drop 2 Sizes: Week 1 Complete and Metabolic Workout review

It's Monday.

And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Just wanted to let you all know that I did my Metabolic Workout!

Lets get down to it.

There are 2 of them:  Timed and Countdown.

I did the Timed one this week.

It is 15 minutes.  Yes, only 15 minutes.  Basically you do a move for 30 seconds and then you rest for 30 seconds.  And in those 30 seconds you are supposed to do as many reps of that move as humanly possible.  So be prepared to push yourself.  You an either half-ass it or go all in.  What kinds of moves you ask?

squats, squat-thrusts, lunges, kettle bell/dumbbell swings, and plank type moves to name a few.

And just so you know I went all in.  And it was a solid workout.  I was sweating, breathing hard and so thankful when it was over.  At one point during the workout she mentions that unless you give it all you got, you won't get all the results you want.

And that was the push I needed.  Because I want results!

There is also a warm-up and foam roll workout included but I did things a little differently.  I did my own standard warm-up and then I chose to do the foam roll AFTER the metabolic workout because there is no cool-down.  BTW, the foam roll is only 5 minutes or so.  I will definitely be adding the foam roll to my cool down from now on.  If you don't have a foam roller, go get one.  I happened to have one from my trek to physical therapy last year.  I believe it was around $20 or so.  I also have a rumble roller but I will definitely be using the foam roller for this one. 

And look here, below is the kind of I have and it's only $15.  Got to love Amazon.

White Foam Roller 6x36 Round

There you have it folks, that's week 1.

And today starts week #2.

Good times.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Drop 2 Sizes: Week 1/ Whole30 Day 23

Happy Friday everyone!

So I went to my back guy last Friday and it was painful indeed.  But necessary painful.  Seriously, the guy is my savior.  Whatever he did put me smack dab back on the road to recovery.  As for working out, he had me wait a few days and then said I could start my program.

So I did.

Day 1:  Monday, January 20th, 2014

Let me start with some info on the program.  There are 3 phases each lasting 4 weeks.   Weeks 1-4 are Phase 1, weeks 5-8 are Phase 2, and weeks 9-12 are Phase 3.

I'm on Phase 1.

Each phase consists of a Strength 1 workout,  a Strength 2 workout, and Metabolic workout.  So as you can imagine the strength workouts are for lifting and the metabolic workout is for getting that heart rate up!  Each week you are to do 3 lifting workouts (alternating between Strength 1 and Strength 2) and 1 cardio workout. 

This week I have done both Strength 1 and Strength 2 for Phase 1.

Strength 1 workout:

equipment:  dumbbells (I used 8 pounds)

I have to admit something first.  As with any new workout DVD, I usually sit down and scrub thru it first to see what I'm getting myself into.  I want to see what the moves look like and what kind of equipment I need to get out before I start.  And as I sat watching this workout I was doubtful.  I thought it looked a little tame compared to some other stuff I have done.  However, I was surprised when I actually did the workout.  It was hard.  Full disclosure:  I haven't worked out in some time and I did take that into consideration but still, I was pleased that even though I am a little out of shape, it still packed a punch.

Anyway, the strength workouts actually come with 3 sections:  Foam Rolling, Warm-Up, and the actual Workout.  You're supposed to do all 3 combined which equals to well over an hour of workout time.  For my first day of strength training (Strength 1) I just did the Warm-up and the Workout which came in just under 60 minutes.  The workout consists of usually 3 sets of different strength moves which you do circuit style with 60 second rests in between.  And then for the last few minutes you'll do a few circuits of hard cardio (think HIIT).  And that's it.  It's really straightforward.  (Examples of moves:  squats, step-ups, shoulder presses, rows, planks, combination of any of these) Some of the moves are difficult but if you work out enough, you'll know how to modify them but some of them I just suffered thru (hello plank twisty moves, I'm talking to you).  But by the end, I was sweating, my limbs were tired, and I felt like I got in a good workout. 

Strength 2 workout:

equipment:  dumbbells (8 pounds), high step or bench

So when it was time to do Strength 2, I opted only for the Workout portion and just did a little warm-up first on my own.  The workout was around 38 minutes.  Again, it was circuit style with 60 second rests in between.  And I was pleased with this workout as well.  She does a lot of moves where you get a lot of bang for you buck.  You know, compound moves (example:  reverse lunge with a one arm row thrown in).  So while you're doing one exercise, you're usually working out quite a few areas.   Again, a good workout.

I will be doing the metabolic workout this weekend so I will check back in with my review on that.

On Day 1 I did as the program asked and took pics of myself in a "goal" outfit (jeans).  I went so far as to take pics of myself in 3 different pairs of jeans.  I put on a size 10, 12, and 14.  The 14s are what I'm currently wearing but I could stand for them to be a little loser in the thigh and waist area.  I just want as much info as possible for when it's results time.  I also took a pic of myself in a too tight workout outfit.  I figure, why not?

I also got my starting weight. 

I have 3 weeks until I am supposed to do another jeans check and then I'll take more pics and post everything for the world to see.

Now, about that Whole30.  I don't know why but this time I'm loving it.  Honestly.  And because I took my starting weight for the Drop 2 Sizes, I can tell you that I am down almost 7 pounds.  Nice, right?  But honestly, I feel amazing.  Here's the thing, I ABSOLUTELY have a problem with gluten and dairy and soy.  And wouldn't you know, when I don't eat them I feel awesome.  Especially gluten.  Gluten is enemy #1 for me.  Yet, it still shocks me how good I feel when I don't eat them.  And then what baffles me more is when I convince myself that it's ok to indulge in them and then am completely beside myself when I start feeling horrific.  The only explanation I can come up with as to why I do that is I'm insane.  So even though my 30 days is up in a week, I'm going to continue to do my best to keep them out.  I'm looking at you gluten.   I don't want to put a label on how I'll be eating.  I just know there will be certain things that will NOT be consumed by yours truly.   

As for my Whole30 results when the time comes:  I'm a little disappointed in myself because my "data" for my Whole30 is all sorts of messed up.  When I started I couldn't find my "official" measuring tape so I used a really old one that I've had forever.  I ended up finding my "official" tape but now I cannot find the other one anywhere.  And the one I used to take my measurements is so off from my "official" tape it makes my starting measurements obsolete.  And on top of that, I forgot to take starting photos.  Just completely slipped my mind.  Oh well.

That's enough rambling for today.

Carry on.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Drop 2 Sizes: Week 1? / Whole30 Day #14


Week 1?

Didn't you just write that?

I did and guess what?  I started and promptly stopped.  Couple things happened.

I got hired again to produce another shoot.  I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW.  I can't help it.  Apparently I love being overly worked and overly stressed.  It's a problem.

But more importantly I stopped because my back went out .  I've been dealing w/ a bad back since I was a teenager.  I went to my "back guy" last week and have another appointment on Friday.  And the fact is, the older I get the longer it takes to get right.  I have a compressed spine and my rhomboids are frozen causing one of my shoulders to not rotate properly.  I'm not sure what that means but that's the official word on the street.  All of this is causing severe back and neck pain.  And on bad days, my ribs ache so bad I can't breathe.

Good times.

I've been working on it for just about a week now and I'm making progress.  So once again I say.

Drop 2 Sizes:  Week 1 (coming soon!)

I want to start this coming Saturday.  I have my next appointment this Friday so I'll get a little more information on where I'm at with my muscles.  And barring him telling me to wait another week, I'm starting Saturday.

And if I can't, then I can't.  But I WILL start.

So I might not be able to lift any weights but I am still doing my Whole30.  I never really got the chance to write a follow up to my last Whole30.  Man, I was angry with that thing.  So very angry.  I wanted to write another post after my anger subsided but I never did.  I'm not going to do it now but the short of it is, I learned a lot.  I learned that 30 days was probably not enough for me.  I realized after my last Whole30 ended that I did indeed feel like my body changed.  So after much deliberation I decided to try it again.  And I'm considering trying it for longer.  I'd like to maybe try for a Whole60.  I'd LIKE to try.  For now, I'm going to concentrate on finishing a Whole30.

I'm on Day #14 and so far so good.  I weighed myself on Day #1 and I keep getting on the scale so today I had my fiance hide it.  I want to stop weighing myself so much.  I did forget to take Day #1 measurements so I did it Monday night but  I'm not checking anything again until it's over.

What I'm eating:

Breakfast is usually eggs and bacon or a breakfast casserole.  Lunch is usually some sort of hearty soup or stew.  And dinner so far has been protein and vegetables prepared different ways.

This week it's eggs for breakfast, a vegetable soup/stew for lunch, and pot roast and vegetables with au jus for dinner.  If I need an "in between", it's nuts.  I am limiting my fruit consumption.  I mainly stick to berries if any at all.  So far I've only eaten fruit twice.  During my last Whole30 I ate A LOT of fruit.  Mainly watermelon.  I love watermelon.  So much.  But I think I was using it to replace my sugar so I'm trying not to do that this time.  I am doing one thing differently this time.  I'm not banning white potatoes out right.  I switch back and forth between white and sweet and don't center meals around either.  After our last Whole30, I couldn't stomach the thought of another sweet potato and neither could my fiance.  So we decided together to make this exception.

I'll let you know how my Friday appointment goes.  But until then, be good and eat your vegetables.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Drop 2 Sizes: Week 1

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season.  I sure did.  I took some time off of work, hung out with friends, opened some presents, talked with family, and did a lot of nothing.

It was a good time.

But, like I promised.  I'm beginning the Drop 2 Sizes DVD/book program today.

Here's the short of it:

It's a 12 week program that aims at just getting you to lose 2 jeans sizes.  There's no focus on scale weight at all.  In fact, the author, Rachel Cosgrove, suggests you not even look at the scale which I'm going to try to do!

It's 3 days of strength training and at least 1 day of metabolic training per week with lots of healthy eating.  The book has daily menus that you can either follow or use as a guide.  It's nothing too out of the ordinary.  (I'll be using the daily menus as a guide because I also committed to another Whole30 during the first 30 days.  So it's Day #1 for both.  Just thought I'd sneak that bit of info in there ;)

Whether you follow the diet provided to a "T" is up to you.  But remember, food choice is important.  There's no doubt about that.  And the author suggests following her protocol 90% of the time in order to see results.

What is protocol you ask?

Here are the rules:
1.  Eat breakfast FIRST THING, then every 3-4 hours.
2.  Eat a high quality protein with each meal.
3.  WHOLE FOODS.  No processed food.
4.  Drink your water folks.  She recommends 64oz.
5.  Take a multi-vitamin, omega 3, and vitamin D supplement.
6.  Drink a recovery shake before, during, or after your workout.
7.  TWO servings of vegetables at each meal.
8.  Do this 90% of the time.

Seems pretty straight forward right?

So here we are at Week #1/Day #1 and the book suggests we focus on mind-set this week.  So, I will be trying to keep all the negative thoughts out of my head for this week.  You know, not saying things like "I can't".  Seems like such a small thing but I've read good research that indicates it's pretty powerful stuff.  So, worth a try in my book.

Today is also my first "jeans check".  That means tonight, I'll be slipping on my pair of GOAL jeans and taking a lovely picture.  (These checks are scheduled every 3 weeks).   I'll also be taking my official starting measurements. 

And then finally, tonight is my first workout.  I'm a little apprehensive.  Only because it has honestly been some time since I've done a proper strength training workout and I'm pretty sure my muscles are going to be aching tomorrow!!  Oh the joy :)

Today's Menu:
B:  breakfast casserole (eggs, bacon, vegetables, more vegetables, a little more vegetables and some coconut milk)
S:  almonds
L:  roasted butternut squash soup
D:  roasted ham, broccoli, and green beans
R:  recovery drink (pea rice protein, almond milk, frozen fruit) - probably be having this during or after my workout.

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30 Days to ... by JH is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.