Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy Holidays Week Review

It's the first chance that I have had to post in nearly two weeks. I have been focused on doing weekly weigh-ins, but will not have an official weigh-in until I get back home on Thursday. It's hard to say whether or not I have maintained my weight loss, which is what I was hoping for while being away from home. I think I may have gained a couple, but it won't be the end of the world if I did.


The FANTASTIC
While at my parents, I went to the gym five days (out of seven). I weight-trained four of those days.
In the first two days at the gym, I met two guys. One was an older gentleman who approached me to let me know that he was impressed with my jogging speed on the track. The other, a younger guy, stopped to tell me to keep up the good work. We chatted for about 15 minutes, and to find out, he's lost 50 pounds himself. The third person I met later, well...to no surprise...a trainer. Do I have dollar signs on my forehead?

The Good
Although I didn't hit the gym yesterday, we walked all over Boston. Today we are going to the gym with Tony (another college friend) and hitting a museum (more walking).
I'm seeing family and friends I haven't seen in a long time.

The Bad
I had a meltdown on Thursday and called Matt. I was tired of spending time at the gym when I don't get to see my parents much as it is. I also knew the "ugly" (see below) was happening.
I'll be eating on the run while in Boston. I've tried to do healthier options on the menu, but we all know how hesitant I still am when I eat out.
I had two beers, one glass of wine, and two martinis this trip so far. I don't plan on drinking tonight, but New Years Eve is a different story!
I can't decide if I'm happy enough in Austin or if I want to still move back to Boston. I'm hoping for a clear answer while here in Boston.

The Ugly
I still have no willpower. While my parents supported me in buying me the food products I use so I could cook according to my meal plan, the fact that there was all that yummy usual holiday food in the fridge...I just couldn't resist.
I cheated for about five days while visiting my parents. I probably consumed 2,000-2,750 calories per day and usually I consume 1,600-1,700. (Hence why I'm concerned about the possible weight gain...)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Photographs: 12/15/07

As promised, here are a couple photographs from the 24 Hour Fitness Christmas party. Take a look at my changes here! :)


Wednesday Weigh-In (on Thursday)

I waited until today to post my "Wednesday Weigh-In" because Matt and I were doing measurements this morning. So here are all my statistics!

Weight Statistics
Starting Weight (1/1/05): 366.00
Weight Started with Matt (5/14/07): 342.00
Current Weight (12/20/07): 297.50
Weight Loss To Date: 68.50 lbs
% Body Weight Loss: 18.7%

Weekly Weight Loss: 2.25 lbs


Measurement Statistics
Starting Total Inches (10/26/06): 258.25
Total Inches Started with Matt (5/14/07): 247.50
Current Total Inches (12/20/07): 224.25
Total Inches Lost To Date: 34.00 lbs

Monthly Total Inches Lost: 2.75 inches


The FANTASTIC
I am happy.
People are being inspired.
Based on 24 Hour Fitness measurements, I have lost just over 80lbs of fat and gained almost 53lbs of muscle (since I started training in July 2006).
I forced myself to go to the gym on Tuesday, even though I fought it soooo hard. I wanted to continue my streak (haven't missed a day in over a month!).

The Good
I realize I let my guard down when I drink and tend to have binging episodes.
My shins are currently not bothering me.
I'm learning (and Matt's quizzing me).
I created a "plan" for holiday gym time when I visit friends and family. Matt reviewed my weight training schedule.

The Bad
Pizza. I love it, but my hips don't.
Relied on "convenience" food (ie, processed) rather than fresh food.
I'm avoiding the stair monster (rotating stairs).
I need to increase my variety for cardio.
I'm still comparing my weight loss to those on the Biggest Loser (they lost 80+ lbs in 7 months, me: 44.5 lbs).
I still don't have all my Christmas shopping done (hmmm, maybe this should be filed under "ugly."
Because I wore higher high heels than I'm used at the festivities on Saturday night, my calves were torn up through Monday (meaning, I didn't have *the* best workout with Matt on Monday).

The Ugly
I still don't have all my Christmas shopping done (Yep! Fits better here.)
Drank way too much at the 24 Hour Fitness Christmas Party. Since I like being honest with y'all, I had (I think) 4 Vodka and Diet Cokes, 4 Vodka and Red Bulls, and a Jager Bomb. While I haven't done something like this since probably graduate school, no excuses.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tip #4: Increase Fiber Slowly

Since I will be leaving for Christmas soon, I'm finishing off what I have in the fridge. All I have is salad, so I bought some chicken to make buffalo chicken salad. It has been soooo yummy, but I noticed after the second day, I started feeling a bit bloated and have had some major gas (I know, I know...too much information for you). I decided to check it out, and here's what I found out.

According to MedlinePlus, a service of the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, "You should add fiber to your diet slowly. Increasing dietary fiber too quickly can lead to gas, bloating and cramps." Go figure, and I have my weigh-in and measurements tomorrow...yikes...

Women aged 50 years and younger should consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day and men aged 50 years and younger should consume at least 38 grams of fiber per day. These past few days have been hovering around 35-40 grams for me. So in the end, I'm taking tomorrow's weigh-in with a grain of salt.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Confessions from a Fat Girl

I like amusement parks, but I have not been to one in...hmmmm...I actually don't remember the last time I went. Actually, it was when Riverside Amusement Park was still Riverside, not Six Flags New England. That change happened in 2000. Crazy. I remember going to Riverside when I was about 17 for a local radio station's "20 Bands for $20" concert. Why can't I get that here? They had some big artists, The Mighty Bosstones, K's Choice, Better than Ezra, etc.

If I like amusement parks, why don't I go to them then? One of the last times I went to an amusement park, a friend made a comment (without knowing it) that made me realize I really should not be riding the rides. We were on a rollercoaster, both latched in with the bar, but because I was fat and she wasn't, she had extra room between her legs and the bar. After we got off, her comment was, "Wow, for a moment there I thought I was going to fall out!" I knew it was my fault and decided that I was just going to make the excuse that I "didn't like" amusement parks so I wouldn't have to go when friends wanted to go.

So why is this on my mind? My conference this March is in Orlando, and who doesn't want to go to Disney World and all the parks while there? After all, work pays for my plane ticket, it doesn't matter when I come home. Do I want to give rides a second chance now that I've lost some weight? It would embarrassing if I don't fit in a ride's seat (it has happened before). I hate making these decisions, but sometimes you have to risk it. I don't know if I have the guts to do it though.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Parties

Wow. Let me just say the party girl social butterfly Michelle might just be back, and she is definitely glad to be back!

Friday evening at the gym, I was talking to a friend, let her know that I made my goal early and wanted to see if she was going to the Austin 24 Hour Fitness Christmas Party at Vicci on Saturday. She said she was invited, but had to work and it'd be 9pm at earliest if she got there. Luckily I stopped to chat with her because she informed me that people tended to get dressed up for the event (not everybody did, but most did). So Friday night after the gym I went dress shopping. I hate trying clothes on since my body is all weird sizes now. I also don't wear dresses; I tend to wear skirts for dates or nights on the town, so I just loathed dress shopping. I hit Macy*s and tried on a few things, almost left the store, but something caught my eye. I picked it up and thought, "Is it worth going back into the dressing room to try this on?" I strolled through a few aisles and grabbed a pair of size 24 work pants as well. (Currently my jeans are a size 26 and they've been falling off my hips. I've been meaning to go in and see if I'm officially a size 24, but haven't had the time.) I tried the dress on in a maroon and a black. I ended up getting the black one, mainly on the basis that every girl needs a black dress in their closet and mine is WELL outdated and probably no longer fits. Here's the exciting news though...the size 24 pants fit perfectly, but the style just didn't look good on me. I actually bounced up and down and clapped a few times. You would have been embarrassed for me if you saw me do that; it was pretty cheesey, but I was stoked.

After my shopping expedition, I ran home, changed, and ran to Joe's Christmas Party. Thankfully he lives in the same apartment complex as me, so it was a short commute. (No, I didn't drive, I walked.) I opened the door to his apartment, and the first person I see is the big boss guy; I was pretty shocked. Everybody was drinking. Their main choices were Miller High Life, margaritas, ginatonics, and who knows what else. A long time prior I told Joe I couldn't drink at his party because I was drinking on Saturday. Luckily all our friends didn't tempt me into drinking. I did have a sip of a ginatonic because I never tried one before.

Saturday was a busy day for me. I hit the gym, and I ran to Sears and JCPenny to see if I could find a better dress, shoes, purse, jewelry, and boob adhesive tape since the one dress I did find was low cut. I got three out of the five. Long story short, a bunch of us were supposed to meet up before the Christmas Party, and as usual, I was running late. I got to Lavaca Street Bar 20 minutes late, but nobody was there. :) Looks like I'm not the only one (cough cough Matt...I'll be there in 20...). I looked pretty smoking hot for throwing myself together like I did. (I know, slightly conceited there.) I'll post a photo at some point and you can be the judge. Actually, the photos people took of me, man, I see the difference in my weight loss big time!

Anyway, I had a great time! For those trainers who read this thing, thanks for taking me out and your encouragement through this...experience, or rather journey. It gave me an opportunity to get to know y'all in a different light, rather than our five minute conversations between your clients OR you getting to know me through Matt. Until next time, cheers!

Weekly Compliments

A client of Scotty's, Kathleen, remarked to him about my weight loss. He mentioned to her that I just hit a milestone goal and that she should say something to me. Her compliment? "You are just melting away!" She and I chatted maybe eight months ago when we were both leaving the gym; she's lost over 100lbs herself. (Congrats girl!)

A trainer (I'm really bad with names) from the gym: "You look great."

Two people told me I was an inspiration to them. One is a hot athletic trainer at the gym (Stephanie) when she was training for her competition. The other was just a member at the gym. She was on a mission to catch up with me on the track, and I was walking pretty slow today (yeah...the three-ish inch heels did it to me).

A co-workers girlfriend mentioned to him that it looked like I lost weight. Yeah...acquaintances are noticing. :)

I'm sure I'm missing a couple, but those are the ones standing out right now. :) It's kind of getting overwhelming...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tip #4: Reward Yourself

I'm sure y'all have read this plenty of times, but reward yourself when you hit certain goals or have completed something you never even imagined doing. Really make these rewards a treat (not edible!), and something you usually wouldn't do for yourself. Make it special and memorable; you deserve it after all! A few ideas:

Massage
Pedicure/Manicure
Facial
A new outfit
A night on the town (in that new outfit)
Trying something new (skiing, snowboarding, etc)
Take a class
Mmmmm...peace and quiet for an hour
Skip town and go somewhere you've never been
Hire a cleaning lady for a day
YOUR CHOICE HERE

So what's my reward for hitting my goal? I'm going to buy a new outfit and possibly get a well needed pedicure/manicure. My trainer's allowing me to drink Saturday night when we go out! First time in about a month!

How do you reward yourself when you achieve the unachievable?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Goals

I have set high goals the next few months, and I do realize it will be hard to reach them. Nonetheless, I'm going to shoot for them.

12/21/07: <300 lbs (CHECK! Goal reached on 12/12/07.)
03/14/08: 266.00 (100 lb weight loss for me)
05/14/08: 242.00 (100 lb weight loss with Matt and in a year)

If you do the math, it's about 2.7 lbs per week. Obviously I'm hoping not to hit a plateau anywhere inbetween, but life happens. Do you think this unrealistic? Do you think I can do it? I'm up to the challenge!

Wednesday Weigh-In

Starting Weight (1/1/05): 366.00
Weight Started with Matt (5/14/07): 342.00
Current Weight (12/12/07): 299.75
Weight Loss To Date: 66.25 lbs
% Body Weight Loss: 18.1%

Weekly Weight Loss: 2.25 lbs


The FANTASTIC
I hit my first milestone goal. AND I did it ten days ahead of schedule.
I am officially under 300lbs and haven't been here in many years.
I am proud of myself for the first time. (Please see this post.)
I ran three consecutive laps (0.3 mile) with Matt at the gym in 3:03 (a first).
I went to the gym every day.
I had to bump up my resistance levels on most of the machines I use.

The Good
I didn't have seconds during Thursday's potluck dinner.
I ate pretty well during Monday's potluck dinner.
I'm getting better control of trigger foods that I would binge on.
I got new sneakers. :)

The Bad
I attended three potlucks.
I had cake (a small slice of two different kindse) on Thursday.
I was nibbly while baking on Sunday.
I had Mexican food last Wednesday (tamales and salsa/chips).

The Ugly
Today's potluck. While I don't think what I ate was all that bad for me, I ate WAY too much. I'm still full and my body does not know what to do with the excess food. Mental note: Never, never, never fill my plate again, no matter how good it was. Stop overeating with my eyes.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The AeroGarden

Let me introduce you to the AeroGarden (photo from the link). If anybody knows me, they know I do not have a green thumb, but I absolutely love fresh veggies and fruit. The last time I tried to grow herbs was when I was in New York and insects invaded everywhere. I had to ditch the whole project.

I bought an AeroGarden as a Christmas gift to myself. The biggest perk is how easy it is to get rid of insects if they invade (you just simply wash them down the drain!). The biggest limitation? The light bulbs are on for like 16 hours a day. What can I say, I'm somewhat an environmentalist.

I'm not selling AeroGardens or advertising for them, this is just an FYI...if you're like me and just don't have a green thumb.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Shame on you 24 Hour Fitness!!!

A couple weeks ago, 24 Hour Fitness had some promotion guys come in to do a "taste test" demonstration. I remember it clearly. It was a Thursday, and as usual, I was getting 1.5-2 hours of cardio in, and I tend to get hungry near the end of my routine. About 30 minutes into my routine, I started to smell something good. On occasion, I get to work out next to somebody who works in a restaurant, so all they smell like is the food in that restaurant, and a guy did just get on an elliptical next to me, so I just assumed it was him. The smell persisted, got stronger and lighter, so finally I turn around to look downstairs to see if somebody left the door open. (The 24 Hour Fitness that I go to is right next to a Saltgrass Steak House, which I still have yet to go to.) Instead of finding the door open, I saw a couple of promotion guys cooking chicken teriyaki stir fry! I passed right on by them when I left the gym. I've never been a big fan of product promotion in this way...

As far as I'm concerned, a fitness facility needs to promote healthy lifestyles. While chicken teriyaki is a pretty healthy food, to have a product promoted during dinner time is just cruel (yes, I'm talking to you 24 Hour Fitness). I almost did not finish my cardio workout because I could not deal with the smell (it smelled great at first, then just made me nauseous), I wonder how many people may have left early because of it?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Gym

Saturday is a HUGE gym day for me, I'm usually there 2.5-3.5 hours, and that does not even include showering! I lift for about 1.5 hours, which is intermingled with some cardio on the track, and then I do at least 1.5 hours of cardio after lifting.

I was using the short block (stool) while using a leg resistance band, one end tied to my ankle and the other end tied to the block. I would use the leg that wasn't "tied" to step up on the block, lift my other knee up (the one tied) then kick my leg back, step down, and repeat ten times. I switch legs for a total of 30 reps on each leg. While doing these, an older woman comes up to me inbetween sets to inquire what areas on the body that exercise was working. It takes a lot of balance (which I'm slowly getting) and works the core, legs, and gluts. It also gets my heart rate up. She inquired about the color coding of the bands. Now here's the really cute part, she goes and gets her husband to show him what I was working on; he comes and watches a set. Three trainers (Scotty, Mike(?), and another) were training in the same area, so they probably got a kick out of this.

The exercise mentioned above is something my trainer had me do once, and well...I just couldn't do them during that session with him. A few weeks later, I tried them on my own and have put them into my training rotation. I am extremely happy that Matt's going to look over my training schedule that I'm going to plan for Christmas. As we keep talking about, this is a learning process for me and this is a big step for me.

Mike (I think that's his name) gave me a great compliment today, he said, "You're doing great." I know, I know, he's a trainer at the gym and he sees me float in and out all the time, but we don't chat like I do some of the other trainers, so I'll take this one! :)

Tip #3: Squeezing in extra cardio when all you want to do is go home...

There are two floors at my gym; the lower has the locker rooms, pool, sauna, hot tub, trainer meeting rooms, cycling room, and the upper has all the weights, cardio equipment, aerobic room, and functional training room. For the most part, I'm always upstairs (a few times I jump in the pool). The only bathrooms in the building are in the locker rooms, so any time I have to go, I have to head downstairs. For me, this is sometimes a trial because I walk pass my locker and it is SO tempting to just grab my stuff and go home. I occasionally have the same problem after lifting with Matt, so I came up with a trick: I leave something upstairs that requires me to go back upstairs no matter what. Since I have to go back up, I'm more than likely to leave my crap in the locker room and do more cardio. Tricking my mind helps every so often!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Five fashion tips for the gym...

I'm not one to judge usually, and I'm pretty forgiving for fashion flaws because I know I have them myself, but there have been a few things that I just have to get off my chest...

1. No matter how cool you are, you are not cool enough to wear shades at the gym. (Now I know some people wear prescription glasses and if they forget their regular glasses they wear their prescription sunglasses. This is fine, but I know this isn't the case for everybody who does this at the gym.)

2. Guys...please...pretty please...do not wear boxers that are longer than your gym shorts.

3. Girls...a sports bra does not need to be reinforced with a regular bra.

4. We're in Y2K7, do we still have to dress as if we're in the '80's?

5. You don't have to match everything you wear, including your ipod and sneakers.


Since I can dish, I will take it too... My fashion flaw at the gym? I occasionally bust out a t-shirt or two that have a few holes in them; although, a good majority of them have been replaced.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

My Milestone Goal

I'm sure all of you are wondering, "Did she do it? Did she lose the five pounds she needed to to meet her first milestone goal?" Well...not quite. While I am disappointed that I didn't get there, I have to look at the positives:

1. I lost 2.5lbs this week, 6.5lbs in two weeks.
2. Since I started training with Matt in May, I lost 40lbs.
3. My nutrition in improving.
4. My ipod is now working again!

The only huge negative right now is my shin splints are now back, and they're pretty bad. RunTex is transferring some shoes from another store for me to look at, so I'm going tomorrow to try them on.

As my new motto goes: It is what it is.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Saturday's Workout

I got too busy with laying out the blog for the big news tomorrow (or so I hope!) that I forgot to write about my workout on Saturday. Sorry!!! I try so hard to keep all the promises I make, even those I'm unwilling to make (e.g., giving up my margaritas)!

I have found that I get a better lifting workout when I don't do a bunch of cardio before it, so I did a 10 minute warm-up then hit the weights. It was a great weight training session, Matt would have been proud if he saw it. Something Matt has me do between sets is jog the track. I had my mind set that I was going to give three 0.2 mile jogs a shot, and guess what? I did it! I did them in 2:03, 1:56, and 2:04 time intervals. I then jogged a single at 0:53, got upset that it wasn't closer to the 0:49 mark, so I did another and got it to 0:47!!!! Eight laps, my all-time high for jogging! After the weight training session, I did at least an hour of cardio.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Getting Ready...

I'm getting my blog ready for the big news that I hope to give on Wednesday! Woo-hoo!!!!! I am so excited! I will be pretty disappointed if I don't hit my mark Wednesday morning, but I am pretty positive (98% sure) that I will. Look for further changes to the blog in upcoming weeks!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Protein

I was EXTREMELY sore Wednesday through Friday, my legs just could not move the way I wanted them to. I knew I was working out hard for a week (at least 1.5-2.0 hours of cardio per day, and an hour of lifting three times per week), and I was getting a decent amount of sleep each night, ~7 hours per night (allows your body to heal). I didn't think much about the soreness until Saturday rolled around and my legs were in near perfect condition again - which lead to my best workout TO DATE. How strange?

I began to think about the foods I ate last week. I did the Farm to Work program to introduce new vegetables into my diet, and I was hoping it would "shock" my body so that I'd lose even more weight. What ended up happening, was that I replaced a lot of my meat proteins with vegetables, so I was not getting animal protein. Here was my protein schedule for the week:
Tuesday: soy based sausage, egg whites, and cheese
Wednesday: soy based sausage, egg whites, and cheese
Thursday: soy based sausage, egg whites, cheese, 4oz of grilled chicken
Friday: soy based sausage, egg whites, cheese, 4oz of grilled chicken, 8oz of 99% fat free turkey burger

I did a bit of research yesterday and found out that there are two different types of protein: complete and incomplete. Animal protein (includes dairy and eggs) and soy are complete proteins because they contain a balanced combination of all the amino acids, whereas vegetable proteins are incomplete and you have to mix and match to make sure you are getting the correct combination of amino acids. Some argue soy protein is still incomplete because it is deficient in methionine (an essential amino acid).

Overall, I believe I was not getting enough protein. When I increased my protein on Friday, my body finally had the resources it needed to heal my aching muscles. I did have the greatest workout ever on Saturday, and I will share what I accomplished Monday night because I don't want Matt to accidentally read what I did, but rather hear what I did first.

Sources used: Max Muscle Sports & Fitness, HighBeam Encyclopedia

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Confessions from a Fat Girl

In my last confession, I blogged about traveling and my issues with airplanes. Today, I am going to talk about another form of transportation: cars.

One of the reasons why I started on this journey now just seems silly. For those who don't know me that well, I tend to rather worry quite a bit. I'm pretty predictable, my spontaneity is predictable, and I'm, for the most part, a law-abiding citizen. (Wow, I just made myself sound REALLY fun to y'all...lol.) Did I mention that I was stubborn too? I still can't believe how quickly Matt picked up on my stubbornness. I have rarely stepped out of my comfort zone, so this has been a hard path, but such a rewarding one at that.

After giving you a quick snippet of who I am, you will then understand why one of the reasons why I started to lose weight was because my car's seatbelt became snug around me during the winter when I wore my fleece coat. (I haven't always lived in Texas.) Being the law-abiding citizen that I am, I was worried that if I got too big, I'd be pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. It has happened to other people, so it was a possibility. The situation at hand also reminded me of the time I went car shopping with my dad a few years earlier, and one of the car's seatbelt we test drove didn't fit me.

As I head to the gym at 5:15 in the morning, I now pull the seatbelt fully out to remind me why I'm doing this. This may be one of the reasons why I'm having such a hard time getting rid of my current car: almost all reminders of how big I was are gone. While it's not healthy to live in the past, I do need to remember where I once was to see all the current benefits.