Posts Tagged ‘Pilates’

2014-02-02 09.10.57

February – love is in the air, and this month is going to be all about loving myself enough to continue making 2014 my year to shine. I’m vowing here and now that I will reach my goal weight in 2014. What an amazing accomplishment it will be! To achieve my goals, I’m going to focus on the basics – eating well, drinking lots of water, taking my vitamins and getting in 5 cardio workouts a week. I’ve started strength training with #ToneItUp and their #LoveYourBody series is helping see just how strong I am as I change my body. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend. This month is going to be all about loving all the little things that make life special. My Sunday progress updates will be called Fabulous February Weigh-Ins.

Week 38 was stressful and challenging, but I’m happy to say I made it through better off than I began.  It wasn’t a terrible week, just one where everything seemed to be running at a fever-pitch.  I did get my workouts in, and I’m noticing some great changes in my body.

So, what did the scale show?!

When I weighed in this morning, I was 193.8, which is a loss of 0.8 pounds this week, and a loss of 83.2 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 121.2 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 43.8 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m really thankful for a loss this week, because of my poor choices on Friday.  Let’s be honest, it was one meal, and I still stayed under my calories for the day.  I made good choices the rest of the time, but with the challenges of the week, I’m happy to see a loss at all.  Plus, last week I had a big loss, and that’s usually followed by a smaller one.

One of the things that struck me this week were the changes I’m noticing in my body.  When I’m laying flat on my back about to do some ab work, I can really see and feel my ribs, and my hip bones are becoming apparent.  When I look at myself from a side-view standing at the mirror, I can see the start of definition in my stomach, and I’m definitely seeing a very slim profile. All of these changes are the result of my weight loss, sure, but I do think it’s because of the toning I’ve been doing with the #ToneItUp program.  I started four weeks ago, and I really wish I would’ve taken measurements at that time, but I didn’t.  Today the ToneItUp trainers will be sending a new set of workouts to get ready for spring, and I’m going to make sure to take measurements and photos for comparison at the end of the 6-week plan.

On a side note, I’m really upset that I haven’t been taking measurements all along since my surgery.  I meant to, but one thing or another would distract me and then I never did.  I do have some measurements from way back pre-op, March 2012, when I weighed 297 lbs or so. I just went back on this blog and I noticed that I wasn’t weighing in regularly at that time, probably because I was having such a hard time losing weight and regular weigh-ins were stressing me out.  Plus, there was more than a bit of denial there – if I  wasn’t seeing that the scale wasn’t moving, I wasn’t having to admit to my failings.  Regardless, when I take my measurements later today, I’m going to do a major comparison just for fun. My plan is to start taking measurements every Sunday, along with progress photos, so that I can start recording the changes in my body, and post about the progress once a month or so.

This week I have the entire week off, and since I didn’t end up going to Tahoe (I decided to save the money I would’ve spent and put it towards my Hawaiian vacation in April), I’m going to spend the week trying out a bunch of fitness classes that I can’t normally attend.  Here’s my cardio plan for the week (I’ll add in the toning once I get the week of workouts from ToneItUp):

  • Sunday: Run/walk with Di. She and I have been meeting up every Sunday morning, and I really look forward to this time to catch up and then get our sweat on.
  • Monday: Pilates. I tried Pilates a long time ago, and liked it for the first 10 minutes, but my almost-300 pound frame just couldn’t do most of the moves, so I left the class early. I can’t wait to see how much more I’m able to do now.
  • Tuesday: Spin. This is the class I’ve been dying to try, but was also completely intimidated at the same time.  Not because I didn’t think I could keep up, because even at my heaviest weight, I had so much strength in my legs/thighs, but because of my girth and the close proximity of the bikes to one another in the spin room.  The bikes are literally on top of each other, and when I was at my heaviest, I felt like I’d be overflowing into my neighbor’s space, and that just wasn’t something I wanted to deal with.  So I’ve avoided the class for all this time.  I have a feeling I’m going to love spin and it’s going to become one of my regular things.
  • Wednesday: Warm Yoga Flow. This is a vinyasa yoga class done in a room heated to about 90 degrees.  I love taking heated yoga because you feel so much better afterward.  In the past I avoided any sort of vinyasa or flow class because the poses moved too quickly for me to keep up with, but I think I’ll be able to keep pace much better now.
  • Thursday: Zumba Step. I love Zumba and haven’t been a class in a really long time.  I somehow got out of the Saturday morning routine of going.  I think the fact that one of my favorite teachers stopped teaching at my location also had something to do with it.  When I heard that 24 Hour Fitness was featuring this new class, which includes a step, I thought it sounded like a fun thing to try. Right now the Zumba Step class is only offered in the middle of the day during the week, so this is a rare opportunity for me to try it.  If I like it, I’ll definitely seek it out once summer starts.
  • Friday: Body Combat. This is a Les Mills class and the description taken straight from their website says, “This fiercely energetic program is inspired by mixed martial arts and draws from a wide array of disciplines such as karate, boxing, taekwondo, tai chi and muay thai. During this ultimate warrior workout, you’ll strike, punch, kick and kata your way through calories to superior cardio fitness.” I’m not sure if I’m physically ready for the class, but I figured it doesn’t hurt to try.

All of these classes are brand new to me, and I’m excited to try them.  You guys know how much I love variety in my workouts, so this is something that I’m really looking forward to.  A few of the classes, like Spin and Body Combat, are offered several times a week at the gym, so if I like them I can take them regularly. Warm Yoga Flow is offered a few times throughout the week at the yoga studio I like to go to, but I only have a limited number of classes that I’ve paid for, so I’ll need to space those classes out a bit if I like it.  Pilates and Zumba Step are only offered in the morning during the week, so I’ll have to wait for summer if I really like those.

I really can’t wait to see how I perform in these classes, and I think each of them will offer a challenge, but one that I can achieve. So many times in the past, I had the desire to take classes like these, but physically I just wasn’t up to the task.  Not to mention that feeling of “other” that I got whenever I looked around a room and saw that I was, by far, the biggest person in there.  What a different experience it will be this time! Just another way that this weight loss has transformed (and is transforming) my life.


Until next Sunday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!

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Tonight I tried Pilates for the first time, and since I wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting into, I tried to look up information about what the class was all about before I got to the gym.  I didn’t find too much specific information about what the actual class would entail because I wasn’t sure what 24 Hour Fitness’ spin would be on the class.  I knew there wouldn’t be any equipment, but I wasn’t sure beyond that.  I did find out that Pilates was developed as a way for ballet dancers to recover from their performances, and that it developed and strengthened core stability.

Last I looked, ballet dancers and I don’t have too much in common in terms of appearance, unless you count this.  Still, I wanted to give it a try, since one of my goals for the new year was to try out new group exercise classes at the gym, and I’ve been curious about the lengthening aspect of Pilates.

I really liked the fact that the class was at 7:30, which actually surprised me.  I thought it would be a struggle for me to drag myself to the gym, but it wasn’t.  When I got home from work I ate a piece of string cheese, and went on a walk with “the crew.”  When we got home, I ate dinner a lot earlier than normal (at 5:30) and had some time to myself to relax and watch some t.v., but I wasn’t relaxed enough to prevent me from leaving the house.  So, I’m going to see what other classes are offered at the same time.

When I got to the class, yoga mat in hand, I felt comfortable, seeing a wide range of people of every age and size.  Although just like yesterday’s belly dancing class, I was by far the biggest in the class.  But I wasn’t deterred by that in the least.  I was proud of myself for being there, for taking the leap into the unknown, which was pretty scary.

I did wish I wouldn’t have worn such a snug-fitting top.  With yoga, it’s important to have a top that isn’t so roomy that it can fall over the top of your head as you bend and move, but that doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue with Pilates, because most of it is done on the floor, and there is little bending over from a standing position.  Other than outfit, I felt good as the class started.

So in a nutshell, I’m too heavy to do most of what was required in Pilates.  The opening movements before we hit the mat were fine, and I actually enjoyed the way the class was headed.  I could use my strong leg muscles and hold my abs in and feel the burn, which I loved. Once we went down on the mat it was a different story.  The first move required that we get ourselves into a ball – to hug/hold our knees with our hands and curl up.  The problem with that is that my stomach and hips are too large for me to be able to get into any type of ball position, but  I thought that I’d just do the move as close as I could.  When the teacher said we were going to roll onto our backs (still rolled into a ball) and then propel ourselves back up, and back and forth and back and forth.  When I tried it, it hurt my back and I really couldn’t maintain the position.  The next move was better because it was basically just doing a crunch with our legs in the air; the instructor even complimented me on my form.  But the following move hurt me more than the first, so I sat it out.  But then the next one hurt too, and at that point I had to admit that at this weight, with this girth, I’m just not Pilates-ready.  And in the back of my mind I told myself that I really didn’t want to risk injuring my neck/back by doing something I simply wasn’t ready for. Especially since the instructor wasn’t offering any sort of accommodations that I could try.

I left the room halfway through the class, feeling dejected, but quickly realized that I stayed for 30 minutes, which is 30 more minutes than I’d done last week at the same time.  And while I would’ve loved to have mastered the moves, I have to accept that my body is twice as big as most of the people in the class, so of course I’m going to have some limitations.  And it just gives me something to look forward to.

Because, I WILL try Pilates again, so stay tuned.

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Ever since my sister and I went to the gym on Saturday, I’ve had a fire within me that is amazing. I’m feeling inspired, renewed, and invigorated. And better yet, I’m ACTING on it. I’m not just “making plans,” but I’m completing them.

And I’m proud to tell you that yesterday I went to the belly dancing class on my own, by myself; not because my sis was joining in, because she wasn’t able to come along.  I enjoyed myself and I can feel that great muscle soreness today, which is no doubt a combination of the Zumba on Saturday, the belly dancing on Sunday, and the two long walks each day.

A quick picture of me before belly dancing.  The hip scarf really helped me get in the mood.  It’s actually purple, not blue, and I think it’s beautiful. I figure that if the people behind me have to look at an “ample” butt (to put it mildly), at least it can be nicely decorated, right? 😉  I definitely felt more “official” by wearing it.  The class was fun and I was confident throughout it.  I may not have had all the movements down exactly right, but I felt as if I was able to keep up well even though I was the largest person in the room.

I love it when I can actually feel myself changing mentally. I turned a corner this weekend, and I have unlocked something within myself that means I’m going to move out of the “planning” stage into the DOING. (Bella Does Life!)

With that said, I’ve asked ScaleWarfare to keep me accountable from here on out. I sent her my workout plan and I’ve asked her to call me out if she doesn’t see that activity on my daily log. And then I thought that I should really make it public so that you guys could help out with the accountability checks. If you’d like, follow me on Twitter so that you can tweet me a kick in the pants this week.

Workout Plan, Jan. 23 – Jan. 28:

Sunday – dog walk*, SharQui Belly Dance (done!)
Monday – dog walk, Pilates**
Tuesday – dog walk, Wii Zumba
Wednesday – dog walk, Intermediate Step or Aqua***
Thursday – dog walk, Physical Therapy
Friday – dog walk
Saturday – Zumba, dog walk

*The dog walks have been about 30-45 minutes and a fairly good clip. I usually burn about 180 calories, which is decent.

**Tonight’s Pilates class will be my first one ever! I’m nervous about it, but I’ve been curious to try it and the only way to find out if I’ll like it is to go to it. Any suggestions you can offer before I take the class would be much appreciated.

***Which one should I do? I’ve never tried that particular step aerobics class, but I love doing step aerobics. (Fun fact: I had to take PE in college, and one of the classes I took was step aerobics). I also love the Aqua class. Decisions, decisions… help me figure this out and vote in the comments.

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