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Posts Tagged ‘strength training’

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.

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

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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 37 was wonderful! Throughout the week, I felt lighter and smaller, and my clothes were showing all the hard work I’d been putting into my workouts.  I made some really delicious meals that made me feel like I was nourishing my body in a really creative way.  This week a lot of new people complimented me on my weight loss, the sweetest of which was one of the custodians at school who is so shy and meek – when he told me that I look great and to “keep it up,” it really made me smile.  And I topped it all off with a fantastic shopping trip that became a milestone.

So, what did the scale show?!

When I weighed in this morning, I was 194.6, which is a loss of 2.8 pounds this week, and a loss of 82.4 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 120.4 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 44.6 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. This week’s weight big loss was so important for me, because all of my hard work is paying off.  Finally my body has relaxed into the strength training exercises I’ve been doing with #ToneItUp, and I think I’m really getting the metabolic benefits of toning.  I worked hard with my cardio, as well.  I had tons of variety this week: elliptical, bike, walking, and I also went to the gym twice to get back into the run/walk intervals.  (More on that in a minute). I kept my meals really interesting and delicious with dinners like grilled salmon, sauteed scallops, grilled sirloin tips, and a breakfast-for-dinner scramble.  Lunches were just as good: I turned the leftover grilled salmon and sirloin into amazing salads with arugula.  All in all, it was such a great week, and I love that it all showed up on the scale, too.

As I mentioned, I got back to the run/walks this week, and I have to say, they’ve been a lot more difficult for me than they were before my cold.  The main reason is that I’ve been pushing myself with the speed, and I think I need to ease up on that a bit.  I’ve been trying to keep the running at a 5.0 pace, but right now, that’s just a bit too fast for me to maintain for an entire 3-minute cycle, so I’ve been cutting it down to 2 minutes, which is less than ideal.  I’m meeting my friend Di to do another run/walk session a bit later this morning, and my plan is to take my pace down to 4.5 and maintain that for 3 minutes so I can get back to a strong 3/1 pace.  (3 minutes running, 1 minute walking).

This week I’m looking forward to keeping lots of variety in my cardio workouts – run/walk intervals, recumbent bike, elliptical, flow yoga (since I had such a great experience on Saturday), and of course walking Sofi.  I’ll also continue the ToneItUp strength training, which I’m really enjoying.  I’ve loved being active for a long time now, but I’m finding that my workouts are actually becoming my hobby, and I miss doing them on my rest days.  I can see a future where fitness moves into more than just a hobby for me, and becomes a profession.

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

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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 36 was perfect in its normalcy: there were a few long workdays, but I was able to come home and get my workouts in anyway.    Best of all, I didn’t let the cold stop me, and I think working out through it was actually what helped me get better. This week I also made great meals for myself, and even found a bit of time for pampering.

So, what did the scale show?!

When I weighed in this morning, I was 197.4, which is a loss of 0.8 pounds this week, and a loss of 79.6 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 117.6 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 47.4 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight 0f 150 pounds. I’m glad to see a loss on the scale this week after last week’s gain.  The scale actually showed an even greater loss at one point this week, but then popped back up a bit.  I think my body is still adjusting to these #ToneItUp workouts, but even with this somewhat meager loss, I’m still really enjoying them.  I like seeing what my body can do, and in fact I’m ready to move up from my 5-lb dumbbells to 8-lb ones. Strength training is proving to be a really good way to challenge myself in a whole new way.

Even though I got in 5 cardio sessions, I took the week off of my run/walk intervals because running was a bit too strenuous for my lungs, but I’m hoping to get back to it a bit later this week.  I’m finding out that taking any time off of running sets me back a bit; the good thing is that once I do start back to the intervals, it doesn’t take too long to feel back on track.  I’ve done a 5K every month since September (two in November!), but I won’t be doing one in February, because I’m just not ready.  I have signed up for two in March, which will be fun.

I’m looking forward to a great week ahead.  I have a few fun things planned, including going to a book signing in San Fran for Jen Lancaster’s newest book. I just got back from the grocery store and I bought a bunch of healthy, delicious ingredients for lunches and dinners that I can’t wait to prepare.  Plus, today is Superbowl Sunday, which is always a good time, even when my team isn’t it in:

2014-02-02 11.32.26

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

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new year new me

2014 – a new year, a fresh start full of new beginnings. 2014 is going to be 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 workouts a week. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend. My resolution throughout the year is to keep focused while enjoying all the “newness” in my life. My Sunday progress updates will be called New Year, New ME Weigh-Ins.

Week 35 was a weird one.  Work was busy, I got a bad cold, and I started strength training using the workouts from Tone It Up.

So, what did the scale show?!

When I weighed in this morning, I was 198.2, which is a gain of 2.4 pounds this week, and a loss of 78.8 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 116.8 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 48.2 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight 0f 150 pounds. This is my first gain in the 8+ months since surgery (and even a few months before that), and while it’s disappointing to see the scale move in this direction, it was completely expected.  My body always reacts this way whenever I start using weights.  Plus, I had a bad cold, and Mother Nature is coming calling any day now.  At one point this week I was up over 5 pounds, so this is actually my body calming down a bit.  I’m so glad that I know all of these things about my body so that I’m not freaking out over a gain like this, especially with as hard as I worked all week. I’m also glad that I’m still in Onederland, let’s be honest.

As I mentioned in my post the other day, I’ve started strength training using the Tone It Up (#TIU) workouts, and I’m really enjoying them.  I know they’re working because I’m sore, but I love that very few of the moves are too difficult for me to complete.  It shows how far I’ve come.  It’s nice to have another measure of fitness successes, beyond my cardio workouts.

Today Tinkerbell and I are doing our first 5K together, and I’m really looking forward to it.  Unfortunately, because of my cold, which is settling in my chest now, we’re going to walk the whole thing instead of doing run/walk intervals, as we’d planned.  I’m really glad that Tinkerbell doesn’t mind us taking it a bit easier.  Plus, this way we can spend the time catching up – last weekend she completed the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland, something she’d been training for for over 6 months.  I’m so proud of her, and I can’t wait to hear all the details. (I’ll post more about our 5K later today).

This coming week, I’m looking forward to continuing the #TIU workouts (a new weekly series comes in my inbox today!), picking up my 3/1 run/walk intervals as soon as this cold dies down and my respiration is easier,  and hopefully seeing the scale go down at next Sunday’s weigh in.  The thing is, I’m in this for the long haul, and I’m not worried about one bad weigh in because I know I’m stronger than any reading on the scale.  Seeing a higher number isn’t going to put me in a tailspin now, as it would have in the past.  That’s true growth, that’s something to be proud of.

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

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bilbl_superThis week, I was determined to start strength training, no matter what.  I’m not going to lie, I was really intimidated by the thought of working out at the gym using the machines or the free weights.  And did I really need to do that type of training, anyway?  The more I’ve been reading on the different fitness blogs, the more I see that the trend that seems to work well for the goals I have in mind is using my own body weight resistance along with dumbbells and kettlebells.  After looking at so many great, free sites, I settled on Tone It Up because I remember reading their fitness tips in Self Magazine in the past. When I researched their website, I really liked the fitness community that Karena and Katrina have built. Plus, I saw their new show, Toned Up, on Bravo and thought they had cute, quirky personalities.  And I mean, look at them – they’re gorgeous!

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Right now Tone It Up has a series they’re calling #LoveYourBody, which I think is so empowering.  When I signed up for the newsletter, which gives me free access to the #TIU community, daily workout routines, inspirational quotes, and some recipes, I loved their message about what I could do with the 4 weeks until Valentine’s Day:

Remember there are 4 FULL WEEKS left of the Love Your Body Series~ just in time for Valentine’s Day.  You have a HOT DATE with yourself!  Take a look at your calendar- commit to yourself and your goals.  In 4 weeks anything is possible…

♥ If you run/jog or walk 2 miles a day… that’s 2 MARATHONS you’ll complete by Valentine’s Day 

♥ Is weight loss your goal?  With the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan, you could lose 8-10 pounds in a healthy way

♥ Is toning your goal too?  You will see a major difference in muscle tone with the workouts below

♥ If you compliment 1 woman a day from now until Valentine’s Day… that’s 26 women who won’t forget how you made them feel beautiful.

♥ Connect with a new team member in the community each day… that’s 26 new TIU girlfriends 🙂

♥ 4 weeks doesn’t seem like much… but you can achieve a lot between now until then! ” ~ToneItUp

I was totally inspired by this!  I really like that they take a whole body/mind approach – not just working out and eating clean, but connecting with other people, too.  I feel like supporting each other is so important.

So when I got the weekly schedule in my inbox on Sunday, I new I was going to start on Monday after work.  I love that the schedule has video links, pdf downloads, and a Pinterest-ready photo of each workout, as well.  I also REALLY love that the whole thing is themed – each of the workouts are named with Valentine’s Day in mind.  So cute!

  • Monday: My mom and I had taken a quick-paced mid-morning walk as my “cupid cardio” and then I came home and did the #LoveYourAbs workout 3 times, which took me about 30 minutes.
  • Tuesday: I went to the gym and did the run/walk intervals on the treadmill for cardio and I did #LoveYourBodywithKettlebells for my toning.  This workout was killer, and even though it was only 19 minutes (I only did one set) I’m still feeling it!
  • Wednesday: rest day. I was starting to feel sick, and since I’d worked all day, I decided to take a break today.
  • Thursday: Despite having a pretty bad cold, woke up and did 18 minutes on the stationary bike followed by 1 round of #LoveYourArms&Abs (15 minutes).  If I wasn’t feeling sick, I definitely would’ve done the recommended 2 rounds.
  • Friday: I took another sick day, but still woke up and did 18 minutes on the recumbent bike, followed by 3 rounds of #LoveYourBooty, and I know I’ll be feeling that workout for a few days.
  • Saturday: I’m going to rest on the cardio, but I’ll complete the week’s plan by doing two sets of #LoveYourWholeBody2 (35 minutes).

I have really liked these workouts because they don’t require a lot of equipment.  I have everything I need – a kettlebell, some hand weights, and a yoga mat.  It doesn’t get simpler than that.  I can feel the workouts working by how sore my muscles are each day, but the thing I’m enjoying about these workouts is that I can do them.  Some of the moves (like the side plank) are out of reach for me, but I can find easy ways to modify them.  I feel so good when I’m finished with each round of toning, and I really like that none of the workouts take that much time.  I can easily fit in 30 minutes a day.  I like checking in on FB and Twitter, and getting support from the @ToneItUp girls every time I use the #TIU hashtag.

Another fun thing about these workouts is that Sofi really gets into them.  She thinks it’s playtime every time I hit the mat to do crunches, booty bridges, etc.  It’s impossible not to start laughing every time she licks my face when I’m trying to do leg lifts or is right underneath me as I’m doing kettlebell swings.  So, we’ve made a deal – she get get a few kisses and licks in and then she has to let me get my toning in, and afterward we’ll fit in a play session on the ground.  How can I resist – how cute is this?

2014-01-24 12.14.22A huge thank you to Karena and Katrina for making such a fun, easy-to-follow, FREE program.  I know I can keep this up!  I can’t wait to see how my body changes in the next four weeks!!

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new year new me

2014 – a new year, a fresh start full of new beginnings. 2014 is going to be 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 workouts a week. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend. My resolution throughout the year is to keep focused while enjoying all the “newness” in my life. My Sunday progress updates will be called New Year, New ME Weigh-Ins.

Week 34 was exhausting at work, which left me feeling really blah all week.  Despite all that was going on at school, I am glad to say that I still got my workouts in and that my food was great, too.  I didn’t keep up with my run/walk practice this week, forgoing the gym for  walks with Sofi and hopping on the elliptical at home.

So, what did the scale show?!

When I weighed in this morning, I was 195.8, which is a loss of 0.4 pounds this week, and a loss of 81.2 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 119.2 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 45.8 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight 0f 150 pounds. While this loss is not stellar, it is a loss, and continues my streak of losing weight every single week since surgery.  Since I had such a big weight loss last week, I expected a much smaller loss this week.  Plus, my body has been out of whack all week.  One of the things that I’ve been dealing with since surgery is irregularity.  I know it’s because of the high protein, low carb diet, and I really need to get better about taking my fiber supplement on a regular basis.  This is probably why I’ve been feeling sort of blah all week, too.

This morning I met up with my friend Di, and we walked from her house to the LG Creek Trail and then did run/walk intervals and walked back.  She started C25K today, and I was testing out my new running strategy.  After realizing last week that the 5 min run/3 min walk pace wasn’t working for me outdoors, I decided to take it to 3 min run/1 min walk today.  And you know what?  It went well!  Now, as I said, I hadn’t run in exactly a week, and it’s interesting how quickly the body gets out of practice.  The LG Creek Trail isn’t flat, and there were plenty of slight and not-so-slight inclines to deal with, so while wanted to run 3/1, I actually ended up running 2.5/1.5, which was fine. My runs were fast (for me) – about 5.0mph pace, which is the best I’ve ever done.  So I do think there’s something to this 3/1 (or so) pacing.  Di and I decided to keep these Sunday intervals up, and I’m excited, because it means that we’ll get to catch up, work on our fitness, and get outdoor practice on a weekly basis.  All good things!

One of the goals that I set for myself for the past week was to begin strength training, and I didn’t do it at all.  Epic fail.  As I mentioned, this was a busy, tiring week at work, and when I got home, I just couldn’t muster the energy to go to the gym.  (Which is one of the reasons I’m so glad that I have the hybrid machine at home – no excuses not to get cardio in).  This week my schedule at school is completely clear in the afternoons, just the way I like it, so there’s no reason I can’t hit the gym in the early afternoon to get my strength training in.  I have to admit, as much as I know that strength training pays off in the long run because it speeds up the metabolism so that the body burns calories even at rest, there’s a huge part of me that is nervous about weight gain.  My body tends to react quickly to changes, and in the past I’ve seen a gain whenever I started strength training of any kind.  But I also know that if I just ride the wave of initial weight gain, and don’t give up too early, I will eventually see great results. Now that I’m the last part of my weight loss journey, I have to change my mindset from the idea that there’s a ticking clock.  This is about the long haul and the changes that I make that will spur me on for the rest of my life.

946756723cbcf898119c8a3318dc5098Glad I got my workout and this blog post in early, now it’s time to watch some football.  Go Niners!!!

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

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