Well it’s done and over

ImAwesomeI did it. I completed it. I finished the Biggest Loser Program at Princeton Club. I’m happier for it, a little healthier, and feeling pretty optimistic. My only regret is not being able to continue with classes as finances are pretty abysmal right now.

Overall it was a great experience. I could have had a stronger showing, but diet is a real sticking point for me. I have picked up a few better habits in my diet, so that’s a win.

A few take aways:

  • I really love strength training. I feel very zen. I get to feel stronger. Eventually I will bench press … something large and heavy. I’ll get back to you all on that one.
  • I still have shitty endurance. This one will take a lot of time. If my endurance ever comes around that is. Calisthenics are still my downfall. I can’t decide which I hate more, Mountain Climbers or Burpees.
  • I maybe, just maybe, can be a runner.

Today I had to convince myself to NOT go to the gym. I went six days in a row. My body is tired and needs rest. Yet I had that urge to go in this morning. I’m saving it for tomorrow. The husband and I have already discussed it and I’m keeping some of my routine the same, including my 7:45 a.m. workouts.

Now I need a new goal. Something to keep me motivated. I’ve been thinking about Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder. Obstacle courses look insanely fun and I’m excited to try one. Maybe even shoot for a 5k this summer. Who knows. There are so many options, it’s time to sit down and pick one.

Final Weigh-in: 172.4 lbs

Today’s measurements: 40-35-45 WeDidIt.gif

ohnopony.gifP.s. Old Navy’s size charts can go fuck themselves. I’m very comfortably and happily wearing a Large top and size 12 jeans, not the XL/16 that they recommend.

P.p.s Someone would tell me if I’m not pulling off my current clothing size, wouldn’t they?

Last week and I’m dying

I wd89184ce-cc54-4b23-b4ec-c8d1634995c7-888-000002478722bfe2ant a cookie so bad. A great big chewy peanut butter cookie.

Also pizza.

Beer too. Want/need a beer.

The scale has not tipped in my favor this week. My weight has not changed since Saturday. It’s actually up a pound from this time last week. I want to say that I’ve been super good about food, but when your kid shoves a mini Famous Amos cookie in your face you eat it. He did that twice on Monday. Aside from that though I’ve been good. No beer, no soda, fat free milk in my lattes. I’m hitting my macros every day. I can do this.

Yesterday I went in for the Infrared Body Wrap. It was basically a vinyl cover that emitted heat. The whole process was 45 minutes and incredibly relaxing. The weight of the cover, plus the heat made for an easy nap. I came out feeling relaxed and ready to go on with the day. I can’t say that it actually did anything. I didn’t sweat, but I don’t normally, even at the gym. I get the impression you have to do it multiple times for multiple weeks before seeing any actual results. They claim the average person burns 900 calories but I can’t attest to that. I would actually do it again, if I had $95 to randomly throw at people for a nap.

Only three days left to final weigh-in. Hit the gym for a brief set of Tabatas and a little run. Then I got to change a leaking, poop diaper. Kids, man. Gym tomorrow and work. Gym Sunday, weigh-in, work, then pizza and beer.

Goal is still 170 lbs on Sunday; 168 will put me at 10% weight loss. I won’t win or even place, as I was told the top three women are all already at 20%. But goals are important to me and one of my teams still has a chance at placing in the top three.

Weigh-in: 175.0 lbs

Cliche alert:

We’re in the final week of Biggest Loser and I’m feeling pretty proud of myself.

final countdown

I’m also feeling like a bit of a grump because I have cut calories to around 1100 a day, cut most carbs, and refuse to have a beer until Sunday. (Please hold out, please hold out, please hold out).

In the second half of the program I have done better than expected. My diet still isn’t great. I’m not hitting the targets that my trainers would have liked me to. But they can suck a rock. Those diets suck and I’m a healthy and mostly happy individual. I’m more active than I have been in years and I’m losing weight at about 1.5 lbs a week. It’s not the 2-3 lbs a week they would like to have seen, but remember, I wasn’t in this for the extreme weight loss.

I am definitely getting stronger, which means more muscle, which means the scale is a bullshit judge of success.

In saying that, however, I am one of the more successful members of my teams. I’m seeing a better weight loss than most members. I am seeing a huge improvement in strength and endurance. My trainers are very happy with my progress in class and I have been class MVP twice!

On Thursday, I am doing an Infrared Body Wrap as a last-ditch effort to make my final goal by Sunday. I have two free sessions from the whole MVP thing and while it sounds like bullshit, it is free. I do this for Science! There will definitely be a report back on results.

Only seven days remain. My final goal is 170 lbs at Sunday’s final weigh-in. I’ve got my mind-set and I know I can hit that goal. If I can push it to 168, that will put me at 10% weight loss in the 12 weeks.

Saturdays weigh-in: 175.6 lbs. Longest plank time recorded at 1:50!

Tough week, positivity

That dieting thing is up and it’s down. Something I’m coming to terms with, I will never have a good diet. They say this kind of change requires dedication, control, and time. Well, I hate it. It makes me unhappy, and the whole point of this experiment is to be happier. I’ve decided that instead of completely changing what I eat, I just need to change how I eat. Portion control will be key to this. We’re already better about eating at home instead of out, it’s just a matter of eating things at home I like rather than forcing myself to eat things I hate because “it’s healthier.”

DIAFscaleThe scale is not cooperating lately and it can just DIAF. So it’s gone up in the last week, but it hasn’t gone up a whole pound so it doesn’t count (granted it’s supposed to go down 2 pounds a week.) Part of this is going to be affected by previously mentioned conditions. I’m not strictly dieting, and I’m in this for endurance and muscle gain. While the scale says I haven’t lost weight, my belt holes tell a different story. (That and the annoying bunching of the waist of my jeans under the belt.)

Now for the really positive: I did barbell squats for real this time. My trainer pointed out that six months ago I had so little balance that I couldn’t get low into a sitting position without falling. Thankfully he had placed a bench beneath me for this very purpose, but to fall onto the bench and not be able to stand back up without help… it was a pretty terrible feeling deep down. Why was I doing this to myself? What was the point? I’m stronger and better than this…

Yesterday morning, I was able to squat, touch the bench, and stand back up with no issues. Three sets of 12. This is a pretty big deal for me. Next step is to do it with weight added O_oimg_1883

Weight in: 182.8 lbs  Jeans are a comfortable size 12 and my t-shirts look amazing.

You call that a diet?

I hold nothing back when it comes to what is the hardest part of this whole biggest loser thing: diet. My diet is bad. Bad is not a strong enough adjective. Fucking awful almost cuts it. Food is amazing. Food is wonderful. Food makes me happy. I am also pickier than a  Senior cheerleader at the high school dance.

If one more person tells me that “you can’t outrun a bad diet” I just may murder them. I love bad food, I hate good food, and I am surprisingly well versed in diet in relation to weight loss and body transformation. I know that what I am putting into my body is, in many cases, the wrong choice. Reminding me does us no good. Helping me find alternatives is helpful.

While I type this, I suppose it’s fair to mention that beer and ipadI’ve blown my calorie count for the day and the beer I’m drinking is not helping.

I’ve nailed down breakfast. Either a jar of Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight Oats, or something simple like whole wheat toast and a couple of slices of bacon. The oats I make in three-day batches and they are tasty, 220 calories, and if my kid gets a hold of them it’s not that big of a deal. Toast is easy enough, and bacon I bake a pound at a time and freeze. Toss a couple of slices in the microwave for 20 seconds and your golden. The key, for me of the parenting type, is to be in and out of the kitchen in less than a minute. Otherwise the toddler decides the kitchen is a super cool place to play.

Breakfast is easy (and at least I’m having breakfast now!)

Lunch, is another matter. Days at home with the toddler I can usually eat when he goes down for a nap. Lately it’s been an egg white sandwich on whole wheat toast with a slice of mild cheddar and bacon. All in, about 365 calories. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to have some dinner leftovers, which is usually some sort of chicken thing. Work days I’m lucky if I get to eat anything other than a yogurt cup.

Dinner consists mostly of chicken. So much chicken. Pinterest is our friend, yay for garlic and brown sugar chicken. The struggle is finding something to go with the chicken. I hate vegetables. Guys, you can’t save me, don’t bother making suggestions. Green vegetables are the worst. They taste like grass (yes, I know what a lawn taste like, don’t ask) and can’t be redeemed. Non-green vegetables (Carrots!) taste amazing with brown sugar, or honey, or lots of butter, or… wait that fucking doesn’t help anything. If a person hates vegetables, and is trying to eat healthier, what does one have with all that chicken? The answer is red potatoes. 

Here is the difficult part: work. I work at a very popular pizza joint (18 years Madison’s Most Popular Pizza as voted on by Madison Magazine Readers). They are very kind to us and supply us with free food throughout the day/night. I love pizza. I love our pizza. I would eat a lot of pizza. I have been very good lately and have been avoiding the free pizza (I didn’t on Tuesday and it was the best fucking slice of pizza I have had in my life.) The days I work are a constant struggle with temptation. The last few weeks I’ve made sure to bring a yogurt cup to get me through a shift. Thankfully, my hatred of vegetables has helped in that they like to give us a lot of free pizzas with lots of vegetables on them and instead of picking them off, I just turn my nose up like some kind of pizza snob. (The answer is Pepperoni, BTW).

I always have a good week (last week) followed by a not-so-good-week (It’s only Thursday?) I figure if I can at least maintain that then I’ll get somewhere. Eventually.

So you can’t outrun a bad diet, but I’ll keep on trying.

Wednesday weigh-in 182.0lbs. These size 12 Rockstar jeans are looking pretty sweet right now.

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Fuck.

Accountability is for the birds 

Holding yourself accountable is the most difficult part of any lifestyle adjustment. Three weeks in and I am barely holding onto the diet changes. I start strong on Monday and by Thursday I’m just over it. Over the “healthy” snacks, the low-calorie dinner, and the salads. Just looking at lettuce makes me want to have a beer.

I type this as I mentally repeat “I will go to the gym at 8 a. m.” There is no reason I can’t go. My husband is taking the child to his mom for the day, I don’t work until 10, and I’m going to be up at 7 anyways. Most likely I will have a beer while I play XBox, have trouble sleeping, and decide I’m too tired and it’s too much effort to put on clothes and drive my lazy ass the five minutes it’ll take to get there.

Lets face it, getting there is the hardest part. Anyone will tell you that. What keeps me accountable is spending money and making appointments. I know that adding at least one more day at the gym to my routine will make a world of difference, but since it’s not a scheduled appointment that is paid for, it’s easy to just not do it.

So what will keep me accountable and get my lazy ass to the gym on non-scheduled days? I’m still working that part out. If I figure it out, I will let you know.

Saturday’s weigh-in, the last day of week three: 186.6 lbs. Well that’s a familiar number.

Originally I wrote this Monday evening, on my phone. I didn’t get a chance to read through it, edit, and spell check so I held off posting. It’s 10:21 p.m. on Tuesday night and my husband is playing Heroes of the Storm with our friends. No one asked me to play and they filled up the group, so it seems like a good time to revisit and edit the post. 

I did, in fact make it to the gym. Got there at about 8:15 a.m. and did a 30 minute interval run (90 seconds walking at 3.3 mph and 90 seconds running at 5 mph). It was easier than I thought and I’m really glad I made it. Weigh-in this morning was 184.6 lbs. Hurray!

 

Pet peeves of mixed small group classes

I will preface this by saying I have done EVERY SINGLE ONE of these things. It’s that self-awareness that has motivated to make positive changes in how I do things. It’s easy to fall into these traps and I’m calling them out so that we all think about how we want to be the change, see the change, and help others change.stop-bitching

Stop the whining, this is hard for everyone. I’m a vocal ventor. Everything I’m thinking and feeling I tend to say out loud. I bitch, a lot. It’s a negative aspect of my personality that I have been working on for most of my life. It’s exponentially worse when I work out. I get frustrated and I bitch about it. I think there is a difference between muttering in frustrated and whining though.

Whiny people are looking for feedback. Preferably positive, but they’ll take the negative. They whine about their weight, what hurts, too much weight to lift, too many laps to run, too fast on the treadmill. They want the trainer to go “Oh, 15 pounds is too heavy, here, try five instead.” Except that a trainer isn’t going to do that. Their job is to assess the person they are working with, make a calculated decision about what that person can handle, and then push them to do it. Don’t fucking whine at the trainer or the class instructor. They feel no pity. They already have your money and your consent and they are going to do their job which is to challenge you to be better. Whining about it, especially in group class, just makes you look weak and foolish.

For me that was motivation. When  I stepped outside myself and thought “Is this what I sound and look like?” It helped me to change. Yes, I’ll bitch about something. Yesterday the trainer gave me 35 pounds to do squat lifts with. I made it through five and I swore the whole time. He realized that he made an error and I did need less weight. I didn’t beg for it, I didn’t whine about it. I did as many reps as I could until he saw that I was likely going to hurt myself. But during those five reps I put sailors to shame.

Sometimes you physically can’t do it. Don’t stop, modify. I’ve been in classes with people who just quit. HIIT and Circuit Training are big right now. Why? Because they work. I have a love/hate relationship with both. They work, but damn are they hard. I struggle with endurance and HIIT is perfect for improving that. Sometimes, though, I can’t make it through 60 seconds of squat jumps. My lungs just won’t let me do it. But that doesn’t mean I quit doing them. I slow down, for sure, but I get them done. I may not mean doing one a second. It’s more like one every three seconds, or every four seconds. Doesn’t matter, keep going. Focus on form and quality of the workout.

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If you are standing on the sidelines and watching you look like an asshole. I can’t fucking stand it when some whiny bitch goes, “This is too hard, I did like four,” and then they stop and watch everyone else work out. You know why you weigh 300 pounds and can’t figure out why you haven’t lost any weight? Because you are a quitter. Don’t cry to me about how hard it is, and you are a special snowflake. If you don’t want to do it, then don’t whine about being fat. Especially not to me, I’ve worked hard to get to where I am at. I hate every single workout, I honest to god do, but I don’t quit. If I quit I’ll still be overweight, tired, and miserable with myself.

creepy-nic-cage

On top of not doing yourself any favors, you are a distraction for everyone else that is putting in the work. Yes, when I run laps I sometimes have to stop and catch my breath. Stop for five seconds to clear your breathing and get back on rhythm, then walk another ten seconds, then pick up the pace again. Someday I won’t have to do this, and I do it a lot less than I used to, but don’t just stop. If you are going to stop, just leave. You’re a negative cloud on the whole damn group.

No one needs to be reminded that you used to be skinny. Hey, guess what, most of us used to be skinny. Some have never been skinny. No one cares. I bring this up too, and then I kick myself for it later. This is one of the most recent issues I’ve had with myself that I’ve been trying to change.

If someone asked me why I was doing this my answer used to be, “I was in pretty good shape a few years ago and I looked really good, I want to get back to that.” My new answer is, “I’m trying to better myself, get fit so that I can keep up with my kid. I want to play sports with my kid, help him practice, chase him around the yard.” There is truth in both, but one makes me sound like it’s all about image, and we need to steer away from that. If it comes up in conversation, then fine, just don’t let that be the reason you are there.

An old classmate of mine once said to me, “Now that I’m fat I understand how you felt all through high school.”

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While she was probably attempting to empathize with me, I don’t think she grasped just how horrible this made me feel. First off, she considered me fat when I was in high school.  Was I larger than she was? Yeah. It’s all a matter of perspective, really. I was taller, broader shouldered, and built a little buffer. Fat? Maybe it’s time to retire that term. But to tell me that she “understands how I felt?” What did she think I felt? Did she think that I spent every waking moment of my teenage years hating myself for being fat? Shaming myself? Shaming others?

Sometimes it did really bother me, sometimes I was able to shrug it off. Usually there were triggers and this once-upon-a-time twiggy bitch definitely was a trigger. So lets all stop and think about what we are saying when we go to the gym and announce to everyone that we “used to be skinny and that’s why we’re there.”

I’m no expert, and that’s exactly why I’m writing this blog. I’m going to sound like a real bitch sometimes because a lot of times I  lack a filter. I think that’s also why I write.

Monday’s weigh-in: 190 lbs (fuck.) Got a C on my food journal for week one (I’m assigning my own letter grade, but I think my trainer would agree.) Share with me your workout pet peeves.