Tuesday, May 05, 2009
For dozens of years I've shied away from cameras to the point of becoming angry when someone took my picture. I would have rather not see the way I looked than to just accept that I DID look that way, and that if I wanted to change the picture, I had to change myself. But yesterday I actually asked to have my picture taken so I could post them, and be forced to look at them every time I logged onto SparkPeople - which is several times a day, as any of you who are on my teams can attest to. Not only did I publish those pictures here on SparkPeople, but I published them on Facebook as well! So they will not just be seen by other people who are fighting to get their weight down, but by "the skinnies" as well. Bold move indeed, but it's time I stop hiding and face the facts...and change them! Hopefully my pictures will keep getting better and better, until I'm no longer ashamed to see how I look in the eyes of others.
Day 3 of the Sweatsuit to Swimsuit challenge, and I'm feeling highly motivated again. Two days of rest and recovery, light activity, walking instead of jogging or hiking on hills, and I feel fully recovered and ready to take on the world again!
Today my plan is to do all I can for my fitness health. I will complete all three challenge workouts to date, including the special challenges, as well as do my scheduled strength training and cardio exercises. Lookout world, today I'm a force to be reckoned with!!
Edit: Guess I wasn't quite awake when i wrote this, because I know better than to work the same muscle group on consecutive days. Therefore, I did NOT do yesterday's lower body strength training with bands video, just stuck with upper body and cardio.
Monday, May 04, 2009
This was a pretty bold move, posting my "before" pictures right on the front of my SparkPage!! But there they are, for the whole world to see! I'm hoping that the "after" pictures will make it all worthwhile. I guess I could have just posted the pics within a blog entry, and left my main photo alone, but this is about honesty, and being accountable. If seeing my fat a$$ all over SP isn't enough to keep me accountable, I don't know what is.
First day of bootcamp was tougher than I expected, but, in my defense, I was really exhausted and in need of a good recovery day. Last night I found it hard to sleep, even, because it felt as though all my muscles were trying to cramp up on me. Particularly my back and calves, and my back was even having muscle spasms. Today I feel great! Amazing what a little rest and recovery will do for you!
Day 2, BRING IT ON!!!
Day 2, done! As I suspected, this one wasn't intense at all for me, since I've been doing a lot of lower body strength training with all my hiking. I should probably have used a band with more resistance too. My balance has gotten a little better, didn't need anything to hold on to, but the "standing leg" was being put to the test! I had to shift my weight off of that leg a few times during the workout sets, so I guess *that*'s the workout I'm getting from this one. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's bootcamp, to see how I do with that one!
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Beginning weight and measurements:
Weight - 178.8
Waist - 37
Bust - 43.5
Hip - 44
Bicep - 13
Thigh - 22
Calf - 15.5
I'm excited to get started with this bootcamp. I've been getting a lot of exercise in the last few weeks - since the weather here got nice enough for hiking - but have been doing too much hiking. I'll put in 3 to 7 miles of hiking on rugged terrain, up and down hills, climbing or stepping over rocks and fallen trees, and come home exhausted. Sure, I'm getting a lot of exercise, but it's the same exercise, day after day. I need a change, and this bootcamp will give it to me.
I have stepped outside my comfort zone by trying to add a few spurts of jogging or running into my hikes, but otherwise have been playing it pretty safe. This bootcamp will push me farther outside that comfort zone. I KNOW this, because I've tried some of the videos we'll be doing, and didn't complete most of them because I wasn't able to keep up, or to execute the moves (pilates?!!). Now I'll be motivated to try a lot harder to get them done, so I'll be doing as much as I can rather than quitting the going gets tough. This is exactly what I need!
Sweatsuit to Swimsuit Bootcamp, HERE I COME!!
Thursday, April 30, 2009
This is a copy and paste version of an article by the same name, by Raphael Calzadilla, BA, CPT, ACE, RTS1 eDiets Chief Fitness Pro. Raphael provided a lot of fitness tips to me personally, via email and in online discussion meetings, to help me along in my first real attempt in fitness as an adult. He was tremendous help to me then, since I was such a newbie, and when I became more proficient, he helped me through my plateaus by prescribing personal nutrition and fitness programs. For example, when he had me doing some calorie cycling, I saw immediate results! I'm talking like a 3 lb. loss in two days, after a plateau that lasted several weeks. And the "hydrotherapy" tip in his article really works!
I'm certainly not suggesting that eDiets is superior to SparkPeople, it's just different. And since I was paying extra money to be in Raphael's fitness program, I was certainly entitled to the extra help. I just wish those same tips would work for me now, the way they did then.
But they might work for you!
Have you been trying to lose body fat, but find it comes off at a snail's pace? Tired of losing a pound a month as you exercise and diet your brains out? If you're working out with efficiency and maintaining a slight caloric deficit, you can actually lose up to 1.5 pounds per week. That's a lot of fat loss in the course of one year.
However, even if you haven't been consistent, I have some metabolism-boosting tips that should help ignite some good, steady fat loss.
1. Increase your meal frequency: That's right, eat more often, but don't increase your total calories. For example, if you eat three times per day, break those three meals into five to six smaller meals and eat every three hours. Food can actually help burn body fat when it's used strategically. When you eat a large meal such as a big bowl of pasta, you raise your blood-sugar levels and the body increases its level of insulin. This only serves to make you fat! If you break your meals into smaller feedings it helps to control blood sugar -- this puts you in a better position to lose fat.
2. Break up your workout: Many people are pressed for time and the thought of exercise becomes another stress in their lives. With family responsibilities, work, financial pressures, etc., the thought of exercise is like a weight on their shoulders. However, research has proven that two short bouts of exercise per day will actually stimulate the metabolism more than one longer bout. Go for a brisk 15-minute walk first thing in the morning before work and then another one at lunch time. Do this five days per week and I know you'll see progress at the end of 30 days.
3. Eat breakfast: Although this is an obvious one to me, I'm always amazed at the amount of people who think they're doing the right thing by skipping breakfast. I always stress to my clients to think of the body from the inside-out. The human body's main goal is survival. If it senses any type of emergency, it will do everything in its power to keep you alive. If you sleep through the night and then deprive the body of food in the morning, what do you think the body is sensing at this point? That's right, it senses a potential famine and then holds onto stored body fat to keep you alive. I'm not exaggerating this point -- this is exactly what happens. Remember, calories from food represent heat. Use the heat to rev your metabolism.
pagebreak 4. Cycle calories: This is a technique I've used on several clients with amazing success. For three days, consume your minimum calorie requirement based on your height, weight and goals. Then, on day number four, increase your calories by an additional 400 (nutritious foods only). For example, if you're losing fat by consuming 1,200 calories per day, simply raise your calories to 1,600 on day number four. This technique can actually get the metabolism racing and stimulate additional fat loss. Just remember that the additional calories come from good sources of protein, carbohydrates and fats -- not pizza.
5. Drinks lots of water: Remember what I said about thinking of the body from the inside-out? Muscles and other tissues are made up of approximately 80-percent water. If you limit your water intake, the body will retain water and make you feel like the "queen or king of bloat." We all know how absolutely awful it feels to be bloated. It doesn't take much for this to happen -- the body only needs to be dehydrated by approximately 2 percent for this to take place. Drink .55 multiplied by your body weight in ounces of water per day. Staying hydrated will release some excess water trapped in the body and most likely reduce your weight by a few pounds.
6. Exercise in the morning: If you can fit it into your schedule, exercise in the morning. People who exercise consistently in the morning find that exercise at this time regulates their appetite all day long. They don't get as hungry and they start the day with a boost to the metabolism.
7. Perform cardio interval training: Cardio interval training is simply short bursts of high-intensity exercise combined with more moderate intensity within the same workout. Studies have shown that people who perform interval training twice a week (in addition to two other days of lower intensity cardio) lose twice as much weight as those who do just a moderate cardio workout. You can easily incorporate interval training into your workout by inserting a 45-second burst into your stationary bike workout every four to five minutes. You can also add a 45-second super brisk walk to your treadmill workout in the same timeframe. Your body will be working harder and will be forced to burn more calories. In addition, you won't need more than 25 total minutes for your workout. Try to get two additional days during the week of lower intensity cardio as well.
pagebreak 8. Boost your metabolism by reading instead of watching TV: Researchers at Memphis State University monitored 32 girls as they watched a half-hour television program. They found the metabolic rates dropped as much as 16-percent below resting metabolic rate. In other words, they burned fewer calories watching TV than they did just by reading!
9. Drink green tea: Green tea is a popular tea from Japan that has numerous health benefits, including weight loss. It's not 100 percent certain how green tea helps one to lose fat, but it appears to increase the amount of calories the body burns -- not necessarily because of the small amounts of caffeine it contains, but due to a compound abbreviated as EGCG. When purchasing green tea make sure the label states that the green tea used is standardized for caffeine and EGCG.
10. Practice hydrotherapy: This could have been placed in the "drink lots of water" section but deserves its own section due to its efficiency. First thing in the morning, drink 32 ounces of very cold water on an empty stomach. Don't eat breakfast for at least 30 minutes. The cold water will force your body to raise its core temperature, thereby stimulating your metabolism and excreting any excess water. You may find that you lose two pounds the first month you try this. If you want to take it a step further, do the same thing at lunch. Just make sure to wait the 30 minutes prior to eating. Remember though, if you're consuming excess calories each day, this tip won't work.
Try several of these easy-to-use tips and start getting your fat burning metabolism revved.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
This article deals with the connection between oleic acids from fat and food cravings. Read it here-> www.sparkpeople.com/resource/health_
These SparkPeople articles never cease to amaze me. What may have begun as an effort to earn more points soon became an addiction for gathering facts about my body and its nutritional and fitness needs.
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