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End of Phase I - Initiating Phase II Sequence

Monday, April 23, 2012

Okay, so phase I is over. Somehow I managed to make it through and not miss a single workout. There were a few things I couldn't do (roman chair knee/hip raises, for one), but for the most part, I stuck through and I've seen some definite improvement in my all-over body shape.

Measurement Changes:
Neck: 14.5 - 14.5 = no change
Waist: 45 - 44.25 = .75 inches lost!
Hips: 55 - 54 = 1 inch lost!
Bust: 45.5 - 45 = .5 inch lost!
R Thigh: 25.5 - 25 = .5 inch lost!
R Calf: 20.5 - 19.5 = 1 inch lost!
L Calf: 19.5 - 19.25 = .25 inches lost!
L Thigh: 24.5 - 24 = .5 inch lost!
L Upper Arm: 14 - 14 = no change
R Upper Arm: 13.5 - 13.75 = .25 inch gain
Under Boobs: 42 - 42 = no change

So, basically, my sides are starting to even out a bit and I gained 1/4 of an inch on my right bicep, which I didn't think was necessary, but all in all I lost a total of 4.25 inches in just four weeks. (Actually I last took those measurements on 4/3, so it's really only been 3 weeks for that loss.)


Starting Weight (3/26): 308.4
Ending Weight (4/22): 300.4
Total Loss: 8 pounds

That sounds all fine and good, until you see the rest.

(3/26): 308.4
(4/1): 300.6
(4/8): 303.4
(4/15): 308.0
(4/22): 300.4

And today we're back up to 301.0, so yay! *sarcasm sarcasm sarcasm*

This, my friends, is what a plateau looks like for me. It's not straight shot...I get to play the yo-yo game. I hate yo-yos more now than I ever did before (and to think, as a kid I could never get the thing to come back I don't WANT it to!).

So, what's going on?
Well, the first couple weeks I was eating around 1400 net calories.
It wasn't until halfway through week 2 that I upped my calories a bit more to try to "save" that third weigh-in. If I hadn't upped my calories on the weekend, I would've been closer to 305.
Then I started sticking around 1800-2000 calories. And that worked for a little bit. A very little bit. Until about Wednesday of this past week when BAM! once again, I saw that even though I was sticking to my calorie goals and workouts, my weight started rising again. I had to up my calories again. *sigh* I'm not proud of the few days I had there, but I broke the cycle again.

This isn't working for me. I'll be upfront, flat-out honest. Somehow I've taught myself to undereat Monday through Thursday and then overeat Friday through Sunday. Sorry, but that does not help me mentally. I feel like crap each weekend because I'm eating crap food just to try to get my calories up.

Like I said on my main page - I've been fat pretty much all my life. Age 5 was when the problem started to arise. I know what the trigger was and I'm not going to harp on it here (because people think it's crap to "blame" your weight gain on other people, but I have my own feelings about evil people teaching evil eating habits to children who are forced - yes, FORCED - to obey or risk bodily harm, and thus learning that overindulgence is actually a good thing --- but no one wants to hear that because they think it's my way of excusing my past behavior and yadedadeda...blargh!). Fact is, I had no problem in the past overeating, but that's easy enough to do with calorie dense, nutritionless food. When you're eating whole grains, lean proteins, small amounts of healthy fats and tons of veggies? Yeah, well, you never realized how hard it could be to get 2000 calories eating the right way until you try.

And throughout my years of being a fat kid, I was forced into Weight Watchers and nutrition and fitness classes. Had a person there ever showed me how to eat the RIGHT way and then made my parents cook the foods I needed, well, you might be talking to a very different person right now. But those classes were a show. And they taught you dieting shortcuts. And I have dabbled in the fine art of eating disorders from time to time. But never...not ONCE...did anyone ever tell me to EAT MORE. NEVER! I swear I would've gotten more praise for anorexia than I would have from eating the RIGHT AMOUNT of healthy, nutrient dense foods.

So now that we're moving on to Phase II, I'm reading a bit ahead about calorie counting with the LiveFit program. And once again I'm seeing words that simply don't compute with the years of training and conditioning I had as a child. Eat MORE, exercise less, but harder.

Here's the LiveFit calorie counter snippet:
Up to this point, the focus with the meal plan has been to consume adequate calories to support your weight training goals. Moving forward, it will be necessary to determine a specific calorie range to increase your fat burning potential while maintaining your hard earned muscle.

Follow this simple formula to determine the number of calories you should consume moving forward, using the foods included in the meal plans:

1. Multiply your goal weight by 10 to arrive at your baseline.

2. Add between 200 and 500 calories to determine the ideal calorie range that will support the rest of your Phase Two and Phase Three workout routines.
(So, for me, that would be 110 (lbs) X 10 + 200 = 1300 and 110 (lbs) X 10 + 500 = 1600).

3. On rest days and lighter days (arms, shoulders, abs), eat in the lower range (1,300 calories). On heavier days (chest, legs, back), eat in the higher range (1,600 calories).

4. Once we arrive at Phase 3, the lower number will become the starting point for the carbohydrate cycling we'll do!


So let's do some calculations, shall we?
My current goal weight is 230 pounds.
(I honestly toyed with this number. I don't think it's reasonable for me to reach for 177 or even 190 right now, especially with the problems I've been having as of late. 230 was the number set for me a long time ago which should put me around 30% body fat. It may or may not be right, but it works for me because it seems more reasonable in my head. But I still wondered - did she mean your eventual goal weight, or your goal weight for the program's end? Whatever, I have one number and one number only - 230 pounds should put me closer to a goal of 30% body fat. And I care more about my body fat % than I do that stupid number on the scale. I've learned to put little stock in that silly little machine on the floor.)

So if I take 230 x 10 = 2300
Then we add +200 and +500 = 2500-2800, respectively

So on heavy days (back, chest, legs) I should eat 2800 calories.
On lighter days (shoulder, abs, arms) I should stick to 2500 calories.



Confession: It feels VERY, VERY wrong. Where's the deficit? How the hell am I going to lose any weight eating nearly 3k calories a day?

Confession: I do NOT get how this is supposed to work, because it goes all the training and conditioning I've had from age 5 to age 30. "Eat less, exercise more = lose weight."

Confession: That BS I just said hasn't been working for me for MONTHS. So what the hell, right? What do I have to lose? Except more weight if it works. If it doesn't, I really won't be any worse off now than I've been on this dizzying yo-yo of a ride I've been on for the past few MONTHS.

Confession: *pouts* How the hell am I going to eat that much food?

So, here we go. An experiment to end all experiments.
One that tests the basic boundaries of my beliefs and understanding.
One that challenges all of the "it's as simple as..." diet techniques I've learned from age 5 on.
Wasn't it Einstein who said that Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Well, time for me to be insane enough to try something different and see where it gets me. I have a feeling I'm not going to spend one minute of this week being hungry.

The only thing I keep telling myself is - we're about to add cardio anyhow, so maybe that will make up for what I overeat. (But it's not really overeating, is it? *sigh*) Time for me to stop thinking and start doing.

I may have to start eating every 2 hours instead of 3 just to fit it all in. Especially today, because I slept late. (Another reason I've been forcing the morning workouts is so I can get all my food in before bed.)

So this is what my day looks like today:

Breakfast (6am)
6 egg whites, 1/2 cup oats, 2 Tbsp. homemade peanut butter and a dash of xylitol
McDonald's large coffee - 3 creams, 2 Splenda
(468 calories)

Snack 1 (9am):
1 cup FF cottage cheese with SF jello mix and 4 cinnamon swirl protein bread squares
(385 calories)

Lunch (11:30am):
Chicken Zucchini Burger on WW sandwich thin with mustard, and a large salad with lite balsamic vinaigrette dressing with 4oz grilled chicken
(489 cal)

Snack 2 (2:00pm):
1 cup brown rice, 7oz grilled chicken with green beans and stewed tomatoes
(500 cal)

Dinner (5:00pm):
4 Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
(320 cal)

During/Post Workout (6-7pm):
1 scoop of Xtend Watermelon
2 scoops Body Fortress Chocolate
1 large banana
(433 cal)

Evening Snack (9:00pm):
7 egg whites, 1 large mushroom, 1/4 cup 2% cheddar cheese
(205 cal)

In bed by 10pm.

Total Calories: 2800
Macros: 243g carbs (34.7%), 52g fat (16.7%), 321g protein (45.9%)

Workout tonight includes the following:
Wide Grip Overhand Pullups (I'll be doing Smith Machine Body Rows instead) (3 sets of 10)

Bent Over Barbell Rows (3 sets of 8)
Seated Cable Rows (3 sets of 8)

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns (3 sets of 10)
One-Arm Dumbbell Row (3 sets of 8)
Hammer Strength Lat Pull (3 sets of 10)
Hyperextensions (3 sets of 8)

30 minutes of Cardio at moderate pace (probably on the bike)

I'll be lifting nearer 85% of my max, resting longer between sets if needed and trying to get the most I can from each set. On the cardio, I'll be watching my foot to ensure I don't worsen it again and I'll get off after 20 minutes if 30 seems like it will cause serious pain to the PF.

I think it's about to get interesting, folks.
Stay tuned!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 4/26/2012 7:53AM

    I really stuck with this comment: Confession: It feels VERY, VERY wrong. Where's the deficit? How the hell am I going to lose any weight eating nearly 3k calories a day?
Not for me now but for my sister. She is a higher weight than me (200+) and always argues with me when I give her calorie ranges that I calculate using BMR and such. She never wants to eat that much. It is hard to wrap your mind around but you've gotta do it!

And I have no idea how you will eat that much. I eat almost exclusively all natural foods and every night, I'm always left with like 400 calories (luckily for me, I can leave up to 500 calories and be safe still) but I have no clue how I would eat 2500 calories a day minimum! Eat a lot of avocados... and nuts.

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DIVEGODDESS 4/23/2012 10:42PM

    I don't really agree with the calculation of calories, because it should be based on where you are now and not where you want to be. If someone that weighs 200 lbs wants to be 110 lbs (let's say they are short and 110 lbs is a healthy weight), then the calculation would be between 1200-1500 calories and that is way too little for a 200 lb person. However, you are a bit more realistic to have 230 lbs as your target, and the calories you need for that is about the same as the calculations I use (15-20% deficit from maintenance) .
Anyway, I do understand that it's strange to eat more to lose more fat, but that's just it, you want to lose fat, not muscle, and if you don't eat you will lose muscle and that actually makes you more fat, even if you weigh less. I commend you for embarking on a new way to try something different. Too many women are scared of eating more!! Have faith because it works!!!

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/23/2012 3:00PM

    I hope this works for you--it does go against everything we "learned" about losing weight (eat less + move more = loss), but we also know from hard experience that it's way more complex than that. Eating more frequently to get the calories is the only way to do it right; good luck!

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KKINNEA 4/23/2012 2:50PM

    The change in food scheduling sounds smart - it should make it easier to get all the calories in although it seems like a challenge, doesn't it?

I'll be following along your Phase 2 until whenever I can get there myself!

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LOWFATFOODIE 4/23/2012 11:36AM

    P.S. you'll be happy to now with the intro of cardio, You will likely be hungrier during Phase 2. That's your body telling you that you need more fuel from the workouts!

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LOWFATFOODIE 4/23/2012 11:32AM

    Hey Esther, I feel ya with how hard it is to get enough calories while eating clean. But please please do- and read more on SparkPeople about starvation mode- 1400 calories is Not enough for your current frame, regardless of what eating plan or exercise you are getting. Your body has been panicking.
If you want some help or ideas, go check out DiVeGoddess' blog- she is a tiny woman but all muscle, trying to pack on more. She is around 2600 cals a day and shares her daily diet- all clean. Embrace the avocado!

Regardless of these challenges- you are doing GREAT! Its a big lesson (for all of us) to learn after years of bad habits- particularly the "diets" we've been conditioned on. This is learning healthy eating for life. Not calorie reduction for weight loss and then going back to eating crap when we're 'done'.

Keep it up! We are all pulling for you!

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BAYBELIEVER 4/23/2012 11:15AM

    Laughed all the way through this! Not at you! But with you! Yeah. When my gym said I wasn't eating enough at first I was thrilled. But then they suggested 2500-2800 and I thought they were crazy. Do they know how much food that takes? i remember on day 1 texting them and saying that in as of dinner time I would have to eat 18 eggs in order to get all the protein in they wanted and their response was, "Yep." I opted for another protein. I eat 5 times a day, every 3 hours, and have to--no, choose to--eat a protein pudding of my own making (6 oz greek yogurt + 34 grams chocolate whey powder) every evening as my snack. It's the only way I make it! Thanks for sharing your plans for day 1 of phase 2. Sharing ideas is great! And congrats on the loss, mine looks the way yours does too--if that helps!

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 4/23/2012 10:43AM

    That does sound like a lot of food, but you have a pretty good breakdown of carbs/fat protein (serioulsy 321g... impresive).

I hope the cardio does okay on your foot. Cheering you on today!

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MARATHON_MOM 4/23/2012 9:34AM

    WoW! You do have to eat A LOT! I just upped my calories too... so right there with you with the whole "HOW THE HELL IS THIS GOING TO WORK!" thing. LOL

Looks like you have a great plan, and you're working it~!
I can't wait to see how it works out. I hope the weight starts sliding right off of you!

I've got one more week of phase 1! SOOOO ready for cardio!

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VICKYMARIEC 4/23/2012 9:21AM

    WOW! That is a lot of food! 7 eff whites at 9pm? Ouch...Let us know how your day 1 ends up for you. Since you are trying this plan, at least to see how and if it actually works, i'm glad that what you are eating is all healthy foods rather than french fries and such from fast food restaurants. Good luck girl!

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MAGPIE17 4/23/2012 9:20AM

    Good luck, E! Hoping this works for you!

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Fighting...and NOT Eating More Tuna!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A little nod at my clever friend BOB240 in the title there. Sorry, Bob. No tuna in the house right now...but I'll try to eat some next week, mmmkay?! *smiles innocently...sorta*

This is going to be a quick one.

....I think.

I did NOT want to go to the gym this morning. My back was tight and sore (as it should be...well, the sore part, not the tight part) and I did NOT want to get out of bed. I snoozed the alarm no less than 3 times this morning before finally forcing myself to stand and then go about my business. Just eating breakfast seemed to be a chore. (I had to come back to it three times because I just didn't want to eat or do anything.) But I fought past the "I dun wannas" and something amazing happened.

It took at least an hour and a half for it to set in...with only 2 exercises left on my legs routine for the day. Call it endorphins or whatever you want, maybe it was the upbeat music cycling through my ears, but I suddenly stood up and wanted to dance. I realized that this morning was the first time I did not need to walk on the ball of my right foot when I rose out of bed this morning. The first time in at least 3 months that I haven't wanted to chop my own damn leg off because of the sheer pain shooting up the back of my foot. And then I realized I was almost done with the next to last workout of Phase I.

The worries of having to drive to the gym tomorrow for a workout faded away.

I confess, the past two days, but especially yesterday, I have been wondering how long I can hold out. This morning the thoughts of quitting started running through my head. It has not been without sacrifice that I have taken on this little task here.

Ironic that the moment I started considering my quitting options, the scale started cooperating fully with my efforts. It seems I had found that magical calorie intake number to lose properly on and yet, here in my own head, I was talking myself out of it because it was "too hard".

HA! "Too hard." What a funny saying.
Is it harder than having to tell everyone who asks you, "So how much weight have you lost NOW?" that you haven't lost any more since they talked to you about it 4 months ago?
Is it harder than admitting that no matter what you've tried you've continued to yo-yo around on this stupid thing they call a plateau, which your body laughs at and mocks you and gives you hope only to snatch it away?
Is it harder than the pain you've felt throughout your entire body from injuries that are more than likely due to your inconsistency?

No. It's not.

All thoughts of quitting melted away.
I won't say they're gone for good, but they are gone for now.

One more workout left. I'm getting through day 25 of a new program that I never dreamed of following to the end. Sure, I'm terrified or scared or nervous of some of the things coming up, but it's facing your fears and deciding something else is more important that brings you courage.

Tomorrow I will drive to the gym. I have all day to make the trip, but I will get it out of the way early. When I'm done, I'll take the unlikely opportunity to shop for the week in some of the stores here that cater to the more healthy eaters in the state. I will stop by the market for fresh produce. I will head down to the local Kroger here that sells tofu and has no less than four rows of health food items, as well as a cooler and a freezer, and has produce for sale that most people in my town wouldn't know the name of. I'll make a plan of attack and use the opportunity to get myself ready for the week. I'll restock my protein powder and make sure I'm ready for the road ahead on Phase II of my program.

And then I'll still be able to say I didn't quit. Even when it got "too hard" and I was tired.
I didn't quit.
I won't quit.

That's simply that.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 4/26/2012 7:48AM

    Ah plateaus. I've stayed on one for a year, gained about 15lbs, and have been on that one for about 4-5 months now. But that is right! Don't quit! Cause eventually whatever we're doing will have results!

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RACHEL-SPARKS 4/21/2012 10:12PM

    Way to go ! You are a strong woman. emoticon

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VICKYMARIEC 4/20/2012 8:56AM

    Thats great that you did not quit. Some of the thing syou wrote hit home with me as well. Thanks for sharing!

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CALLIKIA 4/19/2012 3:11PM

    Best. Blog. Response. Ever.

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BOB240 4/19/2012 2:43PM

    you'll do it I know... read your own blog - it's inspirational..

Just a word on tuna..
Don't underestimate tuna... have you tried?

1] Tuna ice cream - looks a bit like pistachio but you can eat as much as you like (admittedly only one moutful usually) and its only 20 calories

2] Tuna/chocolate cake surprise. Cut a chocolate cake in half - smear tuna in and reform. Then coat the cake in tuna. Again eat as much as you like/can.. very few calories..

One thing about tuna is their social pedigree - tuna are the fish worlds jocks. Ask anyone which animal they would be if they couldn't be human. Nine times out of ten people will say they want to be a dolphin. Dolphins are fun/party animals AND if you look at any tin of tuna it usually boasts that tuna is "Dolphin Friendly". How cool is that? Not only tasty but tuna know how to party... emoticon

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ROMNEY3 4/19/2012 1:28PM

    Oh thank you needed this today. Was going to skip the work, sore everywhere, but now I will go home change my clothes and come BACK to the gym. Thanks again!

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ATROTTIER 4/19/2012 1:12PM

    I am so happy for you!!! What a great day! You should be very proud and dance all day long! Yay for the foot feeling better tooooo!!! whoo-hoo!!! =)

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LOWFATFOODIE 4/19/2012 12:11PM

    Good job getting past today's mental block!

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SEXBOBOMB 4/19/2012 10:57AM

    Thank you for this -- the "Too Hard" part really hit home with me!

It *is* harder to admit defeat than it is to just shut up and do the work, but (at least with me) it can be such a vicious mental game to just get myself to the track. My brain can be so petulant and rebellious and overriding those impulses can be so difficult.

Good for you for ignoring the "too hards" and the "I don wannas"!

Good for you for refusing to quit! emoticon

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BAYBELIEVER 4/19/2012 10:29AM

    Awesome! We are not quitters!

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How to Fall Gracefully in a Gym Full of Grunting Men

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

...that was the question on my mind during my stretches today. I tend to spend a good 10-15 minutes stretching after every workout. And, yes, I include it as part of my workout because I want to see it as progress and not think of it as something I don't need to do. (It IS something I need to do!) What's more, I tend to challenge myself even in my stretches by trying new Yoga moves, or trying to hold them longer or getting deeper into them, etc.

My stretching routine generally starts with a simple forward bend. Then it goes immediately into downward dog. From there I bring each knee in for about 15-20 seconds to further stretch out the calf of the straightened leg. Back to downward dog (my heels ALMOST touch the mat now!!) and then into upward dog. Once I get a get a good stretch in Cobra, I move to my butt and start stretching out my legs ...a lot! (Especially now because I've noticed how much it's needed after those tight few days.)

So after my workout today (Chest & Tris) I head right over to my mat in the corner to start my stretches. Recently I've added in a Standing Split...


...and have been working on getting my head closer to my knee. This morning I decided I would challenge myself to bring my arms in a little more. (FYI - right now both arms are still on the floor supporting me and providing balance.) Little did I know how much I really did workout my back/bis/chest/tris and how that would affect me today.

I do my forward bend.
Much better, no longer so tight, but there's still a little tension.
And then I put my hands forward on the mat to go into downward dog...
and I nearly fall right on my face. *lmao* I did actually snort a laugh. My arms were screaming "NO MORE" but I had to do my stretches, so I took it as easy on them as I could (which, added bonus, I think worked my core a lot more as I tried to stabilize myself). I did get my arms closer to my toes in my split and the rest of the stretch wasn't so bad.

I did think one big thing though...I do a LOT of stretching of my legs/back (mostly because that's what needs it with the back issues I've had in the past, the hip misalignment and the PF, which is most likely caused by tightness in my calf) but I have very few moves to stretch out my arm muscles. I went through my memory of every arm stretch I'd ever seen someone do or had ever done or ever saw displayed online or in magazines or anywhere and...well, I couldn't think of very many at all. So that's my new hunt for the day...ARE there more arm stretches out there that I haven't considered? Certainly my biceps and triceps are going to be screaming for some of them very soon!

The good news: I did NOT fall on my face in a gym full of grunting men.

Other things of note: I managed to amaze myself yesterday. Got up at 4am, at the gym on time, hit the weights as hard as I could (even with the biceps issue), got to work a tad bit early, worked my butt off most of the day, had an awkward meeting with some higher ups (sorta), managed to stay on task food/calorie wise, even when lunch was provided, got scolded by my boss for no real reason (she told me she was just giving everyone the same speech), and by 5:30pm I was across the street getting things set up for our big event that was to start in 30 minutes. Acted as moderator of our group panel discussion, sounded less nervous than one of the panelists (I wanted to hug her and teach her breathing techniques!) and then managed to wiggle my way out of there finally around 8:05pm so I could head home to my boys. Was in bed by 10pm and up again this AM at 4:45am (rushed around to get ready and managed my workout this morning too). PLEASE remind me of this when I'm thinking it's too hard and I'm too busy. I just kept telling myself, "It has to be more important to you than anything else. Once it's done, something else can be more important, but not right now. This is #1."

Of course, today I'm exhausted. Getting off 2 hours early will certainly help. My arms are sore, but I feel alright really. Very, very tired. But alright. I had a bit of a freak out moment last night when I thought of trying to add cardio to that stint yesterday, but I just keep telling myself that I'll do what I can and let that be okay. If I can't follow exactly to a T the cardio intensity or time goal, then I'll do what I can of it and that will have to be good enough. I don't have the luxury Jamie has of spending whatever time she wants in the gym because that's who she is and what she does. I have kids, a Hubs (I can't quite remember what he looks like anymore, but I know he's there.), a serious job, people depending on me, and a whole future ahead of me to plan for. Tired is no excuse, but overtrained and overworked is. I will do what I can, trying to get everything in but not beating myself up if I miss a day of cardio because my job needs my attention or my kids are given an award and they want me to come see them receive it.

Last night my youngest son was honored by the county Board of Education.
Yesterday my oldest son was informed that he has two pieces of artwork being placed in the county Art Show.

Sometimes you have to take the time out to be a proud Momma too! ;)

Two more days this week.
Four and a half more days of eating on track.
Down another .8 pounds this AM.
I do NOT want to lose this streak. (This is what my weight is supposed to do when I'm losing steady - down a few ounces each day on a steady incline. I know my body. Even with the added stress, it's hangin' in there because I'm treating it well.)
Phase I is almost done.
Time to give it my all!

EDIT: As a reward for all my hard work, the Spark Bonus Wheel graced me with a $10 gift certificate to the Spark Store. Anyone have suggestions for how I should spend it? I already checked...there's no foam roller. *lol* (It's on my list of "needs" right now.) Recommendations...and GO!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSAGAIN 4/23/2012 7:45PM

    I have a foam roller and a marble rolling pin. I need to use them both more often. but when it's your hammies it's a little harder to roll out. but it hurts so good!

arm stretches:
I do most of them in y P90X stretch, especially the second bicep one.

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RUSSELLORAMA 4/21/2012 12:33AM

    Oh, the foam roller! Such sweet torture.

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NINJA_SMOO 4/19/2012 10:39AM

  You can use your rolling pin or any other sturdy cylindrical item instead of a foam roller. The circumference of my rolling pin is a little small, but it does work. No need to go purchase another item, just make sure you wash it before you cook with it ;)

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K-GETTING-FIT 4/18/2012 7:49PM

    LOL...I snorted. I HAVE fallen and not gracefully after doing the leg presses years ago. Was like a rubberband woman.

WTG on the stretching. I could not do this without stretching. I stretch during rests. My hams need major stretching.

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BLUENBLONDE 4/18/2012 2:46PM

    snorted my water about the head line then just had to sit back and read your blog. Fantastic pose btw. I am inspiried to try some yoga after my cardio. emoticon

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LOWFATFOODIE 4/18/2012 1:41PM

    You are a Rock Star!
Down dogs after working out with weights. woooo... I won't be running out to try that anytime soon. one of my least favorite yoga moves with my wrist tendinitis/tennis elbows
You're so good to include stretching time... I am still working on being better with that. wishing I had made it a habit when the workouts were only 40 minutes.

Keep it up! You're inspiring!

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RICHILA 4/18/2012 12:03PM

    Your title cracked me up- I am glad you didn't actually fall. I am in awe of all the stretches you can do.

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BOB240 4/18/2012 12:00PM


also eat more tuna..

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ATROTTIER 4/18/2012 11:16AM

    I found this article on basic stretching and there are a good 4-5 arm/upper body stretches on here:

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ATROTTIER 4/18/2012 11:11AM

    Yay on not falling in the gym!!! I feel so clumsy all the time, and I have fallen in my kickboxing class once...luckily nobody saw because that was a long time ago when I used to stay in the back of the class. You are doing so great with time management with this program, that is so awesome! Hmm...I looked in the store, the water bottles are cool and the gym bag but I'm sure you have all that stuff I guess I don't have a great suggestion for you on that one. Happy Wednesday!! =)

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MAGPIE17 4/18/2012 11:05AM

    WTG, E!

Just a note on downward dog - you should be putting as much weight in your legs as your arms....the arms aren't supposed to do the brunt of the work. My yoga instructor gave me the following instructions when I had a private session with her, and we started with downward dog - when you get into the pose, make sure your ribcage is tucked in (as opposed to sticking out -you don't want to be doing an extra backbend), get up on your tippy-toes with your butt in the air to stretch out your back, then settle back onto your feet while keeping your butt up and back to keep the back stretch. You should still feel the stretch in your legs, but you'll have the weight more evenly balanced and hopefully your arms won't give out after a hard workout! ;)

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 4/18/2012 9:53AM

    Nicely done on the workouts and stretching. I need to make stretching a bigger part of my workouts... Congrats to your kiddos, what an impressive group of little people you have!

Keep it up!

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ROMNEY3 4/18/2012 9:47AM

    Going great, keep it up. I do agree with the adapting the program to fit your life. That is what it is all about after all. And FAMILY is important!

I think I will do my cardio portion at another time of day also. Like you said just can't spend hours in the gym. and I can do cardio at home if I need too.

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    Man I feel like I worked out just reading all that! You are a machine baby! You may have just nudged me to try yoga. Lucky you for the $10 at the store! WOOT! Hard work is rewarded in all kinds of ways!

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BAYBELIEVER 4/18/2012 9:34AM

    Awesome! What a day, and you made it through! I am especially happy to see you so happy about that! Good for you on all accounts!

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JEREMY723 4/18/2012 9:31AM

    It makes me tired just reading! Glad that everything is going well for you and hoping the scale follows suit. If it doesn't just remember that will follow, just might not be at the same time.

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TUCKERKT 4/18/2012 9:31AM

    emoticon I too have to smack my brain sometime when I want to workout more and my body just won't let me because I have been burning the candle at both ends. Sounds like you are doing great and finding a way to start and balance it all!

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Three Quarters Done with Phase I

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I've found it helpful lately to think in these terms. Percentages done and chipping away at the totals. For example, I'm in Week 4 of 4 weeks of Phase I, which means I'm more than 3/4 of the way done with the first 1/3 of the program. Not sure that I've ever stuck it out this long with anything before and I have no plans on stopping anytime soon. What's more, there were 21 scheduled workouts for the month of April and after this morning's Back & Biceps workout, I'm 11/21, which means I'm more than halfway there! (Plus, I get the added bonus of my strength and rowing circuit with Tanner last week, but I'm not counting it because it's just a bonus workout.) My calendar is starting to look mighty pretty. (Okay, calendars. I have two really - one has stars, the other using the Easter stickers I got right after Easter. *lol* The Easter ones are adorable, while the stars are shiny. :) )

This morning went pretty well. I'm lifting a lot heavier (if you want to know what my workout was, check Tuesday of last week, though I have increased the weights on some of them) and feeling a lot stronger. Plus, I'm already starting to see "regulars" at the gym. People don't look at me funny anymore. I'm just another regular. Another devoted morning lifter. I like that feeling.

This morning I had a rather pleasant chat with an older woman in the locker room. She piped up with, "So are you a heavy lifter or are you just working out?" *lol* I think she's noticed me grunting with the boys these past few weeks. I told her about the LiveFit program and told her about my reasons to do it (four weeks of no cardio to let my foot heal - which it is doing, though VERY slowly). She didn't doubt me or talk about how I should try to do more or give me some BS about "bulking up" or anything. She just said, "I need to do that!" and started asking more about the program. I told her about and said she could put in her age and fitness goal and it would give her several programs to choose from - she kept repeating the website to herself, vowing not to forget it.

Yep, a 50 year old + just asked me for advice.
And I was able to provide it.
I feel much taller today.

Only downsides to this morning:

1) I think I may have pushed a teeny bit too hard on my curls because my left bicep kept screaming at me. Thing is SORE as sore can be, and this isn't DOMS. I tried to ease up on it a bit at the end, but I couldn't even finish my last rep of hammer curls at the end because it just would NOT go. Poor thing. I'ma take good care of it for the next few days.

2) I'm deathly afraid that the hyperextension machine is going to break on me. *lol* We have two of these things. One is like Superwoman back extensions where you're literally laying flat in the "air" (with supports under your belly and over top of the back of your feet to keep you in place). That's what I did last time because I couldn't find the regular back extension machine (the one that sits at about a 45 degree angle). I found the regular one today and went for it. But the squeaks! OMG! I was sure it was about to snap off on me! Still managed my 3 sets of 10 and quickly moved on.

On a positive note(s):

1) My arms look smaller, if only just to me. Plus, they look more solid. Actually, they look bigger and smaller at the same time. And I'm sure that doesn't make sense to anyone but me and my boys, who remark on how solid my shoulders are become and see the bumps in my arms where the muscles are separating and growing strong. *proud*

2) I've been tight in my right hamstring (and other areas of my legs) for days now. Probably since last Friday. Usually a forward bend is no problem whatsoever, but the past few days...UGH! It's felt weird to not be so flexible. After two days of really focusing on stretching it out, I finally managed to do a forward bend without pain today after my workout. Phew! Going to have to remember not to ever sacrifice my stretching time. I know from the PF how friggin' important stretching is. (Seriously, this is KEY advice to anyone ever working out anything EVER. *lol*)

A few side notes:

1) Still scared about starting up cardio next week. Yes, my foot is healing. It gets better every day and better still every week. My major fear is that I'm going to sacrifice the healing process by bringing cardio back too soon.

That being said, I've been flipping around ideas in my head.

A) I could do 3 days of cardio instead of 4.
B) If 30 minutes is too much at first, I can do 15 or 20 for the first couple weeks.
C) Cardio options - bike, swim and (MAYBE) fast walking.

Yea, my shoes are shot. No arch support and there are visible holes in the top lining. I need new shoes stat...just have to find a good online deal or something because I super can't afford this (but I certainly can't afford to continue or worsen this injury either).

2) My Hubs is pissed at my diet habits lately. *lol* I've been cooking a LOT of my own meals, but apparently the kids and Hubs are afraid to eat anything I leave in the fridge for the week. I told Hubs today that he is welcome to join me in eating the healthy foods, but he just needs to tell me when we're almost out of something so I can replace it/make more/buy more/make adjustments. I may have to correct this situation a bit next week.

3) I need new recipes. There are only so many bowls of chili and turkey meatloaf muffins a girl can eat! So I need to seriously sit down and figure out the macros of each recipe so I can make substitutions properly and prepare a wider variety of foods.

4) I need to buy more protein powder and eggs tonight. *lol* Sorry, busy head today so I need some place to remind me of my shopping list. Oh, and baking soda! And canned pumpkin!! And walnuts!! *lol*

5) I notice when I don't take my vitamins. Had to ice last night my ankle, hip and knee of my right leg (might have something to do with the tightness in that leg too). Realized I've skipped my vitamins for several days now and have felt tired and sluggish and slow and tight and sore...moreso than normal. (Could also be TOM symptoms, but either way, the vitamins can't hurt, right?! *pops 'em*)

Busy day today.
Big meeting today with the boss' boss, basically (best way to describe it).
A "defend your work" type meeting.
And lunch is being provided, which most people would love but for me is just added stress.
And then tonight after work I have to work another 2+ hours facilitating a work event. Should be interesting. (Though it's nice that they picked me to do this.)

Okay, gotta run. Already missed my first snack time (see, the day is going to be like this all day, I'm sure) and my head is fuzzy so my body is PISSED! *lol*

Happy Lifting!!
For those still with me, how far into Phase I are you?
Any fears for Phase II?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOWFATFOODIE 4/17/2012 5:06PM

    Great job Esther! You have actually made it past the "habit" mark. (21 days of doing something has set a habit- making it easier to continue).

Watch out for overdoing on weights- so if your biceps are in pain or you can't complete reps, maybe you are pushing a little over what you should. Remember you're supposed to be pushing 80% of maximum in weeks 3 and 4. It goes up to 85% in weeks 5 and 6 (so, you may just leave the weight the same for next week, because you'll have lower # of reps)

If you don't feel healed, than that is the most important thing. Reinjuring an *almost* healed foot is maddening. So any of your strategies seem like good compromises.
Its only supposed to be medium intensity in Phase 2, so anything you listed will do.
And if it came down to it, skipping one more week of cardio, won't take away from the other work you're doing.
I'd say try one of the alternates you listed, then decide how many days your foot can handle it. If only 3 or 2, then so be it.

As always, you're

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MAGPIE17 4/17/2012 1:04PM

    I'm going to check out the programs at Thanks for sharing, E! Hope the meeting goes well!

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ERIN1128 4/17/2012 12:15PM

    Sounds like it's going well!

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ROMNEY3 4/17/2012 11:48AM

    started week three yesterday, I will tell you the today my legs feel like LEAD! But in a good way, right?!

Good job on thinking ahead to the cardio. I really can't wait for that. I love me some cardio!

have a great week!

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KKINNEA 4/17/2012 11:18AM

    Hey lady, again I owe you mail! I hear you in my head reminding me to stretch at the end of each workout! We are totally kicking this thing!

I should have time this weekend to rifle through my recipes and try to figure some things that fit into the eating plan so you can add more variety in :)

You are totally kicking rear end on this thing. Your plan for cardio looks smart to me. That was the phase that was hard for me last time because I thought you absolutely needed to do the cardio immediately after the lift but my fitness friend at work assured me as long as it was done same day, it could be at any time.

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BOB240 4/17/2012 10:59AM

    new recipe... tuna :P

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BAYBELIEVER 4/17/2012 10:32AM

    Oh! I get the arms thing!! I see my arms looking bigger too, but more defined and beautiful. It is really odd. And measurements show they are the same so go figure!

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VICKYMARIEC 4/17/2012 10:20AM

    Great job! Just take your time with your foot. Once you start you'll be able to tell when it's too much too soon.

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    Great job girl! I've been meaning to ask if you use a foam roller at home to release the soreness from your muscles? I have to go down and roll my shoulder blades and hamstrings so I can get through another Turbo Fire tonight. Back and Bi's really killed me Sunday so I can't imagine the soreness you're encountering!

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Face Facts and Move On - LiveFit Week 4, Day 22

Monday, April 16, 2012

I know I was rather vague yesterday, but I was seriously not in the mood to talk. My plan to eat less during the week and then more on the weekends, a sort of "spike day" or whatever...which worked amazingly well the week before, well, that plan crashed and burned. For three days in a row I was seeing sub-300 numbers on the scale. Three blissful days in a row I felt like I'd FINALLY figured it out. And I almost gave up my plan for spiking on Friday, but I've been trying to follow this, "Go through with what you set out to do...don't back out or second guess yourself." plan of action. So while I got to see an amazing (and wrong, I'm sure) 294 on Friday morning, the result of my "spike day" landed me at 307 the next day.

*falls to her knees*

I was devastated. I knew it was from bloat and water weight and high sodium and all that. I honestly knew that in my own head. And had it been something like 301 or 302, I would have been able to take it knowing I could just drink a crapton of water and eat really well on Saturday and weigh-in could still be a success. But 13 pounds is just too high a hurdle to jump. I know my body. I know the fluctuations it makes from day to day. It wasn't going to let me have my sub-300 official weigh-in this week no matter what I did.

So I did what I do best. I said, "Screw you then!" and ate whatever I wanted. And felt like complete crap afterward, but somehow got it out of my system without making things too awful bad. I was defeated on Saturday. I slept on and off most of the day. I felt weak and stupid and like I had, once again, wasted another week.

But then I woke up on Sunday. And I decided that a week like I had last week was NOT wasting a week. While no one can see my muscles (they probably never will at this rate), I know they're there and getting stronger. I set out to do the best I could for myself on Sunday, and reformulated a plan of action. No spike day this week. We seem to be good sticking around 2000-2200 calories. Not sure yet if I'll have to start eating back my exercise calories soon as I'm netting around 1800+ but adding in cardio is going to up the calorie burn, so I'm going to probably have to change things up again when that starts.

I set to work yesterday and cooked:
Fried Tofu
Fried Rice
Brown Rice (plain)
Grilled Chicken Breast
Green Beans & Tomatoes
Chicken Zucchini Burgers
Chicken Meatloaf Muffins
Chocolate Banana Protein Bars

It was a LONG day. I ate within my ranges even WITH the pancakes Ethan made me for breakfast and a couple cups of coffee my way (with full fat, full sugar creamer foamed on top). Logan had already made me some of my Chicken Chili so that was already in the fridge ready to go. I should have more than enough for this week, and Hubs and the boys even ate half of my burgers yesterday! *lol* (Finally, something healthy that Ethan likes! And Hubs had two!)

So, in the end, am I mad about Friday? Well, yes and no.

I woke up early and ate a healthy breakfast.
The boys and I left the house around 8:45am and stopped at a couple stores before heading to the city.
On the way out of town, Ethan said he was hungry, and I realized I should probably eat something again soon or my workout was going to be sacrificed. We went to McD's. I got a fruit and yogurt parfait and ate 1/2 (top of the yogurt and some blueberries). It was just TOO sweet!
Got to the gym around 10:15am or so.
A little over an hour later (okay, around 11:40am) I'm getting called out of the locker room over the PA system. Guess the daycare area closed at 11:30am and I was running behind. I paid the girl (and tipped her) and then told the boys to sit still while I went and finished putting my things away.
Around noon, we left the parking lot and headed off to eat. I asked the boys what they wanted and we ended up at what I like to call "the sushi buffet". They have Chinese food as well, and some random americanized type things, and then they bring out sushi fresh and you can pick what you want from the options. Unfortunately, they were doing a lot of things coated in eel sauce and spicy mayo, so I stuck to the things I knew I liked.
I did pretty well at the buffet. I didn't overstuff myself. I did have some fried rice (they have some of the best around, hands down) and a few pieces of sweet & sour chicken (w/o the sauce) but I mostly had sushi and vegetable vermicelli noodles. I had about 2 bites of ice cream and a few bites of one of those little cake things and that was it.
(Chinese buffets are evil. Even when you're good, it's bad.)

After eating the boys and I went shopping. Got our puppy Champ a new kenel/bed as he had outgrown his old one. (This one is HUGE and I doubt he'll outgrow it ever!) Also got him a new stuffing free toy for free with my pet perks card. I tried on some jeans at CATO, and decided that since I now fit into 20s there (but snug), I refuse to buy anything there until I can wear an 18 (this may also have to do with the fact that I'm broker than broke right now *lol*). Went to the bookstore and got Ethan and I a few more books in the series we have been reading. And Ethan checked out some things at Dick's Sporting Goods where he had a $20 gift card but everything he wanted was at least double that. *lol*

Finally, even though I was exhuasted, I drove the boys up to the movie theatre. We had planned to see Mirror, Mirror but had missed our show time and didn't want to wait around for the next one. So, somehow, the boys talked me into going to see Hunger Games...again. (I'd already seen it, and didn't care for it all that much, but they hadn't seen it yet.) It was a great place to get a nap, I tell ya! Boys were occupied and the room was dark and I wasn't interested in what was happening, so *snore*. *lol* I slept through about half of it and felt much better after waking up.

I did eat a bit of popcorn and a small handful of Snocaps, but honestly, I thought I'd done pretty well.

Before heading home, I grabbed some water and a sweet tea (the tea was simply something to buy so they'd give me a cup of water and not a stupid bottle).

We got back to town and hit up the grocery store, where we picked up a few things for dinner Friday/Saturday. The boys talked me into a cookout (with hotdogs), and I got a bag of chicken for the week.

The only thing I "regret" on Friday was that I ate BOTH a Reese's PB Egg AND a Chocolate Covered Peep. I should've just picked one. Not sure what happened there.

Anyhow, while I thought I'd done pretty well considering (save the last thing), it meant a 13 pound boost on the scale and the loss (once again) of my sub-300 numbers.

So, yeah...that's what happened. And Saturday was much worse. But Sunday I was back on track.


One more week to get through and I'll have completed all of phase I. I can't quit now. Even though I'm exhausted and I have a LOT on my plate this week. I must get through it. I must pull through.

1) I think TOM has hit. This isn't exactly easy for me to tell since I'm on BC, but I feel super sluggish for no apparent reason.
2) I've been trying to quit smoking. So that's added some stress.
3) I have a presentation today...and I don't feel quite ready for it.
4) I have a big meeting tomorrow with my boss' boss and I'm hoping he understand that my numbers only LOOK bad because I've taken on all the crap no one else wanted to do and got it done.

Going to go try not to fall asleep while I go back through my PowerPoint presentation. *sigh* Wish me luck!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNER12COM 4/18/2012 1:02PM

    You may not have intended to write a motivational blog, but you did. We all can relate to the bad choices, the frustration, the giving up, and most importantly... the rallying back.

You're doing great!

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KKINNEA 4/16/2012 2:15PM

    Girl, you made it through and that is what's important! I'll send ya a SparkMail soon - we've got this last week in hand, I just know it!!

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SUGARSMOM2 4/16/2012 1:27PM

  Hey a great day with the children . they make a day special . I love spending time with my great grandsons . they say such cute things . I get to see life through their eyes . a wake up call for sure . Hang in there . all will come out in the wash . just kidding . It will fool you and you will have a hugh drop on the scales . a big plus .

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LOWFATFOODIE 4/16/2012 1:22PM

    Good job on re-Committing!!! Your efforts for the last THREE weeks are NOT wasted. As long as you don't stop, you'll just keep getting closer to your goals!

Go LiveFit! Glad to have you on the team!

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ERIN1128 4/16/2012 12:08PM

    Hang in there!

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RACHEL-SPARKS 4/16/2012 10:24AM

    I have been toying with the idea of having a spike day as well. From what you are saying it is not the best thing to do. It sounds like you have so much fun with your husband and boys. I love how you keep going and are not allowing the gain to get you down. Have a great week. Hope work goes well.

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BAYBELIEVER 4/16/2012 9:12AM

    Hang in there! I know you will but wanted to share those words of wisdom with you anyway! LOL! You had a great day with your boys and that is something beyond measure!!

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