Monday, February 11, 2013
I am thrilled with the results I had from the first week of this program. For those of you that don't know about this, it's a workout and meal plan system by Jillian Michaels from The Biggest Loser. It's a 90 day program, with 3 phases. Each phase is one month. For the first 2 weeks, you do workout 1 on Monday and Thursday, workout 2 on Tuesday and Friday, and cardio 1 on Wednesday and Saturday. It's working out 6 days a week, BUT they are short workouts. The cardio 1 dvd is a little under 30 minutes. After the 2 weeks, you move on to the dvds for week 3 & 4 and then you move on to the next month. The cardio 1 dvd is used for the whole first month.
For anyone that has done any of her dvds, you know they are not easy. The workout 1 and 2 dvds are a lot like the 30 day shred, where you do circuits of strength training exercises with cardio intervals. The cardio 1 dvd is 3 circuits of various cardio exercises that last a minute. With that said, these first dvds aren't that hard. I have done her dvds though, so I am used to the intensity.
I did the 7 day kickstart, which is optional. There are a few meals to choose from for each meal and snack, and that is all you're allowed for the week. I knew it would be hard to stick to, but I decided to give it a try since my weight has done nothing but fluctuate up and down 3 or 4 pounds for a couple months now. The kickstart meals are things like fish, salads (a lot of salad) nuts, greek yogurt, eggs, turkey and even steak. The calories add up to only about 1200 a day, which is like 3-400 less than I am used to eating. I wanted to do it exactly how she said, and I did, for the whole week. That first week you workout 2 times a day. That wasn't easy to know I'd have another workout to look forward to later on, but I forced myself to do it, figuring it was just one week.
The meals in the kickstart were foods I actually already eat a lot of, but you do get sick of eating the same stuff. One of the meals was a veggie soup which was really easy to make, and like 10 times better than canned soup. Most of the meals are pretty fast to make and I really enjoyed the food. You are only getting 1200 calories, but they are good sized portions.
In one week, I lost over 7 pounds. I couldn't believe it! I was sore after the first couple days of workouts and stiff in the morning, but now my body is used to it and I feel fine. I am continuing on, and I plan on loosely following the meal plan. It's hard to cook for a family and stick exactly to it, but I can make a lot of the things for myself, which I plan on doing. I can freeze meals for later.
If you're at a plateau, or just want to get in really good shape, this a is a great program. It's not cheap, over $100, but I think it's worth it for all you get. You the dvds for 3 months, a journal, the menu and the kickstart optional menu and instruction. Some come with a stretchy cable, but mine didn't, so I use one I have.
If you've never done a Jillian Michaels workout, you may not want to start with this program. It may discourage you if you have a hard time with push ups, lunges, squats, or any issues with your knees. A lot of it can be modified, but it's definitely not easy, and I would say not for people who are just starting out with fitness or who are very overweight.
I'm really excited about this program. I have less than 30 pounds to lose and I am hoping this will get me through it, since the workouts always change and they will get even harder as it goes on. I feel really good after each workout, like I worked really hard and got a great workout, but it doesn't take a ton of time.
I would say the kickstart would be hard for people who work full time, especially if you have a long commute or something, but it's one week, so if you can get yourself up a half hour earlier each day, you can do it. Also, I am usually not a fan of being on a strict or certain diet. I normally just try to eat a variety of healthy foods. However, it was said that if you stuck to this for one week, you would see results, and I did. So, it was completely worth it. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be either. I did miss fruit, and when I had an apple today I swear it was the best apple I have ever eaten! :)
I plan on sticking with this program and completing it. I will follow the meal plans somewhat, but still track my calories. Running is still important to me, so at least a couple days a week I will run, either in addition to the circuits, or in place of the cardio dvd. I will base it on how I am feeling, and if I feel energetic enough, I will do 2 workouts in a day.
Has anyone else done this program? What were your results? What did you think about it?
To see a few photos of some of the food I ate the first week, check out my personal blog at blogger.
Friday, February 01, 2013
but I am not happy with my body. I was going to say hate, but that's not the complete truth either. I know I am going to get a bunch of people telling me it doesn't matter, I look great, I'm healthy, etc. Even though I get all that, I am still disappointed--at this point--in how my body looks.
Now, I know I was big. I was over 300 pounds. I know that because I've been overweight or obese my whole life that I'll have extra skin. I knew that in the beginning, and I certainly do not expect to have a perfect body. Yes, I would rather have this extra skin than be as heavy as I was. Still...
What sucks is that I feel like I have worked so incredibly hard for almost 3 years, and I am STILL fat. No, I am not huge anymore, but I'm not small either. It's not even really my size that bothers me so much as how I am shaped. I am short and have big hips and I'll never be tiny, I don't expect to be. But my stomach. UGH It looks terrible. Everyone tells me I am exaggerating about how bad it is, but they aren't seeing it naked. Clothed, I don't feel like I look so bad, although some clothes accentuate the unevenness of it. It's hard to explain, but imagine I had 2 big tires around my middle that have now been greatly deflated. They hang, and not evenly. It's like layers of lumpy dough hanging off me. You can't even see my belly button because of how the top "tire" hangs over it. I can take the big piles of skin and stretch them way up. Because of my tires, it's hard to find clothes that fit well, and underwear. The pants will fit great in the legs but be too tight in the waist. Even if they aren't tight in the waist, my stomach still hangs over them, so I have a muffin top no matter what, unless I pull my pants up to my boobs.
Underneath my arms I have huge batwings. They look awful and I hate wearing short sleeves because of them. I am glad it's winter now. Not only does the skin hang, it has a weird, scarred appearance. I have awesome muscles too, and it's a shame that they aren't really noticeable.
I am happy with my legs from the knee down. They are very muscular from running, and my shin and ankle bones even stick out now, but my inner thighs have a bunch of loose skin that hangs. I have loose skin around where my boobs have shrunk, and on my back. It hangs over my bra no matter what kind of bra I get.
Why am I telling you all this? I don't know why really. To vent, I guess. I wish that people would understand how hard I've worked, and to know I will never even have an average looking body makes me sad. When I started out, health was my main goal. It still is, but I am healthy now. Every single one of my labs was perfect and my Dr said I am the picture of good health. So, now this last 30 some pounds is pure vanity, I suppose.
There is a part of me that can totally understand why people lose 100 or more pounds and gain it back. I've had those thoughts (briefly) myself. You work so hard and still don't feel like you look good, so you think, "What's the point? I have worked so hard and I'll still never be able to wear the clothes I want or feel happy with how I look. I still look abnormal."
I read a lot of weight loss blogs and I know of a lot of people who say their loose skin doesn't bother them. I wish I had their confidence. Maybe I am shallow, but it bothers me, and I feel I have the right not to like it. It's a constant reminder of where I was, and who I no longer am. Three years ago I never would have thought it would bother me this much, but it does. Never in my life have I felt confident in my appearance, and I really don't think I ever will. It's sad, but true.
Yes, I feel like I look better than I did 3 years ago. I know how much I have accomplished, and I am extremely proud of that. I know that I am a fit healthy person capable of doing much more physically than most of the people I know, but I don't feel my looks match how I am inside. People tell me I am an inspiration and I am flattered they think that. Everyone keeps telling me the skin will get better over time. I am sure it will improve, but I know it's not going to look normal. I've read and seen too many photos of people with similar issues. When you're overweight your whole life, it's different than someone who gains weight during a pregnancy and then loses it. My skin has been stretched out a lot longer.
I'm not trying to be a downer. I know not everyone who has lost weight has horrible skin, and they are lucky. I feel like mine looks terrible. It's like my new fit body is trapped inside an 85 year old woman's body, where things are hanging and sagging and wrinkled. It depresses me. That is just the truth and how I feel. I try hard every day not to let it bother me.
There have been times I thought about taking a picture, just so I could show people how bad it really is. But, I can't, at least not yet. It's too embarrassing, and I never get undressed in front of people, so to even show part of my body terrifies me.
Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get over this. I think it sucks insurance companies won't pay for skin removal surgeries a lot of the time. Everyone tells me I should say it's causing me all these problems. And, while it does sometimes give me chaffing or rashes (one I had to get antibiotics for), it's more painful emotionally than anything. I can endure physical pain much more than emotional pain. It's annoying to me having it hang when I am trying to work out and I have to wear tight clothes when I do run and stuff, because it's too painful when I don't.
There is really no point in this blog other than me just venting, and perhaps people who are going through something similar will be able to understand. It just sucks when you work your ass off, and still feel like it's not enough, and will never be enough.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Recently my husband and I ventured into the world of smartphones. We'd had our little flip phones for 6 years, and they were starting to malfunction, so when Best Buy had a sale before Christmas, we decided to check it out. Everyone has been telling us for the longest time we needed new phones, but we're very cheap about stuff like that and felt like we didn't really need them, so why spend the money.
We ended up getting the Samsung Galaxy S3 because for one day only you could get them for $50. It took me a few days to figure it out (I'm still learning...I'm not very good with gadgets). I really like being able to take a picture of something and share it online, and I like a couple of the games. I had a gift card I could use at the google store, so I got the Sparkpeople app, and I found this one called Zombies, Run!
I was intrigued by it, and it was only $3.99, so I got it. You tell the app how long your run will be (it has a 30 min option, or a 1 hour option) and if you want zombies to chase you. It says you can do this game whether you walk, jog, or run. You have a base camp, and you are a Runner. You have missions to complete and guys narrate what's going or what you're supposed to do. Along your run you "collect" items you find, which you distribute to your base camp when you're done.
The first time I played it, I wasn't sure how the zombie chase worked. I later read online that when they say there is a group nearby, you speed up faster than what your average pace was and you get away. The day I did a 30 minute run, and had 2 zombie chases, I was able to evade them both times. I am guessing they never actually catch you. The first time I played I guess I didn't speed up enough, and I "dropped" one of my supplies to distract them when they got close, and I evaded them other times.
You don't need to look at your phone at all till you're done. You set it up and hit start, and it narrates the story. You can pause your "mission" if you need to. Before you run, you can set up a playlist of your music, and choose it at the beginning. Between them talking to you and saying stuff like, "There is a medical kit that was dropped in that tree, see if you can get it," they play your music for you. It's broadcast over their "radio" and when the mission is done, it's like you're listening to a radio show. As you are running and hearing your music, a voice will come saying, "You found some bullets" or "You found a sports bra."
Once you get home, or check your phone after the run, you go to the screen where your camp is. The more supplies you help get, the more your base camp grows. I had 80 some people there, and now there are over 100. I've only done 5 missions, so I am excited to see what happens as it goes on.
If you're into walking or running outside, I think it's a great app to get. During the zombie chases, you can hear them, and it's kind of freaky. It motivates you to speed up. The narrators of the storyline are British too, and I like hearing them talk. :)
If any of you have tried this, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Check out my latest blog at The Singing Bird. I got a PR!
Thursday, January 17, 2013
This next blog is about something that almost all of us do and it hinders our progress in whatever it is that we're trying to accomplish. I first read about it in a book that a therapist recommended to me (Yes, I've been in therapy, and it wasn't until years later that I actually lost weight). It's also in other dieting books, and when I first found Sparkpeople and read The Spark, it was in there, too.
So, the scenario here is you're doing well with your eating and exercising. You've lost a few pounds and are feeling good. Then you go out to dinner one night and eat one too many breadsticks, and now you've gone over your calories for the day. You feel bad about it and then start thinking, "I've blown it. I will never lose weight. I can't do this. I can't even go out to eat without overeating. I might as well give up. I suck." So, then you go home and eat whatever else you can get your hands on, figuring you're a lost cause. This sounds so ridiculous when you think about it, but seriously, haven't you done this? I know I did, for years. I would do great for up to a month or more, have a bad day, and give up. This is All or Nothing Thinking, and it's destructive, whether in regards to weight loss, or anything in your life.
Somehow I had it twisted in my head that it didn't count unless I was perfect. So, when I screwed up once, I felt like I had automatically failed. It was an excuse to give up, a self-fulfilling prophecy. I had believed my whole life (without ever really admitting it out loud) that I'd always been a fat person, and I should probably just get used to the idea of being fat.
To a person without a weight problem, this probably sounds nuts. The rational thing when you have a setback is to just move on, but we don't often do that. Not giving up and falling into this destructive pattern is why I have lost so much weight and kept it off without having large gains. When I had a bad day I didn't give up. I knew my bad feelings would pass and even if they didn't, I made myself work out and realized that one bad day won't ruin everything, unless I let it. Any time I got sick or something came up that could derail me, I thought about how I would get back on track, and I did it. You have to stop allowing yourself to fail, just so you can say, "See, I couldn't do it."
This is not easy to do, but this is where support comes in. When I am feeling like this, like I can't possibly do this for one more damn day, I realize it's just a bad day. I log on to Sparkpeople and talk about how I am feeling, or talk to a friend, and it helps me get through.
People seem to think that in order to lose 100 pounds you must never have slipped up, that you've got it all figured out and you have some sort of super will power. This is not the case. Of course along the way I have had to be strong, but I have made PLENTY of mistakes. The difference between me now and me years ago is that I do not give up. I will not allow myself to give up. This doesn't mean I don't have a bad day where I decide to skip working out or overeat. I am not perfect and once you realize that you don't need to be, this really does get easier. Just life your life and make it a point to make as many healthy changes as you can and then you will get results.
I remember back to when I wasn't fit. The beginning was hard, but I was determined to not give up. I would try to do things, like jumping jacks, and it would upset me when I couldn't. I could only do about 4 or 5 because I literally felt like my ankles would buckle and my legs would collapse. The old me would have given up, thinking it was too hard, that I'd never be able to do it, so why bother. I finally decided to just keep trying, even if it took years, and I would be able to do them. Now I can do dozens of them. I remember falling on my face trying to do a push up once because my arms gave out. I decided that one day I WOULD do a push up, and not only can I do them, I can do full on military push ups. I thought I'd never be able to run a mile, and I've run a half marathon. I ran for over 2 hours and I didn't stop. I am able to do these things because simply put, I kept doing them.
ďIíve missed over 9,000 shots in my career. Iíve lost almost 300 games. 26 times Iíve been trusted to take the game-winning shotÖand missed. Iíve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.Ē ~ Michael Jordan
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