NORTHERNDIETER's Recent Blog Entries

8th Week on SparkPeople

Monday, March 09, 2009

Well, in the eight weeks I've been on SparkPeople, I've lost 12 pounds and 3 inches off my hips. I'm averaging a 1.5 pound per week loss. I can live with that! It gets frustrating because it seems to come off so slow and I have such a long way to go. That and my clothes all fit the same. I haven't lost any sizes yet. But, I'll keep plugging away. This time is going to go by no matter what I do and I'd rather look back in six months having accomplished my weight loss goals than not. So, I'll keep up with the exercise and the calorie restricted diet!

Last week, I began an interval training program that I developed myself. I put in my WATP 4-mile walk dvd and follow the dvd for the first 10 minutes (the warm up). After the first 10 minutes, I break away from the dvd and begin my interval training. I do one minute of high intensity cardio followed by one minute of low intensity and I repeat this cycle for 50-60 minutes. I also follow the dvd for the last 10 minutes for cool down and stretching. I love this workout! For the high intensity, I do jumping oblique twists, jumping jacks, jump rope, butt kicks with punches, and squats with punches. For the low intensity, I march in place and pump my arms. It works out great because I pace myself using the music from the WATP dvd. I feel great doing the workout and it's very challenging. The down side is that my lower legs are killing me. My calves and the sides of my lower legs. They hurt so much that I took yesterday off AND today off from doing any cardio. I just hope that I haven't injured myself because I love this workout.

Today was my 11th day doing The Shred and my first day doing level 2. So far, I like level 1 better. Level two has a lot of planks and even more lunges. Of course, I had to follow the easy instructions to do the dvd and, even then, I couldn't do all of the reps. However, I am capable of doing all of the cardio reps. I'll keep with it and will, hopefully, get better.

My goal for this week is to do a minimum of 50 minutes of cardio for 5 days and continue with level two of The Shred. I'll also continue with my upper body strength training.


7th Week on SparkPeople

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Well, this is my 7th week on SparkPeople. I was able to accomplish most of the goals I set for myself last week. I could not, however, complete the lunge/squat daily challanges. They were just too tough on my knees and legs. Instead, I just stuck with my Shred and WATP dvd's.

I read some great fitness articles on SparkPeople this week and am applying what I've learned in the articles to my fitness routines. First, I read several articles about Interval training and how effective interval training is for weightloss. I've turned my WATP's dvd into interval training and I love it! I warm up with the dvd and after 5-10 minutes I start my interval training. Today, I did one minute high intensity (either jumping jacks, jump rope, squat punches, butt kicks) followed by one minute low intensity (marching in place) and repeated for 40 minutes. Then, I resumed following the dvd and did the cool down and the stretching with the dvd. I'm looking forward to mixing it up. There are several ways you can structure your interval workouts - - 1 minute high intensity/1 minute low intensity, 2 mintue high/2 minute low, etc.

Today, I also completed my 9th day of doing The Shred dvd. I still can't completely finish all of the push ups and in the first segment I have to pause the dvd to catch my breath. Also, I cannot complete all of the forward lunges. I am, however, able to complete all of the other exercises and I can keep pace with the rest of the dvd after the first segment. I have one more day on level one and then I'm going to try level two! We'll see how that goes . . .

The other article I read on SparkPeople that was of interest talked about how many minutes of cardio were necessary daily/weekly to lose weight. The article stated obese and overweight people really need about 50 minutes of moderate cardio 5 day per week to really reap the weightloss rewards. That's a MINIMUM of 50 minutes per day (250 minutes per week). The article went on to say that you would greatly improve weightloss if you were to get more than the minimum 250 minutes per week.

So, my goals for this week are to do moderate cardio for a MINIMUM of 250 minutes per week (50 minutes per day), and to make my daily cardio interval training. I will also attempt level two of The Shred dvd and see how that goes. In addition, I will continue with my strength training 3 times per week.

Interval Training

How Much Exercise Do You Really Need To Lose Weight . . .

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAHTRESSA 3/3/2009 9:18PM

    Good luck with Level 2 of the Shred.....some of it is easier than Level 1, and others more difficult.....get to love the plank position!

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6th Week on SparkPeople

Monday, February 23, 2009

Well, I'm starting my sixth week on SparkPeople. Last week was a bust for diet and exercise because I came down with Strep Throat. I came down with it on Monday and was out of commission through Friday. I haven't had Strep Throat since I was a kid and, let me tell you, it's much worse having it as an adult! Anyway, I survived and am hoping to get back on track this week with my fitness and diet.

My fitness goals for this week are to continue with the Walk Away The Pounds DVD and The Shred DVD. To shake things up a bit, I'm also going to add in 2 sets of 15 forward lunges, 2 sets of 15 back lunges, and 2 sets of 15 squats as everyday challanges.

My diet goals are to consume 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, get 30-40 grams of fiber per day, take my calcium and multivitamin everyday, and drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday. I'm also adding in that I need to finish my course of penicillin.


Fourth Week Update

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Well, this is my fourth week on SparkPeople. I've had a lot of fun with the nutrition tracker. Last week I discovered that I was low on my daily calcium and iron intake. I fixed that by adding a daily calcium chew and a daily multi vitamin. I love the calcium chew. It's chocolate and makes me feel like I'm getting a 'treat' during the day. This week, I expanded my nutrition tracking to include fiber. I thought for sure that I was getting enough fiber every day because I eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. Well, thanks to the nutrition tracker, I discovered that I was mistaken. I was only getting about 15 - 20 grams of fiber per day and I should be between 30-40. I made some adjustments to my diet and have successfully ingested at least 30 grams of fiber every day this week. I discovered that not all fruits and vegetables are created equal when it comes to fiber! Raspberries and peas are fiber powerhouses! I also bought some flax seed meal and have added that to smoothies and salads. I've had a lot of fun adjusting and tweaking my diet. I have to say I find the diet end of the program to be the most fun.

As for the exercise end of things . . . whew! I am still sticking with my Leslie Sansone Walk Away The Pounds DVD. I do the 3-mile walk holding onto 2 1/2 lb hand weights and that keeps it challenging for me. I keep the 4-mile challenging by doing sprints when she takes steps and adding in jumps. My new addition this week is Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred. Holy Cow, is that ever hard! I did the workout Tuesday and Wednesday and my legs were so sore today that I took the day off from exercising. My endurance during the cardio portion is fine. I struggle during the strength training (squats & lunges are the worst!). From everything I've heard, if you stick with it, you will quickly notice improvements in strength and endurance. So, I'm excited to continue with the Shred and see improvements in my performance.

As for any weight loss to report, I'd still have to say no. My clothes are all fitting the same, not any looser yet. The scale really isn't budging yet, either. I have noticed that my face is thinner especially around my jaw line and my cheek bones. That's about it. I'm not as discouraged as I was last week. I keep telling myself that this is a new way of life and if I keep at it the 'reward' of weight loss will come, eventually. Plus, it feels great knowing that I am giving my body the nutrients it needs on a daily basis. Plus, you don't get as sore as I am today without something positive happening to your muscles! It's just a matter of time before I see any visible results.

There could be two contributing reasons that I'm not losing much weight. The first is that I'm just barely meeting my daily calorie requirements. I'm not supposed to go below 1200 calories and I come in 100 to 200 calories under almost every day. I've just been so nervous that I'd go over that I am really careful during my meals and I've just come up short. My other problem is that if I find a food that I like, I tend to have it everyday. So, for the past few weeks, I've had smoothies for breakfast and salads for lunch. Granted, I mix it up by putting different fruit in the smoothies and different vegetables in the salad every day, but it still may not be enough variety. So, my goal is to try to add more variety to my diet. I started that today and mixed it up by having an egg on double fiber toast with a pear for breakfast. I still had a salad for lunch, but I did add in lean pork. I'll keep at it and I'm confident I'll get the hang of it.

I'd have to say that the biggest improvement I have over last week is that I'm optimistic. I KNOW that what I'm doing is good for my body, mind and spirit. I KNOW that if I keep at it, I will see positive results.

My hope for my next week blog entry is that I'll be able to report that I've been able to add variety to my diet. My biggest hope for next week is that I'll be able to report that I have improved with my strength and endurance with The Shred. I'd love to report that I've been doing it every day and am not as sore!!! emoticon

Until next week . . .


Third Week update - slowly plugging away

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

This is my third blog entry. I'm trying to make an entry about once a week. At this point, I've become pretty comfortable with my daily food choices and options. I don't miss high-calorie, high-fat foods. I've found that I am enjoying hunting for low-calorie, low-fat recipes. I created a cookbook on that I've filled with healthy recipes. Knowing that I have that, it's made grocery shopping and meal planning easier. I also started taking a daily multi-vitamin and calcium because, thanks to sparks nutrition tracker, I noticed I wasn't getting my daily allowance of iron or calcium. I've also been enjoying more fruits and vegetables everyday. Yesterday, I had 8 servings of fruits/vegetables for the day, a personal record! So, I'm happy with the "diet" end of things.

As for the exercise, I'm plugging away. I'm still doing the Leslie Sansone Walk Away The Pounds DVD. I alternate between her 3 and 4 mile walks. The 3 mile is getting really easy for me. I'm thinking of trying to do it with hand weights to make it more challenging. I can make the 4 mile challenging by adding jumps and jogs throughout the workout. I'm still on the lookout for a more challenging DVD, but haven't bought one yet. I also bought The Firm core solutions DVD. It has three separate 10 minute 'core' workouts. It's very challenging for me. In fact, it's so hard for me to do that I feel discouraged and that does not invigorate or motivate me. It makes me feel defeated. I'll keep at it and, hopefully, will see improvements.

As for weight loss that's hard to say. The scale fluctuates throughout the day/week and I find that terribly frustrating. It can be up to 6 pounds heavier in the afternoon or evening so how do I know what I actually weigh? Over the last three weeks, the scale doesn't swing as high as it did but it isn't swinging any lower, either. If I had to guess, I'd say that I've lost about three pounds over the last three weeks. For as hard as I'm working and the drastic change in my diet, that's frustrating. I FEEL like I should have lost 10 pounds by now.

I have noticed that my face, around my jaw line, looks leaner. As for any other visible improvements on my body, that's the only one to report. Other than that, my clothes all fit the same and there haven't been any other noticeable changes. Again, I'm a bit discouraged by that. I finally took my neck, hip and waist measurements and recorded those on spark. I'll revisit those in a couple of weeks or a month and, hopefully, I'll see some progress there.

So, that's where I am right now. I'll keep plugging away . . .


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