Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Weight Loss Wednesday - Boot Camp Week 1

I'm broken.  I'm writing as I'm getting to go in for day 3 of 5 this week and I'm already broken.  I shudder to think what would've happened to me if I hadn't started working out a month ago!  Most of the people doing this have done it many times and are within their correct body weight ranges, which of course, makes me feel horribly inferior.  They are sweating and puffing as much as I am - the difference is that they are completing each set of exercises.  I'm not.  I would be in the hospital if I tried to keep up.  What have they done to me so far?

Day 1 Strength
5 Stations - 5 minutes each, 3 exercises each, 50 reps each exercise.
So this was not on machines, but rather these hideous moves like Mountain Climbers and Burpees, planks and sprints, and all sorts of jumping around and using things like kettle bells and rubber tubes.
Very sweaty and not so bad until I woke up the next morning and couldn't move well.

Day 2 Conditioning
6 Stations - 2 exercises each, 45 seconds spent on each one - twice
This was supposed to be the light day, I was told.  Bah!  Jumping jacks, push ups, reverse lifts and lunges, etc.  More sweat and a quickly deteriorating knee last night.  I think I've already made the decision to not go to Thursday's class, because I'm worried about my knee.  We'll see how I feel after Day 3's workout.

Day 3 Strength
6 stations - 1 exercise, 50 seconds, 10 second rest to move to the next station - 4 rounds
Oh sweet blessed relief!  It was arms day!  Okay, yes I still sweat like a pig, and was shaking from the effort; but at least my knee was spared.  We did rows, lifts, plank rows, and other nifty things involving weights and bands.  I was silently cursing - others were grunting out loud with each exertion.  Sweat was flying everywhere - quite nasty if you ask me.  BUT, I did it!  And since my knee got a reprieve, I will go tomorrow night.

P.S. They have a scale there.  I didn't get on it - I'm a little frightened.  Maybe I'll do it next week.  Blaise says I look like I should be losing 1 pound a day from all the sweat that comes off me.  Wouldn't that be nice?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Foodie: A Typical Day of Organics

In today's Friday Foodie, I thought I'd share with you a typical day in my diet.  Now, when I use the word "diet", I don't mean that I'm on some menu trying to lose weight or even counting calories.  I'm just letting you know what a food day is like for me.  I'm choosing yesterday's meals because it was a particularly busy day and I didn't feel like cooking.  I'm sure many people can relate to that!

After workout and shower, I had a 20 oz. glass of water and 2 hard boiled eggs with salt.  I find that I really crave proteins only after my workout.  Just that little bit fills me up until lunchtime.  The days that I ignore my protein craving and have cereal instead, I'm usually ready for a snack 2 hours later.

3.5 hours later, it's lunch time.  I made a salad with green and red leaf organic lettuce (never use iceberg - it has no nutrients; it's just a ball of crunchy water), black olives, dried cranberries, bacon bits, organic tomatoes, shredded colby jack, and sliced chicken I had grilled the night before.  Quick, easy, and no heat necessary!  I had blue cheese dressing - not light, just regular yummy blue cheese dressing :)

3 hours later, got home from school and the kiddies were screaming for smoothies.  Why not?  I used frozen blueberries, 100% Juice Cherry Pomegranate juice (for extra vitamins!), and raspberry sherbet.  Delish and filling!

3 hours later, chicken sausage cooked and crumbled, sauteed onions over hash browns (potatoes run through my salad shooter) and a side of scrambled organic eggs with cheese.

2 hours later, 2 handfuls of baked Cheese Nips while watching Eureka.

At some point during the day, I had about 4 other glasses of water, 1 glass of iced tea, and half a glass of grape Fanta.  I try not to fight my cravings - that just makes them spiral out of control.  I'm not an emotional eater, so I usually only eat when I'm hungry.  I try to make sure that my portions are within recommended guidelines, but that doesn't always work - most of the time it does though.  I just can't put off eating until I'm starving because that's when I eat waaayyyy too much.

So that's it :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Weight Loss Wednesday - Baby Steps

Well, I'm actually amazed that I've made it this far. Usually, I would've given up by now, since I hate sweating and I'm tired from the one million things I have to do. So Yay me! Small victory - I'm still working out 4 or 5 mornings a week. On Mon/Wed/Fri, I usually go for the 45 - 60 minute workout, Pilates, Yoga, or some Core strength routine. Tues/Thurs (I have school classes at 10am) I do 25-30 minute cardio - jump around, dance/sculpt. Comcast has a variety of workouts in the On Demand section, and they vary every 3-4 weeks. I also found that ExerciseTV has a few free downloadable workout plans. You can more if you buy a subscription, but the free ones correspond to the On Demand workouts, so it takes the guesswork out of it. I have one that I want to start, but I'm waiting.

Back in October, I had bought a Groupon deal for one of my local gyms - 3 week Express Bootcamp. They were completely overwhelmed by the number of deals bought and are just now getting to me. My Bootcamp starts on Monday, 6/27. I figure that will kick my butt pretty fiercely, so ExerciseTV can wait a month. I'm actually a little scared about this bootcamp. They SAY all fitness levels, but I don't believe that. So I'm really glad that I've already been working out for a month, because this blog might've been coming to you from the hospital.

So you want to know how I'm progressing?

Start:                                    6/20:                                 Change:
Bust 43.5"                            43"                                          - .5"
Waist 41.5"                          40"                                         -1.5"
Hips 49"                               47.25                                    -1.75"
Arm 15"                             14.75                                        - .25"
I think I'm ready to go down one size in underwear, but I'm gonna hold out a little while longer :) Wanted to share a little tidbit with you - I read somewhere on the web a couple of years ago that if you stick with your workout during PMS week, you actually lose 30% more fat that week than any other week of the month. Don't remember where I saw that, but I'm going with it.

So there it is, I'll give you more stats AFTER the Bootcamp (provided I'm not writing from the hospital!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Weight Loss Wednesday - No Pain, No Loss

Oh! Dear lord, please save me from sweat! I hate sweating; it's so un-ladylike! Also, please save me from the boredom of DVD workouts. I have 3. How many times can I rotate them to make them interesting and useful. Here's a little tidbit for you Weight Loss Warriors, doing the same workout day after day results in less.... results. That's right. If you walk every day, your body becomes used to the movements and the movements become less effective as a weight loss mechanism. How do you know? You're not sore.

Remember that addage, "No pain, no gain." It's actually true. When you've done the first workout, you are sore the next day. When you've done the same workout day after day, you're not sore the next day any more. Why? Muscle memory.

Oh save me from muscle memory! You have to vary the workout type, and be sore. If you're not sore twice a week, it's not working anymore to the efficiency that it first was. So you are now asking this Weight Loss Warrior what she's doing now.

On May 18th, I turned on my streaming Netflix (to my Roku player - see my Cutting the Cable series) on to a Crunch Pilates series video. It kicked my ass - my 185 lb ass, that hasn't exercised in at least 3 years. I was sore the next day, and worse - the day after that. We had a family trip so I couldn't exercise again until the next week - excuse I know, but I don't have spousal support in this endeavor, so I have to work out when he's not around. So lesson to you, do what you have to do when nobody's looking if you don't have support. Hold yourself accountable to supportive friends or the general public (like I've suckered you into).

So week 2 entailed the same workout and I was sore the next day, but not so much. Changed it up on day 2, definitely sore the next day. So I took that day off. I started up again the next week on Monday. I did a different Pilates video, but didn't feel as sore - see how quickly the body adjusts. Went back to the first video on Tuesday - I know, I was just testing - call it the scientist in me. I took Wednesday off. Then on Thursday did a 3rd different Pilates video - a tiny bit sore. On Friday, I did a cardio dance video. I was slightly sore after that, which meant I would feel it the next day. Progress. Ugh! The price to be a goddess.

So my pattern will have to change daily, because I cannot afford days that I'm not sore. I only have a finite amount of time. School, and the hectic schedule that goes along with it, starts again in August.

I'll let you know next week how my inch stats are doing.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Foodie: Organics on a Tight Budget

So you want to start buying organic and farm fresh food, but you're on a tight budget. Let's face it, the convenient organic foods sold at your local grocery store are typically much higher in cost than their preservative and chemical filled counterparts. This falls into one of my many conspiracy theories to keep the little and middle people down, but we won't go there right now. If you bought all organic products at your local store, it is likely that your weekly grocery bill would increase significantly - possibly by as much as 50% in some areas.

What's a poor girl to do? There are a few ways to incorporate more organics into your diet without breaking the bank. Here are a few:
Farmer's Markets: There are farmer's markets everywhere. Some even travel to a location near you! If you have no idea where to find your local market, just check out Local Harvest and Eat Wild. By entering your zip code, you can find what's available near you. If you are in Virginia or Montana, you can also take a look at Lulu's Local Food. They connect farms within a region with a customer base through online ordering. Your order (which may have items from several different farms) is picked up and delivered to one of several nearby central drop-off points. How's that for convenience!
Join a CSA: CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a wonderful way to begin your organic adventure! Through a search on Local Harvest, you may find that there are farms in your area (within a 30-mile radius) that are looking for loyal customers. You purchase a seasonal subscription, maybe $300-$500 for a six-month time period, usually payable in installments. That money is then held in an account in your name for you to draw upon at a local drop off point. For example, week 1 I go to the drop-off point, do a little browsing, fill up a basket, go to checkout, and (since I have a big family) $30 is deducted from my account. I've bought enough produce for a couple of weeks, so I don't need to go during week 2, and that's just fine - no penalty or lost money. Each CSA is run differently, so you'll have to check with the various ones in your area to see which one is right for you. The good news is that the pricing for produce is typically the same as or slightly less than what you are paying for non-organics in the grocery store. Your money stays local (helping the local economy); you are keeping a farmer gainfully employed doing what he loves so he doesn't have to convert his farm into an ethanol field to get government subsidies; and, you know where your food has been (many times the farmers have family parties at the farm or ask for volunteer harvest help) and that it was grown without chemicals and has not been irradiated for preservation. This is win-win-win.
Stock up: When organic dry goods or frozen foods in your grocery store go on sale, stock up. It does happen - look for it.
Read labels: If you can't buy pre-packaged organic foods, or your budget is especially tight this week. Read the labels carefully of the non-organic selections. The Kroger/Fry's family of supermarkets offers their Private Selection store brand for very reasonable pricing and many times doesn't contain some of the big no-no's. Try to avoid: high fructose corn syrup, monosodiumglutimate, carrageenan, partially hydrogenated anything, and any words that have 4+ syllables that you can't pronounce.

One important fact that you must wrap your head around, and I know it will be difficult, is that foods advertised as low fat, non fat, or diet foods will be filled with all the no-no's. I know you've been told for the last 30 years that this is the way to be healthy and lose weight. It's a lie. The human body is meant to easily process animal (butter, cream, bacon) and plant (vegetable, canola, peanut oils) fats. As a matter of fact, animal fats work in harmony with certain vegetables to bring more of their nutritional values to your blood stream. This means that bacon and spinach were meant to go together - that's why they taste so good together! The animal fat helps your body extract and keep more of the vitamin A from the spinach - it's the same with broccoli and cheese (not low or non fat).

That's enough for today, we'll talk more later. I know that's a lot for you to digest :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Weight Loss Wednesday - Changing the Essentials

Okay, so this really is Part III in my series, but I'm not going to keep numbering them since these are likely to go on forever, so I'll try to subtitle them with a relevant subject pertinent to my ongoing journey. I last left you with meeting my friend Jenny, who gave me a book to read. That book was "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral" by Barbara Kingsolver. I have already posted on this blog about the impact that this book made on my life. I immediately went out and began buying local farm foods and whatever organic products I could find at a reasonable price (for a one-income family of 6).

I've always been a cook-from-scratch girl, so it wasn't too much of a switch for me - only ingredient-wise. I've always spent an hour cooking dinner, thinking about what I'm going to make right after breakfast. As I was making this food source change for my family, my children were at the ages of 12, 9, 6, and 3. I was very happy that they all embraced it well. We began buying pasture-raised meat, and joined a CSA. We started a home garden in our very regulated sub-division.

At this point in my constant weight loss journey, I just became concerned with eating locally and healthfully. My brother-in-law told me about Dr. Douglass' website and I started reading that and putting together what I knew about how people ate in pre-industrial times. It all began to make sense. Eliminate the preserved, enriched, and chemical additive foods, and simply make whatever you want from wholesome, fresh ingredients. "What does that mean?", you ask. That means that low-fat margarine is so much worse for you than real butter ever would be. I'll get into those things in future posts, so don't go away :)

Anyway, back to the present, it's been about 3 years since I went strictly natural, organic with my food ingredients. During that time, I have actually gotten so busy with homeschooling, teaching classes for the outside world, and managing my online dress shop that exercising has become a non-existent factor in my life. So what do I weigh now?

185 lbs.

Not perfect, by any stretch. I'm still 5'4", although those heels in the picture make me 5'8" - heehee! However, I hadn't stepped on a scale in over 3 years because it's my enemy and I get obsessed with it. My scale doesn't even have working batteries. I used my mom's scale last month while visiting for a museum trip. I was stunned! I was fully expecting 210lbs since I don't exercise. I don't eat less, I just eat food that I know where it's been, where it was grown, how it was grown, and what I did with it once it got to me.

So now that my hectic school schedule is over for now, I'm on the exercise bandwagon. I want to be 165 lbs or less. I'm actually more concerned with inch loss than a number on the scale - especially because I'll have to go use a scale at a store to check it. I began exercising on May 17th, but only did one day that week because I forgot hubby took the next 2 days off work. I don't exercise when he's home - I feel self-conscious and he makes the occasional failure type of comment. But that probably worked out okay, because I sort of eased into it. Starting stats:
Bust: 43.5"
Waist: 41.5"
Hips: 49"
Arms: 15"

Ask me how I'm doing beyond the posts I'm going to make. I won't lie to you. If you know me personally, you know I'm brutally honest, even with myself. This is my constant struggle - weight loss. The one thing in my life I don't do well but I'm not afraid to try. Let me know I'm not alone, comment with your failures and successes. If a friend of yours is going through this same struggle, invite them to read along and comment on what works for them.

And by the way, I want everyone to know, that I truly believe beauty comes in all sizes. I love making dresses for plus-sized women because I think the world thinks we should all be in muu-muus. We have a sense of fashion and want to show off our assets - and yes, everyone has a least one. Stay tuned, walk with me, I promise it won't be all bliss :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Weight Loss Woes - Part II

I maintained that steady 175lbs for the next 3 years and became pregnant with my second son. Yes, I was paranoid about more weight gain, so I was diligently counting every morsel that went into my mouth. I delivered an 8 lb 2 oz boy with only a 15lb weight gain. I was thrilled - on both counts! But that still left me at 175-180lbs.

About that time I heard about the Atkins diet, no carbs, ketones, etc. I thought that since the low-fat, calorie counting way wasn't making any difference, I would try that. I met a lady who provided weekly check-ins - check the food diary, step on the scale, here have a B6/B12 shot, pee on the ketone stick please. I did that for almost a year and lost 40 lbs. Ecstatic, yes, miserable, definitely. I'm married to a meat and potatoes guy. I can't tell you how many times I had to hear that I was punishing him by not making carbs with dinner, and just because I needed to diet, he shouldn't have to do without. So, yes, then I started making the mashed potatoes, rice, noodles, and not eating it. It sucked. But I was thin! Oh, and guess what, I was pregnant again.

Ketone lady worked with me during that pregnancy to make sure I didn't gain tremendous amounts of weight. I was walking 3 miles a day at 5am because we lived in Phoenix, and in the summer (March to November) that's the coolest part of the day - at 95-103 degrees. So I delivered a healthy 6lb 4oz girl one month early, but dang! I was only 155lbs when I walked out of the hospital. I managed to stay at that weight for another 2 years.

Then we moved. Cross country. AZ to VA. And I kept my job, which meant I was working from home. No more gym, new area, and life was just managing fires. 3 kids, an ailing parent-in-law, job stress, looking for a new job... Started a new job one year later (in an office) at 175lbs again. 3 months into that job, oh yes you guessed it, I was pregnant again. I had stopped that whole Atkins thing when we moved, since I couldn't bring Ketone Lady with me. I did start walking with a neighbor - a couple of miles a couple of times a week. Obviously that wasn't doing the trick since I put on 20 lbs within a year of my arrival.

So, I walked into the hospital on December 20, 2002 weighing in at 225 lbs and delivered an 8lb 6oz boy 7 hours later. 3 months after the birth, I was a steady 195-205 lbs. Here's a picture of me in December 2005 at about 205 lbs.

That was also the year I quit my very good Human Resources Manager job to homeschool my oldest (6th grade). Many changes that year, some good, some bad. Loss of more than half the family income - bad. Homeschooling my child and connecting in a way I never thought possible - priceless. Weight gain - bad. Spending amazing time with my toddler - excellent. Redefining myself and becoming more than I even thought I was capable - nothing short of amazing. Did I say weight gain - bad?

Then I met my friend Jenny through a knitting class I was teaching for homeschoolers. She told me to read a book. And like anything else, when I tell someone I'm going to do something, I do. That book changed my life!

Stay tuned....

Total Pageviews

Visit Callidora's

Put even the plainest woman into a beautiful dress and unconsciously she will try to live up to it. - Lady Duff-Gordon

Please visit my online shop, Callidora's, for clothing and accessories. I'm adding new items all the time and I'm always happy to do custom work in any price range. You can email me with any requests and we can create your unique, handmade item together.

Nature &; Community from Mother Earth News