What's with the name?

What's with the name? In my mid-twenties, I had essentially gone through one kind of life and am starting to enter another. The people that are probably going to read this blog know exactly what I'm talking about - but for those who don't know, here's a brief rundown . Cheers to Chapter 2! A journey in health in many ways, and to be the best version of myself I can possibly be. I am also a blogger for GreenMommas.com. This is my blog.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Recap [Month 7] : Effort = Reward

September [Month 7] Progress

 -6lbs / -48 total

I'm playing catch up - figure I might as well combine my last two weeks and end of month post in one, long post. Here it is.

I've always been raised to believe that you can literally do anything if you put your mind to it. If you try really hard and focus on what you're doing, you'll get what you seek in time. I believe that still to this day and it's something I'm trying to teach my five year old.

So naturally, I wanted to apply this to my fitness routine, starting last week. I know some of you are probably thinking 'aren't you trying hard enough already' to which I reply 'I can always do better'! Pushing boundaries was my game plan this week, in any way I could. My muscles haven't been sore for a long time and my calorie burn for workouts was dropping as my body was getting used to what I was doing. Last Tuesday, I shocked it by upping my weights in nearly all of the bodypump 'tracks'. Let me explain a little bit about bodypump. You use a bar and add weights on to it to do different music tracks. There is a track for each muscle group - legs (squat track), chest, bicep, tricep, abs and a lunge track (more legs!). There are three sizes of circular weights to add on to the bar : small (1kg), medium (2.5kg) and large (5kg). From where I started over six months ago, I have nearly doubled (or more than doubled) my weight on each track. Probably the cooler thing (at least for me) is I am out-lifting most of the boys in the class, and in some cases the instructor! I added on a little more weight, this week and last and it seems to really be helping my calorie burn in all classes. Because it's always in the back of my head if I don't keep upping the anti, I'll never get to where I want to. Here is a quick video of the latest bodypump class [82]:

Now I have probably about twice the weight for most tracks as the instructors in the video do. And that makes me feel powerful! BTW this is not the class here, but I want to know where I can do bodypump with the club lighting they have going on there.

Also, my son was resting on my shoulder this last weekend and said "mommy, your arms are big!". So naturally I asked "what do you mean buddy, like big and squishy". My lovely child replies "no, there is a big hard bump here" [points to my tricep]. I had to feel it myself, and it's in there - a strong and wonderful muscle waiting to be revealed as I keep losing weight.

Workout last week :

Monday : Spin & Sculpt = 483 calories

Tuesday : Bodypump = 501 calories

Wednesday : Spin & Sculpt = 501 calories

Thursday : 2.8 mile walk = 330 calories

Saturday : Short Pinterest strength workout = 200 calories (for 30 min)

Workout this week : 

Tuesday : Bodypump = 525 calories

Wednesday : Spin & Sculpt = 480 calories

This week I tried to give myself an off week. I really tried hard given advice from some of my instructors. When you're training, you're supposed to give yourself a rest week to let your body and muscles recover, ideally you should do this every 8 weeks or so. Considering it's been 30 weeks with no break really for me (actually maybe one in June when we went to the Cape) I figured it was time for another one. I hadn't actually planned for a rest week, the crap weather and crazy week at work allowed me to take the week off. It was hard not working out, and I won't lie I feel like a blob right now. I realize that it's only been three days since I've worked out, but I don't like how I feel right now. Although on the bright side, I feel pretty rested. I got to sleep in Friday, and honestly spent a good portion of Saturday in bed catching up on Netflix, hoping the overcast and rain would clear so I could do something, ANYTHING active. But it didn't, so I didn't. I know I needed this break, but I'm ready to dive in and make a plan for next week. I've signed up for cardio kickboxing on Thurday instead of letting it be my day off. When I lost weight in highschool I absolutely loved kickboxing. Now that it's offered at work, I'm really thrilled to try it again.

It's the end of month 7 and I've lost 6 lbs this month. I think that is pretty good given I took a rest week and I upped my weights in bodypump the last two weeks (muscle weighs more than fat). Taking out the measuring tape, I lost 2.5" off my waist this month [!!!] and another inch off my hips. Man, wish I had been doing measurements all along.

Wow. Down 48lbs total. Which means next month will be the 50lb mark. I'm almost half way there. Here's how that looks. I took this pic two weeks ago because I was too lazy to do another. I'll get a good one at -50.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Week 29 Recap : The Hunt for a Fall Wardrobe

Shopping. For. Clothes. Three words that I have a love/hate relationship right now. As soon as I stepped foot in store this week - cash in pocket and ready to spend some dough - I instantly realized why I had not done this so long. Aside from being entirely time consuming, the amount of options was overwhelming. I mean, how do I dress now? At 28, there is a fine line between dressing my age and looking like and old women (or a too-old women dressed in too-young clothes). The clothes in the teen-geared stores are certainly not appropriate (not to mention I can't quite squeeze in to those anyway) but how do I still look trendy? How do I still set myself apart from everyone else by the way I dress? How do I find my new style? Walking in through the double glass doors, under fluorescent lighting and standing in front of literally hundreds of racks of clothing, I took a deep breath and dived in.

The time it takes for me to find pieces I like enough to spend money on is unreal. In the first store I visited (TJ Maxx) I walked in to the dressing room with 10 pieces. I braced myself as I had literally guessed on the sizing, hoping for the best but admitting to myself that none of these things may actually fit me. And then something happened - they fit. Not many things slimmed my figure or fit me properly, I'll add, but they did fit. After more than an hour in the first store I managed to purchase a top, jeans and a pair of shoes. I realized that this wasn't something that could be done at one stop, in one hour.

So the next day, I tried somewhere else. With even more options (a full on department store) but knowing sort of where I was size-wise, I was a little more encouraged. Time consuming, still. I had to try on everything and go back for different sizes multiple times. By some sort of magic coincidence, I ended up with two sweaters that were a  'Medium' size [I am sure they were cut large or something, I'm not a Medium]. There I bought two sweaters, a blazer, a sparkly tank and a belt. I bought as many non-stretch pieces as I could, because I could.

I still need to find some accessories, shoes and a cute top to go with the blazer but I'm almost there! I'm happy with my purchases and I even bought a dress that fit but was maybe just a hair too small. It was so adorable I couldn't resist. Just another reason to help motivate me to the next 10lb milestone! Oh, and here is one of my outfits. I call this look 'I haz waist!'

Workout this week :

Monday : Spin and Sculpt = 480 calories

Tuesday : Bodypump = 370 calories

Wednesday : Spin & Sculpt = 470 calories

Thursday : Bootcamp = 480 calories

Friday : Short Walk 1.6 miles = 200 calories

Lost another two pounds this week, which is surprising to me. I have been pretty exhausted the last two weeks, and I thought it would show more on the scale. Getting up 1.5 hours earlier means no time for morning workouts, more coffee, less water. It's been a challenge, but just another hurdle I need to overcome. I need to get more rest and get back to two workout days.

I'm glad I made it to bootcamp this week though, it was one of the first workouts I've done in a long time where I thought the rest of my lunch may come up. It was a challenge class, she called it. The name was fitting. There was a seemingly harmless orange cone at the top of the hill. Simple instructions really. A circuit workout - carry two tires up the hill back down, bear crawl (on all fours) up the hill and back down. Lunges with a medicine ball up the hill and back down. A squat jump that propels you forward, up the hill then down. Then a short break with 10 sit ups (your legs going up the hill) and 10 pushups with your legs also up on the hill. Oh, and when you're done all of that you do a nice lap the length of the hill and back. For 40 minutes you tried to complete this circuit as many times as you could. We did it four and a half times, I was barely breathing or moving by the end, drenched in my own sweat. Sounds fun right? The odd part was, I actually thought it was fun, the challenge was fun. Recently I found myself hoping to get back on my bike again, I'm exited for the next ride. How things (and thoughts) have changed for the better. Thirteen more days left in September, hoping to lose four more pounds by then!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Week 28 Recap : No reason to turn back

I'm sitting here wearing the smallest-sized jeans I've worn in  5 years [maybe more] and I feel good. Really good. This weekend I went through my entire wardrobe and made a giant pile of [giant] clothes to donate. The criterion for eviction from my closet were a) anything that had an "X" in the size or was larger than a 14 and b) if you have holes, you must go. This effectively eliminated 80% of my wearable, day-to-day wardrobe [I still have an ample exercise/pajama wardrobe!!!]. It was a little sad to see dresses I've worn maybe once or twice leave their hangers, but empowering holding them up to my smaller figure and finding it hard to believe that they fit me snugly 6 months ago. Now I could probably make two dresses out of them. My newly-bare closet boasts a small handful of tops, three sundresses that still sort of fit me and one pair of jeans. The sundresses are going to be unwearable shortly (and today with a starting temp of 51 degrees) so you know what that means - SHOPPING! It's time to indulge a little. Mostly because I have to unless I want to do laundry every night during the cold months. Even though I love clothes, shopping is a little scary to me. Even when I was bigger, I always took pride in looking 'pulled together'. With my new shape, I have no idea what is going to look good on me.. I really don't even know where to start to shop in the realm of normal-sized clothing. I have been a plus-sized girl for a long time, but am not any longer. I'm confident given a few hours in a mall, I can find a few pieces to get me through until I have to buy even smaller clothes.

I also pulled out my 200 dollar LL Bean down jacket, which I love(d). Sigh. It too is huge. Naturally I moved on to my only other winter jacket - my one-size smaller peacoat which I bought maybe four years ago. It was so form-fitting and flattering, four years ago. It fit me like a large, draped rectangle. Ya, time for a new winter jacket as well. This is getting expensive.

Now, with my former wardrobe in a bag, there is no reason to go back to my old ways (or my old size). Good bye, old friends. Your bounty of fabric and strategically-structured design helped me hide my body for a long, long time - but no longer do you have a place in my life.

Workout this week :

Tuesday : Bodypump = 470 calories

Wednesday : Spin & Sculpt = 490 calories

Thursday : 2.6 mile walk = 320 calories

Friday : 10.25 mile bike ride = 550 calories

I wish I would've done more this week for workout. Monday was Labor Day so no spin class. I have been getting up at 5:30 to get ready and get Landon on the bus for 7:30, picking him up off the bus at 4 every day and we're both exhausted by that time. Last week was not normal for me; I had Landon the whole week because his dad injured his ankle. No bootcamp, no two workout days. It made me sad in one way, but happy I got to spend some time with my son. This week will be different. I'll chalk last week up to trying to get in to a new routine with the school year here.

I lost a pound this week, still progress so I can't be disappointed.

Monday, September 3, 2012

August / 6 month recap

August Progress : 

-6.5lbs / -42.5lbs total

Still rolling right through. This month was pretty good, I'm happy with the 6.5lbs. In fact, this month I tried three completely different things that I incorporated in to my routine. Again, I think the variety in my exercise is really helping my momentum remain strong, month after month

I started bootcamp classes on Wednesday nights [most of the time after I had already done a lunchtime spin class]. The classes are set up outside in a circuit format - pretty much anything you could do with a tire (pulling, flipping, push-ups on one), lifting sledge hammers, running, bear crawls up a hill. It's definitely a nice change from being in a studio or a gym. And it's a crazy calorie burner - I burn an average of 550 calories burned per hour class. I finally got around to borrowing a bike from my mom, since I have been enjoying spinning so much. Last week I picked up a helmet and we rode down to the garden and back this weekend. Round trip it was about 6 miles but it felt pretty good to be on a real bike. I definitely have to learn my hand signals, I almost got hit a few times by drivers not paying attention when I was crossing the road. Now I know what those 'share the road' stickers are all about. At least I have a helmet to protect me, I wouldn't dream of riding without one given the technology distractions driver's have these days [did I sound old there or what?]. Whatever, still stylin' with the helmet :


I also started regularly hiking - 'tis the season in beautiful VT after all. This month, I did a short loop around Indian Brook twice, a few hours on the Catamount trail and Mt Philo. Some sort of trail every weekend. I was so proud of Landon he did Mt Philo with us - on the hiking trail, not the paved path. Here's a shot from the Catamount trail : 

The great part is that these activities are all highly-enjoyable. I have noticed the improvement in my stamina on hikes. Last year we did the hiking trail on Mt Philo and I had to stop at multiple points to catch my breath. This year it was pretty easy, and I wasn't out of breath. 

So, you're probably wondering how 'Ab Challenge August' went. Well, I'll be the first to admit that I did not do the routine from Pinterest as much as I wanted, maybe a total of 10 times this month. I found that it wasn't practical to do it 3 times a week with everything else I was doing. Plus there a good ab routine in both the bodypump and boot camp clases. I was definitely getting a decent ab workout every week, though, rest assured. Measuring myself today I lost 1" around my waist and 1.5" around my hips this month. Hey, that's not too bad. I probably should've been doing measurements since the start in March, it's another indicator of progress I would've liked to see. I think I'll keep doing it. 

I did want to point out this month was crazy. With Landon's birthday, both of my siblings' birthdays and getting ready Landon ready for kindergarten, there was little downtime for me. But again, I made the time. It's part of my lifestyle now. In six months, I've lost nearly 43 lbs. I'm 36% of the way to my ultimate weight loss goal. I'm realizing that realistically, it may take me more than a year to get to the goal, but I'm ok with that. After all, the last six months have been awesome to say the least. I'm continuing to enjoy every moment of this journey, feeling better and stronger each week, which makes it easy to keep going...so that's what I'll do.