Thursday, February 28, 2013

"Five in February" (plus 2 Week Weigh-in Day)

This month, I was invited into a challenge on LoseIt! (you can join challenges if you want, you don't have to be invited) and I was nervous about accepting the invitation. Why you may ask? The challenge was to lose 5 pounds in a month. Of course, I would love to lose 5 pounds in a month, who wouldn't?

Although I wasn't sure if I was going to succeed in the challenge or not, I decided to take the plunge and join the challenge. I can say that this month has been a pretty good one for me (more on that in my February recap post tomorrow) and I am also happy to say that I lost exactly 5 pounds this month which is an accomplishment for someone who wasn't sure if they should accept the invitation into the challenge, but I am glad that I did.

Total loss this week: 1 pound
Total loss for the month: 5 pounds
Total loss since the start of this journey (January 2): 13.2 pounds

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Helping vs. Hurting

When it comes to weight loss you have to try something in order to know what works for you. What works for a friend may not work for you and vice versa. In order for me to know what would work for me I had to try some new things out. Today's post will be about things that have helped me and things that haven't helped me on this journey (as time progresses I will update it with more information). All opinions are my own.

Things that didn't work:

  • Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred : the only reason this didn't work out is because I went in with higher expectation than I should have. I had started with the Ripped In 30 and loved it so I thought this would be just as enjoyable but I should have started it with a clear mind and not a mind already formulated with opinions. Although this didn't work now, it may work in the future when I have a better mindset about the program. 
  • Trying to abandon carbs all at once: I am not sure why I thought this would be a good idea. But when I tried to abandon carbs all together, it soon hit me that I needed to slowly release them from my diet. Therefore over the course of two weeks I have been able to limit myself to one carb per meal (if that, some meals I don't have any carbs which I am perfectly fine with). 
  • Eating a meal before the gym: again, I am not sure why I thought this was a good idea
Things that did work:
  • Fitbit Zip: I am so thankful that I purchased this handy device back in January. It has inspired me to move more just so I can get in some more steps. Moving more helps me burn more calories which benefits me in the long run. 
  • Camelbak Eddy (1 Liter): believe it or not, cool water bottles help me drink more water. I am not sure what it is about it but I want to look at the bottle more and figure out how it works which then inspires me to drink more water. 
  • Eating after the gym: a much better idea. If I feel hungry before the gym (which is very rare because I am going early in the morning) I will drink about 5 ounces of a fruit smoothie. 
  • Planning meals out ahead of time: this helps me get a better idea of what I am eating and what items fill me up quicker than most. 

As for this month, these are the things that have worked and have not worked for me; of course, all things are subject to change. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Random Gym Thoughts

I used to be the girl who was ashamed to go to the gym because I was the bigger girl and everyone was smaller than me. Not once did it occur to me that they may have been larger at one point and going to the gym helped them slim down. I have been making it to the gym at least twice a week for the past month and I have to say that for me, that is an accomplishment.

Since going to the gym, while watching what I eat, I have noticed a change in the way I treat my body and the way I view it. There are still times when I feel intimidated at the gym but in time that will go away. I have to start somewhere and start with making baby steps. My confidence level has gone up in the gym. I have gone from someone who didn't think I could do something to someone who wants to make the workout more challenging.

The point of this post is that when you try something new, you may be intimidated, but that level of intimidation will soon wear off as you become more confident in the activity that you are completing.

If you follow me on Twitter you have already seen this tweet, I felt it was appropriate to this blog post and I wanted to end with it.

Never let your thoughts keep you from doing something you want to do, explore new things if you want and you shall be rewarded in the end. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Short on Time

One thing that I have noticed is that when it comes to balancing my time between homework (I wish I never had to say that as a college student) and exercise, homework wins and exercise falls short (that is why I live for Wednesday and Friday). That is why I am thankful for Shape Magazine and all of their helpful information.

The featured workout for March looks like a winner and I tried the first move out a few minutes ago, and let me tell you, my abs (or what should be my abs if they weren't buried under years of good eating) are sore. There are 6 workouts; Quad Quiver, Leg Lift, Lateral Kick, Side-Lying Squeeze, "W" Arms and Abs and Arm Burn that you complete in that order. 2 sets of each move are recommended three to four times a week.

Therefore, run (don't walk, you burn more calories running or power walking) out to your local store and pick up the March edition of Shape Magazine, you won't be disappointed. I can't wait to try these workouts on the days that I don't make it to the gym or the days in which I am pressed for time and I feel that they will be a beneficial addition to my exercise schedule.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Impulse Buying (Weight Loss Related)

I am an impulsive shopper, I buy things that seem interesting at the moment without any thought. If I leave the store without purchasing said items I am upset for the rest of the day and make it my one and only mission to get back to the store and purchase the item. Then guess what, the item gets lost, I use it four or five times and determine I don't want it or the next day it goes on sale for way cheaper than what I paid for it.

Now, you are probably wondering what does shopping have to do with weight loss (more importantly what does it have to do with this weight loss blog)? For me, it has a lot to do with it. Just as I purchase things on an impulse, I do the same with weight loss products and new trends.

Recently it has been brought to my attention (by a family member) that if you take a Raspberry Ketone pill and Green Coffee Bean Extract it will act as an appetite suppressant. The catch to this (at least what my family member was doing) was that you have to drink the green coffee bean solution (she did a green coffee drink, but they do make pills) and take the pill 20 minutes before eating your meal. The main reason why I couldn't do this: when I am hungry, I am hungry; I don't have 20 minutes to wait. I would rather have my meal (a healthy meal of course) planned out ahead of time and ready to consume when I am ready to eat. When I went to GNC yesterday I asked the employee about this new trend; her response "It's a fad diet, once you stop the pounds come back on." That isn't really a surprise and luckily I saved myself from this impulsive purchase.

The second impulsive purchase (weight loss related) I almost made was protein powder. This truly is on the rise, "Have a protein shake after working out" is all that I have been hearing lately. You can mix the protein powder with anything that you are drinking (I have even heard of people mixing it in yogurt) to get your desired protein shake. In the GNC store I was given a sample of chocolate protein powder (there are numerous variations of these powders) which was mixed with water and let me tell you, it takes just like someone mixed Nesquik chocolate powder with water, shook it and poured it in a cup. It wasn't horrible but it could have been better with milk (that is what the employee at GNC recommended). Now I am not sure if there is a catch to this one, but what I do know (and it took me hours of looking at various stores for the "right" powder) is that I don't have the patience to mix up a drink after every workout, especially since I was looking for something "filling" in place of random (often unnecessary) meals. Since I don't have the patience to do that, I saw no need in wasting my money on something I would use once or twice and then kick to the curb.

The third impulsive purchase that I am known for making comes in the form of fitness DVDs. For one, fitness DVDs are not one size fits all. Therefore, the only way to know if the DVD will work for you is to purchase it and find out. Looking back at all of the fitness workouts I have purchased (on DVD and VHS -- remember those, it was such a long time ago) I have found out that the ones I enjoy the most are the ones that are disguised as something else. What do I mean by that? Zumba for instance; when Zumba was first introduced, it may not have been targeted at weight loss, but it does work for weight loss. Zumba is the dance craze that has stormed the nation and it gets you up and moving without making you think you are working out. Games on the WII are another non-workout themed item that is actually great for working out. Grab some friends and play a few games (bowling, baseball, etc.) and before you know it you are burning calories.

One thing that is weight loss related that I don't mind purchasing on impulse; workout attire!! I love purchasing new clothes to work out in because it gives me an additional reason to get out and moving around. After all, how can you tell people where to get awesome workout clothes from if they don't see you? My favorites come from Old Navy and JCP.

Looking back, I have made so many impulsive weight loss related purchases that could have saved me money if I had just taken the time to do adequate research and wait it out. For one, I am thankful that I didn't make two unnecessary (and impulsive) purchases this weekend and I hope to keep that mindset as I move forward on that journey. After all, I have to be ready to buy a new wardrobe once I reach my goal weight; after all, good things come to those who wait.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Weigh-In Day.....Non-Scale Victories

Today's scheduled weigh-in day was cancelled because I wanted to talk about non-scale victories. Non-scale victories are more important than the ones you see on the scale. About a month ago I purchased a sweat shirt representing my college. The first day I wore it, it definitely fit (by fit I mean it was a perfect fit and I do mean perfect) this week when I wore it, I had room in it (which made me very happy). I have noticed that some of my pants fit looser which is a definite accomplishment for me.

So often we get caught up on what the scale is saying and we don't pay attention to what our body is saying. Although the scale may not reflect this, my body is telling me that I am doing something right because my clothes are fitting different. My body is also telling me that I am doing something right when it comes to the gym because I am able to last longer and higher intensities. I have also noticed that when I eat, I don't eat all of my meals because my body is telling me that I am full way before I am finished.

Our bodies have this unique way of telling us things that we sometimes ignore because the numbers (on the scale) don't reflect what we think they should. It's not all about what we see on the scale, yes those numbers do play a role in weight loss, but the most important thing is that we feel better and our bodies have a way of telling us that, we just have to pay attention.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Week in Review

Looking back, I started this week off rougher than usual. I started this week coming from two days of celebratory eating and (unfortunately) suffering from my own version of a carb overload.

By Wednesday I had gotten myself back on a regular schedule and had started monitoring my carbs once again.

I managed to put in almost 45 minutes at the gym on Wednesday, which was definitely a big accomplishment; today I only managed around 20 minutes (because of the winter weather moving into the area). My meals have been pretty standard this week and next week I hope to incorporate some type of shake (whey protein) into my regimen. I also plan to continue to monitor my carb intake next week and reduce some of the unnecessary carbs that I am consuming.

As this week wraps up, hopefully the scale will be on my side so I can end on a high note after starting on a low one.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Why Am I Here?

Prior to this year, I never buckled down and made myself commit to losing weight. I always said I wanted to do it, exercised for a little while then stopped because I wasn't into it. This year that changed, this year I wanted to commit to something and I knew it was going to be finally losing weight.

My motivation is my upcoming birthday in which I turn 21!! I know, this will be a big birthday for me and I want to look my best. Not only do I want to look my best, I want to feel my best. I want to take pictures without trying to figure out how to turn so that my full body is not captured, I want to take FULL LENGTH pictures so that I can look back on them and see how far I have come. I want to know that I am healthier than when I started, that I have turned my life around for the better, that I am doing something I want to do.

It took me this long to accept my body and know that I want to change the way I look at it. I have always been on the "larger" side my entire life but society has deemed the infamous "thin is in" and what else was I supposed to do but feel self conscious when everyone around you was conforming to societies standards. Not anymore, every real woman I have ever known has things they want to change about themselves; their thighs touch, they have a slight muffin top, etc. - they all have something society would deem undesirable. But guess what, those women - who are all in my family, are some of the most successful women that I have ever known and I am proud of that.

Sweat is definitely fat crying as it leaves your body and if I have to sweat buckets to reach my goal (the process of working out makes me feel powerful, makes me feel like I can do anything, etc.) then I am prepared to sweat those buckets out. From this quote, I can definitely say that my body has been crying a lot lately and I am fine with that.

We have to change what society deems "acceptable" and that takes baby steps. This journey is full of baby steps, but when you turn around and look back, those baby steps definitely make up a bigger journey that is worthwhile; you may not see it now, but give it some time and you will. On this journey you have to do what makes you feel good, what makes you feel powerful, what makes you feel on top of the world. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself "why am I here?" and the answer might surprise you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Staying Motivated

It wasn't until yesterday (when I realized that I was suffering from my own version of a carb overload) that I realized in order to succeed on this weight loss journey, I had to stay motivated. I had to continue to push myself to be the best that I could be and today I did just that while in the gym.

Today was the first day that I have put in close to 45 minutes at the gym doing the treadmill and the elliptical. I spent about 33 minutes on the treadmill and 10 minutes on the elliptical (this was my version of a cool down). I love the treadmill (I know I have said that about a thousand times) and one thing that helps me pass the time is watching television shows on my tablet while I am working out. While on the elliptical (and sometimes on the treadmill), I catch up on re-runs of Boy Meets World.

I had an invigorating experience on the elliptical and I hope to increase my time to 24 minutes on Friday (that way I get a full hour, 36 minutes on the treadmill and 24 on the elliptical). Getting back into the gym today just furthered my motivation on this journey. It takes time and patience but I know it will be worth it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Being Bloated Blows

I feel like I am suffering from a carb overload. This weekend, the majority of my eating came from celebratory eating (see previous post if you don't know what I mean). I felt that I did good, eating mainly vegetable with a spoonful (not even full) of a carb. I did this for two days. Yesterday I had pasta mixed with chicken and today I had spaghetti and now I am suffering from my version of a carb overload.

I have constant feeling of being bloated lately and I typically have that when I have a flare up of GERD (not caused by food choices), but that is not the case this time. Instead, my constant eating has caused the flare up to occur and I am left in a constant state of discomfort and a constant state of being bloated.

Of course no one wants to be in this situation for too long, therefore my next few days will be spent getting my body back in the condition it should be in. Actually sticking to my Lent plans and monitoring my intake of carbs, even if limiting the majority of them form my day all together. I plan to increase my time at the gym tomorrow and Friday to an hour (I say that all the time and never do it), if I don't start now, I never will plush this gives me a chance to get my digestive system back in order.

Pushing myself when I get tired at the gym may not seem worth it, but when I feel good leaving the gym (from pushing myself to new goals) it becomes evident that it is worth it. Just because I haven't been feeling up to par lately doesn't mean that I am abandoning my weight loss goals and dreams, it just means that I have to buckle down and stay focused on this journey.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Just Remember

Tomorrow is a new day and whatever you didn't get accomplished today can be accomplished tomorrow. You will continue to thrive on this weight loss journey and your goals will be reached. Stay strong, stay motivated and believe in yourself. You can accomplish what you put your mind to.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Getting Back on Track

Today was my last day of "celebration" eating. This weekend we celebrated my Grandfathers birthday by having a "gathering" for family and friends and let me tell you the food was excellent.

I took it easy and loaded my plate with vegetables (and meat) versus a lot of carbs which I felt good about but today was round two of that celebration meal and I incorporated an additional carb. While both days I consumed a piece of birthday cake.

Overall, yesterday was my "good" day of eating and today was my "semi-bad" day of eating. This weekend doesn't set me back on this journey it pushes me forward. I know what I have to do in the gym this week and I am ready to commit to that.

This week marks my week to get back on track and I am ready to do just that; this week shall make for a very interesting one and I am ready to tackle it head on.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weigh-In Day

Those three words in the picture mark exactly how I felt when I stepped on the scale this morning. I wasn't sure what to expect when I stepped on the scale, but I knew I felt better overall.

This week I felt that I really buckled down and paid attention to what I was consuming and what I was doing to burn extra calories.

The treadmill is something that I enjoy but it seems as if my workout was getting pretty mundane so I started to incorporate weight lifting into my regimen (even if only for 5 minutes). I have been looking to burn more calories on the treadmill by increasing the speed and incline which is beneficial because each day I am able to burn more calories and beat my time from the previous day.

Increasing the incline and speed allows my body to not get used to the same workout, I have to work harder and at the end of the workout, I feel better.

As I stated earlier, this week I have felt better overall and what I saw on the scale further emphasized that. This week I lost ....... 2.4 pounds. This weeks loss just pushes me to continue what I am doing, pick up more minutes on the treadmill, incorporate the elliptical and continue to lift weights.

Good luck to all of you on your weight loss journey, your weigh-ins and your workouts. See you in another post.

Total loss this week: 2.4 pounds
Total loss for the month: 4 pounds
Total loss since the start of this journey (January 2): 12.2 pounds

Friday, February 15, 2013

Don't Panic

In a previous post I talked about using Lose It! while eating at restaurants, well it can also be beneficial when it comes to certain events (if you know the menu and how each dish was prepared ahead of time). I am blessed to have my maternal grandparents who both celebrated a birthday this year (my Grandma's birthday was February 8 and my Granddad's birthday was February 12). My Granddad hit a major milestone this year and we are having a "gathering" tomorrow in his honor (my family claims it is not a party, but a gathering --- in reality, it's a party).

Thankfully, I know the menu ahead of time and fortunately I know how each of my family members prepares their dishes, so logging in to my Lose It! account should be no problem. Unfortunately, if I didn't know this information ahead of time I would be in a serious panic mode. Sometimes I get in a panic mode when I am out to a restaurant and I cannot find the specific dish that I am looking for.

The more I look at it, there is no need to get in a panic. What is a panic going to solve? Absolutely nothing. Instead it allows me to cheat myself out of something I could have been eating and if I had eaten it I would have still been within my daily calories allocation.

What I am trying to convey in this post is that even when you are eating at events (parties, etc.) or at a restaurant that is not in the Lose It! database  don't stress. It is not healthy for you and when you stress you may actually be cheating yourself out of calories.

Instead, take a deep breath and relax; trust your judgement because by now (on this journey), your body knows what it needs and it won't let you down.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!!

If you are reading this, Happy Valentines Day to you and on this day, remember that although you may (or may not be) on a weight loss journey, you can still enjoy this day and eat your favorite foods. This post will be brief but before I go I will leave you with a few things that I have planned.


  • Weekly weigh-in results
  • Gym routine (or at home workouts)
  • Updated measurements
  • Typical weekly meals
  • How I feel one month into this journey
Stay tuned!! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Lent Plans

Today marks an important day for many people; it also marks a big day for those who may be on a weight loss journey. Today is the first day of Lent. I believe that if you want to participate in Lent (no matter your religion) you should.

This year I am determined that I will see Lent all the way through. Normally I make it a week (if that) before all my plans go out the door. This time, I am going to try and make it the full 40 days. One thing that I am going to do is modify my version of Lent to focus on spiritual well-being as well as physical well-being.

This year (for Lent), I have vowed to:
  • Eat carbs in moderation (I love vegetables so that should be no problem, it will take some getting used to and will definitely be an adjustment. By me eating carbs in moderation, I am essentially saying that I vow to watch my intake and give up most breads, rice, potatoes, etc. Having a piece of toast once a week won't kill me, etc.)
  • Read my daily devotional daily (that's what it is meant for and I need to read it daily)
  • Drink more water (since I have gotten a new CAMELBAK eddy, I love drinking water more than ever).
Last but certainly not least, I vow to continue to thank God for all that he has done for me in life and on this weight loss journey. Without him, none of this would be possible. 

Ironically enough, my daily devotional topic today was titled “Begin Again” and this couldn’t come at a better time. If you have fallen off track use today (and the next 39 days) to begin again, start over and get back in the swing of things. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hold On and Enjoy the Ride

Today's post is inspired by another tweet from Steve Harvey. The tweet is featured below:

This is another great tweet that correlates with feelings while on a weight loss journey. It may be tough now, but don't give up. You will experience joy while you are on this journey, you just have to keep your head up and know that you will get through it.

Good things come to those who wait and if you endure what is coming to you on this journey (the workouts, the sweat, the pain, etc.) you will see all your efforts pay off in the end (your desired results).

Monday, February 11, 2013


Today my daily devotional talked about confidence. Although it was discussing confidence in Christ, I felt that it could also be related to a weight loss journey.

Some people don't have confidence when they start a weight loss journey and I can relate to those individuals. For many, they gain confidence as their weight loss journey progresses. Confidence can come in different forms; confidence in exercising, confidence in how you look, etc. I for one never had a high level of confidence because for years if you were overweight you were also an outcast to the world.

It wasn't until I started exercising, watching what I was eating and actually taking care of myself that my level of confidence went up. I talk more in class, I talk more to the people in my class because I feel better about myself and because I am finally taking care of myself.

Therefore, I think that confidence is related to a weight loss journey. If you don't feel comfortable (i.e., you are overweight, feel like a social outcast, etc.) then you don't have a high level of confidence; when you feel good about your self (i.e., losing a few pounds, fitting into your favorite swimsuit, etc.) your confidence definitely goes up.

As long as you are confident in your body and feel good about yourself, don't worry about what society says, your confidence is determined by your own happy nature.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cheat Day

Have you ever had those days when you wish you could eat what you could and you wouldn't gain any weight? Have you ever had those days where you wish all your favorite junk foods were actually healthy? Have you ever had those days when you just wanted to eat something to get it out of your system?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you know how I was feeling today. Today was officially the first cheat day I have had since I have been on this journey. Friday was my Grandmothers birthday (I am so blessed to have her in my life as well as my grandfather who will be having a birthday on Tuesday, more about him in a later post) and today we finally got around to cutting the birthday cake today (her favorite is coconut). I have never been one for coconut (after a horrible experience with it) but I can never resist a cake that my mother has baked.

I do not remember what my total caloric intake was for today (although I know I was under my allotted calories) but today I knew that although it was my cheat day, my body wouldn't allow me to go over my calories.

My breakfast filled me up, my dinner filled me up more than I thought it would and my snack (a light meal) was filling. The cake and butter pecan ice cream (1/2 cup is only 100 calories) were just the icing on the cake (no pun intended). Therefore, today I can officially say that today was my cheat day and I have finally gotten it out of my system and am back on track.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Weigh-In Day

I was a little nervous for today's weigh-in day because I had no idea what to expect. Yes, I did better with my food choices this week, but I was only able to exercise one day a week. Therefore, my expectations were based on my eating better with a lack of exercise. I figured I was either going to lose a pound or gain a few ounces.

Stepping on the scale revealed that I did ....... lose 1.6 pounds. It was such a relief to know that all though I wasn't able to work out as much this week, my food choices made up for it. This is just a small victory on this journey, because I know as the days go on, I have to keep at it; making good food choices and exercising more.

Total loss this week: 1.6 pounds
Total loss for the month: 1.6 pounds
Total loss since the start of this journey (January 2): 9.8 pounds 

Friday, February 8, 2013


This week I am not sure what to expect when it is time to weigh-in tomorrow. I have managed my foods better (making healthier choices when it comes to eating) but I have been eating my dinner later at night for the past few days (due to prior obligations during the day). I would love to jump on the scale tomorrow and see that I had lost a pound or two, I would even be grateful with losing a few ounces; but this weight loss journey is like a roller coaster, there will be ups (losing weight in this case) and lows (gaining weight, potentially through muscle) that we have to endure.

I don't expect much of a change, in reality I either expect to have lost a pound or gained 0.4 ounces. I am not sure why those numbers are sticking out to me, but they are.

I feel better this week, strange to say, I actually feel smaller. I am not sure if that is possible or not but it is how I feel. Any loss on the scale is welcome tomorrow, so I am just hanging on for the ride to see what the numbers reveal.

This is a picture I posted on Instagram and I felt that it was worth posting on here as well. Even if we fall off of this journey slightly, it is never too late to start the day over and start making changes.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

In a Day

While I was scrolling through my Twitter feed I came across a tweet from Steve Harvey; the tweet (which I have re-tweeted) said:
This was the most appropriate tweet for those on a weight loss journey that I have seen all day. We have to have an appreciation for the journey that we are on. This will not be an overnight success but a lot of things can change in a day.

In a day we can realize how bad we really want this; we want to lose weight and get in shape for so many different reasons. In a day we can start to amend what we eat. In a day we can realize that we truly love the gym and can't wait to get back there. In a day we can find motivation online (through social media, these blogs, etc.). In a day we can realize that after weeks of cutting back what we eat, working out and counting calories our hard work is finally paying off because we are losing weight and inches.

 In a day we can finally come to appreciate the journey that we are on.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Out of the Rut

Yesterday, I announced that I was in a rut; technically I still am, but it is getting better. The reason I was in a rut was due to the fact that the 30DS was not inspiring to me at the moment. So I decided to alter that concept and make my own 30DS where I focused on doing the things that I love. So far I love going to the gym, although I cannot figure out how to hear the audio on the televisions even though I am using a FM tuner. While at the gym one of my favorite things is the treadmill and last week I started to incorporate my arms in the workout. So I spend time on the treadmill and then go downstairs and work on the weight machines.

I was in a rut because I find the same circuit routine boring, I also don't like to be told what to do. Now that may be a contradiction because I would prefer someone standing in front of me while at the gym telling me I need to do this for 15 minutes, then this for 10, and so on and so on. Actually that is a contradiction so I will clarify that, I don't like being told what to do when it comes from someone on the television screen.

I am slowly getting out of my rut and by the weekend I should be back to my old self, someone who loves to go to the gym. On the days when I don't make it to the gym, I do Zumba, and lately I have enjoyed "free-styling" my own moves.

Now you may (or may not) be wondering what I take with me when I go to the gym, but if I was reading this blog (instead of writing it) I would want to know what others bring with them (instead of the obvious, car keys, gym i.d., etc.). I bring:

  • Fitbit Zip (I am always wearing this no matter what day or where I am going)
  • Water bottle (either a Tervis Tumbler 24 oz bottle or a Gatorade 32 oz bottle)
  • Phone / Earphones (never know when there is an emergency, plus I thought downloading a FM tuner app would allow me to listen to the tv's but boy was I wrong)
  • Antibacterial wipes - I always have to wipe down my machines when I am done with it as well as the weight machines and free weights (after all, it is flu season)
  • Hand towel - the main purpose of me busting my butt at the gym is so I can work up a sweat and feel good, but when I get to sweating like crazy I have to have a towel to dab along my face and neck
These are my main staples that I always keep with me when I am going the gym (you may be wondering, after all that sweating why are there no shower items, that's because I come straight home after the gym) and I know I would be lost without them.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

In a Rut (and some other random stuff)

I am officially in a rut and have no idea what to do about it. Unfortunately for me, I am in a rut both mentally and physically.

Mentally I am in a rut because it seems that all of my professors get together at a small gathering at night to have everything due around the same time. When all of my work is due around the same time, I find it hard to manage the time. If I starting working at 8 a.m., how long do I spend on this assignment, if I send too long I don't have time to work on another assignment, but if I don't spend enough time, I won't understand the concept. Yes, this is a personal problem and a big one. If I don't get a morning workout on Monday, Wednesday or Friday then I am lethargic the rest of the day and get absolutely no work done.

Physically I am in a rut because I am pressed for time (goes back to the professors getting together and making everything due at the same time which equals more work for me) and to add to that, this 30DS (although I have only done 2 days of it and not even 2 full days) is not impressing me as much as I would like it to. I don't know what I am doing wrong when it comes to this 30DS, but it just isn't kicking my butt like I want it to. I get bored no sooner than the DVD gets going.

On the other hand, this is where a lot of indecisiveness comes in, I love Zumba. Therefore, I think I am going to amend Zumba and make it into my own 30DS. Zumba has different levels, similar to the levels featured on 30DS, they go from easy to hard. In addition to this, I will be using wrist and ankles weights (I am not even sure that is what they are called, but they wrap around your wrists and your ankles).

While this is not the same thing as 30DS, I sweat more and have more fun doing Zumba. I will still be going to the gym on Wednesdays and Fridays and if I can get my lazy self out of the bed on Monday mornings, I will be incorporating Mondays into the mix. I will still be working out at home on Tuesdays and Thursdays because they are my busiest days.

In a earlier post, I mentioned that I was going to take it easy on the carbs and I have. Since my last weigh in, I have consumed less carbs than I normally would if I was trying to get closer to my allotted calories. I have never been much of a soda drinker (especially in recent years) unless I was eating something that a cold soda complimented perfectly. Lately I have been drinking a soda whenever I have a taste for one. This wouldn't be a problem if I didn't have 2 new 12 packs at home when I started this journey. Now, thank goodness, I am down to about 8 sodas. After these are gone I will keep diet sodas on hand, for those low calorie, same great taste needs.

I also have this thing for ice cream, especially mint chocolate chip (or mint fudge brownie , happy to say, I have not purchased my mini Edy's container (only 190 calories, look at me -- only 190 calories, that's a nice delicious smoothie I could be drinking) in a week. Instead I took a nice trip to Sweet Frog (yes they have delicious low calorie options) on Saturday and enjoyed my frozen yogurt.

When it comes to exercise, I have found that I tend to lose weight when I drink a Naked smoothie (never all at one time, maybe 8 ounces or so) before working out instead of eating a full breakfast (that was my problem last week when I gained those ounces, I was eating before going to the gym).

I have also decided to get a heart rate monitor, and guess what, it will be a Polar one (ahhh, I am so excited). I am not knocking New Balance or anything (after all they have some wonderful shoes, especially those 574s that bring me back to my childhood, oh how I miss those days), but I heard more great reviews about Polar (on Instagram and from a wonderful follower, Miss Ashley -- thanks for the advice!!) and I felt that I would get my money's worth out of that particular HRM.

I think this wraps up everything that was on my mind for today, thanks for reading and stay motivated on your journey!!

P.S. -- go ahead and click those follow buttons on the right, yes the ones for Twitter and Instagram, I know you want to! and if you aren't following this blog, what are you waiting on? :) (that should be a smiley face but I am not sure if it will turn itself right side up).

Monday, February 4, 2013

30DS: Day 2

I am a very indecisive person and I am not afraid to admit it. When I worked out to Jillian Michaels' Ripped In 30, I felt the burn and was definitely sweating early in, but with 30 Day Shred, I feel nothing, not sure why. Yes, my legs and arms are sore from the weight lifting and the lunges (thanks to my knee, I cannot do a lunge properly without being in pain).

My biggest problem is I am not sweating!! I know, the average person would not complain but I am, I want to sweat, I need to sweat, I LIVE TO SWEAT!

Enough of the mini rant.

Today, I will be starting my second day of 30 Day Shred (will be referred to as 30DS from this point forward). I completed my first day last night and for the majority of the time I was watching the moves to make sure I would be doing them right from that point forward, but the moves I did do, definitely left me sore.

This morning I had the bright idea that I would get in my workout early and boy was I wrong about that. I knew my body was still sore but I thought I would be able to fight through the pain ....... WRONG. My body needs to rest before I can repeat those exercises. Therefore, (in my mind first) I have come up with a workout plan that should work for me. 

AM Workout

PM Workout

AM Workout (Gym)
PM Workout 

PM Workout

AM Workout (Gym)

AM Workout
PM  Workout
      These workouts will take place if I do not go out for the day
No Workout

Seeing as though I didn't do my workout this morning -- put the DVD in, got to the push-ups portion, gave up and put in the Zumba for Wii game, before telling myself that in order to see results I had to keep with it which resulted in my putting the DVD back on and making my mind up that I would do it tonight, especially since the TV reminds you that you still have a disc inside -- I have to do it tonight. I have committed to doing the 30DS and if I want to see a change, I have to stick with it.

An update will follow once the workout is complete tonight.

Day 2 of 30DS has been postponed to tomorrow (2/5/2013) due to, none other than, homework. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

30 Day Shred

Today, marks a new day for my weight loss program. After my 0.4 ounce gain yesterday, I have decided to amend a few things (no, nothing drastic). I have decided to do Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred for the next 30 days, then follow it up with the Ripped In 30.

I have had the 30 Day Shred since sometime early last year if not since late 2011 and did a few days of it before giving up, not this time though. I purchased the Ripped In 30 yesterday and after 28 minutes of that my entire body could feel it and I am still sore today.

I figured it made more sense to shred than it did to get ripped first, so for the next 60 days I hope to stick with Jillian Michaels, almost as if this was my version of Insanity.

The only thing I have left to do is purchase a heart rate monitor. I am kind of leaning towards a New Balance one but cannot find anyone who can give a great review of the product, other than those reviews online. Studies have shown that you are more likely to write a negative review of a product no sooner than you get it than to write a positive review about a product after you have used it.

Hopefully the New Balance monitor will be a good starter one, then later in the year (maybe in another 6 months or so) I will upgrade to a Polar Heart Rate Monitor. If I choose to purchase the New Balance monitor I will definitely give it a review after I have used it for a while.

Once I have the Heart Rate Monitor I will be posting daily pictures to Instagram with the results from the monitor and monthly updates on inches lost (if any, I sure hope there will be).

Have a great SUPERBOWL Sunday!!

Today was my first day of Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and I can definitely say that I did not push myself hard enough (I probably didn't push myself at all), instead, I took my time and watched every single move that Jillian and her team were doing. This is the only way that I will definitely learn and the only way I will know that I am doing it correctly.

We all know that Jillian can (and will) push you to do your ultimate best and that is what I am expecting. I need someone who will push me to do my ultimate best and she is the perfect person for the job.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Weigh-In Day

There are times when I believe I can sense things and whether or not they did or did not occur. Last night I sensed that I did not lose a pound despite my hard work in the gym. Stepping on the scale this morning, it was revealed that I did not lose any pounds, but gained 0.4 ounces.  Some people might get discouraged by seeing that, but it doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would.

This journey won't be getting any easier and I am fine with that, I just need to amend my eating habits a little more. After all, I was eating those ice cream cups like there was no tomorrow. I have also noticed that I was consuming bagels from Einstein Bros. at least 2 (this week 3) times a week and the nearest one to me is 35 minutes away on my college campus!

This is part of my problem, I eat to consume calories so I am closer to my goal. This month I had already planned to go light on the carbs and I think I will stick to that (I like to change it up from month to month). When I look at it, I don't have to eat bread, I will be content without it. I love vegetables so I should have no problem eating meat and veggies.

For clarification purposes, I won't be giving up carbs forever, just reducing the amount of them I eat. I have found that I eat a lot of pointless carbs just to fill my plate and it doesn't have to be like that. If I eat sensibly then it can make a world of difference.

Going at this journey alone is no fun but it is always great to have "virtual" motivation from those on Lose It! and those who read this blog.

I don't look at this as a setback, I look at it as motivation to amend what I eat and keep up the hard work.

Weight loss to date: 8.2 pounds (that includes the 0.4 ounce gain). 

Friday, February 1, 2013

January Recap

As January came to a close yesterday, I wanted to take time and reflect on what has and what has not changed for me since I started this journey on January 2.

What has changed:

  • I feel a lot better about myself. I have more energy, my complexion is a  lot clearer (I suffer from melasma in certain areas of my face and I have noticed that it is starting to clear itself up). 
  • I LOVE to go to the gym. That is hard for me to say because I don't like to sweat (that much), but when I get into that gym, I just feel a surge of energy run through my body and I cannot wait to start sweating on the treadmill. I push myself harder on the treadmill so I can sweat more, because guess what, when sweat is rolling off my body (as nasty as that may or may not sound) that is when I feel the best because I am doing some, I am moving, I am making a change for the better.
  • I speak more in my college classes. I am not sure if this is psychological or not but for past semesters I would rarely speak in class because I didn't want to draw attention to myself, but now that I know I am making a change and my body will soon reflect that, my confidence level is starting to go up.
  • I take the long way (and yes this is the long way of telling this story too). I park at the end of the parking deck, walk to class (which is about three or four city blocks -- never sure how to measure those, lets just say I have to cross through three intersections), eat lunch, take my lunch box (an insulated Rachel Ray one which seems to be doing just fine) back to the car then go back through those three intersections to another class, then return to the area the parking deck is in for yet another class all before returning to the car. In the end, I have racked up over 5,000 steps which is my daily goal. I am not out of breath from walking yet feel excited to take that trip. 
What hasn't changed:
  • For some reason as of the last week or two, I have a strange obsession for anything sweet. I love fiber one brownies but lately I have had the taste for mint chocolate chip ice cream. Thanks to Edy's ice cream, they make small containers under 200 calories which have been my guilty pleasure. 
  • I seem to be in a rut when it comes to different foods to eat at lunch and dinner time (if you are reading this, please leave suggestions on what healthy foods you eat for lunch or dinner). 
  • I am still in the same size clothes. But hey, they do have enough room for me to get my thumbs in the waistband and pull the waistband out slightly. 
Overall, this journey has been an exceptional one and although it is going to get harder I am ready for the challenge because ti is something I want to go through, I want to make a change for the better and January (with a loss of 8.6 pounds) shows that I am more than dedicated. February can only bring better things.

Again, as January came to a close, thank you for following me on this journey. Feel free to follow this blog, follow me on Instagram or Twitter. As a final note, good luck on your weight loss journey!!