Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Last Day of the Semester

Today was my "official" last day of my junior year in college. Of course there are exams (awful, dreadful, horrible exams; well actually only one of them will be like that) but that doesn't do anything to bring down my happiness that I am well on my way to graduating next May.

During the semester I was bombarded with work, papers, exams, readings (your typical college stuff) and it really took a toll on me. Although I did okay with my eating and getting my exercise in, I could have definitely done better with both, a lot better.

You may be thinking, what does that have to do with this weight loss blog? Well, up until this past Friday I could never have imagined finding time to workout during the semester. Yes, this past Friday was practically the end of the semester and it would make sense that I could find the time, but the point is, the specific workout I have chosen has helped me find the time.

As you may (if you have read yesterdays post) or may not (if you haven't read the post or this is the first time you are reading my blog) know, I started the Biggest Losers Cardio Max workout. At the point I am at in the workout, I have been able to incorporate it into my daily routine. I always tried to make sure I worked out at least 2 days a week (during the semester) but now (of course, at the end) I am getting more days in. Definitely, better late than never.

I always told myself that I could find the time if I put my mind to it and I am finally doing that. I am finally able to focus on something that I am enjoying (in this case the workout). I am still in the beginning stages; trying to keep up with the moves, regulate my breathing so I can last longer, etc. but I am having fun with this workout and that's the most important thing.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Biggest Loser - Cardio Max

Yesterday, I mentioned that I had recently started the Biggest Loser Cardio Max workout and I am in LOVE with it so far. This is the first at home workout that I have found in a long time that actually challenges me and pushes me to new levels.

The workout, a 6-week program for maximum weight loss, features Bob, Jillian and Kim. Bob takes on cardio level 1 and leads the warm-up (5 minutes), cardio level (20 minutes) and cool down (5 minutes). Level one is as far as I have gotten since I started on Friday because it is recommend that you complete level one for weeks 1-2. Jillian comes next with cardio level 2 which adds on another 10 minutes and Kim comes in with cardio level 3 which is a kickboxing routine for another 10 minutes.

By week 6, the workout will run around 50 minutes but at the beginning it will run you around 30 depending on if you take breaks or not. For a 30 minute workout you do get a good calorie burn in.

Here are results from days 1 - 3. Day 1 is normally my day to follow along while taking note of everything that occurs in the workout which means I do not always catch every move but I do try. As the days go on, I try to add in a move that I may have missed on the first day or add more reps of moves that I may have stopped earlier than those in the workout.

Day 1 (Introduction)

              Day 2 (gave more than the previous day)

Day 3 (Completed some additional reps)

I do enjoy burning more calories than I did the day before, but I focus more on getting in all the moves and digging deeper than I did the day before even if I have to do a few reps more than once to get the hang of it.

One of the biggest things that I like about this workout is that it actually features real people. By real, I mean people who are not flaunting around their bodies in sports bras and short shorts (but I do suppose the whole "if you got it flaunt it" phrase appeals to most). The participants in this workout are actually from the Biggest Loser. There are times when they get off sync, when they don't dig as deep, when sweat is pouring off of them and they are breathing hard. These are the things that I want to see in a workout which is targeted at helping you lose weight. I can't follow someone (in other workouts) who does a modified version of something which is on the same level with the non-modification.

Yes, this workout does have modifications but they are modifications that I can follow. Each day I cannot wait to do this workout because seeing contestants from the Biggest Loser inspires me to push myself because I know that I can dig deep for something I want.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weekly Goals

This weeks goals are going to be very straightforward.

  • Log EVERYTHING!!- I had to put that in all caps for myself, before it goes into my mouth, it will be logged, this is the only way I can be accountable for everything that I eat or drink.
  • Exercise - I have a very busy week ahead of me but that is no excuse for me to slack up on my exercising. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter (if you don't and would like to, the links are provided to the right) you already know that I have begun The Biggest Losers Cardio Max workout. I have only done 3 days but I have thoroughly enjoyed it so far (more to come in a future post) but I would like to keep this going for the entire week.
  • Focus on clean eating / cut out junk foods - I am not sure what my exact definition of clean eating is but I do know that I am still monitoring my carbohydrate intake but I would like to keep my carb intake in check and increase protein and vegetables. At times that can get to be slightly difficult when you are in a rut food wise (which for me basically means, when you have a fridge full of food but you don't want to eat any).
  • Enjoy the last two days of the semester as well as the first day of exams - This probably seems like it has nothing to do with weight loss, but for me, if I can enjoy the last two days of the semester (that will be no problem at all) and make it through the first day of exams (without having a nervous breakdown) my week will be that much better which will definitely help me on this journey. 
These are the things I have to focus on to get my mind back into this weight loss game and to get myself back on the right path on this journey. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Weigh In Day

Today's weekly weigh in shows a 0.8 gain. Surprisingly, I am not mad at seeing that at all, mainly because I didn't have the best week but I also didn't gain a pound, only .8 ounces. Therefore, I am actually pretty pleased with today's results.

Total gain for this week: 0.8 pounds
Total loss for the month: 2.2 pounds
Total loss since the start of this journey: 15.2 pounds (this is why I am not mad at today's weigh in, because I am still holding at over 15 pounds lost)

Since April is coming to a close, I decided to take final measurements to see how I compared from the start of the month to now.

Here are measurements from Saturday, April 6:
Neck - 15
Bust - 46
Chest - 41
Waist - 44
Hips - 50
Thighs - 28
Calves - 16
Upper Arm - 14
Forearm - 10 1/2

Here are measurements for Saturday, April 27:
Neck - 15
Bust - 45
Chest - 39 1/2
Waist - 44
Hips - 50
Thighs - 28
Calves - 15 1/2
Upper Arm - 14
Forearm - 10

Overall, for the month as a whole, my inches went down, which is a large non-scale victory, I had a slight 1/2 inch increase in some areas from last week, but again, that is no problem because these things happen. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you don't. I have never had a week where I saw a substantial loss (like last weeks 3 pounds) followed by another substantial loss; it just doesn't work like that for me. What works for me is knowing that I feel better as each day moves on, not the number on the scale.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Week In Review

Looking back at this week, it was not exceptional at all. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful for my health and strength, but as far as my journey is concerned, it wasn't exceptional. As you get to the last week in the semester, you should never have the bulk of your work do at the same time. What happened to having work due throughout the semester? My talking about it won't change it though, so on to my weekly recap.

  • This week, I did much better with my water intake; maybe because I was so tired all I could do was drink water. 
  • As far as focusing on clean eating, that went in one ear and out the other. I didn't do terrible this week with eating but it wasn't the best it could have done.
  •  My exercise started off a little slow this week but picked up today where I knocked out 625 calories on the ski climber (I finally know what that other machine is called) followed by my "introduction" to The Biggest Loser's workout which knocked out another 262 calories. Therefore as far as exercising more, I did the majority of that today. 
I am not sure what to expect at tomorrows weigh-in which is the last for the month. Part of me wouldn't be surprised if I saw a gain but all of me would be thrilled if I saw a loss, only time will tell whether a rocky week with a strong finish actually pays off. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

15 Pounds Down, Now What?

For some reason, I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that since January 2, I have shed 15 pounds. Am I proud of that number? Most definitely! But, I do know that number is small compared to my target goal of 65 pounds.

Although it is small, it is still a stepping stone that gets me that much closer to my goal. When I look in the mirror, I still see the same person but my mind sees a person who is making a change for the better. This will be a long and hard process but it is one that I am ready for, one that I want and one that I will achieve.

I still cannot believe I have shed 15 pounds but the fact that my clothes are fitting better is a big indicator of something working. I will always think of myself as being plus size, no matter what size I am. It is harder to shed the person you are used to being but it is possible to gain the person that you desire to be.

I desire to be healthy and if shedding these first 15 pounds is any indicator of whats to come, then I am on track for being healthy. It's not just a number on the scale for me, it is how I feel overall and it is my non-scale victories as well.

I have a long way to go but looking at where I have come from (at my highest weight ever) there is absolutely no reason why I cannot succeed on this journey.

So, back to my question '15 pounds down, now what?', now I have to step up my game. Increasing my time in the gym pushes me to burn more calories and set more goals. I have to focus on healthy eating, no matter how many times I say that is what I am going to do, I continue to eat foods that are not healthy. But that is okay, because I am slowly getting them out of my system and before long I will not want them at all.

I will never neglect myself anything that I want. If I want a diet soda, I will have one. If I want a cheeseburger I will have one, etc. In order for me to be successful, I can't deny myself anything, if I deny myself then I will overdo it in the end.

In order to change my body, I have to change my mind. It takes baby steps and I am moving at the pace of a turtle, but slow and steady wins the race.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Polar FT4 Thoughts (After a Week of Use)

Run, Jog, Hop, Skip, Crawl ... do whatever you have to do to get you a Polar HRM. I don't know why I waited so long to purchase one, but the more I think about it, I purchased it when I was in a spot on my journey where I needed the extra push and my FT4 is giving me that and then some.

If you haven't check out my initial thoughts on the FT4 you can check them out right here (initial thoughts). I still feel the same way. This HRM gives you accurate results, there is no more wondering whether or not the machine at the gym got it right. It does link up with the machine when it comes to measuring your heart rate. The strap is so comfortable, that you don't even realize it is on; but trust me you will feel lost without it if you shall ever forget to put it on.

All I can say is that this device continues to amaze me everyday and instead of me rambling on an on (I will do that after using it for a month) don't waste any time in investing is this treasure, you will never regret it.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Non-Scale Victories

Since beginning this journey I have experienced some non-scale victories that I am happy about.

The largest non-scale victory I have been having (yes, having because it is still continuing) is a loss in inches. When I step back and look at it, I can be a pretty lazy person. I tell myself that I am going to work out, but I don't. The only days of the week where I really work out, and I dig deep in those workouts is on Wednesdays and Fridays. These are the days where I can really clear my head and I get addicted to burning more calories. I never really cut anything out of my diet, I just watch what I eat. If I want a cheeseburger and fries, I have those; but I do eat sensible meals around that. Instead of cutting foods out, I just eat them in moderation. Sometimes moderation means I don't have them at all, other times moderation means I have them once in a while. Therefore it seems that something I have been doing at the gym is paying off in a large way. I think that is really why I get a thrill out of going to the gym, a thrill that cannot even be described.

My face is getting thinner (is that even the correct term to use). If you hadn't seen me in years, you wouldn't notice, but looking in the mirror I can tell. Just as my face is getting thinner the collar bone is back. Well of course it never left, it was just hiding for a while; but now it is visible yet again.

My fingers are finally welcoming my high school class ring back. I know people probably don't even wear their rings anymore, but I would love to be able to wear mine once again and now that I can get it on with a little effort, I think in the near future I will be able to wear it comfortably again (of course by that time, I won't want to wear it).

My endurance is also up. I can last on a machine longer and with a harder intensity than I could when I first started this journey. Although my endurance is up, I can not do a push up for anything. When I played softball, I did my version of a modified push up, where my butt stayed in the air and I looked like a bird pecking for food; of course I became known for that and to this day I still do it the same way, except my butt stays level and I no longer look like I am pecking for food. This is one non-scale victory I hope to accomplish in the future, to be able to do an actual push up. I also wish I could last longer on workout DVDs but that will be another non-scale victory in the future I hope.

Just to give you a break from all of that reading:

Says the person who doesn't even have an iPhone because I refuse to give up my android.

Back to these NSV's:

My workout clothes are getting looser. If I could live in my workout attire I would. It's all I want to wear and lately it is very rare that I am in anything other than them (unless it is a Sunday or I have a presentation for class), I am convinced in my mind that if I wear them and need to run by the gym on my way home, I can and won't have to worry about changing clothes. But, it is a good feeling when clothes that once fit you, have gotten looser. On the other hand, that means I will eventually have to purchase new ones.

I am happier. I have not been able to wrap my head around what I am seeing on the scale or on the tape measure but just thinking about it makes me happy (I know that's a contradiction sense I can't wrap my head around it) to know that what I am doing is paying off.

Even if it is taking longer than I would like; I didn't put this weight on overnight and it won't come off overnight which means that I have to be patient. The numbers on the scales may go up from a gain in muscle, but as long as I continue having these NSV's I will be just fine.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Here are a few things I am looking forward to posting in the future. These things are actually pretty important to me because it keeps things in perspective and keeps me focused.
  • Final review of Polar FT4
  • How I feel after losing 15 pounds
  • Non-scale victories
  • What works and what doesn't work for me on this journey
These are just a few things but there are more to come.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Strange Things

It's funny how things happen. One day you may lose weight but no inches, the other you may lose inches but no weight. In the end, you are still working towards the same goal and no matter how you reach that goal, you are doing it on your own terms. 

Last week I mentioned that I have a wedding to attend and another week has passed with no weight loss, but a loss in inches and I am proud of that. Looking on the bright side, I do have another 14 days (including today) to work on meeting some more goals before the big day. 

This weeks goals:
  • Focus on clean eating - getting more fruits and vegetables into my body needs to be at the forefront of my mind all the time. Before i tried to tell myself if I couldn't log it into LoseIt! then I wasn't going to eat it, that worked but a lot of healthy dishes I may eat, may not be in LoseIt! so I have to make some amendments.
  • Exercise - this is still big for me. Getting in the gym excites me and once I complete a workout and see how many calories I have burned it feels as if I am on top of the world and that makes for a great remainder of the day. 
  • More water - Focus on drinking more water each day. If I don't focus on the specific ounces, I do better with consumption. 
This week I am keeping my goals simple because when it is all said and done, these are the 3 things I have to focus on anyways. These are the 3 things that my body needs to function and it is about time that I paid attention to these three things. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Weigh In Day

Luckily for me, I didn't gain anything this week but I also didn't lose anything. I would have loved to have lost   the 1.2 pounds that would put me back at my lowest weight since the start of this journey, but taking baby steps is what it is all about and as a baby sometimes you fall but you get right back up. Earlier this month I fell on this journey, but I got right back up and worked on losing that weight. Although I still have another 1.2 pounds to go before I am back to my lowest weight on this journey, I am still proud of the no gain.

Total weight loss this week: 0 pounds
Total weight loss this month: 3 pounds
Total weight loss since the start of this journey: 16 pounds

On the weeks where I don't lose any weight I figured I might as well check my measurements to to see if any numbers changed, so although the scale didn't go anywhere, the inches hopefully did.

Measurement from April 6:
Neck - 15
Bust - 46
Chest - 41
Waist - 44
Hips - 50
Thighs - 28
Calves - 16
Upper Arm - 14
Forearm - 10 1/2

Measurements from April 20:
Neck - 15
Bust - 45 1/2
Chest - 39 1/2
Waist - 43 1/2
Hips - 50
Thighs - 27
Calves - 16
Upper Arm - 14
Forearm - 10

Thankfully, I did lose inches which has made this week another non scale victory which is something to be proud of.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Week In Review & Boston Reflections

Looking back on my week, it was neither exceptional nor was it horrible, I would say it was somewhere in between but before I talk about my week I want to address something bigger.

I have always wanted to participate in a marathon (whether half or full) and my heart goes out to those in Boston who were doing what they wanted (and what many of them loved)  but an act of senselessness brought that to a tragic end. I will never be able to understand how the minds of other individuals work, why would anyone want to bring harm to other; especially innocent children who did nothing to you. Why must anyone take their anger, hate or frustration out on others?

Since Monday, many runners (even if they were not in Boston) have united to run for a common goal, to run for those affected; not just the individuals who were there but their families as well. I also commend the family members of those affected (whether they are survivors or they lost their lives) because they have been brave when others have not been able to, they also need our prayers to get them through this and my heart goes out to them also.

Looking back on my week, I did better than I thought I would. There were two days this week where I was actually able to drink about 30 ounces of water. That is a first for me (to have two days, that were not 90 degrees or above) that I was able to do that. I was able to give up the bulk of my Diet Dr. Pepper's, I only had 2 this week (one from the machine at school and one at home). This was a major accomplishment for me because lately I have only wanted Sweet Tea, Diet Dr. Pepper or Water (all in that order with the healthiest beverage option being last).

My eating was okay this week, I try to eat my larger meals at the beginning of the week and then eat smaller meals as the week progresses and I managed to do that. Exercise more, I have wanted to test my Polar FT4 out so bad that I couldn't wait to get in the gym the other day (check out Wednesdays post for a review on the Polar FT4) and I was impressed with the numbers I was seeing.

Today, was the best workout I have had on this journey. 52 total minutes in which I worked out my legs and did two elliptical (one for 30 minutes, the other for a 15 minutes cool down). Because I never know the proper names of machines, I have included the picture down below for reference (the two machines were the Precor on the left and the one on the right).

Earlier this month I gained 4.2 pounds and manged to lose 3 of those pounds last week, my goal for this week was to lose 1.2 pounds and although I am really hoping that I did, I feel that I am in a spot on the journey that my weight will fluctuate until I can find something that really works for me. Looking at what I have written down, I suppose my week wasn't too bad but as always there is room for improvement and tomorrow I will see whether my efforts this week have paid off or not. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Finding the Time

I have addressed this issue many times before and as much as I want to say that I have managed it, I haven't. What I am talking about is time management skills and exercising. I wish I could say I knew how to balance my time and get exercise in but as the semester comes to a close I am struggling to balance both on the days when I really need it. 

I'm at the point, where I am dragging myself out of bed on my "early" morning days. I drag my feet just to get out of the house and then am exhausted all day and can't wait to get home so I can go to bed. I have often thought about swinging by the gym on my way home, but it is packed and I don't want to feel overwhelmed with so many people in one place.

That is why I stick to my twice a week early morning workouts and surprisingly I can be up and ready to go in less than 30 minutes when I know I am going to the gym. While at the gym, and thanks to this new Polar HRM, I try to maximize the time I get to spend in there by conquering more than one machine. 

I just have to figure out ways to maximize my time at home. I have been spoiled by the gym and don't like doing at home workouts anymore, but I have to do what I have to do. How do you maximize your time when you are home and need to workout but your schedule won't allow?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Review

Earlier in my weight loss journey I set my sights on a Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor but I wasn't sure if it was worth the $89.99 price tag. So, I sat on the decision for a couple of months trying to figure out if  (when) I purchased it, would I use it until it wore out or would I purchase it, use it a couple of times and then leave it sitting on my dresser.

In the meantime I went ahead a purchased a cheaper heart rate monitor on clearance from Target to "test the waters", I knew if I enjoyed using a cheaper heart rate monitor I would love using one that came with a price tag worth double checking.

This Saturday, I purchased my Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor and I am absolutely in love with it. I purchased the pink/purple monitor (I loved the gray one but for some reason I thought because it had a man on the packaging, it was meant for a man - now that I think about it, I can't believe I actually asked that question out loud to my mom in the store) and couldn't be happier. It's a great color that makes you happy when you wear it and it actually makes me want to workout.

I have only used the Polar FT4 for 5 days so far, but I am impressed. Some of the things I like so far:

  • Both the monitor and the chest strap are comfortable enough to wear all day even if you aren't working out. Another bonus is that you can wear the strap without the Polar sensor (it snaps off).
  • You wet the sensors on the strap by running them under water. My previous HRM required saliva or some gel to activate the sensors.
  • The HRM syncs with machines at the gym. I am not sure if it technically considered syncing but while working out today, my heart rate displayed on the machine and on the Polar FT4 were the exact same.
  • Your workouts are stored.
  • The batteries are replaceable.
The only con I have so far is that the model I purchased doesn't tell you the percentage of fat you are burning, but I can definitely live without that.

Using the Polar FT4 over the course of 5 days has made me realize that I shouldn't have waited so long to purchase it. It has helped me get more out of my workouts by giving me accurate heart beats per minute, along with what I believe are accurate calories burned. You definitely get what you pay for, and I have gotten my $89.99 plus tax (and warranty) out of this product.

Below are pictures of the monitor, which if you haven't guessed by now, you should go out and purchase because it is one of the best ways to spend $89.99 while on a weight loss journey.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I'm on Bloglovin

If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that I am on Bloglovin'. I heard of Bloglovin' in the recent months but never knew what the hype was about until now. Bloglovin' is an easy way for you to view your favorite blogs and read their posts all in one place.

This blog has helped me so much on my journey thus far. It is a way of holding myself accountable. No one wants to say that they have gained weight while on a weigh loss journey, but there have been a few times where I have gained weight and posted about it mainly because I write this blog as if no one is reading (but I did get support from loyal readers). I post to hold myself accountable and along the way I have discovered (and thoroughly enjoyed) reading some really great blogs and discovering people who are going through the same thing that I am going through.

This blog has helped me become successful on this journey as well as give me a platform where I can talk about things that bother me while on this journey, things that have helped me and things that I want to accomplish.

So, if you are on Bloglovin' as well and would like to continue following me on my weight loss journey, click the button to your right and I will talk to you in further posts.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

New Balance N4 Final Thoughts

Last Monday I wrote about my amazing find in a lower priced heart rate monitor. I purchased it on clearance and for the price I paid, it served its purpose as an introductory HRM before I was ready for more expensive purchase. I purchased the New Balance N4 HRM for a little over $21 (plus tax) and when I got home I had to try it out.

I used it last week measuring my calorie expenditure doing workouts in the house, outside of the house and at the gym. My initial thoughts were that for the price (again I would have been a little hesitant about paying full price for this product) I was getting a decent HRM.

It is made to compliment women (meaning it's not going to look bulky on your arm) and it functions like many of the more expensive HRMs. These are all things I liked. Now for the one major things I didn't like. You have to wet the sensors with your own saliva, you cannot use water. They recommend you putting your finger in your mouth and then wetting the sensors, placing the strap to your body, giving it a few seconds to register and then you are all set. Although you were wetting the sensors with your own saliva (a personal choice because they do have gel available for you to put on the sensors, you just have to find it) it was still unhygienic  but again, I can't complain because I opted not to purchase the gel.

Using it outside showed that I burned 21 calories, simply from walking from my back porch to feeding my dog; using it for Zumba indicated a nice calorie burn although I had to stop because the sensor wasn't reading properly and using it at the gym showed me that for the first 8 minutes or so the HRM and the machine were showing the same amount of calories burned then from the 9 minute mark to the 15 minute mark the N4 was showing about 30 - 40 calories higher. All of these numbers may have been accurate because I was using the strap with it, but I always had my doubts about it accuracy.

After using the N4 for a week, I give it a  3 out of 5 for my final rating (average rating for me 3.75 out of 5) simply because no matter how much saliva you put on the sensors, you may still not get a reading (essentially having to do it again, which is really bad if you are in the middle of a great workout and have to restart the device), I am still not sure how accurate this device actually is and unfortunately if you are not around other noise, you are going to have to listen to this slight ticking noise coming from the sensor.

Overall, if you just need an introductory device and you can find it cheap, I say go for it, but if you know you need something more, avoid it.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Weekly Goals

As usual, there were goals I didn't accomplish last week that have earned their spot back on this list. One thing that is different this week his the fact the my cousin and his fiancĂ© are getting married in 2 weeks. For me, that means there will be someone with a camera taking pictures, especially when you least expect it. Since the camera does add 10 pounds (trust me it does), I have to step up my game. 

This week I want to:
  • Focus on healthy eating - broiled / baked and not fried. I don't want to eat anything that is loaded down in grease nor do I want anything that I will regret eating later.
  • Water, water, water - I really need to drink more water. Especially on hot days but I need to focus on this everyday. This week I am not putting a specific number of ounces I want to drink down, I am just focusing on drinking more water.
  • Exercise more - The weather is getting better and that means it is time for outside walks. It also means that I seem to have an addiction to getting to the gym but have been so short on time that I haven't been able to go as often as I like. 
  • Lose at least 1.2 pounds - I gained 4.2 pounds at the beginning of the month and have lost 3 of those pounds, losing the additional 1.2 pounds would put me back at my lowest weight on this journey.
  • Give up a couple Diet Dr. Peppers - I love those sodas but I know I can live without one or two of them each week.
These are just a mini list of goals that I want to accomplish and I hope to accomplish this week.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Weigh In Day

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have already seen that tweet if you haven't I want to welcome you into my point of view for the next few minutes. Losing weight is like a roller coaster, when your numbers are going down, it's the most fun. When your numbers are going up, you are constantly in anticipation of what comes next.

At my weekly weigh in on March 30, my scale indicated that I had lost 2.4 pounds. I thought that was a bit odd, but I went with it because I stepped on the scale 3 times and got the same reading. The following week, where I focused on non-scale victories, according to my scale - which I believe is right, I gained at least 4.2 pounds.

Again, I wasn't sure if that was odd or not but I was so focused on non-scale victories (which are definitely important) that my mind wasn't fully wrapping around the numbers I saw on the scale. Yes, I was a little sad to see those numbers but it just forced me to push myself harder and realize that one week where I had a remarkable weight loss won't be the same for the rest of the weeks.

This week when I stepped on the scale, I lost 3 of those 4 pounds. Again I am taking this number with a grain of salt, mainly because I didn't follow up with what I saw last week on my weigh in day blog post. So, in order for me to get back to my lowest weight that I have been on this journey, I have to lose another 1.2 pounds.

Although, this is a minor setback, I feel that I can overcome it with hard work and dedication but I know it will take a lot of both. This is something that I have been bracing myself for and it is finally here so now I have to prove to myself that I can overcome this and not have it hold me back.

Total loss for this week: 3 pounds
Total loss for the month: 3 pounds (after a 4.2 pound gain earlier in the month)
Total loss since the start of this journey: 16 pounds (still proud of that number)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Week In Review

Another week has come and gone, looking back on it, this week went by rather quickly (it's funny how on Monday it never seems that Friday will get here). With all that aside, I feel that I have had another good week. Of course, if I stepped on the scale it would probably say otherwise, but I feel really good about my week.

As usual, I had goals for this week. As usual, I had goals I didn't meet.

Drinking at least 32 ounces of water seems to be impossible for me. There was only one day this week that I was able to drink over 32 ounces of water, simply because it was 94 degrees outside and by the time I got inside I felt like a dog left out in the heat with no water in its bowl. This will be a goal of mine until I finally accomplish it.

As far as staying low carb, this week there were a couple of days where I had one main carb and my side item was another carb. That really didn't bother me as much because there were more times this week when my meals didn't consist of more than one carb.

Exercise was pretty much non-existent this week. I went to the gym, literally ran in, hoped on the machine for 15 minutes, then ran back out - I was that short on time, but wanted to get in a much needed (even if very short) workout. That is the day in which I really tested out my New Balance N4 HRM.

I am still working on being proud of the body I am in but one thing I am proud of is knowing that my workout clothes are getting looser. That is a major non-scale victory. This week and last week have been so good for me that I could probably go without getting on the scale once again, but I know I will have to eventually.

Hopefully, if I do choose to weigh-in tomorrow, the results will be something I have worked for.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Talk About Busy

If there has ever been a time in my life when I could say the next 4 months of my life were going to be busy, it is now. School will be over on April 30 (talk about throwing a party in my head, actually when I just typed that, my heart skipped a couple of beats because I am in desperate need of a break).

I have been looking for internships and so far although I haven't found anything (yet), I was asked to join my counties Relay for Life committee. Talk about excited, I almost cried when I was asked to join the committee which means my entire month of May (and June) is FULL, but it is a good full, one that I really want because I am helping out with a good cause. I have final exams, Relay for Life meetings (I am so super excited about these, just like Agnes in Despicable Me, when she talks about the unicorn, but my excitement deals with being on the committee and not a unicorn) then classes over the summer. Actually, I hope I actually have time to enjoy summer.

If there has ever been a time where I really need to take time for myself and focus on giving my body what it needs and can use, it is now. Making sure I am eating healthy, working out (even if not everyday) and getting enough rest.

The next few months will be the true tests, if I don't cave in and eat everything in sight, I should be okay but only time will tell.

Also, if you have no idea who Agnes is from Despicable Me, here is the clip I was referring to.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Staying True to Myself

One thing that I have to learn on this journey, is that no matter what, I have to stay true to myself.

Who am I doing this for?

Who do I need approval from?
No one.

I shouldn't care what people think of me and how they view me. What matters is what I think of me and how I view myself. I am getting in shape for me, not for others who will view me differently once all this extra weight is gone. I really have to focus on what works for me and make that better as time goes on. I have to be proud of what I have accomplished not focus on what I have failed at. I have to realize that one day the struggle to lose weight will not be there anymore and I will be at my "goal".  I have to realize all of this and much more.

I have to stay true to myself.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Judgmental Society

I thought this was pretty funny when I saw it. When I think about starting a new journey (I hate to call it a diet), I think of all the things I need to eat up before that day comes. Luckily, I no longer go through that stage anymore because I know that if I eat in moderation everything will be fine.

But, that picture is not what this post is about. This post is about judgments.

I don't know why, and I may be slightly paranoid, but I always feel that when I am among others (mainly in crowds) that they are judging me.

I am not sure what it is and I am probably over-thinking things, but it seems that there is always going to be someone who can't help but say something negative about you. For me, I used to (and still do) hate walking in front of a group of people alone. Not sure why that bothers me, especially since they are in their own little world and I am in mine. What makes it worse now is being on a weight loss journey and feeling the same way.

It's almost as if I have to go through a list of things in my head before I complete an action. I have to make sure the dreaded "muffin top" isn't jiggling when I walk. So you know what that means, suck it in and hope for the best. I hate wearing anything sleeveless because of the stretch marks on my arms and the fact that my arms jiggle if I move them too much. Sometimes I don't like to wear shorts because my thighs rub together and the shorts ride up in the middle. These are all things that I feel like I am being judged by society on.

Of course, if I work hard enough I can lose the muffin top and my thighs might shrink, but one thing I will never lose is the stretch marks, they will always be a part of me because they have made me who I am today. They have made me a person who hates to show of her arms because they are there, but also a person who realizes that they came from eating and gaining weight as well as watching what I eat and losing weight.

No matter how much weight I lose, I will always feel like people are judging me when they may in fact be minding their own business. For me it does directly correlate with my weight and the fact that being plus sized seems to be a negative thing in today's society, why I am not sure, but it really sets a negative image for young girls. That they can't be healthy and plus size because it's not what society wants.

I will always feel like I am being judged for being of a larger size and I probably am. Until someone actually judges me to my face, I will always wonder what kind of society judges people based on their outward appearances and what kind of society judges people at all.

Monday, April 8, 2013

New Balance N4 Product Review

This past Saturday, I went shopping with one specific purchase in mind; a heart rate monitor. I had my sights set on the New Balance N4 at Target since I noticed they were reasonably priced at $69.99 (I know what you are thinking, that's not reasonably priced, especially since I could get a Polar FT4 for practically the same price, but for me it was, especially since they go on sale at Target).

A couple weeks ago I was in Target and they had marked the N4s down between $33.99 and $36.99. Again, this price was remarkable (better than the original) because you were getting a product at almost half price and it was coming from a brand that does a lot with sports equipment.

But, I waited to see if it was going to go any lower (I stood on the aisle for about 15 minutes just looking at them and trying to figure out if I should buy one, I knew I should have, but I didn't). The next week I went into target the N4s were marked down to $20.98. Again, I knew I should have purchased it then because I would not see that product at that price again and I was right.

This weekend I went into Target (I go every weekend in case you were wondering by now) and there were no N4s left on the shelf in either sports equipment or electronics (you know how things travel, you pick it up and want it, then decide you don't and put it back at the nearest location). I left that Target and went to another Target, still no N4s, but I found a Gaiam HRM for about $9.00. I looked at the review online and as always you had a mixture of both negative and positive, more negative though. I still purchased it because for $9.00 even if I only used it once, it wasn't going to be the end of the world.

I tried one last Target on my way home and couldn't find any marked down N4s in the sporting goods section, so I decided to venture to the electronics section to see if they had any phone cases (I know, that has nothing to do with a HRM) and it is a good thing that I did. There on the shelf was one last New Balance N4 Heart Rate Monitor and I grabbed it, went to the front, returned the Gaiam and purchased that one.

2 days have passed and I am still impressed (and learning) with this HRM. I have read countless negative reviews on sites like Amazon, the majority of which seem to be targeted at the fact that the watch doesn't do what the individual intends for it to do or the watch was sent to them from Amazon with missing parts, used or missing instructions. None of which I see as reasons that you should write a negative review about a product. But, this is where I will give my review of the product in later weeks.

The HRM doubles as a watch and fits comfortably on your wrist. The band, you wear it right under your bust, is elastic and feels like you are wearing nothing at all. Overall, I haven't had it but for 2 days and my initial rating is that I give it a 4 out of 5 (only because I had to set everything back to default for it to get an accurate reading).

It fits my needs, looks nice (I wish I could have found it in a different color), is comfortable and was very reasonably priced.

Stay tuned for a more updated review in weeks to come. Below are pictures of the product (minus the band). Check back for a more detailed review.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Weekly Goals

For the life of me, I cannot seem to accomplish a few simple goals that I set each week. I am not sure what it is that makes it so hard for me to accomplish but I just can't seem to do it. Some of these goals are repetitive  because practice makes perfect and the more I practice at these goals the more chances I have to succeed at them.

This week, I want to:

  • Lose at least 1 pound - losing one pound puts me closer to my next mini goal but it also means that I have to really buckle down and focus on what I am eating. Enough with the sweets and more of the healthy foods. I say at least 1 pound because I wouldn't mind losing more than that, but I definitely don't want to gain weight. On the other hand, if I did gain weight, I have to realize it is not the end of the world, I just need to refocus. 
  • Drink at least 32 ounces of water daily - I am not sure when I will ever reach this goal, but until then it will show up on this least weekly.
  • Stay low carb - I love carbs. I won't even lie and say I could give up carbs cold turkey, because that would never happen. That is why for the past month or so I have been keeping my carb intake low. I try to have at least one carb at each meal, but if I have two, I don't freak out, I just know I have to work on making sure I get more protein into my meals.
  • Stay closer to my calorie budget - this has worked for me in the past and this week I am vowing to myself that if I cannot log it into LoseIt!, I will try not allow it to enter my body (notice I said try, because there will be some things that may not be in the LoseIt! data base so I have to take an estimated average on those). 
  • Exercise more - this will always be a goal, no matter what stage I am on this journey. I have yet to get in 5 full days of 30 minutes or more worth of exercise. It's getting closer to the end of the semester, time is getting shorter, but I also need my numbers to continue going down and once again, this goal, has landed on the list. The weather will be absolutely beautiful this week, so I am going to take advantage of that.
The goal that I want to accomplish the most:
  • Be proud of the body that I am in - yes, I don't have the body society says I should, but I have the body that is a result of eating (gaining weight) and watching what I eat (losing weight). It's not perfect, I don't want it to be. I just want to be happy and comfortable in this body and the further I make it on this journey, the better I feel. 

This week will be a week where I buckle down and refocus. My priorities are my health and well being and I have to focus on both of those. I am what I am and that is something I have to appreciate.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Weigh-In Day

After writing yesterdays post, I felt that my entire week was a huge non-scale victory. This entire week I have actually felt lighter and I think my brain has finally caught up with the scale and realized that I am losing weight. Since I felt lighter I decided to change up today's weigh in day and update some measurements.

It has been 3 weeks since I updated my measurements and looking back on it, I can see why some people take measurements weekly so they know what has or has not changed (I could never do that though, I would be fixed on these numbers and probably obsessed with them).

For reference, here are measurements from March 16:
Neck - 15
Bust - 47
Chest - 41
Waist - 46
Hips - 51
Thighs - 28 (both)
Calves - 17 (both)
Upper Arm - 14 (both)
Forearm - 11

Here are measurements for April 6:
Neck - 15
Bust - 46
Chest - 41
Waist - 44
Hips - 50
Thighs - 28
Calves - 16
Upper Arm - 14
Forearm - 10 1/2

This months measurements show a loss in inches from my bust (-1 inch), waist (-2 inches!!), hips (-1 inch), forearms (- 1/2 inch) and calves (-1 inch). Talk about excited, these numbers actually mean more to me than the numbers on the scale and I actually think I could go the entire month of April just updating measurements without stepping on the scale because at this point, these non-scale victories are what keep me moving forward because it actually shows that my body (not my weight) is reaping the benefits of working out.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Week In Review

Yet another week has come and gone. Educational wise, that is a good thing - I am closer to the end of the semester but it also means that I am one week closer to my estimated goal date (September 14). According to Lose It!, I will have lost a total of 63 pounds by that date in September. As I get closer to that date, it seems that the weeks fly putting me even closer to that date.

Luckily went I went to the gym this week, there was already someone on the Precor machine (the elliptical - see picture, machine on left) so I had to go to the machine on the right (not sure what its technical name is, I call it "the other elliptical"). This gave me the chance to switch up my routine. Lately I have been sticking to one machine for multiple days at the gym instead of switching the machines up. 

As far as working out this week, I did manage at least 3 days; 2 at the gym and 2 at home. Of course 2 + 2 = 4 but my 2 days at home were sort of half days of Yoga Meltdown so I just combined those. The weather is shaping up to be much better next week so hopefully I can get out and walk each day.

Once again, I came no where close to drinking 32 ounces of water daily. Lately I have had this Diet Dr. Pepper craving and this entire week, that craving has been satisfied almost daily. I did manage to stay low carb for another week in a row, except for Thursday when I had this craving for Pizza Hut personal pan pizza and bread sticks (the Pizza Hut on campus gives you an exceptional deal when you get a combo which includes the personal pan pizza, bread sticks and a medium drink). 

Lately, I have been struggling with eating closer to my calorie goal and looking back on this week, to get closer to my goal I have been incorporating desserts, which I would like to stop incorporating and incorporate smoothies into my day. 

Coming off of this week, I feel like I have had a good week and even if I gain a few ounces or a pound, I feel good about myself (which is a major non-scale victory) and my week. For me, looking back on my week and feeling good about myself means more to me than any number on the scale (okay, if I saw a lower number tomorrow I would be very very excited, but I shall not dwell on that). Tomorrows weigh in will be replaced with measurements because I feel that my entire week was a huge non-scale victory. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Struggling to Eat More

Yes, if I was reading that title (and knew me like I know me) I wouldn't believe it, but it's true. I never thought I would ever say, in my entire life, that I am struggling to eat more.

Now, when I say I am struggling to eat more, I don't mean that I don't have enough food to choose from. I mean that after I exercise, and my calories are adjusted, I can't think of anything additional to eat to put me closer to my calorie budget.

The days in which I really struggle are the days when I exercise the most, Wednesdays and Fridays. I don't see myself giving up exercising any time soon, so I have to find some things to fill in for those missing calories. and I need to find it soon.

My plan is to incorporate smoothies into my diet. Incorporating smoothies has been a goal of mine for a while now, after all I have all of the necessary items but I am just too lazy to throw them in the blender and blend them; especially after I have gone to the gym and returned home to tackle homework.

To get closer to my calories last week and this week, I have been consuming birthday cake (last Saturday and this past Monday my parents celebrated their birthdays) and Easter deserts. Of course, none of that is healthy when eaten multiple times a week, but it has helped me get closer to my calorie goal and getting closer to my calorie goal paid off last week.

Weeks ago, I sampled a protein shake at my local GNC and even if it had been mixed with milk (instead of water, all the manager had was water) I am not sure if I would have wanted to have a bulky container of protein powder on my counter and use it three times before giving it up.

Luckily, I found the largest size of Naked Juice that I could possibly find and have kept that on hand for a quick pick me up before the gym. I just need something new for after the gym. That's why I figured that incorporating fresh ingredients into smoothies was my best bet at staying healthy and getting closer to my calories. It enables me to stay healthy while curbing a sweet tooth. Therefore, the sooner I find the perfect smoothie, the better.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Take Care of Your Body

Sometimes, I wonder why I never listen to the things I say. Last weekend, I was telling one of my cousins (who has become interested in sports) that if she wanted to take up softball, it would require a huge commitment and she had to get her body in shape before ever worrying about picking up a ball, but I had no problem helping her.  Not only did she have to get her body in shape, she had to take care of it afterwards. After all, this is the only body we will ever have, we don't get a new one like we do cars or houses, this is with us for the rest of our lives.

If I took my own advice, it would be smart. I probably carry around 20 pounds or more on my back each Tuesday and Thursday. The other day I complained about my back hurting (I wonder why) and my mom asked me why do I carry all of those books and I really had to think about it. I came up with three reasons.

Reason 1: I carry all of those books because I feel that I need them for class. Reason 2: the one day that I don't have one of those books is the one day that I will desperately need it. Reason 3: I must like walking around in pain from all of that weight (okay, not a real reason, but I just wanted to say it).

I told my mom the reason I carry all of those books is because I need them for class, plain and simple. I am able to follow along, plus do homework while on campus, that way I don't have to do any when I get home. If I took my own advice, I would lose some of the books and carry what I truly know I will need that day.

I need my body to take me through the rest of my life and I can't keep wearing it down with text books and bad foods. Monitoring what goes into my body will help me the rest of my life. Yes, some people can eat junk foods, foods soaked in grease or high in fatty acids and live long lives. But, I am not one of those people who even want to try that kind of diet.

Eating fresh fruits, vegetables, drinking more water, taking the stairs, not carrying so many books at one time, etc. may seem meaningless now, but it can have lasting (positive) impacts on my body. If you treat your body with respect, it can make a world of difference.

Jim Rohn said it best, "Take care of your body, It's the only place you have to live," he's right; our bodies are the only place we have to live, but will I finally take my own advice and start taking care of mine?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Goals

Each week I think of goals I want to accomplish, lately those goals have been the same because I fail to accomplish them the week before. For the month of April, I would like to:

  • Lose at least 2.8 pounds - that puts me at a total loss of 20 pounds since the start of my journey.
  • Continue exercising - whether at the gym or at home, especially during weeks where I am buried under a ton of school work and it seems there is no way out.
  • Stay low carb - best decision I have made in a long time
These are just a few goals (which seem repetitive if you read my weekly goals), ultimately I want to adjust to the changes that I am seeing in myself. Realizing that on the weeks where I don't lose weight (or even if I gain a few ounces), it's not the end of the world, instead its the beginning of a few non-scale victories. At this stage, I have to focus on mental changes as well as physical changes in order to become more well rounded. 

As the month of April continues, I hope to be able to add more goals to this list and cross goals off because I have accomplished them. Only time will tell if that happens or not.

Monday, April 1, 2013

March Recap

March started off slow for me, far from "in like a lion, out like a lamb" that March is known for. March was exactly the opposite for me, "in like a lamb, out like a lion".

Exercise wise, it was pretty mundane until the end of the month. Hitting the gym as usual, but I was able to incorporate two new machines into my routine which have provided, what I see as, great results. I also incorporated Yoga Meltdown into my routine, which I will definitely be continuing.

Eating wise, I did well and stayed low carb, trying different variations of foods, especially vegetables (a big shout out to my cousin for introducing my entire family to vegetables acceptable for the South Beach Diet, no I am not on South Beach, but my cousin seems to be fond of that diet). I did hit a point where all I craved were sweets, ice cream, cake, whatever was sweet.

I had a goal of losing at least 5 pounds in March and although I fell short of that goal by 1 pound, I don't feel to bad about it at all, I am actually happy to have lost 4 pounds in a month, especially a month which started slower than normal.

Non-scale victories are becoming more apparent  with some of my workout clothes fitting looser than they once did before (definitely a big accomplishment). I am able to last longer at the gym (and during at home workouts) before breaking out in a sweat as well.

Although march came in quiet for me, it went out with a bang and I certainly hope I can say April came in with a bang and went out with a bigger bang, but I have another 29 days to evaluate that.