Friday, April 22, 2011

What A Day!

Today was my last session with my trainer, at least until I win the lottery or come into money some other way. I'm really going to miss working out with her! She has helped me SO MUCH. Not just losing weight, but learning HOW to weight train and WHY it's so important. I did things today that 3 months ago I would have thought impossible. She had me doing jumps from the ground onto the squishy side of a bosu ball which was sitting on a 6" tall pad. So jumping about a foot in the air and landing on a non-stable surface. And I did it A LOT! Also - we did step ups with an overhead press. And the step I was stepping onto? Was about a foot and a half high. Interestingly enough, I used to HATE step-ups on that bench because they were so hard. But today, the overhead presses were harder! My legs are so much stronger!

I can even provide proof. My first training session was January 19. Here were my measurements that day -
Weight 205.0 lbs
Body Fat % - 36.6%
Chest - 41.75 in.
Right Arm - 13.5 in.
Waist - 41 in.
Hips - 45.25 in.
Butt - 48 in.
Right Thigh - 28 in.
Right Calf - 17.5 in.

Here were my measurements today, April 22 -
Weight 192.8 lbs (If you were reading yesterday, this was on a different scale.)
Body Fat % - 33.7%
Chest - 39.75 in.
Right Arm - 13.25 in.
Waist - 39.25 in.
Hips - 42.5 in.
Butt - 45 in.
Right Thigh -26.25 in.
Right Calf - 17.5 in.

Here's what all that means. in 3 months, I have lost:
12.2 pounds
2.9% of body fat
2 inches from my chest
0.25 inch from my arms
1.75 inches from my waist
3 inches from my hips
3 inches from my butt
1.75 inches from my thighs

That's almost 12 INCHES all together! And even better - today I was able to put on jeans that I haven't worn since 2008. That's a better result than anything else. :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weigh-in Day, April 21

190.6! Oh my gosh!!! Down 3.6 pounds from last week!!!

You know what the craziest thing is? I wasn't even perfect! Saturday night I had tiramisu at a restaurant. Sunday I had steak and baked beans and had drinks with friends. I JUST CUT OUT CHIPS. I cut a large amount of salt out of my diet and replaced it with much healthier stuff. I can't believe the result!!

I really think it's changed the way I think about food. For example, right now I'm snacking on guacamole with cucumber slices instead of chips. I don't even have to cut out chips anymore - it's just what I wanted! Don't get me wrong, I still craved chips (or salty things, really), but not nearly as often as I thought I would. And chips used to kind of be my comfort/reward food. And guess what - I didn't die without them! I was able to control myself and life didn't end. I know that sounds ridiculous - it's just food. But when you become attached to something and you see it as a comfort, sometimes it feels really hard to do without it. Food becomes your security blanket.

But coming from someone who LOVES food and LOVES bad food, life will go on when you change your diet. Yes, things will change, but only in the best ways. You will not be starving, you will not feel deprived, you will thank yourself. All I remember about this week is that I've felt fuller than normal and I've had a lot more energy. Not the fact that I cut out a food that I love.

My challenge paid off! What will you challenge yourself with?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One Week Without Chips, Day 6

So, I had intended to write a little bit in here every day of this Challenge Week, but obviously that's not what happened. Life got in the way a little!

Things have still been going very well. Still no chips! Lots of popcorn and a few servings of reduced fat triscuits, but no other slip ups! And actually, I used to eat an entire bag of 96% fat free light butter popcorn in one sitting, and now I've found that I really only need about a half of a bag to feel full. I also used to eat 2 servings of triscuits at once but I've been very diligent about making sure that doesn't happen. In general, I've been feeling more full and I've had more points left over at the end of the day. Which, I will say, has lead me to eat some of the girl scout cookies I keep in my freezer, but not without logging their points values online!

Yesterday, I had a big workout (circuit training class - it's HARD! and then I ran for 15 minutes) and had to go to work afterward. Then I had a chicken salad with triscuits and low-fat cheese spread for lunch. Through most of work, I felt tired and lacking energy. Once I got home and had some whole wheat pasta for dinner, though, I was feeling much better. Usually on Mondays I'm full of energy - Tuesdays are the days that I'm feeling tired. Upon analyzing all this, I think it was because I didn't have many carbs for lunch. Although I had protein (a necessity after working out), my body didn't have quite enough energy to get through the day. So in contrast today, after my run, I had pasta for lunch instead of dinner. And I'm feeling perfectly normal.

I'm sure you've all heard that to lose weight, you should eat your big meals in the morning and afternoon and smaller meals at night. I don't find this to be really true. Now, if you don't eat anything all day and then gorge on dinner, you'll probably have a hard time losing. On the other hand, I often snack later in the evening and it hasn't inhibited my weight loss. I believe the bigger issue is WHAT you eat for dinner and lunch. Your body needs carbs to get through the day - they are your major source of energy. So having only a salad for lunch often will make you feel hungry or sluggish later on in the day. I used to pair my salads with chips for lunch - now I'm thinking I will eat them at night without chips. Better choices for lunch are sandwiches or pasta - something with energy to keep you from passing out on your desk/cubicle wall/piano at around 3. HOWEVER - if you overeat pasta, you will still feel sluggish. If you get sandwiches with mayonnaise, cheese, fatty meats and white bread, you will probably still feel sluggish. Measure out your portions! They are always important! Your sandwiches can still be delicious, I promise. Try wheat bread, hold the mayo (mustard is a better low calorie option for taste) and go for lower fat meats - turkey, chicken breast, even roast beef in moderation. Cheese is a good source of protein - but most of them are really high in fat, also. If you make your sandwiches at home, buy fat free cheese slices of whatever kind of cheese you prefer. If you're at a restaurant, hold the cheese. Remember - restaurants usually hide extra calories in things like butter for the bread, or oil to cook the meat in. And most restaurants coat their food in salt for flavor - be very mindful of what you're eating! Don't be afraid to ask questions!

Enough preaching for today. I'm REALLY looking forward to my weigh-in on Thursday. I think it's going to be a great one! How often do you hear people say that? Stay tuned to see how my challenge has paid off!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

One Week Without Chips, Day 3

Hey friends!

So far the challenge has been a success! Not to say that it hasn't been a little challenging. But no chips yet!

On Thursday night, I had some reduced fat Triscuits. Now, Triscuits are made with whole wheat, so they're a lot more filling than chips anyway. A good option if you want to cut out empty calories!

I will mention that yesterday I hardly felt hungry at all. I stayed fuller longer on the same amount of calories! Which proves my point that chips don't keep you as full as you might like to believe. Instead, I've been substituting fruit or salad. Fuel your body needs!

That's all for now - keep tuning in!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Weigh-in Day, April 14/One Week Without Chips - Day 1

194.2. Only down 0.2 pounds from last week. BUT I didn't GAIN weight either. And my birthday celebrations continued into this week more than I anticipated. I went out to dinner a lot, and it's always hard to judge exactly what you're eating at a restaurant and how much of it I'm eating. I got into the gym a lot more this past week than I did the week before. So - better than last week!

Also, my trainer and I did measurements yesterday, and I lost another 1.25 inches from about 3 weeks ago. 0.75 inches from my butt, 0.25 in. from hips and 0.25 in. from my arms. On the downside, my last session with my trainer is next Wednesday. I LOVE working with her and she's really helped me, but I just can't afford any more sessions. So - I'm going to do my best to take what I've learned and push myself to keep losing and toning. On the upside - she said we could meet every few weeks or so to take measurements so I can still keep tabs on that. As I said in an earlier post this week, I'm going to rely a bit on classes that help me weight train. I know I can push myself when I do cardio - but weight training is hard, in case you didn't get the memo!!

As far as my One Week Without Chips goes - no problem so far. Today for lunch I had wheat pasta with salad. This morning, I had strawberries and tried a new cereal - Kashi GoLean Crisp, Berry Crunch flavor. It was good! It definitely kept me fuller longer than normal cereal - give it a shot! So I have some healthy carbs in me and the cereal was a great source of protein. Look at me evaluating my food. Weird.

One last thing - Goals for this week:
Thursday, April 7 - 4 fruits and veggies
Friday, April 8 - worked out with trainer, 3 fruits and veggies
Saturday, April 9 - worked out (running and yoga class), 4 fruits and veggies
Sunday, April 10 - 3 fruits and veggies
Monday, April 11 - worked out (circuit training class), 3 fruits and veggies, cooked chicken and pasta
Tuesday, April 12 - worked out (running), 4 fruits and veggies
Wednesday, April 13 - worked out with trainer, 4 fruits and veggies

I could stand to do better with my fruits and vegetable intake, but good with working out! I'm hoping to try a new recipe this week. More to come soon!! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Something Different

Hey guys!

I've been breaking my own rule of only weighing myself once a week lately, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to lose a little weight. But not enough to get me down to where I was before the birthday celebrations. Now, I have 2 weeks before I leave for Texas (get excited, Texas readers!) and I wanted to be under 190 before then. How can I do that? Well, I'm doing something drastic.

ONE WEEK WITHOUT CHIPS. (Okay, so maybe that was a little dramatic. But if you know me, you know that I wish I could live on chips and salsa.) Seriously, though. I will not eat chips for an entire week. Now, you notice that I am not cutting out carbs - just the empty ones. In fact, here is a list of the carbs that I CAN eat:
whole wheat bread (or any kind - bagels, tortillas, etc.)
whole wheat pasta
whole grain cereal
brown rice
96% fat free light butter popcorn

I allowed myself one splurge - in popcorn. I usually eat it as my snack at night, and it's very low in calories. That's my one treat!! Anyway - your body needs carbs for energy - what it doesn't need is empty processed carbs that have no nutrients in them. White bread and chips are the biggest culprits for Americans. I already eat wheat bread, so now I want to try to cut out chips.

I'm not saying that chips can't be part of a healthy diet - but I know that I rely on them too much. Plus, I'm not good at controlling my portions of chips. I will munch on them without thinking, and end up eating about twice the portion size. So, my hope is that cutting them out will force me to find new, healthier things to eat. And help me be better in control of my portion size!!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Weigh-in Day, April 7

194.4. I gained 2 pounds over my Birthday week. So, that sucks. But I kind of expected it. The same thing happened when I went on vacation - I had gained weight when I got back, and then I lost it the next week. So, back to the routine!!

This morning I took a yoga/pilates class which was AWESOME! It has been so long since I've taken one. If you were reading these last year, I was taking a class called "Body Flow" that blends yoga, pilates and tai chi. But when I lost my membership at my old gym, I couldn't go anymore. And I've been wanting to try this class (called Rush Centergy) since I joined The Rush, but they don't offer it at the most convenient times for me. Often it's at 8:30am!!! Anyway, usually they don't offer them on Saturdays, but today they were releasing a new class so they had a special thing going on. And I tell you what - I have DEFINITELY gotten stronger, more flexible, and more capable. I could do stuff today that I couldn't do a year ago! That was very cool to see. I mean, it still wasn't easy, but I COULD do it. And I didn't feel out of place in the class, which was a big plus.

I have a friend who is nervous about going to classes by herself. I imagine that this is not an uncommon fear. Since I take a fair amount of them, let me go ahead and put any nervousness to rest. The classes are so hard - NO ONE IS LOOKING AT YOU. Everyone is concentrating on doing the moves correctly. Not to mention, classes are great ways to challenge yourself and push yourself harder than you would on your own. And this is for girls especially - if you can find a class that helps you weight train, TAKE IT! I know that it seems scary, but toning is just as important as cardio! In fact, you can still keep your heart rate up while weight training so you can accomplish both at the same time! That's why I've dropped so many inches. I can push myself when I'm running, but I find it easy to slack off on weight training when I don't have a class or my trainer. In fact, when I run out of training sessions (I only have 3 left), I plan on dedicating myself to classes instead.

I was not very diligent about logging my food this week, so I can't update you on my fruits and vegetable intake. But as far as working out goes, I worked out 3 days last week. Not as many as usual, but it was birthday week. I also made a yummy chicken and bean quesadilla on Monday night. And this week I'm back to logging every day!

Thanks for reading guys! More updates soon!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me!

It's my Birthday!! Today I turned 25.

Yesterday, a friend asked me what I wanted out of 25. I told him I wanted to reach my goal weight. So you know what I asked for my Birthday this year? Money for more personal training sessions. :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Weigh-in Day, Mar. 31

192.4!!! Down 2.8 pounds from last week!! (Note - I am posting this a few days after March 31, but I did actually weigh myself on that day. This is just the first chance I got to sit down and blog about it!) In the words of my trainer, Liz - who is now reading this, so I must behave! - it just goes to show that you can take a week off, maintain my weight, and come back in and kick some butt!!

I think there were a couple of reasons for this big loss. #1 - After vacation, I think I was retaining a lot of water due to drinking a lot of alcohol. #2 - I was bloated for another reason. (Ladies, you know what's up.) #3 - I was REALLY careful about what I ate because I didn't get to work out as often as I would have liked. That's right - I worked out LESS than normal, but because I was so careful about my food intake, I still lost almost 3 pounds!

Now, I'm not really expecting this week to be so awesome because my 25th birthday is tomorrow. (YAY!) I've been out to eat a lot in the last few days, and it's hard to really know how many calories you're taking in at restaurants. You can't control what they cook your meat in or measure out how much cheese is in your salad. But this is real life! I don't want my birthday to become a reason for me to fall off track (just like vacation), but I am giving myself a little leg room. Just so you know - I have not yet had a single dessert!! That is one triumph!!

I recently found these old pictures of myself from the summer of 2008. That year was very up and down for me - I lost 2 grandparents, had a very disappointing academic year, but I went to study abroad in Paris that summer, which was the time of my life. Unfortunately, I was so extremely overweight, I hate looking at a lot of my pictures. I don't even know what I weighed - I was afraid to step on a scale. I did, however, find inspiration in these photos.

To really appreciate this photo - it must be compared with the new photos I took today. I've been meaning to take some comparative photos for awhile, but you all know how crazy my schedule
is. So here are my newest photos.

May I just be the first to say - HOLY CRAP!!!! I mean, I know I've been shrinking but seeing where I'm at now compared to where I was is SHOCKING to me. Especially that view from the side. My best guess to my weight in the above picture is around 230 lbs. That's about 40 POUNDS of a difference. And who knows how many inches. I'm feeling great about where I'm at - which in truth, can be dangerous. It can lead to complacency, which is what made me start slacking off last year. So, in effort to make sure I'm not sitting into a routine, today I ran 6 minute intervals. I had run for 6 minutes straight, once, at the beginning of my workout. Today I ran for 6 minutes, walked for 2 minutes and then repeated it 3 more times. NEVER have I done that before. By the last running interval, I was pooped. I wanted to stop after 2 minutes! But I kept telling myself, "Come on, Danielle, you can do this. Don't give up on the last leg!" And I finished it! Granted, I wasn't running very quickly, but that's not what I'm working on as of now. Maybe when I can run a mile, I'll work on speed.

That's all for now - I'll update you on my goals in the next post! I haven't forgotten about them - but while on vacation, I didn't keep up with them. But I'll let you know soon! Thanks so much to everyone who follows me!!!