Whole Foods Whole Body Sale

New Year, New You, right?

This is the year you’re going to be fit. Be healthy. Be strong. How ya doing with that?

They say it takes three weeks to form a habit. (I don’t know who “they” are, but I do know that’s what “they” say.) Well, we’re a little more than three weeks into 2014. Have you formed any healthy new habits yet? Sometimes we need a little help. A little push. Or just an awesome sale!

Well, if you live in Southern California, Arizona, Las Vegas or Hawaii, you’re in luck, because Whole Foods is having one heck of an awesome sale on everything that is going to get you healthy this year.

whole-foods-whole-body-sale

 

That’s right – vitamins, protein powders, homeopathic medicines – all that good stuff that you know you should be taking, but maybe haven’t started quite yet. (And if you are already taking them, this is definitely the perfect time to stock up!)

If you are a regular reader of my blog (thank you from the bottom of my heart, BTW), you know that I’ve been on a fitness routine for the last six or seven months. One of the ways I try to stay fit and strong is by drinking a protein shake almost every day.

Here’s my favorite shake recipe:

  • one cup of almond milk or coconut milk
  • one scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • a tablespoon of chia or flax seeds for my omega 3’s (I switch back and forth between the two)
  • 1/2 banana
  • a glob of peanut butter (yes, my very scientific measurement – a glob)
  • 4-5 ice cubes
  • and once in a while I’ll throw in some spinach or kale (You can’t taste it, I swear!)
green-protein-shake
Green protein shake with chia seeds. Mmmmmm!

 

Well, you’d better believe I’ll be heading to Whole Foods this weekend to stock up on protein powder. No matter what type of protein powder you’re into, Whole Foods will have it on sale January 24-26.

Whole-Foods-Protein-Powder

 

If you’re a vegan and whey powder is not for you…

Vegan-Protein-Powder

 

If you prefer your protein powder made from hemp (hey, I’m not judging!)…

Hemp-Protein-Powder

 

If you like your protein gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, hypoallergenic and vegan then this one will make you feel like a warrior (and give you extra stamina to hold that warrior pose even longer in your next yoga class)…

Warrior-Blend-Protein-Powder

 

They even have protein powder for people who dig Fabio (I kid you not)…

Fabio-protein-powder
If you drink this will you look like or perhaps be able to date Fabio? Maybe.

 

What I’m trying to say is, if you’re into protein shakes, then Whole Foods definitely has a protein powder for you. (Oh and the chia and flax seeds I throw in – they’re on sale this weekend too!)

Another thing I’ll be stocking up on at the Whole Food Whole Body Sale is vitamins and homeopathic medicine. I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on my blog, but I will tell you that I am a big believer in supplement taking.

Every day I try to take:

  • Vitamin D (helps me hold onto that calcium being sucked out of my bones due to being a middle aged woman how unfairly the universe treats women’s bodies, is good for warding off colds, and is good for your skin)
  • CoQ10 (great source of anti-oxidants which is great for your heart – and your skin!)
  • Fish oil or Krill oil (good for brain power and reduces signs of aging)
  • Vitamin B (increases energy and is really, really good for your skin)

So in case you haven’t noticed I take vitamins because I’m incredibly vain and terrified of looking my age I like to be healthy.

And because it’s cold and flu season I like to have a lot of Emergen-C and Boiron products on hand. I’ve only been sick once in the last two years and I truly believe it’s because I load up on vitamins and homeopathic products when other people around me are sick. I swear by taking Emergen-C to keep colds away and taking Boiron products at the very first sign of cold or flu if those sneaky viruses somehow slip their way into my body despite my best efforts to keep them at bay. Trust me if you do get sick and take a product like Boiron right away, you won’t feel nearly as bad. (In my opinion anyway. Like I said, I’m not a doctor.)

Homeopathic-medicine-collage
Good stuff here people, good stuff!

 

So, if you really are wanting a new and improved you this year (and live in Southern California, Arizona, Las Vegas or Hawaii) you might want to consider heading out to Whole Foods this weekend (Jan 24-26) to stock up on some fabulous health items. And if you end up in the Thousand Oaks store you might just bump into me. (I might or might not be the one with Fabio in my cart.)

 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Whole Foods Market, but my opinions on supplement taking and almost-daily habit of protein shake drinking are still 100% true.

How To Stay Skinny During the Holidays

Every year I gain weight over the holidays. I know, we all do. But I’m talking like 10 or 12 pounds. And then I spend most of the following year trying to lose it only to regain it again. I refuse to do that this year. I refuse I tell you!

I mean every time I go to the gym someone tells me how fabulous I look after losing 16 pounds on their Just Lose It program. (Well, 12 pounds on the program and 4 after.) I can’t waddle into the gym in January fat from holiday gluttony. I’ve got a reputation to uphold.

This year, for the first time ever, I’m staying skinny over the holidays. And I’ll tell you how I’m doing it and how you can do it to.

I wouldn’t exactly call these holiday weight loss tips (because losing weight during the holidays doesn’t sound like any fun and in my opinion goes against nature), so let’s call them holiday weight-maintenance tips. That sounds doable. (Even if it doesn’t sound fun.)

How to stay thin during the holidays

Run

Yeah, running sucks. I will admit that running is getting a (tiny) bit easier, but I’m not enjoying it any better. I hate every single heart-pounding, breath-stealing, body-jarring step I take, but I still aim for running a minimum of three miles three times a week. Why? Because runners are skinny. And honestly, I feel great when I’m done. (In a sore and tired and achy kind of way.)

And pu-leaze don’t tell me that you’re not a runner. Did I tell you that I hate running? I hate it! And I’m even pretty terrible at it. If anyone had told me at the beginning of the year that I would take up running I would have told them to go take another hit of their crack pipe because that’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. What kind of crazy person takes up running at the age of 48? That would be me. And as sucktastic as running is (and it is), it works.

Eat

That sounds weird, right? Why would you eat if you’re trying to maintain your weight? Because running makes you hungry. (You are running right?) Believe it or not if you’re not getting enough calories your body goes into starvation mode and stores fat. (Oh, the bitter irony.)

The trick is eating the right kinds of food. (But you already knew that right?) So (especially if you are working out) make sure you get a lot of protein – about 20 grams four times a day. I actually eat five times a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner with 20 grams of protein at each meal and a mid-morning and afternoon snack with 10 grams of protein. And are you ready for the best part? I also eat carbs. That’s right – 30 grams at each meal and 15 grams at snack time. Again, you just need to eat the right carbs – sweet potatoes, fruit (especially grapefruit), quinoa, brown rice – all good carbs. Bread, pasta and corn chips – bad carbs. BTW – I do eat the bad carbs – look what I had for dinner the other night…

Bob's-Big-Boy-Combo
If I got to choose my last meal, this would be it.

But trust me, this is the exception, not the rule. 99% of the time my dinner looks something like this:

Biggest-Loser-Style-Healthy-Dinner
Before I eat this I pull the skin off the chicken. (Sigh…)

Most days I eat very clean and I never skip meals even if I’m going to a party or a Happy Hour. Going to a party when you’re starving only makes you gorge your way through the buffet table. (As someone whose usual MO is to starve myself before a party so I can dive face first into the food table and stuff as much as humanly possible into my brie and cracker hole, I know what I’m talking about.)

So if you’re going to a dinner party, be sure to eat lunch. That way you’ll be hungry when you arrive, but not famished. If you’re heading out to an appetizer-fest (my absolute favorite), consider eating a light dinner before you go. Maybe 2-3 ounces of chicken with some green beans. That way you can still hang out by the party food table for a little bit, but you’ll be more likely to dip into it instead of swim in it.

Say No

Say no to wine. Say no to sugar. Say no to fun. Okay, that sounds a bit extreme. (And maybe even impossible.) Especially since our calendars are all a bit full this month. Why go to a cookie exchange if you can’t eat any cookies? What’s the point of Happy Hour if you can’t get happy? And what are you supposed to do at your friend’s wine tasting party? Compare the subtle differences of mineral strength in different types of bottled water?

Okay, you don’t have to say not to everything. (I certainly won’t be.) But on the nights that I am home this month I do plan on saying no. A lot. No wine with dinner (which totally sucks), no cookies after dinner (even though trust me, we have plenty), and no No NO to eggnog (I’m pretty sure that sticks to your ass faster and more permanently than anything).

Say Yes

No, I am not psychotic (much). I do realize that I just said to say no. But I’ll be saying no at home so I can say yes when I go out. Indulging is what the holidays are all about. Only this year I plan on indulging less. You’d better believe I’ll still be eating cheese. And shortbread cookies (my absolute favorite). And party drinks. Only this year I’m going to do it in (yeah, I’m gonna say it) moderation. Ugh, I know, I hate that word too. (Almost as much as I hate running.) But if moderation were fun or easy everyone would be skinny.

So, say yes, but in moderation. (And if you’re wondering what you should drink at a party, here is a great Sip It or Skip It guide from my good friends at Party Blu Prints.)

Run

Oh, did I say that already? Well, you probably know that when you’re teaching someone something new, you have to repeat yourself. So I’m repeating myself. And I totally saw you sneak that extra cheese puff in your mouth when you thought no one was looking. (Or was that me?) So suck it up an get running. Otherwise you’ll be waddling the walk of shame into the gym in January.

And you don’t want to do that do you?

Running Sucks… Still

I’ve been running for a little over a month now. Every Sunday with a run club and a few times during the week. My run club gives me running homework and I’m supposed to run five days a week, but I usually only run three. Or two. I like to lift weights when I go to the gym. Or take a class. Or anything but run.

running sucks

So why do I do it? Because I have friends that push me. Friends that lie and say they hate running too and yet there they are running. If they can do it, I can do it. Even though I run so slowly. I’m always one of the last runners in. And my friends are there waiting for me when I finish, high-fiving me and telling me that I’m awesome and if there’s one thing I love it’s to hear that I’m awesome (even if it’s bullshit) so I keep running.

Also, since ending my Just Lose It program and taking up running I’ve lost an additional four and a half pounds. I stepped on the scale yesterday and saw my goal weight staring back at me. I immediately stepped off and stepped back on again, not trusting the number. But there it was again. I’ve lost 16 1/2 pounds in three months. Eating right, lifting weights, and running – it turns out it is possible to lose weight after the age of 45. (Who knew?)

And so I run.

Yesterday I ran four miles – four miles –  and every step was tortuous. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t getting easier – it is. But it’s still hard. And terrible. I still hate every heart-pounding, joint-jarring, sweat-inducing, very unpleasant step.

I run intervals – which means you run for a certain amount of time and then you walk for a minute. I’m on the lowest interval (meaning I run for the shortest amount of time compared to the other runners in the club – the real runners, the runners who are doing a half marathon in two weeks) so I run for eight minutes and then walk for one. Or one and a half. (Or maybe sometimes two. Accidentally of course.) It’s hard to tell because this is what my watch looks like…

raymond-weil-watch
Not the ideal watch for running.

The second hand doesn’t really work -it kind of jumps- so it’s not a good timing watch. It’s hard to see the precise time. So it’s not really my fault if I walk a little too long. (Or run a little too short.)

Yesterday on my run -when my friends were a half mile ahead of me- a woman pushing a double jogging stroller with a toddler and a small dog seated inside turned the corner and ran alongside of me. I was keeping pace with someone pushing 50 pounds!

“She’s breathing really hard, Mommy,” the snot-nosed adorable little girl said.

“Yes, Mommy breaths hard when she runs too,” the running mom said effortlessly. I wonder if she lies to her kid like that all the time. I guess I should be grateful. She could have been honest. She could have said, “That’s because she’s old and only pretending to be a runner.”

I mean really, what kind of lunatic takes up running at the age of 48?

I suppose one that wants to stay thin healthy. One that wants to prove to herself that she can do something she never thought she could do. One that knows hard things are worth doing.

But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

A Brighter Smile and my First Giveaway

Last week I was offered a fantastic opportunity – a free trip to the dentist by choosing and booking a dentist on Brighter.com. Free dental care? Whoo Hoo!

Now, normally I don’t get too excited about going to the dentist. (Does anyone?) But I was admittedly behind in my regular dental check-up schedule. (Like, it might or might not be true that I was approximately two years behind.) Mostly because I do not have dental insurance. And going to the dentist is expensive. Really, really expensive.

Say Hello to Brighter!

Brighter.com

Brighter is a simple, free alternative to dental insurance, offering people to affordably manage their oral health by giving them access to pre-negotiated prices at hundreds of certified dentists. (Kind of like how insurance companies negotiate rates with dentists, but the person who is getting the negotiated rate is you!)

But are the dentists any good?

All Brighter dentists pass a rigorous pre-screening process that reviews their professional experience and reputation. Then you get to shop your dentist on their site. You can see how long they’ve been practicing, where they went to school and read patient reviews. They even have pictures of each dentist. I was actually tempted to pick the cutest dentist (he was pretty hot), but he was kind of far away. So instead I chose a dentist close to my office who has been practicing for 19 years and went to a really good school. (She was actually pretty cute too!)

I chose a package that included a check-up, cleaning and x-rays.

Booking my appointment couldn’t have been easier. You just click the available time and date that you want, fill out a little information and BOOM – you are booked.

You then receive an email stating that your appointment is pending and that you will be receiving an email confirmation shortly. My email confirmation came the next morning during business hours. I then received a reminder email one business day before my appointment and a reminder email the morning of my appointment, so I was very confident that when I showed up at the dentist they would be expecting me. (They were.)

Brighter smile
Booking with Brighter made me feel like this.

The dentist I chose was fantastic – she spent a lot of time with me and was extremely thorough. Her office was very clean and modern and her assistant was friendly and helpful. It was about as good as going to the dentist gets. (She even told me red wine was essential to a happy life after a certain age. Now that’s my kind of dentist!)

Brighter is only in Los Angeles County, but they will be doing a national roll-out soon.

I’m doing my very first give-a-way!

What about you? Have you been to the dentist lately? How would you like to win a $199 credit from Brighter?

Don’t need to go to the dentist? Well, perhaps you’re like me – living a happy life filled with red wine and coffee and have been thinking how nice it would be to have a teeth whitening treatment.

You can use the $199 credit for that too!

All you have to do is click on this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remember, Brighter is only in Los Angeles County, so please only enter if you live in the LA area. (Or are willing to travel there to see the dentist!)

*Brighter.com picked up the tab on my trip to the dentist, however all opinions (including red wine + coffee = happy life) are my own.

Running Sucks

running sucks

I’m not a runner, but today I ran one mile. That’s right – one whole mile! I know, I know – amateur! I sort of got talked into joining the run club at my gym which is crazy because not only am I not a runner, I’ve never had any desire to be a runner. Not even a little. You know those people who decide mid-life that they are going to take up running and then start training and then do something completely insane like run a marathon? Or even worse, start running daily. Like as a way of life? I’m not doing that. Do you know why? Because I hate running. I HATE IT! Every step I take I curse the name of my friend who talked me into this foolishness. (Juliana – you KNOW I’m talking about you!) I try with all my might to think of anything –anything-  other than this hell that is called running and the fact that I can’t breathe and that I’m miserable because I feel like my heart and my lungs are going to simultaneously explode. Today as I was running I tried to focus on the beauty of the morning sky as it grew brighter, but that just made me focus on the fact that I forgot to put my contact in before heading outside. (No, that’s not a typo, I’m nearsighted and only wear one contact which makes one eye nearsighted and one eye farsighted and I don’t have to wear reading glasses. Go ahead and call me vain. Of course I’m vain – otherwise I wouldn’t be running!) I tried to think about the high-fat salt laden restaurant meal (and alcohol) I’ll be enjoying with two girlfriends later tonight in an attempt to convince myself that this torture I was putting myself through will all be worth it. I tried counting 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 with every step like someone who was meditating might count their breaths. Except that people that meditate are peaceful. And I’m not peaceful. No moment of zen. No runner’s high. Only misery; no peace. Instead all I could think of, the one thought that kept popping into my head was, “Running sucks.” And I hate it. And I really don’t want to do it again. (Even though I probably will.)

~For 30 days I am righting Just One Paragraph.

Just Lose It: The Results

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, my Biggest-Loser-Style Just Lose It Fitness Challenge at Stevenson Fitness is complete. And now what everyone has been waiting for – the results.

(May I have a drum roll please…)

What I Lost

My six-week weight loss total was 12 pounds! I also lost 4.2% body fat and a whopping 13.5 inches of flab. (Almost 4 inches were from my waist!)

Before-and-After-Front-side
Hello flat stomach. (And goodbye boobs! WAAAH!)
Before-and-After-Back-side
Buh-bye muffin tops. (And I do think my butt is a bit higher!)

I may not look like an informercial model, but not bad, right?

(A note about these pictures – I know the lighting and the quality is terrible. My photographer (Marley) was very reluctant and semi-uncooperative. Hopefully even though the pictures are crap and I’m “bigger” in the after shots because she was standing closer, you can see a difference.)

The rest of my team did fantastic as well. (One of my teammates lost 14 pounds and over 5% body fat – whoo hoo! You GO girl!)

Here we are with our certificates of completion (and getting ready to get our drink on) after the results…

Weigh-loss-results
The Pink Bitches Post-weigh-in, Pre-party

Yeah, go ahead and say it – we are one group of hot suburban moms!

No, I did not win the competition. Some dude named Mark did. (Of course, dudes always lose the most.) Actually, the winner really should be commended. He lost over 20 pounds and 5% body fat. Congratulations Mark!

And our team came in third (yes, out of three teams), but in our defense we were the fittest team to start with and had the least amount to lose. (And please know I speak for my skinny teammates when I say that, I still have at least another five pounds to go.)

What I Gained

Even more important than what I lost is what I gained.

Friendship: I was blessed to be on a team with three other amazing women. The camaraderie we shared and our mutual hatred of Phil (I’m just kidding, Phil – we LOVE you!) is what got me through our grueling workouts. My team helped push me to do things I wouldn’t have done on my own. Leslie, Jennifer, and Juliana – you ladies rock and there’s nobody else I would have rather had on my team. And Phil, I mean this from my heart, hating you was awesome. There is no other trainer I would have rather worked with.

Fitness-challenge-team
The Pink Bitches and the infamous Phil just before weigh-in

Confidence: I feel really good about the way I look and I haven’t felt like that in a really long time. I’ve been getting a lot of compliments lately from people at the gym and even people I’ve run into around town who don’t even know I’ve been doing this competition and I have to admit, it feels great.

In fact, when we went out to celebrate afterwards I wore this:

body-confidence
What you can’t see are my 4-inch heels. (I was working it that night!)

And sure I’m a 48-year-old suburban mom, but I think I kinda rocked it. In fact when we were at the bar I even got hit on. Twice. Sadly it was by a couple of different drunk old dudes who were completely unworthy of my new found fabulousness, and not by a 25-year-old who looked like my wine bar boyfriend, Austin. But still. It was flattering. As someone who admittedly likes attention, I will say that it was nice to be noticed.

cute-wine-bar-guy
Oh Austin, why couldn’t you have been the one hitting on me?

A New Wardrobe: Well, an old wardrobe really. It’s awesome to be able to fit into (almost) everything in my closet again. Though I probably won’t be wearing those turn-of-the-century mom jeans anytime soon it’s nice to know they fit. And I do have a ton of skirts and dresses that I’m pretty sure are still stylish and am happy to put back in my wardrobe rotation.

I’m Not Done Yet

I’ll definitely be sticking to the four meal a day plan that Holly taught us (though I do plan on using wine as my carb a few nights a week). And my teammates and I will continue working out together for a long time to come. I still have five pounds to lose and quite a bit of toning to go (bat wing triceps, I will make you disappear, I will!). With the knowledge from this program and help from my awesome new friends, I know I can do it.

suburban-moms
After 6 weeks of hard work we earned these drinks!

My husband asked me if it was worth it – the hard-ass workouts, the soreness, the time it took, the meal planning, the not drinking. 

Would I do the Just Lose It program again? Absolutely!

Just Lose It: What It’s Really Like to Join a Six-Week Weight Loss Competition (Week 6)

I am done! My Biggest-Loser-Style 6 week Just Lose It Weight Loss Challenge is O-V-E-R, OVER! My final strength workout was yesterday (on a Sunday morning at 7AM thankyouverymuch!) and my final weigh-in is tonight at 7PM. And yes, I will have a margarita in my hand at 7:05! (Well, maybe not until 8:00.)

Margarita-on-the-rocks-with-salt
Hello Lovely. I’ve been waiting six long weeks for you.

Last week I was down another pound, bringing my weight loss at 5 weeks to a total of 9.2 pounds.

I have been really, really good this week by not obsessively getting on the scale every single morning like I have pretty much done every single day of my adult life so I would be surprised by tonight’s results. For me, not getting on the scale every morning was even harder than not drinking wine. Yeah, that hard. Go ahead and say it – I am a freak.

And remember last week when I said I was going to take it up a notch? Well, I wasn’t kidding. Plus I didn’t have a choice, because Holly, our nutritionist, apparently takes it up a notch on the final week as well. She took away our whole grains (goodbye brown rice and quinoa) and replaced them with watermelon and grapefruit. I mean, I love fruit, but using fruit as your carb (and not the fermented kind made from grapes) for four meals a day – it gets challenging. (Not to mention a tad bit gassy. Ahem.)

And she took away my beloved Clif Builder Bars. My delicious, easy to grab, don’t have to plan or chop or measure, afternoon meal was taken away from me. Why, Holly, why?

And not only that, we were told to drink 3-4 cups of dandelion tea each day. Drinking dandelion tea is supposed to help your body’s natural detoxification process by breaking down fats during digestion and carry away waste.

Ummm…  hello, I haven’t had a drink in six weeks (okay, except for the wine tasting in Week 2. And another about-to-expire Groupon dinner that included a glass of wine in Week 4 that I neglected to tell you about). But still.

AND I’ve been eating really, really clean. I’m pretty sure I’m about as detoxed as I’m ever going to be.

Have you ever tasted dandelion tea? The box says it tastes, “pleasantly roasted, sweet and slightly bitter.” I say it tastes like you went running and took off your sweaty socks and shoved them in the corner of your gym bag for a week and then dipped them in water and started sucking on them.* Only worse. Perhaps that’s what they mean when they say “slightly bitter.”

What-dandelion-tea-tastes-like
Would you want to drink this?

One of the women on another other team said the only way she could drink it was to let it cool and then chug it. It’s a little like Survivor when they have those gross food challenges – just swallow it as fast as possible and don’t think about it.

Survivor Food Challenge
This is what I feel like after chugging my dandelion tea.

Of course I shouldn’t complain too much. Even with the added restrictions this week, I’ve been eating a lot. Here is a photo of my four meals yesterday:

Eating clean
That’s a lot of food!

Breakfast: eggs with mushroom and asparagus (and just a tablespoon of fat free feta – shhh, don’t tell Holly) and one whole grapefruit, Lunch: turkey and roast beef rolls filled with avocado slices, pepperoncini and onion (the only thing missing is the mayonnaise and bread) and 400 grams of watermelon, Afternoon Meal: Greek Yogurt with raspberries (ugh 2% – the whole fat is my heaven & I will go to my grave defending its healthful deliciousness, but I’m being “good” this week), and Dinner: grilled salmon and shrimp, roasted sweet potatoes, grilled zucchini and mushrooms, green beans and salad (a fantastic meal if I do say so myself, but a nice buttery Chardonnay to accompany this meal would have been nice).

And of course three cups of old sweaty gym socks dandelion tea.

savor-your-tea
There was no savoring. I think they need a tea tag that says “Chug”

Yeah, I know that seems like a lot of food, but in this program you work out hard. And this week I skipped my rest days by running intervals on the treadmill. (I’d tell you not to tell Phil, but he caught me both times – that dude is always at the gym.) For those of you who don’t know what interval training is, it’s where you workout reallyreallyreally hard for a minute or two (I do two) and then cool down for a minute or two (I do one). So I run faster than I am comfortable (6 MPH) for two minutes and then speed-walk (4 MPH) to “cool down.” Rest Day Schmest Day.

Plus… look what I can do:

Yeah, three of ’em! Am I awesome or what?

Be sure to come back Wednesday when I reveal my Just Lose it Fitness Challenge results. I’m almost as excited to find out what they are as I am to taste that margarita!

If you missed a week you can catch up here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, & Week 5.

 

 

*My teammate Jennifer actually came up with the dandelion tea-gym sock analogy – I must give credit where credit is due.

Margarita photo courtesy of By Jon Sullivan via Wikimedia Commons, dandelion photo courtesy of slgckgc via Creative Commons, Survivor Caramoan photo featuring the dreamy Malcolm Freberg borrowed from RealityNation.com

Just Lose It: What It’s Really Like to Join a Six-Week Weight Loss Competition (Week 5)

I am five weeks down with only one to go on my Biggest Loser-style Just Lose It fitness challenge at Stevenson Fitness.

someecards.diet

At one of our 5:30 AM workouts the other morning, one of my teammates (you don’t get to know which one, I’m discreet that way) said, “I feel terrible. I was very naughty last night.”

“Did you have wine?” I asked excitedly, my eyes widening and the corners of my mouth starting to form just the tiniest bit of drool.

“No, I ate two fist fulls of Smart Start cereal. And then I felt so guilty. I don’t even know why I did it.”

smart-start-cereal
This doesn’t look very naughty to me!

You know a nutrition plan is tough when you feel guilty about “binging” on whole grain chock-full of antioxidants cereal. (If you could call two fist fulls a binge!)

But the truth is the eating plan isn’t tough. It’s just restrictive. The food is getting a little boring.

We’re coming into the home stretch. Just a week until our final weigh-in and I won’t lie, the 5th week has been the hardest so far. At least for me.

I’ve had a few stressful nights where I really could have used a glass of wine (or two fist fulls of gluten-laden carbs). 

And worst of all I’ve hit a plateau with my weight loss. I was actually up point two pounds last week. Up! Point two! And yes, I know it’s only two tenths of a pound, and that’s nothing, but trust me, I’d be just as upset if I lost only point two as well. How in the hell did I gain weight (even the teeniest tiniest bit of weight) when Phil has us running around the building four times and doing these impossible push-up-pike combos with our feet on some wheelie board? And don’t you dare tell me it’s muscle. I just want to see that number on the scale drop. Dramatically.

And look like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. Yes, in six weeks. Is that too much to ask?

It is?

Oh.

If I’m honest (with you and with myself) I will admit that while I haven’t “cheated,” little habits have started to slip back. Licking the cream cheese for Marley’s bagel off my finger. “Tasting” food as I cook. Putting a bigger serving of carbs on my plate than I should. Using more than a teaspoon of olive oil on my salad. I mean a teaspoon?! Come on!

Healthy-Dinner-Biggest-Loser-Style
Too much salad dressing and too many delicious roasted rosemary potatoes. (But I did pull the skin off my chicken. Just so you know.)

Oh, and I never did give up my one cup of morning coffee with cream and sugar. (Oops.)

So this week, my last week, I’m pumping it up a notch. Goodbye beloved delicious so-full-of-cream-it’s-practically-white coffee. Hello black tea with lemon. Goodbye balsamic vinaigrette. Hello salads with lemon juice and a teaspoon of olive oil. Hello measuring cup. Hello food scale. And Marley? You can make your own damn bagel.

I have one more week with this Just Lose It program and I am in it to win it! I want to lose at least two pounds this last week and I know I can do it.

Even if it kills me.

Be sure and check back next week for my final week and final weight loss results. And if you missed a week, you can catch up here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4.

Picture credits someecards (They’re funny!) and Kellogs.com.

Just Lose It: What It’s Really Like to Join a Six-Week Weight Loss Competition (Week 4)

I’ve just completed my 4th week of my Biggest Loser-style Just Lose it program. At my 3rd week’s weigh-in I was down another 1.4 pounds. That makes 8.2 pounds in just three weeks – not too shabby!

But, I feel like other than bragging about my awesome weight loss all I’ve done is complain about this Just Lose It Program. Not only that, a friend of mine even commented last week that I need to lighten up on Phil.

I mentioned this to my teammates and they snickered and said that Phil deserves all the smack talk I dole out and I can lighten up on him when he lightens up on us. (Even though obviously the whole point of the program is for him not to lighten up on us so we can lighten up. Or become lighter. Whatever.)

biggest-Loser-Free-Weights
Instead of lifting wine glasses I’ve spent the last 4 weeks lifting these.

Moving on…

I like to think of myself as a positive person, so this week no whining about not drinking wine and kvetching about the torture of Phil. Just a few of the amazingly good things about the Just Lose It program.

Sleep

I have to admit I’ve been sleeping great since participating in this program. And sure, that’s because I’m physically exhausted, but that’s okay. I have a lot of stress in my life that prevents me from sleeping well at night. Falling asleep is not usually an issue for me, but I wake up around two or three in the morning and all of my stress issues (coupled with a good dose of hot flash night sweats) will swarm around my brain making it impossible to get back to sleep unless I took a preemptive measure at bedtime with my very good friend Advil PM. But since starting this program I have been sleeping like a rock without any aid from my favorite little blue pill. Well, a rock that has to get up in the middle of the night to pee. (Sometimes twice.) So maybe I’ve been sleeping more like a baby than a rock. Hmmmm, maybe I should look into adult diapers. Or not. Because even though I get up in the middle of the night to pee (for like two minutes straight) because of all of the freaking lemon water I’ve been drinking, I fall right back asleep the minute I get back into bed. I guess physical exhaustion has a way of turning off your overly worrisome brain.

The Clothes in My Closet

Some of the old clothes in my closet are starting to fit. So I think the high-waisted mom jeans from the turn of the century that for some reason I can’t seem to let go of because “some day they’ll fit again,” may indeed fit again. Which is awesome. I think. I mean, I can’t really see myself wearing them. (I’m way too cool for mom jeans right?)

I did fit into my old pair of workout pants that I love and adore. I even wore them to the gym last Monday. And then I realized that the elastic is starting to go. (And shut up. That is NOT why they fit. Maybe.) So when Phil made us run around the building (three times) my pants kept falling down. And when we were doing reverse pike on a stability ball I think I may have been giving Phil (and the rest of the gym) a nice show of my whale tail. (The high school boys who work out at my gym might be scarred for life.)

Whale-Tail-thong
This is not me. As much as it horrifies you to look at this, trust me if I showed mine, the high school boys at the gym would not be the only ones scarred for life!

Team Work

Except for a season of basketball in 5th grade (we lost every game) and a season of softball in 8th grade (we lost every game), I’ve never really been on a team. My kids have been on plenty of teams and sure, I know the importance of teamwork in theory, but I’ve never really experienced it firsthand before. Being on a team -especially my team- rocks. I’ve said it before and it’s totally true, I would never have come as far as I have in this competition without them. They help me stay strong. When I make a gorgeous steak dinner and watch my husband drink our favorite bottle of Costco $7 red while I’ve got sparkling water in my wine glass I remember that my teammates are doing the same. When we go to Concerts in the Park and the only thing in my red Solo cup is water, I raise a silent toast to my teammates. I’m doing this for you ladies.

Picnic dinner
All that’s missing is a red Solo cup filled with $7 red.

We’re coming into the home stretch. Just two more weeks. (And 336 more hours without wine.) At this point in the program it would be easy to slip back into an old habit or two. But I’m lucky. I have a great team to encourage me. I even have Phil to encourage me.

Motivational Postcard
Motivational postcard sent from Phil. I can’t believe he forgot to say that I was his favorite!

I can totally do this. I don’t want to let my team down. I don’t want to let myself down. (And okay, I admit it, I really don’t want to let Phil down.)

Be sure to check back next Monday to see how much weight I lost during week 4. And if you missed a week, catch up here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3.

Whale Tail photo credit: MoveTheLife via Creative Commons.

Free weights photo credit: Positively Fit via Creative Commons.

Just Lose It: What It’s Really Like to Join a Six-Week Weight Loss Competition (Week 3)

So, I just completed Week 3 of my Biggest Loser style weight loss competition, Just Lose It. And can I tell you something?

I am exhausted.

Last night my dog woke me up in the middle of the night barking at who knows what and I didn’t even have the strength to yell at him to be quiet. It should be illegal to be this tired.

And my second week’s weigh-in? Not so hot. I only lost one pound. We were warned that our second week’s weight loss would not be as dramatic as the first week’s (where I lost 5.8 pounds). But seriously? Only one teeny tiny pound?!

Why is it when you gain a pound it seems like a lot, but when you lose a pound it seems like so little?

And yeah, yeah, I’m building muscle, and I have noticed that my clothes are looser and I actually went up a notch -or is that down a notch?- on my belt buckle – whatever. I’ve been working my ass off can’t believe I only lost one pound!!! (She says while jumping up and down pounding her fists like an out of control toddler throwing a temper tantrum.)

And another thing… I really miss drinking. There, I said it. I. Miss. Drinking! I went to my writer’s group on Wednesday night and drank water while everyone enjoyed a lovely glass (or three) of wine and I was incredibly conscious of the smell of that delicious red wine that was not passing my lips. I would say that the smell was intoxicating except that sadly it wasn’t. And to make matters worse, it was a good bottle of wine, not the $6 hooch I usually have in my house.

(As a interesting side note, one of my writer friend’s has given up cheese and she said all she could smell was the cheese on the table which I did not smell at all.)

I’m also getting tired of this whole “eating four times a day at three-to-four hour intervals” thing. Don’t get me wrong, I like the fact that I get to eat four meals instead of three (it’s not three meals and a small snack, it’s four meals!), but planning the meals and the timing is becoming freaking tedious. Every time I go five hours without eating I live in fear of Holly scolding me. (Tsk tsk tsk, your blood sugar is dropping when you do that. Your metabolism is shutting down. You’ll never lose weight that way!)

My afternoon snack meal is usually around three o’clock and while I’m ravenous ready to eat, the thought of planning a healthy (and proper ratio) protein-carb-fat meal three hours before dinner is just too taxing, so I usually just end up having a Clif Builder’s Protein Bar. They’re good and the mint one does taste quite a lot like a Thin Mint (though sadly, while delicious, the peanut butter one tastes nothing like a Reeese’s – or even peanut butter), but meh. I’m kind of tired of them. (Funny how I used to have wine almost every day and never got tired of that!)

Clif-Builder-Bar
Which flavor will I choose today?

I’d rather through some cheese on some tortilla chips, throw them in the toaster oven for two minutes and then slather them with sour cream.  Cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream – that sounds like a perfect protein-carb-fat ratio to me. You know, other than the fat part being totally out of whack. (And might have a lot to do with why my arms-middle-thighs fat part is out of whack!)

And Phil? It’s a good thing he’s so cute, because otherwise I’d hate him even more than I already do. Which is a lot.

Biggest-Loser-style-personal--trainer
I’m going to make this into a dartboard.

He makes us do terrible things like modified pull-ups and dips and burpies and plank. (Ugh plank.) And the whole time he’s torturing us he has the nicest smile on his face and is so freaking encouraging. Which makes it kind of hard to hate him, but I refuse to fall for his clever I’m-so-nice-and-cute-it’s-impossible-to-hate-me-even-though-I’m-making-you-do-terrible-things routine. Let there be no doubt. I hate Phil. (Mostly.)

And he keeps making us run and I don’t think he understands – I HATE RUNNING. I have never been a runner, will never be a runner, and have absolutely no desire to be a runner. But last week I ran fifteen minutes straight on the treadmill. And I don’t think I’ve ever run for fifteen whole minutes -without stopping or walking- in my entire life.

And the fact that I was even able to do that? Well, I have to admit… that is kind of awesome!

Be sure to come back next Monday for Week 4 and to find out how much weight I lost on Week 3

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