I Just Lost It (Again)

Four years ago I participated in a six-week, Biggest-Loser-Style fitness and weight loss challenge called Just Lose It at my gym, Stevenson Fitness.

I wrote a weekly blog post about the program and my process and how terrible it all was.

Actually, it wasn’t terrible. I mean, it was because it was so damn hard. (And I’m not talking about the grueling workouts or the clean eating, I’m talking about the fact that I couldn’t drink wine for six weeks!)

But it was also awesome, because I lost 12 pounds, 4.2% body fat and a whopping 13.5 inches of flab. (Almost 4 inches were from my waist!) Then I continued on working out with my teammates and eating clean(ish) and went on to lose four more pounds. I even started running (something I had never done or had any desire to do) and ran in a 10K race. Yeah, I was rockin’ it.

Weight loss results
Me, four years ago partying it up after my final weigh-in

Well. That was four years ago. I managed to keep the weight off for two years, but then. You know how it is.

Eating healthfully takes planning and that takes time and who has that?

My plantar faciitis flared up again and I was unable to workout for a few months. (What did you say? I could have ridden the bike and done upper body? I can’t hear you because I’m plugging my ears and saying, “La-la-la-la-la.” Also. Shut up.)

And I got a new job a year ago that likes to keep its employees (very) well fed. (Turns out I forgot the word “no” was in my vocabulary when it comes to treats in the breakroom.)

Also, I was drinking a lot of wine. Like, one or two (or, okay, sometimes three) glasses a night. Not every night. But let’s say if a month has 30 days, then I probably had wine 28 of those days. So, okay. Every night.

And blah and blah and blady-blah-blah-blah. (Insert reasons and excuses here.)

So that 16 pounds I lost? It slowly crept back on. With a couple more. I found myself heavier than I’d ever been except for pregnancy and postpartum. Bleh.

And even though I obsessively got on the scale every single day (so it’s not like I didn’t know), I somehow managed to convince myself it wasn’t that bad. I mean, okay, so most of my pants didn’t fit anymore, but I still wore a medium top. (And the same shoe size!)

And then I saw this picture of me and almost cried.

Shane McAnally

And I’m not talking tears of joy because I’m with Shane McAnally, Nashville’s hottest songwriter and producer. And not because my bangs are all jaggedy. (Seriously, WTF is going on there?) Because look at my face. It’s so fat. And my face is always the last place I gain weight. It’s like my body hits maximum capacity and there is nowhere else for the fat to go, so it floats up to my face.

I knew it was time to get serious and do something. And since my gym was starting another round of Just Lose It, I decided to give it another go.

But as excited as I was to participate in the program again (well, maybe excited isn’t quite the right word), I also felt  a bit of dread. Not because I had to give up my beloved wine (okay, maybe a little because of that) or because of the hard work I was going to have to put in (okay, maybe a little because of that too), but because I felt like a bit of a failure. I mean, I succeeded in this program four years ago, and here I was again, three pounds heavier than when I started the first time.

Would everyone think I was a big loser (and not the right kind) for joining this program again?

As it turns out, it was quite the opposite. What I got was encouragement. High fives, and “way to goes” and “you look great.”

We all fall down. And when we do we have a choice: sit there in the dirt and cry about our fat face (as we’re stuffing it) or stand up, dust ourselves off, and cry about the wine we’re not drinking and the dark chocolate almonds with sea salt we’re not shoveling into our gullet because our mean trainer has given us a clean eating diet and making us do hard workouts six days a week.

Okay, that was a terrible analogy, but you know what I’m saying. The real failure is not falling down. It’s not getting back up.

So for six weeks…

I got up every morning at 5AM and did a seven minute workout that at first was really, really hard and by the end was (almost) easy.

I ate clean. (Bye bye wine, dark chocolate and break room goodies, and hello chicken, chicken, more chicken, vegetables, vegetables, vegetables and quinoa.)

I recorded every thing I ate and drank in a food journal. (Boy is that eye opening. If you’ve never kept a food journal, you should try it some time. You’d be amazed at how much mindless eating you do throughout the day. At least I was.)

I drank an ocean full of water. Daily.

I weight trained three days a week at 6AM (good morning!) with these awesome ladies under the guidance of our trainer, the mean, terrible, awful awesome Christy. (I do not think there was one workout that I did not whine at her. Or swear at her. Or both.)

Just-Lose-It-Workout-Program
The Iron Maidens (Yes, you are correct. We rock!)

I worked out three days a week on my own doing sadistic cardio routines created by the Just Lose It evil masterminds. (We were encouraged to do our cardio as a group, but our schedules never seemed to line up. Stupid jobs and kids.)

I went to multiple Happy Hours and only had club soda with a (teeny-tiny) splash of cranberry juice with a lime squeeze. (Make that Unhappy Hour.)

Also I stopped drinking wine. And eating chocolate. (Oh, I said that already? Sorry.)

It was terrible.

But also. It was amazing.

I felt great. (When I wasn’t achy and hungry.)

I slept great. (Turns out not drinking wine and being physically exhausted from grueling workouts helps you sleep. Who knew?)

And about half-way through, I started looking great.

In the end I lost 14.4 pounds, 6.9% body fat and 14.75 inches! (5 inches from my waist alone!!!) Even better than the first time. (Okay, okay, I had more to lose this time. But still.)

And did I mention that it was a contest? We competed as a team. (Sadly my awesome team, the Iron Maidens -great name, right?- were robbed and did not win.)

But we also competed as individuals and guess what? All that hard work, clean eating and whining about not drinking wine paid off, because I was the biggest loser of all. (Meaning, I was the winner!)

So, yes, I am a big loser. (Exactly the right kind.)

Just-Lose-It-After-Photo
Me, trying to recreate my Just Lose It post-final-weigh-in photo from 4 years ago. Yeah, I don’t know what’s going on with my hair, and I still have (more than) a bit of toning to do, but I’m still kind of rockin’ it.

 

 

 

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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My Girls’ Night Out (While All My Friends Were Drunk Off Their Asses and I was Stone Cold Sober)

Last Friday night, when I was nearing the end of my second week of the Biggest Loser-style weight loss competition Just Lose It program at my gym, I was invited to my friend’s beach house for a girls’ night slumber party.

At first I thankfully declined the invitation.

I mean, I couldn’t drink. And trust me, I’ve given myself plenty of pep talks before walking into a social gathering about how I’m not going to drink because I am trying to lose weight, only to find a glass of wine in my hand 30 seconds after walking in the door.

And party food is my biggest weakness. (If we’re ever at the same party and you want to find me, just head over to the food table where you’ll most likely find me face first hoovering as many hors devours as I possibly can into my cheese hole.)

meat-and-cheese-platter
This photo was taken at the Wine Sisterhood Gathering in March. Right before I stuck my face in it.

 

But we had nothing going on at home. And if I’m going to be successful beyond this program I’m going to have to learn how to rein it in and live my life in (a little bit of) moderation.

So I put on my big-girl no-drinking panties and went to the beach house.

Of course I got shit from my friends 30 seconds after walking in the door. I told them if they tried to make me drink I would leave. So they shut the hell up.

I have to be honest, if this Just Lose It program was an individual competition as opposed to a team competition, I would have ended up drinking. My drunk friends were acting like assholes, but I really don’t think I would have noticed (or cared) if I was drunk and acting like an asshole too. Screw proving something to myself. I disappoint myself all the time. I’m used to it. But I had a weigh-in in three days. I needed to stay strong and not disappoint my team.

I did have fun, but trust me, they were having more. Seriously, not to be offensive, but if this is what it’s like to be “high on life,” pass me a bottle of vodka so I can take a big ol’ swig. Being high on booze? It’s better.

Speaking of “high,”, the high point of the night was the food. At least for me. (No surprise there.) While there was fatty delicious crap dip (I only had two bites. With corn chips. Not bread.), the dinner itself was incredibly healthy. We grilled Salmon and chicken and fresh vegetables picked from one girlfriend’s garden. Plus we had cherries. Because my nutritionist says I need carbs. Amazing.

Grilled-summer-vegetables
Yes, we know how to make a meal!

After dinner we pumped up the 80’s iTunes and danced. If you are a man reading this, and are anything like my husband, I will tell you just like I told him that seven women dancing in the living room of a beach house does not mean we were just one drink away from having a big lesbian orgy right in the middle of the hardwood floor. Sorry to disappoint you, dudes. It just means that dancing is fun. And girls just wanna have fun. (Yeah, that was lame, but I couldn’t resist.)

Around eleven o’clock (which is about an hour and a half past my bedtime) we decided to walk to the dive bar down the street, that due to previous trips to the beach house has been nicknamed “The Hurt Locker” by my husband.

And this, is where things got a little bit nutty.

I can’t really tell you what happened at The Hurt Locker because it’s a little like Vegas that way. But here are some things that might or might not have happened. (I can neither confirm nor deny them.)

There might have been a two-man band there (singer and guitar player) with a guitar player who only seemed to know one riff and therefore every song sounded exactly the same. If there was such a band, the mystery remains how in the hell the singer even knew what song the guitarist was playing.

One of the girls might have chatted up a few of the locals to get free beer. I won’t lie, I like free beer and attention from the opposite sex too, but at this place? Not worth the $5 savings.

One of the girls might have had everyone in the entire bar dancing because of her hilarious dance moves and vivacious personality. She’s very pretty, but her confidence and funny demeanor translated into her being sexiest broad in the joint (by far). Her goal may have been to make sure every single person at the bar was having a good time. (If that did happen and that was her goal, she achieved it.)

The girl chatting up locals for free beer might not have liked not being the belle of the bar and might have told some of the patrons that the dancing girl was a lesbian. Or perhaps she was trying to protect the dancing girl from unwanted molesters suitors. You know, if she did say that, which I’m not saying she did.

But I will tell you that the dancing girl might be is funnier and cuter than me, so while I wasn’t the one calling her a lesbian in an effort to minimize the attention being paid to her, she might have deserved it! (I’m just sayin’)

One of the girls might have flirted with a cute boy who is the same age as her son – 21. (And people call me a cougar.)

But I’m only saying those things might have happened. I’ll never tell. And if they did… well, my friends were just having fun. Drunk girls do silly things. I was sober, so of course my behavior was boring perfect.

But I will tell you this, it’s a good thing I’m seeing some real progress with this Just Lose It program, because I had fun, but my girlfriends? They had a blast!

Just Lose It: What It’s Really Like to Join a Six-Week Weight Loss Competition (Week 2)

I’ve completed Week 2 of my “Biggest Loser-style” Just Lose It program at Stevenson Fitness, but I’m sure what everyone really wants to know is how much weight I lost from Week 1. (What, you mean you haven’t been curiously obsessing over it all week? Whatever. I’ll tell you anyway.)

After my first week I lost 5.8 pounds. Yes, I am awesome. Or just fat. Either way…  I have to admit I was pretty happy with the results.

As a team we lost 14.4 pounds – an average of 2.5% per person. Our team is in 2nd place – the first place team lost 38.4 pounds total (wow!) and an average of 3.9% per person. Obviously they are cheating. Plus there are five of them and only four of us, so there! (But I have faith. Our team will pull ahead and be the biggest losers – you’ll see.)

Biggest-Loser-Style-Weight-Loss-Team
Trainer Safia (middle) hanging with Phil and his Pink Bitches

After our weigh-in last week we had a meeting with our nutritionist, Holly, who went over our food diary. (Yes, we have to keep a diary and write down everything we eat and at what time. And I mean everything.)

Holly said I’ve done very good on my diet (um hello, see weight loss above), but I’m not eating enough carbs. And by carbs she does not mean yummy bread, pasta or French fries. She means brown rice, the smallest portion of (non-French-fried) potatoes you’ve ever seen, or fruit. (Yawn.)

She explained that while the lack of carbs could be part of the reason I lost almost six pounds in a week, in the long run it’s not going to serve me well. I’ll become cranky and irritable and more likely to binge.

If you want to know the truth I think that’s a little rude. She doesn’t even know me. How does she know whether or not I’m cranky and irritable? Maybe that’s just my personality. And maybe I lost 5.8 pounds because I did not cheat on my diet (which is not a diet, but a lifestyle change -ugh!) even once and because bad mean Phil (quite literally) worked my ass off! Lack of carbs is making me cranky – Pffft! I might hate Holly too.

Um… anyway…

I found Week 2 to be a bit more challenging diet-wise. I mean, how much freaking chicken can one person eat? I swear if I see one more piece of chicken on my plate I’m going to kill it. Oh wait, it’s already dead. Well, I’m going to… to… I don’t know, I’m going to anything but eat it is what I’m going to do.

Chicken with black beans
Chicken with black beans and corn. (You see that Holly – plenty of carbs!)

And if I’m honest (and sadly I always am), I will admit that the over-eating of chicken is my fault and not rude Holly’s. I can eat beef or pork or fish, but I don’t really like to eat too much red meat. (Okay, that’s a lie. I could eat red meat every day, possibly every meal, and be happy as a Survivor contestant after winning a food-reward challenge, but I’m pretty sure that’s not really good for you.)

But my family is fairly picky and doesn’t really like pork (unless it’s Easter ham or bacon) and my daughter won’t eat fish. So, we eat a lot of chicken. But these past two weeks we’ve eaten even more than usual in replacement of the quesadilla/pasta/grilled cheese gourmet meals that I usually rely on presenting to my family a few times a week. Even my husband who never complains about what I serve for dinner gently suggested we might have something else.

And then I snapped at him. And not because I didn’t eat any carbs. I mean I had 12 cherries that day. I think.

Also during Week 2 I’m sad to admit that I cheated and went wine tasting. But it wasn’t my fault. My friend bought a Groupon for SIP and it was about to expire. And friends don’t let friends let wine-tasting-Groupons expire.

I did talk to Holly about it beforehand and she told me to treat wine as my carb and to be sure to balance it out with a protein. (Wine as my carb? I might like this Holly afterall!) So I brought some cheese. Except that you can’t bring food to SIP so I had to sneak it in my purse.

wine-and-cheese
Some people sneak wine where they’re not supposed to – I sneak food!

I enjoyed wine tasting very much. (Like you wouldn’t believe.)

wine-glow
See how wine makes me glow? Or perhaps I’m cleverly minimizing my wrinkles with a filter. At least one of those statements is true.

I also enjoyed flirting with our cute 24-year-old wine pourer, Austin. (And yes, I am familiar with the term sommelier, but are cute 24-year-olds who work at wine tasting rooms considered sommeliers? I don’t think so. Let’s just go with wine pourer.) And I think my 5.8 pound one week weight loss gave me a confidence that translated to hotness because my boyfriend Austin did not bust me on the cheese.

cute-wine-bar-guy
In my mind Austin’s red eyes are only for me.

And then we went to Ladyface for a late light dinner where I enjoyed their Salade Niçoise and a club soda with a splash of cranberry. And do you know who showed up 20 minutes later and sat right next to us at the bar? Austin! (5.8 pound weigh loss = confidence = cute boys following you.)

The fact that we didn’t tell him we were headed to Ladyface and he left after about 10 minutes when his friend showed up is really none of your business.

Yes, I enjoyed my cheater wine tasting evening very much.

Do you know what I did not enjoy? That night I slept like crap. And the next day I felt like crap. Following Rude Holly and Mean Phil’s program had my body so detoxed and clean that drinking wine made me feel crappy. And feeling crappy makes me crabby. And wine was my carb. So obviously Holly does not know what she’s talking about when she says lack of carbs will make me crabby because it turns out that it’s carbs that make me crabby.

At least program-cheating-wine-carbs.

Sh*t.

I do not like that. Not one little bit.

Check out my post on Thursday to find out about my girls’ night at my friend’s beach house with my six drunk-ass friends and sober-wine-carb-free me. (Yeah, that happened.) And check back next Monday to continue on my “Biggest Loser-style” Just Lose It weight loss journey.

 

Just Lose It: What It’s Really Like to Join a Six-Week Weight Loss Competition (Week 1)

Have you ever looked at someone and thought to yourself, Yeah, I’d look great too If I had a personal trainer and a nutritionist like she does? (Or he does. If you’re a dude. Or want to look like one.)

I have. (Like all the time.)

So decided to approach the manager of my gym to see what she thought about me participating in their “Just Lose It” six week weight loss competition and writing a blog series about it. She thought it was a great idea. Of course I did too. Not only will I participate in a group and individual weight loss challenge complete with a personal trainer and nutritionist (and therefore look amazing), I will have interesting and informative blog material for the next six weeks. (Win, win!) The program includes two weekly team workouts with a trainer and one weekly team meeting with a nutritionist.

Six-week-weight-loss
I’m totally going to look like her when I’m done!

Sounds awesome right?

Well, if your definition of awesome is stepping your fat ass on a scale at night while wearing tennis shoes in front of a really cute boy trainer, then having another cute boy trainer measure your body fat, and then having your body measurements taken (at least that was done by a woman), then yeah, it’s pretty awesome.

And no you do not get to know what my numbers are. At least not yet. (Nosy!)

But here’s a couple of “before” pictures of me (if you click on it it will get bigger):

Before-weight-loss-photo
Feel free to snicker!

After the shock and humiliation of learning my stats I sat down with the other participants to have the basics of the program explained to us:

This is a challenge where three small teams (two five-person and one four-person) will be competing to see which team loses the most inches, body fat and pounds. There will also be an individual “Biggest Loser” (hence winner) at the end of the competition. (The loss totals are done as a percentage to compensate for the fact that one team only has four members and because of the whole “men lose weight faster than women” thing.)

We will meet with our trainer twice a week and the nutritionist once a week. We also have to do one additional strength training session as a team designed by our trainer, but without our trainer present. And we have to do three weekly cardio sessions (again designed by our trainer) that last 30 – 60 minutes.

Uh… I thought this thing was only twice a week.

Nope. It turns out if you want to look like “those people” (you know, the skinny, in shape, fit people) you have to workout like they do.

Sigh…

But still. It sounds pretty easy to me. Well, maybe not easy, but at least doable. I mean, I workout all the time. On good weeks I hit the gym five to six times and on bad weeks I get there at least two or three.

And I eat healthfully. Ish.

Really, how hard can this challenge be?

Well, considering the fact that I’ve been unable to drop any significant weight for the last year and a half and the people who stick to this program drop a ton of weight in just six weeks (one woman I talked to lost over 20 pounds!) the answer, my poor tired aching body is finding out, is pretty freaking hard.

In the first place, there is no drinking alcohol. What?! Bu…bu…but… it’s summertime! Time for delicious margaritas. Yummy sangria. Refreshing lemonade and vodka. Crisp Pinot Grigio. Fruity Sauvignon Blanc. Buttery Chardonnay. (There may not be any wine for the next six weeks, but trust me – there will be plenty of whining!)

The diet is healthy,but strict. At least the food is plentiful (it had better be with all the working out we’re doing). I have to eat four times a day (every four hours) with a very regimented protein/healthy-carb/fat ratio. Nothing that contains flour may be consumed for the first two weeks.  So my two to three times a week “Oh-crap-it’s-six-o’clock-I-forgot-to-pull-something-out-of-the-freezer-what-are-we-going-to-have-for-dinner-how-about pasta/quesadilla/grilled cheese?” dinner plan just got thrown out the window. (Shit!) I can have potatoes. But not the (French) fried variety that I prefer.

And I’m sure it goes without saying no sugar. But honestly, I’d rather have a French fry. (Or wine.)

Day One

My trainer’s name is Phil. I hate Phil. And not because he was the cute boy trainer who took my fat measurement. (Bastard!)

I hate Phil because of what he is making me and my team members do to win this contest. Which is, you know, workout.

Hard.

Really really hard.

He made me say the F word. (But only once.) I’d tell you our workout routine, but I don’t want the other trainers getting wind of the awesomeness terribleness of Phil and copying any of our workouts. Because my team -The Pink Bitches- we’re going to win this competition. (Believe it!)

Day Two

Phil told us we could rest today. But I took my dog on a 2 mile walk, did a 4 minute Tabata Training (yes, only 4 minutes, but trust me they are 4 intense minutes) and called myself awesome.

Day Three

Workout #2 with Phil. Phil made us run. I hate running. And sprint. And since sprinting is doing something I hate really, really fast, I hate sprinting even more. (Have I mentioned that I hate Phil?) He made me say the F word again. And not just once.

Then Phil made us do no less than 400 reps of various core exercises. I wish I was exaggerating.

And lucky us, there was even time for upper body weight lifting. (Yay!)

At the end of the workout, Phil was nice enough to help stretch me out. I (almost) felt bad for him because I think I smelled pretty bad gross, so I have to give him credit for coming within two inches of me. the stretching felt great – in an ouchy-hurts-so-good kind of way. I started to like Phil. (A little.)

Day Four

The four of us took Deena’s 5:30 AM kickboxing class. (Phil made us do it.) I workout at 5:30 AM all the time, but I was so sore that there is no way in hell I would have gone if the other Pink Bitches weren’t there counting on me. (Turns out accountability works.)

And Deena? She is so freaking perky in the morning I want to punch her I love her. Her class was great, but I was dying. D-Y-I-N-G!

Day Five

The Pink Bitches met again at 5:30 AM for a weight training session developed by Phil. We thought it would take an hour. It took an hour and a half. I might not be the only one who hates Phil.

Day Six

Rest day. I love Phil.

Day Seven

Cardio Day. Fifteen minutes stair climber (think going the wrong way up an escalator – for 15 minutes!), fifteen minutes on the recumbent bike, fifteen minutes on the ellyptical. All at high levels and a fast pace.

Every muscle inside my body hurts. My eyelashes hurt.

I really hate Phil.

Check back next week to see how much weight I lost the first week.