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 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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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.