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: 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!