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.

 

 

 

What I Learned in 2013

In no particular order is a list of things I learned in 2013

1. Ignoring your problems will not make them go away. It will however, very, very likely make them worse. (And more expensive.)

2. Sometimes if you ask for something, you might just get it.

3. Being busy -like for real- makes you so much more organized than having idle time on your hands. (Idle time? What’s that?)

4. Saying no to your kids is easier when you can’t afford to say yes. But no less heartbreaking.

5. Binge watching TV shows is incredibly addicting.

6. If you are binge watching TV shows and have not caught up to real time stay off Twitter.

7. Maggie Smith rules. (I actually knew that already.)

8. So does Bryan Cranston. (Of that I was not aware.)

9. Candy Crush is even more addictive than binge watching TV. (However, I have not missed it even for one second after deleting it from my phone. I do, however, regret the 8,743 hours I spent ignoring my family while playing it.)

10. It is possible to lose weight after age 45. (Thank god!)

11. Running sucks. (I knew that already too – but not like I know it now.)

12. Having none of your clothes fit properly because they are too big is a good problem to have (and one that you really shouldn’t complain about to your friends), but it’s still a pain in the ass.

13. Parenting a teenage girl in the digital age is really hard. Like really fucking hard.

14. Chia seeds are not just for late 20th Century themed gag gifts. They are actually full of Omega 3’s and really good for you. They’re also really hard to get out of your teeth. (See #13 for how hard.) Even with dental floss.

 

Here are some things that I absolutely already knew that I was greatly reminded of in 2013

1. I really did a spectacularly awesome job when I picked my friends. (And I’m so glad they picked me back.)

2. My son is really really fast.

3. My daughter is really really smart.

4. My husband is really really funny.

5. Getting up at 5:00 so I can write or work out keeps me sane.

6. My mom is amazing.

7. I love the way that words taste on my tongue.

 

Books I loved in 2013

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 

Favorite quote from a book in 2013

“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” ― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

Seriously, can’t you just taste those words in your mouth?! 

What did you learn, love, or were reminded of in 2013?

 

*This post was inspired by 100% ripped off from the fabulous Kim Sisto-Robinson’s blog post 21 Things I’ve Learned in 2013 and Other Stuff. You should read it. Her words are beautiful. (And they taste amazing!)

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.

It’s September

dream-board
My visions of 2013

Today is September 1st which means 2013 is 2/3 over and at the end of the month it will be 3/4 over and what have I done this year? I’m looking at my vision board to see what goals have been reached and the sad truth is, not many. The word “Imagine” is on there twice. Well, I’ve hit that goal as I’ve certainly done a lot of imagining. But perhaps next year instead of gluing on the word “imagine” I should glue on the word “do.” I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on myself because I pasted on of a glass of wine and a cup of coffee and I’ve had my share of those. There’s a picture of healthy food and a fit woman and I’ve lost 13 pounds and 13 inches these last two months. I clipped out the sentence “Give hugs.” and I hug Marley every day and make Chandler hug me every day, but I don’t hug Dave every day and I need to start doing that. But (other than my trip to Napa in March) I haven’t traveled (and it’s really hard to write a travel blog when you haven’t traveled), I haven’t taken enough risks, and I haven’t gotten Bradley Cooper to star in the movie version of my unpublished book. I haven’t been querying my novel enough and I haven’t been writing enough and that needs to stop right now. Or rather start right now. More writing. More querying. More. As in every day. So this month, this ninth month, this pivotal 2/3’s – 3/4’s month, I’m going to write (and post) just one paragraph. Every day. It might not help me hit my goals. But it’s something.

I found the inspiration for “One Paragraph A Day” from my friend Kim who wrote one paragraph a day on her blog about a month ago. She found the inspiration here. Thank you ladies for the kick in the butt I needed and inspiring me to do more every day.

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 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

If you like, look on the right side bar and enter your email in the box that looks like the picture below and never miss a post!

Follow Blog Box
Fill me out on the right-side side bar!

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.

 

Cabbage Soup Diet: The Day After

It’s the day after the Cabbage Soup Diet and you know exactly what I did, don’t you? I did this:

Morning coffee
Hello precious!

That’s right! Coffee! (Can you hear the angels singing? Trust me – the did!) But I only had one cup instead of my usual two, so you’d better believe I savored every sip.

I re-lost that pound and a half that jumped back on me after my one cheat, making my total weight loss six pounds. Six pounds in seven days? I’ll take it! And I know, I know, now the trick is to keep it off.

I really do think I can do that. Like I said on Day Five of the Cabbage Soup Diet, I really noticed all the little things I was eating throughout the day that add up. Today I only had one cup of coffee instead of two. I never really enjoy that second cup of coffee as much as the first, so instead of having a second I switched to green tea.

At lunch I usually have half a sandwich and tortilla chips. (Followed by a second serving of tortilla chips.) Today I had half a sandwich and a cup of tomato and roasted red pepper soup from Trader Joe’s. (YUM!)

We had pasta for dinner, but I only had half a cup and put it in a bowl with a heaping serving of broccoli and marinara sauce. (And just a teaspoon of olive oil on the broccoli – it was delicious.) I didn’t put blue cheese crumbles in my salad and ate my salad with lemon instead of salad dressing. (I think I will usually eat salad dressing instead of lemon on my salad, but since I am going to not one, but two Thanksgiving dinners this week, I figure I’ll save my calories where I can.) Also, I had water with dinner instead of wine. Shockingly enough, after a week on the Cabbage Soup Diet, I got used to having water for dinner and kind of lost my craving for wine. Again, I’m not giving up wine with dinner forever, but don’t think I’ll have it this week until my Thanksgiving food orgies on Thursday and Saturday.

I won’t lie, last week wasn’t fun. Sometimes it was even rather hellish. But I do feel lighter. My stomach is flatter. My pants fit better. I’m happy with the results. But would I do the Cabbage Soup Diet again? I hope I never have to.

Today my Yogi Green Tea fortune said this:

Yogi Green Tea Fortune
You’re beautiful!

But I’m not sure if it was talking to me or that glorious cup of coffee.

By the way, in case you missed it, here is the complete diary: Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five, Day Six, Day Seven