Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Weigh-in & Some Pictures

Image courtesy of Ampersand Seven

Down two pounds to 310.4. I'm so close to 309 (BMI out of the 50s) and 307 (50 pounds lost) I can practically taste it. If I keep losing at my current rate, I'll hit 307 in a couple of weeks. I was hoping to be 307 by Christmas so I could tell my family I lost 50 pounds, but hey - 47-ish or 48-ish or whatever it is by then is close enough. :) I'm really proud.

Last night, I realized I was wearing the same shirt (different color) that I am in my original progress picture. I also wore the exact same blue shirt in my progress pictures from 25 pounds lost. So, I took some new pictures, even though I haven't hit 50 pounds yet.

I put the overall progress pictures on the Photos page. Here are the blue shirt pictures showing a nearly-25-pound difference. I can really see it in my stomach (not hanging as much) and thighs/butt (not quite as wide).

You can also see that this shirt is getting pretty big on me. I wear it with pajama pants now. It's super comfy.

I think it's interesting that when I lost the first 25 pounds, it was sort of hard to tell the difference between 357 and 332. But then I looked at the 332 pictures versus these pictures at 310, and the nearly-25-pound loss is more obvious. This really makes me happy! I know that losing 25 pounds is way more obvious the less you weigh, but I didn't think I'd start seeing a difference while still over 300 pounds. :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012



Last night, I was able to stay on the elliptical for six minutes! I blew right by my goal of five minutes, mostly because it went into cool-down mode (which was set at exactly the same resistance I'd been working at), and I figured, "Eh, what the heck. See what you can do."

I've noticed my elliptical workout goes like this:

0:00 - 1:00 - My feet are flying! I'm made of feathers! I will run, run, run! Wheeeee!

1:00 - 2:00 - Ohmygod... kill me now... I hate this. I'm too fat.

2:00 - 3:00 - Okay, halfway there. I can do this. Just breathe.

3:00 - 4:00 - Hey, this is getting easier!

4:00 - 4:30 - Wheeeeee! My feet are flying! I can crank this last minute out no problem!

4:30 - 5:00 - Stare at the timer, focusing on the numbers because I can hardly manage to keep my feet moving, push push push

5:00 - die

The machine won't let you set the timer for 30-second increments, so I set it to 5:00 Sunday and simply stopped at 4:30. Last night, when it hit 5:00, it went into cool-down mode, as I said. It added 2:00 and started counting backward. I was dead but not all the way dead, so I did kind of take it easy, enough to keep the machine from pausing, and did another minute of long, slow movements. Then I said, "Screw this," and stopped at a total of 6:00. I was pretty proud of myself.

Tonight is a rest night. I worked my triceps, pecs, and lats again last night, and I want to give my body time to process the water retention in my sore muscles before I weigh in tomorrow. Who knows what will happen when I get home, though. I may decide to do some cardio and skip weights. I really do love how I feel when I leave the gym, like all of the stress of the day is simply gone. I never felt like that after walking or doing a DVD. There's something about working my butt off on the elliptical and really pushing myself that cleanses me, like the endorphins take over and make everything okay. Plus, I'm too tired and worn out at that point to feel stressed. ;)


Now that I've added in weights, I've been having the dumbest thoughts ever. While I know it's a very good thing to build lean muscle, I also know that it might "stall" my weight loss in several weeks when I start to gain lean muscle mass.

I know it will be because muscle is more dense than fat, and my measurements will show that, but there's this little psychological component to it: I want to keep watching the weight go down and not do anything to stop that, however temporarily or briefly.

Again, I know this is stupid, especially since having lean muscle mass will help with weight loss, so I hope I get over it soon. I have no intention of stopping weight training, so I have no choice but to get over it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Owwww... My Arms...

My friend, Kae, just signed up at Planet Fitness, so we decided to go this afternoon. We started out with brunch and thrift store shopping as a warm-up.

Kae and I used to do The Firm workouts back when they were still on VHS tapes and everyone was 80s-tastic. Seriously. She and I started working out together in 1993, and the tapes were released in the late 80s.

That said, they remain one of my favorite workouts because they combine weights and aerobics. I was in the best shape of my life back then, and I used those tapes to lose 40 pounds in 1997. If you can get past the cheesy leotards and awful hair, I highly recommend looking for them on Amazon and eBay.

Anyway, because we have a history of working out together, we know what each other's limits are (my knees, her hands) and how to motivate each other. She's also really knowledgeable about weight machines, whereas I am most decidedly not, so I let her take the reins today.

She asked how I do my cardio so that we could do our own, separate things and then meet up by the weight machines. I always warm-up on the treadmill or recumbent bike and then move to the elliptical to flirt with certain death. She likes the bike, so I did that with her for ten minutes and then left to get on the elliptical. The bike is good for a warm-up, but it's kind of boring, and I don't feel like I'm getting a workout since I'm sitting down. I'm fairly sure it's psychological, since my heart rate gets up to 145, but still.

The last time I was there, I made a goal to stay on the elliptical for 4:00. I barely made it. I thought I was going to DIE. This time, I figured I'd go for 4:30, since my plan is to increase my time by thirty seconds every time I go to the gym. I want to work up to 45 minutes.

The first couple minutes were much easier this time. My knee didn't freak out, and when it did, I simply went backwards for a little while until my knee felt okay but my thighs were hollering. Then I went back forward. I hit a groove around 3:00 and thought, "Maybe I'll go for 5:00 today," but then the wheels fell off the bus around 4:00 and I had to focus to get through to 4:30. It's amazing how long thirty seconds can feel when you want to fall over and play dead.

That said, I LOVE the elliptical. I want one of these things in my house. It's definitely a torture machine, but I love it for that very reason. My heart rate gets up to 170, so I have to scale back a bit just to keep it in the correct zone. (It's almost always because I'm moving my arms too fast.) There's absolutely zero impact, it's a smooth motion, it isn't as awkward as it looks, and it makes my legs feel amazing. I also sweat a ton. So, yes, this is my favorite machine, and I can't wait for the day I can stay on it for a full 45 minutes like all the other cardio rock stars.

Once we finished our cardio, we decided to work on our shoulders and back. Kae likes to split her workouts into shoulders/back one day, then legs/butt, then arms/chest/abs - or something like that. Anyway, we found the right machines and set to work. She had me do ten reps at a weight that was comfortable but still challenging, rest while she did it, and then get back on for ten more reps. We did this with all of the machines and then did some free weight work.

I have to say, having that mirrored wall in the free weight area really helps. I always thought it was kind of funny that people would stare at their muscles, but today I realized its true purpose - I could see when I got lazy with my form. No wonder people watch themselves. I felt like an idiot for thinking it was there for vanity's sake. ;)

Once we finished that up, she had to go to Best Buy, and I decided to come home and shower. We would have showered there (and they have nice showers), but we didn't realize they don't provide towels. Oops! I did think it was really nice that they not only have shower curtains, but they also have a curtained dressing room where you can put on some basic underwear instead of having to walk back into the locker room wearing just a towel. It's also nice for those who are more modest/religious.

I'm pleasantly sore now. It feels great to be able to do a full workout again. 46 pounds ago, there's no way I would have been able to do any of this. I felt powerful and really proud, even though my reflection in the weight area was still a chunky girl. I simply didn't care, though, because I'm smaller than I used to be, and the more I go to the gym, the smaller I'll get. I can't wait to see what my reflection looks like next December. :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Planet Fitness

logo from

I went to Planet Fitness for the first time last night, and I absolutely LOVED IT!

I worked with one of their fitness instructors to come up with an aerobic workout that wouldn't put too much stress on my knees and feet. It was just enough to get my heart rate up where it needed to be without feeling any pain. It was perfect. :)

I started out by warming up on the treadmill. I walked at 3.5 mph with the incline set to 1% (to mimic walking outside) and then 3.0 mph with the incline set to 4%. I did intervals for ten minutes, using the manual setting so I could scale back if my foot started to hurt. It didn't hurt until near the very end, but it wasn't bad, so I kept walking. (Yes, I plan to make an appointment with a podiatrist. This has been going on for six months.)

After the treadmill, I moved to the recumbent bike. I was supposed to do 10 minutes on level 2 and then 10 minutes at level 3, with my RPM between 80-100. The balls of my feet started to hurt after 10 minutes, though. She checked my form, and it was fine. We have no idea why my feet hurt so much. It was like a burning pain more than a muscle pain. She had me stop since slowing down didn't help.

Then, we moved to the elliptical. I was supposed to start at 4:00 on level 1 and hang onto the middle bars. She wants me to add 30 seconds per day, which seems like a good pace. I told her hanging onto the middle bars would feel like cheating and that it isn't very comfortable. She agreed, saying using your arms gives you a better cardio burn and cautioned me to move back to the middle if my heart rate got too crazy or I started to feel dizzy.

So, I used my arms, and I really liked it! My knee started to bother me after one minute, so she told me to go backwards for thirty seconds and then go forward again. Going backward was easier on my knee but BOY did it kill my thighs! She said she often does intervals, forward and back, because it works more muscles.

I continued to do that for four minutes and burned through the last minute, pushing myself because it felt awesome and horrible and exhilirating all at once. I probably could have done another 30-60 seconds, but I was also a little glad to get off the machine. ;) Now I see why she wants me to add 30 seconds per day. It's easy enough for me to handle without dying but not TOO easy. It's perfect. Eventually, she wants me to get up to 30 minutes on level 1, and then I can start over again with level 2, then 3, and so on until I reach a comfortable point where I can spend 30-45 minutes on whichever level is most comfortable for my knee. Once I get to that point, she'll show me how to change the levels for really good interval training.

Everyone on the staff was really nice and inviting. They all smiled at me, welcomed me, asked how I was doing, said goodbye, etc. I got a really good vibe while there. It truly is a "no judgment zone", just like they advertise. There were people of all shapes and sizes, and everyone was focused on their workout.

Additionally, the shower and locker room is really nice. The shower stalls have curtains (yay!), and there are many lockers of assorted sizes. You can bring a padlock to secure your stuff.

I highly recommend Planet Fitness if you're looking for a gym. I'm paying $10/month with no commitment. The special runs through December 31. I'm so happy I joined!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Man, I've been awful about updating lately. It's just been weigh-in, weigh-in, weigh-in. It's not like we haven't done anything; I guess I just haven't felt like writing, which is odd for me.

Anyway, I'm up 0.4 pounds from last week, which doesn't surprise me since I gained and am now losing the six pounds of water weight gain from TOM. That is such a pain. I try everything, including water with lemon. I might ask my doctor if I can take a water pill since the water weight brings quite a bit of pain and discomfort with it. It's not so much the weight gain that annoys me (since I know it's temporary) as the aches and pains.

So, this leaves me with just over four pounds to lose to meet my next mini-goal of 50 pounds lost. Technically, my next mini-goal is to get to 309, which will bring my BMI under 50, but "50 Pounds Lost" is a much cooler goal, so that's what's in the mini-ticker up top. :)

I joined Planet Fitness Monday night. They have a special through 12/31: $19 down and then $10/month, no commitment. They have a ton of different cardio machines, a circuit room, and free weights. As part of my basic membership, I can make an appointment with a trainer to design a program just for me, and they have all sorts of free training classes that focus on different areas of the body. I'm pretty excited. I'm going to go later, after Brent gets home, since I want to keep an eye on the kitties today.


Winter was spayed yesterday. She's doing well. Currently, I'm trying to keep the kitties from playing tag and wrestling. They're both young, so this is a losing battle. The vet warned me it would be hard to keep her quiet and not to worry if she runs around a bit. The vet told us what to watch out for, as far as the wound site, and we separated them when it got a little too crazy last night.

I'm wrapping Christmas presents, and they've both been a BIG help...

Sherlock says, "Merry Christmas!"

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Image courtesy of Ampersand Seven

Down a pound to 311.8.

I'd post more, but I'm DEAD TIRED. I'm at the hotel in Bloomington, and I've had lots of fun training people, but I'm ready to get home to my own bed and a normal alarm setting. We've been going in at 7:30 every day. ZzzzzZZZZZzzzzZZzzz. Plus, I miss Brent and the kitties.

That sounds so much whinier than I intended. This really has been a great experience. I'm just kind of falling asleep with my eyes open right now. ;)

The hotel is great. I got to try an elliptical for the first time, and it wasn't as awkward as I thought it would be. It was a great workout for my legs and butt. I was really out of breath after only a few minutes. I'd love to have one at home so I could work on my endurance.
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