Category Archives: Fitness

Finding a groove

I’m really starting to like this healthy stuff.  I think I’ve eaten more fruits and vegetables in the last 3 weeks than I have in the last 3 years!  But it’s feeling good.  I did my last weigh in (unofficial) last Saturday.  I believe I’m at a total of 19 lbs or so.  That’s since the beginning of May.  So I’m well on my way to meeting my goal for GCLS, which is to lose 25 lbs.

I’m considering reevaluating this goal.  I think when I hit the 25, I’m going to set another goal…perhaps another 10 or 15 lbs.  We’ll see how things are going.

I have an official weigh in on Saturday.  My measurements will also be taken then.  I’ll have to make sure I post the results here.

Tonight’s work out was good.  I burned 615 calories!  Last Saturday it was 603 calories.  Breaking the 600 barrier two work outs in a row…exciting!  Now, I need to see how long I can sustain that.

I also signed up for the Spring Challenge.  I’m on a team with other people – we’re the Mums. LOL (All of the teams are named for flowers.)  We get points by coming in to work out our regular 3 times a week.  And then another point for coming in 4 times a week.  There are points for losing inches and weight also.  So now, I’m doing it for my team as well as myself.  It’s a fun motivator.

Carleen

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I’m just a bit psyched!

The last 24 hours or so have been pretty good!  Some very nice things transpired.

Dollhouse has been renewed for a 2nd season!  I find this quite exciting!  If you haven’t watched Season 1 of this show, you’ve really missed out.  It took a bit to get the ball rolling – the first 5 episodes were good, but they were stand-alone episodes, so they didn’t really “fit”.  However, with episode 6, Fox got the hell out of the way and let Joss Whedon work his magic!  Actual TV ratings were low – and they declined over the course of the season – but it was aired on FRIDAY nights?!  I mean, other than me, most people have lives!  The good things:  DVD pre-orders were high; DVR ratings were high; hits at hulu.com and Fox.com to watch the episodes were high; and the fans of the show were loyal, aggressive, and vocal!  So many phone calls went into the Fox viewer line after Miracle Laurie (November on the show) put the number up on Twitter, the whole thing went down!  It will be nice to give Whedon the chance to develop another great show – he was severely gyped with Firefly.

I went to work out this morning.  I decided to do a weigh in before I started the work out.  Since this past Tuesday, another 3 – 3.5 pounds GONE! (I can’t remember the exact amount after the decimal from Tuesday.)  Based on my starting weight and today’s weight, I’ve lost a total of about 19 lbs!  Yay!  AND I burned 603 calories today!  The person working this morning said that I’m only the 2nd person she’s heard of to break 600.  Yay again!  Next Saturday is my official weigh in and measurement day.  Keep your fingers crossed!  I also joined a team for the new challenge.  Every 3 work out week earns a point.  Come in a 4th day and get another point.  A point for every week weight is lost.  A point for every week inches are lost.  This goes for 6 weeks.  I don’t know what the winning team gets as a prize…except the increased healthiness!  Should be fun!

So, yeah, all-in-all, a good day.

Snacking – helpful or diet death?

I admit it…I spend the majority of my day in a hungry state.  “Drink water” people tell me.  Well, sure, I do.  But that doesn’t alleviate the hunger.  The snack machines in the break room do NOT help me out.  There’s nothing but candy bars and snacks high in calories, sodium and fat.  I refuse to allow myself those anymore.  I need to start bringing food with me to work – food that I’ve picked out for it’s healthy content and calorie count.  So what to choose?

I found the following article here – it has some good suggestions:

No Calorie or Low Calorie Foods & Snacks for Weight Loss!

By Kristie Leong M.D.

If you love to eat but you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll want to know about these no calorie and almost no calorie foods and snacks you can eat without guilt. Plus, most of these foods are healthy which is an added bonus. Just be careful not to restrict your calories too much as this practice can cause your metabolism to slow down and stall your weight loss efforts. Plus, it’s important to maintain good nutritional status while dieting. So, here’s your list of low or no calorie, guilt free foods and snacks:

1. Sugar free Jello Sugar free jello is available both already prepared in plastic cups in the refrigerated section of your grocery store or you can buy the powder in a box and prepare it yourself. Either way it’s almost calorie free and comes in a variety of flavors. A cool and tasty treat that tastes great when its hot outside!

2. Lightly steamed broccoli sprigs This is one food that’s highly nutritious, yet has only 20 calories per 100 gram serving. You can steam them lightly and add a touch of lemon juice and garlic to create a healthy snack that’s loaded with antioxidants and vitamins. A completely guilt free, almost no calorie food!

3. Green tea sweetened with Splenda Not only is this treat almost completely calorie free, it’s loaded with catechins which help to promote weight loss and may have anticancer properties. To get the highest concentration of catechine, brew your own at home. Bottled green tea is significantly lower in catechins than is fresh brewed green tea.

4. Eggbeaters or egg whites Egg whites are an excellent source of vitamins and protein and are low in fat and carbs. A 1/4 cup serving of eggbeaters has only around 30 calories. Scramble them with a little salt and pepper and you have a wholesome snack that’s quite filling.

5. Salad greens and herb mix You can buy big bags of salad greens mixed with fresh herbs at your local supermarket. These taste delicious seasoned with a light touch of balsamic vinegar dressing sweetened with Splenda. Go light on the olive oil in your balsamic vinegar dressing to keep the calorie count down. This is perfect for a light late afternoon meal on a hot day. Salad greens are the ultimate almost no calorie food due to their versatility.

6. Italian soda flavored with sugar free coffee syrup. Buy some seltzer water and a bottle of sugar free coffee syrup at your local grocery store. Pour the seltzer water over ice and add sugar free coffee syrup to taste. The sugar free coffee syrups come in a variety of flavors including : fruit flavors such as raspberry, strawberry, cantaloupe, honeydew; nutty flavors such as hazelnut and macadamia nut; as well as old standards such as chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and coconut and more. Another nice hot weather treat!

7. Berries sweetened with splenda. Almost all berries are extremely low in calories and have healthy vitamins and antioxidants to give you added health benefits. Try placing some strawberries in a bowl, sprinkle them with Splenda, and a small scoop of a sugar free whipped topping. (Cool Whip makes a delicious sugar free topping). You won’t miss those high calorie cookies and cakes when you have this dessert around.

8. Wow Cow frozen dessert If you haven’t discovered Wow Cow, you’re in a for a treat! It’s a lactose free treat that tastes like whipped yogurt and comes in an enormous variety of flavors including peanut butter, chocolate decadence, world class vanilla, maple, pistachio, coconut, marshmallow, and many more. Best of all, it has only 10 calories per ounce and is sweetened with fructose. You can find this frozen treat at some local ice cream stores. If not, you can purchase the mix online and make it in your ice cream maker at home. It’s a fantastic substitute for ice cream!

Keep this list handy the next time you’re looking for a very low or no calorie food to get you through until your next meal. Pretty soon you’ll be able to get into those size 6 pants again!

This was a much better day!

Whew!  My fall off the wagon on Sunday didn’t hurt me that much!

I went to work out at Curves today – I go on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (though I think I’m going to add a day).  Since I officially began the Cambridge Diet last Tuesday (at which point I weighed myself for a “starting point”) I decided to see how things were going after one week on the program.  Wow!  Was I happy!  I was hoping for 5-7 pounds in my first week.  I figured that would be a pretty good start.  With how much my system has been flushing itself this past week (because of all the water I’m drinking) I figured I would lose a lot of water weight.

It turns out that I lost TEN…yes, TEN…pounds in the last week!!  That takes my total (since April 2) to 15 pounds!  That is so awesome!  I had set a personal goal of 25 pounds by the time GCLS rolls around (July 19).  If I can’t lose the additional 10 pounds – plus some – by then, then I’m just useless. LOL

Another thing I’m very happy about is that I DECIMATED the abductor/adductor machine during the work out.  For those of you who don’t know what that is, here’s a photo:

This sucker is BRUTAL!  But today, I surpassed my goal on the damned thing!  The machine we have doesn’t quite look like an erector set like the one above – the Curves abductor/adductor is much simpler.  But the idea is the same.  I’ve determined that the machine is, in fact, the Devil.  As such, I encourage everyone to smite  it!  I will not let it beat me!!

Let’s see what the next few weeks bring for me!

Not a stellar day

I rather fell off the wagon today.  Oh, not badly – nothing was broken, but I got a few bruises.

Mother’s Day.  Yet another day when the family comes here.  Sometimes, living with Gram has disadvantages.   Because she is the matriarch of the family, everyone travels to her for all holidays.  Of course, that also means Gram and Mom do all of the cooking…everyone else just shows up to eat.  I help, but not with cooking.  That’s not my strong suit.  I do the heavy lifting – clean the porch, take things up and down the stairs, set up enough tables and chairs to seat 30+ people…that sort of thing.  +

I also assist with getting the “munchies” ready.  As I said, people come here to eat, so there had better be plenty.  So my job today (among others) was to put together the snack trays.  The vegetables were okay – a cucumber or piece of celery aren’t a big deal.  You do know that there’s some sort of rule that says, “Thou must not prepare the snack tray without nibbling,” right? It wasn’t so bad when I put together the crab dip either.  Well, not so much a dip as a couple blocks of cream cheese, crab, and cocktail sauce.  The crab was low in calories, so a couple of nibbles here and there weren’t detrimental.  Of course, I also needed to test the ham, right?  Gotta make sure it tastes good before putting it out on the table for everyone else!  A couple of small, bite-sized pieces were okay.  Oh!  Mom needed the spaghetti sauce tested.  So, have to have a spoonfull or two to make sure it didn’t need more basil or garlic.

Then it’s time for the meal to actually begin.  Okay, it’s Mother’s Day.  I really should spend some time with the family and have a meal with them.  No problem, I usually have a very low calorie meal each day – a salad or something – so I can just have little bits of things and it won’t kill me.

Until I tasted the pasta.

Mom made it my favorite way – with the ground beef cooked right in the sauce.  She hadn’t made it that way since I was a kid when we were living in San Diego.  It was SO GOOD.  Just a small scoop, that’s not too bad.  And a small piece of ham, because it was quite tasty.  Then there was the second scoop of pasta.  Ugh!  Why did I have that second scoop??  I felt so horrible after eating it!  The upside to that was the fact that I felt incredibly full when I was finished.  Usually, I could eat much more than that.  But the downside is that I felt incredibly full for a while afterward.  It was a constant reminder that I fell off that damned wagon.

I stayed downstairs for the rest of the day, hidden away in my room watching TV.  I needed to stay away from the food.  Around this house, on the holidays, there is around-the-clock food – snacks before the meal, then the meal (which stays out for a while since some people come late), then more snacks out and about for people to much, then desert (which consisted of my cousin’s chocolate pie and my mother’s pound cake), and, still, the snacks are out on the tables.

I’m sure my family thought I was being rude.  I wasn’t.  I was actually looking forward to talking to some of them.  But I just couldn’t put myself in that place where it’s so easy to just reach out for that Cheeto or say yes to that small slice of cake/pie.  I simply needed to say away so that my tumble off that rickety wagon didn’t cause more injury.

What’s worse – I didn’t work out this weekend.  My back hurt yesterday and I didn’t want to aggravate it by working out.  I have two herniated disks, so I need to pay heed when my back yells at me – I’m trying to avoid surgery. Using the treadmill today was out of the question since it’s on the porch and that’s where everyone was.  So I feel particularly bad.

I’ll just have to make up for it this week, dammit.  Hopefully I’ll be able to work out tomorrow night to make up for yesterday.  If not, definitely hitting the treadmill.  I’m determined to lose this weight!!  I’ve been doing very well up until today – I’m fitting into some clothes that have been too small for a couple of years and actually starting to notice the change in my body.  It’s not significant and others may not notice, but I do simply by the way my clothes are fitting.

So that’s it.  No more.  Renewed dedication.  Hitting the circuit hard.  Drinking water, water and more water.  I have to!

It has begun! (Cross Post)

Yesterday I received my month’s supply of The Cambridge Diet via UPS. Today, I started the program.

I have to admit that the morning was rough. I got up and had my first “meal” – a delightful, rich, chocolate shake. I followed that with a full glass of water and left for work. I got to work at about 6:30am and began my day. Usually, this is where I would break out the blueberry muffin I purchased for breakfast on my way to work. Well, no muffin today!

My tummy did some “I’m hungry” grumbling throughout the morning, but whenever it did, I simply drank more water and/or chewed a piece of gum (sugarfree). By the time Noon rolled around, I had polished off just over a gallon of water. Of course, I spent more time going to the ladies’ room today than I usually do, too! LOL This was a pretty big change for me – I usually drink Diet Coke. But, honestly, it felt good. I didn’t miss the caffeine at all.

However, I did miss the carbonation. So, around 3pm, I got a Coke Zero, which I’m not overly fond of, but I also thought it was caffeine free. It’s not. Oh well. I’ve only consumed half of it.

I got home around 5pm and had my second shake…again followed by a full glass of water. After a day of so much water, I was very satisfied with my “meal”.

Off to workout!

I’ve decided that I will no longer allow the work outs to kick my ass – I shall kick the work out’s ass! And that’s just what I did tonight. I hit all of my targets on the machine and burned 584 calories! I’m finding that the work outs are getting easier each time. I don’t mean to say that I’m not still “feeling the burn.” Oh no…I’m definitely feeling that! However, I find that I’m less winded at the end of the work out, I need less time to recover, and my heart rate is getting closer to the “normal” range (I’m a little high when I’m working out). All in all, good stuff.

Because today is the first day of using the Cambridge program, I also wanted to get a base weight. Turns out that I’ve lost 3 pounds since 4/23. That’s not too bad!

When I came home, I got a bowl of freshly cut watermelon and, honestly, I’m rather full! I need to drink about another glass or two of water for the day. Then later this evening, I’ll have one more delicious shake! (That’s not sarcasm…they really are quite good.)

Overall, I’m feeling pretty good. Hopping Devil

Next step (cross post)

ve just taken the next big step for me. I’ve ordered The Cambridge Diet. It’s a diet/nutrition plan that my mother and I used a long time ago to GREAT success. So I’m giving it another go.

The thing I like about this plan is the flexibility – it can be used to lose fast, lose steadily, or to maintain. And it’s safe. I’ve discussed it with doctors in the past and again recently. Always there are precautions – notice something a little wonky like being nauseous, then stop using. But, in all, it’s a good plan.

Part of the flexibility is also combining the “programs” to work best for me. There’s the “only Cambridge” plan that means no food at all – just the product. And there’s the “regular” plan that includes one low calorie meal per day. I plan to combine the two plans – one week “on” and one week “off”. So a week with only Cambridge, then a week with one low calorie meal.

I’m sure I’ll find ways to be creative too – I’ll be looking for ways to make water taste better. LOL

Some may believe this to be a “cop-out” and that I’m really not putting in the work. Trust me when I say, “I’ll be doing the work!” Curves is still a big part of my plan. I’m working out there 3 times a week right now and I’m hoping to increase that to 4 times a week by the end of May.

I’m not going to be taking diet pills – I refuse to fall into an addiction like that. I’ve seen it happen to family and friends too often. They either gain every pound back once they stop taking the pills (and gain them back very fast) or they become truly addicted to the drug. No thanks.

I won’t be having the gastric bypass surgery. Though I do believe that surgery is a highly viable option for people – I’ve had friends who’ve had incredible success with it. It’s just not for me. I’m very sure that I would be a candidate for the surgery, I just don’t want to make that leap unless a doctor tells me I have to or I’ll die. I don’t want my weight loss to be the result of a surgical procedure.

The Cambridge Diet is going to help me level my caloric intake, while still providing me with all of the things my body needs to be healthy. I do believe that my intake of vitamins, minerals, and proteins will be a hell of a lot better than it is now!

I’ll let you all know when the product arrives, when I officially start, and will be sure to keep you all posted on my progress/success with this.

Better than expected

Just got back from Curves. They had to do all of my measurements again to get me started on the CurvesSmart program. Here are my results after 7 workouts and my walking tour of NYC:

-0.75″ Bust (bye bye boobies)
-0.25″ Waist
-0.5″ Abdomen
-0.5″ Thighs
-1.10″ Arms
-0.20% Body Fat.

Total: -3.10″ in 3 weeks.

I’ll tell ya what…that CurvesSmart kicked my ass! Usually, members go two times around the circuit for a pretty good 30 minute work out. With CurvesSmart, members are given these little cards with all kinds of information on them – weight, measurements, BMI, Body Fat %, etc. Those little cards are then put into each machine as you go. I ended up not doing as many machines (so not a full 2 times around the circuit), but I sure did work harder at each machine.

This little card with all of my information pretty much told the machine how many reps I had to do. And it wouldn’t let me stop until I finished! Plus, there’s a light indicator that lights up – Green means your energy is high and your working out at the right level; Yellow means you need to step it up a bit; Red means your ass is dragging big time, so get moving! I managed to “go for the green” throughout most of the work out – I think I briefly hit yellow a couple of times. In the end, I burned 538 calories, hit my targets on all but 2 machines (and those were still close).

I need to work on my lower back though. That makes sense since I have 2 herniated disks (L4 and L5) and have pretty much “protected” that area pretty obsessively. Now I need to hit it harder and strengthen it!

I gained 0.4 pounds (about 6 ounces), but I think that may have been attributed to my shoes – I didn’t have shoes on the last time I was measured.

All in all, I’m pleased with these first results.

2009 is looking fine

Perhaps 2009 is my year.  So far, so good…I think.  This is the year that I’ve decided to stop talking about working out and losing weight.  This is the year that I’ve decided to do it!

I joined Curves for Women at the end of March and began my workouts on April 2.  So, I haven’t been doing it for long.  But the important thing is that I’m doing it.  While my mother likes to say that she can already tell that I’ve lost weight, I’m more realistic.  Perhaps I’ve lost a pound or two, but I know it’s nothing really noticable.

What’s clear to me, however, is that I’m feeling better about myself.  I seem to have more energy – even though I’m still tired from my early mornings, late nights, and busy days.  What’s most amazing to me is that I get really psyched on work out days!  I almost can’t wait for the work day to be finished so I can go work out.  I’m pretty lazy by nature, so that’s a big thing for me.  I went to NYC last weekend and was initially bummed out because I would miss my Curves visits.  Fortunately, we did so much walking, I didn’t have to worry about that.

But what was really great is that I could tell the prior 2 weeks of working out really helped me with all of that walking.  Sure my feet hurt.  Yes my calves were screaming at me for a while.  But overall, I was okay. When I got back to the work out at Curves, I expected it to be more difficult because of that walking.  But the reverse happened.  My work out was that much easier!  I like this feeling.

So the plan is to continue Curves 3 times a week for now.  I’ll eventually move to 4 times a week OR I’ll go around the circuit 3 times rather than twice.  Then on the “off” days, I’ll walk on the treadmill here at home.  I’ll take Sundays off as a day of rest. LOL

I know I need to change other habits in order to really see the difference…I’m working on that.  I’m trying to incorporate more vegetables into my eating pattern.  Eventually, I’ll quit smoking all together.  The main thing for me right now is the consistency – I need to get into the routine and stay in the routine.  Then I’ll start branching out.

For now, I’m feeling pretty good about things.  I’d like to lose 20lbs by the time I go to Orlando in July.  I won’t be a size 4, but I’ll have more confidence in me…and that will make the difference.