Saturday, May 10, 2014

Moving to facebook only

It seems like no one really follows the blog anymore, but reads my updates on facebook instead.  And, it's easier for me to update facebook remotely, and add pictures.  So,  I've decided to suspend the blog for now.  But, if you do want to follow my journey, please see my facebook page.  I'll be updating it daily and hopefully will have some new pictures soon.  Thanks!!

https://www.facebook.com/MyExtremeWeightLossJourney

Monday, May 5, 2014

Long Day

So, I am finally starting to feel back to 'normal' today.  So, what better way to celebrate than to get back to my regular gym schedule?  The only problem is that it's also my once a month meeting night.  So, I compromised and went to one class and then my meeting.  I'm glad I did.  It's always good to check in with supportive people!

And, the muscle challenge class was especially good tonight.  The cardio was a little lighter tonight which really allowed me to focus on the weights.  And, I think I did a great job.  I was able to do an exercise that was really hard to do without weights last week.  Tonight I did it with weights. Baby steps will get you there eventually!

And, I was also sadly reminded of just why I am on this journey.  If you can spare some prayers for a friend of mine, I would really appreciate it.  She's a single mother of a special needs daughter and had a brain bleed today.  So, if you can keep her in your thoughts and prayers, I'd appreciate it.  And, if you're in the Pittsburgh area and can help out, let me know!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Not feeling great

I haven't been feeling really well today.  But, I did make it to the step class at the gym this morning.  It was an amazing workout, but it pretty much did me in for the day.  So, overall a quiet day, but I did get my exercise in.  Hopefully, I'll feel better in the morning.  If not, it will be another quiet day.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Fun Friday

Today was a good day.  I had an incredible personal training session and a great yoga class.  And, I felt pretty good, too.  While warming up, I did intervals on the elliptical.  I was able to do a minute high to a minute low.  Not bad!

The PT session was really intense.  My balance and coordination are getting better, and I am getting stronger.  I love that I can do more and more.  It's silly, but I love that my squats are getting deeper, my push ups lower, and my calf raises stronger.  If I can ever get rid of all the fat, there is a really strong person underneath!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fear LESS

I love that I am facing things that scare me.  And coming out OK.  I feel so strong, and brave.  Tonight, I tackled 'Group Blast'.  It's a high energy step class that meets before my yoga class.  For months I have watched people come out of the class with beet red faces, dripping in sweat.  I'd tell myself 'one day I'll try it'.  Well, tonight was the night I tried it.  And, it was wonderful!

To be fair, I know most of the people who take the class regularly from other classes.  They all said that it was hard, but that I could handle it.  That I could make whatever modifications I needed.  So, I decided to try it tonight.  And I made a lot of modifications.  But, I did the class.  And my face was bright red and I was dripping in sweat.  But, I was so proud.  It feels so good to take on something that you know will be hard, but manage it.  I never thought I would even think this, let alone do it.

So, today was a two hour day.  One hour of the new class, one hour of yoga.  And, I think I have a new Wednesday plan.  So happy!  So proud!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Happy Birthday To Me!

I never thought I would be happy about working out for two hours on my birthday.  But, I am!  (Although, I wasn't so happy to find out we were doing step tonight)  I am so proud of myself.  And, I'm so proud that I've made all these lifestyle changes, and stuck with them.  Since I've been eating the majority of my calories at breakfast, I even had cake at breakfast this morning and kept with my tiny dinner.  And, I love that Steve went along with me!

I really feel like all these changes have just become part of who I am and what I do.  So, keeping to my routine on a day that I used to feel free to binge - that's just huge.  I'm grinning from ear to ear with pride, and also with gratitude.  I really appreciate everyone who wished me a good day today, and who made me feel so special.  Thank you!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Back at it!

I'm back home from the conference and back on track with my exercise.  I guess I must have really missed working out.  I did two sessions of intervals today on the elliptical.  And, it felt really, really good.  I guess I'm finally hitting my stride and deciding what I like, and what I don't like, and what works for me and what doesn't.  That's a great feeling!  So, I feel like I'm starting the new week off with a good start.  This is going to be a great week.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hard day, OK Class

Today was a rough day over all, but I did keep my promise to myself.  As much as the Group Power classes scare me, I forced myself to go.  It turned out OK.  I didn't like it as much as the Saturday class, but I got through it.  I guess part of the problem is that I'm really confident in the Muscle Challenge class.  I might not be great at it, but I know the moves, I know the form.  This is going to take me a while to get used to.  But, I'll keep at it.  And, it's an hour of strength.  On a Thursday.  That's a very good thing!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Great Day Today

I tried an easier version of intervals today.  I hate to admit this, but it was out of First Magazine.  It was, however, fun and energizing.  I warmed up on the elliptical and then did thirty seconds as fast as I possibly could, then took four minutes to recover.  I alternated between the two for the full thirty minute workout.  It was such a fun workout, and I felt amazing after I finished.  In fact, it was so much fun, I did it again after work.  So, a total of an hour on the elliptical today.  And, I felt great!

Then, I went to yoga.  It was an 'up' night tonight, and I was ready for it.  And, it was a great class.  I love that I am getting stronger each week.  Tonight, I noticed that I am breathing better.  When I first started, I couldn't maintain nose breathing through the warm up.  Now, I can do it for most of the class.  So, my cardio abilities must be getting a lot stronger.  It just makes me happy whenever I see improvements, no matter how big, or small.  Life is good!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Not a Rest Day

I am going to the TACA Real Help Now conference on Saturday, so I won't be able to exercise that day.  I figured I needed to sneak in an exercise session today to make up for it.  As soon as I got home from work, I went up and changed into my workout clothes.  Then, I did a thirty minute session on the elliptical.  Not bad for an office day!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Two Long Hours

Some Mondays are really inspiring.  Some Mondays I just get through.  Today is a mix of both.  In my muscle challenge class, I figured I was going to pass out.  It was so hard tonight!  I know when she starts out with step as a warm up I'm in big trouble.  But, the good news is that I've progressed from doing all the step work on the ground, to the step with no riser, to the step with one riser.  That's great progress!

I wasn't really sure if it was wise to stay for yoga or not.  But, my stubborn streak kicked in and I did.  And, as usual, I was glad I stayed.  The class tonight was really good, and I got a great workout and a great stretch.  Of course, now all I can think about is a hot bath and bed.  But, it still counts as a great day.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Since Easter is all about new beginnings and fresh starts, I figured it was time for a new picture. I've finally managed to start losing again, and am down to 295. I'm sad that the plateau/gain took up so much valuable time, but I am thrilled to be losing again, and to be back into 'fresh' weight.





I celebrated the day with a lot of family time, petunia planing, and two 30 minute sessions on the elliptical.  Great day!  I hope you have had a wonderful Easter as well.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Quick Update

I managed to cut my finger, so typing hurts.  I'll be keeping this pretty short.  Good exercise day - two 30 minute sessions on the elliptical.  Looking forward to a great day tomorrow!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fabulous Friday

Today was an amazing exercise day.  I started with 20 minutes on the elliptical, and then survived an incredibly painful personal training session.  Imagine this:  standing in tree pose while doing overhead triceps presses with a weighted ball.  Yeah, I did that.  I also did one legged calf raises and one legged ball squats.  She really had a thing about single limb use today.  But, I survived, and even remembered to stretch when the torture was over.

So, that was the morning.  The evening exercise was so much more fun.  I was so sore and tired when I walked into the gym. The instructor for the Friday night yoga class has been switching things up a little bit each week.  Tonight she did a really great quad stretch.  When I left the gym I felt almost good as new.  It's amazing what a good stretch can accomplish!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I surprised myself!

Normally Thursdays are really hard for me.  On office days, I come home really, really tired.  But, tonight I surprised myself.  I had originally planned on coming home and getting on the elliptical for half an hour.

But, it was so pretty out this evening, I really wanted to go for a walk.  I gave myself permission to do a short walk and just enjoy it.  But, when I got to the turn around point, I realized that I wasn't ready.  I ended up doing my full 5k route!  And, my average speed was just over 3 miles per hour.  So, I was really, really proud of myself. 

I love when a day I was skeptical about turns into a really, really good day!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Big realization today

For some reason I took out my drivers license this afternoon.  I looked at the picture, which was taken just a few months before I started this journey.  When I look at the face in the picture, I almost don't recognize myself.  Even though I'm nowhere near my goal weight, my face is so much thinner now.  And, I actually weigh more than 50 pounds less than is on my license.  That's amazing.  I am going to remember this whenever I get frustrated with my progress.  I really have come a long way.

Today was a fairly easy day.  I did 30 minutes on the elliptical at lunch time, and then went to yoga tonight.  It was a good day.  I am really noticing that my flexibility is better.  My tummy is getting in the way less.  Overall, I'm thrilled.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I love Mondays??

I love Mondays.  I know that sounds really weird, because I definitely like weekends more.  But, there is something about my double class on Mondays that really starts the week of right.  Tonight, in Muscle Challenge, we really pushed hard.  I was drenched by the time we got to the halfway point in class.  Then, yoga was just as challenging.  I was so tired from the first class, I did have to take child's pose several times.  But, I also noticed that I'm finally getting a little better in some poses.  So, even though it was incredibly difficult, it was fun, too.  And, the group of people that go to the classes makes it even better.  So, tonight at least, I do love Mondays!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Gentle Sunday

I was really, really sore from yesterday.  So, I decided to do a restorative yoga class that I'd been thinking about for a while.  It was really relaxing.  By the time the hour was finished, I felt like a new person.  I will definitely keep this one in my pocked for days I need something really gentle!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Long, Painful Day. But Really Good.

Today was a great day, but it was also really scary.  And painful.  The gym I go to has a barbell based strength training class several times a week.  I've never wanted to attend it, because I've been afraid of the barbell part.  I did try it once, but I just wasn't ready.  Today, I decided to try it again.  It was still hard, but I did much better.  What I think is good about the class is that it's lighter weights, with many reps.  It's pretty much the opposite of my Monday class that uses high weights and fewer reps.  I think the combination will be a great synergy in my program.  So, I'll be adding this class to my schedule as often as I can.

So, the morning was pretty wonderful. When I got home from the gym, I felt pretty good. I spent most of the afternoon watching a web broadcast of an autism summit.  It had some really good information, but I was getting restless just sitting and watching.  So, when it was done, I decided to go for a walk.

Steve warned me that I shouldn't do the full 5k path.  But, did I listen?  No, I didn't.  I should have.  My legs were still tired after the class this morning.  I guess all those lunges tired me out more than I realized.  By the time I got back home, my feet and legs were killing me.  I took an Epsom salt bath this evening, but I'm not sure if it helped or not.  Tomorrow is going to be an easy day.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Another good day

Today I planned on exercising at lunch, and did a great job.  I put in 30 minutes on the elliptical, and got another great calorie burn.  It felt really good!  I love that level twenty is getting easier - my legs are getting stronger, and my endurance is better.  That's a great feeling.

Then, I went to yoga tonight.  The Friday night class is usually really relaxing.  But, when the weather warms up, she does make the class a little more intense.  It's still my favorite class, but tonight it was just a bit more challenging.  I love it!  And, I love that I'm feeling more confident, and enjoy moving more.  This is a good trend.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Proud of Myself

One of the hardest things for me to do is to come home from an office day and exercise.  Part of it is psychological, but most of it is physical.  I get up an hour earlier on office days, and by the time I get home, I'm really tired.  Exercising is the last thing I want to do.  But, tonight, I did it.

I got home and immediately went upstairs and changed into exercise clothes.  Then, I did thirty minutes on the elliptical, and even set a new calorie record for this kind of workout.  I was so proud of myself!  So, tonight was all about planning ahead, and using willpower to make myself exercise.  It's hard, but so worth the effort!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lesson Learned

Today was another super busy day and I didn't get a chance to exercise at lunch time.  I was feeling guilty and trying to decide how I could squeeze in a cardio workout before yoga.  But, then I talked with Steve and he reminded me that this isn't a race.  And, an hour of yoga is enough for the day.  So, I listened to him and decided to go to yoga and enjoy the heck out of it.

I am so glad I listened!  Tonight was a more intense class and I was really glad that I was rested going in. I think I had the best class that I've ever had.  The best part was that I actually was able to do sun salutations tonight.  Now, they were the ugliest sun salutations ever, but, I did them.  Normally, going from forward fold to down dog is impossible.  Tonight, I did it.  By the time class was over, I was beaming with pride.

So, sometimes, I think I need to focus on enjoying the here and now, and getting the most out of whatever I am doing.  And, sometimes, I need to appreciate that I am getting stronger, and able to do more.  Tonight, I'm just going to enjoy this feeling.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Short Monday

I had my parent support group meeting tonight, so I only went to the one class.  I think I more than made up for it, though.  Muscle challenge was definitely challenging tonight!  We did so many squats and pliĆ©s that I thought my legs were going to give out.  Then, there is a seated leg lift that is pure torture.  I will not have quads tomorrow.  But, it was a great class, and I can almost feel my legs getting stronger! 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fun Sunday

My legs!  My legs were still sore this morning from one legged calf raises on Friday.  My right calf may never be the same.  But, I was determined to have a good exercise day today.  And, there was a 5K in Virginia today that I really wanted to do.  But, it was just not possible for several reasons.  So, I decided to do my 'neighborhood 5k'.  This is a route that I mapped out and planned to be just under 3.25 miles.  So, a little longer than a 5k, but a great route.  I had a great walk!  I was thinking about this journey, the friends I have met along the way, and listening to great music.  So, even though it was a great workout, it was fun, too.  Actually, it was the perfect Sunday workout.  But, my legs are killing me tonight.  I think I'm going to have a hot bath and then put some arnica on them.  Good night!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Full Day!

Today was one of those days that was really, really full.  I had a personal training session at lunch time, which made it even busier.  Before she got here, I did twenty minutes on the elliptical.  I am so excited that I can do level twenty and not even think about it any more!  Then, when she got here, the fun really started!  We are pretty much back to my full routine.  No more babying the shoulder!  I even increased my weights on a few exercises.  That felt awesome!

The best part was about an hour after the session.  I realized that I wasn't dead tired.  I actually had energy to get me through the afternoon.  And, I was really looking forward to yoga tonight.  That is a major improvement for me.  Normally, after a session, I'm so tired all I want to do is collapse in a heap.  I'm still smiling that my energy lasted all day!

And, yoga tonight was really good, as usual.  She mixed some things up tonight and tried a few new poses.  Nothing overly complicated.  But, overall, it was a great class.  And, I felt like I was doing just a little bit better tonight.  My legs felt stronger, my core felt tighter.  Overall, an amazing end to a great day!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Quick Thursday Update

Today kinda got away from me.  Michael had a doctor's appointment this morning, and then I had a webex this afternoon.  The first I could exercise was 4:30.  So, I did half an hour on the elliptical, and then got sidetracked with other things.  But, at least I got thirty minutes in.  It's not perfect, but it's so much better than I would have done in the past.  For that, I'm grateful.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Much better day

I've decided that I really like doing two thirty minute sessions on the elliptical.  I try to do one at lunch time and another at the end of the work day.  I figure this way I'm getting two metabolic boosts during the day.  And, since I'm breaking it into two sessions, my energy level stays up the whole time. So, I am definitely going to stick with this!

And, I still made it to my yoga class tonight.  It's hard to explain the feeling of accomplishment after working hard, and then getting to relax at the end.  It's just magic somehow and I love it!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Feeling Crispy Tonight

I went to both my classes tonight, but I'm feeling really tired.  And fried.  I'm not sure what's going on tonight, but I just have no energy.  And, really, no desire to move tonight.  After the last two days of feeling good, it's a bit of a let down.  But, hopefully, it's just a blip.  I'm not used to forcing myself through every minute of class.  The good news is that my will power is still solid.  The bad news is that it shouldn't have to be.  But, tomorrow is a rest day.  Yay!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Productive Sunday

Today was another great day.  I woke up with energy, and my mood was surprisingly happy.  I'm not one to feel overly depressed, but for as long as I can remember, I've been tired - physically and emotionally.  Today I wasn't as tired.  I wasn't bouncing off the walls hyper, but there was a definite difference.

I started spring cleaning yesterday, and continued today.  I spent half an hour doing come pretty vigorous cleaning.  I scrubbed down the entire staircase railing, and cleaned three bathrooms.  That's a lot more energy than I normally spend before noon on a Sunday! 

The rest of the day was similar.  I ended up doing 2 thirty minute sessions on the elliptical, and got to a great calorie burn on both.  I was really happy with that.  But mostly, I was happy that I got a lot done today. I even cleaned out Michael's closet and folded up a bunch of clothes he's outgrown.  A very productive day!

But, it's not the productivity that I'm so happy with.  It's the fact that I'm just plain feeling better.  I can't explain it, but it's a wonderful feeling.  I just hope I can keep it!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Rough week, good day

This has been a pretty rough week.  I was so tired when I came home from work yesterday, all I could do was take the night off and rest.  But, the good news is that I felt a lot better today.  I ended up doing two 30 minute sessions on the elliptical, plus my regular yoga class this evening.  On one hand I feel bad for missing yesterday.  On the other, I realize that Thursdays are supposed to be optional.  So, I am going to stop worrying about things I didn't do, and focus on the good things that I did do this week.  So, I'm declaring a successful end to the week!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Another Monday?

OK, today was just as exhausting as Monday!  I did my 5 mile WATP video at lunch time, and it really kicked my butt.  My legs were burning for a long time afterwards.  Then, I did crunches and ball squats.  Then, I went to yoga.  I was expecting a relaxing class tonight, and that just didn't happen.  I almost laughed out loud when she called boat pose right before final relaxation.  So mean!  Overall, it was a really strenuous day.  I will definitely sleep well tonight!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Exhausted!

OK, It's Monday, so I am exhausted.  The Muscle Challenge class was really hard tonight, and it was followed by Yoga, which was just as hard.  When I left the gym, my abs were crying.  But, the good news is that I could get a little further in some of my bends.  I think my tummy might have shrunk just a little bit!  That makes all the pain and exhaustion well worth it!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gentle Day

Today was a gentle exercise day.  My feet were still hurting from my walk yesterday, and I know that tomorrow is going to be pretty intense, so I decided that today should be an easy day.  I just did 30 minutes on the elliptical, and 30 minutes on the bike.  But, it added up to an hour of exercise, so it definitely counts.  Overall, a good day!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Another good day

Today was another great day.  I found a walking route near my house that is 3.23 miles, and easy to walk.  It has some hills, but none so steep that they are impossible.  I figure they make for great intervals.  And, I walked it in just over an hour.  Now, whenever I get the urge to do another 5k, I can just walk out my front door.  Very nice!

But, the best part of the day was when I took my blood pressure, and it was good.  I've been off blood pressure medication for a while now, but my doctor wanted me to monitor it fairly closely.  It's been high, but not high enough that I needed to go back on the medication.  Today, it was actually good.  I felt absolutely wonderful when I saw that.  Good things are happening!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Amazing Day!

Today was a perfect day.  I got a lot of exercise in, and had wonderful family time.  It couldn't have been better.  So, for the details.

I started out the day with 20 minutes on the elliptical, followed by a personal training session.  The best part on the elliptical was that I'm getting stronger.  I was able to keep it at level 20 the whole time.  That made me happy!  And, with the training session, we were back to our full workout.  My shoulder is still tender, but that didn't hold me back today.  It felt amazing! 

As soon as the session was over, I had to grab a quick shower.  Michael had a talent show at school today, so I snuck out to see him dance.  It was so much fun!  I love seeing him have so much fun moving.  If I could just bottle a fraction of his energy, I'd be skinny.

The last exercise for the day was my regular Friday Night Yoga class.  It was absolutely packed.  I have seen where some studios have to really discount Friday night classes because people don't want to exercise Friday evening.  Not for our class.  It's such a wonderful way to end the week, I don't think they could have fit another person in the room.  That tells you how amazing this class is.  So thankful to have found it!

We finished up the day with family movie night.  Pure couch potato, but fun.  And, I was so proud of myself for not snacking!  Yay weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Back in the water!

I really want to exercise more consistently on Thursday nights.  It's hard because I usually come home from the office pretty exhausted, and a hard workout is not high on my list.  But tonight I came up with the perfect solution - water aerobics!  I had forgotten that there was a Thursday night class.  I feel so silly for forgetting!  But, it was perfect.

I got home from work, made a quick dinner, and even had a little time to decompress.  Then, off to the gym.  The class was pretty good, too.  And, after the class, I spent about ten minutes in the hot tub.  That's definitely a great reward for working hard.  So, score one for Thursday night workouts!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Just Yoga

Work was extra busy today, so I didn't get a lunch break.  So, I didn't exercise at lunch today.  But, yoga was extra challenging tonight, so I got a great workout in class.  I'm calling it a wash.  This will be a really short post since I'm really, really tired.  Have a great night!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Pushing

As usual, I think I might have pushed just a little too much in my classes tonight.  My shoulder had been feeling a lot better.  Now, it hurts.  But, I did make it through both classes.  For the muscle challenge class, I used my regular weights for my left hand, and just used a five pound weight for my right.  It felt weird, but that was better than nothing, right?

Yoga was actually a little harder.  You don't realize how much you use your arms and shoulders, in almost every pose.  But, I did the best I could, and modified where I needed to.  It probably wasn't my best class ever, but it was the best I could do tonight.  I can't ask any more of myself than that.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Fun Sunday

Today was a great, family day.  Michael wanted to play games with me and Steve today, so we did.  It's so rare for him to want to interact and play that I just couldn't say no.  I'm still smiling as I write this.  I did manage to sneak in two 30 minute sessions on the exercise bike.  Not the most intense workout, but it does count.  And, I'm just happy today.  I really hope this lasts!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Walk and Some Insights

I'm really frustrated because the scale didn't move at all this week.  So, I'm asking myself whether or not I did everything I could this week.  And, I really think I did the best I can.  Some weeks will be better than others.  But, I exercised, I followed my food plan, and even got extra rest.  I'm not sure what else I could do.

The only thing I could think of that's different is that I haven't been taking as many Epsom salt baths and I had been.  So, I'm going back to a bath every night before bed.  We'll see if it makes a difference.

For exercise, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and take a walk outside.  I went for 2.7 miles in about 50 minutes.  According to endomondo, I averaged just over 3 miles an hour.  That's not bad for my first walk of the spring!  I'm hoping to walk outside a little more often, and hopefully build up some more strength in my legs.  I also did a couple strength exercises today - leg raises, crunches, and ball squats.  Overall, a good exercise day.

While I was walking, I did a lot of thinking.  I always hear in yoga to accept today's practice as perfect for me, where I am today.  I really need to expand that out into the rest of my life.  Some days are always going to be better than others.  I still hear Betty's voice in my head, urging me to do my best.  I also need to hear her voice telling me that there's no such thing as perfection.  The best I can do one day will be totally different another day.  I think if I take some of the pressure for perfection off myself, I'll enjoy the exercise more, and hopefully get more out of it.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Fun Friday

Today was another good day.  I did half an hour on the elliptical at lunch time, and then did my Friday night yoga class tonight.  I love that I'm able to move more.  My shoulder still hurts, so that is cutting down on some of my options, but I love that I'm able to find things to do.  Overall, a really good day.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Happy on the Elliptical

I only did 30 minutes on the elliptical today, but I'm thrilled with that.  Normally, I take Thursdays off since they tend to be hard days at work.  Today, I came home and actually exercised.  And, I did intervals on the elliptical.  So, I am incredibly proud of myself. Yay me!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Yoga Wednesday

I really tried to make myself do some cardio today, but it just didn't work out.  Michael had a rough morning, and then I had three conference calls back to back to back.  By the time I had lunch and could even think about exercising, I was pretty wiped.  But, I did make it to yoga, and had a great class.  That counts, right?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Great Wonderful Day

I didn't realize how much I missed my Monday classes.  When I got to the gym tonight, it was great to see my "Muscle Challenge Friends".  They all wanted to know about my week at BLRC, and a few said they could see a difference in me.  Yay!

I was gentle with my shoulder, and didn't use as heavy weights as I normally do.  But, I still got a great workout.  And, I have a better idea of which exercises really use the shoulder, and which don't.  Until I hurt my shoulder, I just never really paid attention.  So, I guess a little knowledge is a good thing, right?

Yoga was really good, too.  We started off with some gentle stretching before we got into the hard work. It was a nice way to transition from one class to the next.  Of course, when we got into the serious poses, it wasn't quite as relaxing.  But, I still missed it.  I do love my Monday classes!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Proud of Myself

I was really proud of myself this morning.  We had to leave the house at noon to take Michael to his music class, and the morning was getting away from me.  I knew that if I didn't get any cardio in before I left the house, the whole day would slip away.  So, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical before we left.  I was cutting it close time wise, but I got it done.  And, I even cooled down enough to be semi-presentable before leaving the house.

When we got home, my MIL came over for the afternoon.  But, as soon as she went home, I went back on the elliptical for the other 30 minutes.  That took a lot, but I did it.  I have a feeling I will definitely sleep well tonight!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Better Day

OK, today was a much better day.  I got to sleep in this morning.  (Thank you, Dan!!)  By the time I did get up, I felt almost human again.  I even got some laundry folded.  Yay me.  I knew I didn't have a lot of free time before it would be time to leave for CST, so I did half an hour of intervals on the elliptical.  I really do like the shorter, more intense workouts.  By the time I was done, I was a sweaty mess, but I felt great.

Then, I took Michael to his yoga class this afternoon.  After missing two classes, I wasn't sure if we'd actually make it through today.  There were a few rough spots, but he made it through the whole class.  And, we both got in a good workout. I love doing yoga together!

The rest of the day was pretty much playing catch up from the week.  I'm finally feeling like the world is getting back to 'normal'.  I'm not totally exhausted, the laundry is mostly caught up, and the chores around the house are getting done.  This next week will be a good one!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday!

Today was finally a little more normal of a day.  I had a personal training session scheduled, but I was a little nervous because my shoulder has still been hurting, ever since BLRC.  But, she said she had a plan, and I trusted her.  Good thing, too.

I started off with 20 minutes on the elliptical.  I love that I'm still able to push to a higher level than I ever did pre-BLRC.  And, by the time my session started, I was definitely warm. We started the session with some ab exercises, and then moved more into shoulder work.  She had me do a bunch of rehab type exercises.  By the time we finished, my shoulders we definitely warm from the exercises, but there was no sharp pain.  That helped a lot!

We finished the session with a few ab/knee strengthening exercises.  They were hard, and my quads were burning, but it was a really good session.  And, for the rest of the day my shoulder felt really good.

I finished off the day with my regular Friday yoga class.  It felt so good.  I love that the class is fairly predictable and relatively low key.  By the time I left the gym I was feeling like a relaxed noodle.  And that was exactly what I needed.

So, overall, it was a great exercise day, and a great therapy day.  Hopefully, I'll be able to sleep in tomorrow and get back to my 'normal' exercise routine.  That would be a really, really good thing!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Completely Exhausted

I had every intention of coming home from work and going to yoga. But I'm exhausted and my shoulder really hurts. I think I'm going to listen to my body and just go to bed early tonight. This isn't a race. I don't have to meet all my exercise goals this week. And, I never gave myself a chance to rest since coming home. So, tonight, it's rest. Good night!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Terrific Tuesday

Tuesday is normally my rest day, but I decided to work out today.  Mostly because I got a bonus work from home day.  So, I did a workout that a friend recommended, and it really kicked my butt.  I love that I can get a really intense workout in just half an hour.  I'm planning on varying the amount of exercise, as well as the intensity.  I don't want to get stuck in a rut again.

I'm also tracking my food with My Fitness Pal.  It's mostly for a group challenge.  But, if it works, I'll stick with it.  I'm feeling so reenergized and hopeful.  It's almost scary.

The down side is that my shoulder is really, really sore. I think I might have pushed it over the limit today.  Tomorrow will definitely be an easier day.  Probably just yoga.  Maybe the shoulder will get better quick.  I can push myself really hard, but when there is sharp pain, I turn into a wimp.  But, I'll figure something out, right?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Snow Day, So Improvise!

When I made out my plan for the week, I fully intended to go to my Muscle Challenge class at the gym tonight.  I certainly didn't plan for the gym to be closed due to weather.  But, Betty taught us to always have a backup plan.  So, at lunch time, I broke out my pictures, found a workout I liked, and did it.

I started with a five minute warm up, then went right into the Pyramid Challenge workout.  It was 1 minute of cardio, 10 burpess, 2 min 9 squats, 3 min 8 pushups, 4 min 7 plank ups, 5 min 30 sit ups, and then back down.  I found out a lot of new things today. 

First off, my old workout is now my warmup!  I used to think level 15 was hard.  Now, I use it as my warm up and was using level 30 for my workout.  And, when I wanted to really push for one minute, I bumped it all the way to 65.  That hurt, but, I did it!  And, when it was time for the burpees, I did less modification.  They were ugly, but they were intense.  And, since there were no witnesses, I was really happy. 

So, it wasn't the workout I was planning for the day, but it was definitely a success.  And, the support group for those of us who went last week has already started the first challenge.  I'm recording everything I eat and all my exercise in My Fitness Pal.  The challenge is only for a week.  But, who knows, maybe I'll learn a new habit.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

BLRC - Results!

I'm home.  I'm mostly unpacked and settled in.  I still have a ton of laundry to do, but I'm really, really tired.  I'm sure I'll be back to my normal routine tomorrow, but today was definitely a rest day.  I'll probably have some wrap up thoughts tomorrow, but tonight, I just need to spend time with my guys and get to bed early.

The good news is that I lost 9.7 pounds, 7.7 of which was fat loss.  I'm really, really happy with that!  Now, the starting weight was probably higher since it was at the end of the day, and after getting off a plane.  But still, I'll take it!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

BLRC - Day 7

Well, the official program is finished and people have started going home.  I won't have my final weigh in until tomorrow morning, and then I'll head to the airport.  But the hard part is all done.  I can't believe I made it through.  I am incredibly proud of myself, and incredibly tired.  Right now, I can't imagine how people stay for more than one week.  I guess that's why weekend's are so light.  You're pretty much finished by noon Saturday, and then have all day Sunday off.  There's a chance I'd be ready to go again by Monday.

Anyway, this morning was just one workout, but what a workout it was!  It was two hours long, and amazing.  First we warmed up on cardio equipment, and then the real workout started.  We alternated between one minute of hard cardio and weight bearing exercises like pushups, burpees, planks, etc.).  While we were doing the exercises, two people had to run the hall.  They did 10 ball slams at one end, put on a weight, ran down to the other end, ran back, did 10 ball slams, then came back into the room.  Those in the room had to keep doing the exercises until both people were back.  That was the first half of the workout, and went on for about an hour.

The second half of the workout was shorter, about 45 minutes.  This time, the majority of the class was doing exercises against a wall with an 8 or 10 pound weight.  That doesn't sound like much until you try doing overhead presses with it, forever.  The rest of the hallways was set up as an obstacle course, and two or three people ran it at a time, while we did wall exercises.  My course was fairly simple.  There were two ladders on the floor to step in and out of quickly, a stop for pushups and a stop for more ball slams.  Then, I got to run back as fast as I could to 'rescue' the group.  You read that right.  I actually ran.  Fast.  One of my friends said I had a look of pure joy on my face while I was running.  I can believe that.  It felt so good to actually be able to run.  Not a long distance, but still, it was huge for me. 

The last event was Graduation.  It's a good thing they pass out boxes of tissues!  We wrote ourselves a letter that they will mail at some point in the next month or two.  That was really emotional.  I wonder what it will be like when I get mine in the mail.  Then, we watched a video montage of everything we did this week.  Again, emotional.  But, the most emotional part was the last part.  We went around the room and told something we were leaving behind.

For me, I am leaving behind my fear and doubt.  I have learned that I can do hard things.  I also learned that I don't need to modify every exercise.  A lot, yes.  But, I really am stronger than I give myself credit for.  I really want to push myself more often.  Do a short run every now and then.  Push harder on my intervals. Maybe I'll even try that kickboxing class at the gym.  I want to stop limiting myself based on fear and see what I really can do.

Now, I am going to hang out with some friends and enjoy the rest of the day.  I probably won't post my results until I get home tomorrow night.  But, no matter what the scale says, I know my week here was successful beyond my wildest hopes. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

BLRC - Day 6

TGIF!  I can't believe it's already Friday!  This week has just flown by. Today was a lot easier than yesterday, but still unbelievably challenging.  But, when the day starts with a 6am stretch class, you know it's going to be good.

The morning classes were C3 and MPower.  C3 is a core/cardio class.  Basically, we did three minutes on a cardio machine, and then did three minutes of core exercises.  Three minutes of crunches, leg lifts, mountain climbers, etc. is really, really hard.  I found out later it was supposed to be broken up into 45 second chunks with 15 seconds of rest.  That would have been a lot less cruel.  But, I did survive.

The MPower class used a lot of resistance band exercises.  There were a series of stations around the room and in the hall that consisted of a resistance band exercise paired with a cardio exercise.  For the first round, we did two minutes of strength followed by one minute of cardio at each station.  The second time through we got to pick a minute of either exercise at each station.  It was really hard, but kinda fun at the same time.

The morning lecture was on last minute strategies for going back to the real world.  We all made sure we had our goals set, knew what we were going to have for meals the first few days back, etc..  It was a good, practical session.

The after lunch lecture was called Be Your Own Personal Trainer.  Better had us make sure we knew what our plan was to get in our cardio and strength training for the first month home.  I am going to be making a couple tweaks to my program, but nothing major.  She also answered a lot of questions and made sure we were comfortable with our goals and plans.  She also reminded us that stuff happens and that we have to be prepared for setbacks.  If you plan for them, you can plan to overcome them.  I like that!

We were supposed to have an outdoor activity this afternoon, but it was too cold to go out.  Instead, we had a choice between a pool workout or a bootcamp class.  I chose the pool.  It was a great class.  It was short, but intense.  And, there was time to get in the hot tub afterwards.  I loved that.  When I heard how hard the bootcamp class was, I was even happier with my choice.

The last class of the day was Zumba.  I hated every second of it.  I have no rhythm, and I just can't move that quickly.  Not to mention my lack of coordination.  But, what was horrible was that all the twisting and quick movements really hurt my knee.  It took every ounce of stubbornness I had to not leave the class and just walk the hall.  But, I made it to the end.  Once it was over, I pretty much had a complete breakdown.  I was in so much pain I just sat down and cried.  I felt so loved though.  All my friends rallied around me to see what I needed, the teacher even got me an ice bag for my knee.  Of course, that just made me cry more.  But, eventually I calmed down in time for the cooking demo and dinner.

After dinner, we had a surprise bridal shower for Kim.  She is the one who arranged this whole reunion, and is getting married next weekend.  The shower was short since everyone was tired, but very nice.  And, I think she was genuinely surprised.  A dozen women really can keep a secret!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

BLRC - Day 5

The word of the day is OUCH!  First thing this morning we started off with a 6am crossfit workout.  It was a repeat of Tuesday's class to see how much better we could do today.  I went from 3 rounds plus one to four rounds minus one.  For me, that's a huge improvement.  And, I'm really proud of myself.

After breakfast we had a class called Mountain.  It was very different from the one at Niagara, and I actually really, really liked this one.  The class was in 5 minute increments.  You chose a machine and did two minutes at a high intensity, and two minutes at a high speed.  Then you had a minute to cool down and/or switch machines.  He changed up which was first, speed or intensity, but you always had the minute to recover.  At the end of the class I was able to go up to an incline of 15 on the treadmill at a 2.5 pace, and do a 3.5 pace at an incline of 1.  Now, I know that's nothing for most people, but for me, it was huge.  I walked out of that class so proud of myself I had to be beaming.

The next class was MC2.  It was basically muscle and cardio combined.   Every two minutes you switched between cardio and strength.  The cardio was riding spin bikes while doing bicep curls and lateral raises. The muscle parts were 3 sets of step ups with an overhead press, 3 sets of ball slams (FUN!), and 3 sets of kettle bell swings/figure 8s (not so fun).  It was an extremely challenging class, and my arms were like rubber when it was over.

Next up was the label reading class.  But, because we had that at Niagara, we got to go to a bonus class, Abs of Steel.  It was exercises like crunches, leg lifts, roman twists, etc.  But, between each exercise was a minute plank, and then they switched to 30 second side planks.  By the end of this class, my abs were pure jelly.  I will feel this one tomorrow!

Finally it was time for lunch and a lecture.  The lecture was on planning strategies and it was really helpful.  We set goals for the next month or two, and talked about how our goals fit in with our 'why' - the reason we are here in the first place.  It was a great session.  I wish we had more open discussions with the life coach!

The first afternoon class was a pool class.  It was mostly intervals in the water combined with a lot of ab work.  Again, I am going to feel that tomorrow.

The last class of the day was Smackdown, a boxing class.  I absolutely loved it!  It was a lot of hard work, but I really enjoyed it.  It was the first time I ever wore boxing gloves, and I was a little nervous.  But, I soon figured out that punching things is a great way to get out anger issues.  Half the class punched the bag and pushed it across the room while the other half ran the hall and sparred with the instructor.  The second half of the class was even more fun.  Half of us punched the bag in place while the other half did wall sits.  The instructor would come by and spar with us in a line against the wall.  It doesn't sound like much fun, but it was great.

I didn't really care for the last lecture of the day.  I was expecting more on meal planning, but it was mostly identifying carbs, proteins, fats, and 'free' foods.  That's not something I need a class on, and I really could have used the time for a nap!

A couple people have asked if my pita issue last night actually hurt me.  And, I think it did.  My knees have been killing me all day.  I don't know if it's the gluten exposure, or just that it was a really hard day.  Either way, it's been a painful night.  I have arnica and ibuprofen on board, so hopefully I'll be OK.

Now, dinner is over and it's time to get ready for bowling.  It will be my first night activity, and I'm looking forward to it.  But, it will mean I won't be in bed early.  I'm sure I'll survive.  Have a great night!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BLRC - Day 4

Today was actually an easier day!  The first class started at 6:15 and was a stretch class.  It was absolute heaven.  I love Betty's stretch classes.  She makes sure you get fully stretched, but also manages to make the whole process relaxing and motivating.  Definitely a wonderful experience!

After breakfast was the first intense class of the day - Dumbbell Power.  The room was set up with various stations that you went through with a partner.  While one person did a cardio exercise for a minute, the other did an aerobic exercise for the same amount of time.  Then you switched.  There were probably 12 stations, and we went through twice.  It was a great class, but you really feel how long a minute is when you are doing a wall squat and doing biceps curls at the same time!

The next class was a cardio class called even it out.  Theoretically, you were doing a set style of cardio (speed, sprint, or intensity) for the length of a song.  But, Betty can't resist changing things up in the middle.  It was definitely intense, but the music was great.  The class actually went by fairly quickly.

Next was lecture.  Season 7 at Home Winner Jerry and his wife, Estella were the speakers.  They were so sweet and gave us a lot of good information.  It was great to be able to hear more about actual life on the show and how they managed to lose so much weight at home.  I was so glad to be able to listen to them!

After lunch there was a lecture on Emotional Eating.  But, it was the same as when we were at Niagara, so I opted to go to the Team Building session on timing snacks and meals around your workouts.  It was a great session and I learned some good tips.  From now on, I will definitely be eating a small snack on the way back from the gym!

The first afternoon class had  everyone nervous.  It was called !@#@^!  on the schedule, so we figured it would be so hard we would be cursing.  But, it was actually a surprise class, and kinda fun.  But, just in case you want to come, I won't ruin the surprise.  LOL

The last class of the da was a meditation.  I loved it.  It was a guided relaxation that took about an hour.  The only bad part was lying on my back the whole time.  While I generally love final relaxation at yoga, this was a long time to be still.  Every muscle in my body had something to say, and it made it difficult to concentrate.  But, I still got a lot out of the class, and have some great visualizations to try on my own.  I loved that!

There was also a quick class on how to use Foam Rollers.  It was good information, but very painful!  This was followed by a lecture on Intuitive Eating.  It was a great lecture.  Even though it was a repeat from Niagara, there wasn't anything competing with it, and it is information worth hearing again.  And, it gave me a lot to think about.

Dinner tonight wasn't so great.  Normally they are wonderful about my allergies. Tonight, they gave me a 'real' pita with dinner.  I took one bit of it and knew that it wasn't gluten free.  I had to ask one of the instructors to have the kitchen check, and sure enough, it wasn't.  I'm hoping the one bite isn't going to cause a reaction.  Then, it took about ten-fifteen minutes to get a replacement meal.  By the time I had my dinner, pretty much everyone else was done.  But, my tablemates were kind and kept me company.

Now, I am going to have my nightly bath, read a bit, and get to bed early.  Tomorrow's schedule is quite full, and not nearly so gentle!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BLRC - Day 3

Tuesday is supposed to be one of the hardest days here at the resort, and I made it through!  Yay me!  Believe me, they aren't kidding about it being hard.  I should have known last night when they had us take a piece of fruit to eat in the morning before the 6am workout.  But last night it just seemed like a bonus.  Today, I know better!

The day started at 6am with AMRAP, (As Many Reps As Possible).  Basically, we cycled through 6 crossfit style exercises with 2 minutes of cardio at the end.  We were supposed to get through as many cycles as we could.  I made it through three and I was incredibly proud of myself.  It was only 30 minutes, but intense does not begin to describe it.  But, at least when it was over, we felt we had earned our breakfast!

After breakfast we had two classes.  The first was a Pyramid Challenge class, where we built up on cardio segments with exercises in between.  So, one minute of cardio with 10 burpees.  Then, it was 2 minutes of cardio with 9 squats, 3 minutes and 8 push ups, 4 minutes and 7 plank ups, 5 minutes with 30 situps, 4 minutes with 7 plank ups, 3 minutes and 8 push ups, 2 minutes and 9 squats, and finally 1 minute and 10 burpees.  I really like the format of these classes.  You never get bored with a machine (you switch machines at each change, if you can), and you give your muscles a change to rest by working another set.

The other morning class was called Kettlebell. There was a whole series of kettlebell exercises.  The way it worked you were paired with a partner.  While one partner was doing the exercises, the other was running the hall. Then, you switched.  If you finished the entire set of exercises, you started over.  We didn't finish, but we almost did.  And, while I was walking the halls, I had a chance to meet one of my goals for the week.  I carried Betty down the hall on my back, and back!  I was so proud of myself!

After the morning classes we had a lecture on life coaching topics and then lunch.  Both were good.  The life coach here seems to have a lot of good insights, and offered some good advice.  She started the class out with a question of where you would rank your health, from 1-10 and how you could move up a half number.  It was a great way to present the material, and I got some good ideas.

After lunch, we had a team building session where we made collages of pictures and words that were important to our journey. It was a nice, low key activity.  This was one of the stayover choices.  Everyone else was in a Calorie Challenge class.  I'm glad I went to this one.

The first afternoon session was a water pilates class.  The only problem was the pool was really cold.  Otherwise, the class would have been pure bliss.  It was basically a water stretching and ab class.  And, after class there were a few minutes to jump in the hot tub to warm up.  The second afternoon class was very similar to the pyramid class, but the amount of cardio was random, based on a deck of cards.  Otherwise, very similar in format.

The day ended with a Facts of Weight Loss lecture and dinner.  The lecture focused on sleep, digestion, stress management, and energy.  There wasn't anything really new, but it did give me some things to think about.  And, dinner ended with a fruit kabob.  That was really, really good.

Even though today was a really physically demanding day, I'm actually feeling alert and energized tonight.  Now, my body is sore and I have no strength left, but mentally, I'm happy.  That's a big change from last night when all I wanted to do was come back to my room and collapse.  I really hope that this means the rest of the week will go as well as today!

Monday, February 24, 2014

BLRC - Day 2

Wow, today was a long day!  We started with a class called 'Know Your Gym'.  Basically, it was a demo of the different cardio machines, and then we got a chance to play on them for a while.  I even did a minute on the Jacob’s Ladder!  Then we had breakfast, and a class called Cardio Circuit.  It was three minutes at a time on each of the machines.  The trainer would call out different instructions to make it interesting. So, sometimes we would go all out on speed for 30 seconds, other times we would up the intensity for 30 seconds or so.  And, since each machine was only three minutes, the whole class went by quickly.

Then we had the killer class.  It was called ‘Athletes in the Making’ and wow, it was intense.  It was a team exercise where one person did a specific movement across the gym floor while the partner did floor exercises on a mat.   When the first person came back, you switched.  Did I mention how hard it was?  There were things like burpees and bear crawls, along with planks and sit ups.  I took a picture of the whole thing and will see if I can upload it to facebook.  There was a quick stretch session at the end, and boy did it feel good!

We finally got a break for a class.  It was an explanation of the body composition assessment that they did at check in.  And, it made me feel better.  Basically, it said that I have gained a LOT of muscle in the last year, and only lost a little fat.  So, even though my weight is up, my body fat percent has gone down, and my BMR has gone up.  That was definitely good news, and gives me a lot to think about.  I am so glad I went to that class!
I guess I should back up and explain some of the differences in this trip compared to Niagara last year.  Where Niagara was very cardio intense, and relied on machines for about 50% of the strength classes, the philosophy here is very different.  Classes here are shorter, about 45 minutes, and you have about 20 minutes between classes to recover.  But, the classes are so much more intense.  About half the classes seem to be body weight intense strength classes, and the rest are more traditional cardio.  But, even the cardio classes are interval based.  You work all your muscles here, and work them HARD!

After class we had lunch, which was a nice break.  Then, there was another lecture.  But, it was repeat of a basic class from Niagara so I went to the workout option instead.  It was a DIY type class where the trainers had written out the workout on a board and you just followed it.  It was similar to the AIM class this morning, but with different exercises.  I took a picture here, too, and will try to post it.  Again, ouch!
The last big event of the day was a hike around a local lake.  I lasted an hour, but went back to gym with a full vanload of people.  It was so cold, and my knee was killing me.  So, I ended up doing an hour walking and 30 minutes of cardio at the gym to make up for leaving early.  Not a bad tradeoff.  And, I am choosing to be really, really proud of myself for lasting so long at the lake.  I was one of the last people in my van, so I didn’t get any break and got the full 90 minutes of activity in.  So, again, I’m really proud of myself.

We ended the day with a really nice stretch.  It was the second stretch of the day and felt really good.  I love that they have two stretch sessions just casually built into the day.  Dinner was a little disappointing in that it was a cold chicken salad with peppers and pineapple.  It was delicious, but I really prefer dinner to be hot.  Especially on such a cold day!  Now, I am really sore and looking forward to an Epsom salt bath before bed.  If I make it until 8:00 tonight, I will be shocked!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Biggest Loser Resort Chicago - Day 1

I am all checked in to BLRC!  There was some trouble with the airplane, so we were delayed a little bit, but I am here and ready to go.  In fact, I'm already started!

Once I got here, I was able to find the other ladies from the reunion fairly quickly.  It took us a while to get checked in with the resort and get into our rooms, but once we did that, we did our first workout on our own.  Lisa suggested a count down workout.  You pick 3 machines, then do five minutes on each, then four minutes, then three, two and one.  When you're done, you've done each machine for fifteen minutes, for a total of 45.  It was a really fun workout.

After I finished the official workout, I wanted to try the Jacobs Ladder.  It's scary!  Really scary.  I think it's just because I kept feeling like I was going to fall off it.  Kim kept trying to get me to look up, but I was too scared to look at anything other than my feet.  But, I made it a minute.  I know it doesn't sound like much, but it was an accomplishment!

After that, it was time for dinner and orientation.  It was nice to meet the rest of the people here this week.  And, there is even a married couple.  It's so nice to see couples getting healthy together!  Now, I am going to finish unpacking and settling in.  I'm a little disappointed that the tub in the room is beyond tiny.  I'm not sure if I can even attempt to get in it for a detox bath, but I'll give it a try.  Wish me luck?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Yet another rough day

Michael and I were supposed to go to yoga this afternoon.  Unfortunately, he had another huge meltdown on the way.  I ended up trying to keep him safe in the back of the car for over an hour as we tried to get home.  That definitely counted as my workout for the day.  Boy are my arms going to be sore tomorrow!

Then, if that weren't bad enough, I had to come home and make a batch of applesauce for him to have while I'm gone.  I managed to cut my finger pretty deeply while cutting the apples.  But, the sauce is on the stove cooking now, and everything will be fine.  I am really looking forward to a drama free week at BLRC!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Finally Friday!!!

I love Fridays.  I love my personal training sessions.  They aren't every Friday, but when I do have them, they are wonderful.  Today's session was especially good, and extremely hard.  Sometimes, I think she doesn't really understand that even though I'm strong, there is still a lot I just can't do.  I really don't see one legged squats in my immediate future.  But, I can dream.

Then, I love my Friday night yoga class.  We started on the floor tonight, but quickly moved up into some really active poses.  But, I think I figured out what makes this class so special.  She really focuses on the breath.  She makes sure that we breathe deeply, and always tie the breath to movement.  I know all yoga classes do that, but this one just feels different. 

Between the two, I got a lot of exercise today, and am really ready for BLRC!!! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rough, rough day

It's been a really, really rough day here.  In between work stuff, meltdowns, and everything else, I did manage to do 35 minutes on the elliptical, my exercises (but only one set of several), and made it to yoga.  But, I'm completely drained, mentally and physically.  Tomorrow will be a rest day.  I need to recover from today.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day.  It has to be.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Another cold night

This will be short.  I overdid it again.  The muscle challenge class tonight was really challenging.  Yoga had moments of stretch and relaxation, but others that were really difficult.  No matter what the cause, I am definitely feeling that I overdid it.  I can't get warm.  So, I'll be heading to bed and under an electric blanket shortly.  Have a great night!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fun, easy night

Tonight there was a special Pathfinders for Autism event at the Baltimore Aquarium. On one hand, it was so nice to have the aquarium open hours for us, and on the other, it was depressing that there were enough families affected by autism to completely fill the place.  Overall, it was a great event.

For me, being on my feet and walking for 2 hours is a big deal.  So, since I knew it would be a hard evening, I took the day off, and just counted the walking and standing as my exercise for the day.  Not much in the way of cardio, but definitely counts!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Can't Get Warm!

I don't think I overdid the exercise today, but I just can't seem to get warm tonight.  After being snowed in for two days, we had a lot of running around to do today, so I didn't get to exercise until around 5:30 tonight.  But, I got in a great 45 minute session on the elliptical.  I was starting to really wear out, so I did call it quits at the 45 minute mark.  But, I didn't think I pushed so far that I would have an adrenal crash.  But, maybe I did.  I'm sitting here with a hot cup of tea and an electric blanket, and still freezing.  Hopefully, a good night sleep will be the cure!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day!

Today was a nice, low key day.  I got lots of love from both Steve and Michael, and just had a great day.  My knee was a little tender from all the time I've been spending on the elliptical, so I decided to take a break from it today.


I did get to my favorite yoga class, though.  Especially after missing last week, it felt really, really good tonight.  I had to ask Steve to drive me since I was a little nervous about the roads.  You know your husband really loves you when he's willing to drive you to the gym, hang out in the car while you're in class, and then drive you home.  True love!


A few ups and downs for the day, but overall, a great day.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snowed in, but active!

We got 18 inches of snow last night/this morning, so leaving the house today was definitely not an option.  And, Michael was restless since he didn't quite know what to do with himself all day.  But, I still managed to get in a good amount of exercise today.  I wanted to go for endurance, so I did an hour straight on the elliptical.  No intervals, nothing super strenuous, but a solid hour at an intermediate pace.  It was exhausting, but I was proud of myself.  I wanted to make sure I could do it.

I also wanted to do some of my regular exercises that my PT has me do.  I did two sets each of dips, planks, pushups, ball squats, and ball passes.  I know they probably weren't as good as when I have Kathie looking over my shoulder telling me how to improve my form.  But, I still think I did a good job.  And, it really made today seem like a powerful day.  And, as I get ready to head to Chicago, I need all the power I can muster!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Fun on the elliptical

Today was just an elliptical kind of day. I did 35 minutes at a level 5 incline. Then I did another 35 minutes just playing with the level and my speed. Two good workouts that were actually kinda fun. Imagine that!

Monday, February 10, 2014

So tired!

Just a quick post. Did my normal two classes tonight and I'm dead tired. So glad to rest tomorrow!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Listening to my Body

I took today as a 'listening to my body' day. I woke up this morning really stiff and sore from yesterday's workout.  Then I had a CST session where she was working on both of my knees and ankles.  And the calf muscles in between.  I came out of there even more sore.

But, I had plans to come home and do some walking.  What actually happened is that I took a two hour nap. I never nap.  I only woke up because I forced myself to.  Otherwise I think I would have spent the day in bed.

I don't know if I'm just really tired after yesterday's workout and today's CST session, or if I'm fighting off a cold.  Either way, I just wasn't up for a workout today.  So, I'm calling on my resolution to listen to my body, and I'm not feeling guilty about taking an extra day off.  I obviously need it!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Up and Down Day Today

I had a really, really good exercise day today.  I did two good sessions on the elliptical and burned a total of 1278 calories!  That felt really good.  One thing I noticed is that today I really focused on enjoying the workout and making sure I could keep up with it.  I pushed to where my heart rate was high and I was out of breath, but not panting.  And, what I noticed was that my second workout of the day was even stronger than the first.  I really think there is something to pushing to challenge but not exhaustion.  Maybe that is the lesson that I am going to have to learn over and over again until it sticks. 

Then, I went to yoga tonight.  It was wonderful!  I love the feeling of working hard, stretching, and then rewarding myself at the end with a wonderful relaxation.  It's just such a complete cycle, and very fulfilling.  I don't know how I ever survived before yoga.

The one thing that was a little sad today was seeing so many people talking about this season's winner of Biggest Loser, Rachel.  Everyone seemed to have an opinion on whether or not she lost too much weight, had gone anorexic, had dehydrated for the final weight in, etc..  But the thing is, it's her journey.  She needs to get to the place where she is happy.  And, as much as it hurts when someone judges me for being overweight, I would hate to turn around and then judge her as under weight.  That's just not fair.

Of course, I want her to be happy and healthy.  That's what I want for everyone.  But, I don't know what she's going through, and I don't know what lessons she needs to learn.  Like I said above, it seems like I have a few lessons that I need to really experience over and over until they sink in.  We all do.  So, I am going to be happy for her and just wish her the best. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Short Monday

Tonight I went to my muscle challenge class just like I do every Monday night.  It was a great class.  I didn't do a lot of weight exercises last week, it was mostly cardio.  So, when I got to class tonight, my muscles had had a full week of rest.  I felt really strong tonight.  In fact, I used heavier weights than I ever have for some of the exercises.  That felt really, really good!  I had my meeting tonight, so I couldn't go to yoga.  But, the muscle challenge class definitely made the day a huge success.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Sunday

After missing my workout yesterday, I really wanted to make sure I got it in today.  The morning was spent running errands and getting things done, so as soon as I got in the door, it was time to get on the elliptical.  In my first session, I burned 668 calories.  I think that's a new record for me.  Then I took a break for dinner and a few other things that needed to be done.  Once the game started, it was time to get back on the elliptical.  I was tired from the first workout, and only burned around 575 calories.  I didn't write down the number, but it still was pretty good for 35 minutes.  And, I was proud of myself for exercising instead of snacking.  Today was a much better day!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Quick Update

I did two 35 minutes sessions of intervals on the elliptical today.  I decided to change things up a little:  I bumped the level up a notch for the whole time, and then did the intervals with the incline maxed.  So, for each set I did five minutes flat, five minutes full incline, repeating until I was done.  My heart rate was way up, and I loved it!  I love that I am getting a little more adventurous with my workouts.  Who knows what I'll be willing to try next...

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Fun Day!

OK, normally Mondays aren't much fun at all.  But, tonight's muscle challenge class was actually fun.  At one point we were doing a little kick boxing for cardio between weights.  It just put a smile on my face to kick nice and high, and maybe let out a little aggression.  I normally don't smile during the cardio segments!

Yoga was hard tonight!  After the first class being so much fun, I had hopes for yoga.  But, it was definitely more challenging than fun.  That said, I always feel great after yoga.  I love that feeling of working hard, and then resting at the end.  And, I love that tomorrow is a rest day!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Easy Day

I'm still really, really sore from Friday's training session and yesterday's CST session.  To the point that I can barely lift my arms above my head.  I just hope I recover before tomorrow's class or I will be in real trouble!  That said, I figured I needed a relatively easy day today.  I played the walk it out game for an hour and covered 3.1 miles.  So, even though it was an easy workout, it was still the equivalent of a 5k.  I'll take it!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Rough Day

I had a CST session this afternoon and she worked on both my ankles.  She warned me I was going to be sore afterwards, but that I'd feel better tomorrow.  Given the amount of pain I've been in tonight, I'm really hoping to be better tomorrow.  The good news is that I do have much better range of motion in both ankles.  It was painful, but she definitely released a lot of 'stuck'. 

After I got home I figured I'd get on the elliptical and do two sessions, just like normal.  I did the first session and realized I was limping afterwards.  So, I decided one session was enough for the day.  Now, I'm on my way to an Epsom salt bath and an early bedtime.  I know, wild Saturday night!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Another Full Day

Today was another full, full day.  I started out with 20 minutes on the elliptical, then did an intense personal training session.  I love feeling strong.  I love being able to lift heavy weights.  And, I love having so much more stamina than I have ever had before.  So, even though I felt like a wet noodle when the session was over, I was brimming with pride.  That's a wonderful feeling.

Tonight's yoga session was really great, too.  It's been really, really cold this last week or so, and sometimes when the class starts off slowly, it's hard to warm up.  That wasn't a problem tonight.  Once we were moving, the class kept us nice and warm.  I loved how she changed some of the static poses into flows, guaranteed to generate heat.  It was a nice switch up for the class, but it was still wonderful and relaxing as well.   Overall, a great end to a wonderful exercise day.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Busy, Full Day

Today was a busy day.  I did two 35 minute sessions on the elliptical, 2 sets of side planks, 2 sets of ball squats, and yoga.  My legs feel like they are going to fall off.  That's a good thing, right?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Nice, Quiet Day

Today ended up being a fairly quiet day.  With the snow forecast, my boss sent an early email saying I could work from home if I wanted.  I really appreciated that!  And, with so many others being snowed under, it was a fairly quiet day at work.

At lunch time I figured I would move my rest day to Thursday and get some good exercise in.  I started off with 75 minutes of walk it out.  I managed to go 4.4 miles and over 15,000 steps.  And, I had a lot of fun.

Then, I got a text from my trainer with today's exercises:  planks, ball squats, ball pullovers, dips, and calf raises - 2 sets of each.  I did the exercises and threw in two sets of push ups.  I don't know why, but I always seem to add one extra exercise to round things out.  Maybe I really am nuts?

The good thing about it all is that I'm starting to really clarify what my goals are right now. Ever since the trip to the Biggest Loser Resort last year, I'd been dreaming about going back 50 pounds lighter.  Unfortunately, I'll be going back right about the same weight.  That had me really depressed for a while. 

But, today I realized that even though my weight hasn't changed much in the last year, I have.  I have changed a lot.  I'm so much stronger than I was.  I am healthier.  I have endurance.  I understand the importance of taking care of my own health. I've learned some hard lessons in the last year, but I've come out the other side knowing more, feeling stronger.  And, I've learned that the friends I've made are really and truly special.  I've learned to lean on them when I need help, or inspiration. 

Back to the goals.  Right now I just want to focus on being as healthy and happy as I possibly can be.  I'm breaking up with the scale and will focus on different measures of success.  I want to improve my walking speed.  I want to increase my endurance even further.  And, I want to be even stronger. So, that is what I am going to focus on.  And, I want to thank all my friends for sticking with me and letting me know that I am loved.  That is truly what makes me smile at the end of the day, and, at the end of this year (since last year's trip to BLRN).  So, thank you, and let's see what we can do this year that we couldn't do last year!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday Overdose

I did my two regular classes tonight.  I might have overdone it.  I feel like I can barely move.  Is it bad that I will be in bed by 9:30?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Joint Pain

Quick update tonight.  I just did about half an hour of walk it out today, for 1.8 miles.  My knees and ankles started hurting and I decided to call it a day.  I really didn't expect this joint pain to last this long.  But, my next stop is the sauna.  Hopefully that will help.  Tomorrow, my double classes, no matter what!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Just Yoga

I accidentally had some gluten earlier in the week, and I've had a rough week because of it.  My joints have been achy and I've been really, really tired.  Today I just went to my yoga class.  I wanted to do something more, but everything was just achy.  I'm hoping to be back to myself tomorrow.  In the mean time, I'm happy I went to yoga.  It always does make me feel better.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Powerful Day

Yesterday, Steve bought me a new Leslie Sansone Walking DVD.  It's called 5 Mega Miles.  I decided to do it today at lunch time.  I was so proud of myself for finishing it all the way through on my first try.  It was an intense workout, but definitely doable.  And, I worked up a great sweat, got a terrific workout, and it even included strength training.  I love it!

After doing 90 minutes of the DVD, it would have been easy to say that I was done for the day.  But, today is one of my yoga days, and I hate missing yoga.  It was extra tempting to skip, because I knew it would be a hard class tonight.  But, I had something to prove to myself.  So, I went to yoga, and ended up with almost two and a half hours of exercise for the day.  Not bad!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Tired and Frustrated

The scale is just not my friend these days.  No matter how hard I work, or how clean I eat, it just seems like it's not budging.  And if it does move, it goes up.  This morning I was so close to giving up.  And, I admit, I was frustrated and didn't eat very well today.  Still good, healthy foods, but not all paleo. 

But, I forced myself to go to my classes tonight.  And, I noticed that I was able to hang in better this week than last week.  And, my weights are still getting better.  So, even though I am incredibly frustrated, I can't give up.  Tomorrow morning I will ignore the scale, eat clean paleo, and just hope for the best.  I don't know what else to do.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Quiet Day

Today was a pretty quiet day.  I was tired and sore from all the exercise this week.  Then, we had CST appointments for Michael and me.  She did a LOT of work on my left leg, knee, and ankle.  When I left, I felt more beaten up but hopeful that she was able to help.

The rest of the day was fairly calm.  Steve took Michael into the HBOT, and I did an hour of Walk It Out.  I'm getting faster.  Today I did 3.8 miles in just over an hour.  It was a lot of fun and the time went by really quickly.

Tomorrow is our anniversary, so I'll be taking the day off and spending it with Steve and Michael.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rough day

I'm awfully glad I got all my exercise in this morning.  First I did 20 minutes on the elliptical, then I had an hour plus session with my trainer.  It was hard, but I think I did really well.  It's a good feeling knowing that I can lift heavier weights now, and do more things than I ever could before.  I love being stronger in my forties than I ever was in my twenties!

Of course, the afternoon had to go downhill.  Michael's been in a bad mood ever since he stepped off the school bus.  And, of course, it has to be the one night when Steve and Dan are out.  So, no extras for me tonight, and I had to miss my beloved Friday night yoga.  But, hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day.  And, I'm tired enough that I will sleep well tonight.  That has to count for something.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tired but Proud

Today was another long day but I got through it.   My trainer wanted me to repeat Sunday's workout again.   I was skeptical but I did it.

The one thing I can say I learned today is that even though I give my all in each workout, each workout doesn't have to be the same.   I found myself pushing too hard to 'beat my numbers' from last time.  So I slowed down to what I could reasonably do today.  That felt a lot better - in the challenging range but not completely exhausting.  

I like that I keep learning on this journey and that every day is new.  I just hope by the time my body gets to my goal, my mind will have a absorbed all these lessons!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Long, hard day

Today my new year's resolution was tested.  It was a long office day, ending in a meeting in Columbia that didn't end until after 4.  I knew I wouldn't be home until after 5.  But, around lunch time, I got a text from my trainer asking me to do 70 minutes of the elliptical (2 35 minute sessions), planks,  push ups, and ball squats.  Basically, the same workout I did on Sunday. 

The problem was, I knew I'd be tired when I got home, and I knew that I wanted to go to yoga tonight.  I told her the day was a little screwy, but that I'd do my best.  When I got home, I changed and did the first session on the elliptical right away.  Then I did the other exercises.  That took me right up to the time I needed to leave for yoga.

I decided that I really wanted to go to my yoga class.  It's something I look forward to, and didn't want to give it up, just because someone told me to do something different.  The old, too pushy me would have come home from yoga and forced the other 35 minutes on the elliptical.  Tonight, I told myself that I had a fantastic exercise day, and I should enjoy it.  If I tried to force the elliptical I would be way too tired.  Plus, it was after 8 at that point and it would interfere with sleep.  So, I listened to my body, appreciated what I was able to do, and let myself off the hook for the rest.  My trainer might not be happy with me, but I am quite proud of myself.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Wow.. just wow

I've been on this journey for a year and a half now.  When I was first starting out I tried a lot of different classes.  I only left two classes part-way through.  Both times it was the second class in a row, and both times I was just not coordinated enough to keep up.  Tonight, in my regular Monday Muscle Challenge class, it took every ounce of willpower I had to not walk out of class.

I don't know if it was because of the new year, or what the motivation was.  But, I swear, it felt like the teacher was trying to kill us tonight.  We started out with fifteen minutes of step.  Then went into full up weight work.  Then there was another step interval, weights, etc..  Silly me, I had put in risers and was trying to keep up with the class.  Dumb move.  At one point I tripped over the step and almost fell.  That was the end of the step for me (for that series at least).  I felt so uncoordinated, out of breath, and terribly out of shape.  Like I said, it was all I could do to complete the class.

At the end, most people said they loved the format.  Of course, at least three people did leave in the middle.  I'm not sure if I am praying for her to go back to the old format next week, or that I'll have the strength to keep up better.  I'm leaning toward the second.  Pray for me?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Busy, cold day

Today didn't turn out at all like I was expecting.  We were supposed to take Michael for a CST appointment, but with the freezing rain and the number of small, back roads, we decided to reschedule for next weekend.  So, it ended up being mostly a stay at home day.  But, Michael was in quite the mood all day, so stress levels were really high.

Of course, whenever I'm in need of working off some stress, I can always count on a text message from my trainer giving me exactly what I need.  Todays assignment involved two thirty-five minute sessions of intervals on the elliptical.  Add two sets of 16 each:  ball squats and pushups, and two planks.  And, just for fun, I added in the dips.  It just doesn't seem right to not do dips. 

After the first session on the elliptical, I was pretty energized.  It felt good to have some energy, although a little frustrating to be trapped inside with a grumpy kid.  After the second session, I was pretty tired.  In fact, I'm still tired.  Something tells me it will be an early bedtime tonight.  I am looking forward to school and work tomorrow and hopefully getting back to a schedule!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Low Key Day

Today was a relatively low key day.  I played walk it out for right about 50 minutes.  Again, I went with all fast songs and ended up with a little over 3.1 miles. Not bad!  I like the faster pace, it's more of a workout, and you earn points faster.  Double the fun!

Later in the afternoon I took Michael to his ASD yoga class.  I was a little worried because the teacher that had been teaching since we started had retired, and two new ladies were team teaching the class.  It actually worked out really well.  They definitely put their spin on the class, but there was enough consistency with the old format that Michael was OK with it.  Overall, a great exercise day.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Freezing Friday

Today was a snow day, so Michael was home from school all day, and leaving the house wasn't really an option for me.  But, with Steve and Dan both here, the day went pretty well.  I had gotten instructions from my trainer to do two sessions on the elliptical totaling to 45 minutes, two sets of pushups, and two planks.

Last night, when she sent the instructions, it seemed like a lot.  Today, it was actually fairly manageable.  I did one set of pushups and planks first thing this morning, then did the first 25 minutes on the elliptical at lunch time.  I blasted 421 calories in 25 minutes.  That felt great!

Then, when the work day was over, I did the second set of pushups, the second plank, and another 20 minutes on the elliptical.  Another 351 calories gone.  But, the most important thing is that I really think the shorter, more intense sessions are better for me.  They seem to energize me more than exhaust me.  So much so that I actually did two sets of dips just because I could.  And I hate dips.

So, I definitely learned something about myself today, and what my body likes for exercise.  I'm not sure how I'm going to make use of this information yet, but I will let it percolate for a bit until I do.

The only down side to the day was missing my Friday night yoga class.  I'm not sure if the class was even held tonight.  The morning classes were cancelled.  But, I just didn't want to take a chance on icy roads since the temperature has dropped so much.  And, I definitely got in plenty of exercise for the day.  Overall, I think it was a good decision, and a great day!

Tired Thursday

I was really, really tired today.  I had a great food day, but just couldn't seem to work up much energy for the day.  But, when I came home I did put in an hour on the bike.  It wasn't very high intensity, more moving my legs and working up a little sweat.  Mostly, I wanted to get some movement in without stressing anything too much.  I was partly hoping the exercise would pep me up a bit.  Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. So, not a great day, but not a bad one, either.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year! I hope 2014 is a wonderful year for all of us, and that we all meet our goals.  I spent a lot of time debating what I wanted to do for a resolution this year.  I went back and forth between diet goals,  exercise goals, various motivation techniques, but finally decided that this year I just want to focus on accepting and loving my body the way it is.  Does that mean I'm giving up?  Heck, no! 

What it does mean is that I'm not willing to let my mood, my self worth, my happiness be affected by a number on the scale.  So, I am going to focus on treating my body with love and respect.  I will still feed myself healthy foods, but for the purpose of giving myself the most healing, energizing foods I can find.  But, I will not starve myself.  I will still exercise daily, with appropriate rest days.  But, I will not punish myself with exercise.  I will not push myself to the point of exhaustion.  I will move my body because it feels good, and I love the feeling of getting stronger. 

This year is going to be an exercise in patience, self love, and understanding that I am perfect the way I am.  I will do everything possible to take good care of myself, because I deserve it.  And that is my resolution for the year.