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!