Monthly Archives: July 2012

Weigh Day (week fifty-five)

I am feeling *far* better this week than last.  All of my “extra” weight went away, and I finally saw the downward trend I have come to know and love.  I do still believe that I need a new scale (or new batteries) because I am still running into some inconsistency issues…which are frustrating!

I began my new routine (designed by Denise and Dorsey) this week.  It is more regimented than I am used to, but change is good, right?  This is what my week looked like:

Monday – Back & Biceps (weight lifting)
Tuesday – Spin (cardio)
Wednesday – Legs (weight lifting)
Thursday – Zumba (cardio)
Friday – Chest & Triceps (weight lifting)

Thankfully, the issue with my left foot seems to be improving quickly.  I was still able to do spin on Tuesday (without standing on the bike, though), and leg day was no problem.  Even Zumba went off without a hitch (although about 3/4 through it I cut back on the amount I was jumping).  I have been consistently icing it and keeping it elevated when I sit down.

So, my weigh in for the week:

197.2

Not too shabby, huh?  That is a full four pounds down from last week, and two pounds down from my previous lowest weight.  This makes me happy.  Especially since I am in Grumpy’s Coffee Mug Challenge.  I need to kick some butt, folks.  The challenge runs until October, so I have some time to really ramp it up…which I will be doing.

-Erica

Another Anatomy Lesson?

I have learned quite a bit of anatomy over the last 18 months.  Some I am learning from reading through my texts in preparation for my personal training certification.  That is the stuff I enjoy learning.

However, other stuff (like this lesson in particular) is coming from various injuries.  Yes, another injury for me.  Sigh.

Last March I learned all about the tendons in the dorsal aspect of the foot.  I damaged the achilles, the peroneals, and the plantar fascia in one fell swoop.  Earlier this year I learned about the rotator cuff in my left shoulder and all about patellofemoral arthritis syndrome (which later resulted in a diagnosis of osteoarthritis).  Now I am learning about the tibialis posterior.

I woke up yesterday morning to find that my foot/ankle was really sore to just the slightest touch.  It was fine when I went to bed Sunday night, I should mention.  I could barely put my shoes on (in fact, I ended up wearing different shoes because my normal shoes hurt too bad).  I went to Urgent Care and found that the whole inside of my foot (and all the way down into the arch) was severly swollen.  Ugh.

They just did x-rays and informed me it was not broken.  I pretty much knew I probably did not break my foot in my sleep, though.  Seriously.  So, I paid a visit to my physical therapist.  Guess what, exactly where my pain and swelling is runs a tendon.  The tibialis posterior.

The two of us were talking and I happened to mention running on the treadmill Saturday.  The more we were talking about it, the more certain she became that that is how I aggravated the tendon.  See, I am not sure I have mentioned it here before, but I am *deathly* afraid of the treadmill.  I. HATE. IT.  So, Saturday when I was on the treadmill…running…I was panicky.  Actually, at one point I almost had to stop running simply because I was crying so hard I could not breathe.  I know.  Crazy.  How Denise deals with me, I will never know.

So, my PT says it was not so much the act of running itself that aggravated the tendon.  It was more so that I was running so tense and (most likely) awkwardly.  As nervous as I was, there is a good chance my gait was off.  Running like that could easily make a tendon (or two) angry and inflammed.  That is precisely what happened.

That means lots of ice, elevation, and rest for this foot.  No running of any kind until it has calmed down, and probably no running on the treadmill for a *very long* time.

On another note, though, I just *have* to share this with you all:

198.6

Yup, all of that “extra” weight is already gone.  This is my lowest weight to date, too.  So, maybe it was water…or something else.  Considering that means I have dropped 5.8 pounds in 3 days, I am willing to bet it was not truly fat.  Thank goodness for small miracles.

Oh, one more thing…while you are here, you should enter the giveaway I posted on Sunday.

How is your week starting out?  Are you feeling optimistic about the week?

-Erica

Weigh Day (week fifty-four)

This week…sigh…this week has been rough.  I am finding, though, that inspiration/motivation lies everywhere…and sometimes in the least expected places.  I will even be passing along some inspiration/motivation for all of you, so read it through, pretty please.

After yesterday’s melt down over being 5+ pounds over my lowest weigh in, Denise and I sat down to create a new plan.  That starts tomorrow, and I cannot wait.  This morning gave me a little relief (if I am being honest) because the scale reflected a loss.  A pretty substantial loss (for one day), too.  I am still up for the week, but not over 5 pounds – like I feared.

201.2

That is one pound up from last week, and two pounds up from my lowest weigh in.  I would be lying if I said I was okay with that.  I am not anywhere *near* okay with weight gain.  I know it could be muscle.  I know it could be water.  I know it could be a million things *other* than fat.  It still bothers me…terribly.  It keeps me up at night (and, yes, I am aware that lack of sleep can also be a contributing factor here).

Hopefully with my new plan in action, I will shed that 2 pounds (again) by the end of this week.  That would help me feel better…and sleep better…going forward.

As for inspiration/motivation…

I joined Grumpy’s challenge (as I mentioned yesterday), and I hope some of you will take it on as well.  I was also approached by SlimKicker.  Honestly, I had never heard of them, but I was excited to check them out.  They take weight loss and add some fun twists to it (because we all know, it is not always fun).  They offer weight loss/diet challenges (some created by other users, and some sponsored by SlimKicker) to keep your life interesting.

Signing up with them is free.  You enter some initial (general) information, and they provide you with some recommended nutrition goals. They based the recommendations on what I currently weigh, what I want to weigh, how active I am, etc.

These were my recommendations:

Once you have joined, you can log food, exercise, find groups to join (for extra support), and join challenges to earn points.  You can even create your own challenges!  Additionally, they have other helpful tools to use, such as their Calorie Calculator.

Here is a screen shot of my main page:

The navigation is pretty straight forward, and it has a clean layout to keep everything organized.  I think I would enjoy tracking with SlimKicker more than LoseIt! (which I rarely ever use, honestly).  I know you can earn badges and such with them, but challenging other people…that I can dig!  There is nothing quite like competition to keep you motivated, right?

Right now SlimKicker is on the hunt for new, fun, creative ideas for sponsored challenges.  They want your help.  So, if you have a fun or creative idea for a weight loss or diet challenge, please feel free to post it in the comments below.  Each comment will be entered into a drawing to win this:

SlimKicker will choose the winner one week from today.  Exciting, right?!  So, get those wheels turning and share some of your best ideas for weight loss or diet challenges!

-Erica

A Challenge To Get Things Moving?

A challenge has been set…and I have decided to take it on.  Maybe this will be some extra “oomph” to get things moving in the right direction again.  Shonnie and J are both in, too…so it should be tons of fun!  The challenge is open to anyone, so you should join in with all of us!

This morning was rough…and that is putting it mildly.  My scale is *still* not complying with my efforts for the week, so I am pretty sure I am going to be UP (by a whole lot) for my offical weigh in tomorrow.  That makes me *angry* (and that is putting it mildly).

I was hysterical this morning.  Really.  I texted Denise (and honestly, in my hysteria, I could not even tell you right now what I said to her).  She must have been able to pick up on my complete melt down because she told me to meet her at the gym.  I did.  She yelled at me for stressing over five pounds…which I needed.  She gave me some extra motivation and support…and Dorsey picked my nose (long story, but it means he loves me unconditionally…apparently).

After all my blubbering and whining was through, we worked out.  I ran on the treadmill (and I lived to type about it – go figure).  We did more pushups than I would have liked, and then did KB swings…and other things.  After that, we sat down and organized a plan of action (a new one) and set up some new workouts for me.  So, my new agenda starts Monday.  I feel better now (not happy, not great) that I talked to Denise and Dorsey about it.  I also feel a little silly for stressing so much, but the trauma felt so real this morning.  I am still feeling that sting of *gaining* weight.  It stinks…and I will never like it (or get used to it).

Days like today…when Denise and Dorsey take time out of their day to reassure me, to spend time with me, work with me, encourage me, and just love me…are what keep me going.  The support I have from them is amazing.  I have said it before, but I feel like I have to say it again, “Without Denise (and Dorsey…and everyone else who supports/encourages me) I would *not* be nearly this far.”  I owe a great deal of my success to them.

Who in your life supports you the most?

-Erica

Plan of Action: Friday

So, my plan of action is not turning out the way I had hoped.  I am still up this morning…in fact, I am up even from yesterday.  That puts me a full five pounds over my lowest weight (199.2).  This girl is getting more than a little ticked off at this point.  Every day that passes, I am finding it harder and harder to take this lightly and make myself believe it is just muscle and/or water weight.

I have eaten well all week (which includes logging everything).  I have been in the gym all week.  I have lifted weights.  I have done cardio.  I have been a stretching fool (which is another element I usually push to the back burner).  This has been a great week…except the scale is not complying with my efforts.  Why?

Yesterday’s plan of action workout was changed when I hit the gym last night.  I was standing near the front desk talking with Dorsey for a minute.  Out of nowhere, Dorsey says, “Erica.  We should go do Zumba!”  And so we did.  We popped on into the class and danced.  I always loved Zumba (despite the pain)…but my love affair was cut short by the osteoarthritis in my left knee.  Boo.  Last night was the first night I wandered back into class since.  Michelle (instructor) was happy to see me, but quickly called me out in the middle of class as I was jumping along with her.  In a way it is nice that they all take time to know me (including my ailments/injuries) and care enough to remind me about being careful.  In another way I find it frustrating…like, “Leave me alone and let me have fun.”  I know they have my best interests in mind, though…and I love them for it.

Today’s plan of action workout:
-stretch
-sprints
-lift off lunges
-side planks with arm extension
-tai chi side lunges
-lateral stepups with kick
-glute bridge with tricep extension
-REPEAT
-ab chopper with oblique twist
-leg climbs
-bicycle crunches
-REPEAT
-20 mins either spin or Neil
-stretch

That should give me another hour or so in the gym tonight.  Wish my deltoids were not as sore as they are right now.  I would have loved to truly do a “whole body” day instead of a mostly-lower-body kind of day.  Oh well.

What kind of workouts are your favorite (and why)?

-Erica

Plan of Action: Thursday

There is something to be said about *not* weighing yourself every single day.  Weight can fluctuate quite a bit from one day to the next.  All of that being said, though, I am growing ever so frustrated with my stupid scale.

This morning I was UP FOUR POUNDS from yesterday.  I ate well yesterday – yogurt, whole wheat pita pockets, alfalfa sprouts, orange pepper, oatmeal – all good things.  I did my fitness evaluation with Denise last night, so I moved around, too.  I could scream and throw that thing out the dang window, I will tell you that right now.

Anyway, not focusing on that today…moving forward:

Fitness Evaluation Measurements
Neck – 13.25″ (-.25)
Shoulders – 41.25″ (-.25)
Arms – 15″ & 15″ (-2)
Bust – 44″ (-2)
Waist (natural) – 34″ (same)
Waist (bellybutton) – 37″ (-2.5)
Hips – 47.5 (-2.5)
Thighs – 26.5″ & 26.5″ (-2.5)
Calves – 17.25″ & 17″ (-1.75)

With these recent measurements included, I have lost 101 inches since last year!  That is absolutely insane!  That is almost 8.5 FEET off of my body!  Amazing.

I must admit, though, looking at numbers like that makes it harder to be angry at the scale.  Especially when I know I ate well yesterday.  I know, with absolute certainty, I did not consume an excess of 14,000 calories to really gain four pounds of fat.  I know it.  It does still sting, though.

So, for today’s plan of action workout:

Cardio…and more cardio

I will be dedicating one hour of my life to nothing but cardio today.  That will likely be a combination of spin and Neil.  Although I am really going to try to do one hour on the spin bike.  I think the longest I have gone (so far) is about 35 minutes or so…so we will see.

If my entire body were not sore, I would be lifting weights again tonight.  The legs are still sore from Tuesday, and my delts and biceps are on fire from pushups last night with Denise.

Do you measure?  If so, does that help you cope with any increases you may see on your scale?

-Erica

Plan of Action: Wednesday

I think I need new batteries in my scale…or maybe just a brand new one.  That thing is really starting to frustrate the…everything…out of me.  This morning it could not make up its mind whether I weighed 199.4 or something closer to 202.  I weighed myself probably more than a dozen times and did not get the same reading more than twice.  It was all over the place.  Irritating.  Really.

So, despite that ridiculous thing, I feel good this morning.  My legs are feeling slightly sore…especially my hamstrings and up into my tush.  Last night’s workout was good.  I was sweating like crazy and my legs were wobbly like jell-O by the time I was finished.

I did realize; however, I need to work on balance.  Still.  Those alternating single-leg deadlifts with kettlebells were *HARD* for me to complete.  Only for balance, though.  My cousin was thoroughly entertained as I kept wobbling and teetering through two sets of those things.  Actually, by the second set my legs were trembling – making them even harder – and I quit before completing all reps of them.  I am mad at myself for doing that, but honestly, I was getting no benefit out of them at that point.  I was getting so worked up that my form was going straight out the window.  So, those will be making another appearance in my routine soon – and often.

As for the plan of action workout today…I do not have one.  I actually have an hour-long appointment with Denise tonight, so the workout will be up to her.  I will certainly be sure to share what she has me doing, though.  Oh – and I have my fitness evaluation tonight, too.  That means measurements.  I always get excited (but very nervous) to get measured.  So, I will be sure to share those results with you all tomorrow.

What is your plan for today?

-Erica

Plan of Action: Tuesday

I must admit I am feeling good this morning.  Positive.  Yesterday’s plan of action went well.  I ate great food and I worked out hard.  The scale complied with my wishes and showed a loss, too.  I am still not back to 199.2, but I am ever so close.

This morning I ate a small banana and had oatmeal with cinnamon and cloves.  I harvested a bell pepper from my garden this morning, so I am looking forward to snack time.

As for my scheduled workout:

-stretch
-sprints
-grand plie squats with rotation
-curtsy squat with leg lifts
-deadlifts with barbell
-front lunge with push off
-alternate deadlifts with kettlebell
-glute bridge march
-hydrant extensions
-calf raises on step
-bent leg pumps
-REPEAT
-star crunches
-weighted russian twists
-weighted raised-legs crunches
-REPEAT
-stretch

That will be another hour or so in the gym for me this evening.  I am seriously looking forward to it.

In other news, Maggie (my cousin) finally got a job last night…working at my gym!  She is so super excited (this is her first job…ever), and I am thoroughly excited for her!  She will only be working part-time for now (M-F 5 to 8 PM).  That will; however, give me an excuse to be at the gym Monday through Friday from 5 to 8 PM, though, right?!

How is your day shaping up?

-Erica

Plan of Action: Monday

I was up again this morning.  That is going to get frustrating *really* fast.  Again, though, I know I have not consumed enough “extra” calories to truly justify these pounds.  I still find it completely irritating, though.

So, here is today’s plan of action workout:

-stretch
-sprints
-lunge with shoulder cross
-lateral raises
-bicep curls
-sprint
-plank walk overs with platform
-lat pull down
-cobra pushups
-sprint
-tricep pushdowns (over-hand and under-hand grip)
-REPEAT
-leg circles
-side planks with rotation
-oblique v-crunches
-Pfeiffer scissors
-sprints
-REPEAT
-stretch

That should give me about an hour or so worth of gym time this evening.  I am looking forward to it…all except that Mondays are always packed.  I suppose it is because people eat garbage over the weekend and rush to the gym Monday to try and control the damage.  Maybe.

For breakfast today I had a small banana and vanilla yogurt with almonds and cinnamon.  A snack is in order here in a few…and lunch later.  I bought fresh kale yesterday and some colorful peppers, so I am excited for lunch.  Very excited!

What is your day going to look like today?

-Erica

Weigh Day (week fifty-three)

“There’s a first time for everything.”

That is a saying that comes to mind today.  Today is a first for me (as far as I can remember, anyway).  When I weighed in today, I was UP from last week.  I do believe that in 53 weeks this is the first time that has happened.

200.2

I would be totally hysterical right now, but I have a funny feeling I know exactly why I am up.  Let me count the ways:

1. I lifted heavy weights this week with very little (to no) cardio.

2. I stopped logging my food in my journal (big no-no!).

3. I was in the gym only twice this week (Monday and Wednesday).

4. I ate a very good dessert yesterday at a family reunion…and I do not feel bad about it, nor do I regret it.

I am coming to understand that my body is *extremely* sensitive to lifting weights.  Monday I lifted on my own (focusing solely on my arms and shoulders), and I ate well.  Tuesday morning’s weigh in had me up several pounds.  I knew I had not eaten an excess of 14,000 calories to truly pack on those pounds, though.  So, I was not worried.  Wednesday morning’s weigh in had me down a couple of those pounds from Tuesday.  That night I focused on strength training with Denise.  Thursday I was back up a little over a pound from Wednesday.  I was also *extremely* sore Thursday and Friday…and Saturday.  My legs took a beating with Denise.  Yesterday had me back down a couple pounds (hovering right around 199.6 to 200.6).  After yesterday’s sedentary nature (sitting around with family…and tables full of food), I knew I was not going to drop under that 199.2 from last week.

In one way, I do find it frustrating that I am not down for the week.  However, in another way, I find it almost absurd to beat myself up over this.  First of all, I am up only a bit.  Second of all, I know that at least part of that is muscle…has to be.  So, for this week I am going to cut myself some slack (very little, mind you) and we will see what next week shows (which better be a loss).

My plan of action:

1. I will be in the gym every day this week.
2. I will be careful not to let cardio go unnoticed again.
3. I will start logging food again (seriously cannot believe I stopped doing this).

With those three things in place, I should be back on the road down by the end of the week, and I will be able to take this hiccup in stride.

How do you handle hiccups in your path?

-Erica