Category Archives: Extras

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

Happy Healthy-versary!

Today officially marks one whole year I have been striving/working toward a healthier lifestyle.  What a crazy year this has been!  Excitement, disappointment, anger, joy, desperation, and every other emotion in between has been experienced this year!  I would like to think the happy/joyful moments have outweighed the frustration and anger, though.  I certainly have a lot to be happy about, seriously.

I have gone from 315 pounds to 199.2 in one year (115.8 pounds lost).
I have gone from a size 28W to a 14/16 in one year.
I have gone from being in pain 24/7 to moving freely and comfortable in one year.
I have gone from miserable to pretty dang happy in one year.

This time last year I had a brace on my ankle.  I absolutely *could not* walk without that brace.  My back was *always* killing me.  I was constantly having headaches.  I was depressed and miserable.  My heart condition was running my life.  I wore only 3X T-shirts and stretchy pants.  I thought I would be fat forever.

Today I could not even tell you where that brace is because I have not needed it in such a long time (nor will I ever again).  My back *never* hurts.  I cannot recall the last time I had a headache.  I think it is safe to say I am no longer depressed, and I am certainly not miserable.  My heart condition has improved *dramatically* to the point where I can actually *live* my life without worrying so much about it.  I can wear most large T-shirts (not even XL) and I am actually wearing real jeans right now.  I know I will never be fat again.

I cried today.  In public.  I was out with my cousin, Maggie, and we were browsing through Rookwood Commons.  She was on the hunt for a job, and I was just along for the window shopping.  We stopped into Eddie Bauer, and I looked around while she filled out the application.  As I rummaged through their clearance racks I had a fleeting thought… “This time last year they would have shooed me out of here immediately because there would be absolutely *nothing* in this store that would fit me.”  I found a pair of size 16 jeans.  They were marked all the way down to $8.00 (can you believe that?!), so I just had to try them on.  They fit, folks.  They fit.  Eddie Bauer jeans fit my booty.  It was such an exhilarating feeling to be able to walk into a store like that and actually find clothes that fit. Me.

As I walked to the counter I began to tear up.  I could not help myself.  I turned to Maggie and said, “This is the first time in my entire adult life I have *ever* been able to walk into a store (other than Wal-Mart), pick something off the rack (that is not stretchy), and have it actually fit me.”  The lady behind the counter actually came out and around to hug me.  She said she was proud of me (never met her before, by the way) and she even got a little teary-eyed.  What an incredible moment that was.

The people I have met over the last year have made all the difference.  There is a saying out there somewhere about positive things happening in one’s life if one surrounds him/herself with positive people/things.  That is certainly true.  I have never had more positive people in my life, and I have never had so many positive things going on.  Denise, of course, is a huge driving force in my life.  She has changed my everyday life in such profound ways.  All the other trainers at the gym (Dorsey, Aaron, Ketrell, etc.) have contributed too.  Without them I would not have come *nearly* this far in one year.  I love them, and I am looking forward to another year with them.

I know I still have quite a bit of road left to travel, but I have come *so* far.  I also now know I can do it.  Whatever *it* may be, I have this.  I will get to where I want to be…regardless of what it takes, or how long.

I have only one regret.  I wish to hell and back I would have taken a picture (full body) of myself on this day last year.  I would absolutely give anything to be able to really *see* what kind of changes my body has undergone in a year.  Too late for that now, though, I will just have to take everyone else’s word for it.

Looking back over the last year…how has your life changed?  Are you happy with the kind of changes that have occurred in your life over the last year?  If not, what steps can/will you take to improve your life in the coming year?

-Erica

Just Checking In

I have had my face buried in books quite a bit lately…not stacked quite this high, of course (thank goodness).  My brain is soaking up so much information…and I have only read through five chapters in my personal training certification manual.  It is a ton of information.  Really.

I can now successfully name all the major muscle groups in the entire body and even smaller muscles (that serve as antagonist, synergistic, or stabilizer muscles to major ones).  I can also successfully name all the bones in the body (that I am required to know).  This girl can even tell you what ribosomes do…and where they can be found in the body (myofibrils, in case you wanted to know where to find them).  Look at me go!

The heat.  It is awful.  I forgot how much I hate the summer.  Hate it.  Here in Cincinnati it is 99 and muggy.  We do not have central air here in the house, so these poor window units are struggling to even take the slightest edge off of that kind of heat.  I will say; however, the summer heat and humidity are easier on my 200-pound body than they were last year on my 315-pound body.  I still feel icky, though, but less likely to complain incessantly about it.

My one year anniversary is coming up on Tuesday (July 10th).  As my fellow blogger, J, mentioned in a recent post, the time has both flown and crawled.  An interesting mix.  I have been reflecting on the past year quite a bit as I inch closer to that milestone.  The changes that have been made are incredible…staggering, even.  I would *never* have guessed my life (my body) would be what it is today.  Of course, I still have quite a bit of path left in front of me to travel as well.  Although, I must admit…I look forward to it much more than I did this time last year.

How is your week going so far?  Any big milestones coming your way?

-Erica

Let The Learning Begin

A while back I mentioned getting my certification to become a personal trainer.  Well, that is now official – I am working toward my certification.  My books arrived Monday and I have been buried in them ever since.

I have to be honest, though, this material is even more in-depth than I anticipated.  Looking through the book, I feel slightly overwhelmed…but excited.  The first part of my study manual covers the human anatomy, terms, and biomechanics.  Thank goodness I do not have to identify all 656 muscles in the body, but I do have to know around 40 of them (the major ones, of course).  I also need to be able to label the human skeleton (again, just major bones…not all 206 of them).  That part comes easily to me since I actually have training in medical transcription.  I will admit, though, that I have already learned a great deal!

The company I chose to earn my certification through is National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT).  They are accredited, and their exam process is quite intense…which means their certification is highly regarded.  On their website they state most people can earn their certification in about 90 days (although some do it faster, and you have up to one year).  I am a bit of a perfectionist at times (and school-related adventures elicit super-perfectionistic behaviors), so I will likely take my time and really get to know this material.  A grade anything other than an A on my exam would just eat at me forever.  Crazy, I know.

So, if I slide in a random anatomical term here and there, you will now know why…such as:  Denise worked my deltoids (anterior, medial/lateral, and posterior) to death last night.  My biceps and brachioradialis were even a little sore.  (That would equal shoulders and arms.)

What a difference a year can make, right?  This time last year I was sitting on my couch complaining about being fat…*wishing* it would all go away.  Funny, huh?

-Erica