Thursday, February 20, 2014

Weight Loss Crusade

Yes...CRUSADE.  Not a "journey."  That word is used when someone is meandering and smelling the flowers.  "Crusade" is going into something at full force and not allowing any obstacles. 

Two weeks ago I probably would have used the word "journey," but not now. "Crusade" is the only way to describe it.

Describe what?  To describe this regimen I've been on for nearly 2 months, but which has recently taken a drastic, more powerful, turn in the last 2 weeks.

I'll back up.

Two months ago I decided to start exercising daily.  Walking my dog was more to get outdoors into the fresh air and give him a chance to move around.  But, as I've blogged in the past, my doggie is sick and won't be here after a few more months (we think--he's been doing really well, actually.)

I started to mentally prepare myself for life without a dog and began the regimen I talked about in this post.

That regimen was a great way to start.  I felt better--more powerful, more flexible and stronger.  My arms, especially, were feeling stronger--probably because I had never challenged them before.

And my eating?  That didn't change that much.  So, of course, the weight loss was slow. 

After 6 weeks I had lost a pathetic 3 pounds.

It was time to STEP IT UP.

Jane Fonda videos are great for a beginner, for someone who has a lot of weight to lose, and for an older person.  I learned a lot from her.  But I needed to sweat.

Heaven help me, I started watching the Jillian Michaels videos (on Amazon streaming, but also available on DVD) and seeing which ones I could integrate into my routine.

One day, after the first part of the Jane Fonda Walkout, I did 20 minutes of the Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones video. Oh--my--gosh...  I thought I was going to die. Seriously.

The next day I could hardly walk.  Squatting to use the potty was an experience in pain and every step came with a grunt.

I watched a few other videos and decided how to change things up.  10 POUNDS LATER, I'm really glad I challenged myself.

So, here is what I'm doing now.

M, W, F (sometimes 4 times a week):
I LOVE this video.  I end up red and sweating profusely by the time I'm done, but I feel amazing.  No more soreness, either.  There are a few moves I cannot do that I modify, which I thank the Jane Fonda videos for, but I can do most of it (not the Burpies, though--they are my Everest!)  And there are other moves I couldn't do at the beginning and I can now.

T, TH, S (or only twice a week)

I am using a 10lb kettlebell and I do the Level 1 (which is very satisfying for my fitness level, although I still have to modify a couple of the moves.) And, I have learned something about myself--I LOVE using weights.  It's like eating sushi--it just feels so good for your body!

After 30 minutes with Jillian, I go back to Jane Fonda and do the 2nd Walkout of the two on the video.  (Working out for only 30 minutes felt like cheating because I've become so used to sweating for an hour.)  It's the more intense one--one mile in 18 minutes (Intense? Some of you will say...) And after these 2 videos together I'm sweating pretty good!

Sundays: I'm doing BOTH walkouts on the video above.

Evenings (in my pajamas): I do the "Strength" section (15 minutes long) of the AM section of the AM/PM yoga.  I use 3lb hand weights.  I have tried using the 5lb-ers at the store and I'm not ready yet.  Soon, hopefully, soon.

If you read the regimen from a few weeks ago, you will see that this is a big change.  It is all part of some new goals I have for myself:

  1. I must sweat A LOT at least once every day.
  2. No sabotaging all of my hard work (enter the healthier eating.)
  3. No snacking. Just eating 3 sensible meals a day within a good span of time (every 3-5 hours.)
  4. No eating after 6pm
  5. Drink water with every meal.
  6. No more soda.  *Sigh*
  7. Enjoy the way your clothes feel, don't get too hung up on numbers on the scale. (I only weigh myself every 3-5 days--in the morning right after that first potty trip.)
And the biggest one for more cow's milk.

Ditching Dairy
Last Saturday I had an epiphany.  I looked into the mirror and noticed my skin looked great.  My skin is always giving me problems, and I'm usually scrambling on Friday and Saturday to do whatever I can to make sure my skin looks good for church on Sunday.   Thank goodness we ladies have make-up.  It covers the blotches, the extra set of wrinkles under my right eye, and my flaky forehead (snow, anyone?)

So, why did my skin suddenly look so healthy? That extra set of wrinkles under my right eye--GONE.  I have been drinking a TON of water lately, but was that the only thing?  I realized it was because I had stopped drinking so much milk.  I did it as an attempt to not drink my calories, and my skin had responded.

(Of course, I've also been eating healthier and cut out my beloved soda, but I knew it was more than that.)

The first thing I wanted to do was strangle my dermatologist, who loves prescribing creams, ointments, Prednisone and Benedryl.  NEVER had he given me dietary suggestions.  Grrr...

Then I thought about the way I have been eating and I looked up articles on cutting dairy from your diet.  There is A LOT of evidence out there on the benefits.  I have no plans to go vegetarian or vegan, or to cut out all carbs, but cutting out most dairy is something I can do if I'm going to get results like this.
Me, tonight, with no makeup.  I have healthy skin!  Enjoy it now, because I'll probably never post pictures like these again.

My Meals
Amazingly, I really haven't felt hungry or deprived for the past 2 weeks when I have really been conscious of what I'm eating.

Here are a few examples of my meals:

1 egg, 2 whites with a banana or an orange
a Peanut butter and jelly sandwich (Dave's Killer Bread--The Good Seed, Jif Crunchy, and organic raspberry spread.)
1 open face PBJ with a banana

salad with lettuce, carrots, Craisins (just few,) 5-6 croutons, and a can of crab of tuna dumped on top...sensible amount of dressing

tuna or kippers with organic Ritz crackers

can of Progresso soup with 6-8 crackers

Tonight I had:
1/3lb ground turkey patty dipped in 1000 Island Dressing (Yummers!)
and a bowl of sliced banana, a few raspberries, drizzled in some coconut milk

The meals in our house are *usually* healthy, with salmon, chicken, sometimes beef, with a veggie on the side and a salad.  For the "less healthy" homemade meals I'm just watching portions.

ALL of these meals are with water as the beverage.

And I am just estimating calories.  I'm not doing a food journal or using a fitness tracker.  (No judgment if you like or need those things--everyone is different.) If I'm extra hungry at breakfast and need 2 eggs instead of one, then I'll go a little lighter at lunch.  I'm just trying to be sensible, balanced and not gobble every meal like it's my last.

Favorite Finds
Last week Eric and I were out all day and we stopped at a mini mart for some snacks.  What to get?  I got a Vitamin Water ZERO (acai-pomegranate-blueberry) and some Special K potato chips.  A 150 calorie snack that was totally satisfying and delish?  I was so proud of me.

In the past it would have been a Pepsi (not diet--yuck) and a bag of Doritos, washed down with a Milky Way. 

I started experimenting with other flavors of Vitamin Water ZERO. (some are not 0 calories, but 110-120 calories, so make sure it says ZERO on the bottle.)  My favorites are the go-go, lemonade, and orange flavors (the last one tastes like Sunny Delight.)  After I down about 20 ounces of water during my morning sweat sessions, I treat myself with one bottle of Vitamin Water ZERO.  I'm getting more hydration, vitamins, and a little satisfaction for my sweet tooth.

Today I switched to coconut milk from cow's milk.  I've tried almond and rice milk in the past and thought I would give this one a try.  The calories are the lowest for the milk alternatives, approx 18 ounces gives you your 100% daily recommended amount of calcium, and it is creamier than rice or almond milk.  Done deal.  This is my new milk. 

My Motivating Factors
What is keeping me going?  After all, I've lost and gained around 40 pounds 2 other times in my life.  I don't want to be obsessive about my body and my eating, but I want to like what I see in the mirror.

The results I'm seeing and how I am feeling are motivating me.  I'm sleeping better.  I wake up and immediately want to go and work out in our family room.
My little weight collection. It's all I need.  Don't laugh at my twos!

Each night I lay out my workout stuff in the family room.  I rotate through 5 sets of workout wear (thank you Walmart) and a washcloth to mop up the dripping sweat each day!  At the end of the workout, I run the washcloth under cold water because I'm RED AS A BEET.  Not pretty, but worth it.

And, now that my skin is looking healthier and clothes are fitting better, I want to keep that up.  Who wouldn't?

I also love the idea of working out at home.  I don't want to pay money to a gym, have to drive there and back, work out in a room full of other people...that does not sound appealing to me at all.  I just roll out of bed, feed the dog, change my clothes, turn on the TV and start.  Sometimes I get so "in the zone" that by the time it's done I can hardly believe it.

So that is my Weight Loss Crusade.  10lbs down, 25-30 to go.  Bring it on.

Some Reading:

Great article on ways to get healthier skin HERE.

Great ways to feel better all around HERE.

12 Reasons Why You Can't Shed That Extra Weight HERE.

The Dangers of Dairy HERE.  (I don't plan to completely eliminate dairy, but I am going to be more aware of it, and cow's milk is definitely a thing of the past. And this is from the girl who can drink a gallon in one day.)

And, lastly, because it is both funny and true...

UPDATE on 2/21:
So, this morning I did the entire No More Trouble Zones video!  Yes, that was the one that crippled me after 20 minutes a few weeks ago.  Hand weights are used and there is a lot of floor work.  Some things I modified, but I did pretty well! 
I think I'm going to incorporate it into my week from now on and rotate through the 3 Jillian videos.  The Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism video is still my favorite.  I just feel so accomplished when I'm done!

This morning's breakfast:
One banana and raspberries, 1 yolk and 2 whites, and a glass of coconut milk. Probably around 350 calories.


MOM said...

This second blog on what you are doing for your health is awesome!!! I congratulate you! I admire you! You have really researched and analyzed everything...and it's paying off! When you get closer to my age, you will notice how wonderful it feels to be able to do a lot, even though the years advance.

Sally said...

I love reading about your crusade! So impressive. You should look up fitnessblender on youtube. There are tons of videos incorporating lots of different exercise styles and time frames. You can choose a 5 minute squat routine to a 20 minute kickboxing to an 84 minute HIIT routine and everything I between. I like them also because there is no music on the videos, just talking to introduce the next exercise and a few encouraging words, so I can listen to my own music while I exercise.

You look great without makeup!