Friday, September 20, 2013

Train, Train, Train

Tonight's training session was brutal.  I'm down to seven sessions left with Justin (I signed up for 60) and in six months I've lost about 18 pounds.  Okay, technically I've lost twenty-six.  And gained six.  And lost two. And so on...

He kicked my butt today.  Squats and lunges as always.  And dead lifts, my personal favorite, along with rows and jump pull-ups.  I felt like I was starting all over again.  Just when I think.....I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire...Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar!  

Sorry, got carried away there.

As I was saying, I start to think I can conquer any physical challenge he throws my way and I quickly realize HE'S UPPING THE ANTE.  And what the heck??  Why does this still hurt?  Why do I still have to fight myself?  Mind over matter? PSHAW.... More like, holy CRAAAAP this is tough!

The plateaus are getting on my nerves.  I no longer look at the scale.  I can't handle the up and down.  Lose, gain, lose, lose, GAIN.  Gah.  I'm so over it.

Yes, my clothes fit better.  Yes, I feel healthier.  I can squat my 4-year-old. I've even done a few lunges holding him over my head.  This is is stuff I couldn't have done six months ago.

Wednesday afternoon I had my annual physical.  Dr. A scheduled labs that morning.  My blood draw was traumatic as usual because I clearly do not have veins in my arms.  The phlebotomist was kind enough not to experimentally poke me, and instead took blood from my hand.

Later that day I wore the gown and found my perch on the table covered in crinkly paper.  Oh, the joys.

My doctor was happy to see that my weight was down overall since April, but I had gained 5 pounds since my last visit in June (when I was very sick with vertigo and dizziness).  He also gave me my lab results.  My cholesterol is down, I cut my triglycerides in half and my glucose has dropped significantly.  My blood pressure is down, too.  The systolic number was only slightly raised but I attribute this to white coat syndrome.  I can't help it.  Doctors and clinics and hospitals make me nervous.

Dr. A said I'm doing everything right.  I can't expect to lose it all overnight.  To hear this man tell me I'm doing a great job, and to stick with it?  Totally worth the pain and torture.  Okay, so it's not torture in itself...but you get my drift.

So I just keep with it.  I need to up my cardio, he says.  And he's right.  Justin says the same thing.  It's just a matter of making time to do it.  Between work and school and kids and LIFE....it's complicated.  But I can do this.  I've come a long way, but I still have a long way to go.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Back to Personal Training, Again

It's been more than a year since I blogged about my weight loss journey.  Mostly because after group training last summer, life got in the way and I didn't work out for weeks.  Months even.  After the new year, I went into a fitness frenzy and worked out every day for two weeks straight.  And then I fizzled out.  Again.

It wasn't until April of this year that I really took the time to evaluate my fitness goals.  I knew I wanted to shed those pesky pounds (all 100 of them), but I didn't have the motivation to do this alone.  I told my friend Dave (and former trainer) that I needed help and that I was ready to commit to personal training.

Dave referred me to the fitness coordinator at my gym. Tiffany sat me down and shared with me all the lies I've been told my whole life.  BMI is bullshit, people.  Pardon the language but it's true.  We did a body fat analysis using a body fat analyzer that measures your body fat with a micro-electrical current.  Basically, I held this little machine like a scared Driver's Ed student holds a steering wheel.  It came back with information such as body fat and muscle percentages, and we calculated exactly how many pounds of fat I was carrying around.

My doctor had always told me that based on my height of 5'5" tall, I should weight between 120 and 135 pounds which would put me into a healthy BMI range.  After the body fat analysis, it turns out, I had 137 pounds of muscle in my body.  I can never weigh less than this number or I'd be dead. And because our bodies need fat to survive, a safe and healthy weight for me is closer to 150 pounds.  Yes, you read that right.  Not 120 pounds of skin and bones, but 150 pounds of toned muscle with about 15 pounds of fat.  I know that sounds crazy.  Fifteen pounds of fat, you're thinking? Don't panic.  That's only 10% of body weight.  It sounded nuts to me, too.  All my life I thought 150 pounds was F-A-T.  I would have cringed to read that number on the scale in high school.  But I realized that weight is a number.  It does not define health.

Tiffany also took measurements and we discovered that most of my muscle is in my legs.  I'm designed to run (and I HATE RUNNING) and have the body for it.  She actually said I'm lucky to be built the way I am. I thought she was feeding me lines, but I've realized that when I was a runner I did enjoy it.  I miss it now, but it's been a painful thing to get back to.  I'm dealing with shin splints like never before.  I will get this down again.  I wish I hadn't quit, but I'm determined to run again.

That day in April was the day I signed up for 60 personal training sessions.  My trainer's name is Justin.  He's 22 but he's very knowledgeable.  And patient.  Thank GOD for that.  I don't think I could handle someone screaming at me.  I've got 20 sessions left and I've lost 24 pounds since March.  That's amazing.

The journey continues.

Monday, July 30, 2012

No Pain, No Gain

Tomorrow I begin Week 3 of Metabolic Resistance Training, affectionately known as "torture boot camp" in my house.  I dread 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays because I know I'll have to work my ass off, literally, during our group session.  I tell my husband to call me in sick and he refuses.  Apparently, he gets a kick out of the thought of me sweating and suffering my way through too many squats, lunches and lateral arm raises (with 15 pound weights, no less)!

After work I stopped at the Stevens Point Anytime Fitness location and did 34 minutes on the elliptical.  Oh, how I love the elliptical.  I try to get the heart rate up immediately and then keep a steady pace throughout my workout.  When I first started going to the gym, I kept the incline and resistance at 4, now my incline is 10 with a resistance of 7.  It's enough to get me sweating and I really work my legs and glutes.

I didn't have enough time to do the circuit of weight machines which is okay.  I didn't want to overdo it considering I have training tomorrow.  But when I got home I felt a bit guilty for not doing a 45 minute session so I took Owen for a walk down the bike path.  We walked about a mile round trip and I noticed my legs felt a little sore when I got home.  I hope I don't feel any pain tomorrow.

I have some new motivation to help me up my activity level, too.  My 15-year high school reunion is in two weeks.  I'm really hoping I can drop another 5 pounds by August 11, but I'll settle for three.  It's doable, right?

Ugh.  Squats and lunges tomorrow.  I don't wanna do 'em!  Alas...No pain? No gain.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Let the Games Begin

I've been overweight most of my life.  Being fit has always been a struggle for me.  I used to think I'd always be fat because I had "big bones" and a larger frame.  A doctor once told me I'd never be thin because I have bad family genes. I actually bought into that crap for awhile.

In 1999 I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition in which a woman has an imbalance of a female sex hormones. PCOS can lead to menstrual cycle changes, cysts in the ovaries, trouble getting pregnant (I struggled with infertility for many years before having my children), significant weight gain, insulin resistance and other health issues.  There are many symptoms of this condition that make women feel as if they are being robbed of their femininity; hair loss (female pattern baldness), hair growing in other unwanted places (lip, face, chest) and adult acne.  It's a bitch.  I wouldn't wish this condition on anyone.

I could write a book about all the things I've dealt with in regards to my weight problem, instead I decided to do something about this.  After years of yo-yo dieting, trying and failing and quitting repeatedly, I've finally found what works for me.

In May 2012, I became a member of Anytime Fitness.  After five years of being a YMCA member, I canceled our family membership after a two week trial at AF.  In all honesty, we just weren't going to the Y. We live in a different town and it was difficult to drag two kids to the daycare.  My youngest child cried incessantly whenever I'd leave him and they'd have to come get me after 10 minutes of working out.  It just wasn't worth it.

It's easy for me to get to AF each day.  I go when my husband is able to watch the kids and their are two locations; one located right by my workplace and the other just blocks from my house.  It's a win-win.

Two weeks ago I started group training with two other women.  I'm going to be brutally honest. Training is tough. I didn't realize the intensity of the workouts. I truly believe 80% of training is changing your mindset. I don't know that I mentally prepared myself for this, but I'm slowly getting better. I still curse silently in my mind the entire time I'm working out with the group. 

I told my trainer, Dave, that I kind of hated him just a bit.  I've never been pushed this hard before.  He said, "If you don't hate me, I'm not doing my job correctly." 

After two weeks of training (I signed up for a total of 6 weeks, 2 workout sessions and one virtual session per week) I'm down 4 pounds.  I've lost a total of 20 pounds since joining the gym two months ago.  So maybe I don't really hate Dave as much as I thought.  I kinda like him, actually.

Let the games begin...