Sep 012014
 

I’ve been steady and normal with my workouts…meaning, despite the stresses I’ve experienced this year and the wedding stuff piling up and piling up…one thing that stayed consistent was my fitness. I am grateful for that because I DEFINITELY used fitness as a stress reliever.

Here is an example of a typical week in my fitness world:

Saturday

Boot Camp!

I know, I previously said that I probably wouldn’t go to another boot camp class in the summer because it was way too hot and my heart rate got too high…but I went again anyways. It wasn’t as hot this time. I went to the Warrior Room with a bottle of water and bottle of ice cold Gatorade. I wore a hat this time (which was smart) and wore lots of sunscreen. We were instructed to get 2 kettlebells and walk to the school football field (about 4 blocks).

I got to the school and realized I didn’t have much water in my bottle so I ended up jogging back to the gym and then back again! I guess that was my warm-up. This class was brutal. We did partner workouts. My partner would jump rope and I would sprint to the 50 yard line, touch the line and sprint back to the 40 yard line, then back, then sprint back to the 30 yard line and so forth. BRU-TAL! I was dying. Then we switched and I jumped rope while she sprinted.

Then we did a bunch of kettle bell work (squats, dead lifts, high pull and double swing) then did the sprinting/jump rope intervals. Then back to kettle bells–chest press, shoulder press, pushups and bent over rows. Damn. No wonder I was so sore the next day!

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So that was my calorie burn. It was a surprisingly high for only an hour workout! 753 calories burned.

Sunday

I treated my body to some low-key fitness, as per usual on Sundays. I’m frequently sore and not really feeling like heavy lifting. Sometimes I run, sometimes we go for a hike. This particular Sunday I warmed up with about 22 minutes on the elliptical (2 miles) and then it was time for yoga. I really really really needed that yoga class!

yoga

Calories Burned: 341. I was particularly sore from the Warrior Room.

Monday

Rest Day.

Thank goddess!

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Tuesday

Warrior Room!

I was recovered (about 90%) from Saturday’s boot camp and ready to do some weight lifting! I went to the Kettlebell Conditioning class. It was half isolation and half tabata workout. This class in particular was a killer! We did these “burnout” sets where we did intervals of really hard work. Here is an example: 80 High Knees, 4 burpees, 60 Mountain Climbers, 4 burpees TWICE in less than 3 minutes. Gawd! It was HARD. You’d be surprised at how shaky your legs are by the time you get to the burpee part of the set. Then we did kettlebell work. For example: lateral raises, front raises, bicep curls, and goblet squats.

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It was a rough workout and I was really glad when it was over with. Calories burned: 528.

Wednesday

I wasn’t really feeling the whole weight thing…but I did it. Since I’d done specific isolation workouts with the kettlebells the night before, I made sure I worked other parts of my body. I warmed up and then did one leg romanian dead lifts, regular dead lifts, push-ups and a bunch of ab work. After that I did 2 miles on the elliptical. I went easy on the resistance because the sprints I did at Boot Camp made my knees a little cranky and I wanted to take it easy.

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Definitely less calories burned on my own when compared to the Warrior Room, but it was a nice, stress-free workout and I finished up with lots of stretching and foam rolling. Calories burned: 451.

Thursday

Another rest day. I was a little sore from Tuesday and Wednesday–mainly in my hips. That was slightly odd but not abnormal. Every once in awhile my hips get a little sore but it’s usually a good sore, not like an injury. I took a few walks with Bella this day to loosen things up.

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Some weeks Rest Days are difficult. I’m antsy and want to do something. Some weeks I am grateful for those two rest days I have each week! As the years go by, I’ve noticed myself slowing down a little bit and feeling much happier about two rest days a week. My body needs the repair. I’m slowly realizing that I need to EAT more on rest days, actually REST, and let my body do what it needs to do. This hasn’t always been the case, but injuries and over-training at times have taught me to listen to my body and REST when it needs it.

Friday

Swim! I love my swim nights. Sure, sometimes I just don’t feel like it because it’s a process. Drive to the pool, change into the swimming gear, swim, shower, sometimes it feels like a whole thing. But most of the time I look forward to this because swimming is a form of relaxation and meditation for me. It gives me time to think and sometimes not think. I like going on Friday nights because the pool isn’t too crowded and it’s a good transition from the work week into the weekend.

It’s also nice relaxing in the hot tub and sauna afterwards. That always makes my sore muscles feel good! As for the calorie burn, I have no idea. Every once in awhile I used to wear my heart rate monitor in the pool to gauge how my calorie burn is. I normally do not wear it while I swim. The number doesn’t really change much–average burn is 275-350 calories. Kind of low, I know, but the swimming is more for relaxation and to give my joints and body a break from high impact activities.

Saturday

No Boot Camp this day. I was not going to chance it with my knees. Instead I took the Kettlebell Conditioning class. It was a lot of jumping in this class. For example, one routine was this: 5 tuck jumps, 10 frog jumps, 15 floor jumps (i.e crouching down to touch the floor then jumping up with hands high), 20 squat jumps– two times then 12 push-ups. This was another killer. My thighs were ON FIRE. Seriously, on fire. Half way through the first round my legs felt like jelly. Whoever got done first in the class, went into plank position and the clock was stopped. We were timed and if we didn’t beat that time, Ashley made us run. BRUTAL. We ran a few times. LOL

Then we did some kettlebell work–various types of bicep curls, goblet squats, sumo squats, traditional kettlebell swings and two bell kettlebell swings. It was a super hard workout but I was glad I did it.

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527 calories burned. I took my sweaty self home to get cleaned up.

The Coming Weeks

As for biking…I’m kind of disappointed that there wasn’t much of it this summer. I’d hazard a guess that I biked to work maybe a dozen times the entire summer. I wish it had been more but time didn’t allow it. I was busy training for my 5k and then just got busy with other fitness.

The wedding is approaching. My fitness routine will be pretty normal the week leading up to the wedding. Pretty sure I’m going to take that day off, though. :) As for the honeymoon, I am not making any plans. I want to relax and just see what happens. We plan on doing a little hiking, I will definitely be swimming, and we hope to do some sea kayaking. But time will tell. I may end up doing nothing!

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Aug 112014
 

6 Years

When I think back to when I started my journey to lose 100 pounds, I don’t think I ever thought about the “After.” Not really. I think part of that was that I’d never really been skinny and part of it was that I doubted whether I’d ever reach the “After.” I had a goal in my mind and I naively thought that all my problems would thus be fixed when I was “skinny” and while they weren’t magically improved, there was a lot of improvement in my life. The biggest improvement, obviously, was my health. I was no longer pre-diabetic and I didn’t have high blood pressure. Mission accomplished. But when I was steadily truckin’ along, losing a pound here and a pound there, I couldn’t really see my future as a “skinny” person and now that I’ve kept the weight off for 6 years, I have a hard time picturing myself as I used to be. It’s strange how your reality and perception changes.

Over the years I’ve had ups and downs in my weight. I gained 15 pounds a few years ago and it took a really long time to lose that extra 15 pounds but I did it. Despite the occasional body image issues I still struggle with, my weight has been maintained in the same 4-6 pound range. Sometimes it’s more of a struggle to keep myself in that range. I am no longer naive about weight loss and I KNOW it takes hard work and honesty.

Honesty is the hard part. When you’re obese you’re not honest with yourself, or others, not really. When I was obese I would sneak food,  I’d eat in private, I’d make excuses as to why I wasn’t losing weight, I’d make excuses to other poeple– “No really, I don’t eat that much…I don’t know why I can’t lose weight…”  (Read these posts: Why Can’t I Lose Weight?An Excuse to Eat, and Overcoming Exercise Obstacles.) Once I faced that I was lying about everything and that I hadn’t REALLY tried to lose weight, I had renewed desire to really succeed this time.

I had to change the way I thought about food.

I had to change the way I thought about exercise.

I had to change the way I thought about MYSELF. No more excuses. 

Was it easy? Hell no! There were so so so many plateaus. There were set-backs. There were some very frustrating times where I felt like I was being punished because I couldn’t eat the same things everyone else was eating. Is it easier now that the weight is gone? Nope. It’s still hard. I still have to make an effort. I can’t just let things slide. I will probably always have to count my calories or do some sort of food tracking. I don’t think as a reformed binge-eater I can just stop doing what worked to lose the weight and keep it off and not expect to gain it back. So the hard work continues.

before

Don’t take that as a negative. Sure I’d love to not be AWARE of how many calories are in foods and wouldn’t it be nice to just sit down and binge eat a carton of ice cream? Or half a pizza (or, ahem, a whole pizza) like the old days? But I can’t unlearn that knowledge and I know how my body feels when I eat junk and when I eat good, healthy foods. I dislike that feeling of overeating now and when I go too long without eating fruits and vegetables I feel ill. Most of the time my healthy choices are second nature and I don’t give them any thought. On those times when it does feel like my willpower isn’t as strong as I’d like, I try to cut myself some slack. It’s ok to take a break sometimes.

It’s my 6th year anniversary of reaching goal weight. I’m now at the “After.” It feels like a lifetime ago, but at the same time I still feel that same giddy joy when I remember that moment when I stepped on the scale and saw GOAL WEIGHT. That feeling is still there and it helps keep me motivate to keep trying when things get rough.

Check out previous year’s anniversary posts here:

My 100 Pound Anniversary

100 Pound Anniversary – 3 Years

100 Pound Anniversary – 4 Years

Another Year Gone By – 5 Years

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Things are changing in my life. Priorities are shifting, goals are changing, but the fact remains: I love my fit life and I will always make myself and my health a priority. It has to be that way. If I’m healthy, my family is healthy. In a little over a month I will be marrying the love of my life. I expect we’ll start discussing family planning in the next year or two and that will most definitely effect my weight loss/maintenance journey. My sincere hope is that I can maintain a healthy weight for the rest of my life and hopefully pass on my love of healthy living to my future children.

For now, I keep truckin’ along. Another day, another week, another year goes by and I can happily say “I’m at goal weight.” That’s enough for me. Skinny isn’t necessary. I’d rather be healthy and fit.

Thanks for reading all these years!

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