So the comments I got on my last blog have inspired this one...
This is where I am going to go all Ann Landers and Dear Abby on you and give advice.
Not that I am an expert...because I am not...but I think a lot of people don't want to always ask an expert about something but would rather ask a friend...
"How did you get started on your diet?"
"What do you eat? How much do you eat?"
"What do you think has been a bigger factor---diet or exercise?"
"what do you do at the gym"
"where did you find that adorable dress?"
"what is your favorite Fit Food?"
"Mrs. D, where is my costume?" (whoops...that just slipped in...hear it all the time)
all of those questions, and more, will be answered in this episode of "As the Shrinking Violet Blog Turns Young and Restless and Bold and Beautiful" (I am a CBS soap fan).
You need experts for things like the following questions:
"how do you do a Venetian plaster effect on a wall?"
"how do you find "x" when y=mx+B?" (some of you can do that...I can't remember how)
"how do you sou vide something?" (I watch Top Chef so I know what it means, but not how to do it)
"if the other team runs a shotgun offense, what defense do we run?"
I am an expert in NOTHING.
But here are my qualifications to give advice on this weight loss stuff:
I have gained and lost enough weight to have made several clone versions of myself
I have tried every fad diet and even phen-fen
I hate going to the gym as much as any of you
I have a closet full of clothes that I want to wear and a closet full of clothes I never want to wear again
I am a prima ballerina, in my bathroom, when no one is looking...
OK, I threw in the last one for fun...but I do dance in my bathroom when no one is looking...
Last time I told you about "the incident"...the one on the stairs where I think Precious and Adorable History teacher thought he might have to go find the school nurse to save me. That is what got me going on this journey.
So that sparked it...but how did I start...
First, you have to be ready to start. After the incident on the stairs, I knew I WAS ready to start...to start losing, to start to get in shape, to start wearing cute things again, to start going up stairs without needing an oxygen tank.
For me the gym was THE MOST INTIMIDATING PLACE IN THE WORLD. So I started with my diet. Basically if it was fried, had sugar, had cheese, had a lot of butter, or had bacon in it, I had to NOT eat it...basically it felt to me like "if it tastes good, spit it out".
I did not quit wine. A girl has to have something to look forward to and I regularly look forward to shiraz, gigondas, merlot, chardonnay, savignon blanc, pinot grigio, pinot noir, malbec, granache, etc. etc. etc.
Then I discovered My Fit Foods. Well, that was a "no-brainer"...fresh food that was portion controlled and tasted good. Sign me up! I have lived on Fit Food breakfasts since March (breakfast tacos...that is what I like) and eat Fit Food for lunch at least 4 meals a week. Right now my current addiction is the "Give me more chicken salad"...I literally crave it.
Fit Foods encouraged me to eat 3 healthy meals a day with 2 snacks...so that is what I do. For snacks I eat:
Fage Yogurt (any flavor)
Oatmega Bars (any flavor)
Fit Food black beans
Fit Food ginger chicken
Special K crackers
Fat Free Feta
lowfat cottage cheese
cilantro shrimp from Costco
Skinny Cow Dulce de Leche ice cream (sooooooo good)
I drink a lot of water. Sometimes I add Crystal Light.
I drink a "liver cleanse" every morning. It tastes sooo bitter but I swear it works. Most of the fat you eat is processed through the liver. This liver cleanse combination is the way I start my day...every day...and I really think it makes a difference.
Combine the following in a glass...I use a wine glass for irony...
4 ounces pure unsweetened cranberry juice (Knudson's...see note below)
juice of 1/2 of a lemon
1 tablespoon unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/2 ounce liquid B12 (optional)
1 ounce liquid glucosomine (optional)
you can dilute it with up to 8 ounces of water...but I drink it straight.
You can get the juice at Fit Foods or Whole Foods or a health food store. You want the real, pure stuff...not Ocean Spray!
I started doing this juice cleanse after I had my divirticulitis episode and had to take massive dossages of antibiotics.
Once I got the diet going I hit the gym.
Let me tell you, the first day I walked in and faced the elliptical machine I was afraid the EMS was going to have to come. I didn't start working out until I had lost about 10 pounds (which was not much considering how much I have/had to lose).
I climbed on the Precor elliptical and...
I did an hour...
And the EMS did not have to come!
I know that an hour seems excessive but I have a little OCD in me that makes me sort of crazy-commit to things when I decide I have to do something.
I forced myself to go back the next day and the next day and the next day...and so on...
I didn't take a break for almost a month.
Excessive, I know...
I even had a few days where I did more than an hour of cardio. The first time I did an hour and a half I threw up.
After a while I added spinning to the mix.
Spinning is my favorite form of cardio. I would spin every day if there was a class I could take. I schedule meetings around my spin classes. I actually cancelled an entire year's worth of scheduled committee meetings and rescheduled them to another day because the club gave J'taime Jamie (finally gave her a name) a spin class.
I. am. obsessed.
If you have never given spin a try, and you can find a class...DO IT! It is so fun. Don't be scared...you are in control. You are in charge of how much tension is on your bike. And if you don't want to be "up", stay in the saddle. A good instructor will not be bothered if you modify.
And don't use bad knees as an excuse...I have had 2 meniscus surgeries...
But an instructor can make or break a class for you. A good instructor will keep the pace balanced and play good music. If you watch a class and see that they are out of the saddle and going crazy on the bike the whole time, find a different class and instructor.
Sometimes I give myself a spin class on Sundays when the club doesn't have any group exercise classes. I just pull a bike into a room and hit a playlist on my iPod and go. I use the same playlist for the arc trainer and elliptical.
Here is some of my playlist...it is a funky combination...
"Tell Em"---Sleigh Bells
"ghost inside"---Broken Bells
"Waiting for You"---Seal
"King of Anything"---Sara Barielles
"Where You Goin Now?"---Damn Yankees
"A Dios Le Pido"---Juanes
"Help I'm Alive"---Metric
"Sooner or Later"---English Beat
"I'm Still Standing"---Elton John
"Every Little Thing She Does is Magic"---Sting (from his Symphonicities albumn)
Strange mix, but it works...sometimes I throw in a Glee mix, sometimes I add in things like Nine Inch Nails...depends on my mood...
Find some music to get you moving...that's all you need...get moving!
I started doing weight training about 2 months after "the stairs" incident. I started working with a trainer and once I got comfortable with what she wanted me to do I felt I could do it on my own. But I have to confess, I don't like it very much and I do better if I have Fitness Goddess standing over me yelling. I told Coach Dimples today that I might start working out with him but only after football season is over---I don't want to be yelling at the man who is in charge of my son on the football field. I need to love him right now and I know I won't love him when me makes me do squats, lunges, and push-ups. But the reason I am considering him is that I think he can take me to another level and I can seperate that training time with him from what I do at my club. He doesn't work at my club but has his own business so I can have him punish me away from my friends. But right now I just want him to keep coaching my son and thinking I'm a nice, helpful mommy who takes lots of great football pictures. Like I said, I can hate him later...but not his dimples...can't hate those dimples...
Since I am not very disciplined with the weights I decided to try Body Pump. Body Pump is available at a lot of clubs so if your club offers Les Mills classes (Body Pump is a Les Mills class), give it a try. It is a weights workout to music. It is fun and it gives you a total body workout in a little over an hour and I like having music to keep me going. I am now addicted to Body Pump. I often do a cardio workout in the morning and then go back to the club in the evening for Body Pump.
Yes, I do two-a-days...
I told Coach Dimples I did that...his response was "wow, you do that every day?" (He started backing away from me like I was crazy)...I said "no, just 3 days a week"...and that is when he asked me what I did in the class and when I told him and asked if it was good, I got the dimples (a smile)...and then he told me to be sure I always took a day off in between my weight workouts (I do) to let my body recover...
So there you have it...my diet and exercise plan that has let me lose 74 pounds since March.
What is the most important component? I think they are ALL important.
Just dieting helped start me off but it was the exercise that made it start to melt away. My husband walks every morning but doesn't watch his diet (and he should...he is very overweight too) but he hasn't lost any weight...why?...because he will walk and then eat a plate of enchiladas.
That works when you are at your goal weight...
but not when you need to lose 100 pounds...or even 10 pounds...
And the weight training is helping to sculpt me as well as helping to burn additional calories and fat.
So maybe you don't need to lose anything...but maybe you just want to do something different...or maybe you want to just feel better and tone up...or maybe, you want to lose the weight of a 5th grade child that you are carrying around on your body...or maybe you want to get your legs in shape for ski season...
or maybe you want to learn a new skill? or maybe try a class? or maybe go back to school? or maybe go back to work?
it can be anything...anything to improve your life...change your life...
are you ready to start?
All it takes is deciding to do it...
that's all...just say "yes, I am ready' and go...
no excuses...just do it...
"Ready to Start" by Arcade Fire...on my playlist...gets me warmed up every day...