Week 7 Results: BOOM! Milestone

I stayed on target all week, no slips or eating off-plan, as I expect of myself. I had 55 servings of fruits/veggies. I had 41 meal replacements. I burned 3,454 calories in physical activity. I averaged a net caloric intake of ~1157 calories per day. These numbers are very similar to last week’s numbers (intentionally – I had a great result last week, why mess with success?).

Result: I was down 1.5 pounds at weigh-in last night.

When I started this push, my initial goal was to lose 10 pounds. Mission accomplished! I’m now officially down 10.8 pounds from when I started in March. YES! This stuff still works (with some experimentation and modification due to my aging infrastructure. Er, body). Feeling pretty good about things today. My next goal is my stretch goal – lose another 10 pounds then maintain that weight for the rest of forever. I have no timeline since I know I’ll be at this the rest of my life. What I mean is, I don’t care how long the next 10 takes me. I’ll get there eventually, the important thing is that I continue to focus on my goal and do the right things to support it and it will happen in due time through the natural course of events.

There’s one thing that still concerns me though, which I was reminded of this morning – why do the people in the Jillian Michaels workout DVDs not sweat? I’m usually melted into a puddle by the end, but everybody in those DVDs is fresh as a flower from start to finish. How does that happen? I wonder if that’s part of the casting processĀ  – you have to come in and workout hard for 30 minutes, and if you break a sweat you’re out. Brutal. I’d be out after about 9 minutes. Which is exactly how long it takes for sweat to start dripping down my face when I exercise. Yes, I even have data on that. NERD ALERT.

Ok, I gotta get dressed in grown-up clothes and head into the office today for a meeting. My employer demands to see my face about once every month or so, and so I comply.

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Kettlebells burn WHAT??

We’re suffering through a scorching heat wave here in Northern California – it was 106 degrees F at my house yesterday, fortunately today is predicted to be cooler – about 100! In addition, the hot winds are driving smoke from the Lake County fires into the Bay Area, so the air quality is abysmal. I ran Saturday morning before I knew better (also strong lungs are one of my superpowers), but seeing how brown the sky has become I won’t do that again until we get some cooling breezes to clear out the smoke.

So this morning it was indoors exercise for me. I dusted off the Level 2 workout on Jillian Michaels Kettlebell DVD and gave it all I had. Then I went online to try to figure out how many calories that burned, since MyFitnessPal acts like it doesn’t know what kettlebells are (sheesh! I’m only 8 years behind the trend – how far are they??).

According to several articles and a calculator I found, kettlebell workouts burn up to 20 calories per minute. If you’re accustomed at all to tracking calories and exercise burn rates, that’s hard to believe. I mean, I know I was working hard but 20 calories per minute is an INSANE number. That’s like cross-country skiing level of effort. Actually, according to that calculator, that’s even higher than cross-country skiing (generally the gold standard of full-body, high-calorie-burning workouts). I have to admit to being a little skeptical. According to everything I’m seeing, I just burned 500 calories in 25 minutes.

I couldn’t embrace that, it really seems too high, so I dropped a bit off and put 450 into MyFitnessPal, but I’m still suspicious of that number. It seems too good to be true. Anybody else have any experience with kettlebells and their burn rate?

Ripped in 30(ish)

Today I finished the Jillian Michaels “Ripped in 30” DVD. I did it at least 5 days a week for a month (with a few days out for camping, but I made up the days when I got back).

Am I ripped? Yeah. I have muscles in places I’ve never had them before. I can see shoulders, arms, legs, and abs muscles I’ve either never seen before, or it’s been so long I’ve forgotten seeing them. Of course, I’d been working out since February on this sort of program, so it’s not like I started from couch potato.

Of course, you have to really look to see them (and know to look) because my fat percentage hasn’t dropped, and my excess skin issue is still present due to having weighed and then losing 200 pounds. That’s a lot of skin and my arms and legs will NEVER be musclebound enough to fill up the skin there. Regardless, I feel stronger and more confident in my body. That is success in my book.

I’m…not sure what to do next. Anybody have another DVD series recommendation? My current routine where I get up and do them first thing in the morning is really working for me – I feel better and more energetic each day I do them, which is a motivator and has helped me not skip, almost ever. If I’m physically capable of doing my workout, I do it because I know I’ll feel even better.

So what workout do you swear by? Where should I look next? I’m mostly looking for something I can do at home before work, so not too long either! I can do 30-40 minutes, but 60 or above is not feasible. Hit me!

Back from Holiday, and Body Image Thoughts

I went medieval camping last week for the July 4th holiday. I didn’t, obviously, do my workouts while I was camping, but I did a lot of walking and I think that’s pretty good exercise too. I’ve been back at my DVDs since Monday.

I still think the kettlebell workouts aren’t quite as intense as the regular ones, but I did one this morning for a change of pace. In general, feline assistance is even moreso not required during the swinging of kettlebells (or in my case, a handweight). I have to be careful because they always come sniffing around trying to help and see what I’m doing when I’m working out. It’s cute but with kettlebells it can be dangerous. Nobody’s gotten hurt, but only due to my constant vigilance.

I’ve really bulked up my shoulders and arms over the last 6 months that I’ve been working out regularly with the DVDs. To the point where some of my jackets and sleeves are a bit snug, but at least now I know it’s all muscle. Unfortunately, due to my particular weight loss path my arms are never going to look “ripped” because there’s too much skin there. They will always look a bit ripply, like cellulite, no matter how much I build those muscles. I’m trying to get to a place where I take pride in the path and don’t wince when I see pictures of my enormous flabby-looking arms which I know are, underneath the excess skin, quite muscular. I may also try to come to the same feeling on my legs, but those are a lot easier to hide. *sigh*

I’m pleased with my muscular development, but I know that if I want to really slim down I’m going to have to starve myself. So I won’t be doing that. I’m strong and solid and a little soft around the edges. That’s pretty good in my book.

I Am Prime

It’s my birfday! Today I turn a prime number! In celebration of still being alive and healthy, I did my workout this morning and every time my body tried the old, “Come on, it’s my birthday, I’ll just take it a little easy” trick, I pushed a little harder. If the beads of sweat rolling off my body in waves during the cooldown are any indication, Mission Accomplished!

And today I’m off to a reenactment event with costumes, a little birthday party for me, and lots of friends and fun. Tonight to celebrate I’m planning to have some champagne and a cupcake with edible glitter on the frosting (sparkly!). I’m old enough now to know that anything else wouldn’t feel good anyway.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Focus, Focus

This week I’ve started the Ripped in 30 DVD over again at Week 1. However, because I understand that if you do the same thing for exercise over and over your body will adapt and stop improving, I upped my hand weights from 5 pounds each to 10 pounds each on most of the moves. There are some moves where I have to switch to the 5 pounders (rows, front arm lifts – those are small shoulder muscles), but everything else I’m using 10 pounds in each hand.

I’m doing knees-down pushups, and modifying the side-plank hip lifts with the bottom leg bent and on the floor, but I’m still building muscle nonetheless, if my soreness this morning from yesterday is any indication.

I’ve decided I’ll spend the next 4 weeks doing this DVD again with higher weights and see where I go from there. I still enjoy the other workout DVDs I have, but I’m using them as a palate-cleanser lately – when I get bored with this workout I’ll pop one of those in to switch it up a little. Overall I think these Jillian 3-2-1 program DVDs are the best way for me to pack a full-body workout into a quick 20-30 minute session. That’s a workout that I can find time for every day, and still feel my whole body has been worked over by the end.

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Glamming it up!

I plan to do this kind of workout 4 to 5 mornings per week. This week I’ve done two already and it’s only Tuesday! The best motivator is getting results, and I’m definitely seeing them. My arms, chest, shoulders, legs – let’s just say everywhere. I’m seeing better muscle mass and definition all over.

I’ve also recommitted to tracking my intake on MyFitnessPal. I tend to fall on and off that wagon. Sometimes my food intake is so repetitive and predictable that it’s not really worth noting. Other times I want to get a window into what’s really going on if I’ve let things get a bit lax. I’m putting my workouts in as “Circuit training,” I’m not really sure how else to categorize them.

This weekend my husband and I had a glam evening out with some friends. I was very happy to find that I can still wear my fanciest evening gown – I hadn’t put it on for about a year and a half so I was worried a little! I definitely credit my regular workouts and food tracking to keeping everything in check! It may be boring, it may be repetitive, but it’s effective and it beats the alternative.

Mostly Cardio Involving Abs

Friday and today I did a new DVD, yes, it’s another Jillian one, her Six Week Six Pack. Normally I don’t gravitate towards workouts that are targeted to a single body part, such as Buns of Steel or Insane Abs or whatever other flavor-of-the-week workout is going. I fall squarely into the “abs are made in the kitchen not the gym” camp – if I want kickass abs I need to burn away the fat around my abs before I worry about bulking them up.

But, I know that this trainer feels the same way so I gave it a shot, figuring it would be a hardcore cardio workout that just happened to have a few more ab moves than normal. I was correct. Friday when I did it the first time I was left with just the right level of soreness in my arms, chest, shoulders, abs and obliques. Even though there were a couple of moves I either flat out couldn’t do (room to improve!) or did pathetically (I’m looking at you, side planks), I was sweating a river. You know it’s a serious workout when you’re looking forward to the plank-jacks as a rest period. (Looking back, plank-jacks were something that damn near killed me in February when I first encountered them in one of her workouts – that’s some very clear improvement).