30 Day Shred – Day 4

I woke up this morning, swung my legs over the side of the bed and stood up. Amazingly, my legs didn’t feel like they were going to give out beneath me. Must be time to move on up to level 2!

So, here are my thought on the second level of Jillian’s program. Ugh. Double Ugh. Can I go back to level 1 and doing 100 jumping jacks now?

A couple of the squat moves were absolutely killer, but the cardio in this one is what really got me. Level one was jumping jacks, butt kicks, jump rope and something else (can’t remember right now…all my blood is trying to rebuild my torn up muscles…there’s none left for my brain). The second level included high kicks, double jump rope, skis (jumping side to side leading with one leg, other one behind you) and twisting jumps. During the final circuit I literally could not breathe. At during one lunge move, Jillian said “halfway there” and I wanted to cry. But I didn’t. Nor did I quit. I made it thru. But just barely.

Level 2 differs from the first level in one major way. Instead of doing squats and lunges where you get a break (up, down, up, down) – the lunges and squats in the second level are static. You get into the position and stay there. So, you’re in a squat for a full minute or two instead of it being a couple of seconds down, then a rest as you come back up before the next move. And, since Jillian does small muscles at the same time as big muscles – you’re doing a static lunge with shoulder presses, or raises the entire time. So, in addition to your thighs being on fire, you want to chop your arms off at the shoulders to stop the pain there too. I didn’t like the abs workout as much in this level – and actually did a few sets of the moves from level 1 at the end of the workout today just for good measure.

Bottom line, it was awesome. I feel great completing it, and love the abbreviated workout time. I feel like I’m working harder and better in 20 (really about 25) minutes than I used to in an hour at the gym.

30 Day Shred – Day 3

Here was my final thought before beginning my warm-up today “Oh goodness. How am I supposed to do a whole workout when it hurts just to walk? Ugh!”.

I stuck with the Level 1 workout again today. I’m getting very close to being able to do “boy push ups” thru both sets of push ups (1 minute sets…about 30 each set). And the ab work still hurts like crazy. I must just have really outta shape muscles in my midsection. Sheesh! I think I’ll do one more day at the first level and then bump it up to level 2.

Interesting thing about today’s session. It was a gorgeous fall day in Seattle. The sun was shining brightly as I drew the shades in my kid’s playroom to do my workout. The upstairs room + afternoon sun + drawn curtains + closed-door (nap time for the munchkins) made the room like a sauna within minutes. Holy smokes. I’ve intentionally never done hot yoga, because I despise being too warm. Today, I felt like I was doing “Hot 30 Day Shred”. Yuck. Good sweat though.

The shred is already helping me eat better. I’ve had breakfast the past three days. Which is something I always do when paying attention to my food, and somehow always forget when I’m getting off track.  So far, so good.

30 Day Shred – Day 2

I’ve done many different workouts. I’ve trained for a half-marathon (didn’t actually get to the race, but that’s another story). I have spent countless hours at the gym doing various forms of cardio, weights, Zumba, Yoga, swimming – pretty much anything available.  My weight loss has been steady for the past few years. At one point, I’d lost a total of 70 pounds. However, since the Cabbage Soup Diet – I have been completely off track. My weight has started creeping back on. Right now, I’ve put back on 20 of the pounds I worked so hard to lose. I haven’t been to the gym regularly in about a month. And I’ve completely stopped caring what I shove down my throat for fuel. So, two days ago I decided to try something a little crazy. I decided to do Jillian’s 30 Day Shred.

[Read more…]

Weighty Matters

One week ago I was a mere 6 pounds away from my goal weight. A goal I have been steadily working towards for two years. Actually, I guess it’s only been 15 months since I threw it all out the window the 9 months I was pregnant with my second child. I have spent as  much time as possible in muscle torturing, make Jillian Michaels proud, sweat inducing workouts. I have counted calories, weighed food and kept a journal of all that I put in my mouth. I tried many different “diet” things to lose weight. I drank half my weight (in ounces) of water daily. Which made me really have to pee a lot, but not much else. I ate plain chicken breasts for dinner. I even tried eating Lean Cuisines. Yuck. Finally I found something that worked well. I made food completely boring, meaning I spent about 6 months eating exactly the same thing pretty much every day for breakfast and lunch. Which gave me the freedom to eat just about whatever I wanted for dinner and still be within my allotted calories for the day.

I am 5 foot 3 and when I began this journey in January of 2008, I weighed 204 pounds. That weight was BEFORE I’d tacked on another thirty with my first pregnancy. After my daughter was born, I went right back to my “pre-pregnancy weight” which I thought was incredible, but in hindsight was just an excuse not to do anything about how heavy I’d become. [Read more…]

The Mean Old Man and the Cool Old Lady

For almost a year my YMCA has been remodeling. In just a few short weeks it will be complete and I’ll have a gorgeous  pool, (eww) hot tub, larger fitness/weight room with treadmills that have TVs attached, more spacious yoga room, additional parking stalls and revamped child watch area. I’m looking forward with great anticipation to the completion of this project because, well, it’s been a major pain in the butt.

First, they fenced off half the already too small parking lot for all the construction equipment. It didn’t bother me too much because I’m going to the gym…is it really a big deal if I have to walk a few extra steps to get inside? Eventually however, the Y’s push for new members caught up with the limited number of parking spots. For several months now I time going to the gym until after 10 o’clock because any earlier I have to park down the street, on the street. I hate getting my kids out with cars whizzing by me. [Read more…]

“Nope, they’re still broken…”

Back in September, I decided to become a runner. I’ve always watched the skinny girls at the Y running on the treadmill and wanted to join them, but never had the guts. Mostly, I was sure I would be “that person” who biffed it big time while attempting to pick up speed. I had horrible visions of myself flying thru the air after bouncing off the moving belt. Ultimately however, I decided that the plateau I’d reached in my weight loss wasn’t going to budge unless I got on the machine and attempted running. Not walking fast, not climbing up with the ramp hiked up at an obscene angle – actual running.

So, I began. But, being the person I am, I couldn’t just try to run. No, I had to set a goal. What did I choose? A half marathon. Simple enough right? But, to add additional motivation – I actually signed up for one…scheduled at the end of November. I thought surely 12 weeks was plenty of time to transition from 60 minutes of cardio daily to running 13 miles in one shot. No problem. [Read more…]

Child’s pose

I’ve recently started doing yoga at my YMCA. I don’t claim to be good at it. I’m not even sure I’m doing half the poses correctly. Most of the time I feel like the most uncoordinated person in the room. However, it makes me feel very relaxed despite the fact that I’m dripping sweat the entire hour session. That alone makes it worth the awkwardness and fear of falling over. So, in I troop, three times a week. I haven’t even purchased my own mat yet because I’m still trying to figure out if this is going to permanently be a good workout, or if it only is right now because I’m stretching my body in ways I don’t think it was designed to move – and most certainly is not accustomed to.

I really needed the relaxation of breathing deeply for an hour while trying to stay upright balancing on one bent leg today. My dad was in the hospital on Friday with a blockage in his artery – and is heading into surgery tomorrow to remove the block and have some stents put in. I’m pretty stressed about it and figured yoga would help me (at least for a little while) try and push the fear of losing my Daddy out of my head.

Usually I get to class a few minutes early, lest I get stuck front and center or directly behind the 7 foot tall dude who frequently comes to class. Today, I was practicing my breathing waiting for class to start, and in came trouble. A woman – with her 2 year old son. She looked frazzled. Like she absolutely needed a break from the kid because he was driving her up the wall. I wondered why on earth she hadn’t left him in childcare – and then realized maybe she wasn’t actually coming to class, was only checking out the Y. Silly optimistic me. She was indeed coming to class and proceeded to get herself a mat…and one for the rugrat. Now, as a mother, I love that my Y offers “Mommy and me” yoga classes. I fully intend to take Madison with me to a couple once she turns three.  So, my next thought was that this lady thought she’d arrived at one of the kids-included classes and had no idea she was about to completely disrupt an entire room of people. [Read more…]

A steaming serving of guilt

Today I will be returning to visit Jim. Jim is not a friend. He is not a member of my family. In fact, he doesn’t really exist.

Jim is what I call my YMCA. Actually, it’s more than that. Jim is who my YMCA is to me. I created the concept of “Jim” shortly after my son was born in December – I had the desire was to lose the baby weight, but zero desire to workout. I tried to rethink how I was viewing exercise. It dawned on me that I thought of it (as most of us do) as something I was supposed to do, not something I actually wanted to do. So, I put the following picture in my head.

Do you remember when you first met your spouse? Some of you have to think back many many years for this, but stay with me.  Think about the first few months of your relationship. How many times did you drive somewhere just to be with them for a few minutes between jobs, or school? When you were away from that person – what were you thinking of? [Read more…]

Don’t cry over no parking

My YMCA is in the midst of a remodel. Two weeks ago, they blocked off a third of the parking stalls and set up a couple modular buildings to serve as the construction headquarters. I’m very excited for the project to be finished. Partly because of the fabulous new pool and weight room, but more because I want my freakin’ parking lot back.

Last week, I arrived at the Y around my normal time to find that every single parking spot was filled. Well, all except the one right next to the massive truck who’s owner parked directly on the line – ensuring nobody would be able to park beside him. There were several cars already parked along the road so I had little hope that a spot would come available shortly. Still, I circled the parking lot several times and only after deciding that (since a class had JUST started) the likelihood of someone pulling out was about nil, headed home. I’d only been out of the lot about 30 seconds when Madison (my 2 year old) started sobbing in the backseat. “I want to go to the GYM” she pleaded, big tears rolling down her cheeks. She would not be consoled. Apparently it doesn’t matter to her that I have to lug her brother-in-car-seat with one hand, while death gripping (to keep her from being run over) her little fingers, and attempting to keep my gym bag from falling into the street to and from wherever we park. And that parking on the road and trekking in and out was NOT something I wanted to do. Nope. She didn’t care. It became quite obvious that I was going to have to turn around and go back. So I did. We parked on the road. I trudged thru the rain into the Y and worked out. And Madison was happy. [Read more…]

One pound away

All this week I’ve been fighting with one pound. As of this morning, the pound has won.

For the past 8 weeks I’ve been working out around 2 hours a day, 5 days a week attempting to lose the 40 pounds I gained while pregnant – and 25 I had remaining when my son was 6 weeks old. On Monday, I was one pound away. How exciting! Just one pound! I’ve been losing about 3 pounds a week, so I thought for sure that last stubborn pound would be gone within a few days. [Read more…]

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