Weight loss journey

I’ve posted before about my weight loss journey but haven’t updated in quite a while. I was motivated by a friend to post a very honest update here to help keep myself accountable.

You can read the backstory here. I joined SoldierFit in August of 2013, determined to do something about my weight and overall unhealthy lifestyle. I’ve had varying degrees of success since then. Physically, I’m definitely stronger and in better shape than I’ve ever been. I have muscles that I can actually SEE in my arms. But, I haven’t been consistent. I seem to go through ups and downs with my motivation. I will hit the gym regularly for a couple week, then something comes up that keeps me home for a few days and bam, I lose my motivation. Then it takes me a few weeks to get back. When I’m working out, I feel great. Except for all my body aches and pains, like shin splints, sciatica and lower back pain just to name a few.

The real problem is my diet. They say weight loss is 80% diet, 20% exercise (or something like that) and I definitely believe it. I thought if I was working out I would be able to keep eating basically the same and still lose weight. Boy, was I wrong. I started SoldierFit August at 182 lbs. I did drop a couple pounds but my weight pretty much was sitting at 178 after that. In April I weighed in at the doctor at 177. Somehow, I did manage to lose a few more pounds, I still haven’t quite figured that one out so in May I started the month out at 174.

That’s when I signed up for the 21 day fix through Beachbody. The 21 day fix is not a typical diet/weight loss hoax full of pills and cutting out all of one type of food. The program encourages “clean” eating and portion control. It has helped me tremendously with figuring out the correct balance of foods I should be eating. I learned quickly that even when I thought I was making good food choices, I wasn’t. I was eating too many refined carbs and sugars, not enough proteins and veggies. With the 21 day fix I know exactly how many servings of each: veggies, fruits, proteins, grains, fruits, and healthy fats I should be eating each day. I also know exactly how large a portion of each I should be eating (hint, the grains portion is smaller and the veggies portion is larger than what I was eating before!)  I do also drink a protein shake, although that is not required to follow the plan. The  program also comes with workout DVDs and a schedule to follow, there are no days off.

I officially started on May 7 and weighed in at 172.5. After week one I was down to 169, a loss of 3.5lbs. Also the lowest weight I have been in over 2 years! Week one I worked out all 7 days. I went to SoldierFit 4 days and followed the plan DVDs the other 3. I was so proud of myself! Week 2 went pretty well, I worked out6 out of 7 days. But the weekend kind of fell apart as far as eating went. I went to 2 birthday parties that weekend and I ate cake (a lot of cake) at each. When I weighed in Monday morning I was at 172. So, I gained 3 lbs back but was still at a net loss of .5lbs. Week 3 went pretty much the same, I did really well during the week, and worked out M-Th. Then the weekend came and I binged. I ate pizza (multiple times) and donuts, and drank beer. And I didn’t work out at all. It didn’t help that it was memorial day weekend so I had an extra day at home. I ended up weighing in at 173. So, overall I gained .5lbs. I did take body measurements at the beginning but haven’t taken them since. I wouldn’t be surprised if I did lose a small amount because of the added workouts.

I’ve discovered that I do really well as long as I have a schedule and a plan to follow, as well as a fridge stocked with all the stuff I need. Weekends are really tough because I am usually out and about, eating on the run, and not following my routine. I also can’t go to the gym on the weekends. I don’t mind the DVDs for working out but I really have a difficult time motivating myself to workout at home. Plus, my living room is really small and it feels awkward doing some of the moves in that small space.

Since my 3 week program officially ended, I’ve still be trying to follow the eating. I have been mostly following it but haven’t been actually writing out a schedule and tracking to make sure I get the right balance. I also have been on a super tight budget and have been trying to do the best I can with what I have in the fridge. I also drank beer and ate pizza again both weekends. I haven’t been to the gym. Last week I was having really bad back pain and wanted to take some time off, I was worried that I may have overdone it during the 3 weeks of such intense workouts. This week I hoped to get back at least a couple times but it’s not looking like that’s going to happen. A million and one things have come up, Boo Boo has an appointment this afternoon for an evaluation (part of his IEP process,) he starts a new soccer team on Wednesday, and I his 5th birthday party is this weekend (new posts coming soon about how he is turning 5 and I am total shock and can’t believe we are about to start getting ready for kindergarten.)

Yesterday morning I actually weighed in at 170.5! So, not too bad. But I need to kick my butt into gear. I wanted to be down to 160 by the end of June. I don’t know if I can make that now but I’m going to try for July 15. I’m going grocery shopping over the weekend and stocking up on everything I need to start round 2 of the 21 day fix next week (June 16.) If I follow the plan for 3 weeks (for real, no cheating, no beer, no pizza) I think 160 could be a reality by the end of my 3 weeks. Expect regular progress reports, I think forcing myself to write out my successes (and weaknesses) will help keep me accountable.

I will also be posting my “before” pictures, weight, and measurements for all the world to see 🙂

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SoldierFit Update

So, shin splints suck. They started about a week after I started working out and get worse by the week. I’m feeling very frustrated. For the first time in my life, I feel STRONG. I actually want to run, and have the stamina to do it. But my body is not cooperating!

I’ve been doing a lot of research and have found a lot of interesting information on what causes shin splints and how to heal them. Unfortunately, the consensus seems to be rest, which is not an option. If I take the weeks off it will require to heal my legs, the progress I’ve made will be for nothing. I am walking instead of jogging during warmups. And I’m going to talk to the trainers about alternatives to sprints during workouts if that’s on the agenda. No jumping, I’m modifying as much as possible.

I’ve tried KT tape…it helps until I start to sweat, then it just peels off. One of the trainers at SoldierFit suggested compression socks so I’m going to try those next. I will get through this, I am determined. I found an awesome video and blog that talks about the causes of shin splints, planter fasciitis, knee pain, lower back pain, and shoulder pain – all of which I’ve suffered from for years. I’m starting to incorporate his stretches and exercises into my routine and hopefully over time I will be able to correct my improperly aligned body. Check out this video if you suffer from any of those problems, it might change your life.

Other than my legs, I feel amazing. I feel strong. I haven’t lost any weight. Or inches. But I see a difference in my arms and my legs. What used to be flab is turning into muscle. My stomach isn’t any smaller, but it’s less jiggly. I cam do a pushup. More than one! that alone is amazing. So, I am not giving up. I (will be) SoldierFit!

I (will be) Soldier Fit!

Dealing with body issues is one of my least favorite things to talk about. I hate being stereotyped as one of “those” girls who talks constantly about dieting and needing to lose weight. But…the truth is, I do need to lose weight. 20 lbs would be a good start. 40 lbs would put my BMI back in the healthy range.

When I got pregnant with Boo Boo I weighed 130 lbs. I was the “ideal” weight for my height. I was somewhat careful with what I ate. I counted calories, I ate a lot of lean cuisine, etc. I didn’t work out. I HATED working out. I was lucky enough that if I noticed a few pounds creeping on I could just watch what I ate and cut back on calories and the weight would just fall off.  So, I was thin, I had a somewhat flat stomach-but I wasn’t in shape by any means. And then came pregnancy. Pregnancy was rough for me in several ways.

To start, I left Boo Boo’s father and moved home from Germany (moving in with my parents.) I was depressed. My doctor started me on zoloft which helped the depression, but it was still a very difficult time for me, emotionally. I was lonely, confused about what was happening with my relationship, nervous about becoming a mother. I was also unemployed. The bigger my belly got, the more my job prospects diminished. So I spent a lot of time laying around the house, watching TV. And eating. I craved milkshakes and I indulged in them regularly. Mmmm, french fries dipped in a Frosty…heaven. I started developed Carpal Tunnel, Sciatica and restless leg syndrome. I was uncomfortable and by the end, just in pain. So, with all of this going on, by the time I weighed in at the hospital I was 180 lbs.

20 lbs was gone by the time I left the hospital. Another 10 fell off over the next couple weeks, probably from breastfeeding. (Did you know breastfeeding burns tons of calories?) My breastfeeding journey is for a different post but I’ll just sum up here by saying it didn’t work out for us. After 2 weeks I switched to formula. It was a very difficult decision and one I still question, so please, no judgement. That 10 lbs slowly crept back on and for the next couple years I stayed pretty consistent at 160. I was not happy with my weight or my body by any means, but I lacked the motivation and will-power to really do anything about it. I briefly joined weight watchers but didn’t stick with it.

Then, about a year and half ago, I got really depressed. I gained weight. Then I hurt my back. I gained more weight. I upped my Zoloft dosage. I gained more weight. At my last weigh in I was 178 lbs. So, I’ve realized that it’s time to DO something about my body. I complain about it. It hurts my self-esteem. I have back pain and heel spurs and all kinds of other health issues that are directly related to my weight gain. And dieting is not really working for me. One because I suck at dieting, and two because my body has changed over time and things have shifted and skin has stretched.

I started searching for that magic cure. You know, the one that lets me lose weight without really having to go on a diet or workout. In case you were wondering, that doesn’t really exist. I did try the It Works wraps. I see pictures posted on facebook all the time of the “miracle” results. Maybe I just didn’t do it correctly, but it definitely did not work for me. I also tried their fat fighter pills that you take with your meals. No results. And  yes, I did also change my diet. I completely eliminated fast food, which I had been consuming way too much of. I almost completely eliminated sweets, baked goods, etc. I tried cutting out all artificial sweeteners. I even went cold turkey on my Coke Zero. Which, if you have ever met me, you know was an amazing feat. But, like so many addictions, it didn’t last. I’m back on the Coke Zero now. Despite these changes I really haven’t lost any weight. I was getting pretty discouraged. But, I still really, really want to lose this weight.

I’ve come to the realization that the weight is not going to come off without drastic changes. I am going to have to, gasp, work out.Did I mention I hate working out? Like, for real. I hate it. I have exercise induced asthma. I get hot flashes (side effect of the zoloft.) I’m super out of shape. Working out at home is not a good option for me because I’m lazy. I am. At least I know it and can admit it. I am not very self-motivated to do things I dislike, so I will usually quit 5 minutes in, if I even start. But, I don’t really like going to the gym either. I hate all the machines. I never know how to use them. And, because I’m still on my own, I tend to quit way too soon, before I’m actually doing any real work. I’ve done classes before. Aerobics is okay-except I’m super uncoordinated. I am always going the opposite direction from everyone else. I think Zumba sounds fun, but again with the coordination. I have done pilates in the past and really enjoy it but that is not going to burn off these pounds.

So, I am taking drastic measures. I just signed up for Soldier Fit this week. Soldier Fit is a boot camp style workout that is becoming extremely popular in my area. It is exactly what I need. A group setting, a hard-core workout, and lots of motivation. I went to my first class on Monday. I thought I was going to die. Like, for real. I had to leave the room twice because I thought I was going to puke. The first time I left, I was thinking, “I can do this. I’m not going to let them see me fail. I’m going to cool down and get back out there.” And I did. The second time I left, I was thinking, “I’m going to die. These people are insane. I’m never doing this again.” But I went back and watched the rest of the class and then joined back in for the cool down. And when it was over, I went and signed a year-long contract. I haven’t been back for my 2nd class yet because I can’t really walk yet. But I’m going back tomorrow. I’m going to try to take it a bit easier on myself so that I don’t need 4 days to recover this time. Because I really can’t walk yet.

It’s not going to happen overnight. But, I WILL lose this weight. And I WILL be SoldierFit.

536858_10150693051945989_1761464015_nIf you live in Maryland or Northern VA and want to check out Soldier Fit, let me know and I will get you a free pass for your first class!