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Archive for the ‘The Biggest Loser’ Category

I’m kind of having a bit of luck with getting back into the habit of blogging regularly, because I’ve been stuck at home for two days now.  Consequently, I have lots more time to write since I’m not, you know, working.  On the down side, however – I’VE BEEN STUCK AT HOME FOR TWO DAYS NOW!

Let me be clear:  I love being at home.  I’d love nothing more than  to be at home full time every day.  However, I do not like being stuck at home.  I’d like to be able to leave at will – but of course, if I could, then I’d be at work.  But it just keeps snowing and snowing, the roads are crap, and of course schools are closed.  So here I am.

It’s not so bad, really.  I’ve had time to do my WiiFit body test and yoga (of course, I was up at 5 a.m. again, so I had that out of the way before it was even time to get up, but still) and to read some blogs, and to do a little cleaning.  One problem I have re-discovered, though, is food.

When I’m at home all day, structure tends to go right out the window.  I suppose it’s because I’m out of my normal routine, so it feels like a free day, as though I don’t have to worry about what or when I eat.  Normally, that throws me way off schedule and off-plan, but I’m fighting really hard to stay on both today.  I’m just getting back into good habits and it’s critical that I not sabotage them now, especially as I am feeling really good about how I’ve been doing.  Also, my arbitrary six-month goal deadline helps me to feel a sense of urgency that keeps me a little more focused.  So I’m really trying hard – but I’d forgotten how difficult it is.  It doesn’t help that there’s more “bad food” in the house than usual right now, because E.D. is still recovering from wisdom-teeth removal and I stocked up on stuff she can and will eat.  Mostly, that equals crap, unfortunately.  So far I’m doing all right at leaving it all alone, but again, I’d forgotten how hard it was.

So I know that I’ll need to really plan carefully and be prepared for this, when I’m at home full-time.  I’ll need to be prepared for the difficulty and the temptation; be very mindful and aware that a change in routine does not cancel out the need for healthy habits.

Yesterday went really well, and I was extremely pleased.  I stayed on plan with food.  I did a treadmill workout during the Biggest Loser.  I stayed at low speed – 3.0 for most of it – and almost zero incline, and I only did 30 minutes.  It isn’t much, compared to what I used to do, but right now I’m trying to establish my limitations.  I didn’t have any joint pain at that level – I did have some back pain, but it was minor.  I was careful to stretch and took a hot bath afterward, both of which have been critical in the past for avoiding excessive soreness and inflammation.  And today I felt fine.  Now, the last time I had a real problem was at 3.5, with a little more incline, and I think I went for about 45 minutes.  So I’m going to work my way up and see where the cutoff is.  I did notice that at 3.0, I noticed some stiffness in my hip joints, so I suspect my upper limit for speed is going to be fairly close – at least, until I’m back on the medication.  I am also hoping that regular yoga is going to give me a better range of motion in my hips, so maybe I won’t have that problem.

It’s going to be a long process and I’ll probably be constantly making adjustments for the rest of my life.  But at least I’m working toward it.  I feel good about having done both the WiiFit yoga and the treadmill, and I feel great about my nutrition.  I did great with water as well, so all in all, it was pretty much a perfect gold star day.  I’m hoping today will be another; it’s gotten off to a good start.

One of my dilemmas has always been whether or not to get up early to exercise.  On the one hand, I need the exercise time and love starting off my day already having worked out.  On the other hand, I am so chronically sleep-deprived that I eventually end up doing more damage to my health through sleep loss than I make up through the exercise.  So my plan is this:  if I’m up anyway, as I was yesterday and today, then I’ll go down and work out.  If I’m not, then I don’t worry about it, I’ll do my evening workout as planned.  At the rate I’ve been going lately, that will mean I’m doing a morning workout at least two weekdays if not more, which is not a bad percentage, but I won’t lose any more sleep than I already am.

So that’s the plan, and so far, so good.  And now it’s time for lunch, which I need to carefully orchestrate.  Peace…out.

Oh, and as an afterthought – the Biggest Loser?  Not many thoughts on it; too early to really tell much about it.  Except that I was disgusted by the total lack of class in the opening sequence, particularly the part where they superimposed the words “Have you got the guts?” over a picture of one contestant’s belly.  I was actually offended, and that’s not that easy to do.  I’m not sure why; it just seemed crass, insensitive, sensationalist, and without any legitimate purpose.  I know a lot of people believe that pretty much sums up the show in general, but I do believe in what they’re doing.  I just wish they wouldn’t lapse into such idiocy at times while they’re doing it.  Oh, and I love the little Orange team mama from Ardmore, Oklahoma (been there, and have family there, BTW).  She’s a firecracker!   Can’t wait to watch her in action.  She and Jillian make a great team, I think.

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Happy Hump Day!  It’s going to be a beautiful day in this “neck of the woods”.  Very chilly right now but it’s sunny and supposed to be around 70 this afternoon.  My kind of day. 

I had another great day yesterday.  Not quite the barn-burner that Monday was, but very, very good.  Food was perfect and I did my circuit as well as a little over half an hour on the treadmill.  I had intended to go for another hour but ended up stopping in a panic because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep if I didn’t give myself time to wind down.  It’s probably good that I did stop because even so, I had a little trouble settling. 

I would have liked to have done the hour.  I would have liked to have run – I only ran one two-minute interval because my calves were extremely tight, I was really struggling, and it occurred to me that maybe there’s a reason that the Couch to 5K runs are not on consecutive days.  (They were valid reasons but today they feel like excuses.  So I’m a tiny bit bummed about that, despite having put in a very respectable workout.)  So I walked instead, but I walked at 3.7 and on a moderate-to-steep incline.  It was a great workout and I know I burned tons of calories – the circuit burns 500 according to Jillian’s site, and the treadmill half-hour averages about 200 – 250 depending on pace…I’m just falling victim to my old, “Yeah, but I could have done more,” mentality.  I need to work on that.  Enough is enough.  Oh yeah, and I did my Core Program on my lunch hour too.  I forgot about that.  It’s not very tough though so I don’t count it as exercise, just stretching.  I’m doing it again today but moving up to the Intermediate Core as it’s a tiny bit harder.

Anyway.  Definitely a gold star day…it just feels a little disappointing coming on the heels of what would have been a platinum star day if they made such things.  🙂

And this morning is one of those mornings when, despite all evidence to the contrary, I just feel fat and gross and bloated.  (Yeah, I’ll bet YOU can tell who’s coming to visit our house soon!)  My normal solution to that is to wear one of a few pair of pants that are low-rise and pretty loose and, therefore, make me feel thinner.  🙂  Hey, whatever works, right?  So I put one of them on – it’s a suit, actually – telling DH, “This is probably the last wearing for these,” because they were so loose.

I ended up having to change clothes.  I couldn’t stand pulling them up all the time, and knowing that if I had to run somewhere or even walk really fast, they were going to end up around my ankles.  So I’m wearing tighter pants that still make me feel thinner because they’re very slim-cut…and that suit is going to the “give away” pile.  Which is good, of course.  Even though my wardrobe is shrinking at an alarming pace!  I’m going to end up one of those frightfully efficient women who has a “capsule wardrobe” – four different items of clothing that get rotated and mixed and matched.  Gah.  Though I suspect DH would be thrilled as it would mean his clothes would have room to breathe in the closet.  (Bear in mind, please, that I parceled up nine bags of clothes to be given away this weekend.  Not all mine – but mostly.  Including fifty-eight tops.  Who even OWNS fifty-eight tops?  Besides me.  Well, not any more, but you get the picture.  Most were too big but a lot were things I just never wore, though I kept thinking I would someday.)

So despite waking up feeling like the Goodyear Blimp or the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, I guess I’m doing all right.  The pants I am actually wearing now aren’t nearly as tight as they had been, either.  So the bloating is clearly all in my head.  Yes, my friends, I am suffering from Head-Bloat.  Don’t you hate those days?

Otherwise everything’s really good though.  The excitement at the accumulating gold stars is beginning to wane, but it’s being replaced by something that I think is even better.  I have a new word for you, Bex – “Resolve”.  I’ve been going strong, on plan and exercising religiously for 16 days now.  They say it takes 12 to form a new habit, and I am beginning to believe they’re about right, though I may be a bit slower than most.  🙂  Because while my excitement is waning, I’m starting to feel that I honestly can’t imagine making a bad choice right now.  Oh, I know I will eventually – I know that absolutely, because nobody’s perfect, certainly not me!  – but it’s not a constant battle to keep from doing so.  It’s not something I have to remind myself not to do.  It’s second nature, and feels like it’s well on its way to becoming first nature.  That feels pretty good.

There are just so many reasons not to do stupid things.  First of all of course is my main motivator right now, my doctor’s appointment on Monday.  That’s primary and all I can think about at the moment.  I want a really great number…I want to be solidly in the 150s.  He will flip.  I’m very excited about that.  🙂

Second – and a very close second at that – is the Memorial Day Challenge.  I didn’t even realize how badly I needed a challenge to jump-start me, but I did and it’s made all the difference in the world.  My girls Bex and Rose are kicking butt and taking names, and inspiring the heck out of me in the process.  We’ve also been joined in the challenge by Chris – WVSooner – and his wife Carole Dawn, who are both posting some great results as well and will only keep getting better.  So it’s a big motivator for me to get to the goal – 10 pounds or one dress size down by Memorial Day.  I’m already (officially) two pounds down and the scale this week is indicating that Friday will provide another significant jump toward that goal.  With six more weeks to go, the sky really and truly is the limit, if I’m strong and consistent.  So strong and consistent I shall be!  🙂  (Anyone else want to join in?  It’s not too late!)

I am also going home in July for my mother’s birthday – home being Oklahoma, where I haven’t been in eight years.  I have seen some of my family since then, but not the majority.  Now, that sounds like a great opportunity for some “wow, you’ve lost weight!” compliments, but the truth is, most of them have never seen me at my heaviest.  Eight years ago was the last time I was under 180 – when Younger Daughter was just a few months old.  So I was a little heavier, but not at my worst.  So what I’m actually shooting for here is more of a lack of “Wow, you’ve gotten fat!” comments.  🙂  And, of course, to be able to wear a bathing suit to the pool while we’re there without perishing of embarrassment.

There’s the 5K that I’m doing the first weekend in May.  I’m definitely not running it, as much as I’d like to; I’m not going to be ready.  I’ll be a lot closer to ready than I am now, because I intend to keep running, but I won’t be all the way there.  But I keep thinking that if I’m five pounds lighter, it can only be easier, right?  🙂 Walking 3 and a half miles is nothing for me now – it used to be a chore; heck, when I started it was simply not possible.  Now, it’s a breeze.  But I know that if I don’t continue to kick butt with my exercise, it won’t be so easy and I really, really want to enjoy it.

And of course there are still all of my original reasons for wanting to lose weight and get healthy.  My husband, my kids, my health.  The problem with those reasons is that I’ve already lost enough to add years to my life and to be as active with my kids as I’d like to be.  The major health problems I had at the beginning are either gone or under control.  So even though that’s definitely a motivation to not put it back on, it’s not as big a motivation to keep losing.

So this Challenge is a Godsend.  I’m very grateful for it.  I also have no doubt that through it I am going to achieve one goal I’d sort of given up on – getting into that little turquoise two-piece that I really, really want to wear on the lake this summer.  🙂 

Reiterating my reasons for doing this – not just my goals, but my actual motivators – seems to help me focus sometimes.  So I’m curious:  what are your reasons? 

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SPOILER ALERT!!!  Biggest Loser Finale disclosure ahead…

A quick note about the Biggest Loser.  I’m really happy for Ali.  I’m thrilled that a woman has won, of course, but I think I’m happier that she did it without getting to an insane and unhealthily low weight.  I think she’s just about perfect right now.   Though I have heard some whispers about some unhealthy methods of getting there…but they’re whispers.  Who really knows what to believe?

I’m very proud of all of the contestants, really.  Some have had better results than others but then that’s really how life works, isn’t it?  And every one of them is a lot better off than they started.  I hope that they’ve all taken away something that will really help them to be stronger and healthier for the rest of their lives.  You never know, of course, whether they’ve really changed their lives or just made a temporary change, but that’s my hope for them, anyway. 

I did find it absolutely unsurprising that Paul was not there.  I know they said he was really ill, and that may be true.  I hope it’s not life-threatening, if so.  But most of me strongly suspects that he just decided to bow out, and was completely expecting that.  It’s sad, because he was one of the people who needed to make a major change to stay alive.  (That’s what they said, anyway.)  And maybe I’m wrong.  I’d like to think so.

Anyway.  I’m happy with the ending but for some reason found the whole show just really disappointing.  I can’t say why exactly but it just felt sort of flat.  Maybe because I was so disgusted with the last one and so convinced that the results were skewed. 

But I did think Brittany really did look “steamy hot”!  🙂  And Bernie just made me about the happiest person on the planet by winning the at-home prize.  I thought for sure Mark would take it but I loved Bernie to death, so I’m happy for him.

And that’s enough out of me.  Have a wonderful day, everybody.

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MizFit, it was, it was!  🙂  A good day, that is, and you are right, it is absolutely a choice.

I am beyond thrilled with how yesterday went.  If I were doing one of those MySpace blogs where you pick your mood, at the bottom, I’d have to put “Indescribable” because really, it is.  Not, of course, that that will stop me from trying.  Heh.

Yesterday was one of those days where, at the end of the workday, I was really dragging.  My head hurt, I was tired, I was cranky, and I was sort of in the mood to just lie on the couch and shut out the world.  (Two years ago, that’s exactly what I would have done, too.)  I had no intention of skipping my workout, no way; but I wasn’t looking forward to it. 

The universe conspired to make me fulfill my “good day” promise, though.  I got home and DH suggested we go out for dinner, which he rarely does.  I jumped on it, of course, because I wasn’t in the mood for what I’d been planning to make.  Younger Daughter wanted to go to Ryan’s – it’s a buffet, if you’re not familiar with the chain – and I couldn’t help remembering Diana’s post from the other day about going to a buffet.  I was pretty excited, where I normally would have been dreading it.  (Thanks, Diana!)  So that’s where we went.

I did great.  I had a small steak, a small serving of mashed potatoes, green beans, a salad, and two bites of a roll.  (Caught myself picking because everyone else was still eating after I was done, and managed to stop myself.)  I also ate three or four of Elder Daughter’s Raisinets, and a small serving of sugar-free chocolate pudding.  Not too shabby, all things considered.  I knew that I was low on my calories (hence the pudding!) so I felt that I did extremely well.  Most importantly, I stopped eating when I was satisfied instead of eating (a) until I was disgustingly full or (b) simply because I could.

After we got home, I changed immediately into workout clothes and ended up going downstairs a bit early, because my energy levels were better (yes, I know – being low on calories probably had a lot to do with why I felt crappy, and eating had everything to do with why I felt better, duh!) and I wanted to work out before I lost the motivation.

I did my circuit, which was tough and worked my tail off – awesome! – and as I was stepping on the treadmill, DH came downstairs and told me he had been asked to go have a drink with one of our mutual friends.  I was rather tickled at this, because (a) I’d love for both of the guys to get out more and I really like that they’re hanging out more often now; and (b) that meant I would not feel conflicted about being downstairs for so long when I could be upstairs spending time with DH.  (This is a bit of a problem for me.  He never guilts me and is, in fact, very supportive of all the time I spend working out, but I can’t help feeling a bit torn as we don’t get a lot of time together.)  So that was great.

I ended up doing an hour on the treadmill.  For the first 30 minutes I did a walk-run – two minutes walking, two minutes running.  I haven’t been able to stick to a Couch to 5K schedule with any consistency, but I’m determined to nonetheless keep increasing the amound of time I spend running.  I ran for a total of 15 minutes and then, at the 30-minute mark, fully intended to start my cool down.  But the movie I was watching wasn’t over, so I kept going, and I felt like I still had a lot “in me” so to speak, so I ended up doing one more 3-minute run.  Then I slowed down and bumped the incline way up and did 15 minutes of hill-climbing before bumping it down for my cool-down.

It’s been a really long time since I did an hour on the treadmill, and I’ve never done that after a grueling circuit workout.  I felt like the Biggest Loser contestants after they did their triathalon, though I fully recognize that there’s no comparison.  🙂  But it feels the same.  I did something that, two years ago, I couldn’t have dreamed of doing.  Even a year ago, probably.  And at the end of it all, I still had more in me.  I probably could have kept going for another hour – I definitely had my second wind by that time.  It was nothing short of amazing.

I very wisely (hehe!) took an ibuprofen before bed, because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to move this morning.  No problem, though.  A bit stiff in the hip joints as always but considering the work I put in, I’m very pleased.  And I literally cannot adequately describe how great I feel about what I did.  Oh, and that I chose not to scarf down the 100-calorie pack of Cheetohs that YD left on the counter and seems to have forgotten.  🙂

Tonight, of course, is the Biggest Loser finale.  I am hoping for another fantastic workout during that; if I can get started early enough there’s no reason I can’t do another hour on the treadmill.  I am sad that it’s ending though, because now I have to come up with something else for DH and I do spend time watching on Tuesday nights while I work out.  I really like being together during that time.  Maybe I can get him to come down and play Wii for two hours on Tuesdays.  🙂

It’s beautiful and sunny here today, which is very nice, though I don’t think it’s going to get terribly warm.  That’s okay though, just the sunshine is really nice.  And it’s supposed to be beautiful toward the end of the week.  I hope we have another gorgeous Saturday, I’d like to repeat that hour too.  I can do it indoors, but I’d love to walk the road again.

I hope everyone is doing well and having a great week, and a wonderful Tuesday!  And lastly, my blog bling for the week – I am totally celebrating another AWESOME week!  April is still, so far, a Gold Star Month!

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Just a quick one today as I have to leave in about 20 minutes for the dentist.  Ugh.  I hate going to the dentist.  I don’t hate the dentist – he’s great, and so are his staff – but I just hate the whole process.  For one thing, any time I am more than two days late for my six-month checkup, I have a cavity or a loose filling or some nonsense.  I have instant dental karma.  And I just hate having people messing around in my mouth.  Gah.

But I’ll go because I know it’s important.  I realized yesterday that I’ve been dreading it for a week and I think that’s a huge part of my mood swings.  How stupid is that?  It’s all wrapped up in money (just finished paying for a massively expensive crown that insurance didn’t cover) and panic disorder (having my mouth blocked tends to catapult me into a panic attack, so if I have to have real dental work I’m going to be a mess until it’s over) and anxiety about missing work (I’m already over my PTO AGAIN for this month) and a host of other things.  I’m going to be about an hour and a half late for my morning snack today, so lunch will be late, etc.   

Anyway.  It’s absurd to be so anxious but there you have it.  At least it’ll be over and I can breathe easy for another six months, or a week or two if I have to have work done. (Pray for me, cross your fingers, whatever you do, that I don’t have to!)

Ahem. On to the meat of the post.  Yesterday was another great day.  Not a single slip-up and a way-beyond awesome workout.  I did my circuit and then hit the treadmill for half an hour, running some and then walking at a high incline.  Very pleased about that! 

Watched the Biggest Loser of course.  I have a couple of thoughts.  First of all, for the first time I really and truly was convinced that the scale is rigged.  I am utterly unconvinced by the shocking coincidence of Roger’s exact weight loss number.  Rather pissed me off, to be honest.  But when everyone else posted huge numbers DH pointed out that this was probably one of those “weeks” that was actually longer than a week.  That made me feel a bit better but given the numbers they’ve been posting, I’m still not completely convinced.  But whatever.

I am unbelievably psyched that the girls are going on.  I really am.  I’m scared to death for Ali because she’s gotten so thin and the things I hear her saying honestly sound like someone on track for a major eating disorder…I’m hearing that she still doesn’t think she was worth loving when she was heavy, that she can only respect herself if she’s thin, etc.  I am probably overreacting but it scares me.  If she loses enough to win, she will be extremely over-thin and unhealthy, IMO.  That worries me.  That is the point at which the show goes completely and unquestionably too far.  So I’m watching in some dread for the finale.

Kelly, OTOH, will be in an excellent place if she loses the 50% or so that she would need to win it.  I cannot wait to see her – she’s definitely the dark horse.  As Jillian said, no one ever thought Kelly could do it.  Still, nobody seems to see her as a potential winner.  How cool would it be for the person who never won a challenge (except the all-against-one) and who was consistently in last place, to win it all?

As for voting…well, I’ve got ulterior motives there.  I’m voting for Mark, both because I love how much he’s changed (tears and all) and because I just don’t think he has enough to lose, to beat the girls.  Wrong, but there you go.  Also, Roger just doesn’t seem to have grown much from the experience, and I know I have no right to judge these people but hey, it’s my vote, and I have to decide somehow. 

Um.  Anyway, that was a bit of a tangent.  So I have another gold star and I’m becoming very excited about Friday’s weigh-in.  I am not going to stress over it.  If I see on Friday the same number I saw on Monday in my unauthorized preview, I will be ecstatic.  If it is lower, again, I will weep.  🙂

Today is my rest day so I am going to watch my calories very carefully and look forward to having a night off.  I’m also going to try to get some extra sleep as I am really very worn out and I know my mood will improve dramatically if I get some rest.  I may lie down with Younger Daughter, read her to sleep, and then go to bed myself.  But I’d like to play some Wii with DH, so maybe I’ll just go to bed a bit early after that.  🙂

Have a wonderful Hump Day, everybody!

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Happy Hump Day, everybody!  Halfway through the week, or we will be at around noon…I hope everyone’s week is going well!

I am very tired this morning, mentally a little overloaded and emotionally a little fragile – in other words, I didn’t get enough sleep last night.  🙂  I definitely recognize the pattern here.  But at least I am aware of it so I won’t read more into things than necessary!

Yesterday was a wonderful day as far as the plan goes (I suppose I should start capitalizing that, it sounds like a proper noun, doesn’t it?  The Plan…).  My eating was not perfect but it was as close as it can be without getting there.  Three Oreos (yeah, I’m on an Oreo kick) but then I decided I was done with that nonsense and the remainder of the package went in the trash.  So no more Oreos for me.  Thank God.  Why is it that I can make myself throw them away, but I couldn’t just make myself leave them alone?  More of the Bizarre Psychology of Obesity…

Dr. Jeff came on The Biggest Loser last night and talked to the contestants and he said something that made me think.  He said, “You’ll never be cured…” and I thought, wow, he sounds like he’s talking about alcoholism!  And then I thought, yeah, how many times have I preached to people that they need to understand they are literally trying to recover from an addiction.  It’s not “like” an addiction – it IS an addiction.  The chemical processes, the physiological responses are exactly the same for food addicts as for people addicted to any other substance.  (I highly recommend “You: On A Diet” for a deep discussion of these processes, by the way.)  So why does his statement surprise me?  Once an addict, always an addict…and what makes it so much harder here is that you can’t simply avoid the substance you’ve been addicted to.  Alcoholics can stop drinking completely – and have to, generally – and drug addicts can avoid the drug of choice…but there is no way in the world that we can simply avoid food.  We can avoid our biggest triggers – but nobody just has one.  It’s hard…and the sad fact is it’s never going to just “go away”.  We aren’t going to just get over it.  We will have to deal with this for the rest of our lives.

It’s sad…and sobering…and sort of depressing.  But it’s true, and I truly believe in facing the truth, no matter how unpleasant, because it doesn’t go away if you don’t, it just lurks and jumps up and bites you in the ass when you least expect it.

So I’m thinking about that some, and it’s making me a bit solemn.  But I’m okay with it.  It’s not a shock.  Just something I need to work on processing.

Additionally, my daughter is stressing me out this morning and it’s a seemingly little thing but sort of a big deal to me.  I have prayed about it and now I have to really practice letting go, but…that isn’t exactly one of my stronger skills, unfortunately.  So I guess this is a good opportunity to work on that, huh?  Always a silver lining.  🙂

But I got really cranky with her and now I feel horrible about it and usually when I do that, I will call her and let her know I still love her…but I can’t do that today because she doesn’t have her cell phone (which is the root of the problem!) and…so I’m a little sad about that too.  I love my girls so much…and when I’m not on happy terms with them it tears me up.  Something else I need to work on.  She knows I love her and this is just one day…but I do hate it.

Anyway…on to the actual purported subject matter of this blog.  Ahem.

Last night’s workout was absolutely amazing.  My favorite workouts are those in which I push myself beyond what I dream I am capable of…and am able to walk away.  🙂  (To paraphrase an old saw, any workout you can walk away from is a good workout.)  This week, Jillian’s circuits have been particularly challenging – it’s evidently another “ramping up” week – and have really pushed me to my limits and, I suspect, beyond.  Last night’s workout was very hard – new exercises, more reps, and I increased my weights on the easier arm work.  At the end of the last circuit, I was drenched in sweat, all my muscles were shaking, and I felt nauseous.  Those are pretty much my benchmarks for a really great workout.  🙂  So that was good…and then I had to do the Couch to 5K run.  Heh.  It’s only week one, day one, so I figured it wouldn’t be that bad and I’d rather have ripped my own arm off and beaten myself to death with it than not do the run – I was that determined.

I did it.  It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t really what I would call fun, and it took everything I had, but by golly, I did it!  And if I can do it at the end of a really hard Jillian beating, then I can do it anytime, I know I can.

I’m extremely proud of having done it.  I know it wasn’t the hardest thing in the world but it was a lot more running than I’m used to.  Also I didn’t run really fast – my first run was at 6.0, and after that I bumped it down to 5.0, and then to 4.7, which was where I stayed, so it wasn’t nearly as fast as it could have been, but it felt okay and again, I was running.  And I finished it.  And I am so happy about that. 

I will dread doing the next day…but I am going to do it.  I am going to do it because I know, from reading some of your blogs, that stamina and endurance do increase, and that if I keep doing it I will be able to keep doing it.  I also know this from doing Jillian’s workouts – stuff that was so hard at the beginning is really a piece of cake now.  I know that I will improve.  I don’t believe it yet, but I know it.  🙂  And after a few weeks, I will believe it.  So I’m going to keep doing it even though I’m scared to death of failing…but I have to keep reminding myself that I only fail if I quit trying, and that’s not a matter of inability but of lack of resolve. 

So I’m a little scared and chastened, but I’m also really proud and happy.  Seems self-contradictory but…hey, that’s me.  A walking contradiction.  🙂

So to sum it up, yesterday was actually a really great day…and today, though starting off very roughly, is going to get better. I know it is.  I have faith.  And meanwhile, I’m going to eat right if, as Mom always said, it costs Dad a mule. (She grew up in rural Arkansas in the 40s and 50s, what can I say?)

I hope that everyone has a wonderful, beautiful, magical Gold Star day.  MWAH!

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Well, short show, which sort of sucked.  I’ve gotten spoiled to the 2-hour ones!

And again, I was disappointed.  I really wanted Neil to stay…not only for himself, but so there would at least be a non-Black team member in the final four.  (And as he said, how can you lose 10 pounds at this stage of the game and NOT be safe?!?) 

Having all Black team members seems a bit anticlimactic to me, though I’m sure Jillian is STOKED.  🙂  And I love Jillian, I really do…when Isabeau said, “You’re the kind of woman I want to be” I thought, yeah, that’s exactly how I feel.  I want to BE Jillian when I grow up.  🙂  But I love Bob too, and it breaks my heart that he doesn’t have a dog in the hunt at this point, so to speak.

So the Black team annihilated the other two, just as they had hoped to do.  They definitely proved themselves, despite their initial rejection, and I think that is in major part due to Jillian’s coaching of them and motivation with just that angle – you were the rejects, now prove to everyone that they were wrong.  It was a bit paranoid and a little over the top, but by God it worked.

I am completely stunned by the numbers posted by the Black team girls, and I am of two minds about that.  First, if they could do that now, at this stage of the game – they’ve been really selling themselves short and NOT working at top potential the whole time.  It sort of makes me want to smack them for not working as hard as they could have before.  But then I also realize that there’s an impetus that comes from knowing that this is it, this is your last shot and it all comes down to right now…so I try not to be so holier-than-thou and judgmental, because God knows I’m not losing 3 pounds a week…even their “bad” weeks beat my best ones.  🙂  Even Julie’s one pound last week beat mine…so I have no right to judge.  But I still wonder how they managed it.

So anyway.  Neil is gone, and the final four are Bill, Julie, Hollie and Isabeau.  At this point, you really have to start looking at the numbers.  Bill is at 204 – well, he has done awesome, he’s been a machine – but he can’t have that much more to lose.  He’s not a scrawny guy under the excess weight, so I wouldn’t think he’d need to be under 190 at the lowest.  Particularly with the muscle mass he’s built up.  He could go to 180 or so, but he doesn’t need to.  So he may be hitting the wall soon, at least potentially.

Julie is at something like 160, but she’s short, so she has a ways to go.  She could lose quite a bit, particularly now that she KNOWS she can have an 8-pound week at this stage – that could be the motivation for her to pour it on.  (Though it could be that there was a bit of water-loading last week and that’s what did it, but I hesitate to make that accusation.  It would have been a pretty big risk…)  So Julie is a possibility.

The same thing holds for the other girls.  Isabeau, I think, has more to lose than Julie or Hollie, so if she pours it on at this point she could be a serious contender.

In short, I think it’s anyone’s game at this point, and it’s looking like a real possibility that we could have a female Biggest Loser.  Had Neil still been in the game, I’d have said no way, not going to happen, but now…it will definitely be interesting to see.  And though I’d love to see that happen, it will be bittersweet because (yes, I’m STILL whining about this)  I WANTED IT TO BE KAE!!

And that’s enough of that.  🙂  Of the four, I can’t really pick one to back.  Isabeau is still, love her heart, a bit whiny for me.  Hollie I like, though she does tend toward the sulks…and Julie I like for her directness but there’s something about her that just seems off to me and I can’t even define it.  Bill has worked his tail off, but like everyone else I’m a little tired of seeing him win all the time.  🙂  So whatever. 

Right now I’m more interested in who will win the eliminated players’ competition.  That’s what I really can’t wait to see.  Any guesses, anyone?

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Okay…better late than never.

The show this week was sort of interesting, I thought.  I was very pleased that they pointed out to the contestants that real life is not going to be as weight-loss-friendly as the campus has been, though I think one day was not a great measure of how hard it will be.  But it did get them thinking, which is good.

This battle is hard.  It is, I am absolutely certain, incredibly difficult to do when you are sequestered away from your family and everyone and everything that is familiar and beloved to you.  However, there are compensations, not the least of which is uniformly healthy food ready to hand at all times, the best exercise equipment money can buy and all day to use it, the services of amazing personal trainers, and the constant company of others doing the exact same thing you are doing – and NO ONE anywhere near you who isn’t focused on that same goal.

Here in the real world, however, it is a very different ball game.  For the average person trying to lose weight, the world not only does not help you, it does everything imaginable to yank the rug out from under your jazzercising little feet.  The people around you range from sympathetic but not totally understanding (best case) to hostile and threatened by your drive (worst case); the food by which you are surrounded is dreadfully unhealthy, and you must make a massive effort and often go out of your way to find things that are healthy; you have limited equipment with which to exercise, and above all, you have no time.  You are probably working, some of us more than one job; if you are not working, you are very likely a homemaker with children and a home to take care of; there is dinner to be made, dishes to be washed, laundry to be done, errands to be run…children get sick, or you do…the holidays intervene, with their rounds of parties and luncheons and shopping and frantic list-making…soccer practice…dance class…piano lessons…elderly parents…work…more work…

The interruptions and distractions are endless.  No one, and nothing, does a single thing to make it easy.  It is Hard, with a capital H.  And I think it’s great that the contestants, who are about to be tossed back into that world, are being reminded of it.  Yes, they will continue to have access to nutritionists, doctors, trainers, etc…which is more than most of us have.  But they are still being taken out of their comfort zone, and the game is about to get much, much harder.  A little taste of that, while wholly inadequate, is definitely not out of order.

I approved of Julie’s realization of this, and her apparent sober reflection upon it.  It seemed to be a bit of a wake-up call to her more than anyone, and maybe that’s because she, unlike most of the others, had a trip home during which she lost no weight at all.  So maybe she’s thinking about that…and it’s got her really worried. 

The elimination was sad.  I hated to see Nicole go.  She is so unfailingly amiable, so happy-go-lucky.  Voting her off is sort of like kicking a puppy…and it made me sad.  She looks really amazing though, and I am proud of her.

At this stage, the only people I would bid farewell to without regret are unlikely to go anywhere – okay, person.  I wouldn’t miss Isabeau all that much, I guess.  I don’t hate her, and she’s not overwhemingly annoying, but she doesn’t really have my loyalty despite voting Amy off, which I really did appreciate.  Holly I really like, though she can be whiny and temperamental at times, and Julie I really admire for her grit and outspokenness, though sometimes she does piss me off.  Bill I think is just a soldier and I really believe he will go all the way, if he doesn’t have the major misfortune of falling beneath the yellow line with one of the Black team girls.  Neil, I want to see make it all the way, both because he’s earned my grudging admiration and because I do NOT want only Black team members at the finale.  That would really be tragic I think. 

So at this point, I’m very tense about the outcome of next week’s weigh in.  There are a lot of people I don’t want to see go, and almost inevitably, one of them will. 

This past elimination was really a joke.  I told my husband, when we saw who was beneath the yellow line, that if I were producer, at that point I’d have just patched in sort of a montage of the first three seasons and voiced over, saying, “Okay, folks, we’re not wasting your time.  We all know Nicole’s going home, we’re very sad to see her go, now here are some heartwarming moments from Biggest Loser History.”  Because as Neil said, it was never in doubt, no matter what people said about “the biggest threat”.  Come on, how stupid do we look?

So anyway…sad, but not surprising.  I pretty much knew Nicole would be the next to go.  I am looking forward to seeing her at the finale though, I’ll bet she looks awesome.  And for the coming week, I’m just praying it’s not Neil. 

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