Category Archives: Workout

When did thin=healthy?

As I mentioned on my facebook page today, most everyone on here knows I’ve struggled with my weight for years…decades. I’ve always thought “if I can just get down to 160, I’ll be happy” like it was a guarantee. What I’ve learned over the years of altering my diet/s and pushing myself to workout because that’s what I’m supposed to do is that it doesn’t really work. I’m not much smaller than I was last year. In fact, I’ve gained a couple of pounds. I typically don’t discuss weight loss with anyone unless they bring it up because it is a very personal and touchy subject. After reading several books, articles, and blog posts with competing ideas, it’s obvious none of us really have the key to weight loss. But…maybe that’s the problem.

We’re so focused on weight loss that we forego health in order to reach an ideal number. I’m tired. I’m tired of stressing over it. I’m tired of feeling like a failure because the scale hasn’t budged. So, I quit. I’m no longer going to worry about losing weight but rather focus on being healthy. Would I like to be smaller? Sure…I think I would look better smaller, but that’s totally a because of vanity! If I’m healthy, I should be able to do the things I want to do REGARDLESS of my size. I will continue to exercise/workout in a way that brings me happiness or peace of mind, not because I ate a donut that I need to burn off. I will also continue to try to make better food choices because that will lead to a healthier me. If, in the process, I lose some fat, great! I’ll take it. But I will not let my size/weight/arbitrary number on the BMI scale determine my mood for the day or my self worth. Right now, at this point in time, at my current size, I am a enough/worthy/valuable/loved.

I want to be strong and proud of what I can accomplish with my body. My body should be appreciated by me instead of constantly belittled. I’ve gotten better over time of stopping the negative self talk, but it’s still there. Until I can treat myself the way I would treat a dear friend, I’m missing the point.

So…How was Stage 1?

I know what you’re all wanting to know. “Am I a She-Hulk yet?” Not, quite but I sure feel like a beast!!

Let’s see how my stats are from 6 weeks ago to yesterday’s final workout:

  Start End
Back Squat 45 125
Deadlift 95 160
Push Up 45% Reg
Seated Row 45 110
Step Up 55 85
Shoulder Press 15 27.5
Wide Grip Pull Down 40 105
Lunge 15 27.5

While I’m happy with my leg moves, I’m not that thrilled with the press! I mean, come on…27.5lbs? When I was doing CrossFit my 1 time max rep for strict press with a barbell was 80lbs. So, while I find the dumbbell harder I still thought I’d be able to get up to 35 or 40lbs. That’s alright though, I’ll keep pushing through. It’s shocking how out of proportion my upper body strength is to my lower body!

I have missed heavy lifting. I enjoyed CrossFit at the gym until things just built up to a breaking point. Doing CrossFit at the park was fun, but we could never do more weight than we could put in a sandbag and Neal moved on to bigger and better opportunities.

Honestly, I was a bit afraid to see how much muscle strength I had lost in the last few months. Thankfully, I feel like I’ve caught back up pretty quickly to what I think I could do before. My 1 rep max for back squats is 175lbs, so 125lbs at 3×8 is pretty cool!

In order to be able to workout at home, I had to start getting up at 3:45 with my husband. I always thought he was crazy for getting up that early, but if I didn’t want to die of heat stroke sacrifices had to be made. It’s a good thing there’s a bit of a walk to get to the garage, otherwise I think I would have been half asleep at the beginning of my workouts which could have led to disaster!

My weak areas are obviously the press, but also the step ups. I used the barbell for the step ups, but my balance wasn’t the best. It looks like I’ll continue to do those through Stage 2, so I’ll work on getting better with those. There has definitely been improvement, but there’s plenty of room for more!

My back squats and deadlifts were outstanding! I always felt strong on those moves. My grip tends to give out before my strength does so I’ll have to work on getting a stronger grip too (hello farmer’s carry). A couple of the moves that shocked me were the wide grip lat pull downs and seated row. I was able to do a lot more weight than I thought. Grrrr!

There is no doubt in my mind that my core is stronger. I am able to do the prone jackknife without the ball rolling around everywhere (I do mean everywhere!) and I’m able to do regular push ups from the ground, even if they’re not pretty just yet!

Ok, ok, on to the measurements. These aren’t exact, since I didn’t take the measurements on day 1, but it’s close enough (maybe 3 or 4 days off). There are no huge changes but I feel like my body composition has changed.

  Start End
Arms (left) 13.5″ 13.5″
Chest 39.5″ 40″
Waist 37.5″ 37″
Hips 43.25″ 43.25″
Thighs (left) 26″ 25.75″
Calves (left) 17.5″ 17.5″

I also didn’t take before photos. I know…silly me. However, here is the Stage 1 After and Stage 2 Before. I’m not happy with these photos. In my head I’ve become a World Class Fitness Competitor and these pictures do not support that ideal. But, I had a good “woe is me” moment last night and am choosing to ignore the physical evidence and still see myself as a goddess!

Then, for comparison, here’s a shot of me from May (left) and July (right).

Hello July!

Wow, I can’t believe this year is more than 1/2 over. Time is flying by. It’s been a while since I’ve updated my weight loss on the site. That’s because it wasn’t moving for the most part! This morning however, I weighed in at 188.1! Yes, Ladies and Gents, I am finally in the 180’s! That brings me to 60lbs lost in the past 2 years. I know a lot of people can lose that in 1 year, but I tend to bounce around a bit! I should probably do a new before and after picture. My last one was at the 50lb lost mark.

I’m on workout 6 (just 5 more workouts left) in NROLFW Stage 1. While I’m not upping my weight as much as I was at the beginning, I’m still steadily gaining strength!

  Start Today
Back Squat 45 115
Deadlift 95 145
Push Up 45% Regular
Seated Row 45 105
Step Up 55 80
Shoulder Press 15 22.5
Wide Grip Pull Down 40 90
Lunge 15 22.5

I’m happy with my numbers so far! I’ve also noticed that my body seems to be changing shape, which is awesome! In July, I cut back on my running. I used to run 3 days a week, but now I’m only running on Saturdays. While I am pleased with my progress (2 miles without stopping!) I have to admit that running is quite boring for me most of the time. So, when I started NROLFW I decided to change up my schedule. Now, I lift weights Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, try all sorts of new workouts on Tuesdays, and run on Saturdays. That gives me 2 days off during the week and has been fun so far. I enjoy trying new things on Tuesdays instead of just going out and running. Let’s look at my workouts for July. The first is the amount of time I spent working out. It went down a bit from May, but on par with the other months:

All workouts for June:

As you can see, I’m not slacking on the exercise! This is new for me. In the past, I would workout hard and diet which would lead to losing 40-50lbs. Then, I’d get tired of watching everything I ate and sweating, so I’d stop. Of course, at that point the weight all came back on and then some! This is the first time in my lift that I have been working out 3-5 times a week for the last 2 years. I don’t want to say that I’ve finally made exercise a habit for fear that I may relapse, but I am definitely more aware of how I feel when I do and when I don’t work out. That is enough to keep me going. If I stop working out for a week, there’s a good chance that I won’t workout again for a long time! It’s just easier to keep going than to stop and try to start again. The same is true in running. No matter how tired you are, it’s easier to push through it and keep running than drop to a walk and try to run again.

This past month I also started using My Fitness Pal. I was using the Lose It! app, but have found the support to be much better on MFP. I will do a review post of MFP coming up soon!

How was your June?!

New Rules of Lifting Recap

I just finished the first quarter of my New Rules of Lifting for Women program. One of the first things I’m noticing is my grip is wanting to give out before my legs do on the deadlifts. That means, I’ll need to work on getting my grip back into shape as well!

Do I like it? Yes, I really do. I’m still in a bit of a CrossFit mentality where I push through the reps as quickly as possible. I should probably slow down a bit and move a little slower. I think I’ve finally figured out what weight I need for most of the exercises to be difficult but not unreasonable.

Will you continue it? Absolutely! I will go through the entire Stage 1 (16 workouts) and then determine at that point whether I want to go on to Stage 2 or return to CrossFit.

What are you numbers as of today? Why…kind of you to ask!

  Start Today
Back Squat 45 75
Deadlift 95 115
Push Up 45% 45%
Seated Row 45 70
Step Up 55 65
Shoulder Press 15 17.5
Wide Grip Pull Down 40 70
Lunge 15 17.5

What areas do you feel least confident about? Easily the Dumbbell Shoulder Press and Push Ups. I’m so used to doing the Presses as Push Presses where you use your legs to get the weight up that I’m finding even 17.5# weights tough to complete the last set. Plus, the bar is much easier than dumbbells! With the dumbbells you find out very fast which side is your weaker and how strong (or weak) your stabilizing muscles are. For Push Ups, I always did them from my knees. Since they don’t want you to do that in NROLFW, I’m having to do 45% push ups for now. I can do a few regular push ups, but not quite at 15 yet. I will try that the next workout and see how it goes. Also, the Prone Jackknife. I can’t balance my legs on the Swiss all to be able to do them! So, I’ve been doing reverse curls instead.

What areas do you feel most confident about? Definitely the Deadlift, Squats, and Seated Row. I have plenty of leg muscle! I’m pleased with my Seated Row performance so far as well. I’ll definitely be going up in weight on Wednesday.

I’m glad I’m changing things up some, but I’ve been having difficulties figuring out how to eat! My calories have been averaging about 1550 or less and that’s no good if I’m trying to build muscle. While I have body fat for the muscles to pull energy from, I don’t want to constantly under feed my muscles either! So, right now I’ve upped my level to 1700. I fully expect to see a gain on the scale come Thursday, but it should work its way back down, if I’m doing it correctly.

New Rules of Lifting for Women

Awww  yeeahhh…it’s that time peeps! It’s time to shake things up a bit and get this weight loss train moving again. I’ve been doing CrossFit for over a year and a half and while I had some success and a ton of fun, I’m taking a month off of CrossFit to complete Stage 1 of New Rules of Lifting for Women.

We have a full weight set in our garage so it won’t require purchasing too much equipment. One of the items I needed though was a couple of different sized boxes. Sunday morning, the hubbins went to Lowe’s and picked up a piece of 3/4 inch plywood and we got to work!

I decided to go with a 14″ and 18″ box. Personally, I thought those may be a little short for what I needed, but after measuring things out it appears they’re just right!

We got the power tools out and started with the larger box to make sure we had enough material.

Since we didn’t take in to account that actual thickness of the plywood, the finished sizes are 14 3/4″ and 18 3/4″. The shorter box will be perfect for now and the larger box will help add more challenge and I build my muscles more!

I used the shorter box this morning and yes, it was challenging enough! In fact, my first workout went pretty well. My numbers:

Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Rest
Squats 45/15 55/15 60
Push Up 45 deg/15 45 deg/15 60
Bent Over Row 45/15 55/15 60
Step Up w/Barbell 55/15 55/15 60
Reverse Crunch BW/8 BW/8 60

My Notes:

Need to go up on squats. Step ups were HARD. May need to consider dumbbells instead of barbell. Weight good on bent over row too. Pully and cable stuck on rack, may try to fix that. The workout only took 30 minutes. Should I be concerned about that?

All in all, I was happy with my performance. I was a little concerned at how quickly it went, but I think part of that is I underestimated the weight on the squats and went through that pretty quickly. I also need to warm up more at the beginning. However, 3:45 comes aaawwwfully early and I’m doing good not to drop the weights on my head!

On another note, we had a visitor this weekend at the house!

I politely shewed him away while I crapped my pants!