Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Keys To My Weight Loss Success

So many people ask me questions about my weight loss success. What did you do? How do you get motivated? Where do I start? What do I eat?

The answers to these questions really aren't that complicated. At least not for me. My motivation? Simple. I don't want to be fat ever again. I want to look in the mirror and like what I see. That's all the motivation I need. Where to start? Just start. You know the basics - start with that. Stop eating crap. Now. Stop buying crap to eat. Workout. Do any workout -  it doesn't matter which one. Do something rather than nothing.

The bigger question is - how? Here are my essentials - the things that I know I must do for success.

I don't have a problem with complaining. I complain all the time. But you earn the right to complain by putting in the work. You don't get to complain about how hard it is or how inconvenient it is unless you're doing it. If you're too lazy to make an effort - then stay fat and shut up about it. Don't complain if you're not putting in effort. What's the work?

Work out 6 days a week.
Log what you eat - all of it.
Eat clean. Cheat minimally. Don't dwell on the cheat - move on.

That's really it. That's the core of it. Learn to master these things and you'll see results. You don't have to perfect right out the gate. I've done this for a decade and I'm still not perfect. Just do your best and keep making your best better. Don't wanna log your food? Don't wanna work out? Fine - don't. But stop complaining that you can't lose weight.

You know what cutting carbs did for me? Nothing. Jack squat. My body was not impressed. You know what eating from the top two tiers of Michi's Ladder did for me? I lost 5 lbs. Learn what works for your body by trying it. You can't gauge your own success by someone else's. You are not them. Don't wish you were, just find out what works for you. If one diet and one workout worked for every body - there wouldn't be so many different ones to choose from. Find what works for YOU. But don't just try one thing then give up. Don't be lazy.

Losing weight isn't easy and results don't happen overnight. If this were the case - then no one would have weight problems. If I stopped trying just because I didn't see results quickly - I wouldn't be where I am. If you really want to see results - you have to keep going. Getting fit is not something you do for a while and then you're done forever. IT'S A LIFESTYLE CHANGE. You have to know what's helpful for your body and what's harmful. I'm not gonna lie - I still love me some french fries and pizza and chicken nuggets. I know the bad crap that's in fast food and I find it delicious anyway. However, I can count on one hand the number of times I'll actually get fast food in the course of a month ... a few months at that. A year's time - that's probably both hands. Point is - it's not as often as it used to be.

Bottom line is - JUST TRY. Make an effort. Don't talk about it, be about it. Get off your butt, and do what you know you need to. Once you start and see the fruits of your labor - it makes it easier to continue because you'll want to continue seeing the results! Make a plan. What can you do right now that will put you on a better path? Need help? Send me a message and we'll make a plan together!

Sweet Charity

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Weight Loss Transformation Video!

So, I already told you that I reached my goal weight. Well, I promised myself that I would do my first transformation video once I made that weight. So - here it is!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Confetti and Balloons Please!

I can't believe it! I really can't! I did it! This is the most surreal moment I've ever had! I can't stop using exclamation points!!!


Confetti :)

Goal: the weight that I started this journey trying to reach. The number that I chose in my head when I was 18 years old. The battle that I have been fighting for the past 11 years. I have finally won! When I first set out

Friday, October 15, 2010

Nobody's Perfect

Too many people have this idea in their head that if they can't hit their diet and exercise PERFECTLY, then there's no point in doing it all. I don't really understand this mentality at all, but there are so many people who feel this way. I have some friends who say:

Well, since I ate so poorly today - I didn't see the point in working out.

And then there's people who get so down on themselves because they slipped up and ate something bad, that they completely tank their whole diet because of ONE slip up:

I was doing so well, but then I had french fries and then 3 scoops of ice cream, and the next day I had a burger and I just couldn't stop eating bad stuff!

People also beat themselves up about working out:

I only did 30 minutes in the gym today. I'll never be thin :(

I didn't get to my workout today, what is wrong with me?!?

If any of these people sound like you at one time or another, this is my plea to you to


Stop beating yourself up for little mistakes.
Stop thinking that just because you didn't do it perfectly, it doesn't count.
Stop expecting yourself to change overnight.
Stop expecting to see results in a matter of days - that's not realistic.
STOP being negative, period!

If you have a negative mentality towards any aspect of diet or exercise - it increases the likelihood that you will fail. You can not beat yourself up over every little thing. People who are fit and lead healthy lifestyles didn't get that way by being perfect. They got that way by being consistent. They did not let small setbacks completely de-reail them from reaching their goals. If you eat poorly one day - SO WHAT?! You know that you ate poorly - that doesn't mean that one day has to turn into one week and one month. It was one day of your life. MOVE ON. You recognize the bad behavior, you learn from it and then you change it. And when you do slip up and eat poorly - that is all the more reason to work out!!! You need to try to cancel out as many calories as you can. Even if the result of that workout won't be a drop in pounds, at least it will help you from gaining weight which would be a step in the wrong direction.

Life happens. Sometimes you just won't be able to resist that piece of cake. Sometime, you won't be prepared and you'll buy fast food. Sometime - you just won't have time to get to your workout. These are all normal things that you should not feel horrible about. What you should do - is pay attention to why it happened, and plan to not let it happen again. Could you have prepared your lunch the night before so that you had it to take with you instead of buying fast food? If you scheduled your workout in your day the way you schedule work and schedule watching your favorite TV, would you have missed it?

Think positively and speak positively to yourself. Pep-talk yourself! If it's not something you would say to your best friend in the world, you shouldn't say it to yourself. Would you ever tell your BFF - you're such an idiot! I can't believe you did that! ? Then don't say it to you. Instead, say to yourself - ok, I'm definitely gonna do some extra cardio to make up for that slice of cake! Or, I am absolutely packing and bringing my lunch tomorrow!

Nobody's perfect. No one gets it right 100% of the time. But if you shoot for 100% consistently, I guarantee you'll at least land in the 90th percentile. This week alone, I've gone off my eating plan - twice! Did I beat myself up over it? Absolutely not. Did I adjust my weekly calorie intake around it AND do a few extra workouts? You bet I did. And if it results in a slight setback for me this week - then that's the price I'll have to pay. I'll learn from the experience, and figure out a better way to resist the temptation the next time. I'm not gonna stop working out and I'm not gonna pig out and eat everything in sight. I'm going to stick to my clean eating plan and daily workouts because that consistency is what has led to lasting weight loss for me. It's not being perfect every step of the way that gets you results, it's continuing on your journey - no matter what that will get you there.

 Sweet Charity

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's Not Always About The Scale

When you're working really hard on your fitness journey, you absolutey CAN NOT measure all of your progress by the scale. First of all - not all of your weight loss shows up on the scale. If you're building muscle and burning fat, the scale does not distinguish between muscle weight and fat weight. It won't tell you "hey, you burned 7 lbs. of fat but you gained 3lbs. of muscle" it will just tell you your 4lbs. down. Which is not a true measure of your loss because 3lbs. of muscle vs. 3 lbs. of fat is a BIG difference.

It's really important to celebrate your non scale victories as well. What can you do now that you couldn't do before? What changes have been brought about in your life because of your fitness efforts? Maybe it's the fact that you can walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. You can keep up with chasing your kids around. Your cholesterol has gone down. Your clothes fit better. You feel better. You sleep better. You can run farther, work out harder and go for longer. These are all things that are way more important than 3 little numbers on a scale.

It took me quite a while to realize this. Like so many of us, my attention was so wrapped up on the scale numbers that I wasn't realizing all the progress I was making. I didn't get winded when I went out dancing with my friends - I didn't have to sit out every other song because I was exhausted. I was on my feet dancing all night, in 4 inch heels! My endurance improved - I could run for longer than 5 minutes without stopping. Then, longer than 15 minutes, longer than 20, than 30 - over an hour of running without needing to stop! I could never do a pull-up or the bent arm hang in High School physical testing. The monkey bars? Forget it. How is carrying my own body weight across a series of bars supposed to be fun? Well - it's still not really fun, but I can do it. My pull-up count is up to 3 on a good day and I can bent arm hang 'til the cows come home. I can see my arm muscles without flexing. I'm not on Michelle Obama's status yet, but I will get there!

I have just recently reached another non-scale victory. It's no secret to those that know me that I like to wear tight clothing. I just do. Most of my clothes fit me at many sizes because a lot of the things I wear s-t-r-e-t-c-h. Still, fat rolls under tight clothes just ain't cute. So for most of my life, I've had to wear some sort of Spanx garment to at least smooth everything out under my clothing. The past few weeks - I've been able to put on things that usually take a great amount of specific placement and adjusting to hide bulges, without all the effort. I just get dressed. It's still fairly new to me and I'm still kind of shocked over it. I absolutely still suck my stomach in all day, but in general I feel different.

So today, I am celebrating this non scale victory and I think I look pretty dang good. What are your non-scale victories?

Celebrate your non-scale victories!

Monday, September 27, 2010

What Muffin Top?

For the 3 people out there who don't know what a "muffin top" is when referring to a woman's body shape - let me quickly explain. The way modern jeans are designed, the waistband doesn't actually fit anywhere near a woman's waist. It actually sits somewhere below her belly button. Now the waist - that would make sense - it's a natural place in our bodies where our shape curves inward - the middle of the hourglass, if you will. But no - jeans are designed to hit in the middle of our belly fat where there is no natural indentation. So, in the case that you have EXCESS belly fat, splitting it through the middle with a pair of jeans results in fat spilling over the top, very similar to the way the top of a muffin "spills" over the top of it's paper cup holder. Thus the muffin top analogy.
Muffin Top
Now - most people don't even realize that I have a muffin top, but do not be fooled. I was a fat child and an even fatter teenager. If you think that I don't know how to disguise my body so that the public only sees what I want them to see, you are so, so wrong. I have been TRAINED. I suck in all day, every day. That is not a joke or an exaggeration. As a reflex action, my belly sucks itself in the second cloth of any kind touches it. I can strategically place padding, belts, shirts, jackets - you name it - to make my boobs look bigger and my body look smaller. Trust me, ya'll have no idea what I got goin' on! My muffin top is one of my BIGGEST foes in the battle for weight loss. Let me tell you, it is a pain in the butt trying to disguise it in some of my cutest outfits. And of course, my lower belly and thighs are the last places I lose weight, so I've been trying to obliterate this muffin top for years.

The office I work in has mirrors everywhere. On a normal day, I'm adjusting my outfit a bajillion times to make sure said muffin top is not jumping out and scaring people. On this particular fall day - I'm wearing a little jacket that was sent to me c/o one Chalene Johnson. (Love her.) I'm still getting used to the fact that it's a small and it actually zips on me without me suffocating. I didn't notice until today, but because of my body shape - the bottom of the jacket tends to ride up a little bit and rest on my muffin to...

Are you there muffin top? It's me, SweetC.
Wait a second. The jacket rests where my "muffin top" is usually bulging, but today - there's no bulge. I mean, there's still more there than I would like, but it's not spilling out of my clothing. I didn't even think about the fact that when I got dressed this morning, I did not have to strategically position my tights to be sure the muffin top was being controlled. Yes, those are TIGHTS - not pants.

So it looks as though my hard work is paying off. Who knew?

Keep workin' people, it pays off.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Remember Your "Why"

For everything we do in life, there is a reason or a "why". Why do I go to work each day? I go because I need a job to make money to pay my bills. Why am I a free fitness coach? I coach because I know how hard the journey to getting fit can be and if there's any small thing I can do to help someone else on their journey, I want to do it. Why do I dress up and put on make-up and perfume? Because it makes me feel good to look and smell good.

Why do I workout every day? Because I didn't like the way being overweight made me feel. I set a goal in my head of how I want my body to look and I will continue to work towards that goal until I've reached it.

The reason that so many people give up on their weight loss or stop trying is because they forget their "why". In the midst of all of the things going on in life, they let the little interruptions and rough spots get to them and completely forget the urgency they had to start their journey in the first place. Ultimately, the reason always comes back around because if you quit - you didn't actually fix anything. You just postponed your progress.

What's your "why" for wanting to get in better shape? Write it down. Daily, if necessary. Post it somewhere you'll see it. Is it to be healthier so you you can play with your kids and live a long life to be with them? Write that on a picture of your family and put it somewhere you will see it daily. Is it to get back to the kind of shape you were in when you were in High School? Tear a page out of your HS yearbook and circle your sports picture. Give yourself a daily reminder of why you're doing what you're doing so that you'll be inspired to KEEP doing it. No one said it was going to be easy, because it's not. But you're allowed to make mistakes and you don't have to do it perfectly, you just have to do it.

Sweet Charity

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ready, Set, Perfect!

It seems to me that a lot of people seem to be afraid of getting fit. They feel like since they don't know all the particulars, all the best rules and regimens - there's no point in even getting started. Sometimes, it's legitimate but sometimes - let's face it, it's just an excuse.

We live in a society where we feel pressured to get things done, get them right and to do so RIGHT NOW! If it's not perfect, then it's not worth even trying.

But that's crap.

You don't need to know much to get fit. Start with eating less and moving more. There. That's it. That's all you need to know to get started. Everything else - you learn along the way. Fitness is something you have to learn about by doing. You can't sit and watch the Biggest Loser and hope and wish and dream that someday you can somehow be picked for a tv show where people will force you to work out and eat better. Why are you sitting on your butt watching TV and wishing and not DOING something about your fitness?

Just get started. Then, as you start - learn. Read about better ways of getting fit. Seek out your friends and family who have the kind of results you want and find out how they did it. Start with small changes to your daily routine and work your way up. You don't have to go from zero to perfect in one day! It's a journey, not a field trip. As you go, you'll learn better habits and then even better habits, until one day you turn around and can't even see your starting point because it's so far behind you.

If someone would have told me when I was 20 years old - that ten years later, I would be working out daily, eating a diet of only clean foods, only eating fast food every once in a while, enjoying vegetables, and coaching others to fitness - the 20 year old, 180lb me would have said "yeah, whatever." But, here I am, 40lbs lighter and a lot wiser. There's so much I know now that I didn't know then that I learned along the way. But if I waited to get started until I knew it all, where would I be now?

You don't have to know it all, you just have to start! Where are you in your fitness journey? Where do you want to get? I can help you get there. I've been in your shoes and I can show you the way. You'll be amazed at what you can do!

Sweet Charity

Send me an e-mail!

Friday, September 10, 2010

How Bad Do You Want It?

One of the hardest parts of losing weight for a lot of people is keeping the weight off. I feel like this is even harder for people who A)Lose a lot of weight very quickly or B)Lose the weight through surgical means. Carnie Wilson is a prime example. There was this huge deal when she got gastric bypass surgery and lost all this weight. Now, she's right back to where she started. Even with a smaller stomach - she managed to stretch it back out and get to her original size. Now, I'm not saying that EVERYONE who has a surgical reduction will do this. Nor will everyone who doesn't have surgery not pack the pounds back on. It just seems that when it comes to weight loss, as in many areas of life - slow and steady wins the race.

I'm not one of those people who has gained the weight back. I've been slowly but steadily losing for several years. I tend to hit a certain weight and either be satisfied for the moment, or just plateau without being able to break it. (The one exception to this would be when I tried depo prevera birth control and ballooned up 10lbs. in one month. NEVER AGAIN!) I think a lot of people don't realize that when you're overweight - after you lose the first few pounds, it gets harder. Constantly harder. Each pound will be harder to lose than the last. The smaller you get, the more your body will fight you on letting go of more pounds. You just have to keep figuring out ways to make your body let go.

With all the effort, time, frustration and work that I put into getting where I am now - there is no way I will go backwards. I refuse. I know how hard it was to get here and I don't want to waste time going backwards and not forwards. People who lose all their weight in one fell swoop? They don't have those years of work and effort behind them. It might be easier to let the pounds sneak back on and not think too much of it. Until suddenly, 10 lbs. has crept back onto their figure and it's not quite as easy to get rid of as it was the first time OR they have no idea how to get rid of it because the first time it was gone was through surgery.

I'm a pretty tough cookie and I believe in tough love and being honest - both with others and myself. It boils down to this: if you want it bad enough, you'll do it. Period. Getting fit is too expensive? Hmm, I bet if you took those couple extra dollars you spend on lunch EVERYDAY or that you spend at Starbucks EVERYDAY or that you spend going to the movies EVERY WEEKEND or going out drinking EVERY NIGHT, etc. etc. etc. I bet if you took all that money and stopped spending it on "stuff" and started spending it on your fitness, the prices would equal out. If you're not willing to give up some of those things, then you don't want to get fit. Truth. I don't go out on the weekends. I don't want to spend the money or the calories. Because my fitness is more important to me. You don't have time? You can do ten minutes a day of working out. You can give yourself ten minutes - wake up earlier, take a shorter lunch break.If you really want to - you can find ten extra minutes in your day. You can Tivo Entourage or Dexter or whatever TV show has you hooked. If that's more important to you, then you don't want to get fit. I make sacrifices to get the results that I want, not excuses.

The difference between someone who lost the weight and kept it off and someone who didn't...the difference between someone who is doing what it takes and someone who just complains...the difference? Desire and Effort. If you want it bad enough, you'll do it. I set my goal for myself over ten years ago. I'm not there yet - but I haven't stopped trying. Even when people tell me I don't need to lose more weight - that's their opinion, not mine. And I don't let what other people think stop me from doing what I want. Even when it feels like I'm doing everything right and nothing is coming from it - I keep going. Why? Becuase I know what I want and nothing will stop me from getting it.

The question is, what do YOU want? Are you ready to stop making excuses for yourself? Are you ready to be real with yourelf and realize that cheating on your diet "every once in a while" doesn't keep you fat but cheating DAILY does? There's no reason why you can't have the body you want. You're the only one in your way. DECIDE what you want, COMMIT to doing it - and there's no doubt that you will SUCCEED.

If you need help, that's what I'm here for. Send me a message and we can get started on the commitment you've made to yourself right away. SweetCharity@SweetCMe.com

"Are you interested or committed? When you're interested, you'll do what's convenient. When you're commited, you'll do what it takes." - John Assaraf

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Review of Oxy Elite Pro

Monday, August 30, 2010


Something occurred to me during today's workout. I took a break from regimented workouts over the summer which means I haven't seriously lifted weights since, hmmm... March? Lifting weights is ESSENTIAL to weight loss. Lifting builds muscle, muscle burns fat - even when you're just chillin', the more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn. But that's not all lifting weights does for you. It also makes you strong. I remember finishing my second round of P90X and how strong I felt. I felt like I could move mountains or hold my own if some creeper tried to mug me. It was this great sense of fitness and power.

Now, I'm just starting to lift again and I'm really upset at myself for waiting so long to get back to it. My strength level is not where it was at the end of my last round of the X. The good news is, I know from experience that it will come back quicker than it took me to build up. I'm not at the level I left off at yet, but I will get there pretty soon and hopefully surpass it. What I realized is this - I think I need to change my focus.

I spend so much time worrying about why I'm not losing any more weight and what I need to do to lose it. The reality is that figuring that situation out is gonna take a while. Any new thing I try will take at least a few weeks to show if it's working or not and if I'm stressing out over that entire time, I'll just be miserable. My workout tonight was actually fun. I did a HIIT from Turbo Fire and some lifting from P90X. If I just focus on enjoying my workouts and giving it the best I have, at the very least I'll just continue to get more fit. Being fit and feeling fit makes me feel good and EVENTUALLY that fitness has to lead to the weight coming off.

Thankfully, we're entering the cooler months and I don't need to worry about showing skin. It's the perfect time to relax my attitude (not relaxing the workouts). I can still bust my butt and work super hard, but I don't need to worry quite as much about seeing those ab muscles just yet. I have quite some time before they need to be seen by others. I really want to focus on getting in the best shape that I can and let the weight loss come as a result of that.

If anyone has not signed up to join my September fitness challenge, you must do it now! You don't want to be that person making resolutions YET AGAIN on 1.01.11. Why wait? Why not have the body you want BEFORE the new year rolls in? You have nothing to lose but the weight!
Click Here To Join The Fitness Challenge!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Hate Waiting

This is my first week back on a regimented workout routine and I AM SORE! In a way, the soreness is a good thing because it means my body is definitely feeling the workouts - but on the other hand, soreness is painful and uncomfortable. I know the soreness eventually goes away but it certainly reminds me of why it's better to just stay in the habit of working out. Starting up again re-starts the soreness!

The hardest part about this round of workouts is the waiting. I won't be able to tell for a couple of weeks whether or not my new diet and workout plan are working together. A couple of weeks doesn't seem like a lot of time, but when you've already been plateaued for a year - you know that a couple of weeks could bring you good news, or could end up feeling like more wasted time.

But the only thing I can do to tell if it's working is to ride it out and wait and see. As with most people, I want results and I want them RIGHT NOW! There are literally so many factors that could be contributing to me not being able to lose any weight and unfortunately, the only way for me to figure out what's going on is to try a bunch of different solutions and wait to see what works.

It's a very lonely experience. Even though several people are willing to offer their advice and experience, no one else is going through this situation with me. Most people have already figured out their problems, or have never had this experience in the first place. Spending a year being dedicated to intense workouts and clean eating with only a few pounds lost to show for it is really taxing on your psyche. Sometimes I'll look back and think to myself "maybe I just didn't try as hard as I thought I did." But then I'll look at my workout calendars and my food logs and I see the work that I put in and I know that I'm doing all I possibly can.

And now all I can possibly do is wait.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Don't Just Stand There, Let's Get To It!

My biggest weight loss problem over the past year is breaking plateaus. I've been able to lose a little weight this year, but nothing near what I should have been losing in comparison to the work I put in. We are NOT all cookie cutters. If there was one workout and one diet plan that worked for everyone - there wouldn't be thousands of diets and workout plans. There would be 50 versions of the same one, but that's not the case. We all lose in different ways - so right now the toughest part is figuring out what my body needs to lose the weight.

I've tried doubling my workouts, cleaner eating, reducing carbs, increasing carbs, reducing calories and increasing calories. None of these things have worked for me. Most people can't seem to understand when something that worked wonders for them doesn't work for someone else. They assume you must be doing something wrong or maybe your'e not quite calculating your calories correctly... Get over it people. Just because it worked for you, doesn't mean it will work for me. I tried it, and it didn't - so pick your jaw up off the floor and move on. Understand that some of us are gonna have to try several different methods to get to the results that we want. I only just recently found some other people who are experiencing the same difficulties as I am - so at least I don't feel like such a freak of nature anymore. One of the hardest things is to feel alone and hopeless. So at least I've found people who are helping me try other methods.

I am STILL ten pounds away from my goal weight and I haven't been able to shake any of them even with super clean eating and intense exercise. I took a break this summer to give my body a rest and re-set. Well, now it's time to get back to the drawing board and get back to work. I'm determined to get my body to where I want it to be and giving up is just not an option for me. If you haven't started working on your fitness journey, there's no time like the present. I have been through it ALL so if you need help with where to start - send me a message and let's get to it. There are no excuses for how you look and feel - it's completely up to you.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Was Gone For A Minute, Now I'm Back

So yes - it has been a while since I've posted anything. This summer, I got an amazing opportunity to return to a Director position at a summer camp I've worked at since I was in high school. It is the single best working experience of my life and I'm so glad to have had the chance to go back and do it once again. It does tend to be an all-encompassing type of deal, which is why I've been M.I.A. for a while. It was absolutely my choice to give 200% of myself to my job and not the fault of the job itself, but it's so worth it to me.

That being said - summer camp is over! Now it's time to play catch-up with my actual life which was put on hold for a month and a half. I will admit, that I did not get in regular workouts daily. I did a few here and there and I even brought some to camp and did them on my off periods while my co-workers looked on, not surprised in the slightest. My job included a lot of walking around as well as a lot of dancing, so I did still get some daily cardio in. I will also confess that my diet left much to be desired. I started off well enough, but once the groceries ran out and the time to shop did as well, my diet did suffer a little. The only reason I didn't stress about it was that I was still coming out of starvation mode, so I figured just confusing the heck out of my body with calories wasn't gonna hurt me too much. I'd rather be eating too many calories than not enough when trying to break starvation mode. All in all, I ended camp 1 pound down from where I started - which I don't consider a real loss, but exactly the same as where I started.

The funniest thing I found was this: for most of the summer, I felt better about my body than I did before camp. I was surrounded by people who have known me much heavier and who can recognize my progress. I was also surrounded by teenagers who I once wished I could be as small as, and I realized that I actually am pretty close in size to a lot of them. Even though I didn't actually lose any weight, I FELT skinnier. It goes to show how much your self esteem plays a role in how you appear to yourself.

So now, I need to get back on the horse. I'm working on a grocery list and setting up a new workout schedule. I'm planning on combining the intense cardio of Insanity with the weight training of P90X and mixing in some Turbo Fire and PiYo for stretching days. I'm excited to get back to a regimen and hopeful that the few weeks off will help re-start my body and get these last few very stubborn pounds off!

How did all of you do this summer with your fitness?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pushing the Re-set Button

So for those of you who like to stay up-dated on my fitness progress, trials and tribulations - I wanted to let you know what I was up to.

I did finish the full 60 (actually 63) days of Insanity. Unfortunately - I didn't get the results that I was hoping for. Imagine working your ass off for two months straight and not losing any weight. How is that even possible? If you eat right, and workout - you should lose weight, right? And if you eat less and workout harder, you should lose even more weight, right?

Wrong, wrong, so incredibly, unbelievably wrong.

In our society, we're taught that eating less = losing weight. And in a lot of cases, that's true. When it comes to consistent working out however, this is not always the case. At some point, your calorie intake will need to be increased to accommodate fueling your body's muscles and energy level. Most people who are trying to lose weight are extremely resistant to the idea of increasing calories to lose weight. But even they soon find that fighting this principle will result in slowed results.

What happens when you're not eating enough calories is something called starvation mode. Because your intake is too low, your old-school caveman instincts kick in and your body thinks you're starving. To keep you alive longer, it holds on to all that mushy fat that insulates your organs and keeps you alive. This doesn't happen after one day of eating too little and conversely can't be fixed by overeating for one day. A lot of people mistakingly think "I'm not hungry, so I can't be starving". Starvation mode isn't about your hunger, it's about what your body needs to function.

The hardest part about figuring out calorie intake is that all of your numbers will be based on estimates. I eventually figured out that my estimates were WAY off and that I deprived my body of the proper calorie intake for a few months. Which is really bad. So - I had to hit the re-set button. I had to lay off of hard exercise for a while and make sure I was taking in enough calories for my body. Technically, I should have done it while still eating clean foods - but let's face it - it's much easier to get in more calories with pizza than with broccoli. So I gave myself a break from striving for perfection for a few weeks and ate some junk food. Even then - I still had to make sure I was eating several times a day and taking in enough calories.

So now I'm ready to re-set again and get back to the clean eating - just eating much more of it. Let me tell you - it is really hard taking in a lot of calories of clean food! A cup of broccoli is like 40 calories. Not that helpful in contributing to a 2,300 calorie daily intake. At least I get to include peanut butter daily now. I loves me some Peanut Butter. I will also be doing my newest workout: Turbo Fire! It definitely looks like it's right up my alley with heart pumping cardio and hotness music. Looks to be a little more fun than Insanity, but still a great workout. I also purchased a Bodybugg which is a little armband that will tell me how many calories I burn a day (which is WAY higher than I was estimating) and hopefully that will help me know better how much to eat.

Remember, success comes to those who persevere.

“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit.” - Conrad Hilton

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shake-Shake-Shakeology pt. 1

I know a lot of people have questions about Shakeolgoy, one of which is "What does it taste like?" Check out my youtube video on my first taste of Shakeology and stay tuned for my post on why it's so beneficial to your diet.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Insanity: Week 7 "This Workout Is All About You"

Amen Shaun. Amen.

Sorry if this post seems overly aggressive. It's really not, I just don't sugar coat things - it's not my style.

I think one of the hardest parts about pursuing my goal of a fit body is dealing with outside influences. All the people who offer up unsolicited advice. All of the people that say "you really don't have any more weight to lose". All of the people who seem to be getting results much faster and much easier than me. Dealing with these influences is pretty stressful. It can seep into your already fragile mindset and make you crazy, make you sad, make you doubt yourself and what you're doing.

I've never really been someone who cares what other people think of me. I am who I am - and I try to be a good person who does good for others. That's good enough for me. Other people's opinions aren't really necessary. So why is it when it comes to my fitness I let outside influences get to me so much? I get really annoyed when people tell me that perhaps the reason I'm having a hard time losing weight is because there isn't any weight to lose. Like super annoyed. To the point that I've told those people "when you say that to me it really pisses me off." Even more annoying is people giving me advice that I A) did not ask them for and that B) is just plain stupid. While I appreciate that they are just trying to help - if you've never had to work to lose a pound a day in your life, you seriously have no idea what I'm going through. Get back to me when you've had to work to lose a minimum of 20lbs. since I've lost over 50. Thanks. Don't even get me started on the people who say "that program doesn't work, you should do this instead". The idea that any program that has you doing physical exercise everyday won't work, but "your particular program" that ALSO has you doing physical exercise every day WILL work is completely moronic. Even more moronic is someone saying something doesn't work when they've never even tried it. That's like saying "deodorant is dumb, it doesn't work" - well have you tried any? "I don't need it, I don't sweat" - soooo it doesn't work, yet you've never tried it? Yes, well, THAT makes sense. You sound like an authority on the subject, so of course I'll listen to you.

Yeah - I know that seems harsh. But honestly, ignorance on all levels just annoys me. Everyone is free to have their own opinion. But seriously - don't comment on something you know nothing about. It just makes you sound like an idiot. Regardless of any of that - the point is, I've been letting all of the influences affect me and how I feel. And they shouldn't. What it boils down to is - this isn't about anyone else but me. I am doing all of this for me and what I want. People will always have something to say about what you're doing. Why? I don't really know and I can't really say. But at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is what I want out of this. I am the one putting in the work day in and day out. I am the one who knows what I'm going after. And I am the one who will be saying "I told you so" to everyone when all is said and done.

Don't get me wrong - I am all about sharing my journey - thus these weekly updates. My intent is to help other people who are going through the same struggles as me. Who have to deal with the same problems that I deal with. My hope is that I can save some people the headache of doing things the wrong way or help some people understand that they are not alone and we all struggle sometimes. What we all need to remember is that your personal fitness journey is just that - your journey. You can't look at someone else and their results and wonder why you can't have that. Because you are not them. You have your own journey and issues to deal with. Some people can cut carbs and drop a ton of weight. Some people will lift weights and get lean really quick. Some people can increase their cardio and drop pounds easily. If one workout program and one diet worked for every person - well we wouldn't have so many to choose from, would we? You have to do what is right for you and what works for you. That may mean experimenting and trying different things to see what your body responds to. It certainly means giving something a chance before you say it doesn't work. Just stay focused, forget the negatives and remember who you're doing this for.

As always, if you're looking for help with your fitness - leave me a comment. I'm always here ;)

Sweet Charity

Free Fitness Coaching

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Food Prep and This Week's Menu

I try to prepare most of my food for the week at the beginning of the week. Here's what my meals look like this week. For the most part, it's the same every day with minor variations for schedule changes.

First Thing: 1 scoop protein, 1 cup blueberries, 10oz water

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 whites scrambled with onion, pepper, spinach, mushroom and low fat mozzerella cheese, 4 veggie sausage links

Snack: Boca burger with 1/4 avocado, 1 slice tomato, mustard, lettuce, 2 slices of turkey bacon

Lunch: 3 cups lettuce, 1 cup cucumber, 1 cup strawberries, 3oz. chicken, 2 slices turkey bacon, 1 hard boiled egg, fresh squeezed lemon

Snack: 4 oz. ground turkey breast, 2 cups stir fry vegetables

Snack: Chocolate Shakeology, 10 oz. water

Post Workout: 1 scoop Results & Recovery Formula, 10 oz. water

Dinner: salmon, 1 cup broccoli, 1/8 cup low fat feta

Water all day long

To prep for this, I go food shopping on the weekend and
- cook all the meats: chicken, turkey, bacon - enough for the week
- cut up the produce and store in separate tupperware - cucumber, berries, mushroom, onion, asparagus

The night before
- prepare all meals in tupperware so I can just grab and go

The only thing I cook daily is the scrambled eggs and then dinner since I'm actually home by that time. Tupperware is my BFF.

Comment with questions :)

Sweet Charity


Monday, May 17, 2010

Insanity: Week 5 "Sometimes I wonder why I do the things I do....

because I wanna look good!"

So, week 5 is a cardio recovery week. Still intense movement, but not cardio craziness. Basically the kind of stuff where your muscles are burning and pleading with you to stop whatever you're doing. I definitely prefer the cardio where I'm moving too much to think of how much it hurts.

I was really surprised to hear how many people over the past week have called me "dedicated". I tend to forget that working out and eating right are not goals for everyone and are certainly not part of everyone's daily lives. It's been second nature to me for so long, that it's as normal as waking up to go to work. No one calls me dedicated for earning a paycheck. I don't consider this much different.

I guess what I keep forgetting is that there are people who say they're gonna start working out and eating right, but either don't, or they do for a little while and quit when it gets hard. That's not even considered an option for me. I would never stop (of my own accord anyway) the lifestyle I lead. I like working out and eating clean and how it makes me feel, as well as how it makes me look. I know what I want my body to look like eventually, so stopping before I reach that goal has never once crossed my mind. Sure, I get fed up some times. I get annoyed, tired, rebellious. I might take a week off from working out. I might completely forget about my clean foods list and eat whatever the eff I want, as I did this past weekend. I'm not perfect - I mess up sometimes too. I just keep going. I don't quit when it's super hard or extremely frustrating. Because the alternative to continuing means that I'll never reach my goal. And I don't want that.

Most people tell me they don't think I have anything to lose. I struggle with that, because I wonder what they see that I don't. I still see a big roll of fat around my muffin top area that shouldn't exist - don't they see it too? It's kind of like when you see a really horrible singer on youtube and read the comments where people tell them how wonderful their voice is. Your like "omg, people actually think this train wreck is enjoyable." That's kind of what it feels like when people tell me I don't need to lose weight - I think "obviously, they have lost their damn mind." A lot of people have said things like "well, everyone has that little bit of fat. It's biological for some people, you'll just always have that." I think there's a lot of people who believe that way. "Oh, all the women in my family have fat arms - it's biological." Well, I'll tell you now and I'll tell you again - that's crap. It's absolute crap. Perhaps your family history makes it harder for you to lose weight in certain places, but there's no way in hell that you biologically can't burn fat. Unless you have medical issues, you're not "biologically" stuck with anything but your bone structure. And not "everyone" has a little bit of fat. Athletes and famous people are NO different than you and me, with the exception that they work harder on how they look. That's it. They're still human, and bad foods would make them fat the same as for the rest of us. The difference is - they have the dedication to look the way they do. It may take me a little longer than some, but I have that dedication too.

If you struggle with motivation or starting and stopping getting your healthy lifestyle on track, PLEASE contact me and let me help. If I can do it, so can you! We're not so different, you and I :)

Sweet Charity


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Insanity Week 4: "How Do You Feel?"

"I feel like sh*t."

It's been a tough week guys. You know the saying "When it rains, it pours"? Well - that's been my week. Every single day it seemed that something bad happened to me. And no matter how much I tried to put them out of my mind or to overcome and move on - they still managed to bring me down. They even affected some of my workouts. All through the workout, I'd be thinking about what was bugging me and not focusing on my workout.

But I still got every workout in. And actually, I found that once I was done the workout - I felt better. The problems still existed and they still bothered me, but after my workout they bothered me a little less. What seemed like something colossal and unmanageable became more of an annoyance that I had to deal with rather than an impossible mountain I could never climb.

My diet has slipped in the past couple days. What with birthdays and parties and emotional eating, I've had more cake and ice cream than I should have and definitely more alcohol than is safe for any diet. But I'm ok with that. We have to let ourselves slide every once in a while for special occasions. So long as that every once in a while IS actually once in a while and not once every couple days. I'm ready to put this awful week behind me and get back on track with my eating and my mindset. My wanting to get fit is something I do for me. I have to do it, no one else can. I can't let outside forces bring me down and stop me from reaching my goal. Even when I'm sad, or hurt, or upset, or tired - none of these are reasons to stop working on my goal. Because I know that ultimately - what will make me happy is reaching that goal and letting other people hold me back is just stupid.

I'll be doing the Shakeology cleanse to make up for a weekend of debauchery. Hopefully it will undo any damage I may have done this weekend :)

Sweet Charity


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Insanity Week 3: "I'm not trying to hurt you, I'm just trying to make you better"

I don't always feel like working out. I do love the Insanity workouts but I'm not always feeling it when I have to do it. Insanity is a commitment of 6 days a week with one rest day. I've been able to do every workout so far because I make it a priority. I treat my fitness like a job. Technically, if I wanted to, I could call in to work and not go in if I didn't really feel like it. Technically, if I wanted to, I could decide to not do my workout if I wasn't really feeling it. However, I am not willing to deal with the consequences of either of those actions. So I suck it up and get it done, no matter what.

I'm a very empathetic person. I don't just feel FOR people, I feel what they feel. This is true of all areas of life, but especially fitness because I've been there. I know what it's like to struggle and be frustrated. However - I do draw a pretty thick line. I understand it's hard, I won't dispute that - but I do not accept quitting and/or not trying. And I don't accept excuses. When it comes to my fitness, my attitude is that you do what it takes (as long as it's safe and healthy.) You're absolutely allowed to make mistakes, to slip up, to not feel like it - but you do.not.give.up.

I can already tell that my strength and endurance have improved since I started. I still swear at Shaun T. almost daily, but my body is feeling much better during these workouts. I know that has a little to do with my recovery drink, but also I'm just getting in better shape. There are days when I can feel myself dragging a little bit. I mean, it's nice that Shaun T. is encouraging, but that doesn't stop me from giving him the finger sometimes. Ultimately, we are our own biggest cheerleader. Sometimes I think, "At least you're working out. As long as you're doing something, it counts." That excuse may have held water if it was my first year working out. It's not. My next thought is usually something along the lines of "This is Insanity. You better suck it up and move your ass if you want to see results." Which I then do. And trust me, I feel so much better at the end of the workout knowing I gave my all then I do on days where I know I could have done better.

I do try to be really prepared as far as meals and time management go, but even I don't always hit the mark. There were a couple days last week where I was not as prepared as I should have been in the food department. I was either going to have to go without or go buy food, which I HATE doing. It's costly and almost impossible to know what's in food that someone else made for you. One of the days was a pretty easy fix - I had a salad, I just forgot to add a protein source. Without it - I would've been super hungry soon after I ate. So I just picked up some tuna at walmart on my lunch break. The other time - I had no lunch at all. I really didn't want to pay a ton of money for a salad from a salad bar, and refused to get a pre-made anything that I couldn't get an accurate calorie count on. So I drove home - a half hour - threw something together - then drove back to work. Basically my lunch break was spent driving and I just ate and worked at the same time.

I know that maybe not everyone has the same luxury for whatever reason. THE POINT IS - that I made my fitness the priority. Make the best decision you possibly can for your situation. If you can choose between getting a chicken sandwich from a fast food joint and eating plain tuna from a can - you may need to eat plain tuna for that one meal. I will stay home on friday night so that I don't go out and drink a ton of empty calories and so that I can wake up on Saturday and get my workout in. There are days during Insanity that I get a little dizzy or nauseous. I stop, walk around, take deep breaths, drink some water, and KEEP GOING. You're going to get what you put in. If you make a half-assed effort, you'll get a half assed result. If you give it your all - mentally and physically - every day, not just some of the time - you WILL get what you're going after. Just don't stop trying. If you need encouragement, support, advice, verbal abuse ~ I'm here, just ask ;)

As always, if you have questions about Beach Body programs, fitness, weight loss or nutrition - just leave me a comment and I'm always happy to help.

Sweet Charity


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Thoughts On The Scale

I am quickly realizing that diet and weight loss can make you crazy. I know this about myself, but apparently it is universally true. At least I don't feel so alone. My paranoia is not mine alone. Now that I recognize that I have the problem, I am able to work on it. I am happy to say that I am no longer a slave to my scale. Yes, I still use it and I still weigh in - but I do not freak out when it doesn't do what I want.

I have read soooo many posts by people whose focus is entirely on the scale. So much so, that they miss the ENTIRE point of what they're doing, which was to drop some pant sizes. Unfortunately, the scale is the most widely accepted unit of measurement for weight loss. And I suppose that has something to do with the fact that what we refer to as wanting to get in better shape is "weight loss" as opposed to saying that we want to "get fit" or "get in shape." The truth of the matter is - getting fit does not always equal losing weight. At a certain point, getting fit could equal gaining weight. It depends on what you're doing, how you're doing it and what your ultimate goal is.

It is absolutely bonkers to me that some people are losing inches, feeling better, looking better and their clothes are starting to fall of of them - yet ALL they care about are the numbers on the scale. Do you know how crazy that sounds?! So, let me get this straight - your body is getting smaller, your clothes are getting too big, your muscles are getting defined, but you're upset because if someone tried to physically pick you up right now - you wouldn't be as "light" as you wanted to be?


What if the scale didn't exist? What if it wasn't the most widely recognized unit of measurement for weight loss progress? What if the tape measure was the only progress indicator you had aside from what you could see in the mirror and feel in your clothes? How important would your physical mass be then? I understand that we all want to be smaller in numbers on the scale, but seriously? You can't ignore all the other signs of your progress and bank it ALL on three numbers that have less to do with your progress and more to do with whether or not you're bloated that day.

If you are trying to get fit, having a scale is kind of like having chocolate around. If you can handle having chocolate around you without feeling the need to consume it all the time - then you're ok. If you do consume it a little more than you should, but you're ok with dealing with those consequences - then fine. But if having chocolate around you means you'll devour it and then feel completely horrible afterwards, then DON'T have chocolate around you!
Same with your scale.
If you can keep your scale, but use it only as one of many indicators of your progress - ok. If you use it out of curiosity but don't freak out every time you look at it - great. If you're so consumed with the number it gives you that you truly don't recognize losing inches as more quantifiable progress than losing pounds - it's time for you to put the scale away. Or be put in a crazy house.

Sweet Charity

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Insanity Week 2: "I'm gonna be really honest right now...

I'm actually really nervous for this workout."

That's certainly a frightening thing to hear from your fitness instructor before a workout. But then you do the workout, called "Pure Cardio" and once you're about 5 minutes in and you realize you're NOT getting a break...at all...you understand what that statement meant. Unlike the other workouts, Pure Cardio gives you NO break until it's over. But even though that workout is synonymous with "pure hell", that's not what I'm nervous about.

I think the thought on a lot of people's minds before they start a workout program is "what if it doesn't work?" When I did my first round of P90X, I didn't see weight loss in the first 30 days. I found out that that is very common to not actually "see" the results in the first 30 days. Well the same is said about Insanity. But I figured - well I just did P90X so maybe I'm exempt from the 30 day rule with Insanity? Ya know, since it was already applied to the X and this is like a continuation of working out...maybe I don't have to worry? Now I've seen some people with fantastic results in the first 30 days, but I've also seen some people complete the full 60 days with results that were just meh.

Here's the thing: every body is different. There are fundamental weight loss rules that apply to everyone, like eating well and burning calories are necessary to reach elite fitness. However, other things change from person to person. Just because someone else lost 20lbs. on Insanity doesn't mean I'll even lose 5lbs. There are so many things that factor in to why, that I don't even wanna get into it. The point is, nothing is guaranteed.

But should that stop me from trying? Am I gonna let my nervousness cause me to fail? I weigh in every week. While I don't let the scale control me, I do like it when numbers go down. My diet has been pretty spot on. There were a few more cheats than there should have been, but for the most part I've been on point. My weight stayed the same. This is the point where a lot of people give up. "Two weeks, no weight lost = no progress, I quit!" I suppose it depends on how you measure progress. Two weeks also marked the Fit Test day. Every 2 weeks you repeat the Fit Test you took on the first day. I improved in numbers on most of the moves on the test. Personaly, I'll take that as progress.

Another thing to remember is that it's a 60 day program that promised me results in 60 days. It's been 14 days. Nothing anywhere says anything about 14 days. I already know that a LOT of people didn't see results the first 30 days but then DID see major changes in month 2. So at least I know that's a strong possibility. If weight loss were easy and only took 2 weeks, the fitness industry wouldn't be making billions of dollars a year. The truth is change takes time. Everyone wants to lose a TON of weight right now! And that's just not practical, especially for long term weight loss. So I'm 14 days into a 63 day program and I"m already stronger than when I started. And loving the workouts by the way. Oddly enough, I actually look forward to coming home to work out. Of course I'm a little anxious to see weight loss, but for now the improvements in my strength are progress enough.

As always, I'm here if you have questions about Beach Body programs, fitness, weight loss or nutrition. Just leave me a comment or message me at my web page below :)

Sweet Charity


Friday, April 23, 2010

Trust Me - It Ain't Worth It

So far, I have done three programs and gotten a few supplements from BeachBody.com. I ordered all of my workout programs, Slim in 6, P90X and Insanity directly from the website. I paid full price for them, got my deliveries within a week of ordering with everything that I needed for each workout. My DVDs are all functional and have given me no trouble. Were some of the things I got a little pricey? Yes. Absolutely. But to me - it's worth it. Losing weight is a big priority for me, so I'm willing to make investments where needed. I literally had to save up money from a couple of paychecks to get some stuff - but I haven't been disappointed. I like getting the full fitness and nutrition guide books and also having the support of Beach Body.

I can totally understand and appreciate that there are some people out there who are not willing to make the same kind of investment. Some of the programs may be a little more than you can/are willing to invest in at this time. Now, my intent is not to offend ANYONE. But as per usual, if you take offense to what I say - then you're taking that on yourself, and you probably wouldn't be offended if I wasn't right - so that's really your issue. But just let me explain what could happen if you decide to go twenty bucks cheaper and get the programs somewhere else.

If you find it cheaper than the Beach Body website, it's illegal. Period. Amazon is licensed to sell Beach Body products, but it's more expensive there AND does not carry the Beach Body guarantees. DVD skipping? Take it up with Amazon. 90 day money back guarantee? Amazon doesn't offer that. Bought it from an Amazon e-store or e-bay? You're screwed - neither Amazon nor Beach Body can help you.

I'm not sure who else is a licensed retailer, but rest assured if it's cheaper - it's not licensed. Yes, they are very good copies. They look just like the real thing. If they can duplicate an iphone that's not really an iphone, I'm sure that DVDs and books are not really a big challenge. And perhaps the pirated copy you receive will work fine, I can't really say. I'm just saying that I have heard TONS of complaints from people who received a faulty product that they could not return or get help with because they decided to risk problems buying an illegal copy. Now which one of us wasted their money? Honestly, I'll pay the extra bucks just to know that A)my DVDs won't skip or be missing B)if they do, they'll be replaced and C)my products will stand the test of time and I can re-use them.

I just find it baffling how many people say they care about their fitness and really wanna lose weight, but "oh, I can't afford that". Really? Cuz I certainly saw you afford that last cheesesteak and fries you ate and that night out at the bar. If you stopped spending so much money on being un-healthy, you'd have plenty left over to get fit. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I work too hard to sugar coat it for you. If you wanna get fit, you'll do it. If you don't, you'll make excuses.

Sweet Charity

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Maybe It's All In My Head

(original post date:April 21, 2010)

So I've been wondering if all of my weight loss progress is all in my head. Maybe I wasn't that big to begin with? Maybe I haven't lost as much weight as I thought? Do I have body dysmorphia? Because I can still see where there's a lot of work to be done, yet other people keep telling me I'm small. I look at pictures and I can definitely see progress, but I still see what I need to work on. Is all the progress I'm seeing in my head too?

My friend was telling me a story about being at a ball game and seeing a girl there with her muffin top on full display. She was wearing jeans that were too tight, and a cropped shirt, literally putting her muffin top on display. The thought of this horrified me. I have never, ever been one to let my stomach show when it shouldn't. Even when you have a shirt that's a little short and your belly pokes out a little bit - that drives me crazy if you're not fit enough to get away with it. My jeans are (were) always strategically placed so as to avoid any muffin toppage. And since I was young - I've sucked my stomach in when in public. Always. It's to the point that I don't even realize I'm doing it. When I try to take true measurements, I have to make an effort to be sure I'm NOT sucking in. Anytime there is fabric touching my stomach, my reflex is to suck my stomach in. I figure that's why I'm so good at doing ab exercises - my life is one big ab-crunch.

So it occurred to me, maybe it's not that I have a lack of progress - it's that I've hidden what my true body looks like for so long - people can't tell the difference! Now - I don't have to strategically place my jeans because my muffin top is no where near as noticeable. I can just let my waistband sit where it may. But you wouldn't know that unless you're me. I hid the muffin top before so you didn't know it was there. Now I'm not hiding, cuz it's not there - but how would you know the difference? It's the same way that people keep telling me I don't need breast implants. That's because what you see daily as a full B cup is really an elaborate set up of me double-padded-bra-ing under every outfit I wear. It would be nice to not have to put on a show in that arena anymore too.

I think because so much of my life is focused on weight loss, it seems strange to me that other people don't seem to notice. But most of these people - I see every day. They may not necessarily notice because they see me day-to-day as opposed to seeing just my start and end results. I think people also get a set picture of you in their head and then believe that that is how you SHOULD look (unless you're morbidly obese). I have people telling me all the time that if I get any smaller, I wouldn't look right. That sounds completely ridiculous to me! It's not like I'm at Lindsay Lohan or Nicole Ritchie status. Being too thin because you don't eat is not the same as being so fit that you have a low body fat percentage. Personally - I think I'd look kick-ass at a size 2, though that is not my goal. I don't care what size I am so long as the body fat issue is under control. I could go on and on about this particular subject, and I will...in another blog.

I think the point is that change is gradual. And for those who see it as it's happening, they tend to forget where you started and only remember what they've seen recently. Unless it's someone whose close to you - like family. They tend to remember only where you started and compare you to that constantly. So, to them you may be "too thin" simply because they're used to you being so fat. I'm glad I know what my goal is. I know what I'm doing, what I'm doing it for and what I want the end result to be. I notice my progress and I appreciate the changes and really - that's all that matters.

Sweet Charity

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Week 1 of Insanity: "This Sh*t Is Bananas"

That's an actual quote from the workout. The instructor himself is saying this about his own workout, and he's not lying.

How does Insanity compare to P90X? P90X has a large focus on weight lifting as well as including cardio. Insanity is straight up cardio that includes moves that will also improve your strength - it just uses your own body as resistance. The workouts are a lot shorter. While a typical day on the X will take an hour to an hour and a half, a typical Insanity workout is 40 minutes long. It just happens to be 40 minutes of cardio hell. I think in the second month the workouts go up to 60 minutes.

During my first workout, I told the TV screen "eff you" approx. 5 times. I have never sweat so much in such a short period of time. These workouts seriously define what it means to do an exercise to failure. You don't do push ups until you think you can't anymore, you do them until you fall on your face because your arms physically will not hold you up anymore. The workouts are structured on something called max interval training. In normal workouts, you elevate your heart rate for a short period of time then give yourself a longer recovery time. With Insanity, you try not to die for about 3 minutes and then you have 30 seconds to make sure you're not dead, then you start right back up again.

My recovery time has massively improved. I used to be panting and out of breath for a really long time after intense cardio. I was pleasantly surprised to find with Insanity that the 30 seconds of rest is usually enough. It also comes with a nutrition guide. I'm still only eating from the top two tiers of Michi's ladder, but most of their meals are easily adjusted to fit that criteria. The way the meals are structured, I'm actually not hungry at all. I've been doing 1500 calories for a while, but it's not always without effort. The Insanity meals however, have the perfect carb/fat/protein ratios and I haven't been hungry at all.

I'm liking Insanity a lot. I really like the change of pace. I like that Shaun T. teaches like a mirror - he'll say "go to the right" and he means my right, not his. I like that it will only take 40 minutes out of my day. I always feel like I need to do more after the workout because it's so short compared to P90X. A lot of people do a hybrid of Insanity and something else, but I'm really resisiting the urge to add cardio or weights to the program. I want to see what results I can get with just Insanity alone. Although, technically I am doing Slim in 6 three times a week with my mom, but I'm hoping she'll eventually do it on her own without me. I'm definitely no pro at the workouts. I don't get through every single section without taking breaks of my own. Sometimes, it's easy to feel bad that you can't do the dvd straight through - but that's actually pretty silly. If I could do the Insanity workouts without breaks, then I probably woudn't need Shaun T.'s help to get in shape. The whole point is that you do it to the best of your ability. You dig deeper, give everything you have and eventually everything you have will be more than it is now.

Stay tuned for my 60 day transformation. My goals are: 1) to reach my goal weight of 135lbs, 2) to demolish my muffin top into non-existence, 3) to lose another inch of fat off my thighs and 4) to maybe go down to a size 4? I don't care about that last one as much as the first three, but I wouldn't mind.

As always, feel free to ask me questions about fitness, nutrition and Beach Body products :)

Sweet Charity


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Week 13 - Thnks Fr Th Mmrs

"Thanks For The Memories"
So, this week brings us to the end of my P90X, round two journey. THANK GOD. I'm pretty sick of Tony Horton at this point, and I'm quite ready for a change of scenery. I just wanted to take a second and thank everyone who's been following along and encouraging me over the past couple months. I can't believe it's gone by so quickly. I think the greatest thing I've gained his year is my attitude towards weight loss. As you can tell, I work my butt off to get where I'm going. It does seem like I should have more impressive results to show for what I've done - but the thing is, I know I'm giving as much as I possibly can. I don't know why other people do less and see more - and that's not for me to answer. All I can do is my absolute best, and that's what I strive for. The point is - I've made progress, and I can recognize that.

I do want to mention that for anyone is thinking about trying P90X, it is do-able. It's difficult and challenging, but it's rewarding as well. Most people I have seen do have really killer results. Especially if you're someone who doesn't work out much as it is. I think the fact that I already worked out very regularly before I started could be why my results weren't as drastic, but whatever - it got the scale and the tape measurer to move which is something I wasn't accomplishing on my own. I definitely think my diet for this year is what really made the difference. I feel as if my pictures don't do me justice. Even when my coach saw me in person, she said "wow - you look really fit!" Maybe the stats tell the story a little better - cuz seriously guys, my muffin top is CONSIDERABLY smaller than it used to be and I'm not sure you can tell that in the pics.

I started the Insanity program today. Judging from the fit test, if this program doesn't get the last pounds off of me, then I was just meant to be fat, cuz holy man - was it tough! I will continue blogging about my Insanity experience and I'll tag anyone who seems interested or who requests to be :)

So here are my starting and ending stats and pics from both rounds of the X. Thanks again, and I'm confident that by the end of Insanity, the muffin top will be completely demolished!

P90X Fit Test Results: The fit test is the very first thing you do before you start the program. You do it again at the end to see how you've improved.

Resting Heart Rate
Day 0: 80 beats per minute
Day 180: 76 bpm
(this is good, it means my heart doesn't have to work as hard as it used to doing nothing)

Day 0: 0
Day 180: 3 (technically, they were chin-ups but I'll take it)

Vertical Leap (jumping up without gathering momentum)
Day 0: 10.5"
Day 180: 12.5"

Day 0: 18
Day 180: 27

Day 0: 0" past toes
Day 180: 2.25" past toes

Wall Squat
Day 0: 1min 35sec
Day 180: 2min 25sec

Bicep curls
Day 0: 8lbs 50 curls
Day 180: 12.5lbs 34 curls

In & Outs (sitting on ground, bringing your knees in to your chest then back out)
Day 0: 51
Day 180: 82

Day 0: 150 lbs.
Day 180: 143 lbs.

Day 0: 35
Day 180: 34

Day 0: 31
Day 180: 29

Muffin Top
Day 0: 37.25
Day 180: 34.25

Day 0: 38.5
Day 180: 36.25

Day 0: 24
Day 180: 22

Day 0: 11
Day 180: 11

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Step Outside Your Little Box

I think it's easy for us to get so stuck in something, that we are very relectant to change. Even when we complain that we don't like the way things are going, we don't always want to switch things up because "what if it starts working?" I recently had a friend help me change my resume since I've been getting very little if any response to what I've been sending out. For the most part, it was more format changing than content. I liked the new look and everything, I was just kind of being lazy to use it. I already had my old one saved to my computer and in my e-mail. It was just "easier" to continue to send that one out. But I finally sucked it up and made the necessary changes to start using the new one. To my surprise, I actually heard back from a job I applied to. Was it the new resume layout? Who's to say? The point is - I wanted a change, I asked for and accepted help and gave the change a try.

I find a lot of people are in the same boat. They don't like the way things are going, they ask for help and feedback and suggestions - and then don't make any changes. Because they're scared, lazy, or want to wait until what they're doing works. How stupid is that? I can't tell you how many people I know have had diet/exercise questions ~ I have given them advice of things that have worked for me ~ and they respond with "well this is what I'm doing so I'm going to stick with that for a while." I'm thinking "hello? Did you not just say that wasn't working? Why would you continue to do what you know isn't working?!" But in the end, I can't change things for you. If you want to continue on doing something you yourself said wasn't doing it for you, that's up to you.

The thing is, most adjustments aren't permanent. Why don't you just try one of the suggestions you've been given and if after a week .... two weeks it doesn't work, then don't do it anymore. What have you got to lose? If you've already conceded that what you are doing isn't working, what will it hurt to try something else? It's certainly a better idea than continuing to complain and ask for advice that you will never take.

sweet charity

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's Possible?

The weather has been gorgeous this week! I was excited to go for a "run" (by run I mean jog, but saying go for a run sounds better) outside yesterday. I'm not sure if it's sad that the highlights of my day yesterday were
A) Taking a nap when I got home
B) Exercising in yoga pants that fit and didn't slide off my ass as I ran
C) My delicious salmon dinner. I'm seriously addicted to salmon right now.
That does sound pretty pathetic as highlights go...but ah well. I'm boring. Sorry.

As I was "running" I was really focusing on not taking breaks. One of the things I'm working on is my endurance, so I try to run for as long as I can without stopping. I did have to stop a couple times and kind of bounce around in place for 30 seconds or so, but then I'd just pick back up and keep going. I noticed that my recovery time - the amount of time I need to bounce in place before I run again - has drastically decreased. Even when I was revovering, I still felt pretty good. I wasn't panting and dying, I just needed a little repreive. I used to need two minutes, at the least to get my heart rate back down and catch my breath. Yesterday I noticed that as soon as I stopped, my heart rate would start to slow down, and that's good.

So while I was running in my size small Victoria's Secret yoga pants, I was really happy that they were staying put. My mediums had been sliding down while I tried to workout, thus the purchase of the smalls. I was also kind of amazed that I was wearing a small and running continuously. It's really strange for a former fat person once they lose the weight. Some people who are trying to lose weight are trying to get back down to where they once were - before they gained weight. I however, have always been a chubster. So as I lose I keep getting to the smallest I've ever been, and it's strange. I still don't think I look like I should be wearing a small. I tend to think that if I do fit into one, the sizing of that company must run big. But the realization got me thinking about my ultimate goal.

I know in my head where I want my body to be. I know how much weight I want to lose and what I want my body to look like. Even when people tell me I look great, while I appreciate it - they're comparing me to what I used to be where as I compare me to where I'm trying to get. I'm not gonna lie, while I work really hard to attain that goal - it does seem a little impossible sometimes. I've NEVER had a flat stomach. I can't even imagine what it would feel like to not have to suck in my gut. And I started to think - you can actually do this. You can ACTUALLY get that body. Holy crap - you're gonna have a flat stomach!

It's kind of strange to think about it. Even though it's what I always wanted, actually picturing myself with that body FOR REAL seems a little...odd. More than that, it seems possible.

And I know there are people out there who say "my body wasn't made to looke like _____" or "it's in my genetics, I'll never be ________" and that's crap. It's just pure crap. Does my body have a certain shape that probably won't change? Yeah, most likely. I'm sure my thighs will always be one pant size larger than my waist. Because even when I burn the fat there, I still have pretty sizeable muscles in my legs. It's even hard to fit skinny jeans around my calves. Does that mean that my thighs will stay the size they are now while the rest of me shrinks? No - that's ridiculous. There are certain things that are beyond our control, but losing weight is NOT one of them. It's possible people. There's so much possible out there for those of us willing to work to get it without making excuses.

What's your possible?

sweet charity

Friday, April 2, 2010

Week 12 - omg, I'm ENORMOUS!

*Disclaimer: This post talks heavily about woman troubles. Men, if you're sensitive to that kind of thing - you've been warned.*

So I started this week off really good. I had a really positive attitude. I was sure that my week ending blog was going to be on how happy I am with my results. I got into my goal jeans 2 weeks before my deadline. I remember how putting my hands on my hips felt different because there was significantly less flab there. I'm starting to win my battle with my massive thighs - I can even look at them in the mirror and consider them thinner. When I feel my legs, I feel the muscle and a lot less flab. It felt like I was finally making progress!

Then - it hit, my monthly gift from mother nature. Now I have to say - I used to not have too much trouble in this dept. I had one day of mild cramps that could be cured with midol and I was good to go. Those mild cramps turned into severe cramps that could be dulled with midol and cardio. That then turned into 2 days of cramping....then one day of nausea plus one day of cramps. This week: 4 days of nausea - I felt like I had to throw up all day long kind of nausea and 2 days of why-do-women-have-children-if-it-hurts-worse-than-this cramping. Midol did nothing to help.

In addition to this, I also incorporated Shakeology into my diet this week. It's a meal replacement mix that you're supposed to take once a day. I was trying to experiment with different things I could mix it with this week so I was having two a day. And on top of that - I'm trying to reduce my carb intake. I did not realize until I tried to reduce them what a carb monster I am. Especially on my period. Now - because I had two meal replacement shakes a day, that brought my calorie count down a little bit. But because I binged on every carb in sight when my period struck - that brought it back up. So, while I didn't really exceed my daily calorie allowance by too much - many of those calories came from potato chips, chocolate and golden double stuff oreos - OH MY GOD they are so good!!! They are seriously like crack, I can't stay away! Ahhh! I did manage to get my daily workouts in, though I fell a day behind due to curling up in bed in the fetal position on the first day the nausea hit.

And all this week, I felt like I looked HUGE! Even on the days that I was wearing my most recent pairs of goal jeans, i.e. the smallest jeans I own. My belly in the mirror just looked massive. And bellies have nothing to do with period bloat. I'm talking a huge gut. "How do I manage to stuff this body into a size 6 and size S workout pants? That can't be right. My belly is gigantic!!!" The GOOD thing is that I've been in training. I've been working on myself and my attitude over these past 12 weeks. And so, even while I thought these things - I was able to tell myself "think about how ridiculous what you're thinking is. You're WEARING a size small right now. You did not gain a pound in a day. Or 2 days. One pound =3,500 calories and even with chip bingeing you've had far less than half of that today. Stop being crazy." And so that's what I did. I banished all negative thoughts to the "you're on your period and not thinking clearly" bin and continued on with my week.

I don't know what the results of my bingeing mishaps will be. But I'm not gonna beat myself up. I won't say "hey - it's totally ok, you were on your period!" because that's just an excuse. I really could've resisted if I planned better and exercised my willpower. But it's ok to make mistakes. It's ok to live and learn. This is a lifestyle change and not a timed race. If you trip, you just get back up and keep going. One more week on the X...then we bring on the Insanity!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Week 11 - The Process and the Progress Continue

Well guys, it's been a really good March for me. I've managed to convince myself (or at least work on convincing myself) not to focus on weekly weigh ins and not to be discouraged when I don't see immediate progress. I feel better about that.

As I mentioned, I kind of upped my calories last week - well I tried. This week, I did the opposite. I did not do double workouts at all this week. I in fact forced myself to stay home from the gym and only do my at-home workouts. I'm trying to see if I was overdoing it by doing a double workout EVERY day. Because I subtracted an entire cardio workout, I also subtracted some calories. I don't do weigh in until Saturday morning, but here's this week's story:

Most of my jeans are from Lucky Brand. I used to work there and grew an addiction to their jeans. Different styles fit differently, and so I have jeans that range in size from 6 to 10 all fitting the same body. Well, I bought one pair imparticular in December that were a size 6 ... and I do wear some 6's, but these would not come past my thighs. It just wasn't happening. (I shake my fist at you, thighs!) This morning, I woke up and just thought "I can get into those jeans today." I don't know how I knew, I just knew. I had just tried these jeans on maybe a week ago - and they were pretty close to fitting, but not quite - if I actually wanted to you know, breathe and walk and stuff. So - I tried them on and viola! They fit. So without a weigh in and without measuring, I've got my progress for the week.

I was in Express the other day trying on "business" clothes for job interviews. When the salesgirl offered to get me another color of the skirt I was trying, she said "what size?" I said "size 6." With a period, and not a question mark. Usually I don't know if I can fit the size I want to be in. It still feels weird for me - this is the smallest I've ever been. And I don't use Lucky Brand sizing as bible, because I know their sizing is just strange. Aside from their jeans, everything is made to fit loose. I mean, I wear an XS in their sweatpants and those are baggy - so I can't use that store as an indication. But I was wearing a size small shirt and a size 6 skirt, and they fit. They didn't "almost" fit or "kinda" fit. They fit. And I bought the outfit.

This is one of my dangerous phases. It's where I reach a point that I'm happy and would usually stop trying as hard. Until I get to a point that I'm unhappy again and pick it back up. I'm not going to do that now. I know ultimately where I'm trying to get, and I don't want to get de-railed by my small accomplishments. I've come a long way, but there's still work to do.

Size 6? In December

Size 6 in March

Friday, March 19, 2010

Week 10 - How do you measure progress?

If you measure your life in love, how do you measure your weight loss progress?
(sorry for those of you who don't get the musical reference)

I was planning on increasing my calorie intake from 1500 to 1800 this week. And for most days I did. It's a really tough concept for most people to understand that you have to eat to lose. Especially if you're doing an intense lifting program, you need to take in sufficient calories to feed your muscles otherwise your weight loss will stall. I just wanted to see if upping my calories would help my weight loss at all. It's a tough call, because the first time I did the X - I was eating higher calories and didn't see the weight loss I wanted, so I didn't want to replicate that situation. At the same time - I don't want to starve my body. So after about 4 days of making an actual effort to hit 1800 calories, I just ended up feeling uncomfortable and bloated on some of the days. Some of them, I felt fine. I've already conquered letting the scale rule my life and now I'm going to conquer counting calories.

Is it important? Yes - somewhat. Is it worth going nuts over? Absolutely not. I finally decided that my calorie intake will be between 1500 and 1800 based on how hungry I am. If I'm genuinely hungry, I'm eating. If I'm not, I won't force feed myself. As long as I'm taking in no less than 1500 and no more than 1800 on any given day - I'm good. I'll give it a shot and see how it goes.

I don't know what my weight loss results are this week cuz I don't weigh in til Saturday morning, so we'll see how the half week of incresased calories affected me. I will say that Hollister has been very good to me - I ordered another size XS sweatshirt online and aside from the arms maybe being a little tighter than they should be - it does fit. So if I lost no pounds and no inches this week, will I say that I haven't progressed? Absolutely friggin' not. I'm finally learning to look at fitness in a new way, as a process. There are certain things that apply to everyone trying to lose weight, but that doesn't mean we will all lose it the same way. Even if I didn't drop actualy pounds this week, guess what I did do?

3 unassisted pull ups. The first pull ups I've ever done in my life. I remember being in gym class in elementary school and doing the dreaded "bent arm hang" for girls or pull-ups for the boys. I could never hold my own body up and I was an embarassed little chubby girl. This week, I did 3 legit pull ups pulling my own body weight above the bar. Not only that - but I also ran consistently for 50 minutes. Another first for me. I ran on an incline, increasing the spead every 5 minutes for 50 minutes straight with no breaks and no slowing down. Not only that - but in my cardio kickboxing class that usually cardio kickboxes my ass, I only took one unmandated water break as opposed to my usual 5. And I didn't feel completely winded, I felt pretty good!

So do you measure in inches? In pant-size? In scale numbers? In the mirror? Regardless of what my scale says this weekend - I know I've made progress. I can't wait to see how many more pull-ups I can do and how much faster I can run.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"I Don't Wanna Get Too Bulky"

I just gotta get this off my chest - because it makes me crazy. I hear SO many women say they don't want to lift weights or do P90X because they don't want to get too bulky. Honestly, how many fit and in shape women do you know PERSONALLY that you would describe as bulky? Ok, how many have you seen - outside of fitness magazines and competitions?

I personally know 2 women who compete professionally, and they are the closest thing I've seen to "bulky". Ladies, you're not going to pick up a weight and all of the sudden turn into a professional male wrestler. It doesn't work that way. Our bodies were not made to get large like that. There is so much work and effort and supplements that you would have to purposely invest to manipulate your muscles to a point that could be described as "bulky". It's not gonna happen by accident. It's certainly not gonna happen by you picking up a 15lb. dumbbell.

Excuse #2 - I don't really need to build muscle, I just want to lose weight

Guess what? Muscle burns fat. Yup, you heard me. So when you're sitting at your desk at work, doing nothing - your muscles are burning fat. The more muscle you have, the more efficiently that fat is burned. That's why lots of women who are slim also have very toned muscles. Those muscles helped them get slim. And how do you get toned muscles? You need to lift weights. Or - use your own body weight as resistance.

Take it from someone who knows.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Personal Best!

I did not feel like working out tonight. I felt tired and stressed and bloated and I really just wanted to curl up in bed and watch TV. So I hemmed and hawed and procrastinated, but I finally got my butt out the door and to the gym.

I've been working on improving my cardio-vascular endurance. It's one of my weaker points and I'm especially trying to prep to start Insanity. There's a couple ways to work on your endurance - the method I'm going with is just trying to jog/run for long periods of time without breaks. I remember the first time I managed a 15 minute jog without stopping. At the time, it was the longest I'd gone actally jogging and not stopping and it was AWESOME. More recently, I've been able to get up to 25 and 30 minutes of continuous jogging with no breaks. Improvement is happening.

So tonight, I figured I'd just do a half hour on the treadmill and then a half on the elliptical. The elliptical is way easier and I don't count it towards endurance because it's too easy to vary speed. I do ten minutes of walking on an incline as a warm-up, then bring the incline down to 2.0 and jog at around 5.0 speed, increasing by 0.1 every 5 minutes. The last 5 minutes I go up by 0.2 every minute so I end with a "kick". Knowing I was doing less than my usual 45 minutes - I started the jog at 5.3. By the time I hit 29 minutes and 5.6 speed, I felt really good. I decided to keep going and upped the time to 45 minutes. Well, at 44 minutes and 5.9 speed, I thought "How awesome would it be if I could make it to 60?" So that's what I did. At 45 minutes, I upped the speed to 6.0, at 50 minutes to 6.1, at 55 minutes to 6.2 and knowing that I've done a kick of at least 7.0 before - at 55 minutes I started upping the speed in increments of 0.1 every 30 seconds. In the 59th minute, I upped it every 20 seconds.

I didn't stop or slow down once in the entire hour! I started running at a 5.3 and ended the run at 7.2! This is a new personal best for me. The fastest and longest I've EVER run. And that includes doing the mile run in high school. I'm kind of in shock and disbelief. Like, I don't know if I could do that again. I don't know how I did it in the first place! I'm hoping I can be consistent, and of course get better. So maybe I'll make it past day one of Insanity.