Sunday, November 17, 2013

Week 16 and 17: Slowing Down While Speeding Up

I'll start first with the slow down.  Weight-loss is at a crawl right now, but I am content and okay with that.  I haven't quit, but now that I am in my normal weight range for my height, weight loss is getting more difficult unless I create a large enough deficit and that is difficult to do while in school and facing the Holidays, but I am still working at it.

The past two weigh-ins have been bi-weekly, and I don't want to make a habit out of that.  Weighing in weekly keeps me accountable to making progress.  So this will be the last time I will combine weeks.

Between Week 16 and 17 I only lost 1.4 lbs.  I am down 25 lbs overall, though, and that is freaking fantastic. 
140 lbs = Pre-Brendan weight.
137.8 lbs = -15 lb mark
133 lbs = Pre-Avery weight.
132.8 lbs = -20 lbs mark
127.8 lbs  =  down 25 lbs and The lowest weight I have been since having babies.
122.8 = Pre-Lindsey weight and -30 lb mark.
So, I am nearing my initial weight goal.  I'm so close.  Only 5 more lbs.  and then I will be the weight that I was when I found out I was pregnant with Lindsey...
Thinking about the future: After I reach 122.8 lbs, I can either stay there and maintain, or I could shoot for my recommended weight for my height which varies according to the source you consult... I think what I will do is keep doing what I am doing until I either plateau, or I reach my lowest goal weight of 105 lbs.  If I plateau I will just maintain by keeping on the same calorie limitations and exercise routine.  If I keep losing to 105 lbs I will begin a weight maintenance program with my calories and exercise so that I don't gain or lose... So that is the plan.
ANYWAY, onto the "while speeding up" part.  I hate running.  I mean... I used to envy runners because I just didn't have what it took to set a pace in jogging/running and keep it for any extended periods of time.  I have been putting an hour in on the elliptical for the past 17 weeks which translates into a little over 6 miles, and I feel like I am getting cardiovascular-ly healthy (I made up a word). Well, last Sunday, I decided to run in the morning instead of doing my workout at the gym.  I didn't do anything amazing, but I did jog for 4 miles and only stopped to walk a couple times.  I was terribly sore afterward though.  I liked it though, and I developed this desire to get better at it, so I went again a few days later, and I jogged for 4 miles straight NO WALKING.  I was stoked.  After that I decided to do a 6 mile jog.  I am not going to lie, it was rough.  I only walked for probably 1/10 of a mile, but I had to fight through a stomach ache, nausea/dizziness that developed after having to stop abruptly while my heart rate was about 170 bpm, and strong wind resistance.  I did it though.  6 miles in 1 hour and 8 minutes.  Not excellent, but I was just thrilled that I did it.

So there you have it.  I'm still keeping at it.  Recording every single calorie, exercising, and committing to the process. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Music that Burns my Calories.

If you are doing cardio workouts and wonder how to maximize that burn, I am going to tell you how I went from burning 520 calories an hour to burning anywhere from 620-680 calories a workout.

The trick isn't anything spectacular.
I started out easy.  I work out strictly on the elliptical.  Some will tell you that this isn't the best way to work out, but the proof is in the pudding or so they say, and I am losing weight, so... elliptical it is.

I began working out on the elliptical with a 10 incline and 1 resistance.  Nothing difficult at all.  I enter my weight and age.  I monitor my heart rate nearly the entire workout.  I would do this while watching TV shows on the TV connected to the gym equipment.  For the first 15 lbs or so of my weight loss journey I have to thank my guilty pleasure General Hospital, Superman, Lord of the Rings, Taken, Jumper... among other shows that I watched. Doing this would burn me about 480-500 calories.

After about 3 weeks I began adding resistance.  I would start out at 10 incline - 1 resistance then after 10 minutes I would move to 8-3 then 9-2 then 10-1 again.  Doing this I would burn about 520 calories.

When I really hit my stride was the day that I decided I was getting fit enough to up my resistance and instead of watching TV I found the magical calorie burning awesomeness of music...

Right now, my workout consists of a 5 minute warm up at 10 incline - 1 resistance, then I switch it to 6-5 and keep it there unless I hit a slower paced song, then I switch it to 6-8.  Doing this I burn anywhere from 620-680 calories.

Now for the music that makes my workouts AWESOME.
1. Muse... any Muse really, but the only Muse album I have on my iPod right now is The 2nd Law.
Often I will repeat the last song for cool down since the album doesn't quite take up 60 minutes plus a 5 minute cool down.  I usually burn about 678 calories keeping up to the pace of the songs on this album.

2. Hillsong United - Zion.  This album is very ambient.  It's got good steady beats.  It is a worship music album so I don't know that you will want to work out to this album if you don't particularly care for worship or Christian music.
This album is 70 minutes so it will last your full workout and cool down... The songs have steady rhythms to keep pace to and the music is really uplifting.  I burn about 645-660 calories to this album.

3. PANDORA station: Phoenix
I found these guys by accident (yes, I live under a rock).  I was listening to Muse Pandora station and a song from this album called "1901" came on and I loved it, so this introduced me to a wonderful Pandora station full of indie pop.  All of the music has a good steady pace to set your workout to and the music is fun.  I burned 642 calories today working out to this station.

4. PANDORA station: Muse (of course)
This station has it's really awesome days and then some days the songs can be slower and not a good workout pace.  I usually burn about 620 - 675 calories with this station.

Finding great music with a good pace you can set your rhythm to is what took my workouts to the next level.  And that is all.  The music that burns my calories.  Happy exercising.  Find your niche.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 14 and 15: Don't Worry, I Got This.

Week 14 was a no loss.  I actually put on .4 of a lb.  Rather than post about that, I just waited for the following weigh in to post.

Week 15 was much more successful :)
-3.4 lbs for between week 13 and 15, and -23.6 overall.  I'm feeling so great, and slowly starting to get more comfortable in my body.  I have 7.2 lbs to go before I am FINALLY pre-pregancy weight... and by pre-pregnancy I mean what I weighed the day that I found out I was pregnant with Lindsey, my oldest daughter.  I haven't weighed 122 lbs in over 10 years nearly 11!  I never thought I would ever lose the weight, but now it's right there within reach!

The secret to my success so far is still the same:
1. My Fitness Pal app... calorie counting.
2. Working out to be able to have more freedom to eat things I like and avoid deprivation.
3. Commitment to the process of losing weight.

If you are on a weight loss journey, seriously, you can so do it!  Keep at it.