It seems that me being a slow poke with posting is becoming a habit. Sorry about that for those who do read! You know how it can get this time of year and I still have some loved ones that are ill. I still have tons of ideas and stuff I’m working on but just haven’t had the time to sit down and get it out to you! Today’s post is going to be really long to make up for it.
Since becoming Lifetime at WW, I’ve had a lot of people (even my own family!) ask me how I have maintained my weight. The simple answer is: eat right and work out. Of course we all know that. But if it were so easy to do then we’d all be at our ‘perfect’ weight right?
The longer version of this is well—long. The first and MOST important thing to me after reaching my goal at WW was: What’s next? I have listened to many WW'ers who have been there 3 or 4 times because they stop going to meetings after they reach their goal. I made a promise to myself that I would continue to attend meetings AND weigh in (even though I don’t have to) to keep myself accountable. That’s the big thing for me. If I am forced to be held accountable, I will do better. Plus, I enjoy the meetings to see my friends who I have met there. It’s also a great source of motivation, which is another biggie on my list. When I am having a down day or a bad weigh in, there are people there who have been through the same thing and can offer support. My DH has never had a weight problem in his life so he wouldn’t understand it at all. And it’s wonderful to hear other’s successes. It spurs me on!
Now the the main thing and it’s a MUST for me. Working out. Before WW, I was a half-asser at working out. I did it, but never consistently and never for very long. I wanted a better body but I didn’t feel like doing the work to get it. It was hard work, duh. Harder than I wanted to do at the time. Well, once my weight became WAY higher than I wanted and I joined WW, I knew I had to get more fit. For some people, they don’t have to work out and just eat better and the weight comes off. I am so NOT that person. I realized that I NEED to work out to see improvement in my weight and my body.
My evolution in fitness started out slowly. I had decided to just work out at home for one thing. I had never really enjoyed the gym and I would rather just go home and do it and then jump in the shower. No packing a bag, no racing to and from the gym. I have (still do!) the FIRM DVDs with various steppers etc. I started doing the videos when I started with WW and they were so hard! I could barely get through 20 minutes without feeling like I wanted to die! Slowly, I built up to getting through all of the video at least 3 times a week. And the weight started to come off a little faster. But then I got bored. Anyone with ADD (or knows someone with ADD) knows that boredom = death. I need to change it up to keep myself interested. So I started trying out other videos like Jari Love. And I started enjoying fitness again.
Then the dreaded plateau came. It came with a vengeance and didn’t want to leave for a long time. I often went home from meetings in tears or else I was fighting mad (ask my friends there!). I was so mad at the damn scale. I was following WW to the letter, working out diligently, but nothing to show for it. I spoke with my leader at the time, who said that maybe I was too focused on my food and being too hardcore. She was right. I have a tendency to hyper-focus on things when I get really into them (a hallmark of ADD). She suggested that I not be so worried about my food intake and eat a little bit more. That maybe my body was fighting me and hanging onto weight. Good theory but I was SO scared to eat a bit more after losing that first 10%. But at this point, I was so frustrated I was willing to give it a try. DH and I went away to a wine festival that weekend and I ate a bit more and drank wine and enjoyed. When I came back I lost 1.2 lbs!!! Yay!
Changing it up is essential. I do get into phases where I like to eat the same things every day and will often do this for weeks at a time but then I realize I need to change it up. That was true for exercise as well. My body was getting used the FIRM and Jari workouts and quite frankly, I had progressed to another level. I was ready for something else.
Enter weights. Both the FIRM and Jari extolled the virtues of weights but I never really thought about it until I realized that the cardio and light weights I was doing was just too easy for me now. I’m also a magazine whore and saw a copy of Oxygen at the grocery store and picked it up. A little mini-epiphany occurred. These girls (look at Jamie Eason above!) were not overly muscled; they were sleek and tones and HOT looking! The body I was hoping to get somewhat close to! Oxygen focused on those who wanted to get fit and healthy. They not only advised lifting weights, but HEAVY weights. Heavier than I ever lifted before. I was scared—I didn’t want to look beefy or make my legs BIGGER! But if these girls lifted heavy and looked that good, I should be able to do it too right?
I started with my research. I’m always a voracious researcher before I get down with something. I have to read reviews, check out websites and get opinions before I commit. I lurk on several message boards, one of them for fitness. Many of the posters there loved Chalean Extreme. After trying a few different other DVDs I decided to try Chalean. I had done some of her Turbo Jam workouts and loved her energy so I figured I would probably like this program.
Success!!! Chalean Extreme is totally different to those of you who just do cardio all the time. It’s HEAVY weights, heavier than I ever have lifted in my life. But it works! After my first go-round, I actually had muscles you could see!!! I was so excited! I felt so strong and confident. And that was just using 8lb dumbbells! The DVDs come with a schedule, a great book explaining everything to you and recipes too. The DVDs are not very long, maybe 45min at the longest. But you will feel it. Be prepared to be sore, really sore if you haven’t done weights before. And take it easy---start out with light weights and build up—no need to injure yourself. Chalean has the people in her DVD at all levels, from beginner to advanced.
I will be honest with you. As much as I love Chalean Extreme, I’m getting ready for something else. But I will always keep this one near by to go back to as it provides GREAT results. I ordered Turbo Fire a while back and tried it with Chalean Extreme in a hybrid schedule. But I had to shelf that for a bit. I was really lazy when I was laid off and was nowhere near ready to do that intense of a program! I feel like I am ready now to start the hybrid again.
The other thing was that I got really into Zumba classes as well. They are so fun and get you moving and you definitely SWEAT! My work has a good program with a gym that I believe I am going to join. I am so scared to join a gym. I think it must be that fat girl in me who thinks everyone is going to laugh at her and think “what is SHE doing here?”. I figured I don’t have anything to lose since I am going mainly for the classes like Zumba. I’m not so sure I would venture into the weight room because I have no idea how to use the machines and I would need a leader to help me out on that. Plus—I love DVDs—they have a start and end point and keep me focused. I do plan on seeing what it’s all about though. I have a TON of old Oxygen mags I could use to pull together a routine that would work for me. Just super nervous about it.
Wow---that was a super long post—thank you for reading if you made it this far!!!
I would love to know some of your fitness stories, ideas or tips. Especially for a first time gym-goer. I’m probably going to join tomorrow through work and then check it out this week. So feel free to pass them on!