Tag Archives: weight loss

Nothing Ventured, Nothing “Lost”: Week 3

16 Dec

motivation, fitness

21 days down,  9 days to  go!!

I am 3/4 of the way through, and I have to say this has been the most successful week yet.  I have started seeing changes in the way my body looks, and most importantly, I feel great!

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Ventured

Here’s how my week went:

Monday

* Cardio: 2 minute warm up on treadmill; 10 min. at 5.5 mph, alternating 2 minute intervals at an incline of 5 every 2 minutes

Tuesday

* Cardio: 10 minutes on elliptical, setting on fat burn

* Strength training: back & shoulders

  • Lat pull down; 3 sets at 50 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Seated Row; 3 sets at 50 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Lat Press; 3 sets at 30 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Delt Raises; 3 sets at 20 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Shoulder Press; 1 set at 20 lbs.,  12 reps each, 2 sets at 30 lbs., 10 reps ea
  • Rear Delt Pull; 3 sets at 20 lbs., 12 reps each

Wednesday

* 15 minute cardio yoga workout.  I have been reading a little about yoga lately, and how it can greatly improve overall strength.  I googled a cardio yoga workout on youtube, and it was quite effective in getting my heart rate up, and making my muscles really burn.  You can check out the video I found here.  I was a little skeptical when she started talking about an inner fire and my golden flame.  Yes, you read that correctly.  But if you can get past that, the workout is pretty good.

Friday

* Cardio: 10 minutes on elliptical, setting on fat burn

* Strength training: Legs

  • Leg extensions (quads); 1 set at 50 lbs., 2 sets at 55 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Seated hamstring curls; 1 set at 55 lbs., 2 sets at 60 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Leg press; 1 set at 90 lbs., 2 sets at 100 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Calf raises; 3 sets at 35 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Lunges; 3 sets holding 8 lb. weight in each hand, 12 reps each

Sunday

* Cardio: 2 minute warm up on treadmill; 10 min. at 5.5 mph, alternating 2 minute intervals at an incline of 5 every 2 minutes

* Strength training: arms & chest

  • Bicep curls; 1 set at 15 lbs., 10 reps; 2 sets at 20 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Tricep curls; 2 sets at 20 lbs., 12 reps each, 1 set at 25 lbs., 12 reps
  • Chest Press; 3 sets at 40 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Chest fly; 1 set at 30 lbs., 2 sets at 40 lbs, 12 reps each

I missed my workouts on Thursday and Saturday due to extenuating circumstances.  Hey, life happens, but the important thing is that I got right back in the game and kept going, and the results were very encouraging.

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Lost

Guess who lost 2 pounds this week.  This girl!!  To be more precise I gained 0.31  lbs. of muscle, and lost 1.5 lbs. of pure fat!!  That’s a total of 2 lbs. in 3 weeks!  I lost 1/2″ from my hips, 1/4″ from my waist, and 1″ from my bust.  My total weight went from 139.4 to 137.4.

I think it is important to note at this point that I am not dieting.  I try to eat healthy, and I incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables into my meals, but I don’t deprive myself.  I try to avoid foods that are bad for me, but I don’t try to restrict myself to a certain number of calories per day.

This week I indulged in fresh sushi with miso soup and a nutella and banana filled crepe for dessert.  My hubby cooked up a delicious panini recipe using eggplant, roasted red peppers in adobo sauce, and feta cheese on rosemary bread served with tossed fresh greens.  I also enjoyed a huge serving of a roasted veggie stuffed crepe with ricotta, and a yummy cream sauce. (Also courtesy of Tyler)  We also had chips and salsa with fish tacos, black beans, and grilled veggies for lunch yesterday!!

Obviously we are not deprived.  I try to have at least one or two servings of greens per day, and most times I get a lot in my morning smoothie.  I snack on trail mix and fruit throughout the day, and I never feel like I am starving.  If you make it a point to eat fresh and healthy it easily becomes second nature to reach for an apple instead of that Snicker’s bar.  Incorporate exercise and soon it becomes a lifestyle, and that’s when you keep the weight off, and put yourself in a position to live a long, healthy, and happy life.

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Nothing Ventured Nothing “Lost”: Week 2

9 Dec

alittleeffortgoesalongway

14 days down,  16 days to go!!

Well I have reached the halfway point in this little experiment, and I have to say it has proven to be quite beneficial.  Not only have I lost fat and gained muscle, I adequately prepared myself for our recent bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, which otherwise would have been much, MUCH more painful.

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Ventured

Here is what my week looked like:

Monday

* Cardio: 2 minute warm up on treadmill; 10 min. at 5.5 mph, alternating 60        second intervals at an incline of 5 every 2 minutes

Tuesday

* Cardio: 2 minute warm up on treadmill; 10 min. at 5.5 mph, alternating 60        second intervals at an incline of 5 every 2 minutes

* Strength training: arms & chest

  • Bicep curls; 3 sets at 10 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Tricep curls; 3 sets at 20 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Chest Press; 3 sets at 40 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Chest fly; 1 set at 20 lbs., 2 sets at 30 lbs, 12 reps each

* Abs: 25 crunches on swiss ball; weighted side bends 20 lbs., 2 sets of 20 reps on each side; 5 minute ab routine (I just used exercises from the 8 min. ab video)

Wednesday

* Cardio: 2 minute warm up on treadmill; 10 min. at 5.5 mph, alternating 60        second intervals at an incline of 5 every 2 minutes

Thursday

*Cardio: 10 minutes on elliptical, setting on fat burn

*Strength training:  shoulders & back

  • Lat pull down; 3 sets at 40 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Seated Row; 3 sets at 40 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Lat Press; 3 sets at 20 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Delt Raises; 3 sets at 15 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Shoulder Press; 3 sets at 20 lbs., 12 reps each

* Abs: 30 crunches on swiss ball; weighted side bends 20 lbs., 2 sets of 20 reps on each side; 5 minute ab routine (I just used exercises from the 8 min. ab video)

Friday

Ok….er….um…see what happened was…. well, I forgot to workout.  It’s the God’s honest truth!!  It was Friday, I had a marathon week at work (which I think could probably be considered a workout in and of itself), and when I got home it completely slipped my mind.  I didn’t realize until much later on that I had skipped my ten minutes.  Maybe my body was trying to tell me I needed to rest.  (That is what I am going to tell myself ;-))  Anyway, I didn’t feel quite as bad knowing what I had in store for me on Saturday.

Saturday

*Cardio:  Biking the Golden Gate Bridge.  We rented bikes near Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, and biked to the Golden Gate Bridge, across it, and down into Sausalito.  Then after taking a ferry ride back to the city we biked another 2 miles back to the bike rental shop.  All in all it was about 11 miles total, and there were a number of fairly steep hills to traverse.  I definitely think doing cardio everyday for the past two weeks helped make this trip a lot easier.  It was a wonderful experience, and there will be a post to come with lots of fun pics!!

Sunday

* Cardio: 10 minutes on elliptical, setting on fat burn

* Strength training: arms & chest

  • Bicep curls; 3 sets at 20 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Tricep curls; 3 sets at 20 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Chest Press; 3 sets at 30 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Chest fly; 3 sets at 30 lbs, 12 reps each

* Abs:  8 minute abs routine

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Lost

So last week was a little discouraging.  Despite the fact that I understand it is normal to gain some weight when starting a new routine, it still sucks to get on the scale and see those types of results.  This morning, however, I am proud to say those results were a little more positive.

In one week my overall weight went from 139.8 lbs to 139.4 lbs.  Not much I know, but hey baby steps right?  Besides the following results were a little more encouraging.  My overall body fat percentage went from 29.5% to 29.2% and my muscle mass went from 35.8% to 36.1%.  All of my body measurements remained the same.

I calculated it out and that means I lost a 1/2 lb of pure fat!  Hey, you’ve gotta start somewhere, and I’ll take it.  If you think about it, all things being equal, if I maintained this easy plan, I could lose half the amount of fat on my body in less than a year!

I have noticed other changes as well.  I feel a lot more energized, and I think more clearly.  I sleep a whole lot better than I did, and I feel my mood is lighter.  I’m also starting to look forward to working out instead of it feeling like a chore.  I’m motivated and that is exactly what I need to keep going.

Nothing Ventured Nothing “Lost”: Week 1

4 Dec

8 days down, 23 days to go!!

I set a resolution for next year to maintain at least 10 minutes of cardio 5 days a week in an effort to maintain consistency in activity.  A week ago I began an experiment to see what type of results I could achieve with no less, but no more than 10 minutes of cardio exercise everyday for 30 days.  I wanted to prove how much being consistent plays a role in weight loss, and to establish a routine that would make it easier for me to stick to my New Year’s resolution.  I promised to “weigh in” each week so here are my results from the first week.

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Ventured

Normally I prefer to workout first thing in the morning.  I like to get it out of the way, and I love how energized it makes me feel.  Besides, I’m usually so exhausted by the end of the day that the last thing I want to do is work out.  I started the week out like this with good intentions, but Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I just felt like sleeping in so I made up my own 10 minute cardio routine that I did as soon as I got home from work.

My week looked something like this:

Monday

* 2 minute warm up on treadmill, 10 minutes at 5 mph, no incline

Tuesday

* The same treadmill workout as Monday

* Light strength training: arms & chest

  •  Hammer curls; 3 sets of with 10 lbs. weights, 12 reps each
  • Chest press; 3 sets at 40 lbs., 12 reps each

Wednesday

* See previous cardio workouts

* Strength training: shoulders & back

  • Lat pull down; 3 sets at 40 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Seated Row; 3 sets at 40 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Delt Raises; 3 sets at 10 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Shoulder Press; 3 sets at 10 lbs., 12 reps each

Thursday

I made up my own 10 minute cardio routine that required no equipment.

  • Jumping jacks, high knee jog in place, side squats with hop sequence, scissor skier, and jump rope

I alternated between each exercise performing each for 30 second intervals until I had completed a full 10 minutes.  I then finished with a quick 5 minute ab routine.  I really like this 8 minute ab workout.  It’s robotic so I mute the sound, blast my Britney, and just watch the routine.

Friday and Saturday I repeated my Thursday routine, and after weigh in this morning I was motivated to push myself a bit harder when it comes to strength training.

Sunday

* Cardio: Elliptical level 8, 5 minutes forward, 5 minutes backward.

* Strength training: Legs

  • Leg extensions (quads); 3 sets at 50 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Seated hamstring curls; 2 sets at 50 lbs., 1 set at 55 lbs., 15 reps each
  • Leg press; 1 set at 70 lbs., 2 sets at 90 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Calf raises; 2 sets at 35 lbs., 12 reps each
  • Squats; 3 sets holding one 8 lb. weight in front of me, 12 reps each
  • Lunges; 2 sets holding 8 lb. weight in each hand, 12 reps each

* 8 minute ab routine incorporating weights and swiss ball

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Lost

When I stepped on the scale yesterday morning I was a little disappointed to see that I had actually gained a pound.  I am well aware that it is common to gain some weight when you initially start a new exercise program.  There are several reasons why this may happen ranging from caloric intake and types of food you are eating to water retention related to glycogen storage and even sleep patterns.  I even found some great articles that explain in simple terms why this happens.  You can read about them here, here, here, & here. But it’s still a little discouraging when you’re seeking instant gratification.

However, instead of letting it hold me back, I chose to let it motivate me.  I am going to keep going, and I have resigned myself to practicing a little patience.  I decided to incorporate a little more strength training and tweak my diet a little. I tend to eat fairly healthy.  We are pescatarian so we get a variety of tons of veggies and fruits, and for the most part we cook most meals at home.  But if I’m honest there was that piece of pecan pie and chocolate chip cookie at work. (Damn you holidays!!).  And the animal style grilled cheese with fries from     In-N-Out didn’t help either. 😉

In one week my overall weight went from 138.6 lbs to 139.8 lbs.  My overall body fat percentage went from 28.9% to 29.5% and my muscle mass went from 36.1% to 35.8%.  All of my body measurements remained the same.  I am proud that I stuck to working out every single day, and I feel great.  I have my workout routine for the next 7 days prepared, and I am going to try to make better food choices so here’s to hoping for more positive results next week!!

Resolving Resolutions (or getting there)

18 Nov

Thanksgiving is less than a week away!! I can’t believe how fast time has flown by. Before we know it Christmas will have come and gone and it will be time to implement my New Year’s resolutions. I have been doing some research, but I need to get on the ball.

A friend recommended a great free podcast that teaches you to speak Spanish. It’s called Coffee Break Spanish, and its so easy to follow. It’s kinda funny because the two people teaching the lessons are Scottish. So you have these people with really thick Scottish accents teaching you Spanish. I’ve listened to a few lessons already and really enjoyed it. There is also an option to buy more course materials for more visual learners like myself. I still don’t know if it’s going to be the language course I select, but it’s nice to know I have choices. I recommend checking it out if you’re looking to learn Spanish. And I welcome any advice from others who have found courses they liked.

Spanish

I have also been giving some thought to what biographies I would like to read, and have been polling suggestions. Naturally I googled the top best selling biographies, and one that caught my eye was Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand.Its the story of an air force lieutenant who was one of three survivors of a plane crash that left him stranded in the Pacific Ocean for days only to be taken as a POW of the Japanese military. I actually saw an episode of shark week that told this very intriguing story, and the book came highly recommended by my mother in law. I think this and Steve Jobs’ biography are on my list, but I’m still taking suggestions. Any advice?

The one resolution I have been considering the most, however, is the commitment to do no less than 10 minutes of cardio 5 days a week. Especially after three weeks of travel, unhealthy eating, and virtually no exercise other than walking the Vegas strip in one day. I. feel. worthless.

The whole point of committing to this particular resolution is to improve consistency right? That is why I chose 10 minutes. I mean, let’s be honest, no matter how tired, unmotivated, or blah you feel 10 minutes of activity is easy peasy. Whether you choose to hop on the treadmill, go for a quick dip in the pool, or take a brisk walk, 10 minutes is nothing.

I have decided to conduct an experiment, and I have recruited my best friend Kate over at Hesson Haus to join me. I know how easy it can be to incorporate this amount of sustained cardio activity into my schedule everyday, but I was curious about what type of results I could actually achieve when it comes to weight loss. I have decided to monitor these results for a span of 30 days.

So here are the rules:

  • During this time I will do NO MORE, but NO LESS than 10 minutes of cardio activity every single day. I will try incorporate some weight training when I can, but the commitment of cardio will be consistent. That is the point after all.
  • I will weigh myself once a week. I have a very handy scale that measures weight, body fat percentage, and muscle mass. I will also monitor any changes in my body measurements.
  • Kate & I will post results each week. Accountability is a great motivator, and having a partner helps to ensure success.

I hypothesize that, for me, the difference in the numbers I see on the scale will be minimal, as in no more than a 5 pound weight loss. I believe it takes a more rigorous routine to see big results, but it takes consistency to maintain those results. I also predict that my overall feeling of well being will improve, and being healthy and feeling good is the most important thing.

My goal in this experiment is to develop a routine that will make it easier for me to stick to my resolution, and more importantly help to establish a lifelong routine of a healthy active lifestyle. Hopefully, it serves to inspire others along the way. All it takes is 10 minutes. Join us! And link back to this post if you want!  The Countdown begins Monday!

exercise