12 Week Challenge Results – May 26, 2016

Many of you know that I participated in the Gold’s gym 12 week challenge from January to April.  And many of you know of the great weight loss and overall health success I have had in those 12 weeks and the weeks following. The Awards ceremony was last night for our gym and one other gym in town (combined results). Because of technical difficulties (phones on airplane mode may have something to do with it), I am just finding out this morning that I took 2nd place in my category,  To go from not believing I would lose any weight to a second place finish feels really good.  As much as I love to win, it was never just that for me.   I want to live, not win.  I’m on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean hitting their fitness room at least once a day and sometimes twice.

I’m passing on breads and desserts because I want to see forward progress.

I want to thank everyone who has encouraged me along the way and ask that you don’t stop.  I have always known I’m in this for the long run.  This is a one to two year journey for me and then a lifetime of maintaining.

Now off to explore Juneau this afternoon!

Fitness and Rest – May 1, 2016

Let me tell you, I write blog posts in my head every day.  It’s taking the time to stop and get them down on here that is the hard part.  So let’s see if I can recall some of what I wanted to share.

Some of you know I hurt my knee towards the end of the challenge.  I was jump roping – having an excellent day in fact – and my knee just gave out.  I kept on with the challenge.  I just had to have some modifications.  Then about ten days ago, my right heel started hurting real bad.  I had experienced this before (planter fasciaitis).  That hurts like crazy.  So rest was being ordered for my body.  We decided that my visit to moms would be a great time to rest.

I iced my knee and my heel as we sat and enjoyed each others company.  We did a little bit of walking, but in actuality that really hurt my knee and heel, so I gave myself a break and took it easier.

I did pop over to see my co-workers in Way Pub and to see Rosalie, Melissa, and Marian.  My biggest victory to share was how much better I am feeling and especially the seatbelt story.  Most of you know, but if not here goes.  When I flew out to Ohio in August 2015 that dang seatbelt b-a-r-e-l-y buckled.  I was soooo embarrassed, but sad also because I just could not get the weight off.

At the gym many people are complimenting me and telling me they can see a big change.  Me however, I just see how far I need to go.  BUT when I got on the plane this time and buckled my seatbelt, I could buckle it and I pulled at least 6 inches of slack.  I was SOOOO excited that I tapped the lady I was sitting next to and said, “Can I share a victory with you?”  I then proceeded to tell her all about the 12 week challenge.  I did this again on the next flight to the young father sitting next to me.  I’m so glad they were so kind to let me blab.

Look at all that slack.  To me that was tangible evidence of the progress.  Here are some photos from the visit.

Right before I left moms to head to the airport to head home, I received a phone call from our local Gold’s gym to let me know I am a finalist.  So that is very exciting.  They asked me to submit an essay.  I have done that and if you are interested in reading it, just let me know.

The Awards ceremony locally is May 25th.  We will be in Alaska, so perhaps it will be posted on the Golds Gym Clifton Facebook page or the Next Level Performance Clifton page when the winners are announced.  We are gone May 22-31.  I have no idea what you win, but it doesn’t matter because I have already won.  I didn’t do it to win a prize.  I did it to win at life.

Today I was getting dressed for Bible fellowship and I could not find any pants to fit.  I wore some, but one of my good friends suggested I put them in the giveaway pile as soon as I got home, because they were simply too big.  So it will be interesting to see what tomorrow’s weigh in tells me.  I missed last weeks weigh in and I feel like these two weeks a lot of change has happened.  But we will see.  I’ll update (at least in my head.)

Thank you Ryan – April 11, 2016

A very special thank you to my trainer, Ryan for believing in me long before I believed in myself. He took my non-existent metabolism and taught me how to get it moving again. I have always felt that diet and exercise should be enough – not a boat load of supplements or products from the company trying to help you. Ryan listened to me and believed he could help me and he did. My 12 week challenge ended today but this is just the beginning of my weight loss journey. 33.5 pounds gone and 18 ¼ inches gone, Win or lose – I’m already the winner! ‪#‎winningatlife‬‪#‎motivationmonday‬‪#‎noessay‬
Ryan and me at the completion of the 12 week challenge.
Ryan, me and the ladies I work out with.

12 Week Challenge Ends April 11 – Summary Post – April 15, 2016

So today is Friday, April 15th and I am feeling great.  No depressing thoughts or sadness going on in this girl today.  My body is tired from working out all week.  In fact Joe just said “Every part of my body hurts.”  We had great workouts all week.

At Gold’s Gym there are age categories and men/women divisions.  I am in the 50-59 women’s age group.  I really don’t know if there are prizes.  I am just finding out that if you place in the top 3 you attend an awards ceremony.  I didn’t know all that going into this.  There is one more group that ends their 12 week challenge on Monday, April 18.  Then I suppose the judging begins.

I lost 33.5 pounds and 18.25 inches and I believe 2% or 2.5% body fat.  I do not plan to stop any time soon.  I’m in this for the long run.  I honestly didn’t believe I would lose any weight, but my trainer believed he could help me.   He took a lot of his own time to think through the best food program and the best exercise program; for that, I am eternally thankful.

Many of you remember me throwing in the towel a few years ago and saying this has got to stop!  I honestly felt like I had no control of my life and that I was going to die young if I kept on that track.  I quit the second job.  We stopped running a Bible fellowship.  I slowly unloaded all my volunteer duties and then by May 2014 I started working on my health.  That is when I tried a Weight Loss Center recommended by my rheumatologist.   I was successful at first by being put on a strict low calorie diet (1000 or so calories).  I was told not to exercise because I would be hungry.  And then I was given a bunch of supplements (actually I bought a bunch of their supplements) that would help me with weight loss.   This never made any sense to my mind because I thought diet and exercise should be how to lose weight, not pill popping.

Every week that I met with this weight loss center, I told them I physically could not take all of these pills.  Could they please just narrow it down to one or two.  Each person I talked to said I needed all of these.  That got pretty frustrating.  And then Joe was diagnosed with scoliosis.  That took over our lives and I stopped going to the Weight Loss Center.  From August 2014 to May 2015, it was all about Joe.

The surgeon had told Joe that just because he was fixing his spine, that was no guarantee for no back pain.  He would especially have to have a strong core for the rest of his life to help with the no back pain.  So Joe asked to go back to Golds.  We signed him up for some personal trainer sessions with a trainer named Zach.  We fully communicated with everyone there what Joe was recovering from.  Trainer sessions were about 50.00 an hour and after 20 – I just could not afford it.  That is when we were told about the NLP Program (Next Level Performance).  It was much more affordable and we were able to work out with a trainer in a semi-private setting 5 days a week as well as attend group classes.  By now Zach had moved away and Joe had a trainer, Mana.  Mana began working with Joe and I joined too so Joe wouldn’t have to be alone.   I think this was August 2015 that we joined NLP.

As soon as I joined, I went every day – once a day with Joe.  I did this faithfully through December and really saw NO weight loss at all, but a lot of health benefits.  This is where I met Ryan (my trainer).  He saw something in me – I don’t know exactly what – but he told me that if I wanted to do the 12 week challenge, he was sure we could be successful.  Like I said above, I didn’t really believe that because I had worked out August-December with no weight change.  But I signed up on January 18th.  I told him I could commit to 1 hour semi-private training, 1 hour cardio, and 1 hour of class a day.  Now I was one of the heaviest people in the classes and a LOT of modifications were needed for me to feel successful but every single person I have met along the way was very encouraging to me.

At first on the nutrition I was told to EAT.  I have been conditioned my whole life that eating makes you fat, so this was very difficult.  For the first six weeks at least, I had to eat 1800-2000 calories a day.  I would start my week doing well with the eating, but I weighed myself every day.  And if by Wednesday, my weight hadn’t changed, I cut my calories because I thought I wasn’t eating enough.  I was NOT doing a good job of obeying my trainer.  By now Dave had joined NLP too, and my trainer told Dave to get rid of the scale(s).  Dave did this immediately and I swear I thought about the scale/weighing myself at least 30 times a day.  But results soon followed.

Every week I lost something – some weeks were better than others; but I saw progress every single week to the point of 33.5 pounds gone now.  It’s been quite a ride.  I’ll make sure I continue to keep you posted as I continue on this journey.  Now I have to decide if I am brave enough to show you the before/after photo.  Only a handful of people have seen this.  But if I do win, I guess it will end up on the wall at the gym – then modesty be damned at that point.

There’s the progress!

Delayed Post from Sunday, April 10 (writing this April 15)

(TODAY IS APRIL 15th – I am fine.  Thanks Rebecca and Stephanie for being available last weekend.)

My 12 week challenge ends tomorrow.  I will continue with new goals, but as far as the challenge goes, that part ends tomorrow.  Today is Sunday, April 10.

I am writing this today because I think if I wait to write it, it may not get written.  My trainer asked me how bad I wanted to win.  I said, I thought we should at least try to win – give it our all.  He said, we could taper down on the number of carbs during the 12th week to lose more weight.  BUT if I did that I would need to slowly introduce them again after the taper.  I was all for it.

On Monday, my goal was 150 carbs, on Tuesday 120, on Wednesday 100, on Thursday 80, on Friday 60 and on Saturday 40.  Today was only 1/2 white potato at breakfast.  Now when I say carbs here, it’s carbs like brown rice, oatmeal, fruit, breading on chicken.  There were other things I ate that had carbs like avocado, protein drink w/1 tsp honey.

Immediately on Tuesday morning I could tell the difference.  I told my workout partner that I thought I was going to take a break at working out after the challenge because this was no fun.  I had never thought that before.   I was totally unmotivated.  I asked our trainer that morning if tapering your carbs could make you feel that way.  He said “Absolutely.”  I was actually better after that.  I mean we had been taught from a young age how to control our thinking.  So now I had to tell my mind that what I was feeling was not the real truth.

Well it got worse and worse every day.  Saturday and Sunday I kept myself away from other people because I was having so many negative thoughts.  I took some “after” photos and I thought they looked awful and that there was no way I was going to win.  Why did I try so hard and only make this much progress.  I was angry, mad, sad, depressed.  It was horrible!  I sat at my desk on Sunday and listened to Gospel songs as I worked – just to force the Word into my head.  I texted my friend, and two of my nieces and then I read their responses throughout the day to stay positive.

I have to tell you that I have an entirely new understanding of those who suffer with mental illness.  It’s like your body/mind is telling you and making you feel one way, but you know that it’s not the truth.  It’s the battlefield of the mind in living color.

I am waiting to post this so that none of you worry about me.  I’ll be okay.  I have an awesome husband who I am communicating fully with.  He’s gone out and done the grocery shopping for me.  He’s made the suppers this weekend.  Tomorrow I start the taper back up and I would say by Friday I will be my happy go lucky self again.  I can’t wait.

But isn’t that interesting how “diet” can affect your mind.  Rebecca was explaining macronutrients to me.  I don’t understand it all but I experienced it.

I have also been in touch with my trainer and we agreed that we will not do this again.  He told me to bring some oatmeal to eat after the weigh in tomorrow.  He’s done such a great job helping me.  I so appreciate it.

So don’t worry about me.  By the time I post this, my brain will be thinking happy thoughts again naturally.

Nearing the End of the 12 Week Challenge – April 1, 2016

I haven’t written much because during Week 9 I was sick with a chest cold.  During Week 10 I had an eye infection (not pink eye) and was on a strong antibiotic.  Then Week 11 (this past week) I was sick with a cold again.  Through it all I continued to go to the gym and sweat it out.    Leading in to Week 9  I think I lost 1/4 pound.  After Week 9 I lost 1.5 pound.  But after Week 10, I lost 6.5 pounds.

I think Monday will be the true test (after week 11) because I feel like the only reason I lost 6.5 pounds was because I was pretty sick the weekend before the Monday.  So I’ll let you know in a couple of days when I weigh in again.   6.5 inches gone from the waist, 5 inches from the hips. 3 inches from the thigh.   But both Dave and my trainer think I am continuing to lose weight at a faster clip because we finally got my metabolism going.  Any way you look at it, I feel good and strong and am having a great time getting fit.

I also hurt my knee during week 10 while jump roping.  Let’s just say I heard a pretty loud pop and then my leg buckled.  I did not fall, but walking was difficult for a few days.  I’ve been taking Motrin and icing.

Humbling Day – March 18, 2016

Hello readers,

I was sick all last week with a chest cold (Ben too).  I still went to the gym 2 hours in the morning, but I came home every afternoon and stayed home.  I did not see measurable progress in “pounds” lost (lost 1/2 pound), but it was kind of to be expected due to the week I had.

This week I started a new “carb cycle” diet.  A lot of chicken and salmon and repetitive, but none of that really bothers me at all.  If I don’t eat correctly, I usually feel really crappy.  So it is well worth it for me to eat correctly.  I have cut out milk for some time now because it is one of those foods that I don’t digest well.  So with this new carb cycle I am to have a protein shake at the end of the night and add almond milk.  I did that and I had a horrible time digesting that.  I was up till way past midnight getting my stomach to settle down.  So now I just do the shake with water.  But that is what I am referring to when I say if I don’t eat right.  It’s just not worth it to not feel well.

I came back to the gym ready to work on Monday morning.  I found I was at about 70% (after having been ill.)  By Wednesday, I could barely walk or move my arms because everything was sore.  But today I’m back to feeling 99% and not quite as sore.  This is my 9th week of the 12 week challenge.

I took a picture of my progress and put it side by side to my starting photo and I could see the progress.  That helped me mentally after having a week of no weight loss.  I could visually see the difference and that is motivating.

This morning when I was in our exercise class at 9:30 a.m. with 18 other friends/gym members, I found out that two people that I work out with in these classes are fighting cancer (and winning). They are there at the gym working out hard with me.  I find this very humbling and inspiring.  They want their bodies to be strong!  God bless them both.  I am definitely keeping them in my prayers.

Week 8 – March 11, 2016

I woke up Sunday morning with an awful bout of chest congestion.  There was no warning.  There was no runny nose leading up to it.  I just was hit with a chest full of congestion.  That was the beginning of my week 8 of the 12 week challenge.  I wrote my trainer and said I did not believe I should “swim” Monday morning as that takes lung power and I definitely did not have lung power.

I spent the week going to the gym only in the mornings.  I did 25 minutes of cardio and an hour of weights with a trainer each day.  Wednesday was by far my worst day and today was by far my best day.  I had my sense of humor back and my sass back,  so I knew I was getting better.
Have you ever seen this “meme?”
So tonight after supper, Dave said, “Have you lost a lot of inches off of your waist?”  I said, “Yes, 6 so far.”  He said, “I can tell.”  That scored big “husband” points.  🙂
I wonder where I’ll be in 12 weeks?  Stay tuned…….
Next week (Monday and Tuesday) our normal trainers will be gone.  I was kind of bummed by this.  You might think this next statement to be silly, but here’s what I thought about.  On The Biggest Loser, there is usually a point in the competition when they “shake things up” and change trainers.  It teaches you to be ready for anything and that you CAN do this on your own.  So I thought about that and I am looking ahead to Monday and Tuesday with a positive attitude.
Oh yeah, and the biggest change this week!!!!!—- the past two Mondays, my trainer has said “Monday and Tuesday were good with calorie intake (2000 calories), but the rest of the week is where it went down hill.  My response?  “Well that’s because I weigh myself, and I see the scale is not moving, so I think I must be eating too much and I slow down on the calorie intake (1500-1600).  He looked at Dave and said “Get rid of those scales!”  Then to me, “You are only allowed to weigh yourself on Monday mornings here at the gym with me.”  That has been very challenging for me.  I like to know how I am doing.  So once again, I need to “trust the process.”  So I have no idea what Monday’s weigh in will show, but I will report.   Eat, Eat, Eat !  (I am burning 3500 calories a day.)
8 weeks almost done!  Signing off for now.  

SISTERS – Marcia’s Visit February 2016

I have always thought of myself as very blessed to have six sisters almost to the point of feeling bad for those who do not have a sister to share their life with.  With having only one daughter, I was very thankful for her “girl” cousins and hoped that she would bond with them, like I did with my sisters.  I never felt bad that I didn’t have a brother, I never really thought about it much.  But I have thoroughly enjoyed raising boys and I can say I have a much better understanding of the male species because of having boys.

With mom getting older, I try to plan trips out to Ohio to see her.  When I do get to Ohio, I get to see five sisters also.  But there never seems to be enough time to really visit.  Thinking back over the last year and a half, I was super blessed to have quality time with Teresa during Joe’s surgery.

Then in June of this past year, Lisa got to join me in Banff, Canada and that was a trip of a lifetime.  It was so pretty and we had such a good time just getting to know the adult versions of ourselves.

And now most recently Marcia came to visit.  We couldn’t believe that the last time she had visited, Ben was only like 2 years old or something.

Marcia arrived on a Wednesday evening around 9:00 p.m.  She had come from visiting friends in California.  Our weather was absolutely perfect while she was here as you can see from the photos.  I am very invested in the “gym” right now, so I had asked her if I could spend Thursday and Friday morning at the gym.  She was fine with that and Thursday morning after taking Ben to school I went and did my work out.  Once I got home and showered we headed to downtown Grand Junction to get some lunch at a place called Cafe Sol.  It was so nice that we ate outside.  Afterwards it was close to time to pick up Ben from school.  He has a very organized parking lot with staff coordinating the parent pick up.  We all line our cars up according to grade level and the staff person tells us when it is our turn to enter the pickup loop.  Marcia was taking photos of the process and she even hung out the window to get a picture of Ben walking to the car.  He loved that.  🙂

We got home and made supper and then that evening we drove up to the Colorado Monument.  I really wanted to get some good sunset photos.  I was able to keep up with the hiking and that made me feel good about my fitness progress.  Later that evening we watched our photos on the TV.  We have Apple TV.  She had the photos from her last visit and then the photos we had taken so far.  The boys stayed downstairs and visited.  It was nice.

Marcia and Ben at The Colorado Monument

Colorado Monument at Sunset

Colorado Monument

Friday morning I went to the gym again.  I was given a super hard workout.  OMG.  I came home and Marcia and I took off at about 10:30 a.m. for Arches National Park in Moab, Utah.  There is a whole lot of history here and I wish I could repeat it, but I am not that good at recall. We did watch a short video when we got there and then we did the driving tour.  We got out and hiked at one point and I was so happy that I could do it.  Every other time we have come to Arches, I opt to stay in the car for the hike part.  Part of that reason is we come in the summer and it’s like 105 degrees, but the other part was I wasn’t in good shape in the past.

This was called Balanced Rock
This was the hike – this was called The Windows.
Here we are in the window!

It was such a beautiful day and we had such a nice time talking with one another.  Although there are only five 1/2 years difference between us in age, I really didn’t know much about what she did once she moved out.  She would say remember when I lived here.  And I was like, uh, no.  But honestly, and this will sound terrible, the biggest thing I remember each time someone moved out was how exciting it was to get a new bedroom.

These one on one visits with Teresa, Lisa, and Marcia have just been awesome.  Mary is planning on visiting this summer and Laura and I may go on a trip together sometime soon also. Perhaps Donna and I will find some time also.   I am very thankful to have sisters and I am thankful for any time we get to spend together.  Thanks for coming to visit us Marcia!