Workout Challenge 2012


Any time you are setting out to change or add a behavior I find it helpful to establish the goal(s) of the behavior and the motivation for the change.  With that in mind, I am going to start off the 2012 Weight Loss/Workout Challenge by stating my goals and motivation for wanting to make the change and add the behavior of working out regularly.

In my early 40’s my health started to decrease and unfortunately for me, my weight started to increase.  Much of my increase was due to my health issues but even after I got better my weight seemed hell-bent on hanging on.  It didn’t seem to matter what I did, how much I worked out, or didn’t eat the weight just sat there un-yielding to my efforts.  For a bit of perspective; before my weight gain I was about 120 lbs. and just under 5’ 8” and after my weight gain and presently I weigh 180 lbs. and at my heaviest I weighed 185 just before my gall bladder surgery and my sickest.

That is how I got to this point, and this is what I plan to do about it; and I hope some of you will join me on this mission.  I personally feel that anything worth doing takes some work (OK, we all know that) but is so much more rewarding if you can take others along for the ride.  My goals and motivations for the 2012 Challenge are to become a healthy weight (I now realize that my past weight, although natural, was very thin for my stature), I would like to be 135 to 140 lbs.  I would also like to gain some more muscle tone and continue on my road to better health by lowering my blood pressure that has become troublesome, mainly due to my increased weight.  Also, I have some knee issues from past injuries when I was young and I know the excess weight is not helping them either…  So, I have a lot of sound medical reasons for the need to lose weight but I think the biggest motivators for me is that all of my life I have had an image of who I was and what I looked like before my 60 pound gain and a part of me feels very lost.  I know that may seem very vein and many may say you don’t look that bad, stop whining, but it is not a matter of how other people perceive me, it is how I perceive myself.  I am not losing weight to be more acceptable to others, to have others think I look good, or impress anyone.  I am losing weight, for my health, but also to regain that girl/woman that I have known for 95% of my life.  Some other motivations are my 30th high school reunion in August and a few formal events that I need to fit into a dress that I own but have not been able to wear. 

So, it is all fine and good to have goals and motivations to meet those goals but how are we going to achieve our goals?  Note how I have assumed that others are going to join me on this challenge.  I know that having support and a team will make success much more likely and a lot more fun.  This is my plan, feel free to follow it or find one that works best for you and your goals.  I have had success with journaling my food intake and exercise, I like using My Fitness Pal.  I have also had many friends that have lost a lot of weight using this app.  I don’t think it is the app; it is the recording that helps keep you on track and the app makes it easier.   I have also told by my endocrinologist that since I was very athletic before my illness (part of which is a hypothyroid) and now that I am in my 40’s that I might need to increase my cardio to actually see a loss.  I have tested this theory and do find that, unfortunately, I need to move more than the average person to actually see a weight change.  I am also taking some supplements that help with weight loss, fat burning and energy (L-carnitine, 5-HTP, B-12 and Omega-3).  They are all natural but before anyone takes any vitamins and/or supplements you should check with your doctor to make sure it is OK to take.  Also, if you are planning to start a new workout routine always check with your doctor before doing anything new.  I also believe that what works for one person doesn’t always work for another, so switching routines up or adapting plans to your lifestyle is key to making life long changes.  Make a routine, diet or exercise plan work for you, don’t force yourself into something that is not natural; chances are if you do it will not stick long term.  I don’t have the time, energy or desire to work out on a planned program every day; therefore I am creating my own plan that is a mixture of many of my favorite activities, as well as some of the things I “have to do”; which will keep me moving and motivated.  I am not creating a program that once I lose weight I will stop and then gain it all back.  I have to be able to make a lifestyle change not a diet or exercise routine that is so extreme that I will not be able to do it long term.

 I am going to strive to keep my calories to about 1500, which means calories in vs. calories out.  If I exercise more I can then eat a bit more.  This is why My Fitness Pal is great; it figures the math out for me and allows me to be much more accurate.  I will be able to stick with record keeping if it is easy and this app makes it really easy.  Since I have many food restrictions already I am not formally following any diet routine; my diet is pretty restrictive already.  I am gluten- free, for the most part and eat more vegetables than meat and do not eat beef at all.  If I could reduce anything it would be watching my sugar intake and may need to check my wine intake, not sure if that is going to happen 😉  I am also going to make sure I do some type of activity every day, which could be anything from a brisk walk, garden work, house work, shopping, or exercise DVD.

Please join me!  Let’s help each other reach our goals.  We can daily post our highs and lows, share ideas and tips, encourage each other, help keep us all honest and on track, and best yet celebrate when we reach our goal.  If you want to join and feel comfortable let us know your motivations and goals for the 2012 Weight Loss/Workout Challenge.  I have done Beach Body fitness exercise and one of the tools is to post before and after shots and keep journal of your starting weight and measurements.  You do not have to post this but do keep record of it, it is a wonderful motivation.  I will post mine, might as well put my money where my mouth is 😉  Here we go, we can do it…

My Starting Point 4/2/12

28 thoughts on “Workout Challenge 2012

  1. So, I am about to post my stats to start off the Challenge. I am bummed out because I did lose about 10 pounds since November and since my surgery on my leg, 2.5 weeks ago, I gained 8 of it back  I know I can lose it again but just hate moving backwards. The silver lining on my cloud is that I have really confirmed that lack of movement for me really makes a difference. If I do go sedentary I need to really watch my calories… Crap 😉 Can’t catch a break. OK, I am stalling here are my stats (YUCK!!) :
    Weight: 180
    Bust (fullest part): 41”
    Waist (natural by bellybutton): 33”
    Hips (fullest part): 41.5” OMG, look at my bust and hips well at least I can claim classic hourglass figure. If my waist was 31” it would be perfect… Silver lining 😉
    Thighs: 23.5” So depressing, before my weight gain 5 years ago this was my waist measurement, dang!
    Upper Arms: 11.5”
    I also take measurements at my upper chest, lower chest (where your bra hits), and low waist (about where the hipster pants hit). When I record inches lost each week those measurements will be factored in; see full disclosure, don’t want to look like I’m doing better than I really am. 😉 I really want to be as honest as I can; highs, lows, setbacks, and triumphs. You can post as much or as little as you feel comfortable. I will be totally out there, embarrassing as it is, to make it easier for us all to share, support, and celebrate our very best efforts. Any movement towards your goals is a movement in the right direction. I will try to find the silver lining, no matter how obscure it might seem.

  2. Day 1 is over and now on to day 2… In the interest of accuracy My Fitness Pal put me on a 1200 calories a day not the 1500 I originally posted, Oh joy 😉 I am still on limited activity until next Thursday; just to make sure my scar on my leg is fully healed and to minimize scaring. Since it is in the middle of my shin I am going to do everything they tell me, “to minimize scaring”. I have been doing weights for my arms and really watching my calories. Well, watching them go into my mouth 😉 No, really I am trying to keep on track… Note to self, it is never good to start a new program (fitness, diet, or otherwise) when you are PMSing! Talk about stacking the deck against you, Blah! Well, I can’t stop now and just think you actually burn more calories, just breathing, during “that time of the month” so if I keep the calorie count close to my 1200 goal I may lose weight just by breathing!!! Hell, it might as well be good for something, at this point in my life I truly could just give it up… Any time now 😉
    Well, I am out the door to go do food shopping and get some cute décor pieces for Easter that are now on sale… Yes, I am a little late this year but I always wait for the sales… Just think I am getting the super cute lambs late now but I will have them right on time for next year 😉 So, 2 hours of shopping is worth 313 calorie burn, according to My Fitness Pal, not too shabby.
    Still waiting to hear from others that want to join me… Come on ladies there has to be a few of you that want to make some lifestyle changes… Weight loss doesn’t have to be a goal. Becoming more tone, fit, healthy, swimsuit ready… Love to have a team 🙂

  3. Hi Heidi
    I hear you… I have been on a slow but somewhat steady weight loss since Feb- I have lost about 10 pounds. It is truly a daily challenge . I keep on though. I have been walking and stepping it up a bit to get the weight off. I just started doing some other weight training areas – arms and legs. I use the app Lose It on my Iphone/Ipad – it is similar to the Fitness Pal. You log your food and exercise. One key is Water intake – the more water, the easier it is to fill full and help the pounds come off (not to mention it’s great for your skin). Anyway – I will join you in the effort as too I have my reunion too in July! I would like to loss about 10 more pounds! We can do this!!

  4. Day 3:
    Hey Nancy and Mo I am so excited to have you with me!! Nancy you are so right hydration is key and I always have to remind myself to drink… Well water 😉 I have noticed in the past when I make a effort to drink 72oz of water a day I do lose more. Mo you are going to love Fitness Pal. I really find it helpful.

    Day 2 went well I even had some friends over for a meeting and we had wine and snacks. I thought I would totally go over my allotted calorie count but that 2 hours of shopping kept me on track and I was only over by about 100 calories. I think that is not too bad and if the whole theory that you burn more during “that time of the month” is true… Who knows could be a head of the game 😉 I did do a little exercise today with weights and squats, I’m still a little freaked out about my leg and stretching the scar. I am probably over thinking it. I do have acupuncture tomorrow and that has really helped with the pain; so I am hoping that by Monday I will be able to start on a more cardio based routine. I did get this really fun DVD, Shape Up with Karina Smirnoff. I love dancing so I am thinking that might be a fun workout for one day. I am really going to try to mix it up every day. I really find myself getting bored easy so this might be a way to fight the “quitting due to boredom”. Well, I am off to another meeting for the charity group I am working with, Wonderful Witchy Women with a Cause, I think I have about 400 calories left and I can do that with wine alone 😉 No, I’m driving so that should keep my calorie count low ;-)… See you tomorrow

  5. Day 5:
    So Day 4 was not too bad, Peter and I had Good Friday Fish and wine. I snacked a bit on Trader Joe’s Cheese Puffs waiting for him to get home; which might have been a mistake 😉 Not to mention the Reese’s Chocolate Easter Eggs, I’m sure that was not a good idea. Putting it all into My Fitness Pal presented a whole new level of realization. I am becoming very aware that it is not my love of salt that is bad, it is my hidden addiction to sugar 🙂 A fixation I didn’t even know I had. I guess that is a good thing, identifying the problem. I am sure I am going to have to wait until the Easter candy is gone and then address keeping my sugar intake at a more normal level. I can check my intake by using the “Nutrition” function on My Fitness Pal, got to love it; it figures it all out for you. Trust me, if I had to do it by reading labels it would NEVER happen.

    I do need to keep my activity level up to offset Chocolate egg consumption. Yesterday I did some gardening, shopping at Lowe’s and extensive window/screen washing for a total of 625 calories burned. That still left me about 100 calories over, due to my wine and chocolate indulgence, but hey, got to have a little fun in life of why bother trying 🙂

    Today is Day 5, I am out the door to help a friend by a new business wardrobe; and that is shopping and calories burned 😉 . It all counts ladies and keeping track can be an eye-opener in a good way as much as self-realizing way. Even if you don’t like what you find remember knowing you need to focus or work on an aspect of your life is half the battle and the other half is finding a great group of friends that can support and brainstorm on ways to change the behavior. I hope that is why we are here, if for no other reason than to support each other.

    Everyone keep up the good work, even if you are not posting and just reading. We are here any way it works for you. If you do want to post and get some positive reinforcement, please join us <3

  6. OK Heidi so the Wine things is probably not the best!!! The calories might fit into your count but the sugars from the wine will help keep the waist line from budging!! Just sayin!! Keep up the good work …WATER instead of WINE!! and the chocolate thing – well girls just sometime gotta splurge! haha Todays a new day…

  7. Day 7: Today is my official weigh-in; before we go there, Day 6 went well. My work out was gardening in the yard for an hour which burned 313 calories and made me happy to get outside so that is a win/win. I really believe that if you can find an activity that you like, do it. Exercise is just about moving, ideally an organized routine targets areas; weights will help arm flab and back fat, running or leg related exercise will help thighs and butt and so on… So if you are trying to firm up or work on a particular area then doing some targeted routines can be really helpful. If you carry your weight in certain areas then absolutely targeting that area will help you get control of your trouble spot. I am lucky I gain weight evenly, which helps with the illusion of not being as big as I am (this is good and bad) 😉 . The good is obvious, I don’t look as large as I am; the bad is people saying, “OMG, you weigh that much… I would have never guessed you weigh that much!” NICE 😉

    So, for me and anyone else that may want to get into better overall shape, you need to move more and don’t sweat the “how”. One thing that I learned during all my medical issues is that stress can make everything bad, worse. I was dealing with some blood pressure problems and was instructed to really keep my stress levels down and lose weight. I addressed these instructions in a classic way buy trying to work-out more, go to the gym, run, walk… Oddly enough, I was more stressed out trying to fit it all in. I wasn’t losing any weight and I was getting very frustrated and more stressed… See the vicious circle.

    Then I took a more relaxed approach; I gathered all my favorite activities, workouts and daily chores and plugged them into my calorie calculator. I was so surprised to find I burned more shopping for two hour then walking for an hour. True, it is two hours instead of one but shopping is checking two “to do’s” of my list and walking is only one. Not to mention, I have to change clothes to workout but if my workout addresses more than one thing on my list… well you get the idea. If I can multi-task I am so much happier and less stressed which is good for my health but also good for my weight loss goals. Since stress can create more cortisol production, which causes you to hold onto fat in your mid-section, taking charge of the stress I have control over is a wonderful passive way to help me towards my goals.

    Getting back to Day 7 and the weigh-in that I know you are all hanging on the edge of your seats waiting for… I need to give a shout out first to Nancy, you are right the sugar intake needs to be worked on. I think I will focus this week on cutting back on sweets; I like the philosophy, “cut out one thing”. I think that is much more realistic then complete deprivation. I will see how that works for me and if I need an additional tweak I may need to consider dialing back on the wine, heaven forbid! I’ll take it one step at a time; cookies first, wine second or tenth 😉 Baby steps…
    Without further ado, my weigh in… I lost 3 lbs!! I am now at 177 and I lost 1” on my lower waist and .5” between both of my thighs (.25” each and I’ll take it!!) 😉 I suspect some of the loss is due to my period being over but it is inspirational all the same. Loss is loss no matter how you get it and I’ll take it. 🙂 Keep up the good work everyone, join us anytime, I love the posts.

  8. Heidi — Nice post of yours today! I’m slowly in the process of revamping my foods. For the most part, I’m a whole-grain gal. I’ve opted to make my own Granola (actually, quite healthy!) and now use Organic Unsweetened Almond milk. I really like the Trader Joe’s Brown Rice tortillas — great for “sandwich wraps” and tostadas. I’m making slow progress with converting to a 1200 calorie day (I’m usually with 100 – 150 calories [over!]). I forgot to write down my measurements – maybe it was intentional – ha! Mo

  9. Day 8 and 9: I am plugging away, keeping track of my eating and watching my sugar intake. I did really well last night when I wanted something sweet I reached for a sparkling water with a fruit essence. I am doing well with the water intake but still have not started a good workout routine. I still have some pain in my leg and I think it is freaking me out a bit. I may be looking for an excuse 😉 I am being active but do feel the need to get a bit more focused. I saw my doctor yesterday and found out that I can have surgery to fix all my internal scaring from past surgeries. I have formed this large fibrous scar/fat mass and it needs to be cut away so that my stomach will lie normal. Right now it is kind of like I have a third boob. I feel like I’m carrying a small baby in my ribcage; it doesn’t hurt except when I use my stomach muscles, which makes sit-up not so much fun 😉 I know I will feel so much better when it is done but it is going to be a big deal and the recovery is 6 weeks so I am a little freaked out. Since it is elective, it is not hurting anything just uncomfortable and it irritates my IBS, I am just a little nervous. I love my doctor, but you know there is always risk.

    It does inspire me to get off as much weight as I can before I do it. I know I will be down for 6 weeks and with my metabolism so reliant on me working out to maintain I would die if I came out another 20lbs heavier; that would just be my luck. I have time to think it over and inspiration and deadlines work well to motivate me, who knows, this might be the kick in the pants I need.

    Mo, I am so impressed with your food choices! Peter and I gave up all chemicals in food for Lent; it was amazing how many “healthy” foods still have chemicals in them. I think your choices are wonderful. Keep up the good work and let us know how you are doing!

  10. Days 10 and 11: I have guest in town, which is wonderful but difficult to try to maintain a routine. I think in these situations you need to do what you can and not get stressed over the deviations from your program. I didn’t maintain my calorie count on Day 10 but did stick to the food intake on Day 11, yesterday. We have been doing a lot of walking around so that is good. We have plans to do some more walking today while we check out UCSC and hang out in Santa Cruz for the day. I am confident that even with the splurging on fun dinners I can maintain my initial 3 lb. loss. That is my goal this week; just don’t gain anything back 😉 I think that while establishing a lifestyle change, not a crash diet or extreme exercise routine, sometimes you have to live your life and tone down your goals. If the goal is to loose 2lbs. a week and it is a big holiday, party, visit from out of town guest, illness, injury… Modify your goals to a maintenance level. There is enough going on sometimes in life that adding lofty goals can undermine everything you’re doing.

    I really believe that many times we are our own worst enemy; we don’t let ourselves relax, have fun, take a moment, BREATH! I know I many times forget to remember how much stress can mess up everything you are doing, especially when it comes to physical changes. But really, when you think about it, stress messes up everything if you let it take control. A little stress is a good motivator; I love deadlines and a little organized chaos just before putting on a big event. The stress I am talking about is the stress that freezes you and makes even doing the things you love impossible.

    My hope for everyone reading this, if nothing else, is to address those moment, days, weeks that seem so overwhelming and out of control and learn to identify the things you have control over and those things that you cannot. Focus on what you can change and make those changes with kindness to yourself. Take some time to enjoy your life, be present, and do something that makes you happy… I don’t think this is life changing advice but I have found that when I do this I truly find relief from stress, clarity and sometimes solutions. If nothing else I have been able to lower my BP and am much more aware of what are bad stressors for me. I have given myself the permission to stay away from my bad stressors. My biggest realization is that stress can kill if you let it, me sick doesn’t do anyone any good. I cannot and will not feel guilty if I walk away and admit to myself and others that I can’t do it all, I am not wonder woman and that is perfectly OK… Because neither is anyone else 😉

  11. Day 12: Saturday was a loss; we did walk a lot but we also had too much fun with food and drink, I think I was about 500 calories over my target. Well, can’t change the pass and it was fun. Today I will make a serious effort to be more active because I can guarantee that with guest here we are going to be having fun with food and drink again today 😉 I will keep you all posted, we are getting close to the next weigh-in. How are the rest of you doing? Post and let me know 🙂

  12. Day 13-15: It has been a few days since I posted and I postponed my weigh-in until today; it was supposed to be yesterday but I got dressed and started working before I remembered to take measurements. Sunday, Day 13 was not too bad we did walk but I went over on my calories, AGAIN. I didn’t worry about it since we had company for the long weekend and I was just trying to maintain my 2 lb. loss from last week. Monday, Day 14 was fantastic! I was busy all day, watched my calorie intake, I was about 200 calories under for the day and considering all my overages the past 4 days, that was a good thing. Tuesday (today), Day 15 has started off well, I will be on the move most of the day and I really feel motivated; I think the nice weather has been inspiring!

    My weigh-in this week was a pleasant surprise; my goal was not gain any weight and I actually lost a pound. Not too bad for all the mistakes I made with my food choices. I guess that goes to show you, if you keep yourself moving and active you can make mistakes that will not be the end of the world. My measurements are what I am the most proud of. I lost a full inch across the largest area of my breasts (those of you that know me, this is WONDERFUL!!!). I lost a full inch on by natural waist and .5” on my low waist. I also lost a total of .75” between both my thighs (not coming off evenly) and .5” on my upper arms. This is a total of 3.25”. I am guessing that these losses are due to the increased movement, even though it was not an organized exercise routine (which I will do); I did make a conscious effort to move more and to add extra motion while doing daily chores (squats while folding clothes and deep knee bends with a holds when standing doing a crafting project). Seems to be working; it will be interesting to see what happens when I add actual exercise to my routine. I’ll keep you all posted.

    Please post and join me if you are trying to improve your eating, exercise and health habits. I would love to celebrate your success and support you through the tricky spots.

  13. Day 16 and 17: Nothing earth-shattering to report. I had a little sugar fit last night and indulged. I was really proud of myself; feeling guilty, I did some sit-ups, leg lifts, and squats. I also stretch with a little yoga. I didn’t burn up all my overage but it made me feel better. 😉 I also went for a walk with a friend, (before the sugar fest) it was nice to get out into the good weather and hook-up with a girlfriend. If you can work out, even once a week with a friend, I think it can be a great boost and support.

    I saw an interesting item on The View yesterday; it was a man that tested a bunch of different trendy diets and exercise routines. He found that the best exercise routine for him was what he called “inclusive exercise”. He described it as including exercise into your everyday routine. Increasing your movement while doing your chores, take stairs instead of elevator, park farther away from store… OMG!!! Isn’t that what I have been saying, CRAP! I should have written my book sooner, LOL. Well, I will just have to make my book more comprehensive or something, right, never defeated 🙂

    Today I get to go update my photo and address on my driver’s license, OH Fun!! My last update was when I was 35 and weighed 120 lbs. I guess I need to update that, uggh! I think I am putting my goal weight of 135 lbs. SHHH! 😉 There is no way I am walking around with my current weight on my driver’s license to remind me of that for the next 20 years, LOL. Since I do not plan on staying there too much longer, I guess a little “white lie” won’t kill me. It will be my motivator, because knowing me, I will stress on the “lie”; I’m such a “Girl Scout”, BREATH!!! Well, not that much of a “Girl Scout” since I’m still putting 135lbs. LOL 😉

    I hope everyone is doing well with their Challenge. I would love to hear from anyone out there that is also working on making some lifestyle changes. Join in; I’m getting lonely 😉

  14. Day 18 to 22: I am just plugging along. I didn’t record my food over the weekend and I am sure I paid for it. I did get some good walks in and yard work this weekend so I am hoping that helped. Today, Day 22, I actually did my Shape Up with Karina Smirnoff DVD and really enjoyed it. I think I can defiantly incorporate this into my “keep moving” routine. My constant need for variety makes it hard for me to do the same thing every day and I find that if I like an activity and do it just a couple of times a week I actually look forward to doing it. It really makes carrying out an organized activity much more fun.
    So, today was my weigh-in and I actually loss another pound to put me at 175. Just think, only 40 more pounds to go before I am not “lying” on my new Driver’s License, 😉 What I was really happy about is that I loss another 2” on my breasts. Only another 3” on my breasts and I will be done and the rate I’m going I can absolutely see that happening soon. I lost .5” on my waist and .5” on my hips, I’ll take that :-). I am going to start to pick up my activity this week so it will be interesting to see what happens at the next weigh-in.
    I have noticed that I am not getting a lot of feedback; I do know people are going on the Weight Loss/Workout Challenge page, but not a lot of postings. I am posting multiple times a week to help others stay motivated, but if it not that helpful I can just post once a week at weigh-in. So, I have a favor to ask of all of you that are reading; even if you don’t want to post (totally fine) but do want to read more than one post a week let me know. You can just post, “more please”. If only like to read the weigh-in updates let me know that by posting “weigh-in”. I am fine either way; you will not hurt my feelings. I think the only thing that might hurt my feelings is if no one post anything 😉 Thanks for reading… <3

  15. I’ve been doing a fitness/weightloss routine that’s been very successful for me, and when I told Heidi about it she asked me if I would mind posting it. I don’t mind at all, so here’s some excerpts from the chat we had:

    24 minutes ago
    Niza Brown

    Have fun at the gym!

    make sure you do some explosive moves, they wittle you down! i’ve finally learned a few really effective things!
    Heidi Grady

    cool, thanks Not too explosive with our knees… How to you explode and not hurt your knees?

    21 minutes ago
    Niza Brown

    I’ve had to adjust… no jumping, unless it’s on one leg, but that doesn’t really do anything good, does it? so I found that I can do crunches if I step backwards instead of forwards. I hold weights while doing it. My 5lb weights went missing so I’ve been using Sierra’s “puny” 8 lb weights and that took everything up a notch. Fitness Mags website has been HUGE! I am loving their Slimmer in 7 days workout. It alternates shaping and moving moves, which is really good for boosting your metablolism and keeping it burning for up to 15 hours!

    18 minutes ago
    Niza Brown

    I also cut out all grains, most sugar, and dairy a la Vic Magary. Concentrating on only lean protein, fruits, veggies and nuts. I’ve lost noticable weight in less than a week and my energy is THROUGH THE ROOF! I’ve been noticing my energy flagging slowly over the last few years so I am more thrilled to have energy again than anything else!

    If you are wondering about the knee issue Heidi asked me about; I broke my tibial plateau into 10 pieces, tore out the miniscus, and displaced the patella over 7 years ago. Rehab goes on to this day, but I am active and doctors told me I would be sedentary. I didn’t stay with any doc who told me that, I found an excellent doc who was also a great cheerleader! Anyway, I have pushed myself a lot and I can usually figure out how to make a move work, like the squats (which I mistakenly called crunches above, oops!), which I figured out I can do without too much cracking from my knees if I step backwards, which seems easier to control that stepping forward. I’ve always been pretty thin but had gained weight in the last couple of years as I’ve had more knee issues (had surgery to remove all the hardware in my knee, and then tore my miniscus again) to deal with. I think it’s just the age too. I’ve always been a gym rat, but my workouts just didn’t seem to be giving me the results I wanted anymore. I found Fitness Magazine’s website and all the great workouts they have. I especially concentrate on the short workouts. I give it my all, make sure my form is very good, and end up a sweaty heavy breather fast! I felt (I don’t own a scale, never needed one)like I was getting results. Then last week I found Vic Magary. His diet is what REALLY made a difference. I cut out dairy, grains, beans, sugar (except one piece of dark chocolate a day). Basically I concentrate on lean protiens, veggies and fruit. Today is Wednesday and the results are amazing! My belly fat is just falling off and it hasn’t even been a week yet! My muffin top is my fat storage area and it’s almost gone in less than a week! I even drank on Saturday night and had mimosa’s on Sunday morning, which is a no no, but I am still steadily dropping the fat! Pretty happy about this!

    1. Niza, thanks for the post and I’m so impressed!!! Way to go and I am so glad you found that perfect plan that works for you. I really believe that tapping into “the right routine” is the most important part of any lifestyle change when it comes to health and wellness. You have to find that combination that feels right for your body, mind and spirit. If you hurt too much when you do it you will not stick with it. If you are not having fun when you do it or some kind of satisfaction you will not stick with it. If you feel board, un-inspired, and see no results when you do it… Yep, you will not stick with it… So you go girl! I am thrilled you are getting results and even more thrilled that you like what you are doing. Keep up the good work and please keep us posted on your progress. I would love to hear how you are succeeding and I’m sure you will inspire others to find their “right routine” and maybe even try some of your tips.

      Everyone should remember that if what you’re doing is not giving you the results you want you need to stop doing it and find something else. Everyone is different and their bodies and metabolism responds differently. I think you should stick with any new routine at least a month to 6 weeks but if after that time you see no results, switch it up… You know the old saying about insanity… Doing the same behavior over and over again expecting a different result. I seriously find that for me switch up my movement routine is the best way to keep me motivated and moving. The end result is to move more so do what you have to and MOVE!! And yes, wearing ankle and arm weights while doing house work does count. Doing core butt squeezes while you are driving to work is a lot harder than you think and it does count 😉 Taking multiple trips to put away laundry and jogging while doing it, COUNTS!! Don’t think just because you can’t go to the gym, for a walk or take a class you can’t have a “movement routine”. Be creative and make your own.
      You know the drill listen to your body, pain is bad stop what you are doing if it hurts and always check with your doctor before you try anything new.

      Thanks for the great post Niza!!

      1. Update on my progress. Really happy with this whole thing! I’ve lost 17 pounds total in less than a month. Now I’ve plateau’d and can’t quite get rid of the last two pounds but I think that’s mostly because I have gone through some really stressful stuff and so I’m drinking more than I was in the first few weeks. Overall though, I am really happy with this style of eating and exercise! It has worked wonders for me and I’m not stopping. Every now and then I will totally eat stuff that is not on my good list of foods. For instance, a friend of mine had just returned from Italy (where her boyfriend proposed to her on a canal in Venice!) and she had a dinner party complete with two different types of lasagna, homemade bread, lots of cheese and lots of red wine. I enjoyed every bit of it! But it was fine. I didn’t gain 17 lbs back or anything. I just made sure I didn’t skip a single workout! Speaking of workouts, I’ve got a great website for anyone interested. The workouts are short (12-15 mins, who can’t make time for that?) but they will kick your butt and the results are amazing! Paste that into your browser and get moving. Lots of explosive moves and a new workout every day. The girls doing the workout are cut cut cut! Inspiring!Oh! Heidi, I am now jumping in my workouts and it hasn’t been a problem! My knee feels stronger than ever in fact. This is super exciting… wait until my doctor hears what I can do now! 🙂 Happy Weekend Everyone!

        1. Niza that is so AWESOME!!! What a wonderful set of results. I totally agree as you take of the weight your internal metabolic clock re-sets and if you have a fun eating day here and there you do not have to sweat it. As long as you keep moving you will maintain your losses. I think the movement is key, especially as you get close to 40 (cause you know you and I are only 39, 😉 ) the activity level is pivotal to keeping weight off. At least that is what I have found. I am going to totally check out the link, thanks. I have started making a point to do some kind of organized activity every day for at least 30 min., even if it is just going for a quick walk. I have found that this helping not only my weight goal but also my mental attitude towards loosing. I have been doing Power Half Hour Total Body Collection with Tony Horton by BeachBody I have had really impressive results when I used these, P90, and Slim in 6 in the past so I am pulling them back out. I get bored if I do the same thing over and over for 6 weeks or 90 days so this time I am going to mix them up to keep me motivated. I would love some more ideas so I am going to totally check your link out. The time commitment is perfect for me.

          Keep up the great work!! I can’t wait to be able to post I’ve lost 17 lbs. You have totally inspired me, thanks for posting 🙂


  16. Day 30: I have officially hit my first month and yesterday was my weekly weigh-in. I am really feeling more comfortable with my food intake and find it a lot easier to take in my 1200 calories that My Fitness Pal put me on. I still need to work on my daily exercise and make it a more integrated part of my day. With that being said, I am very happy with the way I am intensifying my “move more” concept by adding movements and strength to my daily activities. I think the need for me to add a more “organized activity” (walking, DVD, gym…) is really psychological for me and not necessary. I am seeing change just with my added movement in my house hold chores, squats and leg lifts while folding clothes, butt crunches while driving or typing… I think it all adds up and it seems to be working.

    My weigh in this week was not as earth shattering as I would have liked it but it was also the first day of my period, so what would I expect. I didn’t gain anything, that is promising, and I actually lost 1” off my low waist; which should have been a bit puffy. I think an even bigger change is the fact that my breast didn’t grow at all. Notoriously, during my period, my breast can swell an additional 2” to 3”. The fact that they didn’t do this and I didn’t have the traditional discomfort gives me a lot of confidence that next week’s weigh-in might produce some good results. I guess my biggest hurdle will be not giving into my food cravings that I tend to have during this time. Wish me luck and see you all next week for another weigh in.

    Let me know how you are all doing with your challenge!

      1. Nice results Heidi! For my part, I started a 21 day “Cleanse”. I’m in week one; all vegetables and fruits (i.e. no whole grains, meat, fish, dairy,etc.). Though I can have lentils and brown rice (and I do insist on incorporating those items daily!). No caffeine and alcohol (errrrhh!). Weight loss isn’t necessarily to the goal, but if I do, great! Just cleaning all my wonderful organs (much better than fasting!).

        1. Good work Mo! I would love to hear how it works and how you feel through the process. I have always been afraid to try, maybe not afraid but definitely too lazy 😉 Let us know how it goes! I’m routing for you. I have heard from others they love the results. Keep us posted 🙂


  17. Day 76: Well, it has been a while since I have posted. A lot has happened in this past month. First I had a terrible allergic reaction to a tanning cream that was so bad the doctor put me on steroids for 6 days. I could not do anything physical while I was covered from head to toe in a rash. That did not help my progress because the steroids made me hungry and I could not work it off, bad combo 🙁
    Once I got over that and started to move again my step-father passed away from a freak scuba diving accident while he was vacationing in Hawaii. He was an avid and experienced diver so this hit the entire family very suddenly and hard. Needless to say, I was very distracted and just didn’t have it in me to focus on my weight loss.
    I now have new focus; I am going to do this for me and use my father as inspiration. Nothing ever stopped him, no matter what, he kept focus and turned bad into good, so how can I not get up and keep going even stronger. I did gain back all that I had lost; inches and all; so I am extensively starting from the beginning. That’s OK! I am going to take this slight setback to mix up the program and see if I can’t do an even better job this time. My oldest son is also setting a goal to get more muscle mass so we are going to support each other. I truly believe that having a partner, especially when it comes to working out, works so much better.
    I am also cutting back on my empty calories; including wine 🙁 I think the key is cutting back, not cutting out. I feel at a certain age if you start depriving yourself you are setting yourself up for failure. I say a certain age because when you get to about 40ish you have paid your dues, suffered, deprived yourself, and sacrificed. When you cut a guilty pleasure out of your life totally you just start to get resentful and mad which eventually leads to giving up. If you just cut back you don’t feel as though you have sacrificed that much and you are much more likely to keep on task to reach your goals. Obviously, if you are doing something dangerous (smoking, drugs, alcohol to excess…) cutting them out totally may be a better idea. I am talking about sweets, that extra glass of wine, a full bag of chips, sitting in front of the TV or computer for 12 hours… 😉 Cutting back on these things are bound to help the weight loss/healthy lifestyle cause!
    So, that is where I am now, back at the beginning and that is OK. I will let you all know how I am doing as soon as there are results to share. I hope everyone else is still focused and going strong. If you have hit a snag or plateau and feel defeated, you are not alone, I’m right there with you. Let’s get back on track together. 🙂

  18. Hi Group! It is Day 100: OMG, how fast and yet painfully slow has this Challenge gone on!

    Good news first I am not back to my original loss that I achieved in the first 14 days or so. What does this mean? I started at 180, lost 5 lbs and about 7″ and then had my run in with the allergic reaction, had to go on steroids and gained everything back. And now I am back again at 175 lbs and my measurements are back to my original recorded loss. Now let’s see if I can lose some more by the end of the month. I would love to get into the 160’s; so that is my goal for the month of July. I really think I can do it…

    In this process I have officially demonstrated “Yo-Yo” weight loss… You can all thank me later; the things I do for this blog 😉 One thing I did discover about my person mission is that my body responds far better to exercise then it does to food deprivation. I am not sure if that is a good thing or not. I think I would rather just have to cut back on food and lose but it looks like it really don’t matter what or how much I eat; if I don’t work out I will not lose 🙁

    Peter and I are going back to our lifestyle should have a vice or two just keep it in moderation.

    I hope you all are keeping it up. It was nice to have some of you ask me privately if I was still doing the Challenge. I wasn’t sure anyone cared or was following and was happy to know that ladies did follow. This is my real motivation for posting this journey, if my struggles and successes can inspire or encourage someone else it is worth sharing change of staying away from processed foods and a lot of extra chemicals. I still enjoy a diet coke now and then and I think everyone my “fat” with all of you 🙂

    Let me know how you are all doing <3

  19. Hey,

    I haven’t posted in a while but I haven’t stopped working on my weight loss. I wanted to post an update since it was drawing close to the end of the year and who knows maybe someone is actually reading and following this. So, to date I have tried to keep up with some type of exercise (walking, running, biking) and eating more sensibly. I like to keep my calories around 1500 a day sometimes more sometimes less. If I do more I try to pick up my activity level. I have also tried out the Green Coffee Bean Extract that Dr. Oz mention on his show and that did seem to give me a little extra boost or kick start in my weight loss.
    How much you might ask… Since I started in April, I have loss 20 lbs and 15 inches total!!! So not too bad; I still have 30 more pounds to go but now that I have the momentum behind me and I think just getting some of it off can be the hardest, or at least for me it is/was.
    I’ll start a new post for the new phase of the next 20 pounds for 2013!! Maybe I will get more followers this time around

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