Thursday, January 19, 2012

Week 1: Weight Loss Challenge

  We are one week into our Weight Loss Challenge with the 6 Women, so I decided to ask each of them the following 3 questions:
   1.  How much weight have you lost so far?
   2. What has been the biggest struggle for you at this point?
   3.  Is there an exercise that you are currently really enjoying?

Participant #1: E1
1. How much weight have you lost so far?
     So far I haven't lost any weight, in fact I technically gained .2lbs.  That has been a little frustrating.

2. What has been the biggest struggle for you at this point?
     My biggest struggle has been figuring out how to increase my calories.  I didn't realize that I wasn't eating enough calories and therefore I was unknowingly putting myself into starvation mode.  If you are in starvation mode it is really hard to shed some unwanted weight! Hopefully I can figure out how to increase my calories while staying healthy and not gain weight!

3. Is there an exercise that you are currently really enjoying?
     I'm really enjoying weighted burpees as well as burpies into pull-ups.  The pull-ups are really difficult but they are another total body workout that I really enjoy.  It really helps with my upper body strength!

Participant #2: E2
1. How much weight have you lost so far?
    So far I have lost 1lb!  Which is better than nothing!!

2. What has been the biggest struggle for you at this point?
    My biggest struggle has been exercising everyday.  Between work, doing things after work and spending time with my husband, its been a struggle to find ample time to workout everyday!

3. Is there an exercise that you are currently really enjoying?
     I've really been enjoying just walking on the treadmill for 45-60 minutes.  I haven't expanded too much yet due to being so busy, but I am looking forward to it!

Participant #3: K3
1. How much weight have you lost so far?
    So far I have lost 2.5lbs! I plan on kicking it up this week, so that I can lose more!

2. What has been the biggest struggle for you at this point?
      My biggest struggle has been a conflict of scheduling... there's only so many hours in the day!  I also came down with a cold, which set me back this week!

3. Is there an exercise that you are currently really enjoying?
     I'm really enjoying the elliptical... you burn twice the amount as running on the treadmill in the same amount of time.  Plus your whole body is moving, not just your legs.

Participant #4: M4
1. How much weight have you lost so far?
    So far I have lost 2lbs!

2. What has been the biggest struggle for you at this point?
    My biggest struggle is convincing myself that I don't need the extra food or that I actually do need to eat more food.  It is a fine line between eating too much and not eating enough.  My days fluctuate often, depending on what is going on.

3. Is there an exercise that you are currently really enjoying?
    Right now I am in the middle of my basketball season, so I am really enjoying playing with my team.  We are currently 16-0 and I like the constant challenge that comes with every game we play!

Participant #5: L5
1. How much weight have you lost so far?
    So far I have lost .8lbs... :(

2. What has been the biggest struggle for you at this point?
    Morning workouts!!! I am struggling to get out of bed in the morning.  It's something I definitely want to work on, even if it means I start small and only do morning workouts 2 to 3 times a week and then slowly bump it up to 5 times a week monday thru friday.

3. Is there an exercise that you are currently really enjoying?
    Running is surprisingly starting to grow on my! I look forward to the days that I get to run!

Participant #6: K6
1. How much weight have you lost so far?
    The first week of this challenge I have only lost 1lb.

2. What has been the biggest struggle for you at this point?
    The biggest struggle for me has been this nasty cold, which is making it impossible for me to workout.  Its a lingering cold that lasts for two weeks or more according to the Dr. and it has completely knocked me off my feet! I'm hoping it goes away soon, so that I can get back to working out!

3. Is there an exercise that you are currently really enjoying?
    I don't have a current exercise that I am really enjoying since I am unable to workout right now due to the cold.

Thank you ladies for the update!  Good luck in your continued Weight Loss goals!  Keep up the good work and remember, Nothing is Impossible if you set your mind to it!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Total Body Workout: Weighted Burpees

   As a triathlete and an avid runner, I have learned how important it is to do overall strength and conditioning of my entire body. When I first got into running I never realized how important strength training really was for my overall performance, which might be why I ended up injuring myself. Once I started seeing my trainer, Jose, I quickly realized the importance of strenth training.  Jose has shown me many different exercises, and among the ones he has shown me,  the ones that tend to be my favorites are ones that incorporate multiple different muscles and are a total body workout.  So today I would like to share one of my favorites with you! I call them Weighted Burpees!
     For this exercise the only equipment that you, need is a set of weights. I typically use 15 - 17.5lbs. You start with the weights on the ground. Place your hands on the weights and get into a crouched position. With your hands still on the weights, kick your legs out backwards, ending in a plank position, with your wrists lined up with your shoulders. Once in this position, complete a push-up with your hands still on the weights, ending back up in a plank position. Hold the position, then complete a row with each hand, bringing the weight up towards your chest. Once you finish the rows, jump your feet back up to your hands.  Stand up with the weights in your hands, do a bicep curl followed up by a shoulder press, pressing the weights towards the ceiling.  Do this entire process for 3 sets of 12reps.

    Here's a video that I found on youtube that is a good exampled of the description I have given you above:

 Let me know what you think of the workout!  Love it or Hate it!?

     The reason that I love this exercise is because it works your arms, your legs, your core, etc.  It truly is the total body workout!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Calorie Counting

I've never really been the type of person that counts my calories religiously. I've counted my calories sporadically throughout the years and I know what ALOT of my favorite foods amount to. But now that I'm doing this weight loss challenge with my friends I'm tracking my calories again daily. I've come to the stark realization that sometimes it isn't that you are eating too many but actually eating too few! I knew that this was a possibility but I never thought I'd fall into this category because I see myself as a pretty hearty eater. Of course my Mom is convinced that I'm starving myself since I moved out. Which truly is not the case!

What people often do NOT realize about loosing weight is that sometimes you actually have to eat more in order to loose weight. Based on the calorie counting standards I should be on a 1200 calorie diet if I want to loose the 15lbs in two months. That sounds like hardly any calories, considering a normal person should have a 2,000 daily caloric intake. However, I have discovered with once again counting my calories that almost every night by the time I go to bed I'm still supposed to eat atleast another 600 - 1200 calories for the day because of my level of intensity for my workouts. Based on the calorie counter and the fact that I have a desk job, my lifestyle is considered sedentary, but I wouldn't consider myself anywhere near sedentary! In an average workout I burn close to 700 calories depending on the activity. Yesterday's workout for example I burned over 900! This reason alone shows I need to eat more than 1200 calories!

So, why count calories if it fluctuates so much based on food intake and daily workout? I think counting calories is an excellent base for people. If you are overweight, I guarantee it will open your eyes to how much you are really consuming each day. Most people that are over weight often don't realize what they are putting in their mouths. If you are like me and it seems like no matter what you do, you can't shed those unwanted pounds, it will help you to realize that maybe you are under the amount of calories you should really be consuming. Technically my body is in starvation mode, and so it's not burning calories as affectively or as quickly as it normally would or should because it's saving it, and using it later on.

Now the tricky thing for me, is figuring out how to consume more calories. I know... Quite the problem to have! But it's not as easy as just adding calories, it's still important to eat healthy items which are often lower in calories. I'm truly not hungry so in some ways it's training my body to be able to physically eat more!

This is the notification I received from the Calorie Counter, telling me I am eating too few Calories! You DON'T want this!

So the goal is to figure out how to consume more calories and loose the weight in the process but remain health. So try it for yourself! Where do you fall with counting calories? Too many? Not consuming enough? Right on?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

6 Women on 1 Mission - Loose Weight!

   I realized as I was thinking about what my goals are for 2012, that I, like so many others want to loose weight in this new year.  Every year I say I would like to loose a few pounds but it never seems to quite go like I had planned, I suppose it's a lot like other New Year's goals and resolutions, sound great one day and then are completely forgotten the next.  While discussing this phenomenon with my family and friends, we came up with a way to help each other stay on track and shed those unwanted pounds. 
    There are 6 women who will be completing this 2 month challenge. We are all at completely different fitness levels, have completely different fitness goals for our future,  but have one current goal - to loose weight.  So in order to be the moral support for each other, we are going to hold each other accountable, and even taking it one step farther and bringing it to the bloggin world for support and encouragement!  To provide that extra support we have all downloaded the myfitnesspal app, which can track our daily calories as well as your exercise.  It also allows us to connect with each other similar to facebook and give each other encouragement and to show our progress. 

   I'd now like to introduce you to the 6 participants!  For the sake on anonimity, since weight is such a sensitive issue, I have changed their names and the before pictures will be without their faces.  Please show your support for these 6 women as we tackle our weightloss goals!

Introducing Participant #1:

        Participant Name:  E1
                           Age: 24
                        Height: 5'-11"
          Current Weight: 158lbs
               Goal Weight: 145lbs - loose 13lbs
  Current Fitness Level:  Advanced
               Fitness Goal:  To become an Ironman and run the Boston Marathon

Introducing Participant #2:

     Participant Name: E2

                         Age: 25
                      Height: 5'-3"
         Current Weight: 160lbs
             Goal Weight: 145lbs - loose 15lbs
Current Fitness Level: Beginner
              Fitness Goal: To learn to like exercising and incorporate it into and live a healthier lifestyle.

Introducing Participant #3:

     Participant Name: K3

                         Age: 24
                      Height: 5'-10"
         Current Weight: 160lbs
             Goal Weight: 140lbs - loose 20lbs
Current Fitness Level: Beginner
              Fitness Goal: To become mentally and physically in shape by starting to have a healthier lifestyle which will ultimately boost my self-confidence!

Introducing Participant #4:

     Participant Name: M4

                         Age: 17
                      Height: 5'-10"
         Current Weight: 175lbs
             Goal Weight: 160lbs - loose 15lbs
Current Fitness Level: Intermediate
             Fitness Goal: To feel good about myself, to become healthy and to love the way I look and feel.

Introducing Participant #5:

     Participant Name: L5

                         Age: 25
                      Height: 5'-1"
         Current Weight: 150lbs
             Goal Weight: 135lbs - loose 15lbs
Current Fitness Level:  Beginner/Intermediate - workout 3 times a week for 30-60minutes
              Fitness Goal: To run 5 miles 3 to 4 times a week.

Introducing Participant 6:

    Participant Name: K6

                         Age: 28
                      Height: 5'-9"
         Current Weight: 169bs
             Goal Weight: 145lbs - loose 20-25lbs
Current Fitness Level: Intermediate
              Fitness Goal: To run a few more 1/2 marathons and complete a triathlon.

   Watch our progress week by week as we start eating healthier and working out on a different level.  Any tips, suggestions are encouraging words are always welcome!  If you'd like to join the weightloss goal/process just comment on here and we will be in touch!  Bring on the New Year's Weight Loss Goals!  I will also be sharing some of my favorite, total-body workouts that burn alot of calories in the coming days, so stay tuned!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Goals of 2012

  Happy New Year to all my reader's out there!  The beginning of a new year often makes people reflective and they make resolutions for themselves that really only seem to last for a few days, maybe if they are lucky they last a week or two.  I personally hate resolutions, they seem impractical to me, maybe it's because I am goal-oriented and resolutions seem to vague to me.  So instead of the resolutions I've come up with Goals for almost every aspect of my life!

Job/Business Goals:
     Quit my current job to take that leap of faith to really focus on Blue Sunflower Interiors and Design - as most of you know this is something that I have been working on for a while,  I'm right on the edge right now of taking that leap and jumping to the other side, but I'm terrified of falling flat on my face!

    Attend at least 5 different networking events for IIDA, USGBC and other Interior Design Organizations because they are a good way to meet more people, learn more about the field and it will expand my comfort zones.
   Volunteer some of my time for Habitat for Humanity - this is something I have wanted to do for a while, I helped build a house in Bloomington Normal when I was in college and I found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  I think it's important to volunteer time, because while I don't have a lot of money or resources at this point I do have some time in which I can give back to the community.

Fitness Goals:
    Run the Chicago Marathon - as most of you know I have already run it three times, so really it's not that hard of a goal for me to attain.  However,  I have NEVER run it without being in so much pain at the end that I am crying.  I've worked over the last year with Jose to make sure that my knee is in tip top shape so that I can really run!  I've even gotten faster! So the goal is to run it un-injured, shatter my previous times and get a Boston Qualifying time.  The Boston Qualifying time might be a LONG shot but I think its a good goal. You never know until you try right?

    Complete the Muncie 1/2 Ironman - I was supposed to have completed it this past summer but life sometimes takes turns that you don't expect.  I want to try it again and obviously get there this time un-injured!
     Join a Running Club - I think a running club will continue to help me to get faster and challenge myself as a runner, probably more than I would really be able to challenge myself. 

    Loose 15lbs - I know, who doesn't say that they'd like to loose some weight in the new year?  But I'd like to loose some weight because I know it will make me a fast runner and triathlete.  I have the fitness thing down but really need to focus on more proper eating habits.  They are pretty good but I think there are some areas in which I can improve.

Personal Goals:
     Take an "Emily" Day - I've been so busy lately that I haven't had much down time, pulled in numerous directions and in some ways trying to be everything to everyone.  As a result I've been extremely stressed out and that's pretty abnormal for me.  So I've decided to take one day a month dedicated to myself  (I know probably sounds a little selfish) in which I can do anything I want to do - stay in bed all day, hang out with friends all day but no work is allowed.  It's a day to relax and re-charge my batteries.

Just a few goals that I really plan on tackling, starting with today being my "Emily" day and heading to the gym!  Happy New Year to you all, I wish you all the best in this coming year.  May it be prosperous, and filled with so much happiness for each and everyone of you!