Friday, April 24, 2015

It's ON! The Ultimate Squat Circuit Challenge

Starting tomorrow, Saturday April 25th I am doing this! I just saw it posted on the BodyRockTV FB Page and the timing could not have been more perfect! 4,000 squats in 30 days. It sounds insane but it's doable. After having done other 30 Day leg/glute challenges that increase quicker and with less rest time, I know this can be done. It's only 120 squats by day 30, that's a piece of cake! So who's with me? I will be checking in here and on my FB timeline so if you want to make the commitment and take the challenge and need some motivation then let's do this!

All you have to do is 1) commit to doing the challenge EVERY DAY and 2) check in EVERY DAY. You can check-in on your own page or with me or both, but I know a lot of my friends don't like to post these things on their own wall, so I'm making it easy by giving you the opportunity to do the challenge but not having to advertise it to all your friends. You can post in response to my check ins (here of FB). Comment below or on my FB post (if we're friends) if you're in.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

MY 5 Fit Tips To Get my Fitness Back

I follow 30 Day Challenge Series on FB and last week she posted an article titled

5 Fit Tips To Getting Your Fitness Back, and after reading it it got me thinking that I need to not only do it, but put it out there. If we're FB friends then you have seen my fitness check-ins. You may be annoyed by them (I don't care), you may be inspired by them (glad I can help!), or you may be indifferent. Either way, if you pay even an inkling of attention, then you've noticed that they have kinda disappeared for a bit. And from past blogging experience while trying to lose weight, making the commitment to put it out there holds me accountable. 

The reason for the decreased FB posts has been a combination of frustration with my sudden halt in progress and another injury. You see, aside from dance I was never very active. I did yoga and dance, that was pretty much it. Occasionally I'd try the gym but it was never my thing so it didn't do much. It wasn't until about 3 or 4 years ago that I discovered the Jillian Michael's DVDs and began my love/hate relationship with her workouts. 

I love them because when I stick to them I totally see results and quickly and the majority of them are only 30 minutes. I hate them because she is an evil sadistic bitch that makes me want to reach through the TV and punch her in the throat, but I have no energy because I'm trying keep up with her results producing insanity so all I can do is yell obscenities at the TV while my fat cries and I practically drown from sweat dripping into my nose. I feel amazing and accomplished afterwards, but during those heinous 30 minutes I wonder at what point does someone just fall over and feign death from lack of oxygen or some weird muscle cramp? Once I stick with it and see results I feel awesome and want to do more, so after completing 30 Day Shred (I always start with this one because I'm convinced it's magic and I see results in 2 weeks), I move on to something a bit more challenging. And sure enough, without a doubt I always hurt myself. You name it, I've done it (at least it feels that way) and it's always from pushing myself too hard too soon because of course after 30 days hate combined with results I start feeling a little cocky and am sure I can do anything, regardless if it includes a muscle group that is totally weak or I didn't even know existed until I injure it. And every fucking time it happens I go to my PT and get it fixed and am told to take it easy for a few weeks. And during those few weeks I start to slip and the vicious cycle begins. 

The most recent injury is my neck/shoulder. After 5 months of feeling like a bad ass I decided I needed a heavier kettle bell (15lb) and it was time to start using the 5 and 10lb weights for everything (it's a lot when you have little to no arm strength so shut up!). I also decided to do another crazy 30 day challenge that was 30 push-ups EVERY day for 30 days. The problem was that I did feel a little pain but I convinced myself that it was due to weak muscles so I had to power through and build some semblance of muscle to strengthen the weak area, but really all I did was hurt myself and now the once weak area is probably even weaker. So between the push-ups and a harder Jillian DVD, heavier weights and my heavyass mufasa hair and sleeping funny and ignoring some pretty obvious signs, I managed to aggravate an OLD injury and now after over a month I'm still having issues using my left arm because the neck is responsible for so much more than just supporting my big head. 

And because of the limitation instead of just working on core and lower body like I'm sure any "normal" person would probably do, I've become frustrated and haven't done shit aside from continuing dance class, and I even have to take it easy there. I also started to notice a halt in my progress which caused more frustration. I was working out and dancing even more than last Fall and instead of shrinking more like I thought I should be, I stopped seeing any results. I racked my brain to figure out what I was doing wrong, and instead of stopping and really dissecting it I decided I needed to try and workout even more and push harder, and that's when my shoulder/neck really said "NO MORE!" And then my brain said "fuck it!" So I stopped the Jillian workouts thinking another squat challenge and dance would suffice while trying to fix my neck. Nothing, I felt the fatness coming back. My jeans were tight again and I got pissed and instead of binging/emotional eating like I know a lot of people do, I go the other way and cut back. I am an emotional NON-eater and that is equally bad for your body and made everything worse.

So as I sat on the couch feeling the fatness take over I decided to utilize the on-site nutritionist at work to do a metabolic analysis and check my body fat % to see WTF was going on. Sure enough she confirmed what I thought, but I'm the type of person that likes to see things in black and white and even though I had an idea of what was going wrong I needed someone else to reconfirm. I have basically screwed myself and undone all of my hard work. All the inches I had lost are back, the 3% body fat lost is back. My weight however, exactly the same. WTF?! That was the wake up call. I had lost inches and body fat from building muscle. And muscle takes up less room that fat but it DOES NOT weigh more. A pound is a pound is a pound, meaning 1 pound of feathers will weigh the same as 1 pound of bricks, but visually they take up different amounts of space, but they still weigh the same. 

A pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle, but the fat takes up more space. It spreads out like Jabba the Hutt, while muscle is more compact like Princess Leia (not the best comparison but it works for me). 

So while the scale never really budged in 5 months I had gotten smaller because of gaining muscle, and now all of that is gone and I am back to square 1. How did I do this you ask? Not eating enough, even though I was eating and attempting to track calories, I wasn't making up for all the calories I was burning during dance and home workouts. I was causing too much of a deficit and made my body go into starvation mode. So by not eating enough my body decided to hold on to everything and feed off the little muscle I had gained and suddenly the muffin top was back. 

So while all of my fitness gadgets (FitBit and Heart Rate Monitor) were telling me I was burning off hundreds of calories I wasn't making up for it with food to meet my minimum caloric intake. So on days that I would burn 1,000 calories at rehearsal but only eat 1600 calories, it wasn't enough. So here I am late April with 2 performances coming up and NO WHERE near where I had planned to be. Talk about frustration! So last week went back to using SparkPeople yet again and started tracking all my food as well as actually paying attention to what I was burning and trying my best to make up for it and not freak out on days I need to eat 2,000 or more calories. So far so good. I still haven't done any additional workouts aside from dance classes, but I figure I need to get a handle on the food and be okay with that first before jumping into more challenges or anything else. So after that long-ass diatribe I am going to utilize the above referenced article and list out MY 5 tips and get my ass in gear so that just MAYBE I'll get back on track and not feel so gross come May and I have to bear the mid-section on stage. 

Fit Tip #1. Define your motivation?

My motivation is appearance based. I want to lose a few pounds; 7-10, I want a smaller waist, some muscle tone, a flatter tummy and over all I want to feel good in a bathing suit and my dance costumes. Clothes hide a lot but those 2 things don't. 

Fit Tip # 2. Set small, short term goals. Not longer than 30 days.

I was doing this, but I was also mentally jumping ahead and after like 5 days I was trying to plan out the next 30. So starting April 25th it's going to be 30 days at a time until Tahiti. I'll start with 30 Day Shred again (minus arms) because I really am convinced it's magical and I'll pick no more than 2 30 Day challenges. And hopefully I'll lose an inch overall. The article mentions to decide on a reward. Really my reward will be looking and feeling better, I can't think of anything else right now. 

Fit Tip #3. Track your progress and results.

I need to make some sort of tracker. Aside from posting on FB and my HRM that tracks all workouts as long as I remember to wear it and turn on the app. I think I need another visual log that I can keep in front of me at all times. I used to have a weight one years ago when I was doing Weight Watchers. Maybe it's time to dig that up again, but instead of weight I'll log inches as well as literally check off days worked out. 

Fit Tip #4. Try something new.

My something new will simply be focusing on eating more so that I continue my progress and don't unintentionally starve myself. This also means more regular grocery shopping, actually planning out meals and cooking/prepping more meals in advance so on the nights I get home late we can eat dinner right away instead of wasting time trying to figure out what to eat. 

Fit Tip #5. Make it social.

The article suggests doing stuff with friends which doesn't really work for me, but I will make it social by blogging about it more and getting back to our "weekend walkabouts" instead of just sitting on the couch crocheting for hours on end (which is very productive but doesn't burn nearly the number of calories that I think it should) while we binge watch a new series. I'm going to make D commit to walking again too because it's no fun walking alone, and really who am I kidding, I won't go for a walk on my own. 

If you'd like to join me but aren't one to put all your business out there on FB please feel free to comment on my posts here. Different things work for different people, do what works for you and motivates you to keep you accountable. Just make sure you do it. And you can hold me accountable too, if you don't see something here or on FB then please ask me WTF is going on, I won't get mad, I need that kick in the ass sometimes.