Friday, June 30, 2017

Face to Face Friday - Total Progress So Far...

Wow. I wanted a comparison photo of my face at the start of my weight loss journey to the absolute latest photo so this is 230 lbs on the left and 190 lbs on the right for the 40 pound loss. Not only do I look better (and my hair looks great now lol) but I feel a million times better which you can probably tell from the actual happiness in my face.

I hated the way I looked and felt before, I hated having my picture taken and I absolutely hated everything about my body at that weight. A lot of that hate is gone now. I still have a long way to go but I now feel like I will absolutely get there with hard work and time!

I'm thinking of doing the face-to-face progress every month to six weeks depending on how I change in that time and I need to do updated body progress photos soon as well but right now I'm only about 7 pounds down from the last ones I did back in March of 2016 so I'm going to wait until there's at least a 10-15 pound difference!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Thursday, June 29th Workout - Abs Day B - Upper, Lower and Obliques

I finished an entire workout week (even though it took more than a week but that's not the point)! Now I start fresh with Push Day A and keep this going for another 5 or 6 weeks and then I switch things up. There was no cardio today because my legs are wiped out from yesterday's workout but definitely tomorrow!

Abs Day A - Upper, Lower and Obliques: 54 Minutes Total Time

Upper, Lower and Oblique Abs: 42 Minutes

Basic Warm up

Plank Leg Lift - 3 sets x 6 reps per leg
going back and forth with
Flutter Kicks - 3 sets x 15 reps

Swiss Ball Crunch - 3 sets x 15 reps
going back and forth with
Bicycle Crunch - 3 sets x 15 reps

Basic Crunch w/Feet on Bench - 3 set x 15 reps
going back and forth with
Oblique Crunches on Bench - 3 set x 15 reps

Weighted Ball Crunch - 3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 4 lb ball
going back and forth with
Butterfly Crunch - 3 set x 15 reps

Full body Stretch - 12 Minutes

Thursday Weigh-In - June 29th - Three Weeks Low Carb/Keto Plus Measurements

Thursday Weigh-In - June 29th:
06/29/2017:                    -2.4 pounds
Total lost:                         40 pounds
Current Weight:              190 pounds


Wooohoooo!!!!! I finally hit that elusive 40 pound loss! I've worked my butt off for this and I still have a long way to go but it feels great to finally hit this number. My next short-term goal is going to be 185 pounds and once I get under 189.6 I will be at my lowest weight since July 2007!

I also finally took my measurements (I want to start doing that more often, maybe every 4-6 weeks?) and I was expecting to be down around the hips and waist because of the smaller jeans six but I was also pleasantly surprised to be down around the chest as well.

Here's what I've lost since 4/01/17 (which was about 3 months ago) and what I've lost in total in inches. The full details on the numbers and inches are on my weigh-in and measurements page!

Lost between 4/1 - 6/29:           Total Lost:
Waist: -0.5 inch                         6 inches
Hips: - 1.0 inches                      4 inches
Bust:  - 1.0 inch                         5.5 inches
Chest: -1.5 inches                      8 inches
Right arm: -0 inches                  2 inches
Left arms: -0 inches                   2 inches
Right thigh: -0.5 inch                 4 inches
Left thigh: -1.0 inches                4 inches
Right calf: -0.3 inches                1.3  inches
Left calf: -0.3 inches                  1.8 inches
Jeans Size: 1 size                         4 sizes

So now I just keep doing what I've been doing, push myself and keep working away at losing this weight and getting in shape!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wednesday, June 28th Workout - Leg Day B - Quads, Hamstrings and Calves

Leg Day B is done and, wow, was that hard! Who knew mini plie pulses could hurt that much? So that's 5 days in a row working out and tomorrow will be Abs Day B and then I start over again! Or maybe spend a day doing gentle yoga and then start again, I haven't decided yet.

My new knee braces came, "NEO G Stabilized Open Knee Support", and I absolutely love them! They're a hundred times more comfortable and supportive than my old one were. They weren't cheap but I think they'll be worth it!

I didn't do cardio today because Leg Day B may as well have counted as cardio with all the sweat pouring off of me plus I'm tired but tomorrow will be a long cardio day and I'm shooting for an hour long walking DVD.

Leg Day B - Quads, Hamstrings and Calves: 1 hour, 12 Minutes Total Time

Quads, Hamstrings and Calves: 60 Minutes

Basic Warm up

Basic Plank - 1 x 63 seconds, 1 x 53 sec, 1 x 46 sec 1 x 45 sec, 1 x 41 sec
going back and forth with
Heavy Weighted Glute Bridge - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 20 lbs

Dumbbell Swings - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs
going back and forth with
Mini Plie Pulses w/Dumbbell  - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs

Resistance Band Hip Abductor- 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x red band (25-30 lbs)
going back and forth with
Resistance Band Hip Adductor- 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x red band (25-30 lbs)

Heavy Weighted Squat - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 20 lbs
going back and forth with
Donkey Kicks -  3 sets x 15 reps

Dumbbell Toe Calf Raises with 5 lb ankle weights - 3 sets x 15 reps
going back and forth with
Dumbbell Heel Calf Raises with 5 lb ankle weights - 3 sets x 15 reps

Full body Stretch - 12 Minutes

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Change Takes Time


I've been thinking about this concept for a couple of days now and figured I'd share on here. The idea that fitness and weight loss take time took a while for me to get through my head. I mean, I knew it would but knowing and living through it are two different things and impatience won't get you very far in this game.

You hear and see this idea in motivational weight loss and fitness quotes and articles all the time:

"It's a slow process, don't make it slower by quitting."

"One pound at a time."

"3 months from now you'll thank yourself."

"In 2 weeks you'll feel it, in 4 weeks you'll see it, in 8 weeks you'll hear it."

"You didn't gain it in a week so don't except to lose it in a week."

"Success takes time."

"Rome wasn't built in a day."

and so on and on and on and, frankly,  they're all true.

We live in a society of instant gratification whether it be fast food, on demand TV, 24 hour stores, one hour photo... or forget that, now we have cameras where we can take a picture and see it right away. We want something and we want it now and, we can usually get that. But not with fitness and weight loss.

Of course we see all sorts of quick and easy promises for weight loss, getting fit and losing inches around us all the time. I'm not going to name any brands because that's not what this post is about but there's pills, teas, shots, wraps, cleanses, colonics and many, many more. This is not to say those things don't necessarily work for some people but they fall into the same cycle of instant gratification. If we're going to put effort into our weight loss and fitness then we want results and we want them NOW.

I'm sorry to tell you this but it just doesn't work that way.

You can do all the planning in the world but weight loss and fitness will never fully follow your plan. You can make time lines... "in two weeks I'll be down 5 pounds, I know I'll be down 20 pounds for our vacation, by Christmas I'll be in my size 8 jeans..." and those are great goals and hopes but they are not something you can depend on.

You can make charts, plan and do your workouts, count calories, go low carb, go vegan, go vegetarian, do yoga, change your diet, add more exercise, play with your macros and much, much more and all of that can make a difference but it won't happen right away, and even then, just when you start seeing progress and you feel yourself getting closer to goal, something will come along to throw you off track be that life events, illness, injuries, cheat days, emotions or just a plateau.

And that's just weight loss. If you're also trying to get in shape with exercise, that comes with it's own rules and regulations. You have to be consistent, you have to change up your plan every 6-8 weeks so your muscles get challenged. You have to do a mixture of cardio and strength training, or yoga, or pilates, or outdoor workouts, or some variation of all those and more.

And then you have to be patient because nothing happens overnight. You're not going to work your ass off one day, go to bed and wake up jacked. You need to have a plan and follow it day after day, weeks after week, month after month even when you don't see the changes or much progress. You have to trust the process. You have to patient and you have to stick with it no matter how discouraged you get because then, as if out of nowhere, the changes will appear and you'll be so excited and psyched only to have to keep going the next day if you want the changes to not only continue but to improve.

And even when you hit your goals, you can't just celebrate and go back to your old life. It's not diets that fail. It's failing to continue that diet when you reach your goal. I believe that diets themselves, that have a beginning and an end, are not as permanent as changing what you do. In order to keep your progress and changes you need to make a lifestyle change. Whatever way you've chosen to eat to lose weight should be your way for good, not for a period of time long enough to lose the weight. Yes, some modifications will need to be made but you can't go back to your old ways and hope to keep all of your improvements.

Fitness and weight loss is a long-term commitment and you have to put up with a lot of waiting, watching, being patient and consistent to see even a smidgen of change. But eventually you will see it and you'll want to work even harder once you do.

And then (going by experience) you'll be making amazing progress, you'll see your hard work pay off and... a plateau hits you and you're stuck. The scale doesn't move week after week after week no matter what you do and you become discouraged and angry and start thinking, "why am I working so hard for nothing." But, it's not nothing. The process is still going, it's still happening... you just can't see it.

So then you're faced with two choices... quit and eat crap and drown your sorrows in soda and junk food or keep going knowing that this will pass and you'll start losing and seeing the effects of your work once again.

That is one of the reasons the scale isn't God. You weight could remain the same for weeks but your body may be changing. You have to pay attention to the little things: taking body measurements, seeing how much better your clothes fit or even how much better you are feeling physically and mentally.

And for a minute, let's forget clothing size and the scale. Are you faster on your runs or walks? Can you hike harder trails? Can you lift heavier weights? Can you stretch deeper and further? Can you work out for an hour instead of 30 minutes? Are you eating more veggies and fruit? Are you making more of your own food? Are you happier? Do you have more energy? All of these things matter and all of these things show you the true progress that you're making!

And, one of the most important things of all, you have to find what works for YOU. Not for everyone else but for you both with diet and fitness. Find what you can live with, find what you love to do and then do it. You don't need to miserable to get in shape and lose weight. You just need to find your own way and then follow it.

So I guess what it comes down to is that nothing great happens overnight. You have to work for it, sweat for it, deal with hunger for it... nothing that's worth anything comes easily and it shouldn't. Yeah, it would be great to wish you were thin and fit, go to sleep and wake up the way you wished the next morning. But would it taste as sweet? Would you be as proud of yourself as if you'd worked for it?

Frankly, I'll take the hard work. Success tastes sweeter when it's earned. Just because the earning takes time doesn't mean it's not worth doing!

So, take a deep breath, get yourself psyched up and get ready for the long haul. It will be worth it in the end. I promise.

Tuesday, June 27th Workout - Pull Day B - Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms Plus Cardio

Wooo! Another workout done and I feel great although my knee is starting to feel it a little. Luckily I have new knee braces coming today which had great reviews both on and off Amazon and seem to be more for athletic things which is what I need. My older knee braces have slowly become worse and worse so I'm hoping these will be a lot better.

Tomorrow will be Leg Day B and probably no cardio but I'll be happy to just get leg day done!

Pull Day B - Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms Plus Cardio: 1 hour, 37 Minutes Total Time

Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms: 55 Minutes

Basic Warm up

Basic Plank - 1 x 46 seconds, 1 x 40 sec, 1 x 38 sec 1 x 35 sec, 1 x 31 sec
going back and forth with
Bird Dog - 3 sets x 10 reps

Standing Resistance Band Row  - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x black band (15-20 lbs)
going back and forth with
Alternate Incline Bicep Curls - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs

Incline Chest Supported Row - 3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs
going back and forth with
Bicep Resistance Band Curl Front & Sides - 3 set x 15 reps: 3 x green band (10-12 lbs)

Dumbbell Shrugs - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs
going back and forth with
Concentration Bicep Curl - 3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs

Behind the Back Forearm Extensions - 3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lbs
going back and forth with
Behind the Back Forearm Curls - 3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lbs

Cardio - 30 Minutes:

“Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds: 2 Mile Brisk Walk”:
Fitbit info: time: 30 minutes, distance: 1.62, steps: 3,740, calories burned: 245

Full body Stretch - 12 Minutes

Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday, June 26th Workout - Push Day B - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Cardio

Another workout done and I feel great! I think I'm finally finding my groove lol. And I'm wearing my new, one size smaller workout shorts!! Woohoo!!

Push Day B - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Cardio: 1 hour, 42 Minutes Total Time

Chest, Shoulders & Triceps: 60 Minutes

Basic Warm up

Basic Plank - 1 x 46 seconds, 1 x 35 sec, 1 x 36 sec 1 x 36 sec, 1 x 38 sec
going back and forth with
Isolation Rear Delt - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lbs

Incline Dumbbell Press  - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs
going back and forth with
Incline Dumbbell Fly - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs

Dumbbell Front Raises - 3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs
going back and forth with
Dumbbell Lateral Raises - 3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs

Resistance Band Tricep Kickbacks - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x green band (10-12 lbs)
going back and forth with
Overhead Tricep Extension -  3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs

Dumbbell Cross Face Pullover - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs
going back and forth with
Skull Crushers-  3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lbs

Cardio - 30 Minutes:

“Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds: 2 Mile Brisk Walk”:
Fitbit info: time: 30 minutes, distance: 1.57, steps: 3,646, calories burned: 247

Full body Stretch - 12 Minutes

Non-scale Progress!

Oh wow... I am now comfortably wearing my size 12 jeans!!!!

They fit before but haven't been comfy enough to wear and feel good in since about last summer and they even look a little loose in the butt in these pics!

I'm going to be taking new measurements this week to see where I stand there too!

What a great way to start a Monday!

Motivational Monday



Yes!! I think I am finally succeeding again because I'm focusing on all that I'm gaining and not on the foods I've given up!! 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday, June 25th Workout - Abs Day A - Upper, Lower and Obliques Plus Cardio

Today was my abs and long cardio day. The back of my thighs kill from yesterday's leg day (and I know tomorrow will be worse :/ ) so I wasn't sure about the long cardio at first but once I got started with abs I felt great so I went for it. I normally want an hour on long cardio days but I think starting with 45 minutes is pretty good.

We're now saving up for a good treadmill with a really good repair warranty, lol, to hopefully use in the cold months because that's a piece of equipment both Charles and I would use a lot and especially a lot more than the elliptical that's currently downstairs! I'd be fine starting with a used one but I want something that will last for a while!

I also finally got all of my workout/inspiration posters hung up and will be have a pic of those at the of this post! I love how they look!

Push Day B tomorrow!

Abs Day A - Upper, Lower and Obliques Plus Cardio: 1 hour, 40 Minutes Total Time

Upper, Lower and Oblique Abs: 43 Minutes

Basic Warm up

Triangle Crunch - 3 sets x 15 reps
going back and forth with
Dead Bug - 3 sets x 15 reps

Side Reaches - 3 sets x 15 reps
going back and forth with
Six-Inch Hold - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 seconds

Opposite Toe Reaches- 3 sets x 15 reps
going back and forth with
Reaching Obliques-  3 set x 15 reps

Standing Side Bends 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs
going back and forth with
Standing Dumbbell Core Stabilization (done very carefully) - 3 set x 15 reps: 1 x 10 lbs, 2 x 8 lbs

Cardio - 45 Minutes:

“Leslie Sansone's Walk at Home: 5K With a Twist”:
Fitbit info: time: 45 minutes, distance: 2.21, steps: 5,248, calories burned: 356

Full body Stretch - 12 Minutes


The ones against the white on the left are along the wall where the anchors are and the ones on right again the brown are on the living room door right by the workout equipment closet.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday, June 24th Workout - Leg Day A - Quads, Hamstrings and Calves Plus Outdoor Walk

Yes! Finally back to working out and I was done before noon! Leg day today was hard, in some places it was really hard and by the time I was done I looked like I'd gone swimming from the sweat (even though the fan was on me the whole time and it's not that hot and humid today) but I know that all this hard work will pay off in the end! Tomorrow is abs day a and a long cardio session and I can't wait to do it!

We also ended up, finally, going on an outdoor walk and headed down to the waterfall area which was great but, holy crap, I am SO out of shape compared to last summer. It didn't help that we went right after a killer leg day and that we spent some time wandering down by the water, though the sand and over some rocks. I think I need to stick with a flat surface for now to build up my stamina but I have to start building it now because the hike to Gillette Castle is in August! Still, it was great to go walking outside again and we'll be doing it a lot more often!

Leg Day A - Quads, Hamstrings and Calves: 2 hours, 4 Minutes Total Time

Quads, Hamstrings and Calves: 66 Minutes

Basic Warm up

Basic Plank - 1 x 60 seconds, 1 x 41 sec, 1 x 44 sec 1 x 41 sec, 1 x 42 sec
going back and forth with
Single Leg Bridge (Leg on Thigh) - 3 sets x 15 reps

Plie Squat w/Dumbbell  - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 15 lbs
going back and forth with
Resistance Band Side Steps - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x red band (25-30 lbs)

Seated Weighted Quad Extensions with 10 lb ankle weights (per ankle, total weight 20 lbs) - 3 sets with weights held between feet x 15 reps: 1 x 5 lbs,  2 x 3 lbs
going back and forth with
Prone Dumbbell Hamstring Curl with 10 lb ankle weights (per ankle, total weight 20 lbs) - 3 sets with weights held between feet x 15 reps: 1 x 5 lbs,  2 x 3 lbs

Resistance Band Hip Extension- 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x red band (25-30 lbs)
going back and forth with
Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises -  3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs

Single Straight Leg Dumbbell Deadlift - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs
going back and forth with
Single Leg Calf Raise:  3 set x 15 reps

Outdoor Walk:
Fitbit info:
time: 46 minutes, distance: 1.26 miles, steps: 3,296, calories burned: 276

Full body Stretch - 12 Minutes

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday Weigh-In - June 22nd - Two Weeks Low Carb/Keto!

Thursday Weigh-In - June 22nd:
06/22/2017:                    -2.0 pounds
Total lost:                       37.6 pounds
Current Weight:             192.4 pounds

Another week on low carb/keto and 2 more pounds down! I'm getting closer and closer to that 40 pound loss. I'm hoping to be there next week but we'll see.

So low carb/keto is still going great! I'm still not cheating and feeling good about my food, my plan and my progress.  I didn't feel well yesterday and my head and back are bothering me a lot today so I think I may just stretch and get back to my regular workout tomorrow. I took a rest day yesterday and I hate to do it again but I'm going slow and making sure I keep listening to my body.

So now I keep going with what I've been doing the last two weeks. I'm not sure what's making this time different from all the other times that I tried and kept failing except that something in me has finally accepted that this is how I have to eat and how I feel best. I think as long as I avoid "cheat" foods altogether I should be okay. It when I have a cheat day that I fly off track.

I also haven't been having the easiest life lately but I'm really proud of the fact that though everything that's going on I have NOT turned to food which is huge for me!

Right now I'm baking more of those keto blueberry muffins (two batches this time to last longer) and Charles and I have several recipes picked out for meals for this coming week so things should continue to go well!

Let's see what happens this coming week!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tuesday, June 20th Workout - Pull Day A - Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms

Today's workout went great outside of the small split lip (on the inside) when the candle and candle holder under Bambi flew off after getting nicked by the resistance band and flew straight into my mouth :/

It's minor though so no biggie but the candle holders and probably the African mask that hangs there needs to be moved.

I was even able to get in 30 minutes of cardio. Tomorrow is leg day but will be later than normal because I have to bring the car in to be looked at right (again) right after work so I'm hoping that won't take long but we'll see. Either way I'm doing legs but we'll see about cardio depending on what time I get started.

Pull Day A - Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms: 1 hour, 30 Minutes Total Time

Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms: 48 Minutes

Basic Warm up

Basic Plank - 1 x 62 seconds, 1 x 33 sec, 1 x 36 sec 1 x 34 sec, 1 x 35 sec
going back and forth with
Superman Heel & Elbow Squeezes - 3 sets x 15 reps

Band Lat Pulldown on Ball  - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x purple band (45-50 lbs)
going back and forth with
Incline Dumbbell Reverse Fly - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lbs

Seated Forearm Extensions - 3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lbs
going back and forth with
Seated Forearm Curls - 3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lbs

Seated Hammer Curls - 3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs
going back and forth with
Dumbbell Upright Row -  3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs

Resistance Band Shrug - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x black band (15-20 lbs)
going back and forth with
Dumbbell Bicep Curls-  3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs

Cardio - 30 Minutes:

“Leslie Sansone Just Walk: Walk Off Fat Fast 30 Minutes Big Burn”: 
Fitbit info: time: 30 minutes, distance: 1.41, steps: 3,492 calories burned: 230

Full body Stretch - 12 Minutes

Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday, June 19th Workout - Push Day A - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps

I finally started working out at home today as planned. It felt great and the new set up worked perfectly. I went back to what I used to do a long time ago when I went back and forth between two sets of exercises before moving on to the next set of two. I think I prefer it that way and it worked out really well. I didn't do cardio today because it's pouring outside and it's insanely hot and humid in here even with the fans running but I will be doing cardio on most days!

Push Day A - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps: 1 hour, 15 Minutes Total Time

Chest, Shoulders & Triceps: 62 Minutes

Basic Warm up

Basic Plank - 1 x 61 seconds, 1 x 50 sec, 1 x 47 sec 1 x 41 sec, 1 x 40 sec
going back and forth with
Push Ups (against sink) - 3 sets x 15 reps

Dumbbell Flat Bench Press - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs
going back and forth with
Dumbbell Flat Bench Fly - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs

Resistance Band Lateral Raises - 3 set x 15 reps: 3 x blue band (4-6 lbs)
going back and forth with
Resistance Band Tricep Pulldowns - 3 set x 15 reps: 3 x green band (10-12 lbs)

Seated Dumbbell Press -  3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs
going back and forth with
Seated Bent Over Raises -  3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lbs

Crossface Tricep Extensions -  3 set x 15 reps: 1 x 5 lbs, 2 x 3 lbs
going back and forth with
Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks -  3 set x 15 reps: 1 x 5 lbs, 2 x 3 lbs

Full body Stretch - 11 Minutes

Motivational Monday


Today I start doing!!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

10 Days Low Carb/Keto!!


... and I am doing awesome!! I'm closer to a more keto level of carbs than I have been in the past. Most of my daily net carbs are in the 20's with several days in the 30's. I haven't gone over 38 net carbs since I started this 10 days ago! I know there will be some days I may go up to 50 net like I have planned in my macros but I don't see a reason for that right now.

My headaches are basically gone except of bad weather/barometric pressure days, I'm sleeping 100 times better, my aches and pain have gone way down except on days when I overdo it or the weather gets me again and I have way more energy which has actually allowed me to get a ton of things accomplished in the last few days included my amazing workout closet.

I'm also not craving simple carbs and sugars at all and am finding that I don't even miss them. And if I want a pizza, I can make Fathead pizza. If I want muffins I can make keto muffins. If I want ice cream there are several varieties I can have that are low carb, low sugar, high protein and low calorie and so on. Now and again I fit in one small square of chocolate (I found chocolate that you can have for 3 carbs a 5 gram square - Chocolove Xoxox - Coffee Crunch In Dark Chocolate) and I'm totally fine just having that one square. I've had the saem bar in the fridge for over a week now and I'm not tempted to eat it all in one sitting at all! And the trick is not to have all of those treats in one day but spread them out!

And the scale is still moving down! It's slowed down so far this week but that's to be expected.

So here's what's been working for me the last 10 days...

1) I plan my meals either a day ahead of time or the morning of that day.

2) I usually make breakfast (or brunch depending on the day) my highest carb and calorie meal, then something smaller for lunch and then a really small dinner. Some days dinner is just a protein shake (especially with the hot and humid weather) but it seems to be working for me and I'm a lot less hungrier in the evenings when I do it that way.

3) my dinner is usually between 5:00 and 5:30 in the evening and then I don't eat anything else for the night. When I do have a snack, it's something healthy and earlier in the day but I normally just do the 3 meals.

4) I'm getting in all my vitamins daily and not skipping any. The iron pill has become a lot easier to deal with when I take it with dinner although I'm still at one a day instead of two. I should probably up it to the two prescribed ones sometime soon :/

5) I'm constantly on the lookout for new low carb/keto foods and recipes and I think I'm averaging one new recipe a week?

6) I find foods that fit my plan that I love and make sure to have them on hand for busy days... things like the keto muffins, the Powercrunch bars, Atkins shakes, pepperoni, blueberries, cheese, nuts...basic stuff I can grab if I have to and don't have time to make a meal.

7) nothing goes in my mouth unless I know the calories and macros ahead of time and not until it's been added to my My Fitness Pal day to make sure it fits in. That might seem a little obsessive but it's working really well for me.

8) I'm not having any cheat days. Instead I'm finding "cheat" foods that fit my macros but still taste like treats and eat them if I can make them fit into the plan.

So, basically, low carb/keto is going great right now! All I need to do is to start working out again (which starts tomorrow at home) and stick with this which is definitely the plan!!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

From a Waste of Good Space to an Organized Workout Equipment Closet!

As you guys have seen in my workout pictures in the past, all my workout stuff took up a lot of room and, lately, it's been all over the place and a mess. We also haven't been using the living room door because it held the fabric anchors for my resistance bands so I could use them. Well, sometime earlier this week I woke up in the middle of the night with a thought of taking the living room closet that was used to just store a bunch of crap and turn it into a workout equipment closet. Then I went back to sleep.

So... we've been working on and off for the last few days (and by "we" I mean Charles do did all the building, measuring, and putting major things together and in place, myself who did the research, planning and putting all my equipment in place, and Gabriel who put away the stuff that would have hurt my back and cleaned up the aftermath lol).

It ended up not being too expensive, it looks amazing and it feels so good to accomplish something this major and not just talk about it! So, without further ado, pictures of our work throughout the process!!

The beginning... here is the closet in all its messy, trashed glory. I cleaned it out mostly on my own (Gabriel helped with parts that could hurt my back). We ended up with 2 bags of clothing donations, 2 boxes of recycling, one box of non-clothing donations, a lot of trash, a full box of skeleanimals put aside until next Halloween and some great finds like a beautiful linen tablecloth that should fit our table perfectly!
                                Soooooo much wasted space and so much stuff!

All cleaned out!
                           
After it was all cleaned out, the next step was to take down the closet door. You know the door's been on for a long time when you take off the hardware and the door remains in place lol. So this is what we were looking at...

The door is gone!
 
                                                       
At first we planned to just put shelving and all that together from random stuff in the basement but then I went researching small exercise spaces and exercise equipment organization and came across some great ideas for what I wanted, but it took a trip to Home Depot and some money I had squirreled away to get everything we needed. 

Basically I wanted two shelves, one tall, narrow one for clothes, shoes, towels, etc to go at the back end of the closet on the inside (you can't see it in this photo), a shorter, wider shelf to hold dumbbells and weighted plates, hooks to hold the yoga mat on the wall and new, "metal" anchors to be attached to the wall so the living room door would be free and I'd still be ale to use my resistance bands. I didn't need to buy any extra hooks to hold the bands because there were several already attached inside the closet. Once we were in the store I also got the bright (hahaha... no pun intended) idea to get one of those small, portable lights that uses batteries because there's no light in the closet. 

Everything came from Home Depot except the anchors which came from Amazon (and are pink because that was the least expensive option). I also wanted to make sure the anchors were wide enough on the inside so that my bands would fit through with handles included since some of them have handles that don't come off. We took care of all that yesterday so the work could be done today!

Step one this morning was to put up the anchors. They are drilled into the walls and there's a chunk of wood behind the wall holding each one on with more strength and stability than just sticking them on the walls. One anchor is over the doorway, one anchor is at chest level on the right side and one anchor is at the bottom of the wall. Bambi (yes, I named that thing Bambi lol) is going to stay where he is but the sword and the two small icons are being moved because the resistance bands get hooked on them. 

                              Gotta love a man who knows how to use a power drill ;)   

The sword and the two icons around it will have to come down because the bands get caught on them

After the anchors were in place it was time to start putting the shelving together...

                                                            More drilling.

                                                        Shelf #1.
                 
                                                     Shelf # 2.
                                                                        
Once the shelving was put into the closet (we didn't even have to anchor the tall one because it fit in absolutely perfectly but I can't get a full photo of it because of the angle). Charles attached the hooks to hold the yoga mat and added the hooked mirror that used to hang on the living room door and held a lot of my resistance bands.

Everything installed and ready to be filled in with workout stuff!!

The portable light.
                               
Shelf #1 top 2 shelves: yoga blocks, towel, workout bras and shorts. Shelf #1 bottom 4 shelves: tank tops, ankle and knee braces, sneakers and ankle weights.


Top of the closet: exercise books and DVDs, heavy turtle to hold them in place & workout bag.

Bottom of shelf #1 and #2 along with the incredibly heavy dumbbell set. The 15 pound dumbbells are between the two shelves and ankle weights are way on the bottom.

                    The mirror and some resistance bands on the hooks.
           
Another angle of books and DVDs along with the mirror and the resistance bands.
 
The resistance bands, the hanging yoga mat, a gorgeous "boho" bag my best friend made for me that I use as a decoration because I don't want anything to happen to it and my stretching bands.                

Walking stick & practice Katana are way in the last free corner next to the tall shelf.

Shelf #2 with the step bench at the top of it, super heavy dumbbell set in front of it where it doesn't have to be moved again and the dumbbells can just be lifted in and out as needed, dumbbells, weighted plates, weighted gloves, balance disc and a weighted ball with the heaviest ones at the bottom.


                                            The full completed closet!
The full completed closet! I have a laminated stretch pose poster coming that will go where the big plank space is right now!

Before...During...After!

The only two things that didn't fit into the closet were my workout bench and swiss ball so they are currently off to the side of the living room along the wall and outside door where they usually are!



I absolutely love how everything came out and I can not wait to work out again and to see what else we can accomplish!!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thursday Weigh-In - June 15th - One Week Low Carb/Keto!

Thursday Weigh-In - June 15th:
06/15/2017:                    -4.2 pounds
Total lost:                       35.6 pounds
Current Weight:             194.4 pounds

Yes!! Not only did I stick with low carb/keto for the whole week but I worked my butt off on picking proper food and it shows in the scale!! Plus you always lose the biggest amount in week one.

I am thrilled with this loss and with how I feel. The headaches are minor and definitely weather related, I'm not craving simple carbs and sugars, I have no desire to cheat and I feel really good! I'm definitely going to keep going with this and stick to it!

I am also starting an at-home workout this week instead of the gym for several reasons that I'll get to at a later time. We're actually clearing out the living room closet and turning it into a workout equipment mini-room that will pretty much hold everything (organized) from my dumbbells to bands to shoes to workout clothes and everything else. The only two things that won't fit are the large swiss ball and the workout bench but there's room for them in the living room. Charles is also going to attach different resistance band anchors to the floor and walls to make a more permanent hold position for my bands and that will let us use the living room outside door again.

So, things are going well with food and they will continue going that way. I have most of the basic meals for this coming week planned out and I'm figuring out what works well for me and what doesn't.

My next short-term goal is to get to 190 lbs for a loss of 40 pounds and then keep going from there.

I can't wait to see what sticking to the plan will actually bring!!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Day Four Low Carb/Keto

So it's day 4 low carb/keto and I am doing awesome (outside of hurting my back but that has nothing to do with keto).

My head barely aches, I'm not craving carbs or sugars and yesterday at the Firefighter's Olympics I didn't have any of the free ice cream, brownies, cookies, chips, etc. I wasn't even tempted :O. I did have a really yummy grilled kielbasa on a fork and I was happy with that!

As for my back, I moved something without considering holding in my core and moving properly. It's not a full injury but it's about one small movement away from a bad injury so I'm icing it and resting it. Tomorrow I plan to go back to the gym but do a modified, mostly machines workout for about a week or so and go from there.

The Firefighter's thing was great! I took over 500 photos and put the best ones (197 I believe) on a Facebook album I made public for everyone so check it out if you haven't seen it yet!

Firefighter's Olympics Facebook Photo Album Link

I originally planned to put some Instagram but there are so many photos that I'm not even sure where to start with that so I may just skip it.

The plan for the rest of this week is to stick with low carb/keto and just keep going. The scale is moving down nicely, I'm drinking lots of water and planning out my food either a day ahead of time or in the morning for the rest of the day.

Right now I have those yummy blueberry keto muffins baking in the oven, at least one recipe planned for this week that I haven't made yet that I want to try and I can't wait to get back in the gym tomorrow!

I think that may be all I have for now but... wooohoo for sticking to the plan!!

Motivational Monday

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thursday Weigh-In - June 8th and Going back to Keto

Thursday Weigh-In - June 8th:
06/08/2017:                    +2.2 pounds
Total lost:                       31.4 pounds
Current Weight:             198.6 pounds

So the scale is way up but I did have a really big binge day although the scale had been slowly climbing up all week so this isn't all from binging.

My mistake this week when checking my daily weight on the moderate carb plan was paying attention to the whole amount versus what the last weigh-in day showed and not focusing on the fact that every day it slid up a little more and a little more instead of down until the day it really shot up for no reason...that's what led to the binge. So overall, I had lost a chunk of weight at first but it was coming back, but because it was still a lower amount I didn't pay attention to the fact that it was coming back because I was still seeing it as a loss. I hope that makes some kind of sense lol.

I've decided to restart keto but far more seriously this time and I want to do it without cheat days. I read an article yesterday about a woman who's lost 100 pounds on keto but what really impressed me is that in a year and three months she has not had a single cheat day. I want to see if I can accomplish something like that. Plus, there are tons of "copy-cat" recipes I could make that would still be low carb but considered dessert or bread or muffins or whatever. I know I'll be okay and pretty happy if I can just be dedicated to it for a week. It's the first week I have to get through!

I also got a lot of really good advice on how to deal with the first week keto headache and the weather is supposed to be better (which also affects the headache) so I am ready to do this! Tomorrow is day 1 and I have food stocked, recipes ready and am constantly finding things to inspire myself to do this!

Gabriel also had the BEST idea about rewards for not cheating... every 30 days I go without cheating I get a new weapon (or shield or something in that area) and I can't buy any otherwise. And if I happen across some good deal and get a weapon between the 30 days, if I cheat for any of that time, Gabriel gets to keep the weapon. It's win/win for us both! I also need a weekly reward but that has to be something small and I'm not sure what yet.

This basically needs to be a lifestyle change and not a diet or a short-term plan. I know how I feel and look when I am consistent with it and I want all of that back. I just have to get through this freaking first week!

And on top of dealing with the weight and food issues, I did something to my neck and I'm in a lot of pain. Charles said it feels really tight to him and that it happens a lot to him after sitting at the desk at the computer which is what I was doing at work. It hurts from about my temple, down around my ear and throughout my neck and over my shoulder. Hurts to move, to breathe, to do anything, so right now the gym is on hold. At the moment I have a lovely heated pillow-like thing on which feels and smells amazing and I think it's helping! Hopefully it won't hurt much longer!

So, yeah, it's discouraging having the weight go up again and to be in pain again but I know I can do this and be successful on it. I just need to really give it all I've got and stop messing around with it and I feel ready to do that right now!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

More Carb Updates, Comparisons and Thoughts...


It's now Day 6 of higher carb and I decided to really look at the past 6 days and see how I felt to compare it to low carb/keto.

Yesterday the scale slid up a little but I could deal with it, today the scale slid up a lot and that bothers me but I know weight fluctuates so I'm not freaking out, just keeping an eye on everything.

So... here's what I'm finding so far...

1) I felt better physically on days where I kept my carbs in the 60's rather than 70's and 80's and the 91 net carb day wasn't so great by the end of the day. I started feeling sick, sleepy and lightheaded so I definitely don't want to go that high up again for now.

2) I had a lot of energy for the gym but I've also found myself napping more this week than I do on lower carb/keto and sleeping much more. This is bothering me because it interrupts my day and just leaves me feeling exhausted despite all the extra sleep.

3) I'm still not binging or cheating which is awesome but I can feel the cravings starting up at the back on my head. I'm ignoring them for now but the thing I miss about low carb/keto is that I didn't have those cravings most of the time.

4) I'm not miserable or unhappy with what I'm doing right now and I don't want to go back to being miserable and unhappy :/ But I also want to be healthy and lose weight but I want to feel good about my plan. I like feeling content and relaxed and like I'm not failing but I don't want that to lead to me becoming complacent and letting foods slip in that shouldn't be there.

5) My head feels better with more carbs (not counting weather headaches) but my stomach isn't nearly as happy with them (IBS and all sorts of other fun stuff) so it's a fine line to walk.

6) I've also noticed that my protein intake has really dropped once the carbs went up so I need to work on that area more. And I've found myself eating less fruits and veggies and more "bread-like" foods so even though they're fitting my macros, and they're not, like, pastries and donuts and stuff, they're still not the best for me.

6) The other thing I'm finding is that, psychologically, if my macros show that I'm under 50 grams of carbs I go out of my way to eat more carbs because I can and this concerns me. It's not because I'm hungry or there's a meal time coming up, it's because I see those carb available to me and I suddenly want to use them all. I didn't have that issue with being on lower carbs.

So, in conclusion, I think I'm going to drop the numbers a little and it keep it at 65 carbs total and probably 50 net and under and see what happens. That's not keto but it's also lower carb and I want to see how I feel around those numbers and the best part is that I don't have to deal with detoxing again because I've been pretty good about my simple carbs and sugars!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Monday, June 5th Workout - Abs Day A - Upper, Lower and Obliques

Thanks to all the things I suddenly had come up I ended up working out at home today but today was a simple abs and stretch day (some days I'll add cardio to this) so it was easy to do it at home and it almost felt like a rest day, except for the part where I was killing my abs lol.

Back to the gym tomorrow for Push Day B!

Abs Day A - Upper, Lower and Obliques: 48 Minutes Total Time

Abs - Upper, Lower and Obliques: 38 Minutes

Swiss Ball Crunch - 3 sets x 15 reps

Triangle Crunch - 3 sets x 15 reps

Dead Bug - 3 sets x 15 reps

Prone Side Reaches - 3 sets x 15 reps

6-inch Hold - 5 sets x 12 seconds

Alternating Reaching Obliques -  3 sets x 15 reps

Standing Dumbbell Side Bends -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs

Full body Stretch - 10 Minutes

Motivational Monday

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Update on Eating More Carbs...


So today was day 4 eating more carbs and day 3 at the gym and so far I'm very happy with how things are going.

For the last four days my net carbs have been between the 60's and the 90's (but mostly 60's and 70's) and I've felt so much better than I did while constantly restarting keto. My headaches are mostly gone (what remains is what I normally deal with), my joint pain is gone for now, I feel awake and ready to work out and most importantly, I feel happy. It's weird. Food shouldn't make you feel happy or unhappy but I don't feel that pressure to stay under 50 grams and that just... I don't know. I feel much more relaxed and free I guess. I'm not in a bad mood, I'm not miserable and I don't feel like I'm constantly failing my plan because I keep cheating because I'm NOT cheating and that's really amazing too me!

So, I'm not cheating and I'm not binging. I'm making good choices and eating "good" carbs for 90% of my diet. If a carb falls on the "bad" list but I have room for it and it fits my calories and macros I may allow it in but in a small portion with no opportunity to keep eating it or binge on it.

The best part if that I feel way more energized at the gym and in general and the scale is still moving down. Right now I'm keeping it at under 100 net carbs but some days when I have a really tough workout I will probably allow it up to 150 net carbs but we'll see. I'm pretty happy with the 100 net at the moment.

I plan to keep going with this and can't wait to see what happens on Thursday when I officially weigh-in!

Sunday, June 4th Workout - Leg Day A - Quads, Hamstrings & Calves + Cardio

Yes! Another day in the gym working my butt off (or at least firming it up lol). I am going to seriously hurt tomorrow on top of all the hurt from the last two days of upper body work but I am loving my gym time!

Tomorrow is my Long Cardio and Abs Day A. I've never had just an abs day before but I'm liking how it's coming together so it should be good!

Leg Day A - Quads, Hamstrings & Calves + Cardio: 1 hour, 53 Minutes Total Time

Warm-Up: 10 Minutes

Treadmill - 10 minutes, distance: 0.42 miles, incline: 0, speed 2.6

Quads, Hamstrings & Calves: 63 Minutes

Basic Warmup

Basic Plank - 1 x 61 seconds, 1 x 36 sec, 1 x 31 sec 1 x 29 sec, 1 x 26 sec

Leg Press Machine - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 80 lbs

Leg Extension Machine - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 35 lbs

Leg Curl Machine - 3 sets x 15 reps, 3 x 45 lbs

Resistance Band Side Steps (Monster Walk) - 3 sets x 15 reps w/red band (25-30 lbs)

Cable Hip Extension -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 20 lbs

Weighted Dumbbell Plie - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 15 lbs

Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 12 lbs

One-Legged Calf Raises - 3 sets x 15 reps

Cardio - 30 Minutes:

Treadmill info from Fitbit:
time: 30 minutes, distance: 1.31 miles, resistance: 0, speed: 2.9-3.0 - calories burned: 225, steps: 3,250.

Full body Stretch - 10 Minutes

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Saturday, June 3rd Workout - Pull Day A - Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms

Today's workout went pretty well. I didn't have the best night because I drank a lot of water yesterday with the gym and ended up needing the bathroom almost every hour throughout the night so  was exhausted and not feeling great.

I was able to do everything but cardio (well, I managed 6 minutes but I'm not counting it) because I was just wiped out by then but it's all about listening to my body (which my trainer always tells me). But I did have the gym to myself again so that was nice! Leg Day A tomorrow!

Pull Day A - Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms: 1 hour, 24 Minutes Total Time

Warm-Up: 10 Minutes

Treadmill - 10 minutes, distance: 0.41 miles, incline: 0, speed 2.8

Back, Traps, Biceps & Forearms: 63 Minutes

Basic Warmup

Basic Plank - 1 x 45 seconds, 1 x 34 sec, 1 x 31 sec 1 x 28 sec, 1 x 21 sec

Lat Pulldown Machine - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 45 lbs

Bicep Curl Machine - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 15 lbs

Cable Shrug - 3 sets x 15 reps, 3 x 20 lbs

Dumbbell Reverse Fly on Incline Bench - 3 sets x 15 reps, 3 x 5 lbs

Dumbbell Upright Row -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs

Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curl -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs

Alternate Incline Dumbbell Curl - 3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 3 lbs

Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curl -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs

Seated Dumbbell Forearm Extension - 3 set x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs

Full body Stretch - 11 Minutes

Friday, June 2, 2017

Friday, June 2nd Workout - Push Day A - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Cardio

So happy to be back in the gym! I changed my workouts around a little so that abs have 2 of their own days (with cardio) a week instead of trying to do them every day.

I think I can go heavier on the supine bench press, the tricep extension machine and the dumbbell alternating front raise so I'll try that next time around.

More tomorrow!

Push Day A - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Plus Cardio: 1 hour, 51 Minutes Total Time

Warm-Up: 10 Minutes

Treadmill - 10 minutes, distance: 0.41 miles, incline: 1, speed 2.6

Chest, Shoulders & Triceps - 61 Minutes

Basic Warmup

Basic Plank - 1 x 62 seconds, 1 x 41 sec, 1 x 34 sec 1 x 36 sec, 1 x 32 sec

Supine Bench Press - 3 sets x 15 reps: 10 lb bar plus 10 lbs weight on each side

Chest Press Machine - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 20 lbs

Tricep Extension Machine - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 45 lbs

Single Arm Cable Machine Lateral Raise - 1 set x 10 reps, 1 set x 8 reps & 1 set x 6 reps: 3 x 10 lbs

Dumbbell Alternating Front Raise - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs

Standing  Dumbbell Press -  3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 8 lbs

Overhead Dumbbell Standing Tricep Extensions - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 10 lbs

Dumbbell Flat Bench Pullover - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 12 lbs

Dumbbell Crossface Extensions - 3 sets x 15 reps: 3 x 5 lbs

Cardio - 30 Minutes:

Treadmill info from Fitbit:
time: 30 minutes, distance: 1.31 miles, resistance: 0-1, speed: 2.8-3.0 - calories burned: 219, steps: 3,241

Full body Stretch - 10 Minutes

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Thursday Weigh-In - June 1st and a Few Small Changes

Thursday Weigh-In - June 1st:
06/01/2017:                    +1.4 pounds
Total lost:                       33.6 pounds
Current Weight:             196.4 pounds

Well, considering how much binging there was last week, a 1.4 pound gain isn't too bad and I'm determined to make that number go down by next weigh-in day.

Today is also day 4 of detox and the headache is worse than ever. I've tried everything I could think of and more and nothing seems to be working. I haven't been able to get to the gym due to the pain or do much of anything except what absolutely had to get done. I'm really hoping to get back to some serious workouts tomorrow though.

I've also decided to allow some more carbs into the plan but there is a set plan for that. First of all, it has to be 100 net carbs or under and second, it has to only be foods that don't make me binge. I've been working on a list and it's not everything that makes me binge, it's the junk and the simple sugars and carbs. There are plenty of healthy carbs I can still eat (fruit, berries, root veggies, oatmeal, etc) that I've been avoided that don't make me overeat and will probably give me more of the nutrition that I need.

I still want to keep it low-carb, I'm just not sure I want to do strict keto. I figure some days it'll be under 50 net grams and some days it'll be over (especially days when I'm spending two hours in the gym) and I can live with that. But there is an entire list of foods that, at this time anyway, are just unacceptable and will not be eaten at all.

Maybe someday they can be allowed in, or in tiny portions when I have people around me that will keep me from binging, but basically things like pastries, bakery items, pasta, rice, store-bought bread, fast-food, junk food, desserts, "food-like products" etc are all on the "choosing not to eat" list.

I'm also going to continue to "detox" from simple carbs and sugars. That part is staying the same. The only thing that's changing is upping the healthy, complex carbs.

I'm going to try this for this coming up week and see how it affects my health, my weight, my energy levels and my headache and then go from there.