Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weight Loss Wednesday

So, I originally planned to finish and post this yesterday, but life in the form of three very fun-loving, rambunctious kiddoes got in the way...

It's about time for a Weight Loss Wednesday post, don't you think?  I kind of abandoned the whole thing back in January when I wasn't losing any weight.  It was seriously depressing for me to think about writing a post each week about how my weight was staying exactly the same despite concerted efforts in the exercise and diet arena.  But, maybe that would have been encouraging to others in the same boat?  I don't know. I get a little whiny and pathetic about it, so I hardly think anything I would have written three months ago about weight loss and healthy living would have been productive at all. 

Fast forward to today...and for some cosmic reason that will most likely remain a mystery forever, it looks like my metabolism has finally kicked back into gear.  Granted, my diligence regarding tracking my food intake has been renewed due to an accountability partner I e-mail daily.  Seriously, I know it sounds dumb, but knowing that I'm going to have to e-mail someone who is trying just as hard as I am to lose weight and exercise really helps me to make better choices throughout the day.  To be honest, I've been far from perfect (as she will tell you), but the slip-ups have been far fewer and seeing her successes and struggles throughout the week encourages me because I don't feel so alone in the endeavor. here are the facts:

  • I've lost approximately 15 pounds since January 1.  Yay!  I still have 15 to go, but we're thinking positive here. 
  • I'm following the new Weight Watcher's Points Plus plan.  It was hard at first to adjust to all the new points plus values, but now that I have a handle on it, I'm doing well.
  • Yay for nursing!  I get 7 additional points plus per day while I'm nursing.  The goal is to lose all the weight before I have to give up those additional points.
  • I'm hitting the treadmill about 30-40 minutes per day, covering about 3-3.5 miles.  More on that later. 
  • I've been trying to get in a whole slew of daily sit-ups and core strengthening exercises.  I've been realistically doing them 3-4 times per week, but need to be doing them more. 
And, now, I would like to introduce you to.... best friend and most hated enemy.  The treadmill and I definitely have a love/hate relationship.  Love it because I know cardio is the best way for me to burn a ton of calories in the shortest amount of time.  Hate it because I just wish it wasn't so dang hard to burn all those calories! 

In January, I started pounding out about 2.5-3 miles daily at a 5-6 mph pace.  Mostly, it was boring.  I tried listening to music and was still bored.  So, I found I could take my kindle with me and did my reading while running which was fun enough...if you can even call running on a treadmill fun. 

By February I was up to 3 miles every day and haven't changed much since then.  I could mostly complete my mileage in about 30-33 minutes.  But, last week, I was completely fed up with the whole thing.  I think it was due to the fact that the spring weather enabled me to get in a few outside runs (which were far more enjoyable), but I was just mostly...still...bored.  The music, the just wasn't enough to keep my attention away from the boredom of watching the clock and mileage ticker.

So, through some random blog surfing, I came across a blog post that talked about interval training with a treadmill.  I wish I could find the post to refer you to, but alas, I have no idea how I got there in the first place.  Interval training isn't really anything new and I actually feel silly that I haven't utilized it before, but the basic concept involves constantly changing the incline settings and speeds on your treadmill so that you are continually "surprising" your muscles while building endurance, speed, stamina, etc.   I used the suggestions offered by random-blogger-that-I-can-now-not-locate and put together my own interval training program that looks a little something like this: 
Kind of hard to read, I know, but I'm too lazy to re-type it all out.  Anyway, since I'm such a goal-oriented person, this work out has been AWESOME!  I love that I'm running faster and have built in recovery times along the way.  I also feel like my body is working harder even though I'm putting in the same mileage as I was before.  Some of the intervals are really tough, but the most painful ones only last a minute, and I'm pretty capable of doing just about anything for one stinkin' minute, so that is how I get through...minute by minute.  

I've done the above workout for the past three days and I think today I'm going to have to take a rest day.  I'm not very good at taking rest days, but my poor glutes and thighs are begging for a break.  So, maybe a fun dance video with the kids later? 

Lastly, I've been reading a lot lately about the success of lower carb diets.  Although there is no way I am willing to cut out carbs completely, I'm trying my best to replace some unnecessary carb consumption with protein.  For example, usually every morning for breakfast I eat an English Muffin (3 WW Points Plus) with Nutella or PB (3 WW Points Plus) and a banana (0 WW Points Plus).  This week, I've been swapping out the English Muffin and instead eating a scrambled egg (2 WW Points Plus) along with my banana and PB/Nutella combo.  I've also been substituting almonds or string cheese for a snack as opposed to my typical fiber bars.  I need to do some more reading to get more ideas, but am thinking this may be a good way to boost my weight loss.  Anyone tried a lower carb diet with success?  Any tips for me? 

I think that's it for this week.  I'll try to be more consistent from here on out with weight loss posts..."try" being the key word. 


Cindy @The Flipping Couple said...

We (mostly) try to follow the Paleo diet, which is grain-free (and therefore, low carb). Lots of lean meats, veggies and fruits. I'm a carb lover, so this has been really good for me, and not as hard as I thought it would be either. We're definitely not strict paleo, but we're changing our eating habits for sure. Check out or look up the Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf. There are a LOT of health benefits to foregoing the grains above and beyond the carb reduction.

And good luck!! You're so committed, it's inspiring. I don't think I could bang out that many miles on the ol' treadmill.

Also? Here are some running/fitness blogs I love - inspiration always helps!!

Jen D said...

Thanks, Cindy. I briefly looked at the Paleo info you referenced...very interesting...definitely worth finding out about more. Except, the no dairy thing is a little cheese and *gasp* no ice cream :)

I still have to check out the runner's blogs. It would be nice to have a clue as to what I'm doing as opposed to running like a crazy person most days on the treadmill!