Category Archives: THINspiration

Body Back Week 8: Results

Look ma! I can do push ups now!

Let’s just be serious, there is nothing pretty about working out. I look like a sweaty pig while I’m doing this. But the pig situation is starting to make me look less like a hog!

Tuesday was our assessment day. I am pleased to say I am thinner and stronger than I was eight weeks ago.

Timed Tests:

  • Half-mile run: Before 7:44/ Now 6:34
  • Side plank hold: Before :22/ Now 1:22
  • Plan hold: Before 1:22/ Now 1:12 (sad trombone)

(in one minute)

  • Sit ups: Before – 18/ Now – 31
  • Squats: Before – 47/ Now – 48
  •  Push ups: Before – 5/ Now – 15
  • Bicep Curls: Before – 27/ Now – 35

I will not give you my weight or measurements, (I have some pride left) but depending on the scale, I lost 3-5 pounds. I also lost an inch at my torso, a half-inch at my waist and another three-quarters of an inch at my hips.

None of these numbers would be considered impressive by any standard. However, they are improvement. And they also show momentum in the right direction. I’m all in for another eight weeks.

Today when I was doing push ups (considering if those can actually kill you), Susan put a piece of paper on my mat. It read, “You are stronger than you think.” She might be right.

Disclosure: I am blogging about my experience in the Body Back classes in exchange for an eight-week session.

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Body Back Week 7: Support

lone ranger

The Lone Ranger

I don’t really understand support groups. Well, I understand what they are and how they function, but I don’t understand the whole notion of “sharing” with people you can see. I prefer to sit behind a computer screen and type my feelings. Mostly, I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to convince myself I am somehow different from other people. I don’t need what other folks need. I’m a Lone Ranger kind of girl.

The truth is I am dreadfully typical. I need what everyone needs: to be connected. Fitness is no different. Left to my own devices, I say I’m going to work out, but I don’t. I claim I’ll eat right, but I never do. I intend to get my act together, but it doesn’t happen.

Certainly, the Body Back exercise and nutrition is key. But I really think the most beneficial part of this program has been the support Susan provides. She’s created a community of women who are all working to be healthy and strong. She pushes us really hard to improve, but manages not to make it competitive. That’s a very hard needle to thread.

Since I know I have to weigh in on Tuesday mornings, I actually think about what that’s gonna mean when I’m making food decisions on Saturday nights. Today, when I fell behind on a run, another woman waited up and encouraged me get moving again. She even hummed a little “Chariots of Fire.” All of this really does make a difference. It honestly motivates me to keep working hard.

I think it’s working. I look slimmer in my mirror. My clothes fit better. I wore a dress yesterday I haven’t worn in a year. When I share these kind of success with my classmates, they are genuinely happy for me. It’s such a good feeling. Next week is the last of this session. I’ll weigh, measure and do other assessments. I’ll report back on my progress.

In the mean time, Susan is offering a free preview class this Saturday, April 14 at War Memorial stadium 8:30 a.m. I’ll be there. And who wouldn’t want me to be their support system? I’m delightful!

Disclosure: I am blogging about my experience in the Body Back classes in exchange for an eight-week session.

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Body Back Week 6: Strength, Peace and Courage

The Wizard of Oz

I think I like working out.

There. I wrote it where everyone can read it. I hate the actual workout. There’s no getting around that. But I like the kind of tired working out makes me. I like the soreness in my muscles. It feels like I’ve accomplished something. The setback of the flu makes me not like the scale as much as I did before, but even that’s coming back around. The scale is fickle friend, and I have to remember that.

This morning, during our cool down, Susan asked us to think of three words we want to embody. Don’t ask me where it came from, but somewhere inside me I heard the words, “Strength, Peace and Courage.” I’ve been repeating them to myself all morning.

I was a little afraid before starting Body Back. I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I didn’t trust the process of getting back into shape. What if it doesn’t work for me? What if I’m not ever going to be thin again? What if I do all this, blog about it and don’t see the success I hope for?

I’m not gonna get skinny in 12 weeks. It took years to get unfit. But I’m absolutely seeing a difference in my body. Sometimes courage comes with results. I’m feeling more confident about this whole get-back-in-shape plan. I’ve already signed up for the next session. Eight more weeks of support and accountability will be good for me. Maybe it’s not surprising that I’m starting to feel a little braver about some other things in my life, too.

I’ll just keep repeating to myself: Strength, Peace, Courage.

Disclosure: I am blogging about my experience in the Body Back classes in exchange for an eight-week session.

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Body Back Week 5: Setback

Mountain Valley Spring WaterDespite my assertion that I was, in fact, dying of the flu last week, I managed to live through it. But it set me back a bit with my fitness routine. Nine days of fever will do that to you. Also, I managed to get a knitting injury, which is much harder to explain.

The truth is, sickness or injury is bound to happen. In the past, it probably would have taken me weeks or months to get going again. Because I’m like that: lazy. But I’m not going to let this beat me. If the flu didn’t kill me, then it’s my responsibility to try to kill myself with exercise.

So I’ve spoken to Susan about how get back some of the ground I’ve lost. The key seems to be water. Of course, I’m totally psychotic and asking questions like, “Can I work out with a fever?”

Working out after an illness can be a bit difficult, but it’s doable. Just take it slow and be sure to stay extremely well hydrated.  It’s generally not advisable to work out if you have a fever.  If it’s elevated above 101, take a pass.

If you feel up to it, do a DVD workout, but without the cardio. Just do the strength and core segments.  It will help keep your core temperature lower.  Go for a walk outside to get some cardio in. Walk as fast as you feel comfortable and stop if you get light-headed.

So tomorrow morning, back to the grind. Look out ab muscles, I’m coming for you.

Disclosure: I am blogging about my experience in the Body Back classes in exchange for an eight-week session.

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Body Back Week 4: Food

I don’t have the greatest relationship with food. I eat my feelings. I drink my stress. I starve uncomfortable thoughts. The day my son started PreK, I went to Shipley’s and ate $12 of donuts. Do you know how cheap donuts are? Do you have any idea how much $12 worth is? Then I didn’t eat for the rest of the day. Partly because of the sugar coma and partly to “make up for” the donuts. It’s not rational. It’s just how I operate.

These habits and some lucky DNA kept me skinny during my 20s. It doesn’t work anymore.

The thing is, I know what to eat: fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, whole grains and low-fat calcium. I know how to eat: small portions every 3 hours to keep my metabolism up. I know to make a meal plan and follow it. I know to pack my lunch and snacks to avoid poor choices. This is not revolutionary to me. When I do these things, I feel better. I look better. I am better. It’s very logical.

My trouble remains emotional triggers. My kid is bioterrorist and brought home some fever virus that’s working its way through the entire family. It’s my turn. I feel terrible. Yesterday I really wanted a cheeseburger and fries for lunch. Nothing tastes better than fat, salt and sugar when I’m like that. It became a moral imperative that Charlie go to McDonald’s and get it for me.

I know that it’s one meal, so it’s not the end of the world. We had a healthy dinner. But I also know long-term, my biggest challenge to looking and feeling the way I want to remains my complicated relationship with food. I know I can’t make anything forbidden or I’ll just binge. It’s all about moderation and perspective. It’s just hard. I’m an “all-in” sort of girl.

The good news is I have a lot of support. The Body Back program comes with a diet plan and recipes to get me on the right track. My coworkers are health conscious and we often talk about tasty foods and dishes that don’t come with a hazardous warning label. Charlie would rather eat quinoa and roasted vegetables than Taco Bell any day. (I always knew there was something off about him.) He’s been great about trying new foods and recipes and the occasional dinner failures that come along with that. (There was a whole situation with a spaghetti squash.)  Susan has created an atmosphere among the women in my class to share success and failures both in food and life.

I’m working through it. Part of that process is acknowledging my weaknesses and being honest about my pitfalls. I know I can’t be alone. What’s your weakness? What do you do to keep yourself on the right track?

Disclosure: I am blogging about my experience in the Body Back classes in exchange for an eight-week session.

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Body Back Week 3: Beauty Hurts

My friend went to a hairdresser for years with a sign on her mirror that read, “Beauty Hurts.” When she pulled, poked, burned or in some way harmed clients, she would simply point to the sign and tell them quit complaining, “You were warned.”

She’s got a point. Beauty is not for the faint of heart. I want to be thin again. I want cut arms and a small waist. I want to like my body. That means I have to let go of the things that made me fat and squishy.

  • It hurts to get up at 4:30 in the morning.
  • It hurts to do push ups.
  • It hurts to run. A lot.
  • It hurts to do any number of exercises that I don’t know the names of.
  • It hurts to work my body to exhaustion, then go home, shower and put in a full day at the office.
  • It hurts to walk away from cake. (although I should probably cause myself a little more pain in this area.)
  • It hurts to plan a meal calendar and stick to it.

Know what hurts worse than every bit of this? The view in the mirror when I don’t do it.

We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. ~Henry Cloud

This week one of my classmates got into a dress she hasn’t worn for five years. I’m so excited for her.

Me? I’m battling allergies. I’m also fighting decades of bad habits when skinny came easy to me. It hurts. But it’s finally become too painful for me not to do it.

Disclosure: I am blogging about my experience in the Body Back classes in exchange for an eight-week session.

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Body Back Week 2: Inspiration

baby wedding ring

Monkey Boy and me 2006/ Photo courtesy: Kimberly McNabb

The first week of Body Back, Susan asked us to find a photo for inspiration. It could be picture of a place we wanted to travel, a time when we liked our figure better or a person who inspires us to be be fit and healthy. Some of the stories and photos the other shared were actually quite touching.

Mine was pretty easy to figure out. I want to wear my wedding ring again. I outgrew mine, which is the very nice way of saying I’m too fat to wear it. I’ve wearing a stand-in. I like it a lot. But I’d like to able to wear my original again.

Then this week, I had a work trip. Some of the people I saw were super inspirational, although I don’t think they intended to be. They sat in smoke-filled gaming centers, cigarettes hanging from their lips, morbidly obese, holding a beer in one hand and pulling the lever on a slot machine with the other over and over and over. It broke my heart. It also makes me never want to eat fried chicken again.

Now I have positive and negative motivation. My workout this morning was really tough after several days off. But I have never been this happy to hurt.

So, what’s your inspiration? your motivation? What makes you want to be fit and healthy.

Disclosure: I am blogging about my experience in the Body Back classes in exchange for an eight-week session.

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