If not for the skinny jeans…

Posts Tagged ‘weight loss

Well, I’m coming up on being on phentermine for a week now. I’ve lost about 7 pounds. That’s honestly a little too quick for me, so I’m going to start taking a half dose everyday. It has seriously curbed my appetite, which is good and bad. I don’t snack at all anymore, which is good. But I also have next to no appetite so I’m not eating enough at each meal either. That latter reason is more of the reason I’m going to drop the dosage to half.

I still haven’t made it into a gym and to be completely honest I doubt I will go to the gym before school starts. On a plus side though, UTSA has a great weight room!!! I’m looking forward to getting back in there! I have set up a little fitness area in my bedroom that include a yoga mat, resistance bands, two different size stability balls, a Pilates circle, two jump ropes, numerous DVDs, and my foam roller. I’ve been getting some sort of workout in a few days a week, but nothing like I was before. I can already see and feel a difference in my body from not lifting, and it sucks. At this point though, something is better than nothing, and since I can’t really attack my workouts like I want to, I’ve put a lot of focus on my nutrition and making sure I’m eating as clean as I can.

In other news:
1. A coral snake decided to join my daughters and I yesterday morning while we were enjoying the morning outside. For those of you who don’t know what a coral snake is, it’s venomous. It’s often mistaken for the king snake because they are patterned similarly. Red, yellow and black rings. Thank god I remembered the old rhyme! “If red touches yellow, you’re a dead fellow. If red touches black, it’s a friend of jack.” Animal control wasn’t able to get it out of its hiding spot, so I’m still in no rush to go in our backyard.
2. The goob is all signed up for kindergarten. Where have the last almost SIX YEARS gone?!
3. Link will be coming home soon. Not super soon, but the countdown has started!


I remember once passing a mirror while I was still living in Texas and needing to do a double take.  I sat and analyzed myself.  How did I let myself get so unhealthy?  When did I stop caring?

Of course I banked on the excuse, well, I just had a baby x months ago!  Of course I’d have a little extra fluff.  But staring at myself that day, there were no excuses.  I hated what I saw.  I hated how I felt.  I had to change or my family’s tendencies for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a slew of other things would be knocking on my door much sooner than I’d ever be ready for.  A doctor had once told me that I was pre-diabetic, but not to worry about.  She said it was probably caused by not really watching what I had been eating for the previous few days.  We decided I would watch my diet over the course of two weeks and come back to see if there were any changes.  I was scared enough that I ate supremely well.  I got more blood drawn and low and behold, no problems.  GREAT!

You’d think that would scare me onto the right path.  Nope.  I went right back to my old ways and sat looking at myself in that mirror.  Depressed and resenting all the choices I had made that had gotten me to what I was seeing on that day.  

That was over a year ago now.

Since then, I have lost over 40 pounds, I’m back to endurance training and can run 3-5 miles without huffing and puffing the whole way.  I’m strength training for numerous reasons.  I’ve lost over 5 inches from my hips alone!  I’ve got a ton of energy (most days) and I sleep soundly when I’m supposed to.  My body fat has dropped from somewhere around 35% (although I’m not positive of this) to roughly 24%.  

I still have moments that I get upset I don’t have amazing results.  But then I think, what I’ve accomplished in one year IS amazing!  I need to (consistently) remind myself that I have made some serious changes to my life.  Yes, the scale is stuck and possibly glued to a certain number, but I know now that results are more than just what that scale says.

Results aren’t always as steadfast as numbers.  Those are just the easiest indicators to find that you’re going in the right direction.  Mood, sleep quality, energy…. how would you quantify that?

I no longer want to be skinny.  I want to be strong, fit and healthy.  My girls and my family see the changes in me and they have noted the positive effects they’ve had on me.  I will never go back to that person I stared at over a year ago.

I took this picture yesterday at the gym.  I can’t wait for more date nights to rock some heels with these calves 🙂


New Book

Posted on: May 7, 2013

very rarely buy books at full price anymore thanks to wonderful stores like Half Price Books and trusty Amazon.  Today, on a whim, Link and I decided to head over to Books-A-Million to peruse their overpriced selections.  We both have a kindle reader of some sort or another (I have a paperwhite and he has an iPad), but some times it’s just nice to hold a physical book.

My meandering lead me over to the cook books and fitness/health sections (surprise surprise).  I found this book.


I figured with everything I’ve been going through, some motivational stories might do me some good.  I’m planning to read a few tonight.  I’ll give you guys a little review once I’m done 🙂

I have been going back and forth recently trying to decide if I want my body fat calculated. The bigger part (giggling here) sounds off with a loud resounding YES! I need to know where I’m starting from in order to get where I’m going.

Then there is the other part. The part that is scared of the truth. I have no idea how knowing my body fat will affect me emotionally and that scares me.

I have found numerous ways to calculate your body fat. Each system has its own degree of error. Here are some of the tests I have found:

(1) Body Mass Index – otherwise known as BMI.  This is the LEAST accurate assessment of a person’s body fat.  It is simply a height to weight ratio that gives a general idea of your health.  It does not take into account a person’s lean muscle versus body fat.  My BMI is 26.8 (overweight).  You can find your BMI here.

(2) Weight Scales – There are numerous scales available now that can quickly give you your body fat.  Some are fancier than others.  The inaccuracies with this one come with consistency.  You should always weigh yourself at the same time of the day, as well as similar clothing (or lack thereof).  With that being said, when using a scale that can analyze an individual’s body fat, how hydrated the person is can alter the results.  I have the Weight Watchers scale and according to this scale, my body fat is 32.2%.

(3) Circumference measurements – These are the body measurements you take with a measuring tape.  The do have the capability to be inaccurate if the “tester” (normally yourself) does not consistently measure in the same place every time.  To get the best readings, a tester needs to take the same measurement three times and get the average of the three measurements.  I found this online calculator if you’re interested in this technique.  My body fat according to this technique was 24.2%.

(4) Skin Fold/Calipers – This method uses a device to physically measure the thickness of your skin folds are specified locations.  There are one-site tests all the way up to nine-site tests (that I have found).  Like the tape measuring, using a different tester or if the tester doesn’t consistently use the same place, the results can be inaccurate.  I recently bought a caliper and doing a three-site test (with Link’s help), my body fat was 25%.  If you have a caliper at home and are curious to find out what those numbers mean and how to get the measurements, you can read about it here, calculator included.

(5) Bod Pod – This is the one I knew the least about when I started looking around.  I knew about hydrostatic testing (which is the next bullet down) and the Bod Pod is similar to that… at least in theory.  The big difference?  One is done in water, the other one is not.  The Bod Pod is a capsule of sorts you sit in and once the capsule is sealed it takes numerous measurements and prints out a pretty little reading of you body’s make up.  It claims to be as effective at the hydrostatic testing.  I don’t personally believe it.  On two separate occasions I found the readings to be way off on two different women.  You can read their posts here and here.  I think I would still like to have it done simply as a “just to know” situation.

(6) Hydrostatic Testing – This is the gold standard for body fat testing.  You are submerged underwater and the readings are analyzed.  I know that’s a really simple explanation of the process, but sometimes it’s just better to leave things simple.  As soon as I can find a location that can do this without breaking the bank, I will be doing this!

Regardless of how I chose to ultimately track my body fat going down, I just have to keep in mind that consistency is key.  As long as the numbers are going down, they are at least giving some indication that I, and you, are on the right path!  If you’d like more information or have any questions about any of these, just post your questions!  I’m really intrigued by this particular topic and would love your feedback!  What’s your preferred choice?

First and foremost: LINK IS HOME!!! His two week “vacation” started this morning, so I was crazy getting the house and kids ready, which is more or less the reason I haven’t posted much in the past week (ish).

Now, onto blog business. A quick update with my “no scale” challenge. It’s been hard. Honestly. I hate not knowing how much I weigh. At one point, a couple of weeks ago, Nick wanted to get my stats, so I found out then what my weight was, and seriously, it was like getting taking a huge breath after you’ve been underwater to that point just before you know you might want to consider coming up for air. I haven’t looked since though. I’m starting to feel the “itch” though. LOL May 4th is the day my scale comes back out. One more week.

On Friday Nick decided it was a good day to work my entire back half. Wow. Lots of dead lifts. Lots and lots of dead lifts. I was actually able to do 185 pounds, whereas last week I could only do 165 pounds. 20 pound difference in a week? I’ll take it! I try to tell myself those are the numbers that matter, even if it doesn’t sink in every time.

We also did some ab work on the TRX. It’s a great training area/device/contraption/torture device if you can find the right form. Some of the exercises are a bit hard to find the right form, at least for me they are, but I think that’s what I’m going to start working on because I really do like how it works.

I’ve included a couple of pictures that Nick took while I was working with cables and while on the TRX.

—Take care of your body, it’s the only one you have!

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I’m sure y’all have figured out that I really like lifting weights now. Well, while Link is off in LaLa land, he and his buddies created a weightlifting challenge of sorts. They have a reward system but I honestly can’t remember how it’s set up. The events are dead lift, squat and bench press.  To get the lowest reward, their combined weight has to reach 500 pounds, the second reward is 800 pounds, and the top reward is for a combine weight of 1000 pounds.  Crazy right?!  I asked him what the standards were for women since there are women over there too (I’m all about EO)!  He said he thinks the numbers are 300, 400 and 600 pounds.

I don’t have any idea what possessed me to tell Nick about this challenge but I did.  The immediate effect I had after seeing his reaction was “uh oh!”  Of course we wanted me to do it!  I was thinking okay, I know I can get the 300 pound mark, but the others are way too far off… at least for now.  Nick, being the awesome trainer that he is, said we’re gonna skip right over that 300 mark, and shoot straight for 400.  I told him he was crazy!  I started thinking either he’s seriously overestimating my ability, or I’m seriously underestimating them.  We planned to go through it this past Friday.  Well, between the squat and the deadlift, I was 325.  So maybe I was underestimating myself a bit…  The bench press proved to be really hard for me though.

during the warm up... 45's on each side

during the warm up… 45’s on each side

There is apparently a proper way to do a bench press that quite literally engages all your muscles, not just your chest.  It was a very awkward feeling, and he thinks that is the reason I didn’t lift more.  I lifted 65 pounds.  Here is an article that explains “proper” form.

I was really surprised at my weights!  And we didn’t do the math until after we were done to figure out exactly where I was.  Also, the chest press wasn’t my max because I was able to do six reps, as well as the squat, which I did three of.  After he did his max calculations, he said that it would technically be 407 pounds.  So, I actually lifted 390 pounds but maxed out at 407 pounds!  I’ll take it!  These are the measurements that really matter.  Not just how much I weigh!  There are so many other indicators to put my focus on to measure my health and fitness.

Nick warned me I’d be sore.  He didn’t lie.  Today I had a long run planned but once I woke up this morning I realized very quickly there would be no running.  Today was definitely taken as a rest day!  I will get my run in tomorrow morning!

Nick has done it again.  I swear, he gets a kick out of torturing me, and I love him for it!  Here’s how today went:

I saw him finishing up with his earlier appointment, so I let him know he could find me warming up on the treadmill.  Not even 1 minute later he comes over laughing at me, telling me to get off.  There was my first big indicator that today I was going to sweat… a lot!  I could see it in his eyes!  LOL

He hands me a jump rope and off I start.  Today was a “go until you lose your rhythm (mess up) and well do one exercise”.  So in between my “mess ups” we took care of the prehab stuff.  He made me focus considerably more by putting half a foam roller on my back so I would isolate the right muscles/joints without shifting.  The supine bridge was intensified by doing them one legged on the bosu, and we did another prehab called the “reach, roll, and raise” (or something like that).  It focuses on the mid-back.  

Then we go into the “heavy” stuff.  It started with a kettle ball exercise that I can only describe because I have no idea what it’s called.  It’s double-armed, and you swing them until they’re almost parallel to the ground then you use your traps and lats to “punch” them back.  I know that’s a horrible description but I have no idea how else to describe the motion. LOL  Then onto dead lifts, morning glories, inverted rows, presses and donkey kicks all on the smith machine except for the first two.  There was huge progress made from last time I tried inverted rows.  Not gonna lie, I felt pretty awesome (tired) afterwards.  

Once the heavy was done we moved back to our starting area and did some ab and endurance training.  This was the circuit I had to complete as many times as I could in 15 minutes.  Donkey kicks, fire hydrants, plank (on elbows), alternating side planks (holding for 1-2 secs each time) for 10 reps, wall sit for 30 seconds, then upright rows.  The wall sits damn near killed me!!  I hated them in the army and I hate them just as much now!  After all of that was done, then I had 20 minutes of cardio.

So yes, I sweat my a$$ off today, and it felt awesome.  I have noticed when I’ve gotten in a great training, I am so much more apt to keep the momentum going into my dietary needs.  Granted, today was Boston Market Wednesday, I still behaved so much better than I think I would have normally, and I still made nutritious decisions without totally depriving myself.  All in all, a good day!

… is not such a little obsession.  I was so focused on what that damn scale was telling me that I forgot to see the bigger picture.  So, thanks to a good friend challenging me to put my scale away for the next month, we have started a challenge that seems to be catching.  The main focus is to learn what our bodies are telling us.  Oh, my jeans feel a bit snug today… maybe I should cut back the sodium/drink more water.  Wow, I’m really tired today… I should stop blogging and get some rest.  Etc etc.  

People in general, but women in particular, have been basing so many opinions of themselves due to what the media and beauty industry deem to be the idea of perfection.  My freckles for example… cover them up some say.  Not me.  I love my freckles and am always looking for that perfect foundation that covers the things I don’t like but lets my freckles shine through.  Or what about stretch marks… eww…  Those nasty, ragged silverly lines covering our breasts, bellies and hips.  Well, that’s at least what I used to think of them as.  Now, I call them my battle scars.  I worked damn hard to make sure both my babies were safe and were growing while in utero.  I earned every damn one of those scars.  

Does that mean I want to show them off… no.  There is a fine line that I’m still working with.  So for now, I am concentrating on just listening to the things my body is telling me.  I am going to the gym to relieve stress and get my muscles stronger.  I do my cardio to keep my heart healthy and my circulation flowing.  I fight off temptations (for the most part) because I know that there is nothing nutritional hiding in that little package of sugar, flour, and preservatives.

I say I lost sight of the big picture because the number on the scale wasn’t going down.  I sat down and took my actual measurements.  In one month I gained a pound but lost over 5 inches (total) from various places on my body.  My hips alone lost almost 2 inches in a month.  That’s significant.  I’m getting better sleep.  I feel more energetic.  And yes, I’m one pound heavier.  But, you know what?  I’m better than a number!  Think you’d be interested in taking the challenge with us??Image

I’ve been raving about Nick my trainer (and if I can convince him, I’m going to try to get a picture with him next week so you can put a face with the name) and I thought maybe at some point I should inform the blog reading world what it is I actually do when I’m with him.  Here are just some examples:

warm up (10 minutes) –

walk (2.5 mph) walking lunges (1.5 mph) side skip lunges right side (1.5 mph) walk backwards (1.5 mph) side skip lunges left side (1.5 mph); repeat

“prehab” –  (otherwise known as preventative exercises)

bird dogs, dead bugs, and supine bridges on bosu ball

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squats, lots and lots of squats.  we started on the smith machine and have since moved onto what Nick calls “the big boy” .  We’ve done a couple of different versions of squats, but the “Linda” squat is by far the most, uh, challenging.  Its like a one-legged hip check squat thing lol (note: I tried to find a picture, but I can’t.  It may have a different name, and if it does I’ll post a correction.)

Lunges!  Oh my god, Nick loves lunges.  I’m sure it’s because I made it known how much I despise them!  LOL  Unfortunately, they give very quick results…

Superset Lat Pulldown with BillyJacks.  I didn’t think they would effect me like the do but wow, my arms burn after the BillyJacks.

For chest/shoulders, we start on an inclined bench, do a set of presses and flyes, then go down one notch, repeat.  We do this until I’m one notch away from flat.  All with a natural grip, arms at a 45, instead of out to the side.  Those little changes have made a big difference.

Lots of Kettle Ball exercise, to include: Double Arm swing, Single Arm swing, squats, deadlift into a row, around the worlds, suitcase grabs, figure 8’s and windmills.

Sometimes he’ll add some plyometrics or the dreaded rope!

And we normally finish up with 20-30 minutes of cardio depending on what I actually did.  And cardio is almost always interval training.

So as I said at the beginning, these are just SOME of the examples, but this is not a typical day’s workout, except for the warm-up, “prehab” and cardio.  The stuff in the middle alternates.

I honestly love my workouts with Nick.  I’ve got that “hurts so good” feeling while I’m doing it.  He’s always conscious of my right shoulder (which I really need to get checked out).  He’s always pushing me.  He’s always available for questions outside of training sessions.  I hope you enjoyed reading about “the pain!”

I am quite literally on the verge on self-sabotage!  I have become completely obsessed with that damn number on the scale.  For three months, I’ve kept jumping around in the 150’s, never going below 155 or above 162.  Frustrated doesn’t even come close to what I’ve feeling right now.  My motivation is completely lost.  I want to dive into a box ho-ho’s and find a corner and be the nasty stank version of Gollum calling fatty cakes “my precious.”  Gollum-Smeagol-smeagol-gollum-14076899-960-403

And before the “stop looking at the number” speeches start, I know.  I am fit and healthier now than I have been in years.  I feel strong.  I feel attractive.  I feel all in all healthy… until I look at that damn scale!


I will not be weighing myself for the next two to three weeks.  I have to break this obsession and concentrate on the more important things as far as my health and fitness are concerned.  I will still take measurements and I am going to have Nick find out my actual body fat percentage.  Those numbers will mean so much more to me in the long run.  My 160 pounds, although still providing a nice soft covering, is a strong 160 pounds.

Wish me luck… “my precious” is calling me… must… avoid… fatty cakes!!

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