Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekly Report - July 25, 2010

  • Number of workouts over the past week:  5
  • Food:  Good
  • Number of Hours Slept:  Average
  • Daily water:  Needs improvement
  • Total pounds lost thus far:  10.4 lbs

Friday, July 23, 2010

Shrimp Salad & 120-calorie Patriotic Dessert

120 calorie dessert 
(Ingredients: 1 Shortcake shell, 10 blueberries, two strawberries,
& 2.5 Tablespoons Whipped Topping)
It's Friday!  Hooray for the end of the work week.
The week in review: 
  • 3 workouts (soon to be 4)
  • 2 meals at Chipotle
  • Avoiding Dunkin Donut's 99 cent Happy this is possible, I have no idea.
  • 1 fabulous job interview
  • Vacuuming the inside of my car for the first time in...ever
  • 1 trip to McDonalds, but in my defense I ate a chicken sandwich. And french fries.
  • 3 protein meal replacement shakes.  
It's been a week of food ups/downs. Yesterday I gave into a meal at McDonald's.  I convinced myself I earned it, after coming from a good job interview.   I also decided that the trip was a one time thing for this week, and not the best use of my money, and probably won't help me lose weight, but I ate it anyways.  I'd already had my fill of one dead cow for the week, took care of that on Monday, so I knew the Big 'N Tasty I was eying was out of the question.    I chose the Chicken Classic meal with a strawberry banana shake.  It cost me close to $9 but was so worth it.   And after I ate it, I told myself I'd get it together for the rest of the day.  I know Th was my "take the day off from working out" day so I needed to eat less fatty/less calorie food for the rest of the day. And that's when my family found a buy-one-get-one coupon for Chipotle. And a Chicken burrito bowl sounded so perfect so I ate half of my "free" bowl, put the other half in the fridge to save for today and I decided that would be the end to my fast food spree for the week.
In my weight loss journey, I've learned how important consistently eating right is for a diet. If you fall off the wagon, even for a second, or in my case a full day, you gotta get back on that wagon before it gets too outta control, speeds away from you down the road and you lose sight of it. Sometimes I recover from my fall within hours.  Sometimes I fail miserably and forget the wagon exists at all.

Luckily today was a successful day. I started off the day with a protein meal replacement shake.  Then that other half of  leftover chicken burrito bowl from Chipotle.  Drank some wheat grass.   Followed up with a shrimp salad complete with fresh green peppers, tomatoes and poppyseed dressing.   Followed by a Patriot Dessert - only 120 cals.

This week has also been a good workout week so far.  I've met my goal of working out a min. of 3 times/week by working out three days in a row on M, Tu, W.  I took Th off and, today, while cleaning/doing laundry/answering emails/getting work done I put on my 10-pound ankle weights for a few hours and I'm doing a Julian Michael's DVD (either the Shred or Yoga) for workout #4 in a lil bit.  Here's to keeping it together on Sat/Sunday.   It's the freakin' weekend, baby.

"Man in the building. Sorry for the inconvenience."

My W3 fitness pass.
I'm obsessed with Women's Workout World aka as "W" to the third power.  The best part about this gym is that it's women only.  No men allowed, except for when workout equipment needs to be fixed and then a sign is taped to the door that reads something like "Man in the building.  Sorry for the inconvenience."   Awesome.

When I was 16 and still in high school, I asked for a gym membership for my Birthday.  I'm not really sure why I wanted a gym membership then, but my Mom allowed it.   She suggested W3 (probably because she was once a member there and also probably because she knew there would be no men there, kinda like how she suggested I live in an all-girls dorm my freshman year of college, which I also did) and with my her consent and signature, I was allowed to join.

Ever since, I've been an on again off again member during summer breaks from college and law school, and now at 26, I'm a full-time member and I still frickin' love this place. I love taking fitness classes like belly dancing and turbo kick. I love seeing cute workout gear.  I love sharing tips on diet/weight loss.  And I love seeing women in their late '70s tearing it up on the treadmill.   And most of all, I love that I get to work out with women with similar fitness, similar weight loss frustrations and similar problem areas.

When I explain the concept of an all-women gym to men, they just don't get it.  Why do women need an exclusive gym?   I'll tell you why...

In the past I've worked out at my fair share of co-ed gyms and let me tell you that I barely feel comfortable straying from the cardio equipment.   Why?  Because at co-ed gyms men rule the weight lifting sections.  As a woman, I felt like I had to avoid eye contact when I strayed to that area of the gym, which was rare.  Using cardio machines at co-ed gyms is legit.  Anyone with functional legs can do it.  But using weight machines is a whole diff. story.  There may as well be a sign posted that says "This section is for MEN only" because let's face it, women are not welcome there.  Even the few super-human, super-lean fit/buff women who waltzed through that section got stares.

Back when I started law school and I noticed that I was gaining weight that first semester, I thought getting a personal trainer would be a good idea.  My campus' gym had super cheap student personal training packages so I hired a personal trainer, Becky, who was also an undergraduate student majoring in exercise science and nutrition.

The best part of my personal training package, besides losing inches off my waist, arms and legs, was that I learned how to use weight lifting equipment, equipment that I had avoided since high school.  At our 5:30 a.m. sessions on campus Becky taught me proper form for every weight machine in the building.  And we were almost always the only women in that section.  I felt ├╝ber uncomfortable in the seemingly "mens only" section and we surely were stared down as I struggled to lift 20 pounds on my bicep curls.  Not only did I feel uncomfortable, but the men seemed annoyed.  Annoyed that they had to wait for me to finish my reps.  Annoyed that I was there period.   I was equally annoyed.  And scared.
Thanksgiving break 1L year.  Me (on the right)
keeping up on my fitness with my younger sister.  

As my 1L semester progressed, my strength improved.   My muscles got stronger.  My body was starting to look toned.  I was less scared to use the weight machines.  One evening I was working out solo and I snuck over to the "men's only section" to do some weight lifting.  I was using proper form to work on my triceps, as Becky had shown me.  I felt so kickin' until a guy sat on the bench nearest me and stared at me for a few seconds before asking, "Hon, what are you trying to do?".  Couldn't he tell from my swole physique that I meant business?  Apparently not.  He pushed me out of the way and decided to demonstrate the proper form, made me watch his perfect reps and then had me show him what I learned from the mini lesson.  I did ten reps until he was satisfied.   Then as he left the area he told me to "keep working on it".

I was humiliated.  And bolted out of that section never to return again...or at least for 6 months.

Zuzana from
At W3, no one has ever approached me like that.  You know why?  Because it just does not happen in all women zones. Even when there's swole women who come know, those Zuzana type-chicks who look super sculpted and strong and you just stare wondering how they can maintain 5% body fat yet still have boobs...they never correct me.  They just do their thing, maybe say "hi" (because after all, I am super cool) and go about their bidness.

If anything, I love the concept of all women gyms because everything caters to women.  The promotions/contests, the locker rooms, the magazines, the fitness classes, the free samples of new beauty products and Jamba Juice $1 off coupons.  Plus, something about doing aerobics next to a 75-year old woman dressed in a Jane Fonda-style leotard, tights and a sweatband makes me step it up.  Surely, I can't let grandma outdo me on the aerobic dance floor.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Changing Directions - Operation Lose 30 pounds

 * * * * *
"If you do not change direction, 
you may end up where you are heading".  
- Lao-Tzu,
Chinese Philosopher

  * * * * *
I've always been a happy person, but after I graduated from law school, I was frustrated.

Yes, I was elated I earned a law degree, but I was not happy that in three years, I also gained 30 pounds.

Stress + inactivity + free pizza lunches + late nights + open bars will do that to you. Or at least it did it for me. I was so not happy with such an intense weight gain in such a short period of time, and I knew that if I didn't take action, that 30 pounds would either stay with me or creep up (i.e. "If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading").

The goal:  On May 14, 2010 I started a weight loss plan to lose all 30 pounds I gained while in law school.
I had a head start on my goal, because since graduating, I'd already lost 5 pounds. But to reach my goal of 30, I knew I needed to step it up. So I joined a gym and for two months I've been working out 3-5 times/week, taking almost daily walks sorta, and I've gained muscle/gotten stronger. I'm also eating better food/smaller portions, counting calories on occasion and as a result I've lost another 5 pounds over the last 2 months.
  • Weight loss to date:  10 pounds
  • Dress Sizes down to date:  One 
  • Double Chins lost to date:  One
  • New eating rules I made up:  ONE:  ONE COW A WEEK.  Cheeseburgers were doing me in so I made up a rule that I can only eat one serving of dead cow a week.  Max.  Not daily.  This means, once I have my ONE cheeseburger or Chipotle steak burrito, it's time to switch to Boca Burgers, Black Bean burgers, veggie-based meals and other non-four legged friends.  TWO:  WHEN IN DOUBT, EAT WHAT'S AT HOME...not what's at McDonald's, Taco Bell or Burger King.
  • Weaknesses:  Cheese, 99 cents Dunkin' Donuts Happy Hour
Take a look at me now: Cyn on  July 3, 2010
So I've got 10 pounds down (plus toned my legs and arms and slimmed my belly).  That leaves me with 20 pounds left to lose.  I plan to lose that extra 20 by October 2010.  Over the next few months, I'll be documenting my weight loss accomplishments, struggles, desires, inspiration, progress, etc. in this blog and via videos.

Stay tuned....It's time for Cyn to Get Thin! and to put this journalism undergraduate degree to use.