Sunday, April 26, 2009

Boot Camp: Results and Reflection

Well Thursday night we had our end of the month evaluations. I was pretty nervous to see my results since I knew I hadn't lost much if any weight. I knew my pants fit a little looser, but not by much. But all I cared about was that my numbers had gone down, no matter if it was by a lot or a little. Well I was pleasantly surprised:

Weight: -2 pounds
Body fat: -3.7%
Arms: -0.25 inches
Chest: -0.5 inches
Waist: stayed the same
Hips: -1.75 inches
Legs: stayed the same

Not bad for four weeks and 15 workouts!!! Of course I would have loved a Biggest Loser-like meltdown of pounds but that's not very realistic. I think this bootcamp was a great experience for me. It pushed me to my limit and taught me what I need to do to get in shape and improve my body. It also taught me not to be caught up on my weight but how I feel and how I look. I just hope that I can keep it up on my own. Anyone out there that wants a jumpstart on fitness or exercise, I definitely recommend some kind of boot camp. There are many types out there so find one that suits you. Also - get someone to go with you and hold you accountable. If I didn't have a friend going through this camp with me I am sure I would have skipped a couple times or even quit. Boot camps can be expensive, but think of it as investing in yourself. It's always a great investment!

Final week of bootcamp

Monday we had a major windstorm blow through Omaha so boot camp was canceled. I am sure you are thinking "why would a little wind stop people from exercising?" Well our workout was mainly mat work, and there was no way our poor little yoga mats could stand up to that wind. Plus the wind blew the port-a-potty over, we took that as a sign we shouldn't be there. We all agreed to come in Tuesday morning and make it up...

There was one other time I went to boot camp in the morning, and it was incredibly hard to get up that early. I knew this would be even harder since I had to go to the night camp as well. At morning camp we learned that during the last week of boot camp we had the pleasure of doing Tobatas. (I think that is what it was called anyway) Tobatas are repeating the same group of exercises eight times in a row, with a ten second pause between each exercise. Tuesday morning that consisted of two exercises, running to the end of the parking lot and back, two different exercises, and then running to the end of the parking lot and back again. We repeated this cycle NINE TIMES. We were only supposed to do it eight times, but the trainer lost count half way through and didn't believe us when we told him we were doing an extra set.

Tuesday evening we did another Tobata, but this time he gave us a "break" and he had us do the exercise sets 4 times in a row without running in between each set. After we did the sets 4 times we did some lunges and running, then came back and did four more sets, more lunges and running, and then ab work. I was so tired after the workout but so proud that I lived through two boot camps in one day!

Wednesday we did another Tobata, but this time we did eight sets in a row, then some running, then ab work.

Thursday was the last day of boot camp. Corey said that we would have a "medium" intensity workout for the last day. We ran about 3/4 of a mile to a nearby park. I saw a snake on the way. It was dead but just as scary. I'm hoping it is my one and only snake sighting this year. When we got to the park we learned that we were doing pull ups, push ups, and some arm dips. I have never done a pull up in my life, so I was pretty skeptical. We divided into partners so that we could spot each other on the pull up bar. While I was on the pull up bar, my partner held my legs and gave me a boost if I needed it. (which I always did!) Also Corey had to help me out by lifting me up by my armpits. It sounds like I didn't have to do anything, but even with all that help the most pull ups I did was 6! I was still pretty happy with that! We had to do three sets of each exercise, so we were pretty tired on the way back to the lake. I tried to jog as much as possible but I am sure most of the time I was speed walking. When I woke up the next morning my arms and upper back were pretty sore, but Saturday morning was even worse. I couldn't even lift my arms above my head. My poor arms are just that wimpy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Catching up on week 3

Well as is inevitable with any blog, I skipped a couple days. I do have a lot of positive things to catch up on though. Week 3 was a great week, and my abs were definitely annihilated! Wednesday I had to work in the afternoon so I had to go to morning camp. Morning camp is at 5:30 in the morning. I am proud to say that I got up at 4:30, ate breakfast, and showed up at camp ready to go. It was a tough workout but it was nice to have it done and over with. The only thing I didn't like was that it was indoors and therefore very warm. I definitely like being outside where there is usually a nice breeze. (or sometimes a strong gusting wind!)

Thursday we did a fireman's drill, which was extremely difficult. We broke into pairs and had to carry a duffel bag that weight 75lbs across the grass. Half the distance we got to carry the bag together, the other half we had to carry it on our own. All while running as fast as we could of course. Then while the other teams were doing their running we had to do push ups. The other fireman's drill we had to do was carry the bag together halfway down, then drag your partner the rest of the way. You would hold your partner under the arms, and then drag them by their feet across the grass. It sounds hard, and it was even harder than it sounded. It was a different way to exercise though, which made it fun.

Thursday we also got a talk about fitness and weight loss. Corey was a little frustrated that all we have been thinking about is the number on the scale. He gave us the lecture that we have all heard many times, that the number on the scale means nothing, especially when measured next to inches lost or clothing size. I think this time it finally stuck for me, especially since he gave me the same speech the week before and it had been on my mind. It really hit home for me over the weekend though. Friday I did my weekly weigh-in and found that I still hadn't lost any pounds. I was pretty bummed but decided I wasn't going to let it ruin my weekend. I was just going to keep doing what I was doing and go with the flow. My size is my size and who cares.

Then on Friday night I went shopping for a new outfit for my bachelorette party. Without thinking I picked up a new pair of jeans in my normal size. They fit me and I didn't think much of it. Then Tim called and I had to leave without buying the jeans. Saturday I went shopping again and ended up at JCPenney's. I went to the jeans section, picked up the same exact jeans I had picked up at Kohl's, but all the sudden it occured to me "I wonder if I can even zip up a smaller size?" I grabbed a size smaller than normal and headed to the dressing room. They fit!!! They were a tad tight but I could still breathe and they weren't causing a muffin top or anything. Plus they were stretchy and looked great. So I bought them and finished off my new outfit with a new shirt, jewelry, and sandals. My bachelorette party was Saturday night and I felt and looked great! Who cares about the number, I'm not gonna let it rule my life anymore!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Seven and Eight

Last Thursday was a pretty fun workout. It was raining but not too cold, and we took refuge under a picnic table shelter. In between mat workouts we ran out to the parking lot and played a game. We divided up into teams of 2 and each team had a rubber ball with knobs all over it which made it bumpy and uneven. We had to throw the ball to the other person, bouncing it once on the ground. If the ball bounced more than once, or we didn't catch it, we had to run after the ball, then switch places with our partner and do 5 jumping jacks. Needless to say we did a lot of running and a lot of jumping jacks. It is hard to catch that ball! Because it is so uneven it is difficult to tell where it will bounce. It seemed like every time I was the catcher it would bounce 20 or 30 feet away. I guess I got my cardio in!

Today was a good workout, it was a little chilly but I warm up pretty quickly. Apparently the theme this week is "Total Ab Annihilation!" So in addition to our normal ab workout at the end of the day, we also do more matwork that is centered around the abs. That is fine with me, my abs are some of my weakest muscles. I had no idea we had theme weeks, usually we just have theme days. It should be fun!

After camp today I talked to the trainer about my diet. I have been following Weight Watchers and exercising for awhile now, and not seeing any weight loss. I know that it is normal to retain some water while building muscle, but I thought that after two weeks that would be over with. He said that it takes about three to four weeks to start losing pounds, so I should see some results the end of this week and the end of next week. He also said that I would start seeing some loss in inches by next week as well. I am excited to start seeing some results! I feel the results, I am not as sore after workouts and I can run longer without wanting to die, but hey let's be honest here: my wedding is coming up fast and I can't wait to look good (or at least better) in my dress. He also said that he likes Weight Watchers because it makes portion control easy, but he likes counting calories better. He asked me to start keeping track of my calories over the next couple days and let him know what my average day looks like. Counting calories might work better for me anyway, there are lots of ways to "cheat" with Weight Watcher points.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day six

Today was another gorgeous day, which always makes exercising more enjoyable. It was "back day" although most of our exercises worked the arms and abs. They must indirectly exercise the back or something. My quad didn't hurt today, but my right calf started to burn. I've heard that if your back is misaligned, or if your "step" is wrong that over time you can injure yourself. I'm beginning to think that I could have some kind of misalignment. I've had problems this week with my right leg, and I have a history of right shoulder pain. Or maybe I'm just out of shape and getting older. Who knows. I think I will ask the trainer about it tomorrow just to be safe. Otherwise it was a pretty great workout. Oh by the way, I still really hate running.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day Five

Today the weather was beautiful!! 50 degrees with a tiny little breeze. So much better than yesterday!! Boot camp was extraordinarily difficult today, I think the trainer was making up for the half hour we lost yesterday. It was another "chest day", which meant lots of various push ups. I actually saw improvement since our last "chest day", but it was still very challenging. In between push up exercises we had to do cardio exercises across the parking lot. It varied from skipping, side stepping, grapevine, running backwards, high stepping, and sprinting. When we got to the sprint I pushed myself as hard as I could, and at the end of the parking lot I felt a sharp pain in my right quad. Great, I thought, I pulled a muscle. I didn't say anything to the trainer because I am already the worst in the class, I didn't want to be the complainer too. I backed off a bit, and promised myself that if the pain got worse, I would say something to the trainer. I finished the day without any major problems. I don't think I pulled anything, I just think my legs are incredibly sore. I have been stretching all night, I hope I feel ok tomorrow. The last thing I need is an injury, I am finally starting to feel some progress. Still no weight loss, I really hope to see a loss on Friday when I have my weigh in. I keep reminding myself to stay positive.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Day four

Well Friday I did my weekly weigh-in for Weight Watchers, and I gained two pounds last week. I was pretty upset, but after researching online and talking to several people, I discovered that is pretty normal after starting a vigorous workout routine. Sure enough, this morning I weighed myself and the two pounds were gone. Now on to decreasing that number even more!

I wasn't sure if we would have boot camp today since the weather was less than favorable. Luckily we only had to stay for a half hour. It was a lovely 37 degrees with a 26 degree windchill, but I still showed up out at Lake Zorinsky all bundled up. At first I was so cold I could barely move and my hands turned numb. But eventually my body warmed up and was somewhat accustomed to the weather. Unfortuately my lungs felt otherwise. I tried to breathe through my nose as much as possible because the air was so cold, but after running a couple laps I was so out of breath I had to start breathing through my mouth. I started to choke from all the phlegm and the nurse in me kept thinking "what if I drown in my own fluids? there's no suction here!" But obviously I was able to clear my throat and get through it. Aside from that small inconvenience I thought it was a great workout and I felt pretty good afterwards. Maybe I'm making progress!!! I think I will do some Wii Fit tonight to make up the time.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Day three

Today I was less sore than on the previous days, so I take that as a good sign. I hope that means that my body is healing and getting stronger. We focused on the chest muscles today, which meant lots of variations on push ups. Push ups are not my strong point. It seems like I have a lot of weak points, but that is why I have to go to boot camp! I wussed out and did those half pushups, balancing on my knees instead of my toes. I am hoping to be able to do real pushups over the next four weeks.

I am getting a little frustrated over not losing any weight the last couple weeks. I realize this is my first week of boot camp but before this I was working out on the Wii Fit. Plus I have been following Weight Watchers exactly to the letter. I am hoping that my body is just going through a bit of shock (and bloating from it being that point in my cycle) and my weight loss will be jump started soon. I know that being healthy isn't just about the numbers, but it is so much better when you can see some progress. I will give it another week or so and see if I need to change diet strategies.

Day two, part two

Well Wednesday was day two. I went to camp early to warm up and walked for about 20 minutes. I think it helped, if only mentally. It was a difficult workout, because I was still sore from Monday and from Wii Fit on Tuesday, but it was much better than monday. I started to get that cramping feeling in my stomach again, but this time I relaxed and breathed through it. The running still sucked, but I know it is going to be awhile before I can run any distance without wanting to die. Corey (the trainer) took my measurements and weight, so I will be able to compare them at the end of the four weeks. I didn't look forward to this first measurement, but I can't wait for the next!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day two, part one

I woke up this morning and I felt pretty good. My butt and thighs were pretty sore, but I felt like it was a victory soreness. I stretched some more and went on with my day. I wondered what it was going to be like to workout when I was so sore.

I didn't get to find out. Well, not really. The reason this is called "part one" is that camp was canceled today. It was snowing and the wind chill was 26 so the trainer cancelled. We are going to make it up on Friday so technically Wednesday will be day two of boot camp. Don't worry though, I didn't waste the day. I spent an hour on the Wii Fit - I know, not the same as boot camp, but it was activity. (and believe it or not there are some great exercises on there that can make you just as sore as boot camp!)

Just a note on my diet, I am still using Weight Watchers to watch calorie and fat intake. It may not be perfect, but it does work and it gives me a way to keep a handle on what I am eating while allowing for me to splurge once in a while. For now I am not going to eat my extra "activity points" but that may change in the future if I feel I need more energy.

Day One

***Note*** Day one was March 30th but since I decided after the fact to start this blog, it's going to be posted a day late.

Well today was the first day of boot camp. I expected it to be extremely difficult, but there was also this part of my brain that said "well you have been doing Wii Fit for the last week and it wasn't that hard, you should do ok". Yeah this was NO Wii Fit, not even close. I showed up ten minutes early with my yoga mat and 5 lb weights in hand, eager to get in shape. I soon noticed that most of the people there had already attended at least one boot camp, and a couple of them had attended several boot camps. Great. I was hoping there would be at least one person like me that would fall over half way through the hour. But I managed to stay positive...until the trainer said "ok we are starting, run two laps around the parking lot, go go go!"


I naively thought that we would do the typical warm-up, kick butt, cool down thing. Apparently the hour long boot camp doesn't account for this. (note to self: next time come early and warm up on your own!) I am not a runner, and to start off running without a warm up was a bad starting point from me. My lungs were on fire, and my heart was was beating so fast I thought it would burst. When we got back we started stretching, which was a little break to catch my breath.

As soon as I caught my breath it was "run down to the stop sign and back". Ugh! Then it was on to mat work, which included squats, jumping jacks, jumping back and forth like a skier, and more fun with dumbbells. During the mat work my stomach started to cramp up. I am never sure how long I should wait between eating and exercising, so a little over an hour before camp I had an orange. I figured it would give me a sugar and electrolyte boost, plus it would be out of my stomach by bootcamp. I don't know if it was the stress on my body, anxiety, or the orange but I did not feel good. I just kept telling myself that I could get through it.

"Run to the stop sign and back!" That didn't help. Then it was onto lunges, skipping, and running backwards across the parking lot. I really started to feel sick at this point, and not to be gross, but I wasn't sure which end it was going to come out of. I really didn't care if I threw up in front of everyone, but the alternative was not a choice for me. I excused myself to the bathroom. Nothing happened when I got there, I just sat with my head in my hands while the room spun around and around. After what felt like 5 or 10 minutes (but I have no idea how long I was in there) I finally rejoined the group. I felt like a loser for needing a break, but when I got back the trainer came up to me and said "hey it's ok, I had three people puke this morning. it's normal on the first couple days." I said, "thank you but for the record I didn't barf!!"

I continued with the group, joining in on the second set. I did ok in the mat work, but every time we had to run across the parking lot I was definitely holding up the tail end of the group. I didn't care. At least I was trying, and at least my body was moving. At the end of our three reps, we had more running and then ab exercises. We found a new level of pain. At one point I felt like my ab muscles weren't even connected to body anymore because when I tried to move them nothing happened. As I grunted away I started to talk to the people on my left (Jenna was on my right). One of them (the only guy in the group) told me that this was his second boot camp, and on the first day in his first boot camp he couldn't do ANY of the ab exercises or most of the running, so he thought I was doing great. This made me feel a little better. I may be having a lot of trouble now, but it is the first day and it will only get better right?

When I got home I was pretty sore. I have never been sore on the day of exercise before, usually I'm sore the next morning. I got on my Wii Fit and did my daily test, and then did stretching exercises for ten minutes. I knew the more stretching I did, the better I would feel. (My dad's famous advice by the way) I guess I will see in the morning!

I am not brave enough to put my actual weight on here, sad I know. But I will keep track of my BMI(calculated by Wii Fit), total pounds lost, and eventually inches lost(as measured by my trainer).
Starting BMI, week one: 25.63 (in the overweight category)

My fitness story

I have been thinking about starting a blog for some time now, but I wasn't sure if my life was interesting enough. I thought, "what do I have to say?" But as I was on my way home last night I thought "this could be a funny subject."

My Fitness History...

I have never been what you would call an athlete. Sure I went out for sports in junior high and high school but I never really excelled at anything. I am not much of a competitor, in fact I once asked my swim team coach "Is it ok if I just come to practice and skip the meets?" I do like to be active though, I love to go outside and most of my jobs have been physical in nature.

Like the typical teenager, however, that changed when I went to college. I gained the freshman 15, the sophomore 10, and then stayed pretty steady after that. Before college I had been so active that I didn't need to watch what I ate. Now all of the sudden eating whatever I wanted (plus drinking beer every weekend) was starting to catch up with me. Finally in my senior year my friend Emily hooked me up with Weight Watchers and I lost almost 30 lbs. I was back to my old self again, active and somewhat healthy.

This lasted about three years, until 2006. I was working in a laboratory and not getting much exercise, and then I started playing World of Warcraft (an online video game). I quickly became addicted and I suddenly found myself doing little to no activity at all, while sitting at the computer and eating. I ended up gaining about 45 lbs. In January 2008 I realized how unhealthy I was and vowed to get back to my normal self. I went back to Weight Watchers and thought it was going to be easy. Boy was I wrong. I had a really hard time keeping my motivation, and because my metabolism had dropped so much it was much harder to lose weight than when I was 21. I went back and forth from dieting, to eating whatever I wanted, and back again. I had a really hard time getting back on track. I did end up losing about 10-15lbs, but then I would yo-yo up and down 5 pounds. I spent the rest of the year yo-yoing up and down. Finally in Dec 08 I realized, if I want to be healthy and if I want to look good in my wedding dress, I am running out of time! I went back to Weight Watchers and over the last few months I have got my overeating mostly back in control. The problem now is exercise. I hate exercising. I like to go outside and walk, and I like to work, but I hate working out and lifting weights and running.

I went to the salon a couple weeks ago to get my hair done and one of the beauticians was talking about her "fitness boot camp" and how much she loves it. Last summer I considered going to boot camp but couldn't find a session that fit my schedule. I thought I would check it out again so I went to I saw that there was a session that started March 30th, and the time fit my schedule. I saw this as a sign. I moved some money around to pay for it, and then all I needed was someone to do it with. I knew that if I signed up on my own I would end up quitting. I am pretty honest with myself, and I know that is what would have happened. I sent a few people text messages to see who was interested, and my friend Jenna said it sounded awesome. So it was all set! I was pretty apprehensive but after I signed up and paid the money I knew it would be worth it. There was no quitting this time, my time and money were locked in, and I had someone to go with. Now all I had to do was show up...