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!