Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Health Kick Continues, and Insanity Kicks My Butt

First, it completely sucks that the 4th of July is on a Wednesday.  Can we just collectively agree, as a nation, that when this happens in the future we will celebrate on Tuesday or Thursday, so we can get the long weekend?  Please?  Wonderful.

On to better things.  As I previously blogged, I am on a fitness kick.  I'm hoping it's the proverbial lifestyle change, but who can say what I will be doing a year from now?  At any rate, I am enjoying it immensely so far.  Who knew I would love getting up at 6 a.m. to work out?  Not the me from six months ago, that's for sure.   

So, here is my progress.  Since May 24, when I started paying attention to all of this, I have lost 8 lbs.  This means I am at 138 lbs.  (I'm 5'6").  I'm actually feeling pretty good at this weight (e.g. I don't cringe when I get dressed in the morning), but I want to get down to 130, so I'm halfway to my goal.  Already a bunch of my clothes don't fit me anymore.  (If this keeps up, there is going to be a massive shopping spree in the fall.  I should hit 130 by around the first week in September if things continue as they are.)   

To this point, I have done the following: 

(1) I work out six days a week for (typically) 30-60 minutes.  I burn anywhere from 200 to 600 calories, depending on the workout.  I bought a heart rate monitor so I could track calories burned to give me a better idea.  For working out, I've been running, doing a Jillian Michaels DVD (30 Day Shred; Burn Fat, Boost Mebolism; or Ripped in 30); or just plain walking.  Some days I'd just do one of these, other days I might combine two.  It just depended how I was feeling.  As I discussed before, I'm doing the Couch to 5k running plan, and I can't recommend it enough.  When I started, I couldn't run two blocks.  Now, at week 7 (out of 9), I'm running 25 minutes straight -- over 2 miles.  It's pretty freaking amazing.  I also never realized how much I walk, living in the city, but I started keeping track of it randomly with the Map My Run app on my phone.  For example, I walk over half a mile to get to the train each day.  It doesn't seem that far, but that's a mile walked daily, there and back.  It's also about 3/4 of a mile to Whole Foods, and I do that walk every weekend to get groceries, for a 1.5 mile walk.  My best friend lives 1.5 miles away, and I almost always walk when I go to her house.  I never realized I did so much walking.  Somehow, living in the city, it just doesn't seem that far.  So, with my normal everyday walking, on top of my running, on top of some after work walks of 3-4 miles (45 minutes to an hour), I'm covering over 25 miles a week.  Amazing.  And let me tell you -- the running is what has really gotten the fat to fall off.  I'm hating right now because it's so hot (even at 6 a.m. it is humid as hell) so I've kind of put the running on hold until temperatures get back to normal. 

(2)  Tracking everything I eat.  I can't say enough about My Fitness Pal.  I've got the app on my phone and iPad, and the website is great also.  I log every single thing I eat.  If I don't know (if I eat out, for example), I guess, and I guess high.  I've been eating at least 1400 calories a day (usually more), and every week I've ended up with at least one ridiculous day of calorie glutton, typically where my friends or coworkers were involved.  Oh, and alcohol will kill you.  At any rate, I haven't been starving myself.  And you really can eat a lot for 1500 calories.  I've been checking out the Skinny Taste web site and Hungry Girl books for recipe ideas.  And eating a lot of protein.  Although I've been losing about a pound a week, I didn't really plan it that way.  I want to do this in a way that I can keep the weight off, and get used to not just eating everything in sight.  It's amazing how many calories are in some foods, that I never even realized.  For example, the other day I was craving a burger, so I wondered how many calories were in a burger from my nearby Epic Burger.  Over 800.  My eyes goggled out of my head when I saw that.  I used to eat that burger without even thinking about it.  Add fries, and you are over 1400 calories!  Holy crap!  Obviously you can do that sometimes, but I was doing that kind of thing too often.  Now, at least, I'm thinking about it.  That's the good thing about calorie logging.  I thought I would hate it, but it's so easy with the phone app that I don't even think about it, and the database of food is huge.  I'm starting to get to the point where I can add up potential calories in my head when I'm eating out, to help out with my choices.  But, don't think this means I'm giving up the junk entirely.  Not a chance.  In fact, over the weekend I had three taco supremes from Taco Bell (600 calories total), and it was worth every fatty calorie.  You can do it; you just can't do it all the time.

So, all of the above has gotten me down 8 lbs.  It was time to step it up.  I started Insanity on Saturday.  Insanity is one of the Team Beachbody workouts.  Maybe you've heard of P90X?  Insanity is from those guys.  It is aptly named.

Insanity is a 60 day program, that you do 6 days a week. Each workout averages from about 40 minutes to an hour.  I'm not going to describe every DVD here or all the details.  If you want to know that, go over to Charles Lloyd Fitness.  He describes all the workouts in great detail.  (He apparently is also a representative for the company, so you are forewarned, but I honestly haven't found a more detailed review of the DVDs, if you really want detail about what is involved in each workout.)  I've been doing it at 6 a.m. every morning, followed by a glass of chocolate milk, which is my recovery drink.  (If Jillian Michaels says I can drink chocolate milk, you better believe I'm going to drink chocolate milk.)   

This is a hardcore workout.  It is reminiscient of the things you used to do for sports in high school.  Burpees, for example.  I remember doing burpees in the gym for rowing, and pounding through them.  Burpees are incredibly hard for me now, but hot damn, I can feel my whole body working to do them.  Push ups.  Agh.  Mountain climbers.  Heismans.  Butt kicks.  High knees.  Ski moguls.  Jumping jacks.  Squats.  Straight up challenging, hard stuff, with little breaks.  This isn't a DVD where the people on the DVD can even make it through the workout.  No, the people behind Shaun T (the guy who came up with the madness) drop out and hit the ground regularly.  This makes you, at home, feel less guilty about doing the same.  This shit is hard.

However, it is really awesome.  I am dripping with sweat by the end.  I mean, you really feel like you accomplished something.  I like a challenge and I like to push myself, so, I am liking this workout.  Granted, I only just finished Day 5, but, so far, so good.  My plan is to continue Couch to 5K (only two weeks left) at least on the Cardio Recovery DVD days, since that one is only 33 minutes and it is mainly strength type stuff.  I was able to do it this week; we'll see going forward.  The thing about Insanity, though, is that you could very easily injure yourself doing it, so be careful if you decide to try it.  If you've had knee problems in the past, this may not be the workout for you, because there is a lot of jumping, although you can certainly alter the workout to remove the jumping.  Go at your own pace.  The people on the TV go crazy fast.  I can't do that yet -- but I will be able to -- soon.     

So, that's what's up with me.  Work is work.  You know.


  1. So so so proud of you! Yeah, who woulda thought the whole "eat less, move more" lifestyle change would really work? Ha!

    I've lost about 5 pounds with the "grief diet" and it's stayed off. I'm also watching my calories like a hawk - 1200 a day to lose 1 lb a week. I've lost a few pounds with that too! Feeling pretty good but still totally wearing spanx with work clothes!

    Oh! I sent you a tweet but not sure if you saw it! I started my job hunt and got one in 1.5 weeks! I start working at a law firm as a legal assistant tomorrow! It's so insane! They wanted someone without any legal experience and are willing to pay for me to become a paralegal! SO INSANE!