Sunday, October 6, 2013

Halfway there...

So. Today marks the beginning of week 4, or the official END of the first half of this challenge. I have been dedicated to doing FLY doubles (barre and spin back to back) this entire time and I am definitely seeing improvement in my strength and endurance. However, I have been in a slump these last few days because I made the mistake of getting on the scale. :(  UP 5 pounds in the 3 weeks. I know, I know... muscle weighs more than fat! I have just been so obsessed with those numbers on the scale for so long, it's really difficult to get it through my head that I could actually GAIN weight and LOSE inches!!

BUT... that's exactly what has happened! I went in for a class today and had my half way measurements done. Very happy to report that I have lost 4.25" already!! 2.5" of that in my waist ALONE!! Of course, after a brief celebration of that fact, I quickly realized that I didn't lose a single centimeter in my wide hips or my "man calves". I guess I know what I need to concentrate on for the next 3 weeks!

So. Now the painful part. Updated pictures. I still don't see any improvement in the pictures but at least the numbers tell a different story. I'll add the updated measurements here as well.

L arm: 13" (no change)
R arm: 13" (- 0.25")
Waist: 36.5" (-2.5")
Hips: 43.25" (no change)
L thigh: 23" (-0.75")
R thigh: 23" (-0.75")
L calf: 15.75" (no change)
R calf: 15.75" (no change)


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Challenge Accepted

Wow. It's been a long time but I've decided to resurrect this blog (see what i did there?!?) in order to hold myself accountable for the new challenge i have taken on. 

Back in February I was looking through some of my pictures on Facebook and I barely recognized myself. I had ballooned to almost 220 pounds and looked so tired and old. It was at that point I decided I needed to take extreme measures. I enlisted the assistance of a weight loss clinic to help me with making over my diet/food choices and to have someone to report to. While they offered appetite suppressants and vitamin injections, I chose to simply follow the meal plan to see what I could accomplish. Once the first couple weeks of severe calorie deprivation were complete and I was allowed to start exercising, I discovered my greatest addiction ~ a fitness phenomenon called FLYwheel and it's sister work out FLYbarre.

I began with the cycle classes (FLYwheel) 2 or 3 times a week sometime around the beginning of March. I can remember that first day like it was yesterday. Once I found the Blakeney location, I have to admit I drove around the parking lot several times before I worked up the nerve to go inside. Knowing how I looked in spandex and feeling incredibly self conscious and intimidated I wasn't sure I was ready for this. When I finally walked in to this "studio" (which looked more like a boutique to me) I was greeted by a very friendly staff member who showed me how to sign in on the computer, pick up my shoes and gave me an orientation to the facility, including a quick lesson on the proper set up of my bike. I started to feel a LITTLE better. Then in came the instructor... a very attractive man who looked like he was going to kick my butt on that bike... (hey, a girl needs some motivation to get out of bed and to the gym on a regular basis!) WOW, my first impression was right. I quickly got over the "cute" factor about half way through that first warm up song when I found out how terribly out of shape I was!  Don't get me wrong. I had been a spinner for awhile, until about 5 years ago when I pretty much gave up on everything, including myself. I expected better but OMG, I was glad to learn during the orientation that they had an AED behind the front desk!!

Needless to say, that class just pissed me off! I was angry with myself that I couldn't maintain the torq or rpms during class. I couldn't believe I had let myself go so far. I had to do something to get healthy again to be the best wife and mother possible! Confession #2: 9 of my first 10 classes were in the cute guy's class ~ but hey, I knew where my motivation would come from and if I'm going to pay to be tortured I should at least enjoy a little eye candy, right? By the time I hit class #10, I was over the need for the visual distraction and began to expand my list of classes.  Although, I discovered there was more than one attractive male teaching cycle ;)

Between the weight loss clinic and the FLYwheel classes I lost about 25 lbs by the end of April. I had been curious about this FLYbarre thing I had heard about and I spied through the windows several times to see just what it was all about. There was NO WAY I could take my big, awkward self into that classroom full of mirrors and hot bodies!!  Another week or two went by and my curiosity got the best of me... I signed up for the introductory class! Thank goodness when I showed up, I was the only one there! No one but me and the instructor to be horrified by my reflection and my utter lack of strength, grace and flexibility! It was pitiful. I couldn't hold myself in plank for even 3 seconds, was unable to lift myself up for barre abs (even WITH the ball behind my back) and you can just forget about squats, lunges and pretty much anything else. It took a little while for me to get the courage to set foot back in that studio!

Then something amazing happened. I lost another 15 lbs after adding spin on a regular basis and suddenly I was feeling pretty good about myself. I thought, "what the hell" and bought my first 10 pack of barre classes. I found the instructors to be incredibly encouraging and while I still had my body image issues (I kept my eyes closed so I didn't have to see my reflection) I was hooked pretty quickly. Right about that time I heard about something called a FLYbarre Challenge. I was intrigued and discussed it with my husband, but it just wasn't going to be possible at that time. I continued to alternate spin & barre as often as possible until one day in late May or so, one of my favorite instructors challenged me to do a "double." ARE YOU KIDDING ME???  I feel like I'm going to die after one class and you want me to add another? A couple weeks went by and she assured me that I would be able to do it, so, okay, I don't back down, I signed up! Man, that was HARD. Now, it's my workout of choice.

Over the summer, the studio offered an unlimited package and I bit. I figured what better investment than myself and my health (yes, it was definitely an investment for that amount of money). When I put it that way both my husband and I found it much easier to digest. ;)  So, for June & July I found myself at the studio a minimum of 4 times a week and usually tried to double up on classes since it's 20 minutes from my house. I found that I liked to take the barre class first then spin my (not so) little butt off afterwards... Several times I broke the sacred "300" mark for my power number AND in June I earned the power up Tshirt for racking up 2500+ points in a month!! I was getting better and OMG the changes I could see in my body after adding in the barre classes were incredible. August came and so did vacations and camp and an overwhelmingly stressful work schedule so I kind of lost my way and my classes became sporadic at best and, to be honest, more like non-existent. I went close to 6 weeks without working out. It got easier and easier to not go and I felt more and more tired and found I was getting sick more frequently. 

Suddenly, in my email was an announcement that they were beginning ANOTHER FLYbarre challenge. 6 weeks, 24 classes, a minimum of 4 classes per week, a coach, nutrition advice, measurements... ACCOUNTABILITY!! The answer I needed to get back in the studio! Not too long after that, they advertised another "unlimited" package which ended up being the deal closer. I pled my case for the expense (no, it's not like I have to ask permission to spend money, but this is a lot and I do discuss larger purchases with the hubby. It's just common courtesy) and I may have made a few deals to sweeten the pot and get him to see things my way... but let's just say, I'm now a CHALLENGER.

Week 1 is complete as of tonight. I successfully completed 5 barre classes and 4 spin classes. My (embarassing) measurements were officially recorded and while I missed the photo session (damn work!) the hubby took some "before" pics for me so I might be able to see the changes. I have decided (after much internal arguing) that I will post the before pics here again, as a way to document this journey and to hold me accountable. Even if no one reads this, it's out there in cyberspace and should someone happen upon it, I'd be super embarassed if I didn't show SOME improvement at the end of the 6 weeks!!

SO.... I might as well post those embarassing numbers as well...

As of 9/17/13 I weighed 187 lbs :( and my measurements were: 

Left Arm: 13"
Right Arm" 13.25"
Waist: 39" OMG!
Hips: 43.25" serious FA
Left Thigh: 23.75" :( I could play in the NFL
Right Thigh: 23.75" (at least i'm symmetrical!)
Left Calf: 15.75" 
Right Calf: 15.75"

Someday I'll be built like a real girl and not an NFL hopeful...

SO.... fair warning, the photo you are about to see may induce nightmares, vomiting and potentially PTSD flashbacks. Do not scroll down if you are prone to any of the above or have ever slowed at the sight of a train wreck, car accident or child birth...