The Buddy System…plus pics

workout-gym-exercise-bored-confession-ecards-someecards

This made me laugh because I know there are people out there that could CARE LESS about what I did today for my workout. And guess what? That’s exactly why I rarely post what workouts I do.

However, there are other women (mainly) that DO want to know what I’m doing in the gym and vice versa for me…which is why I joined a couple forums (yes, they still exist in internet-land) specifically for potential figure competitors and current competitors as well.  What a great way to get information and share and VENT about this whole process!

For those who are interested the two forums are SiouxCountry and Precision Nutrition.  The latter is more of a nutrition message board but you have to purchase the program in order to enjoy the forum.  You can still look at the blog and the articles I believe as a non-paying member.

What I’ve been doing lately is taking my meal plan from my coach and just making the tiniest modifications to it.  My main modification? Adding more veggies.  That’s the only thing I feel is truly lacking.

I also got a text from one of my friends who would like to workout with me.  This is a first! I don’t think I’ve worked out WITH or alongside someone in….ummm…ever?  Unfortunately my schedule is kinda goofy so looks like Sundays are our only options.  It’ll be nice to workout with someone for once instead of alone.  Most days I enjoy being in my own zone doing my own thing but once in a while I get a yearning for some sort of contact from someone.  Social media and electronic forms of communication get old after awhile.

As for pics, I was an idiot and took updated pics but neglected to take the FRONT of myself.  Just side and back.  I blame the fact that it was literally first thing in the morning.

So I thought I would just post the side as a BEFORE from October and an AFTER from yesterday.  You can definitely see some baby abs forming. 🙂 And this is also for those peeps who thought “I can’t believe you had 16lbs and 20inches to lose!”  Well, yeah you can see where most of it was storing itself.  Pics really do help to see the difference!

October Side
October Side
Side Jan 29th
Side Jan 29th

I’ll be sure to post better, full body shots next week.

Until next time!

-Michelle

Random Tweet: “Stop the presses! Faster Pussycat House of Pain is playing on WMMS. I’m rockin out in my car…#notashamed

Breaking through the plateau

Of course this was going to happen…Of course.  It was inevitable after losing so much weight that I would hit a standstill.  The weight loss plateau has reared it’s ugly head in my direction.

Stuck at 127 with absolutely not a budge in two weeks.

Now I know it’s the holidays.  And most people who are trying to lose weight would be happy to see themselves maintaining during such a difficult time of the year.  I shouldn’t complain.   But it’s still a disappointing.

I am becoming one of my own clients.  I’m doing all the wrong things like weighing myself after dinner (WHAT!? Duh!), stressing out about a measly little pound, freaking out and envisioning the scale frozen on 127 forever.

This won’t happen.  I will start to lose again but the first step is to figure out what the hell I’m doing wrong.

A few possibilities:

1.  I’m doing too much:  I have only allowed myself 1 day off since starting this journey.  That’s more then 3 months of non-stop exercising.  Not good.  That could lead to overtraining which can lead to all sorts of metabolic issues if I don’t address it.

2. I’m not doing enough:  Even with all this working out, it’s possible I’m not doing enough of the QUALITY workouts.  Possibly  too much steady state and not enough High Intensity?  Too many full body workouts and not enough splits?

3.  I’m doing the same thing over and over:  Don’t we all know the definition of insanity?  Although my strength training program has been different each week, it has always been full body.  So it might be time to change it to split routines.  Also the diet has been the same for 3 weeks so it’s quite possibly my coach will change that up next week.

Those are the three main reasons why I we all hit a weight loss rut.   In keeping with my previous post about looking at the positives and staying optimistic, I’m going to attempt to have some fun while trying to figure out exactly what is holding me back.

In the meantime, I’m still planning my regular meal plan for this week despite celebrating Christmas (tomorrow actually), traveling on a plane Wednesday and Thursday and working a nice long day on Christmas Eve starting at 6am and ending after I get finished with Christmas Eve dinner.  I have my work cut out for me this week.

But in the end, now is not the time to worry or care about staying perfect; it’s time to enjoy spending time with loved ones and friends.  I will be enjoying the hell out of my food and hanging with my family.  And I will not give this plateau a second thought! I might even eat a piece of (gasp!) bread.  Yes real life starch! (what’s starch? It’s been so long since I’ve had any I forgot what the hell it is.)

Merry Christmas Happy Holidays and all that jazz everyone!

-Michelle

Random song on iTunes: The Killer by The Twilight Singers (quite possibly the best song ever…ever!)

Random Tweet courtesy of some random person: When someone walks into a school w/a rope w/a spear attached throwing it & screaming “Get over here!” then let’s discuss video games.

Looking for the positives in a sea of negatives

Feeling a little strange writing a post after such a violent and morbid week in our country.  But someone on Facebook mentioned “In times like this it’s really easy to just give up…with everything.  Not just fitness but life goals in general.  But now is the best time to exercise your mind and your body.  A time to heal.”

My pastor put it well this morning too in his homily…”Find the joy, even in times of evil and tragedy.”

On a lesser scale, we do tend to give up in times of struggle don’t we?  An injury will sideline us and leave us feeling like it’s just easier to give up rather than try to heal quickly or correctly.  A bad weekend of food bingeing or drink might make us feel like throwing in the towel and just buying all that processed food that we so adamantly swore off not too long ago.  A loss of life or a big life event might make us reconsider finishing up a project because we just don’t have the drive anymore.

But the time is more perfect than ever to get back up and try again.  To not give up…and not be a quitter.   Friday was a particularly difficult day in my own personal life after I got some discouraging news about a family member’s illness.  Obviously not trying to compare two events but this past week seemed particularly depressing for numerous reasons.

So this post is about the positives I have found in my little life this past week:

1.  I got to hang with my best friend and update her on all this figure stuff last night.  She even volunteered to make “Piccolo Supporter” t-shirts when it’s competition time. Too cute. (Of course I’m considering her letting her do this because lets face it, who WOULDN’T want their own cheering section with t-shirts!?)

2. I posted my progress pics with no serious side effects.  This was a hard thing for me to do, self reflection sucks.  But necessary and I’m very happy that I did.

3. I’m enjoying this global warming 60 degree weather today.  As I walked out of Yoga (yes Yoga) today I couldn’t help but smile and feel like after a tragedy like this, comes a re-birth.  I’m such a yogi. 😉

4. My nephew celebrated his 10th birthday on Saturday and he is such a thankful child. I’m very much the proud auntie.  Grateful I have not one but 2 adorable nephews to spoil.

5.  I still FEEL good.  I explained to my friend last night that although it was just 10lbs, I feel like I’ve lost more and never realized how much it was, literally, weighing me down.  Feels good to fit in clothes like they were meant to fit.

Time to go prep my food for this week and keep on truckin along on this fitness journey.

If you have a goal (and you know you do) don’t give up.

Don't give up!
Don’t give up!

Step Away from the Dessert Table

This weekend was the infamous Dessert Party thrown by my former client Lina and her hubby Jeff.  Lina spent the better part of her December and probably November baking all kinds of delicious treats for this annual festive event.  I attended 2 years ago and although I remember indulging in a few treats I honestly can’t remember what I had.  I’m guessing I just didn’t care because I wasn’t really watching my weight too closely back then.

This year is obviously a different story.  Declining the invitation was not an option because once again, I want to prove that losing weight is possible during the holidays.  Plus, I don’t see the need to be anti-social when you’re watching what you eat.

Here is what was presented to myself and their guests upon walking in the door:

Can you say, YUM?
Can you say, YUM?

I don’t think this picture does it justice…so here are just a few close ups:

67058_10151123109115373_1987706485_n63115_10151123109350373_1592820183_n381972_10151123110000373_2020606976_n

 

So what do you do when you’re trying to lose weight but you’re invited to a dessert party?  You have plan.  My plan was to eat enough to be satisfied but not too much that I felt guilt and gluttony.

You also need reinforcements.

I brought a friend with me, Brian, who I assigned the task of “Spotter” to.  I told him to spot me and make sure I didn’t go overboard.  Unfortunately Brian doesn’t know me well enough to know what is considered overboard in my mind. BUT, he did a great job regardless. 🙂

Lina and Jeff also did a great job supporting me by showing me things that I could have without the added guilt.  So awesome of them to think of little old me!

I was going to take a picture of what I ate but I didn’t want the guests there to think I’m an Instagram freak or strange even though it’s becoming quite normal to take pics of your food.  So I’ll just tell you the damage:

  • About 4oz of a white wine spritzer (About 2 sips in I thought “I want to EAT my calories, not DRINK them!”) and switched to water
  • 1 cup of a mix of berries that Lina and Jeff said they provided specifically for moi.  Thanks guys! Fruit is always good.
  • 1 tablespoon and a half maybe ( I didn’t bring out measuring spoons but the thought of breaking those things out in the middle of a party makes me laugh)  of Angel Food cake with that pudding and strawberry combination.  Is it just called Angel Food cake or strawberry shortcake?? Whatever it was it was also very good and although I tried not to spoon too much pudding on the plate I did get a good chunk of it.
  • 1 of the cookies in the middle of that picture there…The one with the green icing in the middle. I WAIT for these cookies when my Mom makes them and Lina’s did not disappoint.  A little thicker than how my Mom makes them but oh so good!!!

I stopped for a while and chatted up some people….Taking a break from the madness.

After about a half hour of drinking water and talking I thought I could handle just a little bit more.  Brian mentioned the pumpkin pie would be worth it as well as this 7 layer chocolate chip  graham cracker ecstasy Lina made (Picture above on the silver plate).  So I opted for one little bite of pie and one small piece of the layered goodness.

End result?  Worth it. 🙂  I didn’t feel sick. I didn’t feel bloated. I didn’t feel gross.  I had FUN!  And best of all, I didn’t feel deprived.

HAD I NOT been trying to lose weight I honestly think I would have gone bonkers and probably would have had no self control.  The end result would have been ugly.

At the end of the night I still fit in my size 7 pants.  I haven’t worn size 7 pants since I moved back to Cleveland from Chicago.  And I got them around Christmas time so it’s been 3 years.  And they JUST fit.   So a bit of advice if you’re attending a holiday party of the same magnitude and find yourself with the same doubts:

Wear a pair of pants that JUST fit…that if you went nuts with food you MIGHT embarrass yourself and pop/rip them.

Okay maybe that’s not the best advice but it worked.

Thanks again to Lina and Jeff for putting on a great party!  And thanks for reading my blog!

Interesting Sidenote:  On the way out the door I met a woman whose daughter does Figure Competitions right here in Northeast Ohio!  How random is that??  Feels so good to meet other women who are doing the same things since honestly, I don’t know anyone locally doing/training for a competition.

Weight this morning: 127lbs.  The meal plan Coach Davies has me on is clearly working very well.  I still feel energized, still in a great mood, still making progress!

I did a much better job planning my meals for the week and even had time to help out my family making pierogies yesterday!  YUM! (Potato of course…sorry can’t do the sauerkraut).

HAPPY MONDAY!!

-Michelle

And the madness begins…

I can see from my page views here that I’m flatlining  these past few days because I haven’t posted anything….and I haven’t posted because my competition training has taken over!  This is both a good and not so good thing.  Good for me but bad as far as keeping my blog going.

While I have some time, I thought I’d write a quick update on my progress as well as some funny little anecdotes that you will hopefully appreciate.

So Sunday night my Plan arrived in my inbox from my coach, Mike Davies.  It included pretty much everything you could ask for in a plan; what to eat and when to eat, how long to workout for and what specifically to do with regards to training/cardio.

It was slightly overwhelming at first to see all these emails and instructions.  But more than apprehension, I felt excitement about finally getting on a specific plan.

Monday morning after cardio was a visit to the store to stock up on some key proteins that I was lacking, mainly flank steak and salmon.  I opted for just flank steak for now since one high priced protein is enough per week for this cheapass  low budget gal.

Without getting into every detail, I’m absolutely thrilled with this plan!  The foods I’m told to eat are already foods I like, although I had never had flank before.  I’ll be working out twice a day (cardio in the AM and weights and other cardio in the PM).

Since I just started Monday, I’m already feeling the effects.  Maybe it’s just psychological but I don’t care.  I feel a great amount of energy and I’m not starving.  I have no desire to eat anything sweet despite the fact that my Mom is making a new Christmas cookie/pastry/ everyday this week.  She offers me some but she understands why I’m saying No…for now.  Coach Mike said I can have a cheat day on Christmas as well as New Years.  Since we celebrate Christmas on the 22nd this year, I’m saving my Christmas cheat for the 26th when I’m traveling to Chicago to see my friends.  As for New Years Eve, well…this year I won’t be on crutches like last year (let’s not talk about that) I might actually go out but I’m not a huge drinker.  I’d rather EAT my cheats than drink.  So we’ll see about that.

Maybe I’m talking crazy but I don’t WANT to be able to cheat.  I think just the fact that I was told that I COULD, makes me not want to.  Why undo what I’ve worked already so hard for?

Love This!

What else has happened since my last post?  My mood has improved like, a thousand percent.  🙂

I was telling someone just the other day that I’m extremely happy lately.  Like, goofy can’t wipe this grin off my face content happy.  At first I thought it was because I’m downing Fish Oil like it’s candy once again.  And I know from past experience that stuff improves your mood.  I would also say the fact that I’m working out twice a day now and that I’m finally seeing results, is probably a huge reason for my sudden joyfulness.

I’m actually kind of upset I didn’t get myself on a real plan like this sooner.  It’s so nice to have someone telling me what to eat and when to eat it.  I never understood why my clients wouldn’t follow a meal plan.  I followed one when I had a trainer 10 years ago (wow really? unreal that I’m this old ha!) and the results were awesome!  And I didn’t even think I needed a trainer back then. (I totally did).   Maybe it helps that my goal is so lofty.  Maybe I’m celebrating way too soon.  Maybe I’m being naive about how difficult the holidays are going to be.

I’m choosing to put those maybe’s aside and all the negative thoughts and just enjoy this journey.

As for some little funny stories, here are a few:

  • I texted my friend Ronnie on day 1  (yes day 1) of this plan to say that I was sorry for ever thinking drinking egg whites out of the carton was gross and abnormal.  🙂  I haven’t gotten that desperate yet but I can completely relate to why I might have to do this.
  • I’m really appreciating the fact that I asked for a Costco membership for Christmas. 
  • I told my former co-workers at the gym I used to work at that “I’ve lost 10lbs since leaving this place!!”  Probably not the best incentive for working there, ha!
  • I’m officially a gym rat  as I now belong to 2 gyms and work at 2 other studios.
  • I’m scheduled to go on the Polar Express tonight (those who don’t have kids or are unaware of this, just google it) and I actually am already figuring out a way to pack my food on the train.  Perhaps asking for Tupperware for Christmas would have been a better gift to myself?
  • Drinking 2 gallons of water a day has been…interesting. Ha!  I feel like I’m training for my half/full marathons again!

This is all for now…More stories to come this weekend!

Happy HumpDay!!!

-Michelle