Friday, July 31, 2009

Level 3

I almost forgot to post this today. I got up early and did Level 3 of the Shred before swimming lessons this morning.

I plan to fast from after supper tonight to suppertime tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weigh-In Wednesday

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

Weight loss of 1.1 lbs!!

Due to time restrictions I weighed myself immediately after eating, so I think that's even on the "heavy" side. Either way - it's a full one pound loss and I'm pretty excited about that!

Level 2

I just finished Level 2.
I can't believe how hard this workout still is after all this time!

Normally on Weigh-In day I get up, eat breakfast with the kids and then I weigh myself before I exercise.

Due to swimming lessons, I'm having to get up and exercise before breakfast. So, I just finished exercising, then I'm off to shower and eat breakfast, to give the most accurate weigh-in.

See you soon!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Resting and Fasting Day

I fasted today for the second time, and it was quite easy. I am anxious to see what Weigh-In Wednesday reveals!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Level 1

Just finished Level 1 and now I'm off to shower quickly before getting everybody ready for swimming lessons. Have a great day!

BTW - I think things are already looking good for results for the fasting. Can't wait till Weigh-In Wednesday!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Intermittent .....Fasting!

I admit it..... I just said the F word. Fasting.

I came across an interesting sounding article online and I ended up purchasing it. It's called Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon. There is a pretty good review of it here - in fact, if you read that, you likely don't need to purchase the ebook - unless you want all the details of the studies and the benefits of fasting.

The basic premise is that in order to lose weight you have to have a calorie deficit. And often that's really hard to do with all the fad diets. Really low carb, for example, is for me at least, a really tough diet to follow for any length of time. I love me my bread! Then some diets are so complicated and difficult to follow.

There is one way that's fairly simple though - intermittent fasting.

The idea is to fast for a 24 hour period either 1 or 2 times per week. Now that sounds a lot worse than it actually is. You never actually go a day without eating.

For example - you could eat supper and then fast 24 hrs which means you could eat again at suppertime. So really you're only skipping breakfast and lunch (ok, and nightsnack).

Now, this guy studied nutrition at the graduate level, so he does know what he's talking about.

And another thing to keep in mind is that most studies on nutrition are funded by food or supplement companies who certainly are not going to benefit from studies that recommend not buying their products (food). It would be a pretty huge financial disaster for them if everybody in America would decide to not eat for one day a week.

Consider the following quote....
Throughout the last 5 decades, the diets of bodybuilders have changed dramatically. Depending on the bodybuilder and the era, they may have ate six meals a day, or they may have ate more than a dozen. Some bodybuilders ate red meat while others did not. Some did hours of cardio, some did not do any at all. Yet, they all were able to lose fat and get into ‘contest shape’.

The reason these bodybuilders could all get lean on so many different styles of diets is because for short periods of time, every diet will work if it recommends some form of caloric restriction. And if you follow a calorie-restricted diet you will lose weight, guaranteed.
Very true right?

He also addresses a few myths about fasting....

Fasting (for 24 hrs) does not decrease your metabolism.

Unless you are running marathons and triatholons - fasting does not negatively affect exercise.

Fasting does not result in loss of muscle mass, as long as you continue to workout (strength train) regularly (2 or 3 times a week).

Fasting gets easier as your body gets used to it.

Here's another quote...
On average, the population of Crete were healthier than North Americans, with less incidence of cardiovascular or heart disease. Researchers attributed this improved health to a high daily intake of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and olive oil.

This theory made good sense, as these are all accepted ‘healthy’ foods. However, recent reviews by a group of researchers at the University of Crete, School of Medicine suggest that one very important factor was left out of this research. In the Greek Orthodox Christian Church there are some very lengthy fasting recommendations.
Some of the health benefits of fasting (as little as 24 hrs) are decreased body fat & body weight, decreased blood glucose levels, dereased insulin levels & increased insulin sensitivity, increased lipolysis & fat oxidation, increased growth hormone levels, decreased food related stress and more!
Fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week may be the easiest way to decrease your calorie intake by 10% to 20%, without having to sacrifice and restrict what you eat. It’s like getting the benefits of an entire week of strict dieting, while only sacrificing for one or two days.
Keep in mind, that at the end of fasting you need to continue to eat as you normally would - with no food rewards.

Water, diet cola, black coffee and tea are all allowed during fasting.

Staying busy makes it easier. (Ever notice how often we eat when we're bored?)

Though he strongly encourages strength training, he's not too keen on cardio for weight loss (obviously it's still great for cardiovascular health!)....
To be blunt, I have found from both personal experience and from reviewing clinical research that the work to reward benefit of cardio is very poor – meaning you have to do a disproportionately large amount of work in the gym to receive little in the way of results.
Check out this study....
Take for instance the research conducted by Donnelly et al. that was published in 1991. Sixtynine obese women were put on an extreme 520 Calorie per day diet (this is much lower than I would EVER recommend). The women were then divided into 4 groups:
Group 1 did not exercise
Group 2 did endurance exercise for 60 minutes four days per week.
Group 3 did strength training four days per week
Group 4 did strength training AND endurance exercises four days per week

At the end of the 90 days research trial all four groups lost a very large amount of bodyweight, averaging over 40 pounds of weight loss! The interesting finding was that there were no differences between the four groups in terms of the amount of weight or body fat that was lost. This is despite the massive amounts of exercising that the women in Group 4 were doing every single week!

This conclusion has been found over and over again in published research. Donnelly et al. did a second trial that was published in 1993 showing that weight training could increase muscle size while women followed an 800-calorie per day diet, but it could not increase weight or fat loss. Similar results have been found by research conducted by Kraemer in 1997, Bryner in 1999, Janssen in 2002 and Wang in 2008 just to name few examples.
Why 24 hours?
First: According to the research, the 24-hour point is right in the middle
of the maximum adaptation for fat burning. Second: Through trial and error, I as well as many of the initial test subjects on the Eat Stop Eat lifestyle, found that 24 hours was the least intrusive to their daily lifestyle. A 24 hour period made the most sense from a practical and scientific stand point.
Note: fasting is only recommended for healthy adults, and women that are not pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

Other programs, such as The Lord's Table, also recommend fasting.

So - I decided to try it. In fact, I already did it.... today! And it was actually way easier than I expected it to be. And it's supposed to get easier after you've done it a couple of times. I found it WAY easier to fast 24 hrs than to do 3 days of Phase 1 of the South Beach diet.

We'll see if this can help get rid of those last stubborn pounds - I'll keep you posted!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Levels 3 & 2

So, I thought I'd try switching up the order I do the workouts in. I figured that maybe doing Level 3 last would be harder because it's saving the hardest for last in a long workout.

But it was the opposite! Level 3 was a tad easier to do, but I could barely get through Level 2 afterwards. Especially doing the stationary squats at the beginning of Level 2 after just finishing the jumping squats at the end of Level 3.

I think I'll stick with my "normal" way from now on.

The next two weeks is swimming lessons, so I think I'm going to allow myself to only do one workout each workout day since I'm going to have to be getting up early in order to get it done.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Levels 1 & 3

Completed Levels 1 and 3 today. I feel so exhausted. I'm sure partly because mentally I was a little defeated by the weigh-in today. I just feel like this is all for nothing. I know, I know - do I want any cheese with that whine?

Looking forward to my rest day tomorrow though.

Weigh-in Wednesday

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

Back up 0.2lbs. Apparently I'm simply maintaining - which is what I was doing before I started torturing myself with the Shred. Can we say frustrated?!

Next week I'm going to add in a new element - fasting. I'll tell you more about it next week. Off for more torture now.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Levels 2 & 3

Today was Levels 2 & 3 again. Oh the agony!

I waited till Jacob was down for his nap before exercising (because the older 2 girls are gone at day camp, so they're not around to help entertain him). Which means I had less pauses to my workout, which means it was even harder. :) Also means I got nothing else done during morning nap so I'm going to have to be very productive during his afternoon nap. Yes, he's almost 18 months and still napping twice a day - very fortunate am I!

Tomorrow is my rest lawnmowing day.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Levels 1 & 3

So, I did Friday's workout today instead of Friday (because Nathan and I went for a quick one-night getaway for our 13th anniversary Thursday night).

Man, this. is. tough.

It's really hard to keep doing this when I'm just not seeing the results I'm hoping for. But I will keep at it for at least the rest of the month and then re-evaluate.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Levels 2 & 3

Yup, today I did Levels 2 & 3 and boy am I exhausted.

Doing Levels 2 & 3 together is obviously a little more difficult even than doing Levels 1 & 3 together because Level 2 is harder than Level 1.

Anyway, now that I've managed to pick myself up off the floor, I seriously need a shower. You wouldn't believe how much I'm sweating right now. Niagara Falls has got nothing on me.

Weigh-In Wednesday

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

Have to say that I'm not overly impressed that I only lost 0.2lb this week. I was really hoping for better.

That brings my total weight loss to only 0.9lbs - not even one full measly pound after all that work on the 30 Day Shred Challenge. I have to admit to being discouraged.

That being said, I can see on my body that things are changing. If I can figure out how to password protect just one post, I'll put up some "mid" (forgot to take before pics) and after pictures later.

Off to my grueling workout now....

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 30 - Level 1 and Level 3

Today is the last day of my 30 Day Shred Challenge! Woohoo - I did it!!!

And did I ever end it off with a bang.

Today I did Level 1 AND Level 3!!

Today is also the first day of my new exercise plan. Unfortunately it still involves shredding. ;)

I will be exercising Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only and having the other days as rest days.

I will do two full workouts from the Shred each day I exercise - always doing Level 3, and alternating Levels 1 and 2.

So, today I did 1 & 3. Wednesday will be 2 & 3, Friday will be 1 & 3, Monday will be 2 & 3, etc. If I'm ever too busy to do both complete workouts, I will allow myself to do only one of them - but only once per week.

Either next week or the week after I will also start adding in a nutritional element to my plan. But I don't want to start it now because it's finally strawberry season!!! And I'm planning on having strawberries for virtually every meal from now till they're done - about 2 weeks. Love me some strawberries!! Strawberries in Cheerios, strawberries over ice cream, strawberry pie, strawberries by themselves, strawberry salad - hmmmmmm strawberries!!

And even though tomorrow is a "rest" day - I'm still going to mow the lawn - cause I don't want to do that AFTER 2 shredding workouts!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 29 - Level 3 plus

Today I did the first circuit of Level 3 twice, followed by the rest of Level 3. Whew!

Tomorrow is another rest day - yay!

Monday - Day 30 is going to be brutal.

One more day left!!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 28 - Level 2 plus

Today I did Level 2 and the first two circuits of Level 3, and I felt like I was going to die - just like she says! Yeah, she really says that - she's so encouraging. During one part of level 2 she says "I want you to feel like you're going to die!". And you really do.

So thankful tomorrow is a rest day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 27 - Level 3

Today I "only" did Level 3.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a rest day, but it works better for me if Friday is a rest day so I'm going to switch them up.

I only have 3 more days of shredding left in this challenge - I am 90% done!! Course, with my new plan, things are going to seem even harder when this challenge is over so I'm not sure that's any consolation :)

Weigh-in Wednesday

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

Today I was up 0.2lb which I'm actually not too upset about due to the time of the month it is. Hoping for a loss next week!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 26 - Level 1 plus

What did I get myself into?! I'm exhausted!

Today I did Level 1 and the first two circuits in Level 3. Wow.

I may need to wring out the carpet from all the sweat that dripped off me during this workout. Insane.

The thought of adding that final circuit..... shudder!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 25 - Level 3

I very much enjoyed my rest day yesterday!

But it was back at it with Level 3 today. And now I am off to mow the lawn!

I need it after the eating that happened on the weekend - Olive Garden on Saturday evening, and then we went for lunch Sunday afternoon to a local Mennonite buffet restaurant - hmmm, cottage cheese perogies!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Day 24 - Level 2 plus

Today I did Level 2 plus circuit#2 of Level 3 (circuit 2 was dumbbell cleans, jumping lunges, arm punches and butt kicks and jumping jacks with weights, and full situps).

I am exhausted.

And very thankful that tomorrow is a rest day!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Day 23 - Level 3

I did Level 3 today.

Level 3 is pretty killer, so I decided that since I've just started my "gradually ramping it up schedule", I would only do Level 3 today.

Here's the plan....

Tomorrow (Day 24) will be Level 2 and one circuit from Level 3 (probably circuit#2).

Sunday will be a rest day.

Monday (Day 25) will be Level 3. (And I'll probably mow the lawn)

Tuesday (Day 26) will be Level 1 and two circuits from Level 3.

Wednesday (Day 27) will be Level 3 - and I may do one of the circuits in Level 3 twice.

Thursday will be a rest day (I reserve the right to change Wednesday & Thursday around if it works better).

Friday (Day 28) will be Level 2 and two circuits from Level 3.

Saturday (Day 29) will be Level 3 - I will probably do one of the circuits in Level 3 twice.

Sunday will probably be a rest day, though I may be tempted to just do Day 30 and be done, we'll see. It works out better in the plan if it's a rest day though so I'm sure I'll stick with that.

Monday will be Day 30 and I will try to do all of Level 1 and Level 3 together, and that will work out very nicely to be the first day of my new plan.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Day 22 - Level 1 plus

(See edited parts below)

A refresher for those just joining me. There are 3 workouts on the 30 Day Shred DVD. The first workout is called Level 1 and you can see my full review of this workout here. The 2nd workout is called Level 2 because it is harder than than the first workout (Level 1). You can get the scoop on this workout here. And finally there's the torturous Level 3 which is (as I'm sure you've guessed by now) harder than either of the first two workouts. You can get the cold hard facts of Level 3 here.

I first did them in order two times through (1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3) and then I switched things up again and did Level 3 the most as it's the hardest, alternating the others levels (1,3,2,3,1,3,2,3)

Now I'm switching it up again.

Today I did Level 1 and the 1st circuit of Level 3 (that's the circuit with walking planks, supermans, mountain climbers, plie jumps, pike crunches and scissor crunches).

I want to eventually work up to doing two full workouts in one day, but I didn't want to kill myself by doing it all at once. :)

I still haven't decided for sure what I'll do tomorrow - either all of Level 2 with the 2nd circuit of Level 3, or all of Level 3 and doing part of Level 3 twice.

Eventually I'd like to do all of Level 1 & 3 once day, and all of Level 2 & 3 the next day.

Any thoughts on how to gradually get there?

Edited to add: Part of my next plan of attack (after this Shred Challenge is over) will be do to Level 1 & 3 on one day, then have a rest day, then do Level 2 & 3 on the next day, then rest, etc. My theory - this should give me the best bang for my buck...

I'll still be doing the same amount of exercising as I was doing the Shred daily.

In fact, I'll probably be expending more calories during this way of exercising, cause I'll be working even harder due to the longer timeframe.

I'll be giving my muscles the 48 hr rest period needed for repairing and strengthening.

The rest of my plan (ie nutrition) will be revealed after the Shred Challenge is over - stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day 21 - Level 3

Finished another round of Level 3.

Stay tuned tomorrow when I switch it up again.

Weigh-in Wednesday

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

Well, I'm down 0.7lb today. Not sure if that's actual loss or just fluctuation, but I'll take it for now! In total, that means I've lost 0.9lbs since starting this challenge. I know that when you're so close to your goal the pounds get harder and harder to get rid of, but I was really hoping for better results. Hopefully next week will be another loss instead of an upward fluctuation.

Once this challenge is over I have one more plan of attack ready. If that doesn't produce results I may have to accept that my body has decided this is the weight it wants to be at.