Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Weigh in Week 4

I have now been doing the Body for Life challenge for 4 weeks. I have to say that I definitely feel different. I just feel healthier. This past weekend we were REALLY bad on our free day. We ate out several times and it was all pretty bad food. I then skipped my workouts on Sunday and on Tuesday because I haven't been feeling well. I think being at home all of the time is starting to get me down, so I will be making a concerted effort to have a to do list and complete it each day.

So, on to the juicy details.

Weight - 242.2 (-.6 pounds)
Hips - 49.5 (-.5 inches)
Waist - 40 (-1 inch)
Bust - 39 (no change)
Bicep - 14.5 (+.5 inches)
Thigh - 27.5 (-1 inch)
Calf - 17 (no change)

Overall, I think it is good but I know I can do better. I need to get back on track with my workouts and increase my loss.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Week 3 Weigh In

Ok, so here are the long awaited results. I'm actually not too upset about it. I think if I had not cheated or skipped workouts, it the results would have been better but at least they are not bad.

Weight - 242.8 (-.4 pounds)
Hips - 50 inches (-1 inch)
Waist - 41 inches (-1 inch)
Bust - 39 inches (-1 inch)
Bicep - 14 inches (-.5 inch)
Thighs - 28.5 inches (no change)
Calves - 17 inches (no change)
Dress Size - 18 (down 1 size)

For those that are not aware, women's clothing sizes are even numbers. So 1 clothing size is 2 numbers away from the next size (i.e. sizes go 8, 10, 12, 14, etc).

I'm back on track with diet and exercise and am looking forward to more great results next week.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hello again

I know I haven't posted anything in a few days. I was out of town at my grandma's 90th birthday party. Tomorrow is weigh in day and I'm a little worried about how I'll do. While we were away, we skipped a couple of workouts, ate REALLY bad on our free day, and then cheated on the day after that. I have a feeling I won't be looking at any weight loss this week. But we're back on track now.

To make up for the lack of posts, here's a coupon for 30% off any item at Borders. It is good through January 25. You can also use coupon code BDD7137F for online purchases.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Coupons

Borders $10 off a purchase of $30 or more, expires January 18. In-store only, click here.

Old Navy save 15% off $75, 20% off $100, and 25% off $150. Expires January 18, use coupon code SAVE123 at checkout.

GNC 20% off everything on the website plus free shipping. Expires January 14, use coupon code RESOLVE at check out or click here for an in-store coupon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Week 2 Weigh In

OK, today is the first day of week 2 and it is time to weigh in and see how I'm doing on this challenge.

Weight - 243.2 (+.2 pounds)
This was expected. I knew that adding all of the exercise that this program requires would initially add weight and then burn it really fast. It's the whole "muscle weighs more than fat" thing. Muscle also burns calories faster than fat so I should be losing from here on out.

Hips - 51 inches (-2 inches)
Waist - 42 inches (-2 inches)
Bust - 40 inches (no change)
Bicep - 14.5 inches (-.5 inch)
Thighs - 28.5 (+.5 inch)
Calves - 17 inches (+.5 inch)
My increase in leg size was expected because of all of the elliptical work I've been doing.
Dress size - 20 (no change)
It take a loss of roughly 4 inches to change sizes so I should be down a size in the next week or two.

I'm happy with my results this week. I hope that the loss continues at this pace for the next 11 weeks. I know the the inches will not be this big every week, if they were then I would have a 20 inch waist at the end of the challenge and I KNOW that won't happen. Just keepin' it real here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm boring.

So I'm getting used to this whole housewife gig. It's not bad. I get to sleep in most days but I'm going a little stir crazy. I've started giving myself a "to-do" list each day to help manage my time better. This is a list of my goals for the coming months.

  • I'm trying to get our place back in "show" condition so that we can put it back on the market in February. This entails thorough cleaning, organizing, and trips back and forth to the storage unit.
  • I am in the process of enrolling in school to finish my bachelor's degree. I will be majoring in Graphic Design...huge change from BioChem. LOL School will eventually take up quite a bit of my time.
  • I am working on putting together a portfolio so that I can start a freelance graphic design business. This includes coming up with a business name, logo, and website in addition to getting my actual artwork together.
  • I'm working on a new logo and website for our ghost group. We have a conference coming up in March and I would like to have all of our merchandise (t-shirts, bumper stickers, magnets, etc) printed with the new logo.
  • I am focused on losing weight. I will be coming up with new recipes that fit into our new diet and may add some of them to the Udder Freedom repertoire.
  • Part of my weight loss goals include a sub-goal of being able to go 6 miles on the elliptical at the end of the 12 week challenge. This is currently a work in progress.
  • I may have to get a part-time job. I don't do well sitting at home all day, every day. I really like having my financial freedom. If freelance work doesn't pay off right away, I may look for something part-time to bring in some extra cash.
I know all of this is pretty boring. I'm feeling a little guilty about not having a real job anymore. We still have to figure out health insurance and retirement accounts, so our plan thus far is not perfect but it's getting there. I do truly believe that this is a good move for us in the long run. Once I have finished my degree, I will be able to make much more money than I was before. The ultimate goal is that I will be able to make that money from home so that I can be home with our family. Let's hope Murphy doesn't get in the way too much.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Body for Life desserts

I love dessert. If a diet calls for eliminating dessert, I will most likely cheat. I knew this going in to the Body for Life challenge. While researching our new menu items, I specifically checked out the dessert recipes on the website. I knew that if I had dessert to look forward to at the end of the day, I would stick to the workouts and strict diet. It has worked so far and I actually kind of like the recipes.

The diet requires all meals, including snacks and dessert, to have a combination of protein and carb. This can make dessert a little tricky but I've found a couple that are not bad. Keep in mind, there is no chocolate cake, brownies, or cookies going on here but they will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Strawberry "Cheesecake" Makes 1 serving.
1/2 Cup very soft tofu (the original recipe called for cottage cheese)
1/4 Cup vanilla yogurt (I use soy)
1/2 package sugar & fat free white chocolate pudding mix
1/3 Cup diced strawberries
4 vanilla wafer cookies, crushed

Combine the tofu, yogurt, and pudding mix until thick and smooth. Stir in (or sprinkle over top) the cookie crumbs and strawberries. Serve cold.

Banana Pudding Makes 1 serving.
1/2 package sugar & fat free banana creme pudding mix
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I use Myoplex)
1/2 ripe banana
10 oz cold water
6 vanilla wafer cookies

In a blender, combine all ingredients except for the cookies. Pour into a bowl and chill. Serve with the vanilla cookies.

Apple Berry Crumble Makes 2 servings.
2 small apples, peeled, cored, and diced (I use 1 red delicious and 1 granny smith)
1/2 pint blueberries
4 vanilla wafer cookies, crushed
1 tbsp margarine
cinnamon & nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350. Place the fruit in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle top of fruit with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cookie crumbs. Top with pieces of margarine. Bake for 30 minutes.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Coupons

Borders 33% off any one item, online use BSL7108N or click here for an in-store coupon.

Old Navy has reduced inventory to 75% off on sale stuff.

Amazon has 55% off Blu-ray movies.

Amazon also has a DVD trade-in program. You go through their list of DVDs to see if you have any of the movies listed and what Amazon is willing to pay you for them. You then print out the shipping label that Amazon provides and ship them your DVDs. They will send you (or deposit into paypal) an Amazon gift card for the value of the movies. From now until June 30, 2010 they will give you an extra $10 credit for every $50 in DVD trade-ins, to be used towards the purchase of a Blu-ray movie.

Although it seems like a worthwhile program for older movies, the price given on some the newer movies is ridiculously low (like $5.50 for Up). So make sure you search and get a good price.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Project 365

I've been thinking of starting Project 365. The basic premise of this project is to take a picture every day for 1 year or 365 days. Each picture should show improved photographic skill. Photography has become a huge hobby of mine and I am slowly learning new techniques and playing around with creative photos. Doing this project will force me to learn all of the functions of my camera and hopefully start taking stellar pictures.

Before I jumped right into my first picture in the project, I went through all of my old pictures. I wanted to see what my style has been up to this point. It was pretty interesting going through all of those pictures. I've decided to post my favorites here. Please feel free to critique and offer suggestions for what I should aim for in the coming 365 pictures.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

1st official weigh in

To give you some perspective. This was one of my sweet 16 photos. Love the hair! Ha ha ha.... Seriously though, I had a 25 inch waist and weighed in at around 110 pounds.

This is a picture from homecoming. I was 17 at the time. I had the Brooke Shields eyebrows going on along with the crunchy 90's hair. I also still had a 25 inch waist and weighed in around 120 pounds.

This is completely embarrassing, totally humiliating, and obviously necessary. I am embarrassed about my size but that is exactly why I'm doing this challenge. I know that putting it in writing once a week will hold me accountable for what I eat and how much exercise I get. I know that at some point someone will read this and say "Oh my god, she's huge." My hope is that at the end of this challenge they can come back and say "Oh my god, she looks awesome."

This is a picture of me 3 months ago. It was taken the second week of October 2009 while we were in Ireland for our 1st anniversary. This is the largest I have ever been in my life. I feel awful all the time. I'm tired, I have aches and pains, I get winded easily, my knees give out, my complexion is horrible, I'm having fertility issues, and I feel bad about myself. All of this can be solved with weight loss. So here I am.


When we put our condo up for sale, we put a lot of our stuff into a storage unit. This included our scale. I thought that I would be able to weigh in at the gym, since there is a scale in the locker room. However, it was more than a little intimidating to jump on the scale while surrounded by a bunch of size 2 women. So we went to the storage unit yesterday and got the scale out. I am a couple of days into this new diet challenge so I don't know if I've lost anything from the beginning to now (although I do know that my weigh in at a doctor's appointment last month had me 4 pounds heavier than today's weight). I will be using today's numbers as my starting point and posting my weigh in each Wednesday.

I weighed on a calibrated Weight Watchers scale at 8:00 am. This was prior to eating or exercising for the day.

Weight: 243.0 pounds
Hips: 53 inches
Waist: 44 inches
Bust: 40 inches
Arms: 15 inches
Thighs: 28 inches
Calves: 16.5 inches
Dress size: 20

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Coupons and sales

Vince has very sensitive skin. He is allergic to latex and almost all fragrances. He will get burns on his skin from lotion, sunscreen, aftershave, shaving cream, you name it. Because of his skin issues, we began looking for natural products with no fragrance. While in Hawaii we found a sunscreen by a company called Absolutely Natural. It was the first time I have ever seen Vince spend an entire day at the beach and not come home with a burn. We loved it and looked into other products from the company. We ended up trying the Rosehip lotion and have never looked back. Vince uses it as an after shave lotion and I use it as an all over body lotion. It is completely natural, absorbs well, and has the slightest rose scent to it.

Absolutely Natural is having a sale today only. Buy 4 items and get 2 for free. Any items. Mix and match and find some that you love.

Old Navy is having their after season sale. Get 60% off purchases.

Get 33% off any single item at Borders books. For online purchases, use code BSL7108N. For in-store coupon, click here. They offer free shipping on orders of $25 or more. Expires Jan 11.

Zappos.com has free shipping and returns right now.

1-800-Flowers has a special of a 30 tulip bouquet for $30.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New diet menu

As promised, I am posting my first week's menu. Our new diet required us to go through our cupboards and fridge and toss out all offending foods. So no more tater tots, hot dogs, or cookies. Knowing that I have a sweet tooth and would never be able to stick to a diet that required me to completely give up sweets, I found some recipes on the Body for Life website that we are going to try. We've also keep a stash of candy in the house knowing that one day a week is "free day". On this day you do not work out and you can eat whatever you want. We have chosen Saturdays to be our free day. This worked well for us since we sleep in on Saturdays and usually have "date night" and go out to eat.

So here is the planned menu for this week. Each meal should be a combination of protein and carb. Assume that each food is 1 serving unless otherwise noted.

Day 1 - Sunday
Breakfast - High protein french toast (recipe from Body for Life website) with 1 tsp margarine and 1 tbsp syrup
Morning Snack - 1 small red delicious apple with 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
Lunch - Turkey cold cuts on 2 slices multi-grain bread with light mayo
Afternoon Snack - Protein bar (AdvantEdge)
Dinner - Grilled trout, steamed broccoli, 1/2 baked potato with 2 tsp margarine
Dessert - Sugar free fat-free chocolate pudding

Day 2 - Monday
Breakfast - 1 packet plain oatmeal (made with water), 2 tsp sugar, dash of cinnamon, 2 tsp protein powder (Myoplex Lite)
Morning Snack - Protein shake (AdvantEdge)
Lunch - 1 can tuna mixed with 1 tbsp lite mayo and diced sweet pickles on a multi-grain tortilla and a cup of pears
Afternoon Snack - 1 small red delicious apple with 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
Dinner - Grilled turkey burger on multi-grain bun and steamed broccoli
Dessert - Apple blueberry crumble

Day 3 - Tuesday
Breakfast - 1 packet plain oatmeal (made with water), 2 tsp sugar, dash of cinnamon, 2 tsp protein powder (Myoplex Lite)
Morning Snack - Protein shake (AdvantEdge)
Lunch - Large green salad with 1 cup grilled chicken and a yogurt cup
Afternoon Snack - 1 small red delicious apple with 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
Dinner - Grilled steak, steamed mixed vegetables, baked sweet potato with 2 tsp margarine
Dessert - Strawberry "cheesecake" (recipe from Body for Life website)

Day 4 - Wednesday
Breakfast - 1 packet plain oatmeal (made with water), 2 tsp sugar, dash of cinnamon, 2 tsp protein powder (Myoplex Lite)
Morning Snack - Yogurt cup and a small apple
Lunch - Large green salad with 1 can of tuna
Afternoon Snack - Protein shake (AdvantEdge)
Dinner - Whole wheat penne with meat sauce and a green salad
Dessert - Banana pudding (recipe from Body for Life website)

Day 5 - Thursday
Breakfast - 1 packet plain oatmeal (made with water), 2 tsp sugar, dash of cinnamon, 2 tsp protein powder (Myoplex Lite)
Morning Snack - Protein shake (AdvantEdge)
Lunch - Chicken salad on multi-grain tortilla with a cup of fruit
Afternoon Snack - a small red delicious apple with a soy cheese stick
Dinner - Grilled snapper, brown rice, and mashed cauliflower
Dessert - Fruit smoothies

Day 6 - Friday
Breakfast - 1 packet plain oatmeal (made with water), 2 tsp sugar, dash of cinnamon, 2 tsp protein powder (Myoplex Lite)
Morning Snack - a small red delicious apple with 1 tbsp peanut butter
Lunch - Homemade turkey noodle soup
Afternoon Snack - Protein bar (AdvantEdge)
Dinner - Chicken quesadillas (soy cheese used) on multi-grain tortillas with a large green salad
Dessert - Sugar free fat-free pudding

Day 7 - Saturday
Free Day!!

I will be taking weekly pictures to document my progress. I'll post them periodically throughout the journey.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Coupons and stuff

Amazon has all DVDs for 50% off.

Click here for an in-store Borders printable coupon for books and movies. Expires today, Jan 2.

Current Catalog is have a 75% off sale on all merchandise.

Best Buy has some good deals that end today.
$1000 off a 55" Samsung LCD TV (1080p) with free delivery, set-up, and recycling of old TV.
25% off digital cameras
33% off digital camcorders
20% off Samsung washers and dryers
15% off all Energy Star appliances
Free $50 gift card with DVD gift set purchase
Blu-rays for $9.99-14.99
DVDs for $3.49

40 - 60% off designer bags with free shipping on orders of $50 or more at Ebags.com

Etoys.com sale ends today.
20% off all Legos
10% off plus free shipping on all Nerf toys
30% off all ride-on toys
10% off plus free shipping on Little Tykes toys
10% off Disney Princess dolls and accessories
20% off Radio Flyer toys
20% off all Webkinz
Buy 2 get 3rd free on board games

Sears after Christmas sale ends today.
60% off all sauna, pool, game tables, and fitness equipment
60% off all boys fleece and sweaters
50% off all mattresses with an extra 10% off plus free delivery for orders over $499
60% off all jeans
20% off appliances
60% off kids outerwear, girls holiday dresses, and infant/toddler play sets
20% off fine jewelry with an extra 10% off watches
50% off all bras and 40% off all panties and shapewear
50% off Men's shoes and boots
Women's boots $19.99 and dress shoes for $24.99
15% off vacuums
All tires $39.99

Free shipping at Shoebuy.com

Kohl's after Christmas sale ends today.
Free shipping on orders of $75 or more
40-50% off most items in store

Lane Bryant 60% off sale ends tomorrow Jan 3.

Macy's semi-annual white sale ends tomorrow Jan 3. Free shipping on all orders.

New York and Company 70% off sale ends Monday Jan 4. Free shipping on orders of $65 or more, use coupon code 1903 at checkout.

Old Navy, The Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, and Piperlime are all owned by the same company, so you can use the same coupons and gift cards at any of the stores.
Free shipping on all orders from any of the stores.
40% off shoes and bags at Piperlime.com ends Tuesday Jan 5.
40% off at the Gap until Wednesday Jan 6.
70% off at Athleta.com

Friday, January 1, 2010

Weight Loss - The Beginning

So Vince and I have decided to start the Body for Life Challenge. It is a 12 week diet/exercise plan geared towards losing and keeping weight off. You are supposed to do 12 weeks at a time and take a 2 week break in between to get your body used to the changes.

I am currently making out our menu plans with the help of The Daily Plate. From there I will make out a shopping list. We will go through the fridge and all of the cupboards and throw out anything that will not be in our diet for the next 12 weeks. I am one of those people that will eat it if it is in the house, whether I am really hungry for it or not. Out of sight, out of mind works best for me.

The exercise part of the plan is pretty strict but I think we can handle it. It will just take a lot of discipline in the beginning. Thankfully, Vince's company pays for both of us to have a gym membership. The gym we go to offers free personal training, which is pretty cool. That is what we used in the year leading up to our wedding and I was able to drop 3 dress sizes. I'm hoping to do even better this time around.

The exercise plan can be a little complicated but I'm sure you get used to it after doing it for awhile. It requires working out 6 days a week. Day 7 is a free day for both diet and exercise. Basically, you alternate cardio training and weight training days. On cardio days you should do two 20 minutes sessions, one in the morning and one in the evening. This will keep your metabolism from peaking and crashing. The theory is that your morning workout will raise your metabolism so that you will burn off breakfast/lunch fairly quickly. The evening workout will keep your metabolism high so that you will be able to continue to burn off dinner quickly as well. The weight training days are split into muscle groups. You will work upper body on 2 days and lower body on 1 day. The plan has specific exercises to choose from for each muscle group and specific reps for each exercise.

OK. So let's get right into the nitty gritty of it. This is the exercise plan that we are going to follow.

Day 1 - Cardio
Day 2 - Upper body
Day 3 - Cardio
Day 4 - Lower body
Day 5 - Cardio
Day 6 - Upper body
Day 7 - Rest

Cardio Workout (Elliptical)
Level 5, warm up for 2 minutes
Level 6, 2 minutes
Level 7, 2 minutes
Level 8, 5 minutes
Level 9, 4 minutes
Level 10, 4 minutes
Level 5, cool down for 1 minute

For all weight training exercises, use the following set/rep/rest pattern:
Set 1 = 12 reps
Rest 1 minute and increase weight
Set 3 = 8 reps
Rest 1 minute and increase weight
Set 4 = 6 reps
Rest 1 minute and decrease weight to starting weight
Set 5 = 12 reps
Set 6 = 12 reps
Rest 2 minutes before beginning the next exercise.

Upper Body Workout (Chest, Back, Shoulders, Triceps, Biceps)
Bench Presses
Flys
One-Arm Rows
Straight Arm or Wide Arm Pull-Downs
Front Raises
Lateral Raises
Preacher Curls
Hammer Curls
Tricep Kickbacks
Tricep Pull-Downs

Lower Body Workout (Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Abs)
Leg Presses
Leg Extensions
Lunges
Deadlifts
Seated Calf Raises
Standing Heel Raises
Floor Crunches
Oblique Crunches

The diet part of the plan is pretty simple and mostly common sense. The diet is low fat, high protein and high carb. It uses the idea of eating several small meals a day instead of 3 large meals. This particular diet does use nutritional bars and shakes as snack supplements. We don't plan to buy the stuff that is sold on the website but will be finding nutritionally equivalent alternatives.

The website gives a good list of what foods are allowed and what foods are not allowed. However, we find it easier to make an actual menu for ourselves so we can be sure we are eating appropriately each day/meal, rather than guess and end up cheating. The hardest meal will be breakfast. We don't have a lot of time to make and eat huge breakfasts before work. The diet recommends eating a large portion of protein along with a small portion of carb. The easiest source of protein in the morning are eggs. However, Vince doesn't eat eggs. He could substitute cottage cheese, tofu, fish, or meat. He will have to figure out what he likes. I will edit to add a sample menu once I have one finished later today.

This is the beginning of a long journey. It will be difficult and there will be times that we want to give it up but the result will be worth it in the end.