Monday, May 7, 2012

30 Day Plank Challenge

Today at the end of kickboxing, I ended up having some one on one time with my instructor, Laura.  She was helping me work on having the right form for a modified plank.  While we were working on that, she recognized something that I've know for a while.  My core is not strong at all.  With having back issues since I was 11, I've pretty much trained my body to work other muscles and protect my back.  The biggest issue with that is that my back and abs don't get worked as hard as they should.  And now they are weak. 

So she gave me a challenge.  For the next 30 days I am going to do three planks every day.  The first one I just hold as long as I absolutely can.  Rest for a few seconds.  Then I hold the second one for the same amount of time, plus ten seconds.  And the last one I hold for an additional ten seconds. 

Each day I'll track how long I held them for, and we'll see how quickly I can improve throughout the 30 days!  If you want to see how I'm doing during the month, I'll post the numbers on the right side of my blog.

Wish me luck!

Why do I do this?

I really wish that I could somehow take a snapshot of exactly how I'm feeling right now.  Then the next time that I decide it's a good idea to eat a bunch of junk food/fast food, I could just pull out that picture and remind myself why I don't want to eat that!!! 

Since that's just not possible, I'm going to try to describe this feeling.  Hopefully that'll work as well for a reminder to myself!  I went to kickboxing this morning, and instead of having energy for a great workout, I felt horrible.  I had zero energy.  My stomach ached.  I felt like I was going to throw up.  My head felt fuzzy and unfocused.  And I just wanted to throw my hands in the air and give up.  That's what I get for eating processed junk!

When I eat healthy foods, I feel 100% better!  I have more energy and just all around feel great. 

So why do I still go back to that unhealthy junk on a regular basis?  Maybe it's selective amnesia.  I tend to forget just how this stuff makes me feel!  So here it is, in black and white, in my own words.  The next time I'm tempted by junk food, I need to pull up this post first. Hopefully that'll be enough of a reminder to myself to make a better choice.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

This week

Yeah! I'm back at home, and can get back to the classes I love. So here's the plan for this week. I'll check in a few times to update if I've done everything as planned.

Monday - Kickboxing (1 hr)
Tuesday - Kickboxing (1 hr)
Functional fitness (1 hr)
Wednesday - Cardio Fusion (1 hr)
Work the Core (.5 hr)
Thursday - jog and/or bike ride
Friday - Zumba (1 hr)
Saturday - Power Flex / Cardio Blast (1.5 hrs)
Sunday - day off

Let the fun begin!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I ended up changing what my plan was for today. My back has been aching all day. So instead of jogging, I went for a good long walk around the neighborhood.

I think I picked the worst time possible to attempt jogging again. My back has ached all week, but I'm not sure if that is because of jogging. It could easily be because I'm sleeping in a different bed. We'll see. I'll be back home in a couple more days. Then we'll try it out again!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I've been away from home since Saturday (house/puppy sitting 45 minutes away from my house), and I've struggled with that.  I have exercise classes that I love to go to, but when I'm on my own to workout I just don't do as well.  I've been working on push ups, and doing core work every day, but that's about all that I've done for 4 days.

Today, I knew that I was going to need to find time to go by my house for a bit.  So I made sure and timed it so that I could go to a workout class at my gym.  The class was an hour and a half.  The first hour was 100% cardio.  And the type of cardio we did changed every 10 minutes.  The last half an hour was all core work.  I have never done this class before, and it was pretty crazy!  Fantastic workout though!  The instructor is one that I've gone to a few of her classes, but I've never worked with her on a regular basis.  I swear, I think that she's a robot!  I have never seen someone with so much energy!  She was doing crazy hard stuff and never seemed to even get tired! 

The classes that I am able to attend each week are sometimes determined by what days off I have at work.  I think that each week that I'm able to I will definitely be hitting this class.  I really think that it'll be a challenge for me, which is something that'll be good for me. 

Tomorrow I think I'm going to attempt jogging again.  We'll see how the back feels after that.

Also - Update on my weight loss goal.  I am currently down 3.5 lbs, 28.5 to go!

Friday, April 27, 2012


Already got in a workout for today.  I did an hour of Zumba!  I LOVE that class!  And I've got a great Zumba instructor.  It's just a fun way to get moving and burn some calories.  I'm sure that I probably look like an idiot 90 % of the time, but I just don't worry about that and have fun! 

Update on my back after yesterday's test run with jogging.  I have had a few twinges of aching/pain.  But honestly, that's not too odd at all!  In fact, it's pretty typical.  So I don't know if the aching is because of the jog or just the normal ache.  I think that I'll give it 2-3 more days before attempting another jog, just to be on the safe side.  In the meantime, I need to make sure and do core exercises every day.

Today is actually the last day for over a week that I'll be able to make it to the gym to workout.  I'll be able to workout on my own, but no classes.  I'll have to see how creative I can get!  That, and it's time to search netflix for some good workout videos!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


So I'm going to take my friend M-Cat's advice. She recommended that every day I post what I did for my workout. That way even if she doesn't see me at the gym, she knows I'm keeping on track. So here goes!

Today I decided to test my back out with a little bit of jogging. I'm not sure if my back is up to it yet or not. I did Week 1, Day 1 of the Couch-2-5k program. Then I'll give it a couple of days to see if my back has problems or not.

It's been so many months since I jogged that I felt like I was back to where I started. I was able to finish the full jogs, but I was really struggling with my breathing.

Hopefully my back responds all right, and I can work back up my stamina. Otherwise, I'll have to wait another couple of months and for now focus on strengthening my back and core.

After the jog/walk, I spent a good amount of time doing some if the stretches my physical therapist taught me.

Two steps forward, One step back

I know that I've mentioned struggling the last few months, but I think I've been in denial still. I think that the only way to truly get back on track is to admit to exactly where I am now. In the last month I've even found myself avoiding the gym because I didn't want my friends to realize that I've gained weight back. Well, if I admit it to the world, there's no longer anything to hide. I can head back to the gym and start getting back on track!
From my highest weight, I lost 45 lbs. Since December, I've gained 22 lbs back.

I'm certainly not happy about those numbers. Especially when I realize how much more weight I could be down right now if I hasn't fallen off the wagon the last 4 months!  But it's time to stop hiding from it, and beating myself up about this all!  When I'm beating myself up, all that accomplishes is helping me to get farther and farther from the path that I want to be on.  When I'm down on myself, I tend to sabotage things even more.  I just give up and stop trying! 

It's time to pick myself up off the floor, dust myself off, and get back on track.  I KNOW THAT I CAN DO THIS!!!  Time to believe in myself!

So one of the ways I plan on motivating myself is by making a small goal.  I am going on vacation in exactly 13 weeks.  My goal is to lose 32 lbs before my vacation.  That's about 2.5 lbs per week.  Wont be easy, but at the same time it's VERY doable! 

I could also very much use some accountability.  I would love it if over the next 13 weeks if my friends would send me a text, or a message on Facebook, or a phone call, or a question at the gym.  Just ask me how I'm doing on this goal.  I'll be 100% honest with each and every one of you.  It's the only way that I know to make a change.  I could really use that accountability and support!  Thanks in advance!

And for anyone that reads this, that has ever falling off the wagon when reaching for your goals.  This is the perfect time to get back on track.  Don't beat yourself up over losing a few steps.  Be proud of what you have accomplished.  And be proud of the courage it takes to admit that you've made some mistakes and that you are ready to continue on the right path.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Aerobic Class Bingo

I've accepted a challenge that I feel will really help me get back on track with all of my goals.  At the gym where I usually work out, they have a challenge for the month of March.  It's Aerobic Class Bingo.  Basically, you get a Bingo card, with 25 spaces.  Each space has the name of one of their aerobic classes.  A few of them are classes that I've done (or still do), but some of them are classes that I've never tried before.  Every time that you go to a class, you can get it marked off of your card.  There are two different challenges.  One is just to get 5 in a row.  The other though is to get a black out, all 25 classes signed off!  I'm making myself the goal to complete the full 25 class blackout!

This is going to be a real challenge for me!  First off, a lot of the classes are held at different times of the day from when I usually work out.  Also, some classes are only offered once a week.  I'm going to need to sit down and really plan this out to make sure that I can complete them all.  The other challenge will be that I only have 20 days to get all 25 classes in!  Classes aren't offered on Sundays, plus I missed out on starting on the 1st of the month since I just heard about it today.  Plus I'll be out of town at the end of the month!  25 classes, 20 days, wow!  This is going to get interesting!!!  It will be fun though to try out all of the different classes.  Who knows, I might find one that I just completely love! 

I love challenges like this, where I can see a concrete goal.  It's like when I did the Ironman Challenge.  I am really looking forward to this!  I feel like this is the shake up that I really need!

So far, I can check off one class.  This morning was Kickin' Boot Camp.  1 down, 24 to go!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Back Problems

I have beyond struggled this last couple of months.  One of the MAJOR reasons why has been because of my back.  I was really enjoying doing the couch-to-5-K plan.  Every single day that I saw improvements in myself, I got excited.  It kept me feeling great and motivated.  But I began to have more and more back issues and finally in November, I had to completely give up jogging for the time being.  That's also about the same time that I started to really struggle with my weight loss and feeling discouraged.  I really think that there's a correlation between the two. 

First, a little background about my past back issues.  I have had back problems since I was 11 years old.  At that time, I was having back aches on a pretty regular basis.  I ended up being diagnosed with scoliosis.  I have two curves in my spine, and they were severe enough that I ended up having to wear a back brace for 2 years in order to keep them from getting any worse.  The 2 years was horrible, but I survived.  The worst part though was that afterwards I had lost quite a bit of back muscle.  The back brace was holding me up, causing my back muscles to weaken.  Despite the problems, I was still extremely grateful for that brace because it made sure that I didn't end up needing back surgery.  And that's something that I'm very happy about.

I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, especially because I have dealt with back problems for so many years.  When I was in high school, I started having more and more back pain.  I assumed that it was just the scoliosis, so I didn't really do anything about it.  Finally, when I was 18, I gave in and went to the back doctor.  At that time, I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disk Disease in 2 of the lower disks in my spine.  I was basically told that at the age of 18, I had the back of a 50 year old.

I was supposed to do physical therapy and was told that the best thing for me was to start exercising and being active.  Hmmm......yeah, didn't really follow that advice.  I've just continued to deal with the back pain, and basically ignore it.  I've gotten pretty good at doing that over the years!  Luckily, it hasn't been that severe for the most part, so it hasn't affected my life too much.

In September, as I've mentioned, I started jogging.  Loved it, really felt great about what I was doing.  But every week my back pain started to increase.  Also, I started having major sciatic nerve pain.  For anyone not familiar with what that is, I was having LOTS of pain in my hip and down my entire leg.  Even though the pain is in your leg, it's being caused by issues in your back.  It was so bad that I had days when I could barely walk.  Finally in November it got bad enough that I pretty much wanted to cry on a daily basis.  I spoke with several of my instructors at the gym and it was recommended that I stop jogging for the time being.  That was the only thing that I had added in that could be causing the pain.

I hoped that giving that up would improve my pain.  No such luck!  I made an appointment with my back doctor, had an x-ray as well as an MRI.  Final diagnosis - I have a disk that has both degenerative disk disease (this makes 3 disks now) and is a herniated disk.  The disk is bulging out in the back and is pushing on the nerve that runs down my left leg.  That's what's causing the sciatic nerve pain. 

I was given several options for treatment, but I decided that the best thing for me was physical therapy.  I'd rather see if I can treat this in a natural way rather than with lots of meds or nerve blocks.  So far, I have seen some improvement in my pain.  I'm far from 100%, and I still have some restrictions, but I am getting there. 

BUT - ever since I gave up jogging, I have felt stagnate and frustrated.  It's not because I can't physically do other things.  In fact, my physical therapist has put very few limitations on me.  I know that it's a mental block.  For some reason, giving up jogging has thrown me for a loop, and I have no idea why!  Maybe it's because with that jogging program, I could see real progress each and every week.  Even if my weight loss didn't cooperate that particular week, I could still see the progress in my jogging.  It was almost something tangible that I could hold on to.  A real concrete goal that I could see and feel. 

I'm not sure what changes I need to make to fix this, but something needs to change or else I'll never accomplish my goals!