Sunday, August 25, 2013

30 Day Dumbbell Challenge: Day 1

I have really been slacking in my strength training. In fact, you might as well say strength training has been non existent in my workouts. It's not because I don't want to do it, I actually really do. But for some reason my sole focus has been on the cardio aspect and I have greatly neglected the strength training I know I should be doing.

So today I began day 1 on the 30 Day Dumbbell Challenge. I am following the routines posted here, 30 Day Dumbbell Challenge. (Thank you for being a great reference and allowing me to get back on track!)

Day 1 focuses on arms, shoulders, chest and abs. It consists of six different exercises and utilizes an exercise ball as a bench stand in. This works great for me, since I do not have access to a bench but do have my ball. (Make sure to purchase the correct size ball for your height.)

Today's workout consisted of the following:
  • 12 reps of Biceps Curl 
  • 12 reps Triceps Kickback, both sides (ball acts as bench)
  • 12 reps of Bench Press (ball acts as bench)
  • 12 reps of Kneeling One Arm Row, both sides (ball acts as bench)
  • 12 reps of Lateral Raise 
  • 12 reps of Dumbbell side bend

  • I have been out of practice for quite a few years, so I am starting with 8 pounds weights. I did these exercises straight through without a break, then took a 4 minute break and followed with a second set of the same exercises. My arms were shaking and I did find it difficult but I pushed through it. I do have to say that I "wonder" if I could have pushed myself and got it done with 10 pound weights. I will use them on the next arm, shoulder, ab day.

    You may be wondering where the abs come in on this workout routine. If you have never used an exercise ball, you are in for a big surprise! In order to stay stable on the ball and keep from falling off, you will need to engage your abs and core. I also keep my abs tightened while doing the exercises that don't utilize the ball, so there is a bit of ab work there as well.

    Here are my starting measurements, taken 25 August 2013.
    Left Arm: 14.5 inches
    Right Arm: 14.75 inches
    Chest: 37 inches
    Waist: 37.5 inches
    Hips: 43.5 inches
    Left Thigh: 26 inches
    Right Thigh: 26.5 inches
    Left Calf: 16 inches
    Right Calf: 16.5 inches

    I also did 4.6 miles of walking/running today, so I am still getting in my cardio. I will check in tomorrow with how I feel after today!

    From Fat to Fit!!!

    Saturday, May 11, 2013

    Just a Little Happy Update! :)

    It's been a few days since I've updated, so I thought I'd share a few things with you! First, I wanted to share that I did get my 30 pound and 40 pound loss beads for my reward bracelet! So, here is a pic to show you how my bracelet is coming along:

    Each bead represents 10 pounds loss and each one has a special meaning. If you haven't read my earlier post about my bracelet, the idea actually came from a fellow 3 Fat Chicks forum member! From right to left my beads represent:
    • Square with pink panel (10 pounds): Says "Proud Mom" for my two kids!
    • Green with pink flowers (20 pounds): For our new life together living in the country!
    • Horse Shoe: (30 pounds): This is because at 30 pounds of loss I went horse back riding again!
    • Run: (40 pounds): To look at and remind myself that I AM a runner for the 1st time in my life!
    • (There are 2 plain spacer beads on this as well, that do not have any meaning whatsoever.)
    Speaking of being a runner, I just had to share this photo with you:

    From left to right: Me, my friend Hope, and my new friend Courtney! We all met up at the track yesterday for a nice workout! I enjoyed every minute of it, and can't wait to meet these awesome ladies at the track again!

    How I met Courtney is actually an awesome story that I just had to share! She and I are both members of the same forum and I had posted about my concern over buying a gown for an upcoming military ball. She shared she had a similar concern and her ball was also in June. Long story short, we found out our husbands are stationed at the same post and we will be attending the same ball! This in itself was very exciting!

    Then as fate would have it, we ended up attending the same Military Spouse Appreciation event and she wound up my table!! One look  at my name tag had her asking my last name and well...the rest is history!! I'm super excited to have met her, and we look forward to doing amazing things!
    Me and Courtney

    Wednesday, May 1, 2013

    120 Days (Four Months!) Into My New Life!

    It's hard to believe it's been 4 months!! I started my weight loss journey (yet again) on 1 January 2013. So much has happened! So much has changed! It's all very exciting indeed!

    In January/Early February, walking much of a distance was so hard on me. It was depressing, hard, and I hated it. Breathing was so hard, I thought I'd hyperventilate and pass out! I was so slow, tortoises were passing me at their SLOWEST pace! :) Now, I am running up to 3.2 miles and am amazed! This is probably my proudest accomplishment!
    My 120 Day Anniversary Run Stats!

    Wait...what? My proudest accomplishment isn't losing 38 pounds in 4 months? While I am very happy with my weight loss and very proud to have done so well, I have to say my ability to run for the first time in my life is higher on my pride scale than the weight loss.

    I'm also moving right along with my 30 Day Squat Challenge. Today was day 21 and I did 180 squats! I'm pretty proud of myself! It is getting harder and harder to get through these. I'm in the home stretch now, three weeks of squats are behind me!

    Some important changes I have noticed are things like my mood is much lifted. I'm happier, more optimistic. While I do have a down day here and there, it is nothing like having weeks of down days in a row. In fact, my demeanor is so much improved, people have commented on how much brighter my spirits are. If my friend lived nearby, she probably would have read my aura and shook her head a few months ago. I'm sure my aura is much healthier now! Aside from the mood, I have much more energy, and I WANT to be moving! How great it is that moving finally feels good and I want to do it!

    I've had several friends tell me they are motivated to get healthy watching me get healthy. I am part of a ladies gym group that meets to work out once a week. I took a Zumba class and while I looked like crazy freak, I HAD FUN! (And sweat doing it!) I'm eating healthier. I kicked my soda addiction. I've taken up hula hooping. I've lost inches and clothing sizes. My shoe size has went down...twice!
    No, I know I looked like Ace Ventura in a Tutu!
    (From Google Images)

    This journey has been filled with heart ache, physical pain, joy, successes, and perseverance. I am not only shedding the physical weight, but shedding the emotional walls I've had up for so long. I'm doing things that just a few short months ago, would have filled me with dread.

    And I'm loving this new life!

    Tuesday, April 30, 2013

    May is Here and I Have New Goals to Meet!

    It's hard to believe that May is here already! It's crazy how fast this year is flying by! (Or maybe I'm the only one that feels that way?!) I have decided to really kick it into high gear this month to meet some fitness goals I have set for myself. I have also decided to "try" not to focus on the scale so much this month. I'm obsessed with my losses and when I don't lose I get disappointed EVEN when I know my body is changing. Hey, I'm being honest here!

    So my May goals to meet are set. They are:
    1. Finish the 30 Day Squat Challenge I started in April...I have a few days left, so here I go!
    2. Start and finish the May Plank Challenge. Should be interesting and challenging for me!
    3. I want to run/walk 60 miles in May. I have fallen short March and April...I will meet it this month!
    4. I am going to get serious about my strength training. I keep falling off the wagon on this one.
    5. I'm going to get to where I can hula hoop at least 10 minutes straight through without dropping the hoop! This is probably going to be the most challenging goal of all to meet!!

    I plan on putting together my strength training routine in the morning. I will be sharing it on my blog so y'all can use it as a starting point for your own routines. I have a BIG goal I plan on meeting in the future and upper body strength is crucial to attaining that goal. I will be sharing that secret goal with y'all shortly!

    If y'all would like to join me in the May Plank Challenge, you can see the daily plank program below:
    This was shared on Facebook and I'm sharing it again here. :)

    For those of you who have not done the 30 Day Squat Challenge and want to, the daily squat program is below:

    I would just like to take a moment here and thank you for stopping by and reading my blog! I've had over 1100 views and I'm very excited! Thank you to those of you who are following my blog journey, and please share with friends and family who you feel would enjoy and benefit from my blog as well.

    Monday, April 29, 2013

    I'm a Hooper!

    Okay, well not really! I've been wanting a hula hoop for quite some time, and for my 36th birthday (yesterday!) my amazing husband and children gave me a Danskin 2.5 pound weighted fitness hoop! I was completely tickled and in a big hurry to snap this baby together and get to hoopin'!

    Ready to Hoop!
    First I want to say that I have tried many times to hoop with a regular ol' hoop you pick up in the toy section. However, no matter what I did, I could not keep the darn thing from falling to the floor. I got a whole lot more exercise squatting to pick it up then I ever did actually using it for what it was meant for!

    And guess what? I found out there is a very good reason I couldn't work the toy section hoop: It wasn't the right size. Call me ignorant, but I had no idea different sizes, let alone weights, were available.

    I had my husband measure me for the correct size hoop and found I need a 37 inch hoop. The Danskin 2.5 pound fitness hoop is 39.5 inches in diameter, I believe, so it is a little larger than ideal for me, BUT I have a whole lot more luck actually hooping instead of just picking it up! (I read in multiple places that you measure from the ground to about an inch above your belly button to get the size you need. Plus size hoopers are recommended to go with 40-42 inch hoops from what I read.)

    Keepin' It Up!
    I do want to say thank you to Shannon Herrington A Whole Lot of Hoop Love for her inspiring and fun blog and for sharing info with me on a forum I posted in. I think I have a lot to learn still! Who knew? Shannon...I watched my arms today after watching your arms video! (Oh, and I do have an non weighted hoop on that should be here within two weeks!!

    Monday, April 22, 2013

    I Officially Think of Myself As a Runner!

    Today I met one of the biggest goals I have set for myself!! I ran 3.1 miles (5K) straight through! There is an immense sense of accomplishment that comes from achieving this milestone! Even as a child, I was not much of a runner. In fact, I dreaded it! I always got those "side stickers," you know....the sharp agonizing pain that has a way of intensifying as you breath?

    This year, I decided I was going to be a runner. I get asked a lot why I run when walking is sufficient exercise and running is so much harder on the joints and has an increased risk of injury. The answer to the "Why do you run" question is simple for me: "I run because I wanted to prove to myself that I can. I run because it is freeing, and relaxing." Soon, I hope to be able to add a few more reasons I run to the list!

    You see, as I run, I have to focus on my breathing which means my "mind" is resting as much as it can. I focus on my breathing, keeping a steady pace, and on how my body feels. When I do my Zombie Runs, I focus on the story and just have a good time! When I walk, the outside world invades my thinking and I obsess over everything. Walking does not afford me the same mental peace I find when I run.

    I can not say enough how valuable the Zombies, Run Game and the Zombies 5K Training apps have been for me. Without these two amazing programs, I would not be where I am today! So to the creators of Zombies, Run...I thank you immensely for giving me the tools to become a runner for the first time in my life! If you  have never heard of these apps/programs, then I suggest you click HERE!

    I may not be a fast runner. I may not the thinnest runner. I may not be the fittest runner. But I run and that is what counts!

    My Run Stats from This Morning

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    Virtual 5K: Run For Boston!

    You can find them popping up all over the country: 5K's dedicated to those affected at the Boston Marathon tragedy 15 April 2013. Some of them are "actual" runs with a set place and time. Others are "virtual," giving runners (and walkers!) the flexibility of choosing the time and place that fit within a range of a few days.

    I "signed up" for a virtual run posted on Facebook by RunJunkEes, and finished my 5K run/walk this morning. A special thank you goes out to TJ from VO2 the MAX for creating the "race" bib and to RunJunkEes for "hosting" this virtual 5K and sharing the bib! (You can download and print your race bib from )

    From RunJunkEes Facebook Page

    My heart goes out to the victims, their families, and their friends for what they have to endure. My heart also breaks for the EMS, fire fighter, police, race volunteers, spectators and fellow runners as they deal with what they had to witness.

    I just want to give a big "Thank you" to the EMS, fire fighters and police who sprang into action and got things done, showing bravery during a time of fear and uncertainty. Thank you for doing your job. Thank you for being there.

    I know not everyone is a runner. I know not everyone wants to be a runner. You don't have to run 5K. You don't even have to walk a full 5K. You can go out and walk and/or run as far as you feel comfortable with. Just go for it! (And when you are done, hop on over HERE and add your miles to all those logged by fellow Boston supporters!

    3.1 Miles: Done!

    We may not be able to go back and undo the losses. We may not be able to give back what has been lost through injury. But we can stand up and say we will not be intimidated. We will not sit idle. We will get up. We will walk. We will run. And we WILL think of Boston.

    My Run/Walk Data from this morning