Friday, September 28, 2012

I broke it! (and that's a good thing)

I am thrilled to announce that I have finally broken through my most recent plateau!

I squeeked into the 220’s for the first time on 6/27 with 229.6.  I am sure many of you can relate with me here regarding the huge thrill it is to see the next group of lower digits on the scale….what a rush!!!  After flying through the 230’s (only took me a month for that 10!) I was excited to hit the 220’s.  Little did I know that 2 was about to become my least favorite number.

I have realized that I now loathe the number 2….I hated seeing 2x and size 24/22/20 on my clothes (glad those are GONE!).  I am sick of having my weight start with a 2.  And now after I bounced around the 220’s for almost 3 stinkin’ months I was sick of seeing 22something on my dang scale!  Up a pound, down 1.5, back up 2…down…up, repeat.  I think you get the picture.  I would prob be glad to never see another number 2 again in my life!

So looking at 22something on the scale for months, I began to get frustrated.  This was like the carousel from hell and I wanted OFF this ride!  It should not be this hard.  I was doing the right things….eating well, exercising, drinking water.  But as I have said before, there are a lot of pieces to the complex puzzle of losing weight. 

As I was voicing my frustration to my mom, I was surprised when she told me to “not quit”.  I think this was the moment when I got pissed!  Not at her at all or even what she said, but at the situation, the scale, the numbers, my body….all of it.  But I will say that it was a bit disappointing to see that others thought I might quit.  I don’t want people to think of me as a quitter.  I want to be seen as a fighter and a WINNER!!!  There was NO WAY I was going to allow the stupid number 2 the power and satisfaction of seeing me quit.  Honestly the thought never even entered my mind!  I was DETERMINED to get past this.  That determination made me work harder to find a solution. 

And then there was a moment of divine intervention.  I just love it when you hear the message you need at the time you need it.  Those are the things that give me inspiration and hope!  Forgive me for repeating a story if you have already heard this one (I talked briefly in my xxx post but I want to go into more detail here).  When I workout on the treadmill (my exercise of choice) I watch tv shows on my iPad.  This particular morning I was watching an episode of Extreme Makoever Weight LossEdition (yes, I am in LOVE with trainer Chris Powell….in admiration kinda way and yes my hubs is well aware….bucket list alert – I want to meet that man someday!!!) and there was discussion around the intensity of a workout and why weight loss results weren’t happing as planned.  And the lightbulb went off for me. 

As Jillian says in her 30 Day Shred DVD I was “phoning it in at the gym”.  I was consistently getting my workout “time” in but I was choosing the treadmill as my exercise of choice because it was easy.  I didn’t have to think about it.  It wasn’t a challenge to me.  I was challenging myself by trying to push for improvement on my pace, but I was making slow progress.   I had to stop and think, would I be keeping the same speed/pace on the treadmill if I had a trainer like Chris, Jillian or Bob watching me?  Uh pretty sure the answer there is HELL NO (maybe that’s why I have never really wanted to be on one of those shows….scarred of how hard they would make me work!)   If 2, 3 and 400 pound people on TBL and EMWLE (and I have been watching a lot of those shows lately) are running on the treadmill and doing more strenuous workouts and seeing results, I prob should be too if I want to see results.

I realized that workout intensity doesn’t get the attention it should when people discuss the weight loss equation.  They tell you to exercise.  They don’t really tell you how HARD to exercise.  In my head, walking is exercise.  And it is….definitely better than nothing.  When I started on this journey and my “activity” for the day was walking to the car to go get fast food, or picking up the remote to change the channel.  Making my body move, even slowly, for 30 minutes at a time a couple times a week was enough to get my heart rate up…just doing exercise at all WAS my workout.  I wasn’t used to having to work that hard.  So my body initially responded with dropping the pounds.  But what I didn’t realize is just how smart the human body really is (frightening almost….kinda sci-fi movie-ish!).  It will adapt and get used to things and then more effort is required to continue to see results.  So I finally realized that if I wanted to stop seeing the dreaded number 2, it was time to invest more intensity into my workouts.  Here is a great article I found about why you want to get into the higher heart rate zones and the benefits.

So I have been paying more attention to what intensity I am putting in to my workouts.  First I purchased a Garmin heart rate monitor that integrates with my Body Media armband and records my heart rate during workouts.  Yes I feel a little like I am getting a cardiac stress test at the dr’s office or some sort of medical research case with all the gizmos I have strapped to myself during a workout, but I can see if I am getting into higher the heart rate zones (that burn more calories and have other benefits). 

What I found when I used it for the first time for just my usual walk on the treadmill was that I was only getting my heart rate into the 130’s.  That wasn’t enough to get the fat-burning results I want.  So I realized that I need to keep frequently doing activities that will get my HR up higher.  So I am doing Couch to 5k (for those that don’t know this program eases even a couch potato like me into running) and Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred along with my treadmill walking.  Both are interval training programs designed to combine higher intensity workout with rest periods between circuits.

I am committed to completing 30ds in October (hmmmm… that probably means I have to actually get past level 1, huh?)   YIKES!  I just said that out loud to all of you….guess that means I need to be accountable now??  And I am also committed to keeping with my c25k schedule too (that will put me finishing on 11/15 right before my mini vacay with the hubs to celebrate our 5 year anniversary).  I will tell you now I am already scared to move past level one on both of them.  Like REALLY scared.  But I know with the help of my awesome and amazing support system cheering me on, I can do it!

I just wish it wouldn’t have taken me so long to have this “ah-ha” moment!  What I have already found is that upping my intensity has given me more time in those upper zones and I truly believe that is what has helped me finally break this dang plateau!!!!! 

So I was thrilled, stoked, elated, ecstatic (insert adjective here) when I stepped on the scale this week and saw a 21something for the first time!!!!  This was a huge mental breakthrough for me.  I have a sense of accomplishment and pride in myself. 

That number represented several goals met….
     Finally out of the 220’s
     Lost 60+ pounds since I started
     Lost 15% of my body weight since I started

So next I will be moving on to 65 pounds lost….then 70, 75 as I get closer to that 100 pound mark and ultimately to my final goal (that number yet to be decided).  But for now it just feels good to be moving (and have the scale move down) again.  I have never been so glad to “break” something in my life!  

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  1. I've been in the 220s for AGES...I actually got into them on the c25k program. (but then my plantar faciitus kicked back in and now I can't even walk for exercise with much intensity at all)
    My one bit of advice for c25k, if you can't keep up with the intervals, jog SLOWER. Like barely faster than your walk. When you get to the point where you are doing 30 mins jogging (and I know you will! I did it when I was heavier than you! :) then you can start increasing your pace. But when I was trying to RUN rather than jog ridiculously slowly, the pace was too much for me. I'm refocusing on my own diet this week and brainstorming more exercises that won't kill my feet, and you are inspiring me to try and bust thru these 220's, too! :)

  2. GREAT advice.....thank you!!!! And PF just totally SUCKS!!! :-( I am pretty sure I had that this spring. Had to take it really easy and wear good shoes all the time. I hope you get to feeling better soon! I will keep you posted on how the runs go :o) Keep be posted on your 220 bustin! ;-)

  3. omg yay! congrats on breaking the 220's!

  4. awesome accomplishment girlie! keep up the good work!