Tuesday, March 6, 2012

About time........

So for weeks now I have struggled with what weight loss fitness goals I could think up for myself and I think I have compiled a good list. It is not that I am unmotivated but history has shown in the past that I have dropped in body fat percentage and went up in weight. I actually was about 12lbs heavier than I was now at my top physical shape and a lot lower in body fat and wore about the same size but I had nicely toned body.

So my weight loss challenge actually started in December with Steve and we use financial compensation to fuel the workouts. Basically you don't get any spending money unless you 1) track your calories, 2) workout both cardio and weights and 3) are under calories and get the correct ratio of carbs/protein/fat. Since starting I am down 8lbs! Or shall I say I was down 8lbs until I did the leg workout of death and combined with my lovely friend progesterone it will be only 6lbs until my muscles recover (I am sure I'll blog about water retention with muscle recovery later).

Alright onto my goals...
1) Lose 10lbs in total....so 2 more to go.
2) Get symmetrical leg muscles. I am down about 2" in my quad from my injury so this one is a toughy since I can only one leg press 20lbs compared to 90lbs.
3) Drop a dress size and pant size! Now why would I want to do this since it would mean having to go out and shop for all new clothes....is it weird to re-buy the same jeans in a different size?
4) Eat more protein, like 30% of my daily total.
5) Do weight workout 5x a week, at a minimum 3x.
6) Tone up and not get skinny fat! This would require to get skinny to get skinny fat but protein + weights will make this not happen.
7) Yoga or Pilates once a week
8) Complete 150 workouts by the end!
9) Eat 1500 calories a day

How am I going to achieve these goals? Well I am already doing cardio 2x a day. Crazy I know, I should be thinner but my body is very very efficient and I am injured. My cardio choices include elliptical and bike and I just don't burn the calories that I use to, it happens, and normally I would do some running, kickboxing, group fitness class, jump rope but all of these are currently forbidden. So I start my day at 6am in the gym and take a mid-day lunch break also at the gym. Where I lack is my after work muscle workout which is probably the most important but I am seriously lacking in motivation to do weights. Haven't I worked out enough?

My hardest challenge is definitely consuming more protein. Even with drinking a protein shake I am hovering around 20-25% of my 1500 calorie diet eating plan. It is just so hard! I have been eating the 1500 calorie a day for months now but I have room to clean it up. I mean would you rather drink a chalky protein shake or have 23 Mike and Ikes or even some fruit? Anything is better than protein. Plus eating more protein means eliminating out delicious carbs and really there aren't that many to begin with (except for lots of fruit). Alas, I have noticed that in my weight loss thus far I have lost a lot of muscle. When you increase your cardio your body burns energy and some comes from muscle. I have lost muscle which is not what I want. To keep it you need to do resistance training and eat protein. Bah!

Michelle's fitness plan:
Monday-Friday 6am 60min cardio (Fri will be Yoga days)
Monday-Friday lunch time 60 minute cardio unless there is some pressing lunch meeting
Saturday and Sunday, minimum 60 minute cardio

Weekly weight workout: (all completed in sets of 4 with 8-12 reps)

Chest: Incline chest press, dumbbell chest press, dumbbell pec fly and 30 push ups to start
Back: Assisted Chin up, Seated Row, T-bar row, Lat raises
Legs: Weighed squats, straight leg deadlifts, dumbbell forward lunge, leg press
Arms: EZ bar bicep curls, tricep dips, dumbell bicep curls, tricep pull downs with rope
Shoulders: dumbbell military press, lateral raises and rear delts

I'll change around my rotation after about 6 weeks.

Well I am sure I have written enough for one day and all of this blogging has given me the motivation to do a chest workout tonight! I am very excited to see everyone once the challenge is done because when you are gone for a long time people notice if you have put on weight or lost it!


  1. Yay ! Welcome Michelle ! You've set tough goals ! Ps. I love yoga. It's such a life changing activity !

    1. That sounds ambitious! 1500 hundred calories a day and I would be a total bitch. Good for you to sticking to that! We should post some sort of before and after pics. I know for myself it's hard to see the difference on a weekly basis unless I have a comparison!

  2. Yah I have been taking pictures every Sunday so that I can see the changes because you honestly don't notice day to day changes. The bitchy low calorie thing was over months ago but it does happen the first couple weeks.

    Thanks Emily! I do like yoga it is so calming but I never make time for it.

  3. 1500 calories is really low ? That's what I'm doing. Sometimes less. Is that bad ?

    I have yoga at my work on some lunch hours. Gets subsidized by the company. That's how unmake time for it. :).

    1. I think 1500 calories is a good starting point for the average person. So much depends on body type and amount of exercise that you can really only see how it goes and adjust from there.

      Personally I know that between dieting I have to aim for 1500 most days to maintain my weight. During dieting I cut back to 1200, but the more exercise I do the more I have to eat to avoid getting shaky and having my body go into starvation mode.

  4. No it is not low. You never want to go below 1200 calories because then you are doing more harm then good. I should have said "lower" because when most people start reducing their calories they tend to be super grumpy for a couple weeks before their body adjusts to the lower amount.

  5. Wow, ambitious goals! You certainly know exactly what you want! Too scary for me - I probably would have only officially picked #1 & #3, and kept the rest as guidelines! Good luck! I hope your challenge with Steve helps!

    Sounds like you've done lots of research on what types of food to eat! Good for you for being so aware of protein vs. carbs. vs. fruit and veggies!I know just how you feel about the evil protein shakes! How would I rather consume 200cal? Gross "chocolate" shake gulped down or a delicious home-made bran muffin?

    The first thing that comes to mind when someone says they are losing muscle while working out is they might be consuming too few calories. Now, I hardly know anything about all your personal details, but considering your two hours of cardio AND weight training, is it possible you're burning 1500cal just working out and your body is going, "Ah, I need to get extra energy from stored muscle!"? My elliptical would tell me I burned at least 1200cal after 2 hours.

    Your workouts are super hard core! I too get my cardio from elliptical and biking! My only question is what about break days? I know once I get into a workout routine it feels like cheating or failing if I skip a day, but then on the first day back I realize how much I needed it - I have so much more energy running and that's when I see a big increase in my reps doing weights. Don't forget to give your body a chance to recover!

  6. Yes it is sad when I need to pick between 1 ounce of banana bread of chalky chocolate shake that cannot be consumed at room temperature (do you know how small an ounce is wrt banana bread....I have to lick the plate because all the crumbs add up to 1/4 an ounce *tear*)

    I have a hard time believing that you are actually burning the amount of calories on the elipitcal that it says that you are. I wish! Burning 800 calories on the eliptical vs boxing are no comparison in sweat or post workout death. If I were burning 1500 calories I would be a lot thinner and not losing maybe a pound a week. Sadly I believe my body is an efficiency machine! I do not regulate my body temperature thus burn less calories, boo. If there was a famine I know I could survive for a long time. Since I have been exercising on an eliptical for almost 5 years I believe my body is pretty efficient at being lazy and not requiring as much energy as it use to. sad for me, thus I need to integrate in more biking.

    They have done some interesting studies with respect to calorie intake. They had two identical matched groups will 1500 calorie intake. One group was given a regular diet and the other group was given a 1500 calorie diet with more more emphasis on higher amounts of protein. They found that although both groups lost the same amount of weight, the higher protein group reatined more mucle mass and had a lower BMI.

    So because I do isolated muscle groups they each get a minimum of 2 days rest inbetween and then I have two complete rest days for weight workouts. Muscle is not built in the gym but built at rest! I do agree rest is a very key component to any workout routine.

    However I don't take a rest day from some sort of cardio because I relaly dont see any difference in my training if I take a rest day or not from cardio. I feel like it is taking a break from walking. If anything I end up being grumpy because I didn't get to workout and get out my tension and then I sleep poorly. I do sometime get in the full rest day like on Sunday when I was busy all day!

    Bascially it came down to I was working out with weights and cardio totalling under 90 minutes a day and eating 1500 calories and was seeing results then I hit a plateau. Now I needed to step up my game plan to get over the plateau and for me I didn't want to cut more calories thus I increased the exercise. Normally I would bump up the intensity and keep the duration at the same but because of my injury intensity is out of the question for now. I am open to suggestions though!

    I should also say that I know I was losing muscle because I took a two week break from weight workouts and muscle atrophies at 96 hours! lol

    1. Ah yes, I really need to focus on more protein *sigh*. I also lick the plate for crumbs - if I'm counting those calories I sure as hell am going to make sure I eat every one!

      The workout plateau is very evil. Stupid body getting all efficient and settled into a routine... It's so frustrating that at the beginning of working out and dieting you have to do so much less to see results, then as a "reward" for your hard work you have to work even harder and see smaller results, gah!

      You sound really aware of your body and well informed about exercise routines. You're probably doing the best you can - I think you're right that rotating the routine every couple of months is the best way to combat the plateau. I think listening to your body is very important in this area. Pushing too hard or too little with exercise, rest, and food consumption seems to be the biggest challenge. (If only I had a personal trainer to watch my every move and tell me all the things I'm doing right or wrong!)

      I've never had to combat an injury so unfortunately I don't have any advice in that area. Good for you for working through it an not using injury as an excuse! Good luck!