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20 Pounds Gone

As of this morning, I officially weigh 180.0 lbs. When I started Feb 16th, I was 200 lbs. That means I'VE LOST 20 POUNDS!

For having never really tried to do anything about my weight in the past, this is HUGE. I was unhappy but for some reason I never really considering that I could do something about it. In my last semester or two of school, I started making an effort to eat better and walk around campus more. Somehow my weight crept up to being over 200 around Junior year and that scared me. My efforts worked last semester and I went down about 15 lbs from August-Dec 2009 without too much effort (and without realizing since I lacked a scale!) Gained 5lb back over my break between graduating in Dec. and Feb. when I started work. But with this 20 lbs, that means I've actually lost 30ish lbs!

I'm also the same weight that I was when I started college. At least I've reversed the damage from those 4 1/2 years. Now I'm onto being better than I ever have before. The first 20 pounds has proved to me that I have the willpower to keep going, even though I'm really happy right now, I know I can do better. I've kicked up my workouts (or at least Jillian Michaels has), and I'm really trying to focus on eating more fresh food, esp. fruits and veggies. In another 10 pounds I'll be at my first major goal: the line between obese and overweight. I'm starting to think about buying bikinis at some point this summer. I'll keep trying until I'm happy with how I look in one. I don't need to be at my goal weight for that, just a flatter stomach and I'll be set. Maybe in 10-15 lbs. 

I'm pretty proud of myself for having done this. I've definitely dived into it 100 percent. My family and friends can attest to that when I need to pick what I'm ordering before I even get to the restaurant from online. And I haven't given up everything I enjoyed before. I still have Ben and Jerry's... Lowfat Froyo and only ONE SERVING at a time. And yesterday I had pizza... one slice and I dabbed off all the grease first and had water with it. It's little changes that have added up to 20 big pounds lost. Here's to the next 20, and the next 20 after that. And then maybe I'll be done, or maybe I'll keep going. As long as I'm still happy, it's all good from here.

Some 30 Day Shred Results

I'm officially almost done with Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred. I might do one more day of Level 1 after the gym today, but I'm definitely planning on starting Level 2 on Wednesday (hopefully equipped with my new heart rate monitor that I'm waiting on to be delivered). I can totally feel a difference from when I started, mainly in my arm strength (20 pushups in a row!) and in my cardio endurance. And the best part of it:

The scale is moving downwards! Fast! I was stuck at 183.4 for over a week before I started the shred and for the first day or two of it. Now that I'm about 2 weeks in, I've dropped about 3 pounds down to 180.6 lbs as of this morning. I'm not going to redo my measurements until the end of the Shred, but for Level 1 I'd say that's good progress. I'm totally expecting Level 2 and 3 to kick my butt, but hopefully that means getting rid of more pounds and inches. This is definitely well timed, since my apartment complex pool opens this weekend and I'd like to look better in my swimsuit. 

I'm also pretty well on my way to hitting 170 around the 4th of July. That's still 10 pounds to lose between now and then, but with the 30 Day Shred I think it might be possible. It's ok if I don't hit it by then, it should be sometime in the first half of July and then I can keep going to hit 160 by the end of the summer. I'm really hoping I'll be in decent enough shape to wear a bikini at some point before the apartment pool closes. That would be amazing... I've never worn one in my life.

Lots of Good Things To Report

First off, it's Friday! That always makes me happy. I can leave work a bit early today, I'm going to the mall, and I have a few coupons and I have a bit of a weight-loss shopping list.

- New brown work pants. Mine are getting beyond baggy and it just makes me look 18 pounds heavier. I have spend $30, get $15 off at New York and Co. so I'll be investigating.

- Gel inserts for my new running sneakers. With my flat feet and how I walk/run/use the elliptical, etc, I'm putting alot of pressure on the outside of my feet and they're all tingly by time I'm done. No matter what sneakers I use, I just need some extra cushion and I'm good.

- Victoria Secret is having a semi-annual sale. It at least started online, I need to see if it started in stores yet. I want to check out their swim suits :D

I also have finally ordered (after lots of positive persuasion from everyone on here) a Heart Rate Monitor!! I ordered the Polar F6 from amazon, since it's discounted, free shipping, and I've heard tons of good things about it. My plan was to wait and make it my reward for losing 30 pounds, but everyone helped me see that it's something to help me get to my goal. I have been working out alot lately and having an accurate calorie count will do wonders. I always feel like I'm overestimating and I don't want to overeat based on that. My new reward is likely a new swimsuit. I want a good one to show off my progress :)

Also yesterday, I went and bought bananas, granola, whole wheat pancake mix and light syrup. I'll be making banana and granola pancakes this weekend! I'm quite excited. I had them at a restaurant last weekend for brunch and I thought that there has to be a way I can recreate this with at least half the calories (that breakfast was over 1000 calories alone... cheat meal). I figure mine should be around 300-400 depending on how much granola, banana, etc. goes in or on it. 

That's all my exciting updates... it should be a good weekend. I'm 6 days into the 30 Day Shred. The elliptical and food shopping tired me out too much to do it last night, but I'm planning to get one in tonight after work and the mall.

Running Sneakers!

When I asked everyone at MFP for help choosing a reward for losing 30 pounds on here, I said how badly I needed new sneakers. The ones I've got are from freshman year of college I think, and are quite literally falling apart. Plus they lack support. Lots of you on the board told me to invest in them now so I don't hurt myself and I've done just that!


I got a pair of Brooks Ghost 2 sneakers in white, grey and neon green (flashy!) and they are soooo comfy! I can feel the difference in the arch support for my pretty flat feet and I'm looking forward to being able to do my 45 minutes on the elliptical without my feet going numb. I'm guessing that's not normal for a good shoe... lol. They set me back $100, but since my gym is free and my workouts are pretty low cost (a Wii game and a $9 DVD), spending $100 on shoes is well worth it. Since my previous pair lasted me for 4+ years, I have high hopes for these shoes. Maybe, since they are running sneakers, I'll try running! Loll... for now, I'm quite happy to have comfy new shoes. Thanks to everyone for their input and advice to buy a pair! This is why I love this site...

30 Pound Goal Reward Update:
I've decided that my 30 pound lost reward will be a heart rate monitor. I already have a few Wii games, so a Wii Fit Plus isn't as high priority. But I'd really like an accurate count of how much I burn working out. So I'm gonna get myself a monitor to do just that. I'll probably invest in a Polat F6, based on all the positive feedback here, but I'm open to suggestions over the next month or two as I lose the last 13 pounds to get to 30.

Getting Shredded

Day 2 of the 30 Day Shred done. I've been doing the 30DS workout after my regular workouts (EA Sports Active More Workouts for 20 minutes yesterday and 45 minutes on the elliptical today). The 30DS is exhausting if I was doing that alone, but its really tiring in combination. I've never burned 800 calories in a day before, but in the past hour and a half I did just that. I really feel it in my abs, they need quite a bit of work and I really want to tone my stomach up while I'm losing the fat that's hiding all the muscle. I've read that toning the muscles can help a bit with getting my skin looking better once I lose the weight so that's what I'm aiming for.

 I also definitely need new workout sneakers. Mine are actually falling apart and don't provide much support. That's my goal for the weekend. I still need to decide on my 30 pounds reward. I'm kind of torn between the Wii Fit Plus and a heart rate monitor. If anyone has any input, post here or message me or something :D 

Me vs. Jillian Michaels

The battle starts tomorrow after work... LOL

 So I just bought the 30 Day Shred DVD and I'm half looking forward to it and half terrified she might kill me. I tried to do that DVD back in January of last year when I attempted a new years resolution to lose weight. I was 25-30 pounds heavier than I am now, couldn't walk up steps without getting winded, and had no muscle tone AT ALL. 

Fast foward to today, where I just did 55 minutes on level 8 hills on the elliptical and actually felt great aftewards. I think I'm ready for you, Jillian! I have 30 pounds less weight to lug around when she makes me do jumping jacks or push ups. I have muscles to the point where I can do 12 pushups without putting my body down (!!!!). And I'm actually adding this to an existing workout routine. I'm gonna do my EA Sports Active 6 Week Challenge workout first. They usually last 15-20 minutes and I burn 100-150 calories depending on the intensity that day. This 25 minutes should be a great addition and really push me. After 3 months of a healthier lifestyle, my body is starting to get used to what I"m doing and I'm trying to avoid a plateau. Hopefully this helps... we'll see if I feel the same way after the workout tomorrow. I'll report back...

Working Off The Weekend...

I love having people visit me in Virginia, since pretty much all my friends and family live in other parts of the country (I just moved here for my job 3 months ago). And my college friend came from NYC to spend the weekend here. As much as I've been trying to influence her to eat a bit better and exercise more, her visit this weekend brought out a few old eating habits.

 First, we went to a restaurant bar for dinner on Friday. I had talked myself into getting one beer and a bowl of chili for dinner. Lowest calorie option. Then she tracked down the manager and complained about the 20+ minute wait for our order and they gave us free appetizers. And I caved. I order the fried zucchini (not horrible but still fried) and a plain hamburger with fries. I haven't eaten french fries in like a month and a half. I haven't even eaten a hamburger in that long. But my healthy thinking isn't completely gone. I split my entire meal in half and only ate that much. The rest became dinner for the next night. I also had another beer... so Friday night wasn't great, but I was under calories since I worked out and didn't eat much before that.

Saturday we ate Panera for lunch and I managed to stay around 500 calories. Dinner was the leftovers... but then we went to the bars in DC. A few diet rum and cokes and some tequila shots later... another high calorie count on the day. Probably not more than 2000, and we walked alot, but still i felt SO guilty.

Sunday... she wanted the Indian buffet for lunch. The calorie filled mystery nutrition content buffet. Where my portion control tends to waver. I managed to stick to one plate of food and had rice pudding for dessert, but it was still again more calories than I should eat.

 I had a good time, but I kind of wish she was a bit more understanding of what I'm trying to do. We talked about it a lot and  she's like"you're making drastic changes, I'd rather make little changes like not drink regular soda". That's great for you, but I NEED to do more than that. And I really want to. She's happy being a little overweight, I'm not. I can't blame it on anyone but myself, but I think I need to be a little more forceful in choosing where we eat next time. I know these are things that I'm gonna have to get used to, but I've been doing SO well in the past 6 weeks with about 10 pounds lost and I don't want to reverse any of that. I started back at square one today with eating very well and working out for a good 35 minutes. I guess that's all I can do, and hopefully I can see some weight loss this week. I'm getting close to 180... I really would like to be there in 2 weeks. I can do it, but no more eating out. Sacrifices, but I think they're worth it.

Trying Out This Blogging Thing

So I used to blog in high school and college on (it used to be all the rage back when I was 17). It was more an outlet for ranting about my supposedly dramatic life, but once I sorted myself out Junior year of college, I didn't need it any more.

Now I'm gonna try blogging for a new reason. No rants (well, depends, I won't be emo), just sharing another big change in my life. My whole life I've been the overweight one, genetics wasn't good to me I thought. Now I'm realizing that it couldn't be farther from the truth. My sister is a size 2. My mom was able to lose 50+ pounds (she gained it back but I won't go there). The only reason I'm not like that is because I was lazy and busy.

First off, I'm an engineer. An aerospace engineer to be exact. Therefore since I was about 12, my main focus has been school. I played a little softball, I was on a bowling team, but mainly all my activites had to go on my college application. Once I got to college, it became a matter of surviving 4 years at an Ivy league school in an insanely crazy engineering major. Cornell had a really hilly campus... but the 3rd best food at a college in the country. Between that and alcohol. I added about 40 pounds to my already overweight self between freshman and junior year. After a rough few months junior year, I got my head on straight, figurd out what I wanted in life and set about doing anything to get it.

Fast forward 2 years. I graduated, twice (bachelors and masters), and I'm happily employed in Northern Virginia at a satellite manufacturing company (we build rockets too, but not my location). I've never been happier, but I thought that I've never looked worse. All the eating in college took a toll and I really felt like I hated how I looked. Somehow I managed to lose 15 pounds in my final semester this past fall. It really just amounted to eating less (since I only had a mini fridge and no kitchen) and walking more (I lived at the bottom of the hugeeeeeee hill on campus). Work clothes shopping was an eye opening when I couldn't find work pants that fit in the "normal store" and I flipped out. Even with that 15 pounds gone. I decided that my first day of work would also be the first day of throwing my bad habits out the window.

 It almost went as planned, it took 2 weeks since I moved to VA during the big blizzards and had to stay with relatives until my apartment was ready. But the day after Presidents Day weekend, I came home, got off my couch and did my EA Sports Active Workout, Day 1. The next day I decided to use my office's free gym. And then it just kept going. I found if I could make it a habit, it bit by bit became less of a chore.

 It's been 2 1/2 months since then. I found MFP a few weeks into the new me, and I think the support on here helps more than anything else. I've lost 15 pounds. I even managed to go on a cruise for a week and take a few weekend trips without really gaining anything (a pound or two of water weight from the cruise but that's it). And guess what... I LIKE to workout! Go figure! I've never worked out in my life! Now I look forward to it coming home. It's a nice way to destress and have some time to myself. And my whole way of thinking about food has changed. I'll still eat food I liked before, in MUCH smaller quanities. Portion control... what a concept! I can still eat out, I just pick what my head tells me to, not my stomach. It's such a radical revolution for me. I still have a ways to go before my first goal of hitting the "overweight" mark at 170 pounds. Long term, I don't know what my goal is. I want a sustainable weight and one that looks good on me. I'm petite and 5'3" so losing 25 pounds since August has made a HUGE difference. Once I'm around 150, i'll take it a pound at a time. Until then, I'm keeping at this, no more going back. 

 Now that you have my background, I'll update this with my little thoughts and challenges... and definitely progress. I really can't wait to be a before and after picture...

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