Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone...

Hot Yoga... (not me in the picture. LOL.)

This week I stepped out of my workout comfort zone and tried a hot yoga class.  I have been wanting to try it... but needed a little push.  Late last year, I purchased a Groupon for ten hot yoga classes at Hot 8 Yoga in Santa Monica.  Normally, ten sessions would be $175.  With the Groupon it was only $39.  Great... if I actually end up using the Groupon! LOL!  I procrastinated to the last minute, and the Groupon was set to expire on Friday, March 18.  I went in on Wednesday, March 16 and gave it the old college try.

Wednesday, March 16...
First & foremost, I am NERVOUS.  If you say, "hey let's go on a ridiculous hike up a mountain.." or "you wanna do a half marathon?" I'm all over it.  But a yoga class? I don't know what it is... but I have had butterflies in my tummy all day at work.  Class is at 4:30, I have to leave my job around 3:30 to get to Santa Monica in time to change & whatnot... traffic is a little foolish.  Normal.  I get there about 4:15... and sign up at the front desk.  The girl at the desk talks to me for a bit & gives me some encouragement.  She tells me, "Go at your own pace, and just stay in the studio.  It's going to be hot... really hot.  Just try your best not to get up and leave."  Um... now I'm even more nervous!  Yikes!!!

The locker room is nice... there is another woman in there who is on her 4th class in 4 days... (uh, yeah... not gonna happen.)  She is also new, and she loves it.  She also gives me encouragement & tells me to go at my own pace.  I'm sensing a theme here... 

I was told to bring a mat, a towel & water.  For some reason, I packed a large bath sheet (like the kind you dry off with) along with a hand towel.... but I only brought the bath sheet into the class with me.  First thing... when I step in the studio, I am IMMEDIATELY hit by the heat.  Hit like, "WTH am I doing in here?"  Hit like, "the muggiest, most humid day EVER in Alabama."  But I'm already here, so I may as well stay.  I'm looking around at people in the room to kinda see what I should do.  I put down my mat, and put the bath sheet over it.  I figured that part out quickly, because I'm going to sweat all over the towel.  If I sweat on the rubber mat it would be wet & I would fall.  Before class starts I already have a trickle of sweat rolling down my spine... crazy!  And the people are a mixed bag... some are half naked (which I understand very quickly).. and one guy kinda looked like say... Tony Soprano in body shape & size but with fluffy gray hair... and what appeared to be some sort of boxer brief.  And that's all.  No shame in his game.

The teacher comes in & she seems cool.  Her name is Lady Yoga, so I already like her.  She isn't in front of the class doing it... she's going to walk around and tell us what to do... which is when I realize I'm the only newbie in the bunch of about 20 people.  My plan?  Do whatever the flexible man in front of me is doing!

(not this man... but a girl can dream, right?)

I won't go through the specifics.  It was hard as anything I've ever done.  More mentally hard than physically... I am not as flexible as I used to be, so it's a bit frustrating.  My biggest obstacle was feeling dizzy... and nauseous.  Not having a colon puts me at an immediate disadvantage to other people with a colon.  I am QUICK to get dehydrated, which is why I am drinking some water or some other drink 24/7.  I had a tall bottle of Smart Water, and I could have used two of them.   The class was an hour and a half, and I spent a good 30 minutes of it just sitting or laying down due to dizziness.  I have actually fainted before... like passed out in public due to dehydration... so I know the feeling as it's coming.  I felt it about 35-40 minutes in, so I stopped.  I did notice other people stopping periodically to lay down, so I didn't feel so bad.  What kept me going was what the girl at the desk said, "Just don't leave the room."  And, believe me, I wanted to leave the room!!!  Lady Yoga knew my name and would mention me & encourage me throughout the class.  I thought that was cool. I'm assuming the girl at the desk told her I was there, I was new, and described me.

In the end, I made it through the class.  Yay me!  I have NEVER sweat like that in all my life.  It was refreshing and pretty much insane. 

Quick note... weigh in today... I lost .8 lbs this week.  I had a great week... but on Saturday, I chowed down on veggies all day.  Went to a function & there was a potluck at my house.  I didn't go over my points, but I had a lot of zero point carrots & celery...  I'm good with it though. If I lose about a pound a week, I'm good.  Down 6 pounds in two weeks?  I'll take it!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Okay, so this isn't going to be a super long post...

I didn't officially report my first week of weight loss... wait for it....

5.2 pounds!  Yayyyy Weight Watchers!!!

I'm not naive enough to think I'm going to lose 5 pounds every week, but I'm glad to know it's working. The interesting thing is that my eating habits didn't change that much. I think it's choosing fruit over other snacks that is helping a lot.  I didn't deprive myself.  I went out to a charity happy hour on Friday night & had a cocktail... diet coke & rum, where I would normally have a vodka tonic.... WW made me pick the lower calorie mixer (smile).  They passed around appetizers all night & I didn't eat a single one. Made sure I had dinner before I went there, because I didn't want to have to figure out the points for random foods.  Saturday I went to the Staples Center for the Pac-10 Championship game & we went to Fleming's Steakhouse for dinner... I ordered a burger from the happy hour menu... it came with two big onion rings (which I didn't eat), and I took off the top bun because it wasn't a whole wheat bun.  Better choices... that's what it's all about.

Some pix from this weekend...

At the game....

Bright colors... I tried color blocking thanks to FASHION du jour!

My awesome Heart Rate Monitor after a crazy workout with Claudine (who now has a blog!)

I'm moving in the right direction... check the tracker above... down to 146.6! Whoo hooooo!

See you soon!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Four Days In...

Things are moving along so far.  I'm not super hungry... it's basically like normal.  Before I went back on Weight Watchers, I was a calorie counter... My theory?  It takes 3500 calories burned to lose a pound.  Have a calorie deficit of at least 500 every day & lose a pound every week.  Simple math.  Okay, so it didn't really always work out like that.  My weight was stagnant... so something wasn't working.  Good news is that I wasn't gaining... bad news is that I wasn't losing either.

One of the toughest changes I've implemented this week is not weighing myself.  I'm a scale watcher for real.  For REAL.  I have a cool Wi Scale that sends my weight & stats to my iPhone. It keeps a little graph and everything.

Go Go Gadget! The Wi Scale

For a gadget and fitness junkie like me, this scale is great.  I'm the kind of person who lets the scale dictate my actions.  If the scale isn't moving, I work out more or eat better.  If the scale moves up, I REALLY work out more & eat better.  If the scale moves down, I use it as motivation to keep doing whatever it is I'm doing.

With Weight Watchers, I don't want to let my scale at home affect how I'm following the Points Plus Program.  I'm trying to trust the program and see what happens when I weigh in on Sunday.

I've been on WW before, but it was not the same kind of plan.  WW works on a points system.  Every food has a points value.  In the past, fruit & vegetables had a point value, so you kinda watched it with the fruit.  Fruit has a lot of sugar, so you really didn't want to use your points on the fruit.  In the new Points Plus Program, everything is calculated a new way.  No more calories involved... points are based on a formula of Fat, Carbs, Protein & Fiber.... and fruit and most veggies are FREE!  ZERO POINTS!!!  You heard it... ZERO!

Grub on fruit as much as you like!
 Weight Watchers' theory is that people don't become overweight from eating too many fruits and vegetables.  I tend to agree with that.  If someone has made the choice to pay money & go to WW, they probably aren't going to go bananas on... well... bananas! Weight Watchers makes you want to grab an apple, grapes or a banana when you need a snack, instead of something less healthy... because it's ZERO points.  It kinda scared me when I first heard it, but the truth is, when I eat an apple it fills me up for at least a couple hours.  A banana? Forget about it.  I'm stuffed.  So I'm not going to overdo it with too much fruit.  Not to mention, the last thing I need is more fiber in my life... but that's a whole 'notha post! :-)

Okay, remember I mentioned some "before" pictures?  Well, I really didn't get to take a really good picture... but I tried.  I have a very strange tummy... I call it my Frankenbelly, but that's just because it has lots of scars from my surgery incision & stoma, combined with stretch marks from when I blew up from that dreaded Prednisone.  Funny story... when I was first starting to gain weight from the steroids, I was looking at my belly in the mirror... Me:  "Hey Mommy... come here... um, is this a stretch mark???"  She told me, "Yes, but don't sweat it.  It's a rite of passage for pregnant women."  Uh, NEWSFLASH, there is NO BAMBINO in this growing belly of mine!!!  Waaaaaah!  (Did I mention how miserable I was back then? LOL!)  That one little stretch mark multiplied in a big way.  I used to say it looked like a cat jumped up & grabbed me by the belly... and slid down. LOL!!!  In the past decade, I have grown to love my Frankenbelly.  It's just a part of who I am... and as long as it's eventually somewhat flat, I could give a rat's hind parts what kind of scars it bears!  Bring on the two piece bikini!

Back to my strange tummy... the top part of my tummy is sticks out more than the bottom part.  It's weird.  I'm sure my sister might have some medical explanation for it... or maybe that's just where I carry my abdominal weight.  The good news is that I can suck it in like a pro. LOL!

Side profile... 3/9/11... not sucked in.

Side profile... all sucked in!  Look ma! No Spanx!

In the next few months I'm hoping all of this shrinks down a little.  That's about it.  So that's where things stand... I'm looking forward to the weigh-in.  I hope it's good news!  You'll know right after I do!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

I'm Baaaaack!

Okay... okay... I KNOW I have not blogged since September 2010... I'm really going to try to do better.  I needed something to get my motivation back up, and I found it.

Before I tell you what has spurred my motivation, maybe I should recap my journey... I can't believe I'm about to do this... but I'm showing a picture of myself when I was as big as I ever remember being... In my defense, this picture was taken ten years ago in 2001 & I was on HEAVY doses of the dreaded steroid, Prednisone.  That mess blew me UP!  That's all I'm saying...

Summer 2001... looking like Winne the Pooh :-(

It was a really bad time for me... REALLY BAD.  I was not a happy camper.  I wasn't working. I was about to have major surgery to have my colon removed, and I was all around miserable.

But God is good.  I had two very successful surgeries, and eventually got off of all my colitis medication.  So years passed... my weight went up and down and around.  I had convinced myself that I was okay with how I looked... but it was absolutely not true!  The next picture of me was taken in December 2006... five years post surgery... no medicine to blame for being this size.  This was just good ol' fashioned "more calories in than out":

Christmas 2006
I think I gained a little more weight after the holidays... But some time in March of 2007, I walked past a mirror in my house and stopped.  I looked at myself & said, "Oh hell no. This is not cool!  AT ALL!" At that moment, I decided to join Weight Watchers.  I knew it worked, and I needed something to get me started... so I joined.  I still have my booklet from when I first started.  April 21, 2007:  Starting weight? 179.8.  Yep. You read that right.  Picture proof below:

Um... 180??? Say whaaat?
There is no reason a 5'2" woman should weight 180lbs... it's just not healthy!  But I was ready, and the weight started falling off...  In late 2007, I was introduced to Claudine Cooper, who I mentioned in a previous post.  She's my trainer, my friend, my sister and one of the best things that every happened to me.  I've probably said this before, but God brought her into my life exactly when I was ready for her.  I had figured out the eating part with the help of Weight Watchers, but I still wasn't good on the fitness.  Claudine changed all that... PLUS she came with two beautiful daughters (and now a son!) who I love to death, a husband who doesn't mind that I'm ALWAYS over their house working out, and a next door neighbor, Nichol, who has become a wonderful workout partner & friend.

Claudine, Nichol & JoLai; October 2010

Auntie JoLai at  "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" with 3 of my favorite little ones, TJ (Nichol's son), Mackenzie (Stacy's daughter), and Faye (Claudine's daughter)

Oh, back to the story... I can't remember why I stopped going to Weight Watchers... I wasn't at my goal weight yet, but I had lost nearly 40 pounds.

Last WW weigh in was 140.6 lbs... 39.2 lbs lost!
That was October of 2008.  Since then, I've gained weight and lost weight... kinda floating between 145 and 155.  That's not so great when I was down to 140.6, but I was pleased with how I looked & I knew there was some muscle gain going on.  I am not perfect on my eating habits, but I can pretty much keep it under control... otherwise I'd be back up to 180 again... and then some....

June 2009... maintaining
August 2010... still maintaining...

February 2011... looking good!

February 2011... still looking good (later that same day! LOL!)
Sidebar:  I have GOT to get a new pose!!!  LOL!  The problem is that I have to pose from that side because of my lazy left eye... and I always put my hand on my hip, because it makes my upper arm look smaller. LOL!  Oh well....

So back to what spurred me to blog again... I decided to go back to Weight Watchers to get off these last 20 or so pounds.  My weigh-in this morning was 151.8.  I knew where I was, so I wasn't shocked or anything. I don't know exactly how much I need to lose, but I do know I need to lose some more -- simply because I'm still 5'2" (not gonna grow any more!) and I shouldn't be 150 lbs. I carry that 150 well, but I'd love to get off my HBP medicine one day. Maybe this last 20 pounds will do the trick. 

I'll keep you posted on my WW journey.  This will be fun.  I'm excited about the new Points Plus plan... and, hell, Jennifer Hudson looks like a million bucks!  I'm gonna try to take a before picture that doesn't involve me wearing Spanx... I'll post it when I take it. :-)

Here I go again... I'm BACK!!!