Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fitness Update #2: 18 pounds gone in 5 weeks!

If you saw this post, you already know the first part of my story: 10 pounds gone in the first 2 weeks of the Robert Brace 28-Day Challenge. And no, I'm not being paid or compensated by him to say this. Maybe I should be, but I'm not, and I'm okay with it.  I'm simply sharing a good thing. It's working for us, and I believe if you work this plan, it will work for you, too.

I watched in awe as the pounds melted away and my body shape-shifted... and I can't stop!  Charles and I are turning the 28-Day Challenge into the 56-Day Challenge. We are in the middle of Week 6 now. So far, I've lost 18 pounds, and Charles lost 17! A few days ago, I posted a middle-of-the-night giddy video. At the end, I accidentally turn my camera sideways, but you can kind of see what I look like now.

I'm learning how small adjustments on a consistent basis lead to huge impact over time, as outlined in the book "The Compound Effect" by Darren Hardy.

The 28-Day Challenge, like so many other fitness/eating plans, emphasizes a simple equation for weight loss:  (healthy eating + working out) * time =  healthy habits = FITNESS. Here are some of the changes I'm seeing:

  • I was wearing Size 16/18, now I'm down to Size 12. This is HUGE change! The last time I was a 12 was about 6 years ago. Even a strict 4-month regimen of Couch-to-5K didn't yield this type of result.
  • My shoes and rings fit better. Maybe this is because of cutting out a lot of salt and pork?
  • I have more energy throughout the day. 
  • I actually look forward to working out. 
  • The change is happening all over. I can see a difference in my face, arms, waist, back, legs, tush -- everything is changing. However, I see the most dramatic change in my legs and face. My tummy chub is holding on for dear life, but I have definitely lost some inches. 
  • My skin clarity improved, I think because of the reduced sugar intake.
  • When I do eat sugary sweets -- my downfall -- it's much for my taste buds, so I can't eat as much of it as I used to. I'm breaking the sugar addiction. Finally.

At some point, I will do before and after pics, but perhaps I'll save it until after the wedding. I did finally try on the bridesmaid dress last week, and I can actually zip it all the way up now.  GLORAAAYYY!! God is awesome.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Fitness Update: 10 pounds gone in 2 weeks!

How did I get so fat?!

Let me just start by saying this -- I had every intention of deleting this picture from my phone and never letting it see the light of day, much less the Internet (read: the whole world). But in the spirit of transparency, here it is. Oh boy...

That's me at Wrightsville Beach, NC, in July 2012, just a couple months ago. Obviously I'm having a good time. What kind of person would I be if I let a little extra wiggle around the middle keep me from having fun?!  But at the same time, I knew I needed to lose some weight. It's funny how if you go awhile without taking a picture, when you finally see yourself head-to-toe, it's like, "Ohhhh, so that's what I really look like."  Hey, the camera isn't lying.

But fear not! I had a plan... sort of. Eat right and exercise!  Duh, everybody knows that. I've done it before and it works... well, it works if I do them simultaneously and consistently. You see, when this picture was taken, we were running 2.5 miles regularly (2-3 times weekly).  But I was also downing a big cup of Blue Bell's Banana Pudding ice cream every night on the couch. That stuff is

Here's my issue: back on beach day, I didn't have a COMMITMENT to a plan because I didn't really even have a plan. So what did Charles and I do immediately after exercising on walking the beach, sand in our shoes and all? We hit up a seafood restaurant near Landfall and ate decadently. This is my point: after years of pretty much eating anything I wanted, whenever I wanted it, I was paying for it in the worst way. I got fat.

Fast forward to early August. I'm gonna be in this wedding, and I we never did measurements for our bridesmaids dresses (it's long story) so when I tried on the dress, I couldn't even zip it up. *Gasp*

NOOoo! Can you say "mortified?" 

Enter the Robert Brace 28-Day Challenge. Chescaleigh did it and had fabulous results!

Her posture improved and she is CUT!  But, as you see from the before shot, she was already fairly slender. We're about the same height, but she started at 141 lbs, ended at 141 lbs, and went from a size 12 to a size 4. Important note: getting fit doesn't always mean losing weight.

However, I know I was at my fittest when I was around 175-180 pounds -- strong, muscular, lean. I topped out at 220 lbs earlier this year and have worn a size 14/16 for several years now. My clothing size doesn't change much with my weight - thank you, Lord. Obviously, Francesca and I are built differently, and that's cool. I've always been bigger in stature than most girls and women, even at my fittest, and I'm thankful to God for giving me this frame. It's just that I loaded way too much onto this frame.

So far, I just finished two weeks of the RB28D program, and I've already lost 10 pounds. I'm down under 210 for the first time in years! YAY, GOD! I probably would have lost even more weight if I hadn't tried a tiny sliver of Christine's lemon pie on Labor Day, but hey -- Rome wasn't built in a day. And I'm sure the Romans paused for lemon pie breaks every now and again. But this is the only sweet I've eaten, and I don't plan to make that indulgence again anytime soon.

I'm going to wait at least until the wedding, which is in October, before doing any "big reveal" before-and-after shots, but I am definitely seeing a change in my body.   I'm eating differently -- no bread, pasta, rice, sweets, pork or beef, and more green veggies and lean meats. This coupled with 4x weekly workouts is leading to a much stronger and leaner body. I'm FINALLY on the right track.

I'm also finding myself kind of addicted to the workouts, so on our off days I'm antsy to get out of the house and walk, run, throw a frisbee -- something, anything to keep moving. The program is challenging, but I have such a feeling of accomplishment when I finish it in the morning. And although I won't touch on it in this post, it's also improving my will to commit to other things which are important to me.

Have you ever tried a plan like this? If so, how did it work for you?  And if you have any fitness goals to share, no matter how big or small they might seem, please feel free to leave a comment below. I would love to partner in prayer with you about making some real commitments and seeing your plans through to the finish.

Much love,

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Liebster Award

YAY!  My cuz and fellow natural blogger, Roni of The Savvy Housewife, gave me a Liebster Blog Award! 

The Liebster Award is for up-and-coming blogsters -- such as yours truly -- who have less than 200 followers. Small bloggers, unite!

The nerd in me had to go check a German-English translator to verify the meaning.  Liebster is indeed a German word (masculine, noun) which means "sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, etc." Liebste is the feminine version. **nerd moment officially over**

My dear cousin Roni is definitely all of those things. Thanks for thinking of me, hon!

Here's how it works:
  1. Each winner must post 11 random things about him/herself.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the tagger set for you.
  3. Choose 11 bloggers who you would like to receive The Liebster Award.
  4. Create 11 questions for the bloggers you tagged to answer.

I'm not sure where the number "11" figures into the liebster concept, but I'll go with it.
So, without further adieu, 11 Random Things about Me:

my latest doodle using Crayola :-)

  1. Jesus is AWESOME!  Period.
  2. I'm a doodler. It helps me focus. (Hmm... based on Roni's response, maybe it runs in the family?) I also enjoy painting and drawing. One summer when I was a kid, all I did was draw hundreds of teddy bears.
  3. Blue Bell Ice Cream is THE BEST. Hands down. And I'm not just saying this because I'm from Texas. If you haven't tried their ice cream yet, get thee to a Walmart immediately!
  4. I like to think I have a green thumb, but I really don't. I can't keep houseplants alive for more than a few weeks. The stuff I plant in the yard is usually either too big for the place I put it, or it dies young. #wompwomp
  5. Way back in the day, I worked as a production assistant for Brian Williams, the current NBC Nightly News Anchor. He's a really nice guy, and his family is so beautiful.
  6. When I go shopping, about half the time it's just to touch the fabrics and materials. Silk... mmmmm. Leather... ohhhhhhh. Soft cotton... ahhhhh.  *blushing* 
  7. I really REALLY like period pieces, such as Downton Abbey, Mad Men, and Pride and Prejudice. It's not just a fad. For me this started back in the 80's with Little House on the Prairie. 
  8. I still drive the Jeep my parents gave me when I graduated high school. Hey, it's paid for and she runs like a champ. Regular oil changes can make all the difference.
  9. In my lifetime, I've had more than 30 pets. Most of those were cats. My favorite pet was our Labrador, Lady. She was so sweet.
  10. I just started the Robert Brace 28-Day Challenge. Today is Day 4. I am officially humbled. 
  11. Baby dolls are kind of creepy to me -- not Barbies but the ones with the big heads with eyes open or closed depending on how you position them. *skeeving*
And here are the questions from Roni to moi:
  1. What's your favorite color? Navy blue.
  2. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? I would be an elephant, because they are familial and majestic. I would also stomp on things and have loads of fun during bath time.
  3. Who inspired you the most? Jesus. He did for me what no one else in this world could ever do. Who else offers salvation, redemption, intercession and the Holy Spirit as an ever-present comforter! 
  4. If you could go anywhere right now, where would you go and why? Hawaii, because I've heard the sunsets are breathtaking and the beach is so relaxing.
  5. What is your favorite food? Oh, this is a tough question, but I just melt whenever I eat a tender, fall-apart-at-the-fork, BBQ/smoked brisket. My dad makes the best brisket ever.
  6. What was your favorite subject in school? It's a tie between Honors Art and English.
  7. What is your dream job? Philanthropist + world traveler + Christian counselor, giving liberally, seeing this gorgeous planet, and helping people get free. 
  8. What is your favorite season and why? Spring is my favorite season because it's cool, the birds are singing, the earth is blooming and the mosquitoes aren't out yet.
  9. Besides blogging, what is your favorite hobby? Anything I can do creatively with my hands, such as jewelry, sculpting, painting, photography and video editing.
  10. If you were stranded on a desert island, what are three things you would take with you? My husband, an amazingly comfortable bed, and an unlimited supply of Pandora radio.
  11. What movie would you pick to describe your life and why? Haaa... I have absolutely no idea, but maybe The Goonies? It's a coming-of-age adventure story. Kids find a treasure map, go on an journey not too far from home, knock down the bad guys and show love to other outcasts. One kid gets his first kiss. It's sweet, and it's the first thing I thought of, which is just plain weird.

So I really can't think of 11 small bloggers!  I hope I don't kill the duck by doing this, but I'm going to open this up to ANY small blogger OR vlogger who would like to participate. Once you post, please submit a comment letting me know, and then folks can trek on over to your site to get to know you better.

And now, for you lovelies out there, 11 Questions!

  1. What's the best thing that's happened to you so far in 2012?
  2. If you could be any kind of vehicle -- motorized (like a car) or non-motorized (like a skateboard), which would you be and why? 
  3. What's your favorite comfort food?
  4. What motivated you to start blogging/vlogging?
  5. How would you describe your personal style in three words?
  6. Who is your hero and why?
  7. What are the first five songs which show up in your music player (e.g. iTunes, mp3)?
  8. What color dominates your clothing closet?
  9. Which precious stone best represents you?
  10. Which room in your house is your favorite and why?
  11. What types of movies do you most enjoy?
Much love, and have fun!