Birthday Switch and Consistent Results (Finally!)

I weighed myself with high hopes this morning. I thought I would maintain or lose, I was (as usual) praying for a 2lbs loss (I know… gotta aim high though!) but since I had not done my usual 2 hours of weight training I figured if I didn’t lose… not the end of the world.

The scales of consistency, after my namesake… rewarded me for my hard work by keeping my average of 0.78lbs loss a day!

  • I’m down to 156.4lbs! (Only 1.4lbs away from my Dukan True Weight, hit Feb 6th 2012)
  • I have lost 14.2lbs!
  • I have been back on Dukan for 18 days!
  • I still have another 26.4lbs – 36.4lbs to lose before November!

I’m pleased with these results and I’m glad my weight loss has not slowed down. Today is my day off from the gym and I am not sure if I even want to weigh myself tomorrow morning since I can’t see a single reason why I would drop more than 0.2lbs and I don’t want to get discouraged with a gain.

YES I managed (even though I was really depressed… more on this later) to do an hour and a half of stairs after work last night! That means I did 3 days in a row of 90 minutes of sweaty, uncomfortable stairs!

I need to thank a few of my good friends for texting me throughout these brutal 90 minutes of cardio… I get so bored but texting people, writing e-mails, these all help pass the time faster and distract me from the sweat running down my back, my arms,  and soaking my hair. Gross.

Now why was I upset when doing my stairs last night? Because my mom changed my birthday. I know, seems weird. But let me get your opinion here:

My birthday is September 1st. I had a really shitty birthday last year. Long-time readers will know it was the absolute worst day following Dukan for me last time around, but although I always blamed it on the fact I didn’t cheat, it was a multitude of factors that were out of my control and the food really played only a small part in why my 20th birthday was so disappointing.

I have been looking forward to my birthday for months. I saw it as a chance to ‘redeem’ my birthday. Have a good birthday. I’m turning 21! A huge milestone! I also missed my family and couldn’t wait to get everyone together. The only problem was that I was stressing about food.

I made the decision a few days ago that I was not going to cheat. For birthdays though (in my family), the birthday girl/boy chooses what the family is eating that day. So I wasn’t sure if I was going to force my family to eat chicken breasts or if I wanted them to eat my favorite meal: pasta dish. The one I fantasized about eating for my birthday for… well months.

& Then there is cake. I wanted to eat cake… I haven’t had birthday cake in over a year and a half, and talked to my mom about making a Dukan-friendly cake (knowing it wouldn’t be the same)… I just didn’t want to feel left out, or ostracized because of my dieting on my birthday (again… and like I feel every single family event).

Well my creative mommy who cares and loves me a lot came up with… let’s just move your birthday this year!

At first I argued with her, I was really sad and upset, but I know the thought is there and it makes sense… the thing is she wants to move it to November 4th, the day after my competition. That’s where I started getting anxiety.

  • What if I am not ready to compete November 3rd? What if even by pushing myself as hard as I am right now my body just isn’t up to par and I don’t compete… I will have missed my birthday for nothing.
  • I looked into it and it’s 65$ a ticket to attend the show for the day… not only can I not expect anyone I know to spend an entire day at the event (competition is at 10am, big show is at 6pm)… but that’s expensive!!!
  • My mom asked me to change my birthday on Facebook and that means only a handful of good friends will remember it’s my birthday and wish me happy birthday on Sept 1st… the rest will have forgotten and/or will not ever acknowledge my 21st birthday at all… and that makes me feel kindof lonely and sad. I look forward to the hundred or more “happy birthday”s on Facebook every year…
  • My ‘birthday’ on November 4th will be overshadowed by my competition the day before…
  • I can’t expect my family to spend an entire weekend giving me attention (the show/competition and then birthday the next day…) I don’t want to waste an entire weekend of my family’s time.

Anyways, those all seem kindof dumb right now… my mommy wants me to tell people who wish me a happy birthday on the 1st of September that my birthday ‘is November 4th this year’ and to treat Saturday like any other day. She doesn’t want me having a shitty 21st birthday in September and then a belated birthday in November.

She wants me to be able to enjoy my birthday, eat the cake I want to eat, eat my pasta dish I have been looking forward to, drink champagne with her and really celebrate instead of feeling cravings and temptation around my birthday dinner. She doesn’t want any stress and wants me to have the perfect day.

What do you guys think? Is this a good compromise? Moving my birthday by 2 months to make sure I have the ‘perfect day’. I wasn’t sure, but my mom put so much thought into it, thinks it’s best, and I think it would make her happy to think I really enjoyed every aspect of my 21st… so I’m doing it.

How have your days gone so far? Doing well? Pushing towards those results? Making good choices?

xoxo

Our Books Are Here! (Picture)

We have been waiting for these for like… 2 weeks! So excited to LEARN!

Woohoo!

More good news!

I get home from my workout yesterday to find a box, the box is addressed to The Prawn.

OMGNOWAYCOULDITBE!?

I freak out, rip open the box and…

THEY ARE HEREEEEEEEE!!!

Our books!

YAAAAAAY!

A girl Prawn works with who I have known for a long time (she is a sweetie) and I talked at the gym once, she had this book on her. I looked through it, it is a GREAT looking book with area specific exercises, organised by body part, with instructions, tips, and information about the various muscle groups.

One of many books I plan on purchasing to educate myself about female bodybuilding!

I find the book has really good pictures, for a fitness book. The workouts are organised within the specific muscle groups by difficulty and gym-extras (a bench, dumbbells, bar, different machines, etc) that you use to perform them.

At the back there are different workouts to try to achieve different things, or different routines to try so different exercises together that are effective or whatever. It looks really informative and I can’t wait to dive in and LEARN!

That’s all for today… I’m just too excited.

We also got one for Prawn! He is signing up for the gym today (or so he says). He was waiting for the book to come in, now he has no excuses. How exciting!

I am aware that I have a new program to follow with regards to my workouts, but this book will still give me info my trainer just doesn’t really have time to give me, like information about my different muscles and workouts I can do on my cardio days where I am not doing my 2 hour long weight training program. I can use the information to target muscles I don’t feel I worked out fully the day before. Just spice it up a bit.

All in all, what a great day!

xoxo

Fitness Progress – End of Week One Of New Program (Pictures!)

Hey you guys, sorry about the mini absence there. Busy busy with life and really too exhausted to blog. I thought since you guys have been so patient that I would reward you with some progress pics. So here they are! Not anything crazy, definitely not ripped, a lot of progress to be made still. But check it out! I’m so happy and proud! :)

As of today (well… really tomorrow) I have been on my new program for a week. Other than one slip up last Tuesday where I ate stupid amounts of fruit (like… 3 whole bananas, an entire container of blueberries, an entire container of raspberries, as well as 3-4 entire apples…) I have been on point with my diet.

After my fruit-binge (fruit is too delicious) I went up to 158lbs. This mornings weigh in was at 156.8lbs so it’s going down steady.

My new goal is to get down to 120-130lbs. So, as with everything else progress is so slow, but the scale is going down, I can’t complain.

My new weight training program, the one my PERSONAL TRAINER! :D :D :D gave me (sorry, I get so excited LOL) lasts me two hours a day.

It consists of a 5 minute warm up of fast-paced walking around the track and walking up two flights of stairs (and then down two flights of stairs, obviously) then 5 minutes of interval cardio (which is nothing) and then 4 minutes on the armorator to cool down. Easy.

Then weight training to target my entire body, a few super-sets (where you do one set of something, let’s say the leg press machine, then you run to another machine and do a set there with no rest) and after a good hour and a half of lifting heavy weights and tracking them in my binder I do stretches and it’s over.

I do that one day and then the next I have an off day, where I do cardio. I aim to do half an hour of high intensity cardio, which I hate. I also get one full day off the gym a week where I need to mentally prepare myself that I’m not doing anything and I don’t feel guilty and I just relax.

That day is tomorrow because today was really INTENSE at the gym.

On Friday I did my two hours of weight training. I then went out dancing with a few girlfriends (one who just moved to BC and I haven’t seen in two years, OH MAN do I miss her) then Saturday I did another two hours of weight training (not supposed to do it two days in a row, but I was just feeling it) and man was I sore.

I was going to do another two hours today but my back and shoulders hurt way too much. Instead I did a little over an hour of cardio. Went nuts on my quads (my quads and calves are my weakest areas right now since the weight loss left them a little chunkier than the rest of my body.)

I don’t know, I just kept picturing all the muscular quads the girls competing have and I had that image in my head, it kept pushing me throughout the workout.

I did 20 minutes on the treadmill, then hopped on the elliptical and did 20 minutes there alternating between level 4 and 10 (level 10 almost ripped my quads off I swear). Then I ran up and down 2 flights of stairs alternating between hopping up one step at a time and 2 steps.

I would KILL for a Stepmaster at my gym :( Just sayin’

All and all I’m dying. Tomorrow is DEFINITELY a well deserved rest day. I have not eaten more than my allowed fruit since Tuesday and not only did I go dancing last night (again) but I’m going dancing tonight! So lots of leg work and sweating and cardio.

Actually, fun fact, last night Prawn and I went Swing Dancing, that was so much fun. We did the Lindy Hop, it was a new experience for both of us and a fun, free date night! (Free last night, usually would have been only 5$!)

So I guess you could say life is going GREAT! Seeing progress and results, feeling strong, sore. I can barely walk up stairs now I’m in so much pain. But all worthit.

As of today I have exactly 5 months to my show. 5 MONTHS! Getting a little nervous. Have to start shopping for my bikini soon.

Thanks for your ongoing support. If you have any questions about my workout routine, just ask!

xoxo

Gaining Weight but Working Out, Muscle Gain? – Reader Question

“…Problem is Ive actually gained these last two weeks even though Ive actually increased my excercise. Dont think I’ve actually put on inches but scales say im heavier!!! Any pointers? Can you actually gain weight through building muscle? Do I stay on Cruise on move on to next stage…..
Thanks again – its great to be able to share with fellow Dukanites:)
xoxoxox Mary”

First off, hi Mary! Nice to meet you :) You are a sweetheart. NOW DON’T MOVE ONTO THE NEXT STAGE IF YOU HAVE MORE TO LOSE! A two week plateau is NOTHING! You can do it! Don’t quit! The longest plateau I ever hit was over 4 weeks long, you can break through this!

Quick tips for breaking through plateaus:

  • Cut out dairy,
  • Cut down on your portions,
  • Increase cardio at the gym, do more or at a higher intensity,
  • Be patient,
  • Make sure you aren’t accidentally cheating with fattier meats.

Now to answer your other question, gaining weight through building muscle:
This is a question I am always asking myself, as well as being asked. I have to say, I’m not entirely sure what the muscle gain to weight ratio is but I can tell you out of my own experience, and in my opinion, eeeehhhhh if the scale is going up and you are working out, It’s probably not muscle gain causing it.

I am a 20 year old woman, I work out 6 days a week, barely any cardio (meaning… no cardio at all, or the rare once a week 15 minutes of cardio… oh who am I kidding…)

When I lift weights I lift as heavy as I can, I stay at the gym between half an hour to over an hour and a half (this is all before the new bodybuilding training program that my personal trainer gave me yesterday. More on that later.)

I have not gained any weight from this, I take a scoop of protein powder 2-3 times a day, eat 6 full meals a day that are very heavy in protein, I see results in my biceps, upper back, shoulders and abs and I have gained maybe 1-2 lbs in the past 2 months, not even. I have not been losing any inches.

So in my opinion, for me at least, muscle gain doesn’t really up your weight like crazy, unless you are just a beast at the gym, or a man.

I mean, women don’t generally gain bulky, heavy muscle.

When I have a ‘bad food day’ (which lately consists of me eating fruit in the afternoon) I gain weight and always think to myself ‘well it’s me gaining muscle’ but it’s not true, I use it as a copout with myself so I don’t feel guilty about overindulging in the fruit department or with my protein.

Now you guys, I’m not saying you aren’t gaining muscle and gaining weight, I’m just sharing my experience with you, I have not been gaining weight while gaining muscle, or rather, not very much of it. I have been gaining muscle, but my weight has barely fluctuated. There might be reasons for this, I’m thinking you would need to gain crazy muscle as a woman to actually gain weight from it, or rather I would have to. Everyone is different.

Not gaining weight while working out is especially true if you are doing cardio, cardio actually gets rid of some muscle, bodybuilders use cardio to lean out, so you would definitely not be gaining weight in relation to working out if you are spending all your time on the treadmill or elliptical.

Possible reasons for your weight gain?
 
  • Your time of the month is coming up,
  • you are retaining water,
  • random fluctuations in your weight,
  • you are having ‘blockage’ issues (if you know what I’m saying),
  • too much salt,
  • too much dairy,
  • too fatty protein,
  • your body is adjusting to your weight loss,
  • you need to downsize your portions,
  • maybe you are cheating or accidentally cheating,
  • indulging in things you know you shouldn’t
  • or maybe you are working out and gaining muscle. But I doubt it.

There are so many things that can contribute to plateaus and weight gains, it takes just learning about your body, your reaction to different things, playing around with the diet until you find the perfect combination so you can break that plateau and eventually lose weight.

If you are working out and gaining weight, up your cardio. When bodybuilders want to lose weight that’s what they do.

Just DON’T GIVE UP! Keep working hard, it eventually goes down, it really does! Keep working hard and you will see results. Do little tweaks to the diet until you figure out what will make that scale co-operate and go down again.

Never give up, this diet works. Drink tons of water, keep your chin up. You can do it!

xoxo

A Few Words About Loose Skin

(Thanks to a reader for the question!)

Well then. Loose skin. I want to let you know that I’m not a doctor, and I can only tell you about my experience with it. Your results might be much different than mine.

A few things.

There is a supplement called Selenium which I have started taking recently, it’s supposed to promote skin elasticity. Try to find the one without yeast or bad stuff in it. I found it was cheaper at walmart.

When you lose a lot of weight under your skin sometimes your skin needs time to catch up to your rapid weight loss. I’m going to tell you straight up that I only started noticing ‘loose skin’ at 70-80 lbs lost. So if you are in your twenties and are losing less than that you probably shouldn’t worry.

You need to remember that I only started ‘working out’ and barely, recently. So to avoid any loose skin I should have just wroked out through this journey. Ah well, hindsight eh?

& I have to specify, by loose skin I don’t mean that hanging stuff that some really obese people have or older people who lose a lot of weight. Since I am in my early twenties and wasn’t obese my entire life, my skin has bounced back quite a bit. It puckers around my stomach a little and I can tell it’s loose around my chest, thighs and arms, but you can’t tell just by looking at me.

To be honest I’m really self concious about it. Like very.

So I did some research and it turns out your skin has 2 years after losing a lot of weight before it’s shrunk back as much as it will without surgery. So I basically have a two year window to lift weights and do sit ups before I’m stuck with my loose skin. A little scary, but I’m trying and working towards it because I’m embarassed.

Now whether or not you will get loose skin is determined by a few things, namely your age. As everyone knows, the older you are, typically, the less elastic your skin is. It is also determined by how long you have been overweight and how overweight you were.

A good way to help prevent loose skin is to hydrate and drink a lot of water.

A little word from Prawn on loose skin:

Being significantly heavier than C- loose skin became a near phobia of mine right around the 70 pounds mark. Hearing horror stories of people needing surgery, or looking disgusting after such amazing levels of weight loss was almost enough to want me to stop the diet. Upon spending a few hours researching the condition I noticed some trends in the information people had given out.

Have you ever noticed in the show “Biggest Loser” how very few of the contestants have any loose skin nearing the end of their weight loss? This begs the question, why. Well this is because skin like any other part of our body is an organ. Like our lungs or our liver it is a constantly adjusting part of us. To avoid loose skin we need to keep that organ in good shape. Now loose skin is actually fat. As we lose weight our body isn’t able to properly process through and eat at all of it especially on diets that only target food. So by exercising we are able to burn through those fat cells and keep our skin tight. Losing weight too fast is also a factor in weight loss. The downside of this diet is that people often see results at a rapid rate and as such this factor is unavoidable.

There are other options, but they are less effective in combatting loose skin (besides expensive surgery). The term “brushing” or skin brushing is one I found over the course of my research. The act of taking a brush with firm brissles across one’s skin. This action increases circulation to our organ (skin) which increases its productivity so to speak. More circulation, less skin.

In closing: you should not allow fears of loose skin stop you from starting today! You should just give the diet a try. If after losing 20-30 pounds you decide that this diet is for you and you want to continue with your significant weight loss (Or for those looking to only shed a few pounds congratulations you’re already there) maybe re-asses your priorities when it comes to loose skin vs. the need for exercise. 

xoxo