Tuesday, February 23, 2010

UKC Numbers

Here are my stats for UKC for 6 weeks (42 days)

Intake: 51,925 calories
Output: 131,763 calories (per BodyBugg, KBs burn a lot more!)
Deficit: 79,838

Pounds Lost: 19
Total Inches Lost: 14.75 !!!!
Neck: 1.5 inches
Arm: 2.0 inches
Waist: 6.25 inches
Thigh: 5.0 inches

Monday, February 22, 2010

In The Interest of Full Disclosure

I thought I'd piggyback off of Chris and post my weights at various times for full disclosure.

My weight has been a constant struggle, I first started to notice it in 5th grade, but definitely in 6th grade. I only weighed 125 or so that year, but I couldn't fit into the juniors section (Limited Too, lol) that my friends could.

I remember weighing myself the summer between 7th and 8th grade and could not believe that it said 156. That was when my first real diet started. After that it was about 10 pounds every year from there, I'd lose some weight and gain it back. Eventually, I started to gain more back than I had lost so my dieting really served as a way to stave back the weight gain.

I fit into Limited / Express up until the second half of my first year in college. After that my ability to lose weight deteriorated, which I now know was due to lack of muscle, lots of fat, and probably PCOS (which BTW my doctors lacked to diagnose me as until 2009!)

That is why I'm proud of the 12 pounds I lost in 2009, I actually did lose a total of 18, but slipped towards the end of the year. But, the important thing was that UKC made sure that I stuck with my goals and thanks to it I have continued the downward trend.

I'm not going to say what my Week 6 numbers were (stay tuned this week), but I will say I finally felt validated with my progress above and beyond how much better I feel physically and mentally. I will say that the next dot on the chart does put me at "only" severely obese status. It's a hard pill to swallow, but yes that is a good thing. :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Last Day of UKC

We had our last day of official UKC today. I can't believe that we all met exactly 6 weeks ago for orientation. People say it takes 3 months for a full turnaround and confirmation of behavior, but I feel like we have a good head start.

I feel the change in me. My aftercare plan is really to keep moving because I know that's really important. I know that it is a slippery slope food wise so I'm not planning on making any dramatic additions, the longer I go with the original plan the longer I prolong my momentum. (I am looking forward to brown rice tortillas of all things though, oh and balsamic).

I want to start doing morning workouts, if not at the gym then at my house doing videos/kettlebells/pool. My Bodybugg shows a bigger burn when I workout in the morning, so why not capitalize on that?

Unlike other plans, my stomach has shrunken so much, too. It's unbelievable actually. What usually happens is I lose 15 pounds and I'm in the same pants and they are baggy in the legs. This time I've lost some of my tummy, I started in a XXL workout pant from Old Navy and as of this morning I fit into the large sized pants.

Honestly, I feel like I'm sprinting past other "diet" plans I've been on, as of last week I'm lower than I was a few years ago when I lost a bunch of weight and as of today I am following the weight loss track of when I did the UCI meal replacements plan in 2004.

What's the official number? You'll have to check out Wednesday's episode.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Progress...

So I was feeling down after the weigh in, but I know there's progress being made in terms of how I feel and how my clothes are fitting. It should be interesting to do measurements on Saturday.

These are what the past year have looked like, 'Wk 0' is around Mother's Day 2009 and I'm at about my heaviest, 248. 'Wk 29' is December 2009 and 'Week 40' pics were taken yesterday.

Friday, February 12, 2010


So in complete honesty, I fell off of the wagon last night which is made even worse by the fact I had just left our group counseling session. I think it was mainly about it being an ingrained tradition for my birthday and having that feeling of food and family around me.

I had made plans to meet family at Friday's of all places for dinner. It's easy to get to for everyone and the portions aren't humongous like other chains. I had resolved to eat grilled chicken and steamed veggies, but I went a little too long without eating and BS'd myself into having one potato skin and a burger - no sauce and only the bottom bun. But I digress, not having the sauce or the top bun don't make the offense any lighter, I committed myself to the program and I broke my promises.

I usually avoid black and white thinking, but I know it is a slippery slope and accountability is my thing, which is why I'm posting for all to see. I've even thought about waiting even longer to reintegrate things back into my diet for that very reason. Part of the only reason I'm actually posting this is because my body felt terrible last night and this morning and I told Chris.

Yesterday I had a light breakfast and salad and got in extra cardio. But, all of that PLUS everything I'm doing today is only to play catch up for the moment of weakness yesterday, no matter how I look at it. All of the cardio I do today will not be to move me forward, it will be to make up for setbacks last night. (I still had a calorie deficit and that was with the Bodybugg's interpretation of KBs).

It's been a tough week with cravings, but in a way this has recommitted me. Emotional eater me won last night, but I'm making it a priority to be stronger the next few weeks until some not-so-bad things come back into my life.

What's done is done. I woke up this morning, took all of my vitamins, my apple cider vinegar, packed all of my food for the day, have consumed 40+ oz of water and am planning on going to the gym at lunch and in between work and UKC tonight.

Oh, BTW, my allowance system takes money away for these very things. Booo :(

There, I published it, now I have to do it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Birthday Wish This Year

There's nothing like a birthday to make you reflect on what you want for yourself. I'm personally not one to celebrate just me, my birthday is usually about spending time with friends and family, but at any holiday I can never get the thought out of my head of what things will be like NEXT year.

I always say I'm not going to be as fat, I'll feel more social around people I don't know, it'll be different. So is next year finally my year or will I discover things still aren't so simple?

Only time will tell, but at least I'll look good!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jump Rope

Did you guys see me jumping rope in the video? How amazing was that? I surprised myself with that one! Gotta love the Rocky-esque montage of me we got to see last night, pretty bad ass, lol.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Finding My Healthy Self

Having been "chunky" and then "heavy" and then "overweight" and eventually "obese and beyond" throughout my life, I have constantly struggled with my weight. Active but stocky as a child, the weight piled on incrementally for 15+ years.

After consulting with an integrative doctor I was referred to Alysia Gadson, a personal trainer and spinal care specialist in my area who specializes in balancing the body after sports injuries predominantly using kettlebells. Alysia and her phenomenal "team" were in the process of assembling a web production following the lives of overweight individuals making significant lifestyle changes in real time while living their real lives. Their vision transformed into the Ultimate Kettlebell Camp (UKC) and was built around the concept that many lives and entire families can be transformed by one person's efforts to better their lives.

I have never been fit or anywhere near balanced, coordinated, or athletic in all of my life, so I was hesistant to interview for a spot in the camp when the opportunity presented itself. Not only would it involve me telling people about it, but also revealing my weight. I always figured that I would have a revelation - a bolt of lighting would hit me and I would be fervently motivated and undeterred by my environment and would shed the weight like magic. The thought of exposing myself like that seemed unthinkable. But then I looked back at my life as an overweight individual and realized that maybe this WAS my big moment to change the cycle of poor choices and ingrained habits.

After contemplating on why my past nutrition and fitness goals have fallen short in the past, I decided that accountability has been a huge factor in my successes and setbacks. Here I was, presented with hours of personal training sessions with an expert and the only payment requested in turn was my time and effort. How could I not attempt to get into the UKC and join 4 fellow campers on an amazing journey of self discovery?

In short, it has been a great experience. From our initial orientation I have felt connected with my fellow campers and Alysia has a natural compassion to the plight of the overweight community that is a rare quality to find in the fitness world.
I had limited knowledge of kettlebells, I had read they were used in Russian military training and knew they had become popular with celebrities, but was alarmed when a quick internet search brought up an abundance of pictures and videos of bodybuilders doing all sorts of crazy things. Something was missing, information for beginners and those who simply cannot deadlift a car over their heads. I found the missing link when I went to Alysia's site and watched videos, read blog entries, and read recipes that all made logical sense. What I have come to realize is that many kettlebell moves are very basic and easy for beginners, but can be modified using different weights and positions for advanced users.

Even though it has been dreadfully embarrassing showing my friends, families, co-workers, and anyone else on YouTube my weight, I have found it to ultimately be freeing. It is amusing to think that that number held me back for so long, a number that I am sure most people could estimate on their own. I will take that one step further and share that I was already 12 pounds out from my highest weight when the camera started rolling. Since starting UKC I have lost an additional 12 pounds and feel myself shedding the angst and fear I used to carry around with me. Furthermore, in addition to the new muscles I am now noticing, I have also gained a sense of accomplishment and for the first time in a long time I realize there may actually be an end to my struggle with obesity.

In addition to number based accomplishments, I have achieved other milestones in the past month, my legs are more firm, my belly has shrunken, I have more energy, sleep better, and am wearing clothing I grew out of long ago. More amazingly, the program has gotten me past (big breath) 230 which seemed to be a personal barrier for the longest time and even past 225 which is the lowest I was able to get during a fitness push a couple of years ago.

I have genuinely done many diets and unlike some of the crazy fad diets you read about, the Ultimate Kettlebell Camps's nutritional focus was on clean whole foods and our workouts are supplemented with homework involving exercise and personal introspection. Without the crazy cookie diets or supplements warning users to only take it 3 weeks at a time for personal safety reasons, I have seen actual results. I did not think muscle toning with my body composition was possible in such a short amount of time. The main difference I have seen with the kettlebells as opposed to just cardio and regular weights is that it works all muscle groups and gives you a cardio experience at the same time, no gym and virtually no space required to use or store. Yes, I have been sore most days of the program, but I have a new appreciation for the soreness and have come to realize that if I'm not sore it's time to move to a heavier weight!

Looking back I can't say that I still don't cringe when I watch my videos, but I am proud that I took the step of sharing my experience and have taken ownership of my responsibility to my body.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Week 5

I'm excited to be going into week 5 and am feeling trepidation that we are 2/3 of the way over. I'm amazed at the progress we have all made and am ready to fully throw myself into UKC this week.

I plan on upping my cardio and trying to keep moving at night, even when I'm watching TV. Fatigue has been winning, but it's just a feeling :) Lets cross our fingers for the best!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rounding Out Week 4

It seems absolutely crazy that we have been at this a month! My friends and family keep telling me I'm half way done, but I'm looking at it as we ONLY have 3 weeks left. (Officially 2 weeks tomorrow!)

The day before weigh in is always a bundle of nerves, I know I've worked hard and feel changes in my muscle tone, can feel "new bones", and my clothes feel better, but the scale hasn't been showing the change as much as I would like.

Over the past few weeks I've struggled with making this MY journey, not a competition. It's incredible how much I rely on my buddy calls with Chris and talking it out with everyone else before/after workouts.

While I try to keep up with people at workouts, I've ultimately decided it's all about completing everything and putting my whole effort in, not how I measure up speed or weight wise with everyone else. We all have our stronger and weaker points, but our commitment to each other and the program is what shines through at the end of the day.

Oops, gotta be up in 6 hours, better go to bed!