Monday, February 25, 2013

Perserverance & Plateaus. // Amy H.

Hi, my name is Amy, and I <3 MLFC.  That, plus My Fitness Pal and working out 5x a week has helped me to drop 26 lbs. since August 2012.  Yay me!  

I was doing great from September through November.  I did the 30-Day Shred and Ripped in 30.  I was walking 4 days a week, too.  I felt great and was about ready to start Couch to 5K and mix things up with Chalean Extreme, a strength training program.   My calories were good, my water intake was solid, and I was losing about a pound a week.  

On December 1, I started Chalean Extreme.  This is advertised as a 12-week circuit training program, but the core of the program is strength training.  In fact, it is lifting slow and heavy.  And heavy doesn’t mean busting out your 8’s instead of your 5’s.  Oh no.  It was time to use the SelectTech’s I bought the first time I tried (and didn’t finish) CEx – the ones that go up to 52 lbs.  Each.  

So I broke out the heavy weights and got started.  And that’s when a perfect storm of weather, change in routine, an injury flare-up, and those darn Holidays conspired to begin a plateau.   I lifted 3 days a week.  The other 3-4 days, I generally walked (about 3 miles) or did another low impact video.  The first few weeks I took more rest days than I normally would because the lifting was kicking my butt, but I was still working out at least 5 times a week.   It got cold, but I bundled up and kept taking my walks.  My ankle, injured many years ago, started to bother me, but I kept going.  At first I chose not to do the circuit workouts included in CEx because I found myself totally exhausted from my lifting.  I thought the walking would be enough.  

After two weeks of not losing any weight, I thought it was because my muscles were adjusting and I was retaining water.  Did my diet loosen up in December?  Yes.  I moved from 1250 to 1440 calories, and did more calorie cycling than I had been.  I went over a few days, but was on top of my diet 80-90% of the time.  In other words, I enjoyed the Holidays.   And yes, I was eating back my exercise calories, too.  I was sweating like crazy during the workouts, so I knew I was “working”, and eating back my calories had been effective up to this point.  

When it got cold and icy, my ankle started to throb and swell.  This was a chronic injury, but it had been doing OK, so I was surprised and disappointed that it was flaring up so badly.  I slowed my walks a bit, but kept lifting.  I iced it, I heated it, I did some basic PT.  When I woke up on New Year’s Day and realized I could barely hobble to the bathroom, I understood that this was not going to go away.   I called the doctor a few days later and made an appointment with a specialist– FOR MARCH.
And I kept lifting.  I accepted that with my painful ankle I had to find something even lower impact if I wanted to maintain my cardio, so I used my Christmas money to buy a Spinning bike.  I am not a Spin addict, but I thought if I had something that I could use on my own terms (and without worrying about the ice building up outside), it would help.   

The “temporary” plateau stretched into a month, then two months.  I got frustrated.  I thought about giving up and taking a break.  I thought about stopping CEx and going back to 30 Day Shred.  I thought about drowning my feelings in Ben & Jerry’s. And then I kept going.  I realized that even though the scale wasn’t changing, I was changing.  I didn’t want to quit.  I didn’t want to stop feeling good about myself.  I didn’t want to let this little plateau+injury derail me completely.  

Because you see, now I have visible muscles.  I can see my quads and my biceps.  I can lunge and squat 50 lbs. without breaking a sweat.  I tried on an old bathing suit and didn’t want to cry or vomit.  The work pants that were comfortable a few months before are now loose.  And I realized that this plateau is just another part of the journey to better health and fitness.  It is no longer about the numbers on that whore of a scale.  It’s about liking myself.  It’s about finishing what I started.  It’s about earning that sticker in my workout calendar.  It’s about working through a little discomfort, and taking action to make it better.  And it’s about continuing to get healthy.  

I have one day left in Chalean Extreme, and I am so excited that can already hear the Hallelujah chorus warming up.  I still ride my Spin bike 4-5 days a week.  I’m still eating 1440 calories a day and drink 60+ oz. of water, but am not eating back my exercise calories any longer.  I just got the referral for a surgical repair on my ankle.   Part of me wants to press the panic button when I think about being out of commission for 3+ weeks.  But the other part of me looks ahead, to the warm summer months, in hopes of finally being able to train for and complete a 5K without pain, and wear a bikini in Florida this Fall.  And yes, I still want to drop the last 10 lbs., by August.  But if I don’t, it’s OK.  Because I won’t stop. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

That Time I Learned How to Roundhouse Kick Fools in the Liver // Jen S.


So, this whole fitness/be healthy/lose weight thing can be hard.  Like really hard.  It’s something that I’ve learned over my nearly 28 years of life that requires hard work, but most importantly dedication.  It’s not something you can focus on during the work week and forget about during the weekend.  It’s not something you can do during the cool months (or warm months depending on if you live in a freezer in the winter type of climate or oven in the summer type of climate).  It’s not something you can do during the slow months.  Or when your kids are in school.  BUT, it IS something you can do when you only want to have fun.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Fitness/being healthy/weight lose CAN be something to do when you only want to have fun.  In fact, I encourage that you only do it when you want to have fun.  “Now how the eff does that work, crazy?”, you ask… It's simple, really.  DO SOMETHING THAT YOU ENJOY!

Hate running? You’re not alone. DO NOT RUN.

Hate swimming? You’re not alone. DO NOT SWIM.

Hate going to the gym and sitting on the elliptical? You’re not alone.  DO NOT DO THAT.

Find something you LOVE.  Something that challenges you.  Something that inspires you.  Something that you feel good doing.

Want to know how I started losing weight?  I was 220lbs (5’8”).  23 years old.  And I started boxing.

Boxing.

Yes, the kind were you punch the punching bag kind of boxing.  And you know what?  I freaking LOVED it.  It was hard as hell.  And it hurt.  But it didn’t matter, because I felt so empowered.  So inspired.  And I had so much fun doing it.

From there, after I lost a little bit of weight, I started training for a half marathon, and that’s where the running came in for me.  But something I’ve learned about myself, I HATE RUNNING unless I’m training for a race.  I could not go out and just run for a mile or 3 unless I had a goal to work towards.  And “losing weight” wasn’t a big enough goal for me.  I need a tangible, measurable goal that has a timeline.  Hence…training for races.

I digress…

So, I had to quit boxing because it was interfering with my training.  I proceeded to do 4 half marathons in a year, so I could not keep up with running 20+ miles a week and boxing 3 days a week.  I just didn’t have the time.  Ever since I quit it, I longed to have it back.

Wanting to try something a little new to me, I picked up a  Groupon last week for 20 Kickboxing classes.  And OH EM GEE, it was one of the best things I’ve done recently.  It gives me such a rush.  So much confidence.  And as the title states…I learned how to roundhouse kick fools in the liver.  Don’t mess.

The point is, FIND SOMETHING YOU LOVE!  Yoga, dancing, boxing, running, swimming, cycling, weight lifting, pilates, zumba…  We are lucky to live in a society where it’s common, normal, and encouraged for women to go out there and take back themselves!  It wasn’t like that for our mom and her mom.  And maybe it wasn’t like that when you were growing up.  But it’s like that now.  Today.  I encourage you to find your fitness passion!  Find your groove.  However silly or ridiculous you might think it is, find it.  If you love it, DO IT!

What’s your fitness passion?  What challenges you?  What empowers you?



Thursday, February 7, 2013

Accountability. // Felecia C.

DISCLAIMER: I am not an English professor, I write just exactly like I talk, which sometimes is in circles. Apologies in advance for all the grammatical and punctuation errors, I love commas, what can I say? Hope you all enjoy.

ac·count·abil·i·ty
noun
: the quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions

Noun? Really? Because in my world, it’s a verb, an action word. It does something. It makes me move, it makes me make better food decisions, it drives me.

I can put my finger on it, I know exactly when it happened, that magical “click”. It happened when I started being held accountable.

Let’s rewind for a minute-some of you, like me, have been around MLFC since jump. I love you women, I’m addicted to you women, I love keeping up with what’s going on in your lives. Sure I’m nosey, but mostly I just care. I’ve found a place where I can be honest about my life, and what’s going on it, FR or NFR. I don’t ever stop and think about what I’m posting (pretty obvious-huh?) or how it will be reacted to because we are all on this journey together. But let’s be honest-how many of us were/are just logging on and looking for something to give us a swift kick in the ass? I know for a while I was, and some days I still do. But it wasn’t until the Team Challenge that I really started being held accountable for my choices. I didn’t do so hot during the challenge, I’ll be honest, my life was crazy busy, and my weight fluctuated A LOT in between the same damn 5 pounds. But I will be forever grateful that I joined….why? Because my team leader has turned into my biggest cheerleader and the person who will give me that swift kick that I often need. It was the end of the challenge and she sent an email out saying that some of the teams were talking about staying in touch, and did we want to? I kind of grimaced and sent back “sure”. In my mind, I didn’t want to be held accountable, I had lost about 25 pounds since joining MLFC, I had pretty much plateaued for a couple of months and well why do more, it wasn’t working anyways? Well, none of the other ladies in our group responded, so it was just me and her.

A few weeks into emailing back and forth a little, it happened. I started feeling like I couldn’t let her down. And once we started talking about all kinds of stuff, not just our fitness journey, but what was going on in our lives, or how we were feeling, we started getting to be closer, and the pounds started coming off again! That “click” we always talk about IT HAPPENED!

Now, I have a great husband, awesome “real life” friends and people that know about my journey all over in my life, but this girl? She’s made all the difference in the world! She runs when the temperature is below freezing, and her sidewalks are full of snow and ice-then what do I do? Well, I run that’s what I do, I can’t let my measly little rain or 40 degree weather stop me, what kind of excuse would that be? She tells me she’s working out, and asks about my workouts, and I can’t let her down! Gosh no. She tells me she’s trying to stay away from the Mt. Dews so I ask her about it. I know that I will hear from her every day, and every day she will ask me what my plans are for that day. We hold each other accountable-and it’s the best thing that’s happened to me on this journey. She gets me. She’s on the same path, she has similar goals, and we have a lot in common.

Being accountable to myself is important, and being accountable to you ladies is important, but let’s face it, if I hide in the pantry and eat half a box (ok a whole box) of Thin Mints, I’m not logging that shit, so you ladies will never know. Then come weigh in I’m all alone standing on the scale cussing myself for not being honest with myself, or all of you but- I will be accountable to her, I owe it to her, because she’s accountable to me. One person seeing where I fail is what I needed. Is it what you need?

It’s amazing to me how many women we have in this group of ours, and how so many of us are facing the same uphill battle. I’m thankful for each and every one of you. At the same time, I encourage you to find someone that will hold you accountable. Email her, text her, call her, whatever you need to do.

Nicole- Thanks for being my accountability partner and my friend! I truly am SO VERY thankful to and for you! You have pushed me and inspired me so many times, and because of you I am further along in this than I ever really saw possible. Love ya girl!

// Felecia C.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Not Just Another Shrimp on the Barbie. // Marcy I.

Please give a warm welcome to my real-life gal pal Marcy I.  Marcy and I were college roommates for three years and she has no affiliation with Fit Camp nor is she part of any blogging community.  What she does have is a fun love story.  So I asked her if she would share it with you all - after all it is the month of love!  Since she is fresh blogger blood, if you like her story, I encourage you to leave her some comment love, so she can see what all the blogger fuss is about.  And now for Marcy's story....

It was 2008 and I was working in television as a freelance Associate Producer and worked weekends at a tourist trap in Times Square, namely Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.  I had been living in New York City for most of my 20's and had the usual dating experiences; the guy that takes too long to call, the guy that calls too soon and the guy that NEVER calls.

One Saturday night I was slingin' shrimp and happened to deliver food to a table with a handsome young man and a woman, who I later found out was his mother.  I told my my co-worker who was serving them that I thought he was cute and to find out his story, which I didn't think he'd actually do (by the way, this happens at every restaurant in every city.  Like it or not, your server is talking about you and not always in a good way).  A few minutes later my co-worker came over to me and told me that his name was Adam, he was Australian, he was single and wanted to meet me.  I went to the table kicking and screaming but I went.  We had awkward small talk, I gave him my number and expected to never hear from him. But I did. He texted me later that night and told me that he liked my forward approach and that he'd like to take me out sometime.

He was in an acting work-study program and I was working two jobs so our schedules were both pretty packed.  The next time I saw him after our awkward meeting was at an after work affair for my 30th birthday which was even more awkward. He brought a friend and we chatted briefly before he left.  We were finally able to nail down a date to have drinks, just the two of us, so we could finally have a conversation.

On our first date I learned that Adam was leaving his acting program and his visa would expire and he'd have to leave the country in four weeks.  "There goes that", I thought.  I decided to just have fun with the time that we had left and when he was gone we could be Facebook friends and that would be that.

When Adam left he told me that he didn't want to date anyone else except me.  I thought it was a little nuts and was hesitant at first but decided to take a chance.  I mean, domestic long distance is one thing but U.S. to Australia is another.  There was just something about him; he was the best guy I'd ever met and I couldn't let 11,000 miles stand in the way!

The minute he landed in Oz he called me.  I didn't recognize the number and was shocked when I heard it was him. I mean, I couldn't get a guy from Brooklyn to call me and he calls from the Melbourne Airport baggage claim?!?!  That moment erased any hesitation I had about our situation.

A few weeks later, he booked a ticket to come back and stay with me for seven weeks and by the end of the first week, I knew I loved him. We flew to Michigan to meet my family and at the end of his stay I flew to Australia to meet his.


For three years we flew back and forth to see each other as much as possible. Then, on New Year's Day 2012 while in Australia, Adam took me to the beach and asked me to marry him.  I said yes and we will tie the knot in front of our closest friends and family in May 2013 in NYC. He is immigrating to America where we will start our married life together. It hasn't always been easy but it has definitely been worth it.  If I can give any advice to lovelorn people everywhere it is: take a chance.

If you have a fun love story you'd like to share, please email it to MLfitcamp@gmail.com.  I've already shared mine: here.  So now it's your turn!  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Tick Tock Goes the Biological Clock. // Lora.

True life: my ovaries are old.
Let's just cut right to the chase with that.

Hi.
I'm Lora and I blog over at Raising Steppe Sisters.
You may be wondering if I have my own blog, why the crap am I here??
Well, my ovaries' age are a blog topic...one that I am okay with sharing since I recently found out that more people than you would think have trouble getting knocked up.
BUT I have people that read my blog that I work with and it's just kind of awkward to pass them in the hall and feel like they are staring at my old ovaries and having a pity party for us.

So I wanted to talk about it....but not so much on my blog.
And what's a blogger to do when they want to blog but want it to be semi-private?
They take it to IG, of course!
(follow me on IG @MrsLoYoung)
I'm slightly addicted to good ole IG.
That's where Jen J told me that she would share her "home" with me....so here I am.

First off, I'm 30.
That's not even that old, is it?
I remember when I thougth that was old...but I don't feel old.
I still feel like a misbehaving teenager sleeping with my husband every night. I forget that I'm the Mom now, I make the rules, I pay the bills, I'm in charge. And sometimes I let my husband pretend to be in charge. Sometimes.

So, basically, I didn't even realize I was old....but I went to the doctor and she gave me a talk.
A talk about how "once you reach 30, some people's ovaries age faster than other people's do...."
She lost me at the words "age faster".
Really?!

So I quickly text all my friends that are 30 so they could suffer with me. True story.

Of course I didn't have the tests run, I would rather not have her tell me that I'm 30 and I have the ovaries of a 90 year old.
But they tested my blood.
And we found out that I'm not ovulating.

Why wasn't that happening when I was 20 and not trying to get knocked up?!
I love my kids dearly...but you should know that I accidentally got a positive sign on a pee stick when I was 20...and that plus sign turned into twins.
So, I wasn't trying for 1 baby and I got 2.

Now, I'm doing headstands, sleeping on pillows, and falling asleep after sex immediately so I don't walk around and all the good stuff fall out! And still no baby.
Sorry, TMI, but now you know why I needed to post this on someone else's blog!
Now, I have no real reason to complain...we have only been trying for about 4 to 5 months. I know there are many people out there that try for at least a year and still don't have a bun in their oven....but it doesn't make it hurt less.
It sucks each month when I see red.
As if we don't hate that time of the month anyways.
But now, each time, it's almost like another month wasted.
What did I do wrong?
Why is this not working?!
I think we are doing this sex thing right.....
it looks the same as it does on the videos that we watch.
Forget I said that part.

My doctor prescribed Clomid.
I think that's what it's called.
I will start it in a few days.
Apparently you take it for like 5 days and it will hopefully make me ovulate. It can cause multiples though....
and I already have multiples.
That's scary y'all.
I know how expensive buying 2 of everything is....but I'm okay with it.
I'd rather buy 2 of everything than not have a baby at all.
Looks like I can expect hot flashes.
{Hello old lady...}
And be moody.....my poor husband.

But all in all, I'm excited about it.
I am a control freak...and making babies is one thing that no matter how hard you work for it, or how bad you want it, your chances don't necessarily get better.
Although I will gladly stay home from work to "try" all day long.
:)

I think a lot more people go through this than we think.
So I want to hear from you!
Did you go through this? Any advice for me?
Except for telling me to try to stop thinking about it, I've heard all that before and I know, but it's not that easy.

Thanks for letting me share my story on this here blog.....I know we all can appreciate finding women who are in similar situations. Which is why the blogosphere is the best place to be!

Come visit me on my blog sometime and say Hi.


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