Getting in Shape

A Revamped Workout Plan

by Melissa on May 2, 2011

After last week’s analysis of why I’m not losing weight, I’ve decided to revamp my workout plan.  Several months ago, I had put a lot of time, effort, and thought into a workout plan that would take me right up to the point of the wedding.  In my mind, it was a progressive method, easing me into harder and harder workouts, putting me in great shape just in time for the wedding.

Well, since starting the plan, it has worked on and off  since then. Here’s my problem.  Boredom.  Even though things like Insanity and P90X consist of different workouts, I am tired of looking at the same people every day all day for a month or more at a time.

So, I’m going to allow myself a lot more flexibility.  Working out to whatever DVD I want to.

Workouts I Own and/or Have Done in the Past

  • Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred – Perfect for Days I am short on time.  Packs a huge punch in just over 20 minutes.
  • Just Dance 2 – I bought this recently in the hopes that it will allow me to get more comfortable with just normal types of dancing, as opposed to the formal ballroom dance lessons we’re taking.  I’ve also heard it’s a great workout.
  • Insanity – This is an amazing cardio workout that I did during the month of March,  but I find it kind of monotonous.  I’ll do it on days that I want to jack up my cardio.
  • Running – Two years ago, I completed the couch to 5k program and ran my first 5k!  My time was 44:00  minutes.  Laughable, I know.  And I’ve wanted to improve my speed, but I always felt like workout DVD’s were giving me a better cardio workout.  But there is a small part of me that just wants to get outside and RUN sometimes!  Especially on nice days  So, with the new flexibility, when I feel like running, dammit I’ll run!
  • Other Jillian Michaels DVDs, including Banish Fat Boost Metabolism, and No More Trouble Zones, both of which are GREAT workouts.
  • P90X – I did about a month’s worth of P90x last summer.  It was a great workout, but my issue with them is that they’re just SO LONG.  Not from a standpoint of I can’t workout that long, but from the standpoint of “I have other shit to do!”
  • Body Part Focus Exercises – Not sure how to categorize this, but I have a few DVDs that are just 10 minutes each and focus on Abs, Arms, Legs, etc.  This would be another good option for when I’m short on time, or just feeling particularly BLAH in a certain area.

Some other DVDs I’m considering purchasing

  • Physique 57 – This is the workout that a lot of celebrities supposedly do (Kelly Ripa is a big proponent of this workout).  Has anyone tried them? Is it a good workout?
  • Brazil Butt Lift.
  • I can also join my gym at work for $22/month.  I’ve been thinking about doing this so that I can squeeze in workouts during lunch on days that I know I’ll be busy in the evenings.

I think I may also want to try and do a 20 minute workout in the mornings.  I’ve tried this in the past.  It always fails.  Miserably.


Help scale tape measureMy weight loss has not been going as well as I planned.  When I first started my fitness routine back in January, my goal was to have lost about 20-30 pounds by this point (halfway to my 60 pound loss goal), so that I would look better for our engagement photos and so that I would be a little closer to “wedding size” by the time I started shopping for wedding dresses.  Well, our engagement photos are in three weeks and I’m going for my first wedding dress appointment this Friday, and I’m down only 10 pounds, and my clothing size has not changed.   I have no excuses.  I eat junk, too much of it, and I don’t workout as often as I should.

I thought I could do this!  I need a good ass kicking!  (Or at least to analyze some things in a blog post).  Maybe you all could give me a good ass kicking in the comments?

I’ve done it before.  *Sigh*

In 2004, I lost 40 pounds (just 16 pounds more and I would have reached my ultimate goal weight).  I had no specific motivation to lose the weight back then, other than I was tired of being chubby and wanted to wear cuter clothes.  Now that I have concrete motivation (ummm, WEDDING DAY PHOTOS WILL LIVE ON FOREVER!), I just can’t seem to keep my eating and fitness on track.  And it’s making me really, really angry.  (Side note, all 40 of those pounds were put back on by late 2007).

Why isn’t it working this time?

I’ve been trying to explore why weight loss worked for me back then, but why it’s not working now.

Here are a few things that I’ve eliminated as reasons:

Having junk around the house. Yes, we have junk food in the house now.  My fiance is not on a diet, so I see no need to refuse to keep any junk food in the house simply because I’m obsessing about my weight.  But back when I was losing weight in 2004, I was living at home with my parents, and we had plenty of junk food in the house then too.  Somehow, I managed to avoid all temptation to eat the packages of oreos and Edy’s Ice Cream in the freezer.  Also, since my parents are pretty set in their ways and have been eating the same 10 (unhealthy) dinner recipes for as long as I can remember, they weren’t interested in any of my “new, healthy” recipes.  So, I would make my own, separate dinner.

Going to parties or dining out or other things when there’s lots of temptations around. My fiancé’s family lives nearby and they have a lot of celebrations.  When I go to the parties, I indulge, way to much, in all their delicious food.  But, back in 2004, I went to plenty of celebrations and restaurants with friends and I managed to beat all temptation and order something healthy, or only eat the healthiest thing available.  And if there was nothing healthy available, I didn’t eat.  Period.

Working out regularly. When I lost weight back in 2004, I went to a gym for about the first three months of the weight loss.  But, because I was living at home and didn’t yet have a full time job, I cancelled my gym membership to decrease my expenses.  Guess what?  My weight loss continued even though I wasn’t working out!  Just eating right was all it took.

So, the fact that I continue to have junk in the house, go out to eat, and don’t work out regularly, shouldn’t affect my weight loss given my past experience.

So, what is different this time around?

I’ve given it a lot of thought, and a few things come to mind:

Being hungry was okay. I know that this is probably not what nutritionists or doctors or other experts will tell people, but, like I mentioned above, if I went somewhere and there were no healthy options, then I wouldn’t eat. A lot of times that meant I would be hungry, sometimes for several hours or more, and in the presence of very tempting food.  And you know what?  That was okay with me.  But now, any time I feel any pang of hunger, I’m like “MUST EAT SOMETHING NOW RIGHT AWAY NO MATTER THE CALORIES OR WEIGHTWATCHERS POINTS.”  This is also compounded by the fact that I seem to get headaches nowadays if I’m hungry for too long.  I don’t remember that happening before.

After about the first 10 pounds, weight loss became addictive! I weighed myself on Wednesday mornings, and I would look forward to every Wednesday to look at that scale and see how much weight I had lost!  It was addictive to see that scale go down.  I didn’t want to do anything to sabotage that downward movement, so I followed WeighWatchers perfectly.  I remember the first time I had a gain.  It was eight weeks into my weight loss.  I was devastated!  I followed my plan perfectly!  I didn’t do anything different!  It wasn’t “that time of the month.”  There was no good reason for a gain.  I went on the WeightWatchers messageboards and voiced my concerns (that was actually my first post ever!).  People were supportive, and basically told me that gains will happen sometimes, despite doing everything right.  But now, my weight has yo-yo’ed so much over the last several years, and I’m wondering if that addictiveness is gone.  “Oh, another 2 pounds lost.  Whoop-dee-doo.  You’ve done that bunches of times before.”  I need to figure out how to get that addictive quality back, or if I can’t, replace it with something else!

I took what I now call the “alcoholic” approach to weight loss. Just like an alcoholic can’t have a single drink, I never took even a single bite of an indulgence.  Why?  Because, like an alcoholic who can’t just have a sip, I can’t just have a bite.  I have to have more and more and more.  And before you know it, I’m full and feel disgusting.  Like the “being hungry” observation, I also realize that this is something that weight loss gurus would tell you is not a good idea.  They’re more “everything in moderation,” and “if you deprive yourself, you’ll just end up overeating later.”  Or some folks allow themselves one “cheat” day a week.  But, I cannot think of a single circumstance in the last several years in which I promised myself I would just have “a bite” or “take just a tiny bit of everything,” that it didn’t devolve into full-blown overeating.  Just one oreo turns into 20.  Just one bite of french fries or a greasy burger, I have to eat the entire plate of food.  If I eat anything rich, delicious, sweet, etc., I have to have the entire thing.  That is probably why my weight loss was more successful last time.  I didn’t even allow myself a single bite.  You know, this reminds me of a conversation I had with a co-worker during my weight loss in 2004.  It was right around Halloween, and she offered me some candy.  She knew that I was losing weight, so she said, “here, I brought in Reese’s Miniature cups just for you.”  She was well-intentioned, but I declined.  Even a single, tiny Reese’s miniature.  Why?  Because I knew that I couldn’t have just one.  I would’ve gone back for more and more.    I can’t eat just one peanut butter cup or a couple bites of dessert.  I need to learn to avoid all of that once again.

I tracked every bite of food that went into my mouth. And it didn’t go into my mouth if I didn’t know precisely how many weightwatchers points were in it.  Now, I’m doing the opposite.  I’ll eat something, and then calculate the points later.  Big mistake.  But most of the time, I’m not tracking what I eat at all.  I’m just keeping track mentally.  Or sometimes I’ll just enter all the previous day’s points the following morning when I’m on my computer at work.   Call it laziness or whatever, but if I eat some chips downstairs from the pantry, I’m not going to run upstairs to my computer to enter the points. Well, you know, maybe I should.  Weight loss is not for the lazy, and tracking what I eat is just as important as other non-lazy things like exercise and grocery planning.  Related to my above observation about hunger, if I was at my maximum Weight Watchers points allowance for the day, I didn’t eat anything, even if I was hungry.  Nothing, nada.  (I should note that Weight Watchers has changed their plan a little bit since then, so there are a lot more 0 points foods available).

I drank water like crazy. Like going-pee-every-30-minutes crazy.  Pre-2004, I used to drink regular soda almost exclusively.  Rarely water or juice or anything else.  I also hated diet soda.  So, when it came time to lose weight, I cut out the soda and went to water exclusively for nearly 6 months.  Well, after drinking nothing but water for so long, regular soda tastes disgusting and sugary, and diet soda actually tasted pretty good!  In the last several years, I have attempted to restart my weight loss with varying success.  I have found that I lose weight significantly faster if I drink water exclusively as opposed to diet soda.  I don’t know what it is, but diet soda definitely seems to hinder weight loss for me.

I stalked the WeightWatchers messageboards regularly. In your WeightWatchers profile, you can list your Starting Weight, Current Weight, and Goal Weight.  I loved checking the profiles of folks who had lost a lot of weight and loved looking at their progress photos.  Now, I don’t like reading the messageboards as much.  I’m busier, and there seems to be a lot of petty or non-weight loss related threads that bore me or frustrate me.  But, I think that motivation helped before, to be around like-minded people, even if it was just on a computer screen.

I’m more budget conscious now. (Stupidest, most nonsensical reason of all)  Nowadays, if I go out to eat, I don’t want to order some overpriced veggie sandwich or a salad with dressing on the side!  But, that’s what I used to do. It didn’t matter the value I was getting for my food, I just picked the healthiest option.  Typically a salad (dressing on the side, I’d dip my fork in the dressing, then grab the salad and eat) or a turkey burger (wouldn’t eat the bun) and I wouldn’t eat fries or any unhealthy sides that would put me over my points allowance for the day.  And it didn’t bother me.  But now, when I go out to eat, I feel like I have to get my money’s worth.  So no overpriced salad.  Give me a juicy burger! And certainly I can’t let those fries go to waste!  Dining out is a part of life, and when it does happen, I need to make better decisions.  Eating healthier is ALWAYS more expensive than eating junk, whether at the supermarket or at a restaurant.  I need to get over my obsession with “value” for my dollar.  As I write this, it makes me wonder.  Because really, what “value” is it?  Value that will be added to my waistline?  Future weight-related medical bills?


There are a few other things that come to mind (mindless snacking, etc.), but that’s enough for one post.

So, it’s time to re-visit my Wedding Fitness plan.  I’m not sure how I’ll revamp it because the working out motivation is not my problem.  It’s the eating.  Lots of parties and events coming up, so I need to learn to resist the temptation!  I’ve done it before, so I know I can do it again.

Ready for my ass kicking.

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January Workout and Weight-Loss Progress

by Melissa on February 2, 2011

I worked out 13 days in January, burning at least 5,555 calories (I forgot to wear my Heart Rate Monitor a few times).  This is a good start, but seriously, I have to kick my butt into high gear.  My main issue is that when I get home from work on these cold winter days, all I want to do is put on warm pajamas and cuddle up under a blanket.  The whole idea of coming home and putting on shorts and a t-shirt to do a workout DVD is just cruel.  Granted, I’m sweating within five minutes, but still, it’s tough to do.  I plan to workout at least 20 days during February.

I tried doing Yoga for Weight Loss a few times this month.  I just can’t get into it.  I don’t feel like I get a good workout at all.  I know there are some really buff yoga exercisers out there, so maybe I’m just doing something wrong.  But I figured my workout time was better spent on high-calorie burning exercises.  This month, I’ll start Jillian Michaels’ Yoga Meltdown to see if it’s any better of a workout.

As of today (I weigh myself on Wednesday mornings, I’m down 6.2 pounds since January 5.  Not bad, but not a great pace.

So, here’s a recap of this month’s workouts:

And, in the greater context of my wedding fitness plan (slightly modified from my previous version):

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Are there any other fall brides that want to join me on my DIY Get-in-Shape plan?  Or have your own DIY Get-in-Shape plan?  Share it in the comments!  Let’s make it a contest!  Write your name in the comments, your wedding date, and how much weight you want to lose by your wedding day.  I’ll create a spreadsheet of everyone’s weight loss and we can get some good old-fashioned competition going among us!  Every month we can check in to see how we’re doing!  aaaannnnd, go!


Wednesday Weigh-In and Fitness Update

by Melissa on December 1, 2010

Well, it’s the week after Thanksgiving, and I indulged. Big time. Last year I remember I actually did phenomenally well on Thanksgiving. Alas, not this year. *Sigh.

On a high note, I got right back on track with portion control and cutting out junk and soda.

As I mentioned in my DIY Wedding Weight Loss post I lost 40 pounds on Weight Watchers back in 2004. It was a system that really worked great for me. It was in the news on Monday that WeightWatchers unveiled their PointsPlus system, a new update to their tried-and-true points system. I’m not sure how I feel about the change, since it doesn’t take into account calories, but instead macronutrients. However, I want to make WeightWatchers the keystone of my weight loss once again.

So, I’ll update all my old recipes for new points values, and get right back on track by not going over my points. I think the new system will take some getting used to, but I’m confident that I can lose weight following the program.

Here’s my weekly workout summary:


Daily Points Consumed/ Daily Points Allowed / Activity Points Earned


Calories and HR

Sunday November 28 Not tracking 30 Day Shred Level 1
280 Calories
142 Average Heartrate
165 Max Heartrate
Monday November 29 33/ 34/ 3 Week 1, Day 1 of 100 Pushups Workout
30 Day Shred Level 1
276 Calories
142 Average Heartrate
168 Max Heartrate
Tuesday November 30 34/ 34/ 3 30 Day Shred Level 1 (27:48) 286 Calories
144 Average Heartrate
173 Max Heartrate

I weighed in this morning, and I will consider that my “starting weight” for my wedding weight loss efforts. Is it a challenge to start a diet in December? Maybe. But I’m signing up for one of my favorite blogger’s December fitness challenge to keep me motivated.


My DIY Get-in-Shape Plan for Wedding

by Melissa on November 17, 2010

I’ve created an ideal workout schedule for myself to help me look good in a wedding dress in 1+ year (depending on the date we book for our wedding, hopefully next November or so).  I’m currently a size 14-16 right now, and I’m hoping to lose enough weight by March or April so that I can start hitting those size-10 sample dress sales!  Because from what I understand of them, they pretty much all come in size 10’s (and have even read that those size 10’s are much more like size 6.  *sigh*

So, as part of my DIY get-in-shape plan for my date-TBD wedding, I have set a goal to lose nearly 60 pounds.  Back in 2004, I lost 40 pounds on WeightWatchers (and have subsequently put most of it back on because of stupidity and laziness), so I know it’s something I can do again.  In addition to following WeightWatchers once again, I propose the following workout plan for the next year.  I know that this is ambitious, and yes, things will certainly get in the way and change.  But this is the goal.  Something to strive for.


Daytime Workout

Lunchtime Workout

Evening Workout

November 15 – January 1

100 Pushups Workout

Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred (5-6x/week)

January 1 – February 1

100 Pushups Workout

Jillian Michael’s Boost Metabolism Banish Fat (3x/week)

Yoga for Weight Loss (2-3x/week)

February 1 – March 1

100 Pushups Workout

Jillian Michael’s Shred it with Weights (3x/week)

Yoga for Weight Loss (2-3x/week)

March 1 – April 1

100 Pushups Workout

Jillian Michael’s No More Trouble Zones (3x/week)

Jillian Michael’s Yoga Meltdown (2-3x/week)

April 1 – May 1


May 1 – June 1

10 Minute Abs

Walk/Lunchtime Yoga or Pilates


June 1 – July 1

10 Minute Abs

Walk/Lunchtime Yoga or Pilates


July 1 – August 1

10 Minute Abs

Walk/Lunchtime Yoga or Pilates


August 1 – September 1

10 Minute Pilates Workout?


September 1 – October 1

10 Minute Pilates Workout?

Personal Trainer? P90x?  Wedding Dance Lessons?

October 1 – Wedding Day!

Six Week Six Pack

100 Pushups Workout

Personal Trainer?  P90x?  Wedding Dance Lessons?

So here’s the deal, I have already done most of these workouts, with the exception of Insanity and the Yoga DVDs, so I know what I’m in for.  I even did about two weeks of P90x.  I quit out of laziness.  I must say though, the Jillian Michaels’ DVDs really prepared me for P90x.  The hardest types of workouts I struggle with, no joke, is yoga.  Totally kicks my ass.  I have really weak arm muscles and it just hurts to hold those poses for so long!

My lunchtime workouts are very simple and basic.  The Pushups workouts I’ll just do right in my office and in my regular office clothes.  On days when it’s not sweltering or freezing cold, I can also take a walk around the city.

I’ll be back each Wednesday to update you on my workouts, including weight lost, calories burned, and challenges and successes!

So what about you all?  What did you do to get in shape for your wedding?