Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 37--Finish

wii, EA Active, wii fitnessI finished the EA Active 30 Day Challenge on Easy. It really lived up to its name. I think I had a slight difficulty with my breath twice during all 20 exercises. I don't think I felt the day-after muscles soreness much, if at all during the month and I know I didn't break a sweat. I was using 3 pound weights for half the month, too. It would have been even easier with the resistance band. Tomorrow I will start over, but on Hard/Difficult. If it's going to do me any good physically, I really need it to be tougher. I also want to make a stronger commitment to doing the yoga every day that I work out on EA Fitness. The sporadic yoga I did over the last month probably did more for my body than all the workouts on EA Fitness.

I thought I'd check out my measurements, just in case any of them changed, but not actually expecting any change. That'll teach me to make assumptions.

My waist is down another 1/2 inch to 31. Same story with my hips; I'm down to 38. That puts my waist to hip ratio down a bit, but still not great. None of my other measurements have changed at all. I'll check my measurements again at the end of March.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 36--Sick

illness, sick, exercise
I have a killer cold that has settled into my lungs. I was not able to say the letter m or n yesterday, or get a full breath. Luckily, it was a rest day on the 30 day challenge, so I didn't really slack by coming home and doing nothing but reclining. I only have 2 days to go until I restart the challenge, but on HARD. The easy was too easy, and I'd rather push myself with hard than go with medium. I did take the time to weigh in yesterday, though. I was back down a bit below 133 pounds. With not eating much the last few days because I can't really taste anything, I feel that I could break the 130 mark soon. I haven't weighed less than 130 in years. I'm not sure when I crossed it on the way up, but I'm sure it was over 2 years ago. I'm not sure what I will do to celebrate that milestone, but it sure won't be cheesecake or ice cream. Maybe I'll buy a nice piece of clothing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 35--Core

I was discussing my record in the ski jump on Twitter today. (Follow me on Twitter, too. I'm on there as bodybywii) After that, I thought I would try it again. I couldn't get my total to beat my old total, but I did find that getting myself up to 60 mph was much easier. I didn't get the 404 meters that the guy in the video did, but I did hit 377 today and my record is 381. I did try a few of the other balance games that I haven't done in ages. It's possible that I haven't done them since moving to Wii Fit Plus from the original. I still suck at the penguin and soccer games. Although they're much, much more fun since I've downloaded famous Miis from the Mii channel. There is nothing like Ice Cube, Oprah, Jack Black and Jesus chucking panda heads and soccer cleats at you.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 34--photos

me, side image, tattoo, stomach, abs
me, front image, tattoo, stomach, abs
me, rear image, tattoo, stomach, abs

I know they're not "Before" pictures, but they're not "After" pictures, either. As you can see, I have Mom Waddle under my arm, and a Baby Bumper hanging out around my belly button. There are other parts of my body that I don't find to be perfect, but these are the ones that bother me most and are probably the most common. I'm only 5'3", so a few pounds is a little bit more visible on me than on someone who is 5'8". I also benefit because a small weight loss is also more visible. If anyone reading this is looking for work-out motivation, I highly suggest having photos taken of your trouble spots and then zoom in on them. I keep looking at the photos above and they make me want to do hours of ab work. I swear my belly button looks like a canyon in those photos. That's way deeper than it looks from my normal viewpoint. I think I'll turn on "The Biggest Loser" at 8 to put this into some perspective.

Day 33--One Year

wii, wii fit, exercise, fitness
I've now had my Wii for 365 days. In that time, I've lost 14 pounds and shed 3 points off my BMI. Much of that was during the summer when I was biking 15 miles (no hills) every day. I was also doing the EA Active workouts most days along with the Gold's Gym boxing. That was all during my company's step total contest. I came in 2nd place with over 2.5 million steps over the course of 12 weeks. I think I may have to start doing more than the Wii fit and EA Active if I want to see any more weight loss. The Gold's Gym is a great aerobic workout, something that I'm not really feeling right now, but might get in the hard version of the 30 Day Challenge.

One great thing that has come out of a year of Wii Fit is great posture. When I first got the game, it took every ounce of strength and concentration to keep my posture anywhere near the 50% mark when weighing in. As soon as the measuring was done, I would bend one knee and put all my weight on one side. I rarely, if ever stand that way anymore. I don't cross my legs when sitting in a chair or slouch as much, either. The Wii fit exercises and games really help build up core muscles and improve posture.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 32--Flexibility

fitness, flexibility, stretch, anatomy
I have never been a very flexible person. My hamstrings, especially, are really tight. I have to stretch them every day for weeks, if not months, before I can touch my toes without bending my knees. Even when I've had really low weight and high muscle percentage, I've still had a hard time keeping my hamstrings limber. Years ago, Christy Turlington was on Oprah to promote her yoga line and she mentioned she had the same issue. I think the only reason I remember it is because it made me feel a lot better.

There is a yoga move in the Wii fit Plus that they call the spine extension. It's just moving your one leg right behind the leg on the board and then leaning forward. The part that trips me up is putting my arms together behind my back. You're supposed to put them back there palm to palm, which I can't seem to do, but don't know which muscle is actually preventing me from doing it. After some discussion and attempts it seems to be a forearm muscle issue. There are about a million muscles that it could be though. I'm hoping that some time will help with it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 31--Hangover

hangover, baby, exercise
I don't have an actual hangover, because I only had a few beers, but I still feel a bit off. Thursday was a rest day and I didn't have any time at home yesterday to work out, so I'm two days without a workout. yesterday was the first time in a month that I hadn't weighed in on Wii Fit Plus. Of course, the balance board gave me a hard time about missing a day, too. I did have my bowling league yesterday, so that is some exercise at least. Our team won all of our games and total pins, so we went 7-0 last night. We were in 4th place going into last night, so I'm pretty sure we'll move up a bit. The good night at bowling and then the post-bowling fun at karaoke almost makes up for the fact that the few days off are evident on the numbers on the scale. It's not like I gained 10 pounds, or even 5, but I did gain a little bit and I even weighed in this morning before having any coffee or water. Normally, the dehydration of a few beers will be good for a temporary loss of a pound or two. Ah, well, off to another day of trying to be good and not eat a bag of Doritos with Frank's hot sauce on them. (Don't knock it, it's delicious)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 29:Fueling up and chilling out

sleep, recovery, rest, DOMSHello, everyone! This is PBBW guest blogger Jenni. Rebecca is unable to come to the computer because she's way too tuckered out to type. She had an intense workout, and she treated herself to a filling and delicious (and healthy) Chinese meal, so she's now taking a well-deserved rest on the couch, watching The Office. I think she might fall asleep, so I should type quietly.

It's very important to make sure you get enough sleep and downtime, so that your muscles can repair themselves. You should also fill your tummy with enough nutritious calories to fuel your workouts and keep your metabolism chugging along, both of which she's doing. Yay for Rebecca! I mean, yay for Rebecca!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 28--Weight

I did the scheduled exercise in the 30 day challenge before I weighed in today. My weight still showed a slight weight gain, much to my disappointment and annoyance. I then did 30 minutes worth of activity in Wii fit plus before weighing myself again. My weight was about 1/2 pound less than it had been 30 minutes earlier. Impossible? Maybe. It did lead to the question of where the weight went. I did a quick search and found the answers. Every time you burn energy, the waste products are water and carbon dioxide. If the energy comes from stored fat, there is also heat generated by the body when converting the stored fat into usable energy. That process is called lipolysis.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 27--Kicking Ass

EA Active, Wii, Wii fit, fitnessA little bit of weight loss and a workout that kicked my ass. Literally. The EA active has exercises that take place on a track. Running and walking are pretty straight-forward and I can even get away from doing them in one place and go up and down my hallway. While on the track, they also have you do high knees and kick-ups. Slow kick ups stretch the back of my thighs and high knees stretch the front of them. Fast kick ups kick my ass, though. Literally and figuratively. With that and the jumping side-to-side, I was winded for the first time since starting the 30 day challenge.

I'm surprised that I'm not hating the running portions of my workouts. I haven't enjoyed running ever. I have horrible memories of timed runs during high school that would leave me limping for hours, if not days. I wore orthotics to keep my flat feet from hurting from the time I was 5 until I was 18. I stopped wearing them when I realized they didn't make any difference in my day-to-day life. I never really run, so I don't miss the orthotics at all. I have a really, really good pair of running shoes, but every time I've tried them, my mind and body have given up on running well before my feet. I had a co-worker tell me to try running in 1-2 minute increments until I overcame my mental block. It seems like the EA active game is having me do exactly what she suggested. And it's working.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 26--Progress

yoga, fitness, flexibility, stretchI was able to do 20 push-ups before giving up. I'm also noticing that I can hold yoga poses much more easily. I'm still not able to do the triangle properly, but the rest of the Wii yoga moves are now possible for me to hold for the 15 seconds without having to fight against my body's desire to tip over. When I first started doing the yoga almost a year ago, I blamed by inability to hold my balance on my lack of an arch, but that doesn't really play into it at all. I spent the first 15 years of my life being told by my stupid podiatrist that I couldn't do gymnastics because of flat feet. Stupid jerk. Maybe if I had done some gymnastics as a child, I might have been able to touch my toes sometime. I can do it right now, but it's still a big challenge.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 25--Measurements

I'm 4 weeks from my first post, so I thought it would be a good time to redo all of my measurements.

Waist: 31.5 Yay!!! (was 32)
Hips: 38.5 Double-Yay!! (was 39)

My waist to hip ratio is .818 (was .821) I'm getting closer to the goal of .80 for a low risk of heart disease.

I have 27% body fat (was 29%). 36.2 Pounds of fat (was 39.4)and 97.8 Pounds of lean (muscle, bone, body water) (was 96.6).

Upper chest: 34 (was 35)
Under bust: 31 (was 33)
Thigh: 21 (same)
Calf: 13 (same)
Wrist: 6 (same)
Bicep: 11 (was 9)

Four weeks of work and I've managed to lose 3 pounds of fat and gain 1 pound of muscle. It's easier to monitor my weight and use that as a gauge of if my work is having any benefits, but it's clear that weight isn't the only way, or even the best way to monitor my progress.

My resting metabolic rate is 1328 calories per day (was 1316). Increasing my muscle mass allows me to eat a little bit more every day without it affecting my weight. If I keep working out, I can eat up to 2000 calories a day and still maintain.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 24--Weekend

renaissanceI was able to get a good workout in first thing this morning. I did the scheduled day of the 30 day challenge and started using 3 pound weights instead of the 1 1/2 pound ones. I also did 50 jack knives. I'm sure I'm going to feel that tomorrow, but I needed to make sure I did enough to really kick my ass today. Tonight I'm going to Medieval Times and eating food that's probably a little higher in calories than what I've been eating lately. Also, tomorrow marks the end of four weeks since I started working out on a regular basis and tracking my progress. I will redo all of my base measurements tomorrow to see if there has been any change in inches over the last few weeks because there hasn't been much change at all in pounds.

In summer, I was able to lose about 12 pounds during a step contest at work. I'm thinking I may have to go back to using a pedometer and tracking the step equivalent of my exercise to see how many "steps" I'm getting every day. If that doesn't work to start with some shedding of pounds, I'm going to start tracking each and every calorie, instead of just eating better in a very general way.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 23--Work Contest Prizes

I didn't win any of the prizes in the Holiday Maintenance Challenge. Prizes were awarded by raffle, with all the successful participants eligible. I did get "Fitness" magazine for participating, though. I'm slightly disappointed, but it's not like the prizes were lottery sized, they were closer to "Let's Make a Deal" loser prizes from the 1970s. One person did get adjustable resistance exercise bands, which might be easier to use with the Wii than hand weights, but I'm not sure. I'll check on them at Target this weekend.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 22--Domino's

Snuggle, bear, tamaleAfter having a craptacular day at work, and not losing any weight, I was very close to trying the new Domino's Pizza. I fought the urge to be really bad and instead had Target's vegetarian Tamales. They're very filling, and not too bad on the calorie count. I still want to try the new recipe at Domino's, but I hope that I can put it off for a few more weeks until the Super Bowl.

On a totally different note, "30 Rock" just had this line: "Does chewing on sponges trick your brain's hunger center?" I can't find anything on Google about this, but it seems to correlate with the gum chewing study that they reference on "The Biggest Loser."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 21-Stepping it up

weights, dumbbellsI'm not seeing the results that I had wanted, or hoped. In an effort to push my results, I've ditched the elastic resistance band that comes with EA Sports Active and started using hand weights. I'm only using 1 1/2 pound weights, but it's more resistance than the band provided. It's not as easy to hold the Wii controllers with the hand weights as with the band, but it is doable. They do sell weights that work with the Wii controllers, but I already have the hand weights, and they have more options.. I'd also rather save $20-$30 that I'd spend on the weights and put that to another Wii fitness game.

I've also been doing the 30 Day challenge on easy. I know that's not cutting it, but I'm not sure about switching to medium or hard half-way through the month. I think I'll just stay on easy until February and then go to hard.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 20--motivation

I've never been a big person for support groups, so joining Weight Watchers just seemed like it would make me want to eat an entire bag of Doritos. It's sort of like when I hear people talk about quitting smoking; every fiber of my being craves a cigarette. However, I'm trying to stay motivated to eat a reasonable number of calories so I can continue to lose weight. Hopefully, I can increase the rate of the weight loss. In my quest for online motivation, I've stumbled on way too many sites selling crap diet books/plans. I've been following Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper on Twitter, which is interesting, but not very motivational. I've found more information in Men's Health and Women's Health magazines. They both walk the line between body-building magazines and lifestyle magazines.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 19--weight

My weight crept up a bit again. I think it was the stress-eating after the football game yesterday. I have to keep remind myself that slow and steady wins the race. The hare lost to the tortoise. Even with the set-backs, I'm still working out every day and still eating healthful food. Even when I'm eating more of the food than I should, at least it's not ice cream or potato chips.

Day 19--abs

I spoke too soon yesterday. I was posting about 24 hours after I had worked my abs, but the pain must have been waiting for 36 hours to pass. Last night, right before going to bed, and continuing today, I have been in some discomfort. I'm not really in pain, but I can feel the strain on my abs when I cough, laugh or move. I have enjoyed how my abs feel to the touch, though. My stomach feels taut, which is my final goal. I just hope that doing some yoga this evening will help with the ouchies.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 18--abs

I had a rest day yesterday, so I hit by abs. I did the plank and the jack knife challenge against the trainer. I really like the jack knife because it works my upper and lower abs at the same time. I'm ok with how my abs look above my belly button, but don't like my "baby bumper" below that line. I'm not going to have babies, so I would like to lose the bumper.

I lost the plank challenge, but won the jack knife challenge. I had to do over 50 jack knives before the trainer gave up and conceded defeat. I fully expected to wake up today without the ability to sit up pain-free. It wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. I think I'll have to take a 10 minute break when doing ab work and then start it over again, repeating until I'm unable to continue. I am a firm believer in the "no pain, no gain" adage. If my ab workout isn't causing me some level of discomfort the next day, I feel like it's not as effective as it could or should be.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 17--Dedication

bowling, retro, have fun
Yesterday was my bowling league night. That means I work a normal day of 8-5, come home, go get dinner and then bowl until about 9:30 and get home around 10. In the past, that means I usually go to bed as soon as I get home. I knew that I had a workout to do yesterday, and turned on the Wii as soon as I got home. I'm impressed with my own dedication. I've heard/read for years that accountability increases adherence to exercise regimens. This blog, and telling people about this blog is my accountability. I'm not afraid that people will be vocal with disappointment of me if I skip a workout, but I don't want to disappoint anyone.

On the weight front, I continue to see a slow, but steady decline. This morning's weigh in put me under 132 pounds. I'm getting very close to the 130 pounds that I haven't seen since I quit smoking a few years ago.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 17--Work Weigh-in

scale, weight, animals

Today was the final day of my company's "Holiday Weight Maintenance Challenge" According to the scale at work, I weigh 135.6, which is 2.6 pounds less than I weighed on that scale on 12/07/09. Success!! The award presentation will occur in the future, so I don't know what, other than a certificate, I'll get for managing to lose .58 pounds a week over the last month.

On another bright note. Check out the scale's weights. This is a real product, or so the blogs I found it on say. I haven't been able to find it anywhere, though.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day 16--abs

abs, EA Active, Wii, catI realized today that the 30 day challenge ignores ab work. Today it worked my upper and lower body, mainly focusing on my arms. If I hadn't done some of the Wii Fit Plus Yoga, I don't think I would have done anything to use my abs at all.

I was wrong about the work weigh-in, though. It's not until tomorrow. I still think I'll do fine, but really feel like I need to do something to push myself a little harder. My weight is almost exactly the same as it was yesterday. Tomorrow is also my bowling night, which is a little bit of non-Wii exercise. Very little, though. Anything that can be done well while drinking isn't much of an exercise or sport.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 15--Driving range

wii, wii fit, golf, driving rangeToday was a rest day on the 30 day challenge, so I did some Wii Fit Plus balance games after weighing in. One of the games that wasn't in the original Wii Fit is a driving range. It takes the shift in your balance while driving and uses it to determine where your shot will go. Lifting your head on the back-swing or failing to follow-through after hitting the ball causes the shot to go short or slice off. It's also a really good ab exercise. After every shot that I took and the muscles I could feel working, I wondered how John Daly manages to play golf when he's 5'11" and his weight has gone up to about 300 pounds. I can't imagine trying to drive the ball several hundred yards onto the green on Friday after doing it 18 times on Thursday.

There was good news on the weigh-in. I'm at 133 pounds. I will have to remind myself that slow & steady wins the race. Tomorrow is the final weigh-in of my company's "Holiday Weight Maintenance Challenge" The goal of the challenge was to avid weight-gain from 12/07/09-01/07/09. It looks like I've hit that goal and topped it by losing a couple of pounds, too.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 14--motivation

I did the next day's workout in the 30 day challenge. It was back to working on my legs, with some upper body work thrown in. My weight isn't moving very much at all though. After the brief drop to 132.5, I've been hovering right at 134 the last few days. That's only 1.6 pounds lost in almost 3 weeks. I know that there has been muscle gain and that I shouldn't get discouraged, but it's hard to see the number on my weight not moving even though I'm doing everything I'm supposed to.

I have also been eating more spicy foods. It's not a long-term solution, but it probably boosts metabolism about 7-8% right after eating it. I have been drinking more water, even if not the full 70 ounces. It turns out that remaining fully hydrated helps with metabolism, too.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 13--Exercise

fitness, yoga ball, exercise ballIt was back to the grind on the 30 day challenge. Most of it was upper body exercises. Upright & bent over rows, bicep curls, and shoulder raises. It did have me do some side lunges, which helped stretch my thighs out. That was really good because I was still hurting from the lower body day that I did on Saturday. I spent a large portion of my day stretching so I could walk without limping. I did some yoga on Wii Fit Plus, too.

One of the other things that I do for fitness, that isn't Wii related, is to sit on a yoga ball at work. I've been doing it for about a year and a half and have almost forgotten what it's like to sit on a real chair. It forces me to stop slouching. It also forced me to chase my "chair" around the office when it rolls away from my cube. That's exercise that the average office worker is not getting.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 12--Rest day

flexibility, stretch, hamstringThe third day of the 30 day challenge is a rest day. I'm very thankful for that because my ass hurts. All of the forward, reverse and side lunges yesterday really worked my muscles. OW!! I did do some yoga, just to stretch out my sore muscles. I'm going to try to do the yoga poses every day. I would really like to be able to touch my toes without having to bend my knees.

On a good note, my weight is down to 132 1/2. I'm going to leave 134 as the ceiling, though. I think I may have just been a bit low on my calories yesterday.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 11--EA Sports Active

Willie, dog, laser eyes
I was day 2 of the 30 day challenge. I began the workout in a sweatshirt & sweatpants, mainly because my apartment is cold. I had to take the sweatshirt off during the workout because I was sweating and hot. I know that a big part of that was the running and high legs that I had to do for the workout. Another part of it was my personal trainer, Willie. She was insistent during the squats and the running. I don't know if she increased the calories burned during the exercise, but she did make it more difficult.

In addition to the EA Sports Active workout, I also did 15 minutes of Wii Fit Plus Yoga. I'm hoping to get more flexible, since I have always had really tight hamstrings. I also weighed in today and my weight is under 134, which is now the upper limit I've set for myself. I will be getting "before" photos this weekend and will post them soon. I know they're not really before, but my camera was at an ice cream parlor in WI until today.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 10--EA Sports Active

wii, wii fit, EA ActiveSince it's the first day of the new year, I thought it would be a good day to move on to a new game. EA Sports Active was pitched as a personal trainer in a box. I've never worked out with a personal trainer, but it seems a valid claim. You can choose which exercises you want to do, follow preset workouts, or take the 30 day challenge. I did day 1 of the 30 day challenge, and I set it to low impact, not medium or high. I did not break a sweat, but I did feel the exercises straining my muscles. The side lunges, squats, bicep curls and rows all worked exactly how they're supposed to. The game won't credit you with the rep unless you hold it for a long enough time.

I plan to finish the 30 day challenge on low impact this month using the included orange band and then doing it again with higher impact and possibly some hand weights.