Monthly Archives: February 2013

Day 17 – and Thoughts on Sustaining the 30 Day Shred

This morning’s workout:  30-Day Shred Level 2.  Morning butt kicking complete.

This morning, someone was lead to my blog by the search term “how to sustain 30 Day Shred”.  This got me to thinking about how I am sustaining it, because in all honesty, I usually don’t stick with workout routines.  Training schedule for half-marathons or marathons?  I take those as suggestions.  P90X?  Yeah right.  So I’m a couple workouts shy of being half way through the 30 Day Shred, and here are my thoughts on why I will finish it:

  • I’m building in rest days – hence the reason I’m on “Day 17” but only on workout 13.  I’m going to do the workouts 30 times (3 Levels – each 10 times) rather than end this after 30 days.  AND – very important – I‘m not going to be mad at myself about the rest days.  Self-loathing only leads to bad things.
  • I’ve found the best time to workout for myself.  This isn’t the same for everyone, so you have to experiment with what works for you. What I’ve found that really works for me is 5:30 in the morning.  My husband gets up then for work anyway, and the evening is filled with too much other stuff that I won’t make time for working out.  I used to dread going home after work, trying to fit a workout when I was tired and hungry and there were a billion things that I felt I needed to do instead.  In the morning, it’s just me, my DVD, and the sunrise.
  • I remind myself that it’s just a 30 minute workout and it’s just 30 days (or a little more if you take rest days).  I remind myself of those 4 hour training runs for the marathon and that I have given up things, like Starbucks and french fries, as New Year’s Resolutions – and really accomplished it.  Giving up 30 minutes for 30 days?  I can do that.  I guess what I’m really saying here is it’s all in how you look at it.  Rather than saying, “30 days? That’s such a long time”, try to think, “Only 30 day? That’s nothing”.
  • And – as annoying it may be for me to post about it every day, blogging about it helps me.  That’s really about accountability though.  Find a way to hold yourself accountable – or someone else who will.  Get a workout partner or someone you can tell about your workout everyday.  Talk to your friends about what you’re doing.  Blog about it.  Whatever works for you.
  • If none of that works and you still feel like not continuing, google “30 Day Shred results” and look at the images that come up.


Maybe some of that will help someone.  Admittedly, I’m the type of person who easily gets consumed with whatever I’m into at the moment (currently, it’s losing weight and studying for my exam – that’s pretty much all I think about while I’m awake). I think my consuming personality helps my will-power to keep going, but I know that not everyone is like that (and thank goodness!  it’s a blessing and a curse).

On to yesterday’s food:  22 points + 3 Activity Points = 25 points to use; ate them all but didn’t use any weeklies.

It comes as a surprise to me that I didn’t use any weeklies, b/c I felt like I binged last night.  At dinner, I measured out my food, and then the husband criticized how much food was on my plate (it did look like a lot, but it was mostly veggies).  I put some of it back.  Then about an hour after dinner, we were both hungry.  We shared some chips and salsa – which is where I thought the binging happened, but when I calculated my points later, I found out that I was covered.  The husband’s hunger seemed to be inconsolable, so he found some other stuff to eat.  I recognized that he was eating his boredom.  I used to do this at work.  He’s pretty fit, so he can afford to do that every now and then.  I cannot…especially when it’s not even my boredom.



Week 2 Weigh-in and Day 16

If you think about the title, I’m 2 days over 2 weeks.  This is because I am weighing in every 8 days instead of every 7.  It doesn’t really make sense – I just noticed that the WW Excel tracker I downloaded has 8 days instead of 7, and I thought I’d go with it.  Eventually, I’ll pick a weigh day and stick with it rather than every 8 days.

So not only am I not sure about what day to weigh, as of this morning, I’m confused about what time of day to weigh.  I know it really doesn’t mater, as long as I’m consistent, but here’s what happened:  for the Dietbet, I weighed in last Thursday evening, right when I got home from work.  I was a little heavier than when I last weighed, but I just attributed that to weight fluctuating over the course of the day (I had been tracking my weight first thing in the morning).  Dietbet has been suggesting I do a progress weigh-in when I get on their website, so yesterday when I got home from work, I got on the scale.  Down 2.4 pounds – YAY!  That meant that my evening weight was now equal to my last morning weigh-in, which I expected when I weighed-in this morning, I’d be 2.4 pounds lighter than the last morning weigh-in.  Not the case.  I weighed-in this morning and I’m only down .6 pounds.

Whatever I lost last week – .6 or 2.4 – I’m happy with it.  Movement of the scale in the right direction is progress, and even though I’d be more excited about 2.4, I’ll take progress any day.  But now I’m confused about when to weigh.  While the Dietbet continues, I’ll keep doing the morning and night weekly-weigh-in…but when it’s over, I’m going to pick one or the other (as well as a day-of-the-week), and stick with it.


Sorry for the rambling.  On to Day 16.

This morning’s workout:  Jillian’s 30 Day Shred, Level 2 (2nd time).  Kicked my butt again.  I’m using 5 pound weights and doing the easier moves during the strength sections, then trying to do the harder moves in the cardio and abs sections.  I say “trying” because those dang plank cardio moves are tough, and I usually make it 20 seconds doing them and then having to move to the easier move.  Maybe I’m just being a wimp – but it’s hard!

Yesterday’s food:  Stayed within my Points + Activity Allowance.  Ate my fruits and veggies.  Didn’t quite drink all my water (only 68 oz).  Put dinner in the Crockpot before I left for work, but the husband called on his way home and requested Jimmy Johns.  Fine with me – dinner for tonight is done!  I asked for my sandwich with no mayo…but it was still covered in mayo…and it was a delicious 12 points.  Oh well, I had them to use.  Skipped the chips and ate grapes instead.  Winning.



Day 15 – Level 2 of the 30 Day Shred = Whoa!

This morning was my first day of doing Level 2 of the 30 Day Shred (took me 14 days to workout 10 times to complete Level 1).  I was feeling good – I watched the Level 2 video yesterday and thought since Level 1 was getting…well, I wouldn’t say easy…but I was ready to move on.  LEVEL 2 KICKED MY BUTT THIS MORNING.  I thought jumping jacks made me sweat…they’re nothing compared to the cardio in this workout.

So – quick thoughts about the 30-Day Shred progress:  it may be that I am looking at myself like I am studying something under a microscope, but I think I’m already seeing some changes.  Though my stomach has a long way to go before I will call it “abs”, I am seeing some definition…and I feel like my spare tire is a little smaller.  Yesterday, I wore a pair of slacks that were usually a little tight, but they felt looser.  I get on the scale tomorrow for my weekly weigh-in, so I’ll find out if I’ve lost any, but I’m pretty sure my measurements are shrinking.  I won’t take them again, though, until I’m finished.

Yesterday’s food:  had 1 Activity point leftover to consume, no Weeklies used.  Good day…except I only drank 60 oz of water.  I was taken out to lunch by some product reps, and while I wanted to eat the fried, saucy chicken wings that the restaurant is known for, I opted for a wrap instead.  It was tasty too.  One small victory at a time.


Days 12, 13, and 14

Once again, I didn’t workout Saturday or Sunday (unless you count swaying at a concert for 2 hours as exercise…I don’t).  This morning I woke up and did the Level 1 30 Day Shred for the 10th time, so tomorrow I’m moving on to Level 2.

I’ve decided I’m not going to get mad at myself for not working out over the weekend.  Everyone needs rest days, and I’ve got a lot of other things I need to concentrate on right now, like studying for a big exam I have next Monday.  I don’t have time for self-loathing and beating myself up because I took 2 days off – plus, it’s not the end of the world.

Food wise, I did good this weekend (though I had to make an educated guess about the points of a couple of items).  I only used 5.5 Weeklies over the weekend, which leaves me with 28.  For the items I wasn’t sure about, I used SparkPeople’s recipe index to find one that I thought was similar (it was for food that someone else made), then I used the Points Calculator to figure my points.  The pasta shells came out a little lower than I expected…but I’m not going to be using all those leftover Weeklies, so even if I miscalculated, there seems to be room for error.


A few notes for small victories:  Friday night was dinner with our church small group.  Stayed in control of my mind vs. the food!  Skipped the beer/alcohol for iced tea.  2 small victories!

Saturday, after we had eaten dinner and watched a movie, we went to a concert spur-of-the-moment.  I only had two light beers instead of beer that I would have like to drink or any other drink of choice.  I consider it a victory.  I’m not the biggest fan of Michelob Ultra, and felt a little silly ordering it, but one of the other ladies in our group was drinking it…and as I looked around at other people at the concert, lots of ladies were drinking it.  Not that I’m concerned with them; I just noticed and instead of thinking “I can’t believe I’m drinking this”, I started thinking, “Maybe there are lots of women out there who are trying to keep their diets in control by drinking tasteless beer too”.

Sunday, went to a barbeque after church.  I am grateful that the host is a healthy conscious person and supplied lots of veggies.

Notes for things to work on:  didn’t track my water over the weekend, but I drank more of it than I usually do on the weekends.  Need to get better about tracking it.

Fad Diets

I just read another great article:  12 Ways to Spot Fad Diets

Quick Summary:  Permanent weight loss takes effort and time.  There’s no magic diet, pill, or food that’s going to make you shed weight for good.  The article includes key phrases that are often used for these that seem appealing, yet are just not true.

Fad diets have always been a pet peeve of mine.  Growing up, I watched my mother, who is an amazing woman, try out diet after diet.  Slim Fast (or as she liked to call, Slim Slime). The Grapefruit Diet.  The Cabbage Soup Diet.  None of these provided permanent weight loss.  If she did lose weight, she would gain in back when she started eating normal foods again – hence the term yo-yo dieting.

As a side note, she eventually joined Weight Watchers, where she learned healthy habits and lost the weight for good.  And that’s awesome – because there are new fad diets coming up all the time – the Special K Diet; the Hollywood Cookie Diet; Juice Detoxing; Sensa; Hydroxycut….all making big promises that are not sustainable.

One of those key phrases that the article mentions is  “Scientifically Proven!  Doctor Endorsed!”.  This one strikes a particular nerve with me – especially when it’s highly-regarded people making those claims.  I love Jillian Michaels, but I HATE that she helped develop a “diet pill”.  Though she does not claim that it alone will make you lose weight (she claims it’s all natural and it boosts your metabolism so that when you diet and exercise, you’ll lose faster) – it’s still false promises.  Another fad diet with a high-up endorsement that I just recently came across is the Dr. Oz Swimsuit Slimdown.  Before every meal, a dieter is to drink 8 oz of grapefruit juice mixed with 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (like Jillian, Dz. Oz claims that this will boost your metabolism) and dieters eat salad at lunch.

It burns me.  These people often talk about making healthy lifestyle changes – but then give in to the “here’s what to do in a hurry” mentality that people want to hear.  STOP GIVING PEOPLE FALSE HOPE.  PERMANENT WEIGHT LOSS TAKES TIME AND EFFORT.  IT TAKES WORK.  Guess what’s going to happen when you stop eating salad for lunch and eat that fast food burger everyday?  I don’t care how much grapefruit juice you drink, you’ll gain the weight back when you fall back into bad habits.

I know – I am no expert, like Dr. Oz or Jillian Michaels – but I am living proof about falling back into bad habits and gaining the weight back.  If you can’t sustain the lifestyle, you won’t maintain the weight.

And I realize that I risk sounding like a hypocrite here – as you could lump Weight Watchers and the Zone Diet – both of which I use – in with fad diets (along with all those other well touted ones like the Atkin’s Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Paleo Diet, etc).  But here’s the main things that I think they do differently (at least the two that I use) – they teach you healthy habits – especially portion control – and they do not forbid any food.  To me, that is THE key for a sustainable lifestyle – being able to eat whatever you want, so long as you eat the proper portion.

I know – talking the talk is easier than walking the walk.  Just knowing proper portions doesn’t make a lifestyle sustainable – because I knew I was eating way more of all those yummy, fatty things than I should have when I was dong it and I know that’s why I gained my weight back – but it didn’t stop me at the time.  But this time around, I am treating this as a lifestyle and not just a diet to lose weight.

So moral of this soap box:  Fad diets are not sustainable.  I know they are tempting (I love grapefruit juice – I could really get in to the Swimsuit Slimdown).  They’ are just a temporary fix.  DON’T GIVE IN TO THEM.

Day 11 and DietBet

Today’s workout:  9th time Jillian Micaels’ 30 Day Shred Level 1 w/ 5 lb weights and mostly modified pushups.

Yesterday’s food:  22 Points Allowed; 3 Activity Points; 26.5 Points consumed; 1.5 taken from the Weeklies, leaving a total of 33.5.


Had an unexpected date night with the hubby – I think because he was HUNGRY when he got home from work, and I refused to cook until all the dishes were washed…so it would have been at least an hour…and he just couldn’t wait.  Fine with me…I love Texas Roadhouse.  Small victory by only eating one roll!

Tuesday, I was thinking to myself, “This whole losing weight thing would be a lot more fun if it were a game, sort of like the Biggest Loser.  Who could I find to compete with?”.  Then yesterday, out of what seems like no where, one of my friends sends me a link to this thing called DietBet, a weight loss game.  Who knew!  The game is that a group of people all put in a certain amount of money (or it can be done without money – but ours is a $10 bet) and everyone who loses 4% of his or her weight in 4 weeks splits the money.  Technically, everyone could win.  Our game is up to 48 players, most of whom I don’t know, but a couple of my friends are doing this too.

I think this adds another level of motivation; I really do not care if I make money from this – though the thought of getting paid to lose weight is sort of nice – but I don’t want to lose my $10…even though it’s just $10.  That’s less than it costs to go to two Weight Watchers meetings, but enough that it brings out a little competitive edge for me.  But not a bad competitive edge; I have a desire to support all the other players and start discussions to pass along tips and help each other along – sort of like a Weight Watchers meeting.

I’ll report back in 28 days with a review.  In the mean time, I need to lose a little over 6 pounds to keep my $10.

Day 10 – and my first real push-up

Today’s workout:  Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred Level 1 w/ 5 lb weights and mostly modified push-ups, 8th time.

That’s right – I said MOSTLY modified push-ups.  I did a couple of REAL PUSH-UPS during both sets!!  I started out doing the modified push-ups and thought to myself, “This seems way too easy” – so at the end of the first set, I paused the video and tried a couple of regular ones.  And I didn’t whimp out of them…I went all the way down so my nose touched the floor and my form felt perfect (the Cross-fit loving husband has emphasized perfect technique on all moves, so I do know proper push-up form…even though I couldn’t do push-ups).  I started out my second set with a few push-ups before having to put my knees down.  This may seem silly, like such a minor improvement – but I am ECSTATIC.

Yesterday’s Food:  Points allowed:  22; Activity Points earned:  3; Points used:  25; 0 Weeklies used = 35 remaining.  Water goal – check; fruit and veggie goal – check.


One of my guilty pleasures is popcorn.  When we go to a movie, I smell it and I want it.  The same goes for Target (but I resist – I’m against eating and shopping).  I decided last night, it was time to splurge a little on something I like to eat – and since I gave up all things unnaturally sweet for Lent, I split a bag of popcorn with the husband while we splurged and watched TV for more than 30 minutes (which we rarely do).  Even though it’s empty calories, I don’t feel guilty – because I had Activity Points left to use; I wouldn’t have to use any Weeklies; I met my mini food goals; and I have had 2 great days Monday and Tuesday where I didn’t even consume all my Activity Points.

Needless to say, I liked that Lose Weight Like a Man article so much that I’m really trying to adjust my attitude.  I mean, honestly, I can’t consider this a “lifestyle” if I forbid myself my favorite foods; it’s just a “diet” then – and when I go back to eating those foods, I probably won’t be able to control myself.  And this journey is really about getting healthy, not just losing weight – which means I need to learn control.