March To The Core
Before we talk about my March Mission. Oh, I love the sound of that. I have good news about February. I attempted to do the push-up challenge. On the first, I started with 10 pushups and everyday I added one. Remember, I couldn’t do a single push-up at the beginning of the year and now I can do 38! Holla.. So this means I succeeded! YES!
But, On the last week, I asked a coworker if my form of the push-up was right. He told me that I look like I was humping the ground. My back was not straight enough. You see, I was too worried about having my butt so high in the air that I sunk my body. So i apologize to any person working out who saw the embarrassing mess of a push-up and you thought I was doing sex moves to the ground. I am sorry. Also, If I see myself on Tosh.0, I will come for you… kidding.
So I checked the scales and I weigh around 233 pounds which is awesome. This is the amount I weighed when I originally hit my plateau a few months ago. The holidays took a tole on my body so I gained 12 pounds. Yikes, but I lost all that off this month by eating “somewhat” clean. I mean, I ate everything in moderation.
I ordered Girl Scout cookies (Thin Mints) and I got them the first week of February. I had to wait 3 weeks to eat them. Friday, the first, was a glorious day inside my mouth. Nom-Nom Nom. I will attempt to spread out the cookies so I will eat the two boxes in two weeks. Haha cross my fingers for this. :)
March to The Core Challenge
Yuppers, I am doing 20 sit-ups on the first and adding 5 each day. YES, 5! My stomach right now is sore. I can’t do a sit-up on the hard floor. The pressure on my tailbone is painful. The gym has an incline sit-up machine that i have used instead. Hopefully by April 1st I can OFFICIALLY break out of my plateau and get under 230 pounds. If / when I hit 220ish I will have the motivation to just keep going. My mentality since my plateau was that 230 pounds wasn’t that bad. Its still a whole lot better than 385.
When I was in Phoenix, Arizona with my friends, I tried to do push-ups. The problem is, I have upper-body problems. Like, I am unrealistically weak. I remember when I was forced to do weight lifting sessions for Football in High School (shocking! I did play) and I could barely lift the bar during bench press exercises.
Yup, painfully weak. So over this past year I focused a lot on my lower body but little on my upper body. A stroke a genius ensued and my February Challenge was born.
I will do at least 10 push-ups a day. Each day I will gain 1 pushup.
Feb 1st - 10
Feb 2nd - 11
and so on…
I got the idea from a coworker who tried to persuade me do a ‘squat challenge’ in December. Same format as above but instead of push-ups a person squats throughout the month.
Okay, I know I posted this a little late but who is on board with me?
Lets Push(up) through this month so we can March to April.
On April 20th, WDBJ7 is hosting the Blue Ridge Marathon. You can run a whole marathon, half-marathon or join a 5 person team. I hope to see some of you guys out there. Details HERE!
Last week, I wanted to do a strictly fruits and vegetable diet. Well, that lasted a day. So, I decided that this week I will try something new at the gym. In all spirits of jocktober, it is time to hit the treadmill.
The mission is to run 3 miles everyday for a week; that is over 20 miles! Yikes.. help?!?!?
So… When I gave you the ‘Jocktober’ challenge I forgot to mention how scary gyms can be. I mean, it is another world. It doesn’t matter what job you have or level of intelligence. To get respect, you have to use proper techniques. However, being new to the gym is very intimidating especially if you encounter the four types of these people.
United Way Day of Action
This past Thursday I volunteered for the United Way in its Day of Action. Now, before you think I am just writing this to pat myself on the back or look for self-glory, there IS a purpose.
Doing yard work is great exercise. Now, I am more of a “city boy.” I don’t like working outside and I prefer to not do manual labor. Well, I used to not like doing that. I had a blast mulching, weeding, and gardening for ‘Live United.’ I was in the ‘runner’s high’ mode of an endorphin-releasing rush.
My white t-shirt, in retrospect should not have worn, was completely drenched after 2 hours. Like, I honestly could have won a wet t-shirt contest; that is how bad it was. It was 100% pure, American-made sweat. I didn’t even have to pour water down my body like the steamy Abercrombie and Fitch ads.
I kept wondering, why was I sweating soo much more than everyone else? Was I working harder? … NOPE! I researched last night that when you are in a hot place your body controls your temperature with sweat. This sweat is not fat burning sweat that happens during cardio, it is your water weight sweat.
We all have heard overweight excuses blaming water weight saying - I am not fat I am just retaining a lot of water. Well, I drink a lot of water and boy, did my body feel like it was leaking.
Fun Fact: People who try to lose their water weight will only lose the pounds for a few hours but the LBs will eventually come back therefore it’s a bad diet plan to “sweat it out.”
While gardening, I started throwing in some squats while going up and down. I probably did over 100 squats and my body is regretting that as I type.
It’s amazing the small chores inside, outside, and around the house can burn good amounts of calories. Small exercises add up to a healthy lifestyle.
250 lbs Check In
On the first, I weigh at 250 lbs. This means I have lost over 130 pounds in 8 months. If there was a graph on my weight loss you will notice that I am plateauing. Most people are worried and/or annoyed when the plateau. They think they are doing the work but not seeing the results.As of right now, I don’t feel this way. I kind of like that I’m plateauing. Its like my body, skin, is getting a break to recuperate for a while. I am definitely looking on the bright side of this.
Many many changes have happened in the past few days. I decided that it was time to clean my room. This meant I had to comb through my clothes to either put it in A. my dresser or B. Goodwill stack. Next week, I will be Goodwill’s best friend. I have a ton of jeans, pants, and suits to give away.
I am not much of a shopper for new clothes. When I wear something, I wear it for a LOOOONG time. If it has holes then it becomes a house shirt. So it is getting weird that I am letting go of some clothes. I am keeping my 3XL shirts for one more round of wear then I will sadly give them to charity.
My whole closet is becoming unwearable, I desperately need to buy new clothes. I just don’t want to invest my money on something so temporary. Last week I went home to visit momsicles and popsicles. Mommy bought me some new threads. My waist is at 37, therefore, I bought 36w shorts and dress pants. Apparently, I can wear an XL shirt now. This news is crazy because I can shop at almost any store now. I might have to dethrone myself of internet shopping because I can be normal and shop in person.
There is a lot that is hard to process. I just try to smile and hold on tight to this crazy ride I call life.
Nutrition Labels are Tricksters
Here is your guide to read labels and conquer failing diets.
The first things to look at on the Nutrition label is the serving size. The serving size dictates how much calories you are putting into your system. What most people don’t realize, they eat double or triple servings of the mandated “serving size” without realizing it.
Comparing snacks or cereals can be tricky because the serving size is different and so is the calories. This means people have to do math in the aisles and it can get frustrating.
For instance you might see:
Cereal A: 3/4 cups - 100 calories
Cereal B: 1 cup - 120 calories
But which one is better?
its basically like this in math 3/4 =100 4/4 = 120, Find out how many calories are in 1 cup in cereal A using math. If 3/4 cups is 100 calories than 1/3 is 33 calories then 4/4 cups is 133 calories.
It gets confusing! What can really help to visualize the serving size is to look at the amount of servings in container. If there are 8 servings in the container then you can visual divide the contents to see how much food vs calories you are getting. Its true gamesmanship.
Its said that 3,500 calories make up ONE pound of fat. To lose weight, we need to lower our intake. Try using this calorie calculator. Enter your data and it calculates how many calories you need to lose weight or maintain your weight.
The next thing I look for is the grams of carbs. Depending on the type of diet you are doing, looking at carbs is just as important as your caloric intake. Too much carbs can lead to your body to not break it down which turns into sugars and causes fat. Unless, your an athlete who needs physical endurance, carbohydrate intake should be at a moderate low.
Avoid consuming products with high sodium levels. Sodium is a major factor for high blood pressure. Also, sodium retains water. Therefore, if you need to lose a few pounds quick, sodium-free diets are the way to go. Now, I will never promote get-lean fast diets.
% DAILY VALUE
This part of the label is actually helpful. On labels, you will see a percentage of each nutrient that makes up your FDA approved daily food intake. Following the correct serving size, anyone can tell the percentage of each nutrient they are putting in their body for that meal. This percentage factors in all meals of the day so don’t think it dictates one meal, but one day.
Using all this information. You are now able to to march down the aisles and pay attention to what you are buying and consuming. Remember, that it takes math to understand these labels so a calculator would not hurt.
260lbs - Check In
Okay, I lied. I definitely wrote that the next blog post will be on nutritional labels. However, I forgot my twice-monthly check up was coming up soon.
I currently weigh around 260 pounds. This is a 5 pounds lost in 2 weeks. This is great news because my weight loss is slowing down, a little bit, to help my body recover from its shock.
This past week has been simply amazing. I finally fit in these pants I bought at Goodwill a couple months ago. Yes, I shop at Goodwill, when I have the patience. I find it a bit silly to keep shopping for smaller clothes when I can save at a thrift stores.
and to contradict completely the above statement, I went inside a real clothing store this past Thursday. I think it was Macy’s and I found great clothes, in my size, on sale. I went inside the store on a fluke, just to see what jean size I was actually at. Normally, I buy jeans online which you can never try on. Now, I wear a 38w which is pretty surreal because all my life I’ve lived in the 40s, upper 40s. It’s kind of funny that my closet is full of clothes that are too big for me. When I donate them all this year, I am hope for a big tax refund. Yes, I am that frugal. :)
The next post should (hopefully) be about reading nutritional labels.
Basic Routine To Get Lean
So the most popular question I get asked is ‘How did I lose the weight?’ I wish I could tell people of an awesome trick or a secret ingredient that sheds pounds. I can say that getting into a routine has been beneficial.
Rough daily routine:
10:30 - wake up
11:00 - at gym to watch The View (40 mins elliptical)
12:00 (ish) - back home, drink a protein shake
12:15 - shower
12:45 - cook dinner and lunch
3:00 - at work
I workout the first thing in the morning. I know it may be hard for some people, but it has been advantageous to start my day burning calories and releasing endorphins. Also, I go to the gym to watch TV. Right now, I do not have cable and the gym is where I watch programs that I want to see. I love The View and when I’m on the elliptical time flies by. [LaTip: I notice when I go to the gym when my favorite show is on, I lose track of time and the workout seems less of a burden.]
Every day I workout on the elliptical for 40 minutes. I actually started out at 30 minutes and I increased it. My daily goal is to do 3 miles in 40 minutes.
Every other day I do strength exercises on my upper-body. I spend about 25 more minutes at the gym working on my arms, chest, and shoulders.
After the gym, I try to give myself some protein through Evolution protein shakes. I did not go on protein until 3 1/2 months in my “transformation”. I noticed how malnourished I was in protein intake and I started to use shakes to supplement it.
For lunch I make an omelet with onions, store brand sausage, and egg whites. It is high in protein, yet low in carbs and calories.
Typically For Dinner I make a casserole of the following ingredients: Cabbage, Carrots, Onions, Chicken, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Potatoes, and Corn. I typically don’t use every ingredient, but its usually made up from something from the list. I use spices for flavor.
I can make a huge list of snacks that are healthy that I have tried. I have an oral allergy syndrome in which I cant eat a lot of raw fruits and vegetables. It has something to do with pollen getting on the vegetation. Once cooked, my allergy reactions will be reduced. Because of this, I rarely eat fresh fruits. Below is a list of things I tried and love.
Small salads: Lettuce, Cold cuts
Celery + Hummus
Lettuce + Hummus
Small servings of Cereal
Okay, so I think I listed the basics of my day-to-day routine. If you have any topic suggestions or any questions in general, please email me at LReynolds@wdbj7.com
My next blog will dive into how to read nutritional facts labels on products. Can not wait!
Many people ask me how did I lose the weight. I simply respond with exercise and a healthier diet. However, the biggest key in my weight loss, and I will say in any weight loss, is motivation. You can have a team of dietitians or a team of personal trainers. However, if you are not motivated, then the weight will not go off.
Motivation not only stops in the exercise department, it’s needed in the diet part. There’s been numerous occasions where cookies, cake, cupcakes, doughnuts and other high-calories treats were present at the office. It is so hard not to cheat and eat but you have to look at the big picture. Are short-lived satisfactions worth diabetes, your health or fitting into your swimsuit?
So what are my motivations? I have 23 years full of motivation. Some come from positive places like fitting in the Harry Potter Ride at Universal Orlando. (There is a weight restriction there for the ‘Forbidden Journey’) A good portion of my motivation comes from negative places of being bullied. Fun Fact: In high school, a fellow classmate created a stick-figure cartoon and drew me as the villain. He drew a circle for me, a circle!!
I honestly try not to dwell on the negatives and look toward my future. I have hopes and dreams. I want to see my kids go off to college. (I will probably be crying my eyes off when that day happens) I am doing this weight loss for me, my future, and my life. This is how I stay motivated; hope for a better day.