Just Heather

Wow. It was a crazy, whirlwind week, culminating in this chaotic day. This is the first time I’ve had to sit down all day — except for the 2-hour interview session for our adoption home study. That was exhausting and emotional and the reason for our crazy week.

It wasn’t all bad, though — all the running around to get our house prepped really upped my step count. I finally managed to get to 10K a few times. As we cleaned and painted all day Saturday, I had my highest step count yet.

It helped to have an outlet for all the stress and worry of the week, too. I ran. I worked out. I threw in some cardio. Sweating out my stress is working for me.

Plus, it gets my heart rate up and burns calories. The Omron Fitness HR-500U lets me monitor my heart rate during a workout. I’m learning a lot of fun activities that really get my heart rate going.

Just Dance 4’s Sweat Mode keeps me in cardio mode but is a ton of fun. I played for 30 minutes on Saturday morning, watching my heart rate hit the yellow cardio zone and stayed there until cool down. And, the video game workout was worth 3000 steps!

This is the last week of the Omron Fitness challenge, and it’s working!. In just a few weeks, I’m down 3 pounds and several inches. There are visible changes in my body already — which is why I love to take before and after photos.

You can see the final results — and have the chance to win some Omron products of your own — at the Omron Fitness Challenge Twitter Party on February 20th, 8-10pm. My fellow Omron Fitness Ambassadors and I will talk about our success, share tips on losing weight in less time, and give away the same awesome equipment I’ve used for the last few weeks.

I’ll continue using my goodies and stick with a similar workout routine even after the Mamvation program has ended. It’s the perfect combination of fat-burning, muscle building, and flexibility for my schedule. Our next cardio day is a 45 minute workout. Lucky for me, Just Dance 4 has a 45-minute option. I think I’ll go with the cardio-boxing style this week, though 80’s-style was a ton of fun!

I just like to mix it up a bit. How do you keep workouts fun and fresh?

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
This Week’s Weigh-In: 192 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: .6 pounds
Total Omron Fitness Weight Loss: 3 pounds
BMI: 27.7

Updated Measurements:
Bust: 38″ (no change)
Waist: 31″ (no change)
Hips: 40″ (-1″)
Thighs: 26.5″ (-1.5″ total)
Arms: 12″ (no change)
Total Inches Lost: 8.5″

This post is sponsored Omron Fitness as a collaboration withBookieboo Blogging Network and Mamavation — a community dedicated to weight loss for women and obesity prevention for families.  I was provided with product and compensation for my time and honest opinions.

In the last week, I’ve pushed myself quite a bit. I upped my weights on the assigned workouts, added a few more, and yesterday, I ran farther and faster than usual. Yet, when I stepped on the scale, it hadn’t gone down much.

A few years ago, that would have discouraged me. Now, though, I know there is more to fitness and weight loss success than a number on a scale. Sure, it’s frustrating to work hard and not lose weight. But sometimes it’s good to focus on the other benefits of fitness.

Here are 5 great ways to tell your weight loss efforts are not in vein:

Measurements: If you haven’t already taken measurements, do it now! Seriously. Stop reading and go measure your chest, waist, hips, thighs, and arms. In just two weeks, I’ve lost 6 total inches. When you aren’t losing weight, it’s great to have definitive proof that you’re still shrinking!

Photos: Before and after photos can really show a difference, even if you don’t lose a lot of weight. Take front, back, and profile shots once every month or two. I’m already looking forward to the “after” pics for my current fitness challenge.

Energy: When you’re working out and eating right, you’ll actually have more energy. Take note of your energy levels — for me, that usually means my desire to nap — to see how much healthier you are even before the weight starts dropping.

Muscles: A pound is a pound is a pound. But, while muscle doesn’t really weigh more than fat, it is more dense. You may be gaining weight in muscle even as you’re losing fat. The full body composition monitor from Omron Fitness has been great for me. It measures not just weight but body fat, skeletal muscle, and more. I’m able to actually see that I’m building muscle and losing fat, even when I’m not losing weight.

Clothing: How your clothing feels is often the first indicator that things are changing — I was down a size long before the weight loss felt significant at all. I focus a lot on how my clothes look and feel to measure my fitness success. The jeans that were getting a little snug already require a belt — I’ll take that kind of loss over a number on a scale any day.

How do you measure your success?

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
This Week’s Weigh-In: 192.6 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: .6 pounds
Total Omron Fitness Weight Loss: 2.4 pounds
BMI: 27.7

This post is sponsored Omron Fitness as a collaboration withBookieboo Blogging Network and Mamavation — a community dedicated to weight loss for women and obesity prevention for families.  I was provided with product and compensation for my time and honest opinions.

Wow — what a week in the Omron Fitness Challenge!

I’ve been working out. I’ve been running. And, I’ve been trying to increase my step count with the daily use of a pedometer.

That has been a real struggle for me. The goal set for us by Mamavation is 10,000 steps per day. I’ve heard about the 10K step goal many times before, but I’ve never been one to use a pedometer regularly so I had no idea how difficult it would be.

I setup my pedometer, I wore it all day long, and then I proceeded to get frustrated by my less than 5,000 daily steps each day. I set a new, personal goal to increase my steps each day, even if only by a little bit. I gained extra steps each day.

On Tuesday, I decided it was time to make a real effort at 10,000 steps. I spent the entire day on my feet, running errands, doing chores, neglecting my desk work to keep moving. I went for a 2-mile run — and ended the day just shy of 9,000 steps.

So discouraging. As hard as I tried all week, I just couldn’t work a desk job and fit in 10,000 steps every day.

That’s when I set out to learn more about my fancy space pedometer. Turns out, it doesn’t track steps the way you would think. It counts strides — forward motion only, basically. So any baby steps I take doing laundry or on a break at my desk aren’t measured. It also doesn’t start calculating until you’ve walked for 4 seconds — putting away dishes or a quick walk from room to room won’t trigger the pedometer.

And the last problem was that my daily stride isn’t the same as my purposeful stride. So, taking 10 steps to measure my stride length for the pedometer resulted in a much higher number than most people. I took a few different measurements and finally landed on a number that I think is counting more accurately.

And, yet I’m still not hitting 10K every day, but that’s okay! My goals are mine. My progress is for me to measure. Sure, I’m taking part in a fitness challenge with 24 other people and being watched by entire community. But, at the end of the day, it really only matters if I’m happy.

No one can make me lose this weight except me. And, getting frustrated is the first step to giving up. I can’t let that happen. I have to remember that everyone is at a different level. Everyone has a different lifestyle. There’s no one size fits all weight loss plan.

But I can make my own.

That’s why I’ve updated my personal goals in the Omron Fitness Dashboard, focusing on a weekly step count instead of a daily stresser. It’s also why I’m content with just making progress, even if I’m not all the way there yet. And, it’s working!

I’ve lost 2.5 pounds this week and 6 inches so far in the challenge. More importantly, I feel good. My clothes are getting looser already, and I’m more motivated than ever to reach my goals. My goals.

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
This Week’s Weigh-In: 193.2 pounds
BMI: 27.7
This Week’s Weight Loss: 2.6 pounds
Total Omron Fitness Weight Loss: 2 pounds

Updated Measurements:
Bust: 38″ (-3″)
Waist: 31″ (-1.5″)
Hips: 41″ (no change)
Thighs: 27.5″/27″ (-.5″ total)
Arms: 12″ (-1″ total)
Total Inches Lost: 6″

This post is sponsored Omron Fitness as a collaboration withBookieboo Blogging Network and Mamavation — a community dedicated to weight loss for women and obesity prevention for families.  I was provided with product and compensation for my time and honest opinions.

Two months ago, when I signed up for Wine at the Line, I set a goal to run the whole thing. Then? I spent the two weeks leading up to it super sick. It was all I could do to stay active, but I didn’t finish the Couch to 5K program. In fact, I didn’t even run. I figured I’d be lucky to get through the race at all, but I did want to at least beat my time from Outrun the Sun.

Breathing was tough, between my asthma and the lingering cold. Then, my knee started hurting around the midway point. And, still? I finished a full 5 minutes faster than my last 5K! It all comes down to being in better overall shape than I was 4 months ago. Even though I didn’t run much leading up to the race, I was still active.

There was boot camp and EA Sports, but my Daily Mile profile is looking a little thin. Time to get back on my feet and finish this thing! I’m restarting the Couch to 5K program next week. This time, with the support of a group of local Twitter friends. We’ve been discussing a December 5K, with BgKahuna’s inspiration.

Personally, I think that sounds crazy cold, but the training part sounds good, at least. I tend to stick with things more when I know others are working at it, too. I feel like people are counting on me or something. It worked well for the 30 Day Shred. So, a Couch to 5K group should get me going!

Plus, I did buy another month of Indy Boot Camps. I’m excited to continue the training. I’ve been amazed at how much I’m enjoying group fitness. I never really thought I would like it, but it’s actually pretty inspirational. Check back later this week for an entire post on things that surprised me about boot camp. And next week, I’ll post after pics!

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
This Week’s Weigh-In: 173 pounds
No weight loss this week
Total Mamavation Weight Loss: 22 pounds
BMI: 24.8

This post is sponsored by Brita and I took the Brita Challenge to be entered into a giveaway hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women. I have also received a free month of fitness boot camp from Indy Boot Camps to facilitate a series of posts on my weight loss journey. All opinions are, as always, 100% mine.

Last week was not a good nutrition week. I knew I would gain weight during this particular week as such is the nature of being a girl. But, it wasn’t just that. I was so unbelievably hungry all week—I think it was partly timing and partly the increased calorie burn from boot camp.

Plus, I just totally caved into the cravings. There was chocolate and chips and buttery popcorn. On the plus side, there was no soda! I’m so glad to have kicked that habit. It makes it so much easier to just shake off a bad week and lose the weight again.

I suppose it could have been worse, but I managed to work a lot of it off. Between fitness boot camp, EA Sports Active and the Couch to 5K program, at least I’m getting the fitness part right. My poor body was so sore last week—and, yesterday’s upper body workout slayed my arms.

I missed boot camp, due to another eye doctor appointment, so I threw in an extra Wii workout. And, my triceps are very angry about it. Which blows my mind since a year ago I could never have told you where they were. Now that I’ve lost the majority of the weight, I’m ready to start targeting specific areas.

I just can’t worry about a pound here or there anymore, since it’s going to fluctuate as I build muscle anyway. I want to concentrate on the flabby arms and chunky thighs. I also want to have abs. Real and actual abs. It’s going to be all about toning from here on out—even with my daily mileage!

I won a pair of Kalso Earth Shoes in the Mamavation Move It Lose It competition earlier this year—how cute are these? But, they’re not just a pretty face. The negative heel improves posture and encourages whole-body wellness. I can actually feel my booty toning as I walk. True story.

Plus, I’m excited to give away a pair to one of my readers! You all have supported me through this weight loss journey for the last 6 months, and now I have the chance to give back in a big way.

To enter for your chance to win the above pair of shoes (we can match!), leave a comment here and tell me your next goals! You can earn additional entries by:

For your extra entries to be counted, be sure to leave an additional comment directing me to your entry. Only one additional entry per method (i.e. While multiple tweets are appreciated it, only one will count as a drawing entry.) The contest runs until September 26th at 11:59pm est. One winner will be notified by email on September 27th and receive a pair of Kalso Earth Shoes. Winner will have 48 hours to complete the claim form or a new winner will be chosen.

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
This Week’s Weigh-In: 175.5 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: 2.5 pound gain
Total Mamavation Weight Loss: 19.5 pounds
BMI: 25.2

Disclosure: I received a pair of Kalso Earth Shoes, for my participation in the Mamavation campaign. I have also received a free month of fitness boot camp from Indy Boot Camps to facilitate a series of posts on my weight loss journey. All opinions are, as always, 100% mine.

I took last week off of blogging my weight loss journey. Mostly because there was no weight loss. At least, that’s what I’m assuming—I took a week off from the scale, too! I just didn’t want to see that number, after an indulgent family weekend.

I spent Labor Day weekend at my parents’ and decided that I wouldn’t stress over foods & miss out on my hometown favorites. We had Procopio’s pizza, Charlie’s chocolates, movie theater popcorn, two (yes, two!) birthday parties with cupcakes & ice cream and plenty of homemade family favorites.

And, I allowed myself to enjoy it all! I made good choices when they were available—fruit, salads, water and veggies—but mostly I just ate what looked good. Basically? That meant a whole lot of carbs. The good news is, I didn’t overeat!

A year ago at these family events, I would have eaten whatever I wanted, skipped the veggies, grabbed a soda, then gone back for more. This year? I didn’t even want seconds—my body is too aware of proper portions & fullness cues to overeat.

I also stayed active—I did jump squats all weekend, on Gruntstyle’s orders. Plus, we played a pretty active game of kickball with the whole family on Monday. I’m thrilled to be in better shape so I was able to take part in it. We had so much fun!

This week, I’m back to following my meal plan. Plus, I was offered the opportunity to join a fitness boot camp this month, and it seemed like the perfect time to try it out. We started earlier today—whew! I thought I had been getting myself in pretty decent shape, but this worked muscles that I didn’t even know existed.

I started out doing pretty well—setting off at a good clip for the warmup walk and leading the pack during our run. Many of the exercises were familiar(ish), but this time? I had a trainer keeping an eye on me, making sure I did everything right and pushing me to go further. It was a fun, relaxed environment where we’re encouraged to push harder but given the freedom to set our own pace.

I was dripping sweat halfway through the hour and out of water before we finished. By the end, I was fading and feeling it pretty good! I hope to have a little more endurance for Wednesday’s workout, now that I have a better idea of what to expect. (Note to self: bring a towel and a larger water bottle!)

This should be an interesting month. My muscles were feeling it so much on the drive home that I took new measurements. I’ve lost another 3 inches since completing the Knockout the Fat program, but I’m hoping to firm up my arms & abs, especially. I’ll also take new “after” photos at the end of boot camp.

I can’t wait to see the results for myself!

Updated Measurements:

Bust: 35″ (-1.5″)
Waist: 29″ (-8″)
Hips: 37.5″ (-4.5″)
Thigh: 20″ (-3.5″ each)
Arm: 11″ (-1.5″ each)

Total Inches Lost: 24″

Starting Weigh-In:
195 pounds
This Week’s Weigh-In: 173 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: 1.5 pounds
Total Mamavation Weight Loss: 22 pounds
BMI: 24.8

Disclosure: I have received a free month of fitness boot camp from Indy Boot Camps to facilitate a series of posts on my weight loss journey. All opinions are, as always, 100% mine.

The girls went back to school last week, and I started out doing pretty well. I got the girls ready, took them to school, came home and promptly worked out & went for a run. The run? Did not go well. I was thinking there might be something wrong with my inhaler, and I was right. It’s broken, and I have no refills. Now I have to wait until I can get into my doctor, but that’s not even the reason for this week’s weight gain.

A few days after my first run, I went for a long walk instead—my lungs can handle walking. Then, our week was turned upside down when the hubby’s grandpa had open heart surgery. He seems to be doing well, but it was a long day at the hospital, munching on candy. In retrospect, I should have packed healthier snacks, but we went with comfort.

The next day, after thing were looking better, I went for a walk with Lorelai and picked up the weights for the first time in weeks. I’m guessing that was more responsible for my weight gain than a single week. I still have high hopes of getting into a better routine now that the girls are back in school. It just didn’t happen in the first week.

Okay, so it’s a little worse than that. I actually managed to get myself back into overweight range. In addition to my workout routine not getting reestablished, the meal planning really wasn’t there. We were a chaotic mess of school and hospital visits, and I was so busy focusing on shopping for their healthy lunchboxes that I didn’t do a very good job taking care of me.

That changes. Now. I had a great breakfast, and jumped into a short a workout before lunch. I still can’t run, but I’ll just walk farther, until I can get the inhaler issue fixed. I need a steadier workout routine—when I was into the 30 Day Shred, I was on. it. The steady program and the numbered days helped me stay consistent.

I was considering P90X, but I think I need something smaller first to get me back in the game. Gruntstyle‘s Mamavation workouts are looking pretty solid—I need a good challenge to get me back in the game, though. It feeds into my competitive nature and provides the accountability I need. Luckily, Drill Sergeant Alarik is more than willing to kick my butt.

He assigned Megan and me 250 situps & pushups for today, when he saw us discussing the idea. Then, he gave me 50 more for an off comment. Don’t mess with @Gruntstyle, folks! I’m hoping this is just the kick in the pants I needed to get me back on track.

How do you get a restart with your fitness goals?

{scale pic coming soon. Stupid, broken card reader.}
Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
Today’s Weigh-In: 174.5 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: 3.5 pound gain (ugh!)
Total Mamavation Weight Loss: 20.5 pounds
BMI: 24.97

The George Foreman Knockout the Fat Weight Loss Challenge has officially closed, and I’m unbelievably thrilled to end at a normal BMI! I’m also a little surprised, after 5 days in San Diego. I knew I’d gain weight, so keeping it to a single pound makes me happy. That had to be all about the exercise—I actually got up in the mornings and worked out before the conference!

On Thursday, I hit the hotel gym with my (amazingly awesome) roomie, Kristen. On Friday, I woke up at the butt crack of dawn and ran the BlogHer 5K. Running by the bay? Pretty freaking cool. By Saturday, I was exhausted and nursing my sore feet so I opted for sleep over sweat. I did, however, dance hard all night long so I’m totally sure that counts!

As for my meals, I did pretty well with making healthy choices. I had plenty of tasty salads all week—my favorite was the Mongolian Chicken Salad from the Hawaiian Fusion restaurant at the conference hotel. It reminded me a bit of the barbecue chicken salads we make here at home:

The salads helped keep me in check, while I was away from my George Foreman grill—veggies, grilled meats, no carbs! I packed in healthy breakfasts & snacks. I had gluten free cereal bars and apples, mostly. But, it was the sugary samples and, ahem, tasty evening beverages that did me in. I’m okay with it, though, because a weekend like this doesn’t come around all the time!

I mean, how many chances do I get to wear a size 10 little black dress and hear everyone tell me how amazing I look? That was totally my favorite part of BlogHer all weekend (well, aside from hanging out with Leah, Shelley, Angela and Lori)—listening to people I haven’t seen in a year talking about how awesome I look. The ego boost? Pretty freaking cool.

Which is why I decided to do my final George Foreman Knockout the Fat Weight Loss Challenge in my little black dress:

And, yes, it’s time for another round of swimsuit pictures! I also have updated measurements & weight loss totals. This is feeling kinda final, but it’s just because I’ve finally hit a normal BMI and have reached the end of organized weight loss programs.

And, in case you’ve forgotten what I looked like 90 days ago:

And, 2 months before that:

I will be keeping it up, but I’m redefining my goals a bit. In March, I thought I’d like to lose 40 pounds. Now? I just don’t care what the scale says. I’ve seen too much up & down as I build muscle, in addition to losing fat. So, my goal is just to continue doing what I’m doing, tone the flab a little more and feel good about how I look!

Updated Measurements

Bust: 33″ (-3.5″)
Waist: 29″ (-8″)
Hips: 38″ (-4″)
Thigh: 20.5″ (-3″ each)
Arm: 11.25″ (-1.25″ each)

Total Inches Lost: 21″

Knockout the Fat Final Weigh-InStarting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
Today’s Weigh-In: 173 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: 1 pound gain

Total Mamavation Weight Loss: 22 pounds
Total Knockout the Fat Weight Loss: 14.5 pounds

BMI: 24.78

Disclosure: The George Foreman Knock out the Fat Weight Loss Challenge is a compensated program. As an ambassador for George Foreman, I received a George Foreman grill and will be paid for my time at the end of the 90 day challenge. All opinions are, as always, 100% mine!