beer, diet, low carb

Low-carb life – begins tomorrow!

Making a huge change in my diet beginning tomorrow – and fitness changes on Monday!

Gained some weight over the summer. More than the ten pounds I’ve talked about. More like 18. They gotta go. My daughter is a type 1 diabetic so a low carb diet would lower the carb intake and lower the units of insulin she has to inject daily. I’m hoping to lead by example. I feel like if I can get through the first 2 weeks, I can do anything. Please don’t ask what I’m gonna do about my love for beer…. Will have to reserve for special occasions;)

Memorial Day marked the start of summer. I lost my senses and gained a sh*t ton of weight since then. Labor Day divinities the unofficial end of summer. These extra pounds can leave with summer, too!

Off to find my willpower and change my eating habits – and return to bad ass gym girl!

adaptive motion trainer, gym

Stuff I like.

Lots of folks ask me about my favorite fitness activities, products, gym stuff. Here’s my favorite gym-go-to! the AMT can be used like a stairstepper, an elliptical, and- when you put all of your effort into it, including using the arm pedals, and really lean forward into the machine, it simulates a full on run without the impact on your knees and ankles. If I stay on this for an hour, I usually burn 700+ calories. It works almost every muscle in the body! It’s a butt blaster for sure. Give it a try if your gym has these! A little awkward at first, but is so worth it.

My favorite piece of gym equipment.
My favorite piece of gym equipment.

It’s really all Kenny Chesney’s fault….

Or maybe Tim McGraw’s fault that I took temporary leave of my senses last May.  Let me explain.

Concert season in the Raleigh area began shortly before Memorial Day weekend.  The middle of May started the season with Tim McGraw, where I was sporting a size jeans that I hadn’t seen since I was a teenager! I was feeling SO great and had complete hold of my mojo.  Rockin’ the Levi’s, black Ariat boots and a black tank top, I felt incredibly fit and confident! I went to the concert with some of the best girls I know.  We have a Megaticket, which is a ticket I purchased for like $199 for 9 country concerts.  It’s a great deal for sure.  I get to hear great music, tailgate, and hang out with my great circle of friends.  I even got my husband to go to one this year!)

Back to my story and why it’s Kenny Chesney’s fault…. By the second concert in the series of nine, it was the Thursday before Memorial Day and I declared it to be summertime! I also declared it time to end my gym membership at the boxing gym I’d been going to since the prior Thanksgiving.  (Bad move #1)
Summertime to me can clearly be defined by tailgating, outdoor patios, grilling, friends, and beer.  That Thursday, I ended my workday at noon, packed my stuff up for the concert, picked up a bucket of fried chicken,  and met up with  the CGF’s (core girlfriends) at the venue.

And there, friends- is where I lost my mind and slowly lost my mojo!

Kenny’s show was awesome! I hadn’t been to that show in a couple of years.  It was sold out.  It had rained all day, so it was muddy and wet at the venue.  Only one sure fire way to pass the time and that’s to tailgate with the girls.  And tailgate I did.  For McGraw.  For Chesney. For Paisley. For (Luke) Bryan…and not so much for (Blake) Shelton last Friday.

Those super cute Levi’s that made me feel so great then CAN button now, but it would be obscene for me to wear them at this minute.  Remember that mistake I made about leaving the boxing gym?  Yeah. That one.  DUMBA$$ me.  I belonged to 2 gyms at the time.  It’s expensive to have one membership, let alone 2.  And since I had already hurt my left elbow from boxing (tennis elbow from boxing!!) and the cardio kickboxing classes were wreaking havoc on my already-injured right achilles heel, I decided I’d stay at the larger, more established gym in my town and save myself some money.

Again, I say- dumbass me.  People who workout have their favorite thing.  My friends Mandie and Patrice are runners.  My friend Scott is a cyclist. My sister likes to walk the treadmill.  Cathi likes tennis and kickboxing.  Holland likes CrossFit.  Mine is boxing.  I am clumsy. I am rhythmically challenged, so anything that resembles dancing is totally out of the question.  No Zumba for me.  I am not a good swimmer.  I can’t   shouldn’t run to do before-mentioned achilles thing.  Boxing is my THING.  It helped me shape my core muscles in a way I cannot explain.I was starting to see ab muscles.  I have curves- but they were good ones! I have a defined WAIST.  I had better curves and waist 2-3 months ago.

Here’s the thing. If you LOVE something – don’t stop because of money if you can help it.  In the grand scheme of it all, it was  $44 a month extra I was spending.  I’d gladly spend that in May-August now if I’d realized what I was doing to myself.  My tummy is awful.  My butt is bigger.  And it’s all because I lost my motivation and got sidetracked- and I wanted to save $44.  I probably spent that $44 on beer and chicken for our tailgating excursions!

And while it’s easy to blame it on celebrating summer, or my favorite country singers, the fault is mine.  I let the lackadaisical, no-stress-celebration-season get the better of me, to the tune of about 12-14 pounds.  In three months! This time frame also found me wallowing in a little self pity.  Memorial Day marked a year of being the parent of  my beautiful  teenager with type 1 diabetes, which is more of a stress than I can ever explain…it coincided with the anniversary of the death of my father…which is a pain I can never explain..(you can find the story on that here:( Remembering Daddy)and it also coincided with the busiest time of year for me at my job.  I went on a couple of mini-vacations where I ate too much and exercised too little. I spent too much time on my laptop working until stupid-o’clock and spent way too little time working on ME.

Why am I documenting this and telling y’all this?  Because many of you sweet souls have either emailed, texted, facebooked or called me to say that I am inspiring you.  Say what?  I am inspiring someone to find their strength, find their footing and get healthy.  Well alright then.  Let me tell you to DO AS I SAY and NOT AS I HAVE DONE THIS SUMMER! Backsliding is not worth it.  You have to double your workload to get the results you want!

I’m saying this loud and clear. It’s a promise to myself and it’s a promise to those who say I’ve inspired you to lose weight.  I did not come all this way and lose some 80 pounds to go backwards. I slid backwards for too long and it has stopped.  I can’t stand the way I feel.  I can’t stand for my cute clothes that I haven’t had for very long to be tight.  There’s no mojo. The expression on my face has changed. I am almost back to the apologetic stage I talked about a few blog posts back.  “Hi, I’m Dawn, sorry I’m so fat”….There’s no spring in my step because I am disappointed in myself.  And if I don’t like myself, how is anyone else gonna like me?  So, to fix it, I have resumed my reign as crazy gym girl.  Sunday was boxing. Monday was elliptical. Today was my re-acquaintance with cycling.  (And I don’t need the frozen peas after all!!)  I am back at the boxing gym thanks to a groupon I found! It’s a 3 month membership.  And I will likely renew it when the groupon expires.  Because like I said- it’s my “thing”  BTW, if you’re interested, the Groupon is still valid!
Cardio Boxing/kickboxing burns about 600-1000 calories in an hour.  It took me about a week to get over the initial soreness.  Kinda the soreness I feel today after cycling this morning:) Talk about Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness! Oh my goodness- my legs are like noodles today!

But- tomorrow’s a new day.  And there will be more activities for me to accomplish.  I think I need a challenge of sorts.  I seem to do better when I am training for something- like when I did the half marathon- it took several months of running/walking to reach that goal.  But I am scared to bike on the road (more of that clumsy thing I talked about).  I can no longer run…and I am not a good swimmer.  Trying to think of a 60-90 day challenge.  If you have any suggestions, I am all ears!

Thanks for reading.  I don’t know WHO reads, I just know somebody comes by here due to the number of hits on the page…but thank you.  It is good for me to put the thoughts I have down in writing. Hopefully in the next 90 days I will come back to declare I lost the unwanted “summer” weight, and then some.  My birthday is in December. A little over 4 months away.  I want to be DONE with loss and figure out how to maintain.  That’s no small goal considering Thanksgiving and Christmas are shortly before the 28th of December.

But of all the things I’ve learned about myself- I know I am strong.I get sidetracked by shiny objects, namely sparkly amber ales in long neck bottles…I might need reminding from time to time of where the road actually IS because clearly I have been navigationally  challenged for 3 months. But like I said yesterday- CAN’T is not in my vocabulary.

Oh! picture of “the” Levi’s. See below:) I hope my concert-going girlfriends do not mind that I am posting the picture.  Not exactly the greatest expression on my face, but that right there, middle of May- smallest I have been since the 10th grade.  I gotta get back there.  It took me 3 months to screw up and lose my way.  It’s gonna take me 3 months to FIND my weigh.

From the left- Gail, Tresa, Susan, Teresa (my sister) , me, Beverly.  Tim McGraw concert May 2013

It helps me if I have friends who want to push me- participate with me- challenge me! If you use, my user name is westva2nc.  You know I will keep you posted on my progress!
I’ll get there.  And in the words of Tim McGraw… “Not a Moment Too Soon“.



5:30AM tomorrow- Second attempt at spin class. IT.IS.ON!

I am trying to mentally prepare myself for my second attempt at cycling. It’s tomorrow at 5:30. As in the MORNING hours. (I know. I am crazy). I have gained a little weight since Memorial Day Weekend. As in 10+ pounds in 3 months. And it has to GO. I found this note I wrote in 2009 on my facebook account. It makes me giggle now. But it was so painful then! I remember the pain vividly- so vividly that I am off to go make sure I have frozen peas in the freezer ready for my return to cycling tomorrow. For those who know me best, you know I am not a morning person. You also know I’ve not been my happy self due to the gain because my britches are too tight!

This note was written long before I did a half marathon and long before I discovered boxing. It is amazing the things I’ve made my body do- having said alllllll along that they couldn’t be done. CAN’T is not in my vocabulary anymore. I have some limitations due to injuries- but cycling and I – we could be friends, I think. We’ll see after tomorrow. For you folks that pray before you go to bed- you may want to add me to the list. I hope I can walk out of the gym tomorrow!

From my facebook account in May, 2009
my first cycling class at the gym…
So ya’ll know I have been trying fairly desperately to get back in shape and back into a healthy lifestyle. Since January I’ve been trying to make changes in my life to get back to the weight I was when Jason and I got married. I have a LONG.WAY.TO.GO…

On this journey, I’ve come to like the stationary bike, the elliptial trainer, RUNNING (WTH??) and even weight training and distance walking. I thought today I would add a spin class to my repertoire of exercise. I went into the studio where the class is held yesterday when there was nobody there so that I could acclimate myself with the bike since its very different than other stationary bikes.

Class was at 2:45 and taught by a lovely young lady named Karee. I went into it thinking it would be a wonderful experience and GO ME for adding something new to my activities.

We had a 10 minute warm up. At this point I am thinking this is so not hard and why didn’t I try this much sooner?

10 more minutes go by and Karee says to turn the little knob thingy to add some tension. Sure. No problem…for about 2 minutes, I was good to go.

5 minutes goes by and Karee, who is really cute, curly red headed girl who’s obviously been doing this a looong while tells me and my fellow spinners to take it back a notch and pedal faster and build up some speed. Karee is a nice girl.

SO we’re up to about 25 minutes and Karee is using terms like “turn it up a tiny bit” and “find your cadence”. WHAT? What the hell is cadence? I thought that was musically related. I had to google it when I got home. Karee is soon looking like the spawn of satan to me now, as I have sweat dripping off every conceivable part of my body and the mascara that I so diligently applied this morning is now dripping from my cheeks.

at about 30 minutes, we go a little steadier and I am again feeling pretty dang good about this. She’s playing “Sideways” by Dierks Bentley. Being that I am a country fan, I am digging this music and trying to find that cadence Devil I mean Karee is talking about. No such luck.

35 minutes in and we’re turning up our tension so that it simulates going uphill. I am of the opinion that I am either going to die right here in this gym, fall off the bike from exhaustion or I am going to slide off it because I am sweating so much. My butt hurts from the bike seat and I swear I can no longer feel muscles on the backs of my legs. But there Karee is, with her little peppy self changing things like “go! You can do it! Ride it out! Make it burn! Make it count!)

At 45 minutes I was spent. I felt like I could throw up, which I am assuming is not a good thing to do at the gym in front of all these people. I think that means you’re burning sugar and not fat. Whatever it was, I knew that it was bad and I needed to get on out of there as gracefully as I could. I slid off the bike, cleaned it off and nearly crawled out of the room….I went by the front desk to get my keys and the guy looked at me as if I may need some medical attention. I grabbed my keys and made my way to the car. I scared myself when I looked in the rear view mirror. Mascara goes on your eyes. Not your mouth. Though I have short hair, it is not supposed to stick straight up! I’d sweat so much that my hair did not even resemble a hair STYLE.

As I drove home, I pondered about my weight loss journey and how I’ve made my body do things I never thought possible. Running? Piece of cake compared to Karee’s insanity class. An hour on the elliptical, sure thing. Sign me up. But here’s a piece of advice kids, from me to you….

Should you consider spinning and you’re already a bit overweight, CHUBBY GIRLS SHOULDN’T SPIN! Give it another 10 pounds and then give it a go. Yes I realize that if I keep spinning I will no longer BE chubby. Of course I won’t, because I will throw up if I do that class anytime real soon.

So that is my cycling story, folks. I’ll do it again….maybe not like TOMORROW, but I will do it again. When I can regain the feeling in my behind and thighs.

OH- and the definition of cadence in cycling…is…

The speed at which the pedals turn, measured in Revolutions Per Minute.

Find your Cadence!