Showing posts with label Callanetics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Callanetics. Show all posts

Friday, April 10, 2015

The time I hoped to reach goal by is fast approaching!

I can't believe it ... it's coming up so fast. When I started this diet August 19, 2013 I had hoped to reach goal by the time I fly home to see friends and family I haven't seen in eight years. Well we've bought our tickets today! The countdown begins. In less than four months we will be flying back to the US and I'm so excited! But will I be at goal? Only time will tell.

I went for the PT consult and the program is still way too expensive, especially with the trip home so near. I discussed the four "free" training sessions and it turns out it was more like one, just half an hour, and if you signed up you got another free one plus a free nutrition session and something else I can't recall now. I ended up not doing it -- I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. I really feel the Callanetics are reducing my saddlebags, which is very encouraging. And these longer runs will become more frequent, or at least I hope so.

I went for another 7k run attemp on Tuesday and it was going really well ... I was feeling great and knew I was going to make it! Then just before I reached 6k I felt a twinge in my right knee. For a second I grabbed the handles thinking I might go down, then I let go and kept on. It didn't happen again, at least not like that, but I did feel a few more twinges. I hung in there till I hit 6k and then went into my cool-down walk. Bummer! I do have bad knees but they only bother me when I try squats and lunges ... never when I run, at least not till now. So I was worried a bit. Some research online indicated it could be a sign I need new running shoes, so I may have to get some. They are over a year old, so it's worth a try.

This is the monthly gain week and I have had an increased appetite so I don't hold out much hope for a drop this weekend. I have not felt well the last couple of days so I took a break from fasting but will go back to strict Phase 1 and 5:2 IF next week. I'll check in again soon.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I'm in the 160s! Less than 20 lbs to goal!

I'm here, and couldn't be better! Sorry I didn't update last week, life was a bit busy, but it doesn't matter, it gets a little boring to write the same thing all the time anyway. As in "I'm still running, still doing Callanetics, still fasting twice a week but it's that week again, every four weeks where I stall or gain." But I'm back and happy to report a drop this week. I weighed in at 77.1 kg this morning which is 169.98 lbs. I'm in the 160s!! Just barely but I am! That brings my total loss to 53.2 kg / 117.29 lb. Very happy with that.

It seems surreal to say I have less than 20 pounds to go to reach goal. Wow. Can I do that in the next five months I wonder? I am going home for a visit in August this year, so it would sure be nice to be at goal then. We've been looking into airfare and it's looking like right around $1500 each at this stage. It's such a long flight from Sydney to LA, then on to Chicago (then a few hours drive as well). So we were talking to my sister-in-law yesterday who suggested we stop in Hawaii for a couple of days to break up the flight. What a lovely idea! Neither of us has ever been to Hawaii, and I really do hate that long flight. We've talked about not making this just a trip home to visit family, but also to see sights we've never seen before, travel around the country a bit, etc. So why not see Hawaii?

There is a part of me that worries about all the foods I will have access to again that I haven't had here. There is no Taco Bell here, and I can't remember the last time I had a Reuben sandwich -- those are SO GOOD.  Will I continue to fast twice a week once I'm home? I don't know - we'll see. I think whether I fast or not for those few weeks isn't as important as that I eat the right foods as much as possible. Is it realistic to think I won't try anything that has sugar or junk carbs? Maybe ... we'll see. I think a few onion rings is in order no matter what, they just don't have those in Australia (except the dehydrated formed ones you would find at Burger King, which is known as Hungry Jack's here). I really miss onion rings. But by and large I hope to stick to my new way of eating even while in America. I can always make low-carb Reuben cabbage rolls - basically Reuben filling stuffed in cabbage leaves. Wow, those sound good actually.

As for running, I haven't done so well increasing my speed this week. I haven't had as much energy for some reason. I tried both Monday and Wednesday going to 8.1 but about 20 minutes in I had to back it down to 7.8 kph. In fact on Wednesday I didn't even make the full 30 minutes, I just didn't have it in me and went back to a walk after about 23 minutes. But yesterday I did the full 30 minutes at 8.0 kph so maybe it was just a bad week. I will probably try 8.1 again this week. Hardly seems like .1 kph could make much difference, but it was my 'gain' week so maybe that had something to do with it. Alternatively I could start the 10K training -- the first day of that is 40 minutes, but you run 10 minutes, then walk one, then repeat three times. I don't know, we'll see how I feel on Monday.

The Callanetics are still working, I can feel myself getting stronger -- especially the abs. My saddlebags are shrinking slowly, my waist is smaller. I still have enough fat on my body that I can't tell if my abs are getting flatter but they sure feel stronger. It's getting much easier to do the exercises. I can curl up further on the stomach exercises, sit up straighter doing the behind exercises, and bend over much further on the waist trimmer. I can also see my legs getting slimmer, including the inner thighs. I love this workout! I use the original Callanetics from Callan Pinckney, not the newer versions.

Anyway, I've just come off a fast day and there's nothing here for breakfast, so I may have to take a walk to the store and get some eggs. Hope you all have a great weekend -- I have still been reading blogs last week even if I didn't update mine, and I'll check in with you all again soon.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Down 52.4 kg (115.52 lb) ... the stall is truly history!

First, a weigh-in ... this morning I got a new low of 77.9 kg (171.74 lb)! That is down 1.1 kg (2.43 lb) from my last update, and that's after a night out with friends including dinner at the club. All around me there was pizza, chicken parmesan drenched in cheese, hot chips (plank fries), bruschetta and other appetisers. I very much enjoyed my grilled rump steak with salad and steamed veggies. Yum!

That brings my total loss to 52.4 kg (115.52 lb)! I am so happy to be moving again I feel like I'm walking on cloud nine. I've not only completed Milestone 10 on the Happy Scale app ... I'm 10% into Milestone 11 (of 12). The finish line is within sight!

I'm moving my fast days to Tuesday & Saturday this week. I'd rather be eating on Sunday since I usually do my grocery shopping and cook a big meal to have lunch leftovers through the week, so I'd rather fast on Saturday.

As for exercise ... I've completed my second round of C25K but this time I was 25 pounds lighter and completed it in 8 weeks instead of the 12 it took me the first time. Having the treadmill was great, I didn't miss a day due to weather and I could ensure a constant pace. I can watch scenic run videos, or my favourite music videos to help the time pass more quickly. I love that!

So now I'm trying to decide what my next goal should be ... I may run for half an hour but it's not 5k for me. It's more like 4k. I can run 8 to 10 minutes at 8 kph but for 20-30 minutes I tend to run 7.6 kph. So where should I focus next?
  • I could continue to run 30 minutes for a while trying to increase speed,
  • I could try the programs on the treadmill (speed and incline intervals), or
  • I could not worry about my speed and just build my endurance, possibly moving up to the 10k trainer to do longer runs.
I'm not sure yet but I may just alternate the first two options for a week or two and see how we go.

Definitely still doing Callanetics on the days between running and I can both see and feel my body changing. Hubby feels it too ... he can't keep his hands off me! Don't worry, I'm not going to over share here, lol. I'm just saying it's nice to drift off to sleep while someone gives you a relaxing massage, and he'll stop and caress my arms, hips, waist, thigh or backside and say how much smaller, tighter or firmer I'm getting. Between running and Callanetics I am seeing and feeling amazing changes in my body and I love it. My new jeans are getting loose!

Well, off to break the fast ... I'll check in again soon.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

New low weight! IF is working, and so is Callanetics!

I'm still doing 5:2 intermittent fasting, with Thursday and Sunday as my planned fast days. It's much easier than you might think, and I like it heaps better than the daily fast with an 8 hour eating window. I'd heard it gets easier each time you do it, and that does seem to be the case for me.

Now before I give this week's results, let me remind you there's only been one fast day since I last updated you because I did it a day earlier last week, and this is the week I would normally start gaining water weight. But happily, I weighed in at 80.1 kg (176.59 lb), beating my previous record on 14th December of 80.2 kg (176.81 lb) by just 100 grams. I'm down 0.8 kg (1.76 lb) from last week, for a total loss of 50.2 kg (110.67 lb).

I've been working very hard over the last few weeks to break this stall and it seems to be working! In fact, if I lose just 1.18 kg (2.6 lb) more I will no longer be obese - very much looking forward to that!

Fasting and running are definitely helping with the weight loss, but I am really loving the way Callanetics is working to tone and tighten everything up. I remember years ago when I first did Callanetics I took pictures at the start and then once a week for the next several weeks - you could definitely see a difference, everything looked higher, firmer and tighter, my stomach and saddlebags were smaller, too. I didn't take pictures this time, but I can feel it happening, and others are noticing as well. It's amazing how fast these exercises work! I have had comments in the last few days, both from my husband (who said my skin is tightening up for sure) and people at work (one said I look skinnier). That just confirms what I've been feeling myself. I can tell that my body not only feels stronger, but firmer and tighter as well, even under the chin. I love that!

So I'm still getting in my three C25K running sessions each week (last night I completed week 6 day 3, running 22 minutes straight) on the treadmill. On the following days I'm walking about an hour on average and also doing Callanetics. That leaves Sunday as a rest day, but I often get in another walk then as well.

I have never been someone who enjoyed exercise before, but now that I'm really committed to doing it regularly, I actually look forward to it, especially Callanetics. I know I probably sound like a commercial here, but it just feels so good! I turn on Pandora's 70s Lite Rock channel and slowly work through all the moves. I know the routine by heart so I don't need the video anymore, and the music sets the mood - it almost feels like yoga and meditation. Callanetics are slow, pulsing movements that work muscles deep inside the body (and you will definitely feel it) - but it's also slow, relaxing movements and deep stretches. I just really enjoy this workout.

Here's an article that will explain it better if you're interested, and below is a brief excerpt:
"The exercises are based on repetitive contractions in a very small range of motion. These minute movements, called 'pulses', work deep down into the muscles. Instead of contracting then releasing the muscles and repeating this pattern, the Callanetics method encourages one pulsing into a deep contraction. The exercises do not put any strain on the cardiovascular system, or any pressure on the joints, since there is no bouncing kind of movement involved."
I highly recommend this program. I use the original workout developed by Callan Pinckney. There are newer variations out there, but I stick to the original. I modify just three of the moves to ease pressure on my knees, but I do all of the exercises. It takes an hour if you follow the original video workout, but once you know the moves you can do it on your own and I find it takes me about 40 minutes.

I'm about half way through The End of Overeating by David Kessler and it's really good, though I've been doing my own research and eating healthier for long enough that most of what I'm reading doesn't surprise me. It does anger me, which is the reaction I believe Gwen had when she read it. Even today, Valentine's Day, I was waiting at the 7-Eleven while hubby was paying for petrol and through the front window I saw posters for the latest extreme, sugar-filled Slurpee flavours and heart-shaped Krispy Kreme donuts, while on the shelves I saw nothing but chips and other junk food snacks. Is that all they sell? I saw families coming out of the place, young children and all, munching on this junk.

In years past, on whatever diet I was on at that time, I would see something like that and feel deprived. Why can't I eat those things when everyone else can? Today I just felt angry. Angry that you can't go anywhere these days without being bombarded by garbage food and angry that for so many years I let that garbage control me. I felt powerless to say no. I've reclaimed my life and my power, but I know there are others still where I was then that are still in the control of this garbage and it really angers me. What kind of future are we setting up for our children? Instead of an occasional indulgence, this junk is now part of every day lives. What a shame.

Anyway, off my soapbox and on with improving my life. I'm looking forward to seeing a kilo weight in the 70s next week -- fingers crossed!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

5 Days into Intermittent Fasting

I started Intermittent Fasting on the weekend -- it's Wednesday evening so I've done five days so far. I've been doing the 16 hour fast / 8 hour eating window each day, and really it's not been difficult. Hunger does indeed come in waves, and while I'm at work most of the time I don't even think about it much. Having said that I am happy when noon comes and I can have lunch. Now, it is an eight hour eating window but that does not mean I'm eating during that entire time! No, I still don't really snack between meals, so I have lunch and dinner with dessert usually being an Atkins shake or bar.  I workout when I get home.  They say you should do your workouts during the fasting stage, which would be morning for me, but I work and I'm definitely not a morning person so I'm not getting up at 5:30 just to workout. Besides, I've tried that before and I have no energy in the morning. I love working out when I get home - believe it or not I look forward to it!  The treadmill has become my stress relief. :)

I'm on week three of the C25K, but in truth I'm pushing myself a bit more than I did the first time. Firstly, I am doing it on the treadmill this time, so that means I can push myself to go a bit faster than I would outside. I'm also adding extra running intervals. For instance, today was a 90 second run, 90 second walk, then walk a 3 minute run and 3 minute walk. You repeat that twice, so two 90 second intervals and two 3 minute intervals.  At the end of those I add two more 3 minute intervals, mostly because I want to exercise more than 28 minutes. Then I cool down at a brisk pace for a few minutes, then slow down to a more casual walking pace for 4-5 minutes more. All in all it's usually about 40 minutes, but today was 45.

Yesterday I did Callanetics and I'm debating just sticking to those two workouts for now. Every time I try to add strength training in as well it gets to be too much. So for now I'll have two rest nights.  C25K on the treadmill is M/W/F, Callanetics Tu/Sat, and rest on Thu/Sun.

I've already dropped a bit but I'm not counting it just yet because I'm still getting rid of the monthly weight gain.  By the weekend I hope to see a much better number again.  I'm told it can take a few weeks or longer of Intermittent Fasting to start seeing results, but I think that's for people transitioning from the Standard American Diet (SAD) so we'll see.  Since I'm sticking to my usual dr Poon / low carb meals during my eating window, I'm hoping to start seeing some good results sooner. I'll check back soon and let you know how I'm going.

Gwen's three-part discussion of Dr David Kessler's book The End of Overeating has convinced me to read it. I bought the Kindle edition so I could dive into it quicker, and I'm already up to Part II - The Food Industry. The first part was certainly very interesting, all about the way sugar, fat and salt affect our brain and behaviour. Why we crave such foods. In Part II it looks like we'll be getting into how the food industry used that knowledge to hook us on their products, thus ensuring we'd come back for more and more. You can read Gwen's excerpts here - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Obviously I'm not done with the book yet, but I can see where this would help a lot of people because I spent years thinking I was a worthless failure who couldn't control what I eat. Now at least I know why! My lack of control wasn't because I was weak, in fact much of it was never in my control to begin with. Thanks Gwen for sharing this information, I'm really glad I bought this book.  I'll comment more when I've finished reading it.  That's all for now, I'm off to relax for a bit before bed.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

106.5 pounds gone in under 14 months

I'm still losing very slowly, getting 'monthly drops' rather than weekly like I used to, but I'm doing my best not to let that frustrate me. I've been mixing things up - lot of walking, sometimes jogging, strength training with FitnessBlender and recently added Callanetics into the mix. That, and of course making sure my eating is always on track. I still tend to do a bit of intermittent fasting on the weekends. I'm hoping that winter had something to do with the slow progress and things might pick up speed now that warmer weather is here, but if it doesn't I can assure you I will not use this as an excuse to throw in the towel. Those days are over. I've come way too far to let frustration send me back up the scale again. Nope, I'm going to let my body do its thing and go at its own pace.

Having said that I did get a nice drop as expected this week, weighing in at 82.0 kg (180.78 lb) which is a drop of .7 kg (1.54 lb) from last week and brings my total to 48.3 kg (106.48 lb). Now I'll probably start the roller coaster ride again, as my weight goes up and down a kilo or two from week to week until I get another drop in a few weeks time. That seems to be the way of it these days.  The frustration now is that I need to drop less than 400 grams (.88 lb) to get to 179.9 pounds - getting into the 170s will be wonderful. At 175 pounds I'll officially be just overweight rather than obese so I'm really looking forward to that day. I'll get there.

I really enjoyed adding Callanetics this week - I haven't really done it since the 90s and I really enjoyed it. I remember in the 90s taking progress photos from one week to the next and you could really see a difference in just a few weeks.  So even if the weight doesn't drop dramatically, hopefully things will tighten and lift in any case.  I definitely felt it the next day, too, it's a workout that really delivers, though it's very slow, relaxing and almost meditative while you do it. I like that, as I rarely find the time to actually meditate, much as I enjoy it, and this is an evolution in body, mind and spirit after all.  Anyway, have a lovely weekend everyone and I'll check back in again soon.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Weigh-in ... it's been a slow month.

I know hubby would say to focus on the fact that I weigh less at the end of the month than I did at the start. It's true, I have lost weight this month but it's still the worst month since the start of my weight-loss on 19th August 2013. You get used to nice big drops in the first half of the journey and while I knew that couldn't continue indefinitely it still came as a shock how many ups and downs June would bring.

So where am I at today?  I weighed in at 86.6 kg (190.92 lb) which is down just 0.5 kg (1.1 lb) from last week, and 43.7 kg (96.34 lb) overall. Not bad for 10.5 months. But June was a horrible month with pre-menstrual weight gain starting early, then a drop when I started followed by another gain during ... it nearly drove me crazy.

88.1 kg (194.23 lb) on 31st May
86.6 kg (190.82 lb) on 30th June
-1.5 kg ( -  3.31 lb) for the month.

That's a lousy month to be sure. But I am not changing diet-wise.  This works and I gotta remain focused. I am, however, changing up my activity. This week I am going back to Turbo Jam and adding Callanetics. My heart has not been in the running in this cold weather and I have struggled to run 30 minutes for a couple of weeks now. I am not giving up as I don't want to lose the progress I have made. I ran some intervals on the weekend and beat my pace record getting 6:57 ... I think my lowest was 7:21 before. I just need to do something different for a while. I will come back to it.

So that's where I'm at. Here's to July being a much better month!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Nice drop this week, down 93 pounds in 9.5 months

Yeah, after anticipating a smaller loss this week I was pleasantly surprised to see 88.1 kg (194.23 lb) this morning, which is a drop of 1.4 kg (3.09 lb) from last week! Wow. I can't believe it really. That brings my total loss to 42.2 kg (93.04 lb) in just under 9.5 months.

I do have occasional weeks with small losses or even (rarely) small gains, but to still see nice drops like that this far into my weight loss is amazing to me.  I love that it's coming off fast, but that's another reason I wanted to start running ... I am very hopeful it will help with those last remnants of flab at the end so I don't have "loose skin" issues. I know most who lose lots of weight do, but I've read several articles lately such as "The Myth of Loose Skin" that argue what most people call loose skin is really stubborn subcutaneous fat deposits.

Skin itself is very thin, so if we have just loose skin it should be very thin like the skin on your eyelid or the back of your hand. If it's thicker than that, there is still fat left. They say if you get your body fat percentage low enough (15-17% for women), the skin will tighten up. But at 50 years old I fear I would look too old and gaunt at that low a body fat percentage. Having said that, I've seen the scars from surgical skin removal and that scares me too. So my plan is to keep running, add Callanetics starting this coming week, and maybe when I get a bit further along add weight-lifting if I need to. I hope that will improve any skin issues enough that I don't have to worry. We'll see.

I hurt my back!

Yeah, running twice a week and adding Callanetics twice a week was the plan ... we'll see how I go because I have pulled something in my lower back on the left side. I stopped at a shop Friday after work to buy another pair of slacks and two new tops all size 16. I had leaned against the dressing room wall and reached down to pull my pant leg off and felt a sudden pain on the lower left side of my back at hip level. I hadn't strained or made any weird movements so I don't know how or why it happened but I barely was able to get dressed again and get myself home. It still hurts today, though I did go for a walk. It hurts least when I'm standing up straight or laying comfortably. But at any stage of bending over or trying to lift anything it reminds me instantly that I better not. So I hope it passes soon so I can workout next week. I may go and get some Voltarin for inflammation and see if that helps ... or some of that stinky Deep Heat rub for sore muscles. Wish me luck.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Down 90 Pounds in just over 9 Months! And remember Callanetics?

Yesterday I was thrilled to hit 89.1 kg (196.43 lb) which put me at nearly 91 pounds lost! Today I saw 89.5 kg (197.31 lb) which is down 1.2 kg (2.65 lb) from last week, and brings my total loss to 40.8 kg (89.95 lb). Fluctuations happen, and I reckon 89.95 is close enough that I can still claim 90 pounds down. That's still a nice drop - and I'll probably see a smaller one in the coming week, especially with my cycle coming around again soon.  That's just 9 months and 1 week to lose 90 pounds, and I couldn't be more pleased!

I have just two days left and I've finished the C25K program! Can you believe it? I have one more 28 minute run to do and then the final which is 30 minutes. The final 28 minute run was due last night, but I had plans with some girlfriends that I don't see often enough so I was going to run today.  But we laughed and talked so much last night that my throat was a bit sore! My throat can get a bit dry when I run though I do bring water with me but I thought rather than chance aggravating it more I would do a big one hour walk today instead. So either tomorrow or Monday will be the 2nd to last (28 minutes) and then maybe Wednesday or Thursday I'll do the final 30 minute run to finish the training program.

Then what? I just wanted to conquer my fears and make it through the program, but now I don't want to lose the endurance I've built up. I don't think running has contributed heaps to my actual weight loss, but it's certainly beneficial to my heart and lungs, and I do think it's made me a bit smaller and more toned.  It was lovely to hear compliments from my friends last night but when I reminded one that she'd last seen me just 4 kilos ago (I guess that is almost 9 pounds) she thought it looked like much more than four kilos. Plus I've fit into clothes that I couldn't just a couple of weeks ago, so I do think it's helped me shrink a bit.  I'm thinking I'll keep running 30 minutes at least twice a week and maybe do some other forms of exercise twice a week as well ... like maybe Callanetics, anyone remember that? Well it was big in the late 80s and early 90s, and according to this article it's been making a comeback due to celebrities like Madonna and Gwynneth Paltrow. Here's a blurb from the product line on their website:
I used to do Callanetics in the early 90s and I remember taking photos from one week to the next ... you could really see a difference, Callanetics works, and works fast. When I was looking for information on the program I found various forums where people were discussing it, and one lady said, "I have never had a workout make such changes to my body in such a short period of time. Though outdated (and sometimes boring), this one works like no other. I love it."  She's right, it was like 1988 when this was made, and unfortunately in the original video they spend time teaching the moves during the class, so there are times you want to fast forward once you know what you're doing. But I remember really liking this class and how fast I saw results, so I think I'll give it a go again.

There were various before and after photos in both the book and the video. I don't have the book anymore but was able to find this one on the internet:
Since the class takes about an hour to do, those results are after doing 19 workouts. I tended to do mine just twice a week and I got pretty dramatic results as well.  I don't think I still have those old pictures, but I'll be sure and take new ones when I start the program again. Some of the exercises are easier if you have a ballet bar in your house, and believe it or not I actually installed one back in the 90s. I don't have room to do that now, but what I do have is a game room with pinball machines to grab onto and stretch my limb across, so I think that may just work. :)

Anyway, that's my report for the week, hope you're all doing well and I can't wait to report that I've finished the C25K!