Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Review

Wow. What a year 2013 was!!  I did so much this year that I probably never thought I would experience.

The beginning of the year was marked by my heaviest weight, ever! I have been a major yo-yo dieter in my past, and I thought I would always get up to my 'normal high' weight and never go above that.  Well, the end of 2012/beginning of 2013 marked the end of that thought process when I hit my all-time high.  I was astonished and ashamed when I weighed in at an embarrassing 360 pounds!!

It was that doctor's appointment that toss me into a shocking revelation.  I came home that day and told my girlfriend of over three years that I had had enough. There was no more hiding it - I was taking action.  I told her that she could watch me or join in - but it was time for me to take control.  Looking back, I really don't think she was ready to throw in the fast food towel, but she was supportive of my decision. The first month, I lost 19 pounds - most of this was water retention, but I wasn't complaining!!

At the end of January, we headed to Mexico for a family member's wedding. It was a lot of fun, but because of medical (weight-related) issues, I was pretty miserable most of the time.  Here are a few pictures from our trip.

Just before we swam with dolphins
This is the last night in Mexico
At the wedding.  I was sucking my stomach in as much as possible!

After the week in Mexico, I was terrified to weigh in, and I did - at 351.  If you are doing the math, that's a 10 pound gain! I felt like I was starting all over - and wasn't sure how to handle it. After seeing an expert about my medical issue, I finally felt like I had that part of life under control and could focus on me - but I knew for sure that I wasn't ready to head back to the gym.

Over the first several months, I struggled quite a bit. After much persuasion, Nicole encouraged me to go back to my old personal trainer. In April, I lost almost 8 pounds. Even though I was starting to see success, I was not happy with my trainer. At this point, I decided that I couldn't attend personal training sessions where I felt judged by a guy the entire time I was paying him for his professionalism (not for him to text on his phone the whole time).

At the end of May, Nicole purchased a Groupon for a boot camp gym in the area. I watch the warm up (yes, only the warm up) of one class - and it overwhelmed me. I walked out of there and told Nicole there was NO WAY I could do it. After three weeks of attending, Nicole was hooked and persuaded me to try a free class. I finally tried it, and somehow I survived! The next day, I was incredibly sore. I wondered why I ever let my body get so out of shape, and was certain I would never return!

That first class was over six months ago!  I am at Body by Design at least five times a week and multiple times on Mondays (and sometimes multiple times per day).  My biggest change since joining Body by Design has happened since I started working 2-3 times each week with my personal trainer - Alex. The week before Christmas, I lost six pounds - in ONE WEEK! He has helped me realize how much more important nutrition is for weight loss than any other part of it. He has built up my endurance and strength - and my body feels so much leaner after each work out.

In 2013, I lost a total of 71.4 pounds. It may not have been the number I imagined in the beginning of the year, but I have learned so many life lessons that will take me into my successes in the future.

Here is a picture comparison of me on December 31, 2012 (left) and on December 31, 2013 (right).  I love my progress!

I really look forward to 2014, because I WILL hit 100+ pounds lost before my 30th birthday in June, and continue hitting goals all year long!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My New Fitness Program

I wanted to stop by and let you all know the news in my fitness life.

Nicole found this amazing Groupon. She bought it for herself and fell in love. She encouraged me to try it too!

The Groupon is for a fitness place really close to my home. Body By Design is a small gym that works solely on weight loss. Joey, the owner, is incredible. I took my first class with him last week and I was addicted!

Last night, we met and talked about nutrition, goals and what has kept me from being successful in the past.  He weighed me and took my body fat percentage. The whole time, he was so encouraging and amazing!

After our meeting, I attended another boot camp class. These classes are usually 8-12 people and every single person is super encouraging and wants to see you succeed. I have never experienced a gym or fitness atmosphere filled with so many kind words and smiles!

We did something last night in class called "Indian Runs". Basically, we all line up in a single-file line and start a light jog. The person in the back of the line has to then sprint up to the front of the line and then set the pace for the team. We did these for 5-minute intervals (and when we couldn't go any longer, we would do high knees with dumbbells until the group finished).

Well, every time it seemed like it was my turn to sprint, we were going uphill (just my luck!) What I didn't expect is that EVERY SINGLE PERSON that I jogged past (yes, jog -- the fastest I could!) encouraged me and motivated me. Not one person laughed or was even quite as I passed.

Picture it. A 320+ pound lady is jogging past you, struggling the whole way. What would you do?

If you were that big girl running past 10-12 other people... what would you expect as you passed?

Let me tell you... I NEVER expected to hear the encouragement. I have conditioned myself to look inside to find my inner fire and never to expect it from anyone else. I have actually learned to shut out other people while I work out so that I don't feel so ashamed of my lack of fitness.

This group is LIFE.CHANGING.

If you remember my trainer issues from the past (if you don't - here's a link to the blog)

We tried going back to the trainer -- but he would consistently make fun of us, call us slackers, or just sit and text while we worked out (with improper form). Joey showed me how to do a proper squat in 30 seconds or so -- when my old trainer had not showed me in over a year -- plus I had little to no accountability OR progress with the other trainer.

Joey (the owner) told me that trainers like that are NOT allowed in his center. His team is so encouraging. Just walking up to the building if someone sees you they will be encouraging and seem excited that you came that day!

He also told me that if I can continue my healthy eating and come to a boot camp class 3-4x/week I can expect to lose 100 pounds over the next year. He showed me examples of his clients that are dropping 3 pounds per week.

Basically, this place is like the Biggest Loser without the TV crews and the crazy unrealistic amount of working out.  It's Biggest Loser in real life!

Honestly, I don't care if I make it to 100 pounds a year. I want to be at the gym. THAT gym. It is amazing to be there. Both times that I have gone to a boot camp, I have sweat more than I have ever sweat before in a workout. Who would think 45 minutes of no machines, no screaming trainers and do-what-you-can-but-push-yourself-to-be-your-best attitude.

I am SO happy and feeling sore but great!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Accountability: One picture at a time

So far this month, I have dropped 10 pounds.  I am excited and it is really helping my goals... but I need to keep going and I needed a next plan of attack. Today I decided that I need a little more accountability in terms of workouts. As I was working out today, I came up with this idea!

I always have my cell phone on me, so at the end of every workout, I am going to snap a picture! When I am around a computer, I am going to post the picture along with a short description of the workout and if I had to modify it at all, etc.

This serves in two purposes: 1- accountability 2 - tracking my overall progress!

So... onto Day 1:

Today I hit it hard with a 14-minute video from the fitness page: a Bollywood Burn workout!  OK, I know that it sounds CRAZY, but I was really into it! For me, if I am going to do a workout video, it really has to keep me engaged and entertained. It is just too easy to press the "off" button and walk away... which unfortunately enough that is something I have done!

Anyway, in terms of the video, it was really fun. There were bits of stretching, fast cardio and lulls of slowdown too! I did need to modify some things, especially the hopping and doing 30 other things at once. Frankly a 350 pound girl should never be asked to hop 2x/second... ever.

If you are interested in checking out the video for yourself, click here!

I definitely recommend the video, so check it out the next time you need to switch up your cardio - or you are trapped inside in a blizzard!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Personal Trainer... Advice Needed!

I can't believe I haven't blogged since NOVEMBER!  Let's light this fire back up, shall we?

Last time I wrote, I talked about some frustrations I was having with my trainer. I wanted to continue with that topic... so here goes a rant! I apologize in advance for the venting, but I want to see if I can get any feedback.

Unfortunately, this hasn't gotten much better.

Truth: He was getting better and not rescheduling as often, but now he will not make an appointment with us until the morning of the day we want to work out - and all of his other clients have put in their time requests!

For example, if we have a training session on a Monday evening, at the end of the session he will ask us when we can do our next session. We generally say Wednesday evening and find a time that works for the both of us. For this example, let's say 5pm like we did this week. He will reply with "that should work, I will text you for sure."  We will not hear from him until Wednesday morning, and by then his schedule is full from 4:00 through 7:00.  That might work for other people, but he knows that I like to get my workout in right away after work, with a little give or take with timing... but at the same time I am a mom and my daughter's nighttime routine is extremely important to me.

We have pre-paid for 20 sessions and last night was our 13th.  I really wish that he would be committed to us as much as we need him to be... we pay him $39 per 30 minute small group session (2 people instead of just 1).  It's not like he is a FREE trainer! He has also cancelled on us last minute to go drinking with his girlfriend and/or go workout with his buddies at a different gym. Basically, I find him quite unprofessional and he isn't living up to my $39 payout!

This is a picture of my trainer that hangs in our gym - advertising his services.

Maybe it's just me, but I get annoyed that I am paying someone to text his friends and barely pay attention to me while I am paying him to push me and make my workouts more efficient and increasingly difficult! I have noticed that Nicole and I do almost every exercise from our circuits differently - but he never corrects either of us... and isn't there only a certain way to do a push-up on a bar? Oh, and when I keep pushing myself to the place where I am so dizzy I almost fall off of the stepper? He laughs and says "If you would have fallen, I would have put you on YouTube!" Yeah, that really happens.

Last night during our workout, after he said that crazy blackmailing of YouTube line, I asked my trainer if he actually has ever posted a video of a client on YouTube. He starts laughing and said "Yeah! This guy was on a yoga ball and was doing chest presses..." I knew what was coming next when he continued "The ball popped underneath him and he fell flat on the floor." I was stunned but he just started laughing uncontrollably.

Just like I said, he is lacking professionalism.  I understand that not everyone can be "right there" with their clients for the entire 30 minutes, but I would like to think that he actually cares about my fitness and health... instead of just collecting his profits.

At this point, I wish that my gym had another trainer I could switch to, but he is the only trainer at the gym, which makes it that much more difficult.  Nicole seems to like our trainer - they talk like buddies while we train, but I am at my wits end. What do you all think? Am I over reacting? Should I look for someone new? If so, how?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Frutrations

Happy Monday!  I know that I jut blogged last night, but upon my arrival at work I found that my server is down and because my server is down, I cannot answer phones, do any work, and basically in limbo just waiting. Unfortunately this does not mean I can go home early since my office doubles as a showroom & customers can still come in.

This morning my mom woke me up at 6am because my car was in her way to leave for work. After I moved my car, I had an internal debate about what to do next: gym or more sleep. Let me tell you, I thought about it for 15 minutes and I am not proud to tell you that the gym did not win. :-(  My reasoning at the time? I would still be @ work 12 hours from that hour and it seemed like too long of a day. Seriously!?!? I am still kicking myself!

I kept telling myself how great workouts make me feel, but my mind just wouldn't listen. When wll the connection happen so I won't have the internal struggle anymore? When will I realize that spending an hour at the gym will add time to my life? My body and mind crave the gym, but when I have the opportunity, I am consistently talking myself out of it! How can I get this to change? Honestly, I think it will just take going against myself and going anyway. I know I can, I know I need it, I know I want it, now I just need to put my thoughts and desires to work FOR me and not against me!

So here I am at work, making my battle plan. If I am just roaming aimlessly, I will head right to my closet, get my workout clothes on and conquer my own deamons. I will overcome this internal battle because I hav to. No one else can do it for me!

As for my trainer, well I'm honestly not sure where I'm at with that. He has been really flaky lately and has cancelled on Nicole three times now. It's really discouraging because I want to work with him but he said he needed to meet with her before determining if we would be a good match for group training or not. If he can't keep 3/4 appointments we have made so far, how can we be sure he will show up when we ned him? Maybe the $$ will be a motivator for him, but I don't want that to be his reason to show up and beat me up, you know?

So there is a lot on my mind this Monday morning... all comments & feedback is strongly appreciated.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

(Re)Sparking my Motivation

Yesterday was the first day that I can remember that I woke up craving the gym; craving my workout.
I woke up and got ready for the gym... and by the time I walked in -- I was happy to find it empty! An EMPTY gym?!?! In what parrallel universe does that exsist?!?!

So I was super pumped and felt completely comfortable. This was the first time that I experienced the new gym without my trainer, and it made me SUPER confident in myself and it made my motivation multiply incredibly.

Since then, I have CRAVED the gym. In fact, I tried to fall asleep on Friday night but couldn't. I had a horrible time falling asleep because I couldn't stop thinking about the gym. It is a completely new experience for me, but I have to tell you that I am enjoying that emotion.

I followed my trainer's advice about my workout and warmed up with some cardio, did a whole ton of free-form strength training circuits and then I finished up with some cardio.... then of course I did some cool down cardio to finish off my day.

Two full days later, I am still completely sparked and pumped up. I can definitely say now that my spark fizzled a while ago. I have been going through the paces, but really didn't have the motivation - the hunger for fitness and sweat.

I think that this happens to a lot of us in our journeys. One missed workout turns into two-- turns into making other excuses and then you forget how GOOD it really feels to work out!

So that's where I'm at right now. Short and sweet, right?  I will leave you with a few other thoughts:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why blog here? The purpose of the Becoming Holly Blog

I'm Holly, and I am in the process of becoming the woman that I am meant to be. The purpose of this blog is for me to have a place to express myself; my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

I started this blog on Spark People but have decided, for several reasons, to expand it into it's own entity. I want to include things (formatting too!) that are restricted on the website, and I want to be able to share this and allow comments from people who are not necesarily assocated with the site. I am concerned about losing some of my support system from that place, but I hope you all keep in touch and read this often. I plan to continue using the Spark People (SP) blog for more challenge-related or SP related needs, and this will be the place to find out about me and my story.

This is here for my own purposes, but will also be here for anyone and everyone to keep in touch with me and my progress. Feel free to subscribe and keep up to date in my progress.

Any and all comments will be welcome here; however will be monitored for some obvious reasons.

I will share things that will be personal, and for those reasons, I hope to have only the utmost respect and encourangement from my readers. Please let me know if you have a similar story to tell via blog: I would love to read it!

November 16, 2011
WI: 331.1