Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The "E" Word And A Kick In The Pants

Okay, sorry...I know I've let you down. But I just don't have the mental fortitude or the heart for the post I promised on the whole "faith is a choice" concept. But I do have other stuff to share. Though it's not my usual fare, it is something that I've become passionate about.


WAIT! Don't run away yet, please. I know it's an intimidating topic. Diet and exercise are scary things to contemplate. A lot of people don't know where to start and can't afford to pay someone to advise them. But it doesn't have to be expensive or scary or excruciatingly painful. I promise.

I lost some ground with my weight loss when my Mom died. For six weeks or so, I just didn't care about anything. Not Weight Watchers, not Zumba, not housework or hygeine or being a Mom. Some days I ate out of control, other days, I couldn't force a single thing down my throat because it was swollen with grief. My weight went up and down during that time, but thankfully, I only gained about a half a pound when it was all said and done. I knew that was a gift and so, I managed to get ahold of myself and regain some of my focus and motivation.

I also knew that the holidays were just around the corner and that if I didn't get my resolve firmly back in place before then, I would become a statistic. Numbers vary, but according to my Weight Watchers leader, the average weight gain between Thanksgiving and New Year's is between 7 and 12 pounds. Do you KNOW how long it takes me to lose just one pound??? Now that I've lost a signficant amount of weight, the losses are getting smaller and smaller each week. I finally reached my 70lb milestone, but I have been working on that since July. No joke. Up a little, down a little. Period. Birthday weekend. Mom dies. Another period. Up a little, down a little.

Needless to say, I don't want to gain any pounds. I need to lose fourteen more pounds to reach my goal and then I can become a leader, which is something I really, really, really want to do. I don't want to set myself back another five months. am I going to manage not to gain weight over the holidays? How can you?

It's pretty simple really. Calories out have to equal more than the calories in. Some days I achieve that just by living life; vacuuming, mopping, making beds, scrubbing tubs and toilets. But not every day. And so, I have to make a conscious effort to create a calorie deficit.

This is where the dreaded "E" word comes in.

Again, I know this is a scary word and a scary concept. But it doesn't have to be. You just have to start small. I think the number one reason people hate exercise and become defeated so quickly is that they try to do too much too soon. They hurt, they feel sick and dizzy, they sweat and puff. It's not fun. They quit, thinking they are just not meant to be active people.


When I started, I could scarcely make it around the mile long track twice. Now? I'm doing hour long Tae Bo and Zumba classes. And LOVING it. The body is an amazing machine that will adapt to do whatever you ask it to. As long as you're smart about it.

I am a huge fan of Leslie Sansone's Walk Away The Pounds program. It's easy, it's doable, it's cheap and it's done in the comfort and privacy of your own home. You don't have to worry about vicious dogs, sexual predators, inclement weather or leering gym rats. I took off the first 50 pounds doing Leslie's workouts exclusively. At that point, my body needed more, because as I said, it adapts. I needed to challenge it more and moved on to exercise with more intensity. But I still use Leslie on days that I can't get to the studio. She has several workouts that do still give me the burn that I need, especially when I haven't done them for a while.

So I'm going to make this easy for you. I'm going to tell you exactly how I used her program so you have some idea of how to get started.

I started with this series:

Walk Away The Pounds Express; 1,2 and 3 Mile 
I didn't use the one mile workout. But if you are extremely overweight or have been completely sedentary for many years, you might want to start there. The 2 Mile Express workout is easy and thoroughy unscary. It covers all of Leslie's walk moves. It's a great introduction to the series and to exercise. The 3 Mile Express workout is one of my all time favorites and I still do it occasionally. I love the stretchy band segment at the end. I saw the results in my upper arms very quickly. I actually developed some defintion, which thrilled me to pieces, because I felt that it sort of detracted from the bat wings I'm still struggling with. It's a 45 minute workout and it will make you sweat. If you can get through the second mile, you can make it through the rest of the workout. Just grit your teeth and do it! You'll be glad that you did.  

I graduated to this video:

Walk Away the Pounds Express; 4 Mile Super Challenge

I didn't use this one much, to be honest. It got the job done, but it was a little monotonous and it didn't have any arm work, which I really liked and wanted to continue with. I started by alternating days with this and the 3 Mile Express workout that I liked so well. I found that I could grin and bear it every other day, because I knew it was changing my body. But eventually that one stopped being challenging enough as well and I knew I needed to up the ante yet again. 

I decided to try this one:

3 Mile Slim and Sleek Walk

I was excited to try the core toning segment. My tummy is a problem area thanks to my youngest son, who was nearly ten pounds at birth. And it turned out to be just long enough that I could get through it without feeling like I might rupture something. Don't get the wrong idea; it was a challenge. But a doable one. I found that I really liked this video a lot. It was a step up intensity wise, so I knew my body was being challenged the way it needed. There were some new moves and combinations to keep it interesting. The only thing it lacked was arm work. But I decided I could do that on my own since I knew what to do from the previous videos. I was very pleased with this video and used it for quite some time in conjuction with the 3 and 4 Mile Express videos. I liked having a library of workouts to mix it up and keep me from getting bored. But know what's coming right? Yep. I had to take it up a notch because it was getting too easy for me.

About that time, Leslie released this new video:

Walk Weightloss Boot Camp

And this is, in my opinion, the perfect workout. I LOVE it, and still do it on days I can't get to Zumba or Tae Bo. And it still makes me sweat. It works all the major muscle groups, so its very comprehensive. It's all here. You don't have to do anything extra to get a well rounded workout. It's fun, challenging and goes by very quickly. It uses interval training to torch calories and optimize your workout, which I really like. The intervals make the workout doable, and also makes it fly by.

This is just how I did it. Leslie has a ton of excellent videos that you can mix and match to meet your own unique needs and ability. That's the beauty of the program. The only video that I tried that I did not like was this one:

Walk Away Your Waistline
The walk belt was just a pain in the butt. Even fastened as tightly as I could possibly make it, the belt rode up my torso when doing the arm moves and ended up beneath my boobs. Plus, the handles had to be tucked into the belt when not using it, which wouldn't have been a big issue if all the arm moves had been done within a given time frame, but they were very haphazard and sporadic. So I had to keep dragging them out and then tucking back in. Annoying. This is the only one of Leslie's videos that I thought was just poorly done. I bought it before I discovered Collage Video, where you can watch clips and read customer reviews on all the selections. So go there and do the research before you buy. It's a great resource!

So there you go. It's not hard to start exercising. And I know you've heard it before, but here it is from the lips of a former couch potato:  Exercise really does make you feel better, in a lot of ways. I sleep better, I suffer fewer migraines, I have more energy, it lifts my mood and makes me feel like I can accomplish anything. It's good to know your body will do what you ask it to. It's good to feel strong. I wish I hadn't wasted so many years feeling sluggish, tired and depressed.

I've moved on from Leslie now, but I still feel very strongly that her program is one of the best around. You don't have to kill yourself, you just have to move. And Leslie gets people moving.

You can do this. If I can, anybody can. Fifteen months ago, I would have had a hearty laugh at the idea that I would one day love exercise. I would have laughed harder still at the thought that I might contemplate becoming a fitness instructor. I had just about talked myself into attending a Zumba certification workshop that took place in November, when my Mom passed away. By the time I had recovered my senses enough for anything, enrollment was closed. But I'm hittin' the next one.

A formerly fat chick, stroke patient, couch potato...on her way to becoming a Weight Watchers leader and a Zumba instructor.

Ain't that a kick in the pants?


  • At 5:51 PM, Blogger Tela said…

    I want you to inspire me. I've been following forEVER. I don't always comment--long time lurker, but not quite first-time poster.

    Please keep up with these posts. I see a lot of myself in you, although on the surface we aren't much alike at all.

    I was doing Jazzercise religiously for about a year. I didn't lose a pound. But I loved it. Then I went on vacation in August and gave myself an excuse to not go, then my son started preschool, which was all kinds of hectic on this working moms schedule, then I had health issues, and then four months later, I've prbly gained at least 10 pounds, but I refuse to get on the scale because I'm afraid of what my weight might be. I know I've gone up a pants size.

    I'm going to check out these DVDs soon. I would love to be a runner one day...

    Anyway, I think all that you've done is completely awesome, and I'm in awe.

    Also, I'm terribly sorry about your mother and I hope you can find peace... however that might be.

  • At 10:59 AM, Blogger Any name said…

    Ditto, this is a great post. I just looked up Leslie Sansone on Netflix. Sadly, they are all DVDs, no streaming, but that's ok, I can request the one's you suggested (I have bands already) and try them out. If I like 'em I'll by them.

    I've been trying Jillian Michael's 30 day shred and she just annoys me. It is a good work out, so I turn off her voice and muddle through.

    I also alternate with water work outs. Lap swimming is boring, so I go to a local hotel and pay $5 for time in the deep end I really burn then.

    Good luck and keep the motivational posts coming! :)

  • At 12:34 AM, Blogger merinz said…

    Thank you for your tips. I am not sure if we can get her DVDs here in NZ but I will enquire. Like you - I am sick of being tired and overweight.

    But a question - are her 'walk at home' exercises based on walking on a treadmill? I presume they are.

  • At 11:32 AM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Tela...I hope I can inspire you too. Even though are lives are vastly different, I don't doubt that we have a lot in common. Please friend me on FB. I post a lot about it there. Email me at my email and I'll give you my name or you can give me yours. I'm also thinking about starting a weight loss support group forum for us gals.

    Any name...if you can make it through a Jillian workout, (color me impressed, I have her Change Your Metabolism workout and STILL can't make it all the way through) I don't think these would challenge you enough. But they would probably be a good alternative if you were sick or injured and needed to ease back into exercise slowly. Or maybe for a "light" exercise day.

    Mrinz...nope, no treadmill needed. You just march in place and do simple, low impact moves to increase you calorie burn, such as kickbacks, knee lifts, and front kicks. Go to collage and watch a clip. You'll see that it's very affordable and doable. If you're interested and you can't get them shipped to you, let me know. I'd be glad to help!

  • At 2:50 PM, Blogger merinz said…

    Thank you so much for your advice and tips re which DVDs are the most helpful.

    I have found that I can obtain them here through amazon. Unfortunately Christmas/visitors/holidays are about to intervene but when the world returns to normal I intend making a start.

    Something has to be done as the pounds (kilos here) just keep creeping up along with high blood pressure and other health issues waiting in the wings.

    You have inspired me to 'make the move'.(haha no pun intended)


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