Saturday, March 29, 2008


One thing I've learned as I've been trying to lose weight is that it's never enough to do this halfway. You can't exercise like a fiend and eat garbage. You can't eat well all the time and not exercise.

If you want to be successful, truly successful, you need both.

So yes, while my Tuesdays and Thursday torture sessions with Ms. A have been challenging (and exciting to finish, I must add), it's the things we discuss in her office, the things I need to do away from the gym that have provided the biggest challenges.

At one of my sessions this week, I had to bring Ms. A my entire menu for the past week--everything I'd eaten. Thanks to my BodyBugg log, this wasn't hard. But one glance at it and the first thing she did was say, "We need to lower your calories...this is why you're stuck. 2,000 calories is perfect, for maintaining..." The aforementioned 2,000 calories were what BB recommended for me. Ms. A suggested 1,600 on non-exercise days, 1,700 on exercise days.

Okay. I can do that.

But then she asked me about the times of my meals...

I'm Cuban. For many of us, eating late is the norm. It doesn't help that Mr. CCC doesn't usually come home until after 9 p.m. and we like to eat dinner together. Or that I often work late myself. Eating late has been a way of life for us.

So my heart leapt into my throat when Ms. A said no more eating after 7 p.m...if I wanted to have dinner with Mr. CCC, my dinner would be a sugar-free cup of Jello. Point blank, she wants me cutting down on the late eating. And she wants me to cut down on the carbs. And the Diet Coke.

That's a lot to adjust. A lot to change, and I'll be honest--it's been harder than I imagined. But I'm trying. I've gone a whole week now without a Diet Coke. And while I still enjoy my carbs, I am trying really hard to cut down on them.

The eating late...well, that's a work in progress. I'm still eating past 7 most nights, but I'm shooting to cut it off at 8:30. Either way, it's better than the 10:30, 11 p.m. eating I was doing before.

They're challenges, but no one said this would be easy. So I'll just keep plugging away, and working to eat my dinner before the sun goes down.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

So that's what a workout feels like...

Silly me.

I've been working out regularly for a while. Pilates once a week, cardio at least 3 times a week, weights twice a week...

It sounded good to me (though I confess--I knew I should be doing more.) But still--I was exercising. I was being active.

Yet today, I learned everything I thought I knew about exercise was wrong. Why?

Cause I had my first full session with my trainer and wow...just wow. She put my body through hell. But that good kind of hell. The kind of hell where you feel like you're accomplishing something. The kind of hell where your legs are jelly but you are proud of yourself.

Squats. Lunges. Dips. Weights. Walking. Doesn't sound like much, but it was 40 minute of agony. On more than one occasion, I thought for sure I'd be losing my breakfast. On those moments where my muscles burned, my stomach flip-flopped and I just felt like I couldn't do it, Ms. A (My affectionate nickname for my trainer) was right there--telling me to push through, making me believe I could do it. She was right.

Since hiring Ms. A, I've had a few people ask me if I really believed the investment was worth it. Today, I learned for sure that it most definitely is. Why?

Because I know myself. And when that workout got tough, had I been on my own, I would have slacked. I would have quit. I would have tried something else.

Ms. A won't let me do that. She knows what I can do. She challenges me to follow through. And that, more than her knowledge of exercise itself, is what has already made me--after one session--feel confident that I did the right thing.

I may, however, learn to dislike Tuesdays and Thursdays pretty quickly, ha ha!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

An me

A pair of $600 Manolo Blahniks.

A $1,200 bag from Yves Saint Laurent.

Had you asked me earlier this week what I wanted for my 30th birthday (which looms in July), that's what I would have answered.

Don't get me wrong--I don't expect anyone in my life to get those for me. Nor can I afford them. BUT, I wanted them. So I've been saving, diligently, for a while. They were going to be my treats to myself on a very big birthday.

But I can't explain how or why I woke up mid-week and said, "That's not good enough. I want more. I want better. I want a better ME!"

Okay, maybe I can explain it...after my new scale--which I am beginning to detest--showed yet another gain, I went bananas. It annoyed me, but it didn't make me sad.

Despite the fact I really believe the thing is broken (Weights very crazily from one moment to the next) the number pushed me right back into the gym and in the haze of my monotonous workout, I saw a poster out the corner of my eye.

"Five Personal Training Sessions for $199! Sign up now!"

So after my torturous treadmill session ended, I asked to meet with a personal trainer, a woman I'd seen kicking various shaped rear ends all over the gym. She wasn't there, but I left a message. When she called back, she let me know she had an opening the very next morning at 9 a.m....and asked if I was interested.

"That was quick," I thought to myself. But I booked the appointment. And in 20 minutes, that trainer had me sweating like I never sweat in my hour-long, boring workouts. It was brutal, intense and I realized hours later--painful. But it felt good.

So when we sat in her office, I asked what other options there were....I know five sessions ain't gonna cut it with me. She showed me the 16-session package. And said we could add the five sessions at the bonus price...pretty much giving me 21 sessions for the price of 16.

My head spun looking at the numbers. The training wouldn't be cheap. Mr. CCC would murder me for spending that kind of money.

Then it hit me. I had plenty of money in my birthday saving fund. It would cover the training. I'd have to give up the shoes and the bag, but what I would get in return would be far more valuable.

So I signed on the dotted line. 21 sessions with my trainer. I start Tuesday. And I couldn't be more excited.

Because if this doesn't work, I don't know what will.

And let's face it...if I'm giving up the money for those shoes and that bag, I'm making sure those pennies aren't wasted.

How's that for finding my mojo again?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Trying to get back the mo...

I'll be 100% honest, with you, with myself.

For the past month, my head and my heart haven't been in my weight loss efforts. I spent roughtly three weeks in a hotel room on various business trips. Events from early in the morning to late at night meant I had little time to work out--even though I packed my gear with me. Heck, I couldn't even use my BB because my travel laptop wouldn't let me upload data with the USB cable. There were limited options for dining...and while yes, I tried to stick with things that were grilled or steamed or from the vegetable family, I know my diet was far from what I'm used to eating at home.

It was tough and so I took a break. I needed to in a way...just stop obsessing about weight loss, weight gain, my progress or lack thereof. I needed to regain some control in a way.

While I was gone, my last two weeks of prepaid WW membership expired. I'll be honest--I have yet to decide whether to continune with meetings. In the interim, I've set up an online membership. I'm still logging my meals, my points, etc. But I'm nervous that I'm not making a good decision.

Fact of the matter is, I keep going back and forth about a lot of things with this. I'm very my body? At myself? I don't know.

I know that in my 29-year lifetime, I have tried to lose weight multiple times. Never have I stuck with a program the way I have with this one (even if my last few weeks have been lackadaisical). Never have I worked this hard in the gym, in the kitchen as I have since I started trying to lose weight in September of 2006.

And never have I seen this kind of slow progress. It's maddening. I know I've posted that for a few weeks already, but I can't take my mind off it. 33 pounds in 17 months? It's not much of an incentive to keep going, yet I do.

I think that's why that break was so essential for me. But now that I'm back to normal hours, normal workdays and oh yes--being in my own home again!--I just don't have the drive I did before.

I am proud of myself because this week I went back to the gym and back to Pilates--for the first time in almost a month. Getting there was the toughest part. Now I just need to keep it going. Somehow, someway.