Thursday, December 31, 2015

Final Weigh in of 2015

After sporadic losses for months and annoying plateaus I finally lost weight three weeks in a row which is an awesome way to end the year.  I'm down another 2.2 pounds this week.

To have a good start for 2016 I joined The Edge and signed up for their Lose Big 2 Win Big challenge.  This 8-week challenge will run from January 14th through March 10.   The extra motivation and accountability should be helpful.

It was beautiful out today so I went for a run at the Fitzgerald Fitness Trail.  I'll continue to go there until the snow finally arrives and makes it impossible.

I'm on point with my food and working hard to continue these weekly losses !

Happy New Year and I hope you'll achieve your goals in 2016.

Monday, December 28, 2015

December Progress Report

My weight has been fluctuating for the past few months  -- with a net loss of 6.8 during the month of October, a net GAIN of 1.4 pounds in November, and a net loss (so far) of 2.8 for the month of December. Things were similar in August and September.

While this plateau has been annoying I seem to be on a downward trend once again.  If I have another loss this week, even a small one, I'll take it as a sign that the scale is on a downward trend once again  -- although I am not losing as quickly as I did in the beginning.  (Which is to be expected)

December has been a challenging month with unexpected visitors for the holidays, an injury to my foot that kept me from exercising for a week, money issues and all the typical holiday demands and distractions.  

It's difficult to cook sweets and other yummies for guests and not eat any yourself.  I'm proud that I've managed to average a one pound  week loss during a time of year when many people gain weight.

I got a Magic Bullet for Christmas and I've been enjoying making fruit and veggie smoothies with it.  It's a good way to get your raw produce in  -- especially if you normally eat a lot of salads, as I do, and need a break from it.    . 

The one year anniversary of my fitness and weight loss journey will be February 9th.  Unless I miraculously start dropping mega pounds as I did in the beginning I WILL NOT make the goal that I had envisioned for myself when I first started.  I'm not giving up!  I'm going to reach my goal, but it looks like it will take longer than I originally anticipated.  

Still, I am stepping things up to get as far along as I can by my one year anniversary.


Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas pics

Me, looking festive
My four-year old granddaughter baking treats


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Health Update


Well, the changes to my diet have dramatically improved my health. The fissure has just about healed and the problems that created it have cleared up with all of the fruits and veggies I am eating. 

Beyond that, I feel absolutely amazing --- as in haven’t-felt-this-good-in-twenty-years kind of amazing.  I mean, I get up in the morning feeling great and maintain high energy throughout the day.  I remain on point with my food without a problem and I’ve been managing to get good sleep.  I’m a lifelong insomniac but I’ve been in a good sleep mode for about 2 weeks now and it’s amazing.    I’m hoping that continues.

I haven’t been weighed in three weeks but I am doing it this week to see if there’s progress in that realm as well. At this point even a small loss would be so encouraging.

One thing I learned over the Thanksgiving holiday is that I definitely cannot eat gluten or dairy. After being fairly pristine in my diet for nine months I ate wheat and dairy products for a week and I got so sick I can’t even describe it. 

Many of my old problems came roaring back – the mucus issue with my nose and eyes running constantly, joint pain, bloating, headaches, skin rashes, and just overall not feeling well.  I do NOT test positive for celiac disease and yet I am certain that I am gluten sensitive and cannot eat it.  I’m back on track with a tweaked diet that eliminated a painful condition and I am so happy.

Within the realm of exercise I have returned to daily jogs and I have resumed my yoga class.  I’m amazed at our body’s ability to heal itself given the right resources and a bit of time.

I’ll post about my weigh-in at the end of the week.

Friday, December 4, 2015

November Progress Report

This “progress” report would be more aptly termed a “lack of progress report.”

It’s been nine months since I started this journey of trying to reclaim my health, lose weight and become more fit.  I’ve had my ups and downs but largely have made great progress.

I’m down over 150 pounds, all my bloodwork is good, and I feel great.  I haven’t used an asthma inhaler for many months.  And I’ve gone from ten medications every morning and walking with a cane to one medication and managing a light jog for two mile stretches.

And yet, I am not happy right now.    Basically, all of the fabulous weight loss and health benefits took place within the first six months.  The scale hasn’t moved much in the last three months.  It goes up and down, no matter how I adjust my diet and exercise.

I’ve been going up and down by ten pounds since August or September. Obviously, I know how to lose weight.  I lost 150 pounds in 6 months.  But this endless plateau is killing me.

Additionally, I started developing NEW health concerns which I believe were related to the way I was eating.  I not only gave up gluten but ALL grains, and I limited my fruit intake to a few berries or an apple 3 or 4 times a week.  I limited high glycemic vegetables as well.

I basically lived on quality, organic protein and greens.  You’d think eating a pound or two of raw spinach and kale everyday would keep things moving through my digestive tract, but NO!  I developed constipation and a quite painful anal fissure that bled all the time and caused me pain that was sometimes extreme.  Dealing with this and then not losing weight on top of it really started to influence my moods and overall attitude.

And so after nine months of strictly following the Paleo approach to eating I have decided to make some changes that will hopefully get the scale moving down again AND heal my painful issue and its causes.  Merely adding some fruit to my diet and taking over the counter stool softeners did nothing to solve the problem.  I tried most of the remedies you read about and none of them worked.  It’s time for change once again.

Starting right after Thanksgiving, I began a new routine  -- when I get up in the morning I prepare a hot drink made from the juice of one lemon, some freshly grated ginger and one tablespoon of molasses.  I then drink green tea throughout the day to keep my fluids up, add antioxidants and release fat.  (Drinking 5 or more cups of green tea a day is said to help your body release fat.  At this point, I’m so annoyed by the plateau that I’ll add anything to my regime if there’s a chance it may help.)  

I added gluten-free grains, legumes, nuts and high glycemic veggies back into my diet in controlled amounts.  Some mornings I have a bowl of oatmeal with flax seed meal, dried fruit and a sprinkling of chopped nuts.  OR I just have a plate of raw fruit.  I do now also allow myself gluten free pasta and brown rice with dinner but NOT on the days that I have oatmeal for breakfast.  I’m trying to keep a good portion of my diet raw and not go overboard with the cooked carbs as they are triggering for me in terms of overeating.

I’m also feeling like my system became too acidic with all of the animal protein I was eating so I have cut back on that as well, at least until the scale starts moving down and I am feeling better.  I gave up coffee when I first started this journey because I like it light and sweet and that will not help with weight loss.  I’m sticking to that and only allowing it as an occasional treat as I can’t stand artificial sweeteners and I’m avoiding dairy as well.  I miss my coffee but everything has its price and if I can reach my goal I will view the lack of coffee as a small sacrifice.

I have only been applying these dietary changes for a short time and I am already feeling better.  My system has become more regular.  The fissure is still there, but it’s not bleeding as much and I can almost feel it trying to heal itself.  I really don’t want to go back to my gastroenterologist for surgery. I healed my other health problems through diet, exercise, sunlight and fresh air  - - so I want to give myself a chance to heal this the same way.

I started this journey on February 9th, the day after my Birthday.  I had goals in mind in terms of what I wanted to accomplish within one year with health, weight loss and fitness. It seems unlikely that I can manage to be at the goal weight I had in mind by my birthday.  It would mean that I’d have to lose 50 pounds within the next three months and that is highly improbable.  But I am not giving up.

I generally weigh myself towards the end of the week. I realize that adding bulk back into my diet may cause a temporary weight gain so I have decided not to weigh myself for a few weeks.  Hopefully, after a period of adjustment, I’ll start losing again.  If not, I will tweak my diet and exercise until I find a way.  When I post my December progress report we’ll see if I’m back to losing weight.  I certainly hope so!

Much thanks to those who have supported me on this journey.  Very often the right thing to do is often the more difficult thing to do.  That is certainly the case for me here and while I am tenacious enough to do this on my own the bits of love and encouragement here and there have certainly helped more than you will ever know.

 I will try to keep up with this blog a little better

Love and Blessings


Friday, September 25, 2015

This Week's Progress

Since my trainer caught a nasty cold my Monday session was cancelled and the whole week has snags and delays that were annoying. But I pushed through, as usual.
Tuesday's workout really kicked my ass.  Each set started with knee-ups, marching, jumping and jogging in place followed by:
Overhead DB Press  - 5/20, 8/20, 12/15
Bent Over Rows --  10/20, 15/20, 20/20
TRX Squats B/20 X 3
Chest Press -- 27/20, 27/20, 27/20
Lat Pull Down -- 130/20, 130/20, 160/15
Straight Leg Dead Lift -- 15/20, 20/20, 45/20
Calf Raises  B/20 X 3
Sit Ups  20 X 3
Leg Lifts  20 X 3
Stretching -- 5 Minutes
I was bathed in sweat and really spent when I left there. He kept me going at a good pace.

Thursday's Workout

DB Chest Flies  -  8/20, 10/20, 10/15

Front Pull-Downs  --  100/20, 150/20, 130/20

DB Overhead Press --12/20, 15/15, 12/20

Bicep Rope Curls -- 40/20, 40/20, 40/20

Tricep V-Bar Press -- 50/20. 70/20, 70/20

Straight Leg Deadlift with Cable  --  110/20, 130/15, for last set switched to bar, 45/20 

Leg Extensions -- 40/15, 40/15, 50/15

Jumping X3


I only lost a quarter of a pound this week.  Meeting Liz for lunch and chowing down on Thai food probably contributed to that.  LOL  Over the past seven months I have rarely "cheated" and on those rare occasions when I do it shows up on the scale right away.

I'll work a little harder this week.  I just have to keep those numbers going down.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Week in Review - The Goddess Returns to Yoga

I had an incredibly busy week and never seemed to have time to blog-- so here it goes  -- the week in review!

On Monday I hit the fitness trail with M -- who loved my hair color and enjoyed feeling the muscles in my back!

On Tuesday morning Adam had me work on balance as well as strength:

5-Minute Warm-Up on Treadmill

Kneeling (on bench) Overhead Press: 8/20, 10/15,  12/12, 12/12

One-Arm DB Row:  20/20, 25/15,   35/12,  30/12

TRX Squats:  B/20 X 4 sets

DB Curls:    15/12,  12/15

Triceps Extensions: 70/20, 80/15

Shrugs: 45/20, 65/20

I left there feeling quite pumped up and that evening returned to Kripalu Yoga.  My friend Jeanne teaches a class at the Seymour Community Center on Tuesday evenings. It has been awhile since I did yoga in a classroom setting, although I have been stretching at home.

There were only a few poses that I could not do so I was pleased with my own efforts and enjoyed the class immensely.  I've made a commitment to return every week. 

On WEDNESDAY -----  Legs, legs, legs!  Today was leg day and man did I work them!

SB Wall Squats:  B/15 X 4 Sets

Straight Leg Dead Lifts:  45/20, 65/15.  85/15, 95/12

Leg Extensions:  40/20, 60/15, 70/10. 70/12

Calf Raises:  B/15 X 4

Ooooooooooooooooooo, Gumby legs!


OMFG, Adam had me do 45 minutes of calisthenics and isometric strength training.  Holy shit, I felt every second of my age in the gym and left there bathed in sweat.

Thursday night J wanted to work out at Planet Fitness so we went for an hour and I mostly worked on shoulders, back and chest   

I also had a great weigh in and lost another 3 pounds!  Yeah baby

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Kicking Ass! Yeah Baby!

I ran in the rain yesterday.  It actually felt great to be the only one on the trails and to push myself a little harder.

Adam continues to make my work outs more challenging!  More super sets today!

Cable Flies

Incline Press

Lateral Pull Down

TRX Rows

Glute Extensions


SB Wall Squats

I followed this up with a visit to the fitness trail.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Inspiring Weigh-In ---- Finally!!!


I took great care to be extra  careful in what I ate for the past week.  I went to the fitness trail as often as I could and really pushed myself with my trainer. Thank heavens, I had a nice drop of 7.4 pounds!


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Uggghhh, abs and sumo deadlifts

Back at the gym again today and I left there sore and sweaty  --  just what I want so that I can start seeing results once again. 
Seated DB Overhead Press  --  12/15, 15/12, 12/15
TRX Squats  --  B/20,  B/15, B/20
Sit-ups w/10# weight, 3 sets 12
Seated Lateral DB Flies -  8/15, 10/12, 8/15
Sumo Deadlifts -- 45/12, 45/15, 55/15
I followed this up with a one mile run  - all in a fasted state

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Chest, back, legs

I'm starting to get a sense of what I might look like if I can get the rest of this weight off.
With today's work out we did a few drop sets and I trained to failure:
Incline Press:  12/20, 20/15, 15/20.  Drop set 25/8, 15/12, 10/10
Incline Fly: 8/20, 10/15, 8/20, 10/12

Rope High Rows: 100/20, 140/20, 180/15.  Drop set 160/10,  100/10, 70/5

TRX Rows:  BW/20, BW/20, BW/8, BW/8

Bench Squats:  20, 20, 14, 12

Leg Extensions:  30/15, 40/15, 40/14, 40/15

Feelin' groovy!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Back to the Gym

I'm reunited with my trainer after a two week hiatus and we've switched from total body workouts to a split routine.

Today's workout:

O H Press

Upright Rows

Lateral D B Flies

Front Plate Raises

Seated D B Front Raises

Rear Delt Band Flies


I did power walks between sets to burn more fat

For whatever reason, the weights weren't recorded today.  But I do know that I did shrugs with 95 pounds.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Back On Track -- Literally

With my broken toe healed and my medical testing done there's no excuse not to return to exercise.  I went to one of my favorite places today -- The Fitzgerald Fitness Trail in Woodbridge.
I love this place
I ran a mile,  which was more than I expected my first day back.  It was not a day where I found the running exhilarating.   I kept thinking of how far and how fast I used to be able to run and I found myself feeling depressed.
I know I'll feel better if I persevere and I was glad that I finally returned to the track!!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fantastic Friday! Embracing Life once Again

Twenty years ago, my doctor sent me to get a colonoscopy, as my sister died of cancer that originated there.  Sure enough, I had precancerous polyps removed and have had to go back every two or three years since then.

I fasted this week in preparation for my test and I had a hard time with it.  I have an unusually long colon and so have to fast for five days, plus take enemas and laxatives in order to be clear for the test. I kept thinking about food and wasn't able to settle into the fast as I normally do.

Finally, Friday morning arrived and I was able to return to Temple Medical for my test.  I couldn't go there last time as I was morbidly obese and they don't let people in that state receive anesthesia.    
All went well and when I woke up in the recovery room my doctor said that I had my first ever clear scope!    Yeah!
Friday night, I celebrated life by visiting The Steam Factory.   I dressed in a short skirt and heels, hung out with beautiful people and was tied up, TWICE, by Shibari enthusiasts.  
I'm feeling groovy!!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Returning From the Month From Hell

Finally!!!  I got my laptop back and things are slowly heading back to normal, I think.  It seemed like for the past 4-6 weeks I had been struggling on so many fronts and got more overwhelmed by the day  --  I felt depression trying to take over my existence for the first time in months. It was so hard to keep my footing, to not be pulled under again. Some how I got through it.  I had moments when I wasn't sure that I would.

WEIGHT LOSS: For the past 6 or 8 weeks my weight loss became very erratic even though I was still eating clean and working just as hard as I ever did.  Things got worse when I broke a baby toe and could not do cardio for a couple of weeks.

I have to update my weight loss page but I believe I had a net loss of about ten pounds for the month of July.  That's the least I've dropped in a month since I started but at least it's a net loss and not a net gain.     

Last week I had the house to myself while the family went camping.  I did a bunch of deep cleaning around the house and did organizational projects that I normally don't have time for.  This seemed to help me feel more centered.  I also took time to hang with friends and get my kink on!

  Ugghh, I have to have another colonoscopy on Friday so I must fast all week and since I also have an anal fissure the prep is killing me.  Once this is over I can go back to eating and exercising and moving towards my next set of goals.  Hopefully,  I'll be feeling much better next week at this time.

It's good to be able to blog again.  I missed it!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I don't have a lap top right now and I have found that when I try to update my blog from my tablet it sometimes won't save the work.

I am still on point with food and exercising.  Will resume posting more soon

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Work Out and weigh-In

I'm down another 3.8 pounds!  Yeah, Baby!

Today's Work-Out:

WARM UP  -  Chest Flies, Band Rows, TRX Squats

KB Upright Row - 15/20, 20/20, 15/20

Rope Seated Row - 30/2, 70/20, 60/20

Bench Squats -- 15, 15, 20

Side Bends with 25 # Plate  - 25,20, 20

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Work Out and Lingering Week-End Injury

Friday night I slammed my foot into a heavy table leg and bruised the shit out of it.  Saturday morning I tried to run, in the pouring rain no less, and that was a huge mistake!  Things went downhill from there and I spent the rest of the day limping around and trying not to feel like crap
inside and out.

Sunday was so sunny!  I came to my senses, took a day off from exercise and laid on the beach for three hours.

I'm finally starting to get some color!
Today's Work Out
Foot still hurts so I did not go out for early morning cardio
With Trainer:

Seated O H DB Shoulder Press  -   10/20, 15/15, 15/15
1-Arm TRX Rows -- 3 sets 15 each arm
DB Flies  --  5/15,   8/20,  10/15
Standing DB Curls --   10/15, 12/15,  15/15
Triceps Rope Extension  --  30/20, 40/20, 60/20
SB Wall Squats  2 sets 15
TRX Squats  2 sets 20
Core Plank  --   60 seconds X 3

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday's Workout

Today's workout:

Inverted Chest Press B/15, B/15, B/15

Rows w/resistance band  20, 20, 20

Step-ups, 12" box,  15/15, 15/15, 15/15

Planks 30s, 30s, 30s


Feelin' groovy!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Weigh-in and Awesome C25K Progress

I knew that today would be a good day almost from the minute I got up.  I turned my favorite playlist on shuffle and Radar Love by Golden Earring came on!  Oh, hell yeah!  A sure sign of a good day is starting it off with Radar Love!

As I got dressed and prepared for my weigh-in, I noticed my favorite yoga pants were feeling quite loose.  I knew that I'd have a good loss this week but the 4.6 pounds that I dropped was more than I'd hoped for!  Yiippppppppeeeee!!!

I started the Couch to 5K this week.  When I started running today I felt like I could run longer than the 1 minute at a time suggested for the first week.  For the hell of it I decided to just keep running and shocked myself when I completed an entire mile.  Yes, I was slow!  It was barely a trot.  But I did it and I'm so psyched!

A yummy dinner that I made tonight.  Baked, wild caught cod!   I started intermittent fasting as an experiment and we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wednesday Workout and Adventures with Grandkds

Today's Work Out:

10-Minute warm-up

Incline DB Press --- 12/20, 20/15, 25/10, 10/10, 25/10  (needed help w/form with heavier weight)

1-Arm Bent over DB Row  -- 20/15, 30/12, 40/12, 30/15 (tough but felt good)

Step-ups on 12" Box  - B 12/12, B 12/12, B 12/12

Core Twist with SB and cable   12/12, 12/12, 12/12

The core twists are something new he's having me do.  They largely work the obliques. I hold onto the SB, brace myself and use the cables to twist.  Seems easy but it's not.  I love it though.

For the step-ups he just upgraded the height of the box by a few inches and it freaking killed me.  I don't know what hurts more  --these or the squats!  One thing's for sure, down the road I'd better have the best ass in the state of Connecticut for my age group.

I kept my two four-year old grandkids overnight last night and had to entertain them until dinner time today.  If I could bottle their energy I'd be a millionaire.
I wanted to take them swimming  at the YALE OEC today but thunderstorms were predicted so I took them to the Peabody Museum instead.
After our museum trip, we grabbed lunch and then I took them to Trader Joe's to pick out something good to cook for dinner.  They like the children's carts that Trader Joe's has.  Since these kids eat well they don't beg for junk foods when we're shopping and they pretty much behave in public too.
I also took them to the track where I do my cardio.  They wore me out.  I passed out in my chair after dinner!
I'm feeling great though!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Progress Report and Setting New Goals!

Tomorrow it will be exactly four months since my first work out with my trainer and just over five months since I began eating clean.
To date I've lost 114 pounds.  My resting heart rate is 62 BPM, down from 86 BPM. My cholesterol is down to 160 and my fasting blood sugar stays at the low end of normal  -- down from a pre-diabetic state.  
I'm slowly regaining my strength and flexibility.  My aerobic conditioning is lagging behind my strength.  I went on a hike to Sleeping Giant Park a few days ago.  That used to be an easy hike for me.  I got about half-way up before I admitted to myself that pushing myself any farther would not be wise.  That experience has had me thinking that it's time to put more effort into my aerobic conditioning.
When I started this journey I set a bunch of health and fitness goals that I wanted to achieve by July.  I have completed these so it's time to set new weight loss and performance goals, refine my mission, try new things but also return to things that worked for me in the past.


My youngest son's wedding anniversary is on September 8th.  I'd like to put on the dress I wore that day and see how many of my granddaughters I can fit into the dress with me.  I'll have photos taken and post them here.
I'd like to be at my preliminary goal weight by Christmas. This is doable if my rate of weight loss remains the same, which it hopefully will if I continue to work hard and challenge myself.   


RUN AGAIN:  I actually started the Couch to 5k program today and was delighted when I was able to run for longer periods than the program prescribes.  I should be able to run 3 miles within nine weeks without a problem. 
YOGA:  I've been stretching, but not consistently.  My goal is to be more consistent going forward and restore the flexibility I once had by Christmas.
CORE:  The abs are my problem area and I should be working them more than three times a week.  My goal going forward is to do work my core at least 5 times a week.    
STRENGTH: Right now I do wall squats, bench squats and TRX squats.  I have not squatted with a bar. I would like to be able to squat with a bar, improve my bench press and maybe start to deadlift.


I'm already eating clean and in moderation.  But I'd like to expand on that by exploring things like intermittent fasting,  SAF (Stress Activated Food), fasted training, etc.
I may try something new  -- such as DDP Yoga or one of the beach body programs!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday...Back to the Gym

Winston and Adam
How can I fail to progress with these two guiding me?
Today's Workout
Warm-up with resistance bands:  3 sets
Chest Flies
Back Rows
Sissy Squats
Power Walk
Incline DB Press  --  10/20, 15/20, 15/20
Reverse Grip Seated High Row -- 90/20, 110/20.  130/20
Lateral Shuffle X 3 
Core-- Sit ups, bridges, SB w/twist  X 2
Cardio Step-ups
SB Wall Squats X 1
Today was an extremely busy day.  I did have a killer work out and managed to fit in a power walk after dinner.  Feel like I might be ready to start the couch to 5K program soon. 


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Super Saturday - Sun, Surf and Party. Party, Party!



I started the day with a walk at Savin Rock.  It was so beautiful and sunny that I decided to return in the afternoon to catch some rays.  It was great to get some color.  
Then off to an anniversary party at a friend's.  It was a very lovely outdoor party.  The weather was perfect and everyone was grateful for that as a lot of planning and expense went into the event. 
I spotted this butterfly in the garden there -- an unexpected guest