Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Zumba and Steps

Will I make it?!

Let’s get this week started out right! Well I’ve done that, but kind of threw in a wrench Monday night. Laurie set a goal of 8,000 steps for me on Monday. I knew it would be a stretch to get there, but with Zumba and strength training with her afterwards, I thought I might just make it. Well, I didn’t quite get there. We noticed after my workouts that it didn’t count my steps right during the strength session. I tried to estimate what we might have done and added it to the steps I actually had, but I still came up short. I did manage to break 6,000 though.

Yesterday I didn’t feel so well. I can pretty much tell you why though. I’m going to be outright honest here – I cheated and ate some of my mom’s pizza after supper Monday night. Let me tell you, it did NOT agree with my stomach at all. I felt like crap about all day yesterday. I know my trainers won’t be happy about my cheating, but I can tell you I won’t be doing it anymore! After just 2 weeks of Paleolithic eating, my tastes and digestion have already changed some. It’s crazy to think how much really can change in just 2 weeks of changing your eating habits!

So last night I didn’t have any other training scheduled, so Laurie told me to go to step class with Cindy. I’ve done the class before, so I knew what to expect. It’s tough for someone not used to all those steps. My hip actually started bothering me halfway through the class so I had to modify some of the moves; BUT it got in my steps for the day! I finally hit 8,000 (8,368 to be exact!)! That was the exciting part! Now the challenge is to see if I can hit that 8k without step class. Catch up with me tomorrow to see how I did…..

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Stepping It Up

We had a great Inspired! meeting Thursday. Carlos talked about trying to get our 10k steps in and finding ways to get it done. We also started discussing different options for meals, like what we can eat for breakfast and lunch. I can’t wait to get my almond flour because right now I’m eating a lot of eggs for breakfast and I’m kinda getting sick of them. LOL. Once I get that in, I can make some different things for breakfast, and even treats (cookies!). I’ve been finding and finally trying some more recipes. Some of them have turned out pretty good, others just not quite like I expected/wanted.

Sweet Potato Fries

Creamy Chicken Tomato Soup
I also had Zumba Thursday night. And even though I had that, I didn’t make my goal of 7,000 steps. I had to make an unexpected trip to Pendleton, so that took a lot of the time that I would have been able to get in my extra steps. I did make sure to hit 6,000 though Thursday, Friday, and yesterday.

Bobby definitely helped me get in my steps on Friday. He asked me first thing how many steps I had in already. He had quite a few exercises in mind to help push me farther. We did 12 straight minutes of circuit training, no rests – squats, rows, curls, shoulder press, tricep extension, and pushups. I did probably about 7 rounds of those. Then we did step ups and on to alternating seated squats and knee lifts. My legs were burning! Plus we did some swinging ropes, side tilts, trunk twists, and punches using a bungee rope for tension. If that weren’t enough, he threw in some “farmer walks” carrying 50lbs of weight and walking knee lifts!

I was worn slap out! BUT I still had to come back yesterday morning for my workout with Carlos. SO, I get up early to go workout with Carlos yesterday at 7:45am. He has a boot camp class before I come and he warned me. He was pumped and ready to go! Boy was he ever! He had a whole workout planned for me, one similar to what they do in his boot camp class. Well, in the middle of doing push-ups, he asks me about my workout with Bobby. I told him everything we did and he has to change his workout because it’s too similar to what he was going to do. Now I really don’t know what to expect. He says we’re going outside. Okay. We’re going to run. WHAT?! RUN?! Yes, run. This fat girl ran. There are two buildings: the studio and Core 24 Gym. We “power” walked the length of one building then ran the other length. Turned around and did it again….and again….and again - about 8 times - walking then running. Get done with that and he wants me to do tire flips and sledgehammer swings. I had to do about 4-6 rounds of that. THEN he mentions suicides – run the length of 2 parallel parking spaces, do 10 jumping jacks, turn around and do it again. I couldn’t really tell you how many of those I did. I probably haven’t really run since like 6th grade! My legs were some serious jell-o! But I did it!

I honestly can’t say how much I love each of my trainers. Both Bobby and Carlos told me during their workouts this week that they were going to step it up for me. They felt a desire and obligation to do that for me. Yes, that means harder workouts, but it also means that really care about my end result. It means that they are concerned about where I go from here. Laurie pushes me every single time I walk into one of her classes or training session. These people really care. I am honored and privileged to have the first transformation opportunity at Inspire 4 Life Fitness!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Another Reason

Just another reason why I blog and share my journey with others. I got a message today from someone I went to high school with. We weren't the best of friends, which made this message that much more special.

Hey girl! Just wanted to tell you that you're looking GREAT!! You're a real motivation for me - even though I haven't done Zumba yet, getting healthy has become important again and I owe alot of it to you for sharing your Journey! I'm sure it's been a tough road, but it's paying off for you! Way to go, Alisha!! And thank you for sharing with us!!

Keep 'em coming, people! I am feeding from this!

Day 22 - Marine Corp Barbie

I only THOUGHT I was sore yesterday! The past two nights I shared training sessions with a guy named Brian – he’s in the Zumba class too. Well, I can tell you that Laurie does not hold anything back! She did “super sets” to wear out the muscles and boy did it ever! I have worked muscles that I didn’t realize you could work. She definitely pushes me to give all I have and more. She mainly concentrated on arms/chest, which is where I think I am weakest. So, it was tough. There’s no letting up though because tonight I have Zumba again. Not to mention my other workouts with Carlos and Bobby to finish up the week. I can tell you now that Sunday will be a GLORIOUS day of rest!!!! I’m already looking forward to it, but I know all the work I’m doing and the soreness I feel every night is so worth it. I am seeing more and more differences in my body and starting to see some muscle definition beneath this fat. More muscle burns more fat, so bring it on! Let’s do this!

*Oh – and I hit my 6,600 step goal yesterday! Now, to just do it again today.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It's All Paying Off

So it’s back to the grindstone after a not-so-productive weekend with workouts and eating. I did my regular Zumba class Monday night but had to cut out 30 minutes early for a Thirty-One meeting. I contacted the trainers yesterday to see when we could train again. I heard back from all of them then Laurie sent me a text with my schedule for the week! Last night she either wanted me to come train with her or go to step class. Since I haven’t had the chance to really work with her personally, I decided to do that. She pushed me harder than I actually expected. My arms we so sore; I could barely lift them to do the cool down exercise or afterward. It was great though. All of the trainers have been great to push me beyond my limits and give me the encouragement I need to keep going. I just wish I could afford these session after this is all over. But in the meantime, I am going to soak it all up and take full advantage of everything they have to offer!

As for the rest of this week, tonight I have Zumba again and another personal training session with Laurie. Tomorrow we have our Inspired! meeting and I’m doing another Zumba class. Can you tell I love Zumba?! Then I have a training session with Bobby Friday afternoon and with Carlos Saturday morning at 7:45am! WOW! Plus they want me to get in 10,000 steps, which is very hard. I have yet to get there actually. I did make it to over 6,100 yesterday. Laurie wants me to add 500 to that. So my goal for today is 6,600 steps! I think I can do it though, especially with Zumba tonight.

At our Inspired! meetings, everyone usually weighs every week except for me. They don’t want me to weigh again until the transformation is over. Laurie did mention that she wanted me to measure again though. With going out of town last weekend I didn’t get a chance to until last night. I usually measure only once every 4 weeks. I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially with my most recent less than mediocre losses. Plus this was cutting my time in half. But, like I said, I did measure last night. In just 2 weeks and 2 days (I last measured 8/5) I have lost 6 INCHES!! I was so shocked and surprised! I honestly couldn’t believe it. That is more than I have ever lost in a month, or even 6 weeks!!! OH MY HEAVENS! I can’t wait to see what my final measurements and weight it once this is all over! By the time the transformation end I will be at my one year mark for my weight-loss journey. So amazing! I am blessed.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Days 16-20: Life on the Road

Welcome back! We had a great trip to Indiana and enjoyed our time with family for the reunion. I didn’t get the exercise in that I was hoping for. I had planned to go to the gym Saturday morning, but my cousin’s father passed away so we didn’t get to go. I did manage to do 40 step-ups Friday morning and 50 shoulder presses Saturday with a 15lb baby. I did a little bit of walking but not near what I should have (only got in about 10 minutes). Our days were packed full of “stuff” to do. I really wish I had done more, especially considering some of what I ate this weekend….

Speaking of - I didn’t do horrible on the food front, but I definitely didn’t follow Paleo like I was supposed to. I stuck to it for two meals and the third was kind of a “treat.” We only get White Castle and Pizza King/Clara’s once a year – when we go up for the reunion – so I did indulge in those two places. I did eat in moderation though. Normally, I could/would eat at least 6 White Castles and a large order of onion rings. This stop, I only ate 2 and 4 single onion rings (not even ½ a regular order of rings) plus a couple of fish bites. As for Clara’s, their pizza is in small squares and I think I ate about 5-6 squares. We did stop at McDonald’s on the way up and back too. I got a grilled chicken sandwich and ate just the chicken and toppings (lettuce, tomato, bacon) and 10-15 fries each time. I know none of that is Paleolithic, and I’m fessing up. I’m not hiding that fact that I didn’t follow my diet completely. I am letting you know that moderation is the key. But I did actually get a little sick Sunday morning. I’m not quite sure if it was not having eaten breakfast before heading out on the road or what I had eaten the days before; so that’s probably my payback! My good meals: Friday I had pork loin with cucumbers and tomatoes; Saturday I had chicken strips with tomatoes and sweet potatoes. Breakfast was grapes and a Larabar (Saturday), and grapes and turkey slices (Friday).

So there are my results from my weekend away. They aren’t the best, but they’re honest. Now to get back on track completely this week and have the trainers kick my butt like I know they will!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Life and Workouts

Whatever journey you’re on, life happens. I have been working on this transformation challenge for 2 weeks now. Last week was great, I worked out 6 days and had a restful Sunday. I will admit that this week has been hard. I didn’t get a real workout in on Tuesday. I was only able to do about 10 minutes of rowing then I remembered a ton of stuff I had to get done before going to bed, plus I had food on the stove cooking for lunch. Life took over and I didn’t finish my workout. I did get my Zumba in last night though. I had a great dinner (steak, “fried” sweet potatoes, and salad) and Carlos came over to clean out my fridge and cabinets. Oh, and they posted a video of my first workout with Carlos and Bobby on the website, so check it out on the Inspire 4 Life Facebook page.

Wednesday Dinner - YUM!

After finally going to the grocery store with Laurie on Saturday, I now have no reason not to eat Paleolithic. They have supplied me the ingredients and I have to come up with the meals. That has been a real challenge for me. I am not used to eating these foods and the way this lifestyle encompasses. I’m used to my bread, pasta, potatoes, corn, etc. I’m used to just coming home from a workout and my meal being on the table because my loving mother cooked for me. She doesn’t even know how to fix the foods I need to eat. I’ve had to do a lot of research for recipes and ideas on how to fix things in a way that I think I might like. I found a few that I’ve already tried, and some that I want to try. Most have been a success, some not so much; but I’m learning. It’s a process that requires more preparation than I’ve ever been used to. It has always been automatic that I take leftovers to work the next day. Now that my mom doesn’t really cook for me, I have to really plan. I have to plan in advance what I’m going to have the next day, two, or three so that I can fix what I need.

Wednesday Lunch
This weekend is really going to be a challenge. We are going to Indiana for our family reunion. There are typical food stops that we always make along that way that I can’t stop for this time. I probably won’t be able to have anything that anyone brings to the reunion food-wise. I’m not going to have a lot of time to do any workouts. The plus is that all my family up there knows the journey I’m on and the sacrifices I am making. I think they’ll understand if I sneak off to the gym for an hour or so. Maybe I can even motivate some of them to join me! I’ll even make a Paleolithic dish and dessert (maybe) to take to the reunion. There are going to be A LOT of temptations, I hope I can withstand!! I probably won’t be able to post again until I get back. So be on the lookout for my results for the weekend on Monday!

from my workout with Bobby

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Days of Rest and Meals

So after working out for 6 days straight last week, I finally took Sunday off. It was much needed, and deserved if I do say so myself! My arms were so sore that it hurt to straighten them. It felt good to just relax for a while.

Sunday lunch was not quite Paleolithic because it included bread and a bit of ranch dressing, but I did manage to cook Paleo for dinner Sunday night. I had rosemary chicken with cinnamon bacon sweet potatoes. My thoughts: I don’t like rosemary as much as I thought I did. Next time I fix a sweet potato, I will peel it. Saturday night I had pork chops with scrambled eggs and salsa. Yesterday was my first full day of really trying to do Paleo in its entirety after our grocery trip. It was a success except for the 2 tablespoons of Italian dressing with my salad for lunch. Breakfast was turkey bacon, scrambled eggs, and fruit (grapes and strawberries). Lunch was a grilled chicken salad with almonds, egg, and tomato. Dinner was yummy! I fixed chicken fajita lettuce wraps. It really was quite delicious. I used some of the leftover veggies (red bell pepper, zucchini, and onions) to put in my breakfast for the rest of the week – egg muffins. I even fried a little bit of (Paleo-friendly) sausage to put in them. They are really good too! :)

They were supposed to come do the pantry raid last night, but schedules got hectic and we postponed until Wednesday. That’ll be interesting! I’m just excited to finally start cooking and eating new things. I don’t have a lot of recipes yet, but I’ll build my stash…and even create some of my own. I’ve always wanted to try a bunch of recipes but never would because my mom wouldn’t eat it. She won’t eat what I “have” to eat right now anyway, so this is my chance to try all this different stuff! I am surprised that I’m not hungrier. I would have bet that I would starve trying to make it on this plan and between meals, but I’m not. I am actually satisfied; but in the instance that I’m not, I have options – healthy options. Here are some pics to keep your mouth watering until next time…..

Saturday's Dinner - Pork Chops with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa
Sunday Dinner - Rosemary Chicken and Cinnamon Bacon Sweet Potatoes
Monday Breakfast - Scrabmled Eggs, Turkey Bacon, Fruit
Monday Dinner - Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps
Tuesday Breakfast - Egg Muffins with peppers, onions, and zucchini

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day 11 - New Experiences

So I had my second workout with Carlos yesterday morning. I met him at the studio at 7:45am! I have never worked out that early in my life! But I know this experience is going to be full of firsts. We had a great workout. He worked me hard without a doubt! There were a few times where I was like “holy cow, this is craziness!” I definitely had to push through some weakness. There was one exercise that he wanted me to do (side leg raises while on all fours) that I just couldn’t do. Thursday during Zumba, I felt like I pulled or strained a muscle in my glute. It hurt and I did some stretches and put some heat on it that night. Friday it was a little better, but it was still tender. I thought I’d be okay yesterday, but when Carlos wanted me to do that one exercise, I just couldn’t do it – the pain was still there. Anyway, we adapted and kept going. He concentrated on arms/shoulders and legs. I thought I was sore Monday after his workout – that was nothing compared to today! I think the combination of Bobby Friday then Carlos yesterday really pushed me beyond my comfort level. I love it though! It feels so good to know that my body is being tested and “growing” in ways that I never could have done on my own.

Another new experience was the shopping trip with Laurie last night. I met her at Ingles and she guided me through the grocery store. She helped me pick the right foods, knowing what to get and what to stay away from. We also picked a few foods that I’m not so sure of to see if I’ll like them or not. I came home and unloaded everything, took a few pictures, then made my first “real” Paleo meal. I had scrambled eggs with organic salsa and pan seared pork chops…all cooked in coconut oil. I don’t know how I like the coconut oil just yet. It’s definitely different. There are going to be a lot of different things this month; stuff I’m not used to and doing things so differently. I’m going to try it though. If I don’t like it, I’ll figure something else out! But then again I may find something that I love that I never would have tried or bought before. It’s all about new things and I know it’s worth it. I am blessed to have this opportunity for this transformation and new experiences!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Day 10 - Weights

I finally got to work out with Bobby last night. He took me over to the gym beside the studio (where he also trains) and did some warm-up on the treadmill and weights. It has been a long time since I’ve worked out with weights, and I have to say I’ve missed it (missed the treadmill too!). I’m not very strong in my arms right now, but I’ll get there. I’m okay with curls and shoulder height stuff; but when it comes to lifting above my head….man am I weak! I used a medicine ball for the first time too. You wouldn’t think that holding about an 8-10lb weight while you do certain things (squats, trunk twists, throws, and knee lifts) would be that big of a deal, but it is. It adds just enough extra weight to make it challenging! I really enjoyed it!

This whole week has been really good. I have been challenged, but not so much that I want to stop or give up. I am excited about this process and can’t wait for my next workout. I never thought I would be saying that. I never thought I would look forward to workouts. I like it and I’m excited!!!

I worked out with Carlos again this morning and I'm going grocery shopping with Laurie this evening, so I'll blog about those later tonight/tomorrow.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Reason I Do What I Do

I know I have actually already posted for today, but I can't help but share this with you. A friend of mine that I went through my teenage years with and haven't seen in years sent me a message today. This is what she wrote:

I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy reading your blog & am so inspired by you! I have been morbidly obese my ENTIRE life, and seeing your determination to change direction and do what it takes to live well instead of just being alive has really spoken to me. I began my own journey to change one month ago. Saying it is hard to change 29 years of toxic eating habits is an understatement. I would rather eat bread than chocolate any day! But slowly, as I see results of my hard work, along with yours, I am inspired to do better. I hope I don't come off as weird or "stalkish" lol. Sometimes it's just nice to know someone is rooting for you. Good luck & God speed!

This brought me to tears. This message is the very reason I blog and share my story -- success and failures! I know there are people out there in the same boat as me that are just as "depressed" about their situation but think it's too hard to chage. YES, it's hard -- but it will ALL be worth it in the end! The failures keep me in check and make me stronger and want to push harder the next time. The successes let me know that I CAN do this and give me confidence to continue on. So keep sending those messages and comments!!

Day 9 - Inspired!

Yesterday was our second Inspired! meeting. This week was a little more informative and instructional. They looked at our food journals for the week and gave us things to work on. We’re all basically working on the same things: getting more veggies, cutting out breads/cereals, getting in 30 minutes of exercise per day, and 10k steps. That’s going to be a challenge. I’m used to my breads and cereal or cereal bars. I’ve already been working toward 10k steps, but that’s a feat too! Even on days that I do Zumba, I’ve only gotten to about 8k. It’s a lot harder than it seems. The 30 minutes of exercise I can handle; with this transformation, I’m getting that easily!

Speaking of workouts, I had another night of Zumba. It wasn’t as bad as last week. I didn’t seem near as drained. I’m finally working through the soreness. I’m sure I’ll be a different kind of sore tomorrow as I have my first workout with Bobby; then another workout with Carlos on Saturday morning! That’ll be 6 days in a row! WOW! I can’t believe I’m one of those people now; but it feels good. I go to bed with a huge feeling of accomplishment!

We finally have a plan for the pantry raid and grocery trip too! I’m so excited! Laurie is taking me grocery shopping Saturday evening and then the guys (Carlos and Bobby) are coming to raid my fridge and cabinets on Monday. I know it’ll be an experience for sure, but I’m ready for it. I’m ready to have the tools I need and experience new things/foods. I have to start looking for recipes to get ideas so I can be prepared for whatever “craving” I might have. Like I said, I’m excited! Let’s do this!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Days 7 & 8 - Overwhelmed

Workouts have been great. I am still sore from Carlos’ workout on Monday. I think I was more uncomfortable Tuesday than Monday after the double workout! Normally I would just sit around and rest after being worked like that…but I didn’t. I did a 24 minute Biggest Loser Box-Fit workout on the Wii. Then yesterday I had my normal Zumba class and tonight I’m doing another Zumba class! I never could understand the people that worked out all the time, 6-7 days/week; but right now, I’m one of those people. To my surprise, I’m not as exhausted as I thought I would be right now. I’m still at the beginning of this transformation process, but that really gives me hope….which I really need right now.

I am completely blessed that I have this opportunity. I knew it would be hard, but it never crossed my mind about the emotional aspects of this specific journey. It’s not the workouts, it’s the eating right. You get so used to eating a certain way, or not even caring about what you eat…then to completely change everything. I don’t even know where to begin! I don’t know what to buy. I don’t know how to prepare it. I don’t know if I’ll like it. I went to the grocery store last night and basically just wondered around. I bought a bell pepper. Woo hoo. I wasn’t really sure what to look for or what I should/shouldn’t be buying. It’s hard to change 29 years’ worth of thinking and habits. I am absolutely clueless to this new way of things. I literally wanted to cry in the middle of the store, and almost did. I don’t know what I’m doing. Not to mention, to get started on the right path and get what I really need is expensive. Money we don’t have. I’m just overwhelmed……..

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day 6: Double Workouts and Discoveries

So yesterday was my first workout with Carlos. We scheduled it for 4:45pm before Zumba so I could do both. I was nervous about working out with him. I didn’t know what to expect. I pull up and he’s sitting outside on a tractor tire with 2 sledge hammers and a kettle ball. We went inside for warm-ups -- squats, forward and backward lunges, pushups, hip circles, and leg extensions. Those hip circles and pushups got me! Don’t let the size fool you …my arms have no strength! On we go outside to walk; and Carlos has a faster pace than I usually do and that was regular tempo. We did intervals of “slow” and speed – concentrating on breathing and pushing with the arms. We walked around the parking lot and restaurants, then back to the studio and on to the rotations. This included walk-out burpees, step-ups, push-ups, and sledge hammer swings….all but the step-ups on the tractor tire. I think he was supposed to have kettle ball swings in there too, but he forgot those. We got 3 rounds in before he let me “relax” before Zumba started. Laurie also took some pics and video for the transformation.

The workout with Carlos wasn’t as bad as I think I expected it to be, but it was still challenging. I could hear that voice in my head saying “you can’t do this” and “it’s okay to stop”….but I didn’t listen. I knew I COULD do it and NOT to stop! I had to keep pushing – through the pain and the doubtful thoughts. This was just workout #1. I HAD to keep going! And I did. I made it through his workout AND Zumba! Now, granted, I couldn’t go at the intensity I usually do during class; but I did my best, kept up, and I made it work! At the end, most definitely I was worn out. But it was worth it. The pain in my arms: worth it. The pain in my thighs: worth it. The soreness in my hips: worth it. The confidence that I can do it again: WORTH IT!

In addition to my workouts yesterday, I was finally able to weigh. I stopped by the hospital at the Wellness Center after work. They were actually already closed, but the door was still open. I walked in and the director was so nice and let me go ahead and weigh anyway. I’m not about to disclose that number in public, but I’ll just tell you I was surprised. It wasn’t quite as bad as I expected but not where I want to be. It really made me think about where I started from. I don’t know how much weight I have lost to date, but the 39.5 inches has to be a lot. Adding that to what I weigh now is – it’s reality. When I started this journey, I was the size of TWO overweight people….not just two average people, but overweight adults! It really makes me see just how bad things really were. I’m still not where I need to be, by any means, but I’m working on it. It is a long journey, but I know I’ll get there and I am blessed and privileged to have Inspire 4 Life on my side right now pushing me along!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Days 2-5

So I haven’t had much time to blog this past week. Thursday we had the first Inspired! meeting at the studio. It’s like Weight Watchers, but it’s the Inspire 4 Life version! :) They obviously have some different views, information, and ways of doing things than WW. This first meeting was basic informational and getting weighed/measured. I compared that measurements that Laurie got to mine, and they’re pretty close so I’m happy with that. I measured myself last night and I’ve lost 1.5 inches this past month! YAY! I like that number much better than my 0 and 0.75! That puts me to 39.5 inches lost in almost 11 months. I’m interested to see where I am at the end of the month with this transformation process.

So on Thursday, while at the Inspired! meeting, Carlos (one of the trainers) asked me if I was staying for a class. I told him that I hadn’t planned on it because I hadn’t even been home from work yet to change clothes, eat, or anything. Laurie convinced me to go home to change and come to her Zumba class at 6:15. Granted this meeting was at 4:45pm. I left there around 5:20 and went home to scarf down a sandwich and change clothes and be on time for class! And, oh my heavens! That additional Zumba was CRAZY!!! My arms and legs were SO SORE! I didn’t expect just one extra class to make that much difference but it did. I was making some pretty painful faces, but I made it through!

Friday and Saturday, I got my workout on by moving boxes and totes into the living room (Friday) and outside (Saturday) for our Yard Sale. I didn’t do much else Saturday night or Sunday. We actually travelled to see my cousin Mike Bowling (The Bowling Family) in concert in Greer. It’s always great to see him! We’re planning to go see him the Friday we go to Indiana for our family reunion. He’ll be about 30 minutes or so away from where my aunt lives. Plus, I’m hoping to be able to swing through Ohio to see my former youth pastor and his wife. Love and miss them TONS, so if we’re close we try to go see them.

I’m pretty excited [and nervous] about this week. We are really going to kick things into gear and I have my first workout with Carlos today at 4:45 before Zumba. I’m excited to see what he’s going to do and how I make it through Zumba! We’re also [finally! ;)] going to do the pantry raid and grocery trip this week. I’m ready to get on board with the food they want me to eat and changing some habits. I also still have to get with Bobby about when he wants me to train with him. My weeks are going to be JAM PACKED from now until this transformation is over! I know it’s going to be tiring and trying, but I also know it’s going to be worth it in the end. God showed me favor enough to let me win this contest and I am going to make the best of it to the very end. When I get down and exhausted, I am leaning on you readers and followers for encouragement! You have helped me thus far with your comments and positivity; I know you’ll help me get through this when I don’t think I can go any farther! For now, it’s one workout at a time. Keep pushing on…

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 1

I have quite a few people that have requested that I keep them update with my progress and the transformation journey. Well today was day one. It felt like just another day, but at the same time it didn’t. It was almost like today was the first day of the rest of my life. In essence it kind of was. I’ve been on a plateau for the past two months, edging toward the cliff, ready to fall off. Today, I backed away from that cliff. It felt really good. It felt good to know that I have a purpose again; that I have a goal to reach for. I had the motivation to stay away from the snacks and empty calories. I ate fairly well today, except for my one snickerdoodle cookie. I felt in control again. It’s hard to not feel in control and the toll it can take on your habits and emotions.

Zumba was amazing! I felt like everyone was watching me though, which was awkward. But at the same time, it made me work that much harder and to keep pushing. I got a couple of extra looks, pushes, and encouragement from Laurie during class. Then afterward I stuck around to talk with her about our plan and my eating for the day. She showed me a few arm workouts to do at home with some light weights. I’m gonna start working on that and getting a pedometer to count my steps.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about what’s to come. I am; but at the same time I’m excited. I know I’m going to be pushed beyond my limits. I know I’m going to be sore and tired. I know it is going to take a real sacrifice to make this work. But I can honestly say I’m ready. I am ready for what’s to come and the new goals I’m going to reach throughout this month and the months to come. Let’s do this!!


I wanted to post pictures yesterday but didn't get a chance to. So here you go. Some pics of my progress and where I started from.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Catching Up

I realize I haven’t blogged lately. It’s been kind of crazy since the last time I was on here. I guess I’ll start with my weight-loss status. Since May, I really haven’t lost anything more. Seriously – June was a big fat goose egg. July was only .75 inches. I’ve been pretty bummed out about that and have let it get to me. I am extremely blessed that I have not gained anything back. That helps me know that I still have some sort of something left in me! I have still been doing Zumba, and even picked up a Step Aerobics class a couple of times to try to throw my body off routine. I have felt myself drifting lately thought…quite a lot actually.

Well, I had the chance for an intervention. The place where I do Zumba (Inspire 4 Life) was hosting a Fitness Transformation Contest. Here is the description of the contest: Do you have a friend or family member who needs a little push to get up and make some changes for the better? Someone who's willing to be filmed as we take them through each step of their total body transformation. They must be available to workout with our team of trainers a minimum of 4 times per week. This exciting journey includes a complete overhaul of their eating habits, as we invade their refrigerator and cabinets, eliminating all the junk. We will then take them shopping and restock their cabinets and fridge with the right foods! After a month of hardcore workouts and eating the right stuff, your friend will deserve to be pampered. We will give them a complete makeover including hair, nails, make-up (for ladies) and a new outfit to show off that new body!... We want you to tell us why your friend or family member deserves the chance to be our first total body transformation contestant. Details please! We want to know what kind of habits they currently have and why they've struggled to lose weight. Impress us and give us a reason to choose your friend or family member!

I debated on entering because they were asking people to nominate a friend or family member. I asked about nominating yourself and they said “Go ahead!”…so I did. Let me tell you – this was hard. This was the first time that I had really sat down to write out my whole story. I know I’ve shared bits and pieces on here, but this was an honest recount of my life leading up to and over the past 16 months. I shared things in my essay submission that only my closest friends knew until now. I laid it all on the line for them. I really wanted to win. This was just the kick I needed to get back on track and not let myself give up. So here it goes. I am actually going to share with you my essay submission…

My Story

My name is Alisha Scott. I am a morbidly obese adult that just can’t take it anymore. I have been overweight all my life, ever since childhood. I have never known anything different. Growing up, I dreamed of doing certain things – playing volleyball, being a cheerleader, being popular, and to just plain be skinny – but it never happened. My weight has constantly limited me. I would think from time to time that I need to lose the weight and would start to diet. But within weeks, sometimes even days, I was back to my old habits and going about life as I was used to it. I hate to say it, but I was “content” with being fat. That’s how I had always been and I had come to the realization that I was always going to be that way. I couldn’t see life any differently.

My honest statement is: My weight/health is what it is because I ate what I ate and didn’t do what I should have done. Last year I had a wake-up call. I went to the doctor for a regular check-up and my blood pressure was extremely high. I knew in the back of my mind that it could always be a possibility. I have a family history; my mother and grandmother have both had health and heart problems. My grandmother passed from congestive heart failure. My father died of a heart attack at the young age of 34, while my mother was 6 months pregnant with me. When my doctor told me what my reading was, I completely broke down. I was scared! She referred me to a cardiologist. I went for my appointment and he did a complete blood panel and EKG. Everything was fine with my heart and cholesterol; I just had the high blood pressure. At my high weight, I am blessed that there aren’t a million other things wrong with me. But the cardiologist bluntly told me that if things didn’t change, I would die very early. I knew my life had to change – my eating habits, my activity level, my thoughts about food – ALL of it!

Even after my doctor’s appointment and receiving all this news, it took a while for it to really sink in. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to start. I was used to eating whenever and wherever I wanted to and could find/buy it. I wasn’t worried about portions. I just ate. I think people were afraid to say anything to me, including my family, because of our situation. But it’s not their fault. I am the one who ate the food. It’s my life and I made myself who I am. So now was my chance to take it all back. This was my chance to make it right. I knew it would be a long, difficult journey, but I had to make it or I would die. I had to find somewhere to start and I finally did.

I started my journey simply by counting calories. I was shocked to really see what I was eating and the impact it was having on my body. I started adapting my eating habits. I didn’t just eat whenever and wherever anymore. I had to figure out my true hunger pangs. I had to find better foods. I started really taking note of nutritional values. I had to change my thoughts about eating from “I live to eat” to “I eat to live.”

My next step was adding exercise. I started by walking, pacing really, in my living room during Biggest Loser. Then I started walking with a friend of mine. In January, she introduced me to Zumba. I’d always seen the infomercials on TV, but never thought I’d be able to do it. The first time, we did a 20 minute routine on the Wii. It was so much fun! I was amazed that I could [at least halfway] keep up. I loved that I burned as many calories in 20 minutes of Zumba as I did on my 2 mile walk that took 45 minutes! I had found my exercise passion. It wasn’t a boring routine. I found something I could do and loved it enough to stick with it.

I have been on this journey now, whole-heartedly, since September 11, 2011. I kind of started before that, but that date is when I consciously made the decision to attack this thing full-force. It has been a roller-coaster. My life is a journey and my journey to weight-loss and health is a daily struggle. I’ve been this way all my life; it’s hard to change habits. It’s hard to change the way you think about food, how you eat, and your level of activity after doing it the same way for 29 years. There have been days that I wasn’t sure if I could make this a true lifestyle change. It’s hard sometimes to keep my mind focused on what I need to be eating versus what I want to be eating. I have been dedicated to this change because if I continue to feed my mind and body what I want, I’ll stay the way I am and that is just not an option.

I have had some great accomplishments over the past 10 months. I don’t know how many pounds I have lost because, honestly, I’m too overweight to be weighed on a regular scale or even at the doctor’s office. I do measure inches and so far I have lost 37.5 inches. I completed my first 5K in January and have another one scheduled for November. But the fact is I can feel myself running out of steam. I don’t keep track of my calories anymore. I notice myself picking back up some of my bad habits. I’m beginning to snack whenever I want to. So many times before, this is where I would just give up. I would let myself keep drifting until I didn’t care/worry about what I was eating anymore. I can’t do that this time. I can’t let myself have that option. I can’t let this be just a fad. This is a battle I’m going to be facing for the rest of my life.

This is where the Inspire 4 Life Transformation Contest comes into play for me. I need something to get me back to where I need to be. I need to get a new outlook on my journey in order to really make it long term. I have been blessed to be part of the Inspire 4 Life family since starting the Zumba class back in January. I know that the instructors and trainers have the knowledge and ability to kick my journey back into gear. This is the perfect extra push I need and to revamp my eating habits again! I would be honored to be chosen for your transformation contest.

The deadline was July 12th and they were supposed to start workouts on July 16th. I expected to know the winner that weekend. Well, that weekend passed. The next week passed. I was getting desperate to know the results. I had already asked on their Facebook page, so I had a friend of mine ask when they would announce the winner. They finally responded and said they would alert the winner by Monday July 23rd. My nerves were building. Then Monday around 2pm, they said they would announce the winner that night. I had Zumba at 5:30pm, would they announce then?!? By now, you can assume right that my stomach was CHURNING – I was ready to know if I won or not! I get to class and all 3 trainers were there. No biggie, it could be anyone in class…well, that anyone was ME!!!! They finally announced right before class started and I actually WON!!! I couldn’t believe it. God was on my side. He knew I needed this and showed favor on me! They got my response on video, which should be posted online soon - either on their website or Facebook page. I start the whole process today and it will last the whole month of August. They should be posting my journey on their website, so keep a lookout there. I am actually going to try to get back into blogging during this transformation so you can find updates here too. I am so excited!!! Like I said, this is exactly the kick in the rear that I need to get back on track and where I need to be. I know it is going to be tough. Laurie, Carlos, and Bobby are NOT going to take it easy on me. They already told me they are going to “break” my [yikes!] – but I’m ready. My one year anniversary of being on this weight loss journey is coming up 11 days after this transformation is over. I can’t wait to see where this pushes my at that one year mark.

Me and the trainers - (L to R) Laurie, Carlos, and Bobby

Let's do this!!
I AM A CHRISTIAN. I love the Lord with all my heart, soul, & mind. God has really blessed me more than I could ever imagine, but the truth is that Satan HATES me!! I face struggles & temptation every single day of my life; but no matter what happens, I still strive to do the will of God. Because I put my faith & trust in God, He has provided relief for me & my family time & time again! God never fails to comfort & remind me of His promise that “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). There have been countless times that I did not deserve God’s grace & should not have been granted mercy. But He has granted me mercy & forgiveness, as well as goodness & grace -- all for the purpose of sharing it with those I meet along the path of life. Some days are better than others, but you always have to remember to keep pressing on! Keep praising HIM & He’ll never fail to bring you through the storm.