Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Update - Stacy

Well I believe it's my turn to give an update. I have been going to the gym regularly, at least 4 times a week, and I have been doing at least 45 minutes of cardio. My trainer recently started me on a new cardio workout where I alternate running and walking. Wow, running is hard! I can only run a little over 2 minutes right now. (Amanda, kudos on the running!) For the workout I do a 10 min warm up walking at least 3.5MPH then start with a minute of running then a minute of walking doing 10 of each, then finish with a 10-15 walk at 3.5MPH and a 3% incline. I guess it's working because I have lost another 4.5 lbs since last week! Now if I could just get the eating under control. The last few weeks have consisted of church events, family get-togethers and eating out a few times, fun for the taste buds, bad for the stomach! I don't know about everywhere else, but in Southeast Arkansas everything we do is centered around food. Anyway, losing the 4.5lbs this week will hopefully keep me on track with the eating right, I definitely don't want to gain it back!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Update: Lynne

It's been a few weeks since I have updated here, but I have still been doing regular updates on my personal blog. I'll try to update each one with my results on a more regular basis.

Overall, things have been going pretty well. I've been consistently losing weight (although small numbers weekly) and eating well. Since my last update, I've lost a little over 5 pounds!

However, I am struggling with developing a regular exercise routine, mostly because of my schedule at work changing weekly, unexpected events coming up, and friends and family that have been visiting from out of town. Last week I manged to not work out a single day, and am struggling with finding time for the gym this week as well. I hope that once I am statused as full-time again in March, I will have a regular work schedule and that things will get easier.

I also signed up for a 5K on March 7! I'm looking forward to participating in one again, as it's almost been a full year since my last one.

Competition: Part 1 - Lynne

We have decided to engage in a bit of "friendly competition" to see who among us has lost the most percentage of weight, and the results will be posted monthly. Although almost all of us have been on the road to weight loss for quite some time, the results here will be based on losses since the beginning of the year (January 2009) in order to start off fresh. Also, I will be posting percentages of weight lost and not actual pounds, as some of the girls may not want to post their actual weights.

Here are the first set of results:

Amanda: 7.94%
Erin: N/A
Lynne: 7.65%
Stacy: 3.13%

AMANDA is our winner this month with the most percentage of weight lost! Congratulations, Amanda, your hard work and dedication is paying off! Keep it up!

Good luck to each of you this coming month!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Weekly Weigh In - Amanda

It's that time again! I realized that blogging about my weekly weigh ins have helped keep me accountable. It has also been extremely helpful to read others comments, especially when my motivation is wavering! To have people, some of who I don't even know, supporting me and encouraging me along this journey is so much more powerful than I ever thought it could be. So THANK YOU!

This week was a really hard one for me. I had (and still have) so much stuff to get done that I was feeling really stressed - and tired. I made the time to run, but the whole time I was thinking of other things that needed to be done, so I wasn't enjoying the runs quite as much. It was also Valentines day, and we went out to eat. I did somewhat calculate my points beforehand, BUT it's those damn rolls that get me everytime! :) I did manage to run 4 miles beforehand and I still had some of my weekly/activity points, so it wasn't a total loss. Needless to say, it wasn't the best of my weeks. I did manage to lose 1 pound this week. Not quite as much as I wanted, but using the advice from fellow readers, I have been researching running and losing weight. As many of you pointed out, most runners don't lose weight when they start running because they are gaining muscle. Although, I understand this concept, it is still frustrating when I step on the scale and see the numbers barely dwindling down. So a couple weeks ago, I decided to do my body measurements as well. So last night, I took them again, and I have lost about 3 inches around my waist. My calfs have gotten slightly bigger (the muscle I'm sure) and everything else was about the same or maybe 1/4 inch smaller.

So today I can't feel as bad, because the results are happening, just in other ways. I will take my 1 pound loss and feel good about it, because I lost 3 inches off my waist. No wonder my pants are getting bigger. For me, this was a great pick me up. Although, I still have quite of bit of weight to lose to make sure that I am in a healthy BMI range, I can feel better that all my hard work is paying off. I'm looking forward to the day when this running does start making the pounds come off, but at least I know progress is happening. Tomorrow is my 6 mile run, and next week I step it up quite a bit in the training. I'm feeling on track and excited to see if next week will give me numbers that I have been hoping for.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Weekly Weigh In - Amanda

So today was my weekly weigh in. I lost 1.5 pounds this week, putting my total loss for 2009 at 12.5 pounds. I will be happy in the success of losing weight this week, but will be honest that I am disappointed in the small number. I successfully ran 14 miles this week, and with all that running, I was sure I would put up big numbers this week. I'm hoping that the reason for the small number is that I'm creating muscle with the running and that the muscle is weighing more than the fat. I'm hoping!!

I am trying to take the advice of Lynne and realize that this is a process, to take each day at a time and realize that with small weight loss comes big results. I know this, but some days it's really hard to swallow this concept. I am working on trying to be optomistic about it ALL. I really am.

I do have to vent for a moment though - since I am the only one out of the girls that has had a child so far, they are probably not going to be able to answer my question, but how in the world is it that I now weigh less than I did on my honeymoon, my honeymoon clothes are mostly too big, and yet my belly is fatter than it was on my honeymoon? I know that having a baby changes your body in many ways, but I didn't know that when you were losing weight, that your body might change it's mind on where to store it and lose it from. Seriously! I can now fit into the pants that I wore in my engagement pictures - I have to wear a belt to keep them on my waist, but they are so tight across my lower abdomen, I feel like I'm wearing a gurdle. This stuff drives me crazy! When I finally fit into an old pair of pants, they don't fit like they used to. I'm trying to convince myself that this just means that I get to buy a new wardrobe rather than wearing the old 'me' clothes, but in the process of losing weight, it's not easy (or costly) to buy new clothes for every size you go down. Wait...am I seriously complaining about buying smaller clothes?? No..I'm not. I take it back. I love buying new, smaller clothes. In fact, I think I'm going to treat myself to a new pair of jeans and shirt tonight. There! (I am now done venting. Thank You.)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Some tips to keep in mind - Lynne

I was reading through my weekly Weight Watchers email, and came upon a success story for a woman who lost over 100 pounds. Here are some of her tips that I thought were inspirational and could help us out as well!
  • No matter how much weight you have to lose you must simply begin.
  • Learn to love yourself for who you are today.
  • Think only positive thoughts about yourself.
  • Picture yourself the way you want to look at the end of your journey before going to sleep each night.
  • Don’t look at the big picture, instead make mini goals. I broke my goals down to 10 pounds at a time.
  • Celebrate! You work hard and you deserve it. I make sure I celebrate once a week after weigh in and after every 10 pounds lost. My husband joined my team a long time ago and rewards me with $100 every time I lose 10 pounds. Incentive can be sweeter than chocolate.
  • Read Success Stories. Reading about others whose weight-loss goals are similar to what you need to lose can help with motivation.
  • Relax. This is not a race, so don’t put yourself under some crazy time limit of losing 40 pounds in 30 days. It’s just one day at a time.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Struggle and Redetermination - Amanda

So it's my turn to post! You will learn that I have a lot to say, even when I don't think I do. So I apologize in advance for this.

My weight battle has been an ongoing issue my entire life. In high school, I was actually very healthy, but I remember always feeling fat and trying the latest fads to lose weight (even when I had nothing to lose.) After high school, I played the yoyo game with my weight reaching over 200 pounds my sophomore year to only lose 30 to gain it back. In the fall of 2005, I began my battle of overcoming my weight and joined weight watchers (after I got engaged.) I was down to a healthy 150 pounds, only to put back on about 25 pounds 5 months later - right before my wedding day.

I became pregnant in the fall of 2006, and my diet mainly consisted of chocolate milkshakes and anything else I could possibly see. The whole time I was pregnant I continued to tell myself that I would get in shape right after the baby was born. Reality hit me again Thanksgiving in 2007, when I couldn't believe what I looked like in the pictures. It didn't even look like me. My baby was almost 6 months old, and not only did I not get in shape like I promised myself, I gained more weight.

It wasn't until a trip to Vegas in February of 2008, when I saw Lynne again, that my motivation was rekindled. I was absolutely amazed at what she had done and she looked good, really good. I saw how happy she was and I craved that again. She once again introduced me to Weight Watchers which I began when I got home. I lost 25 pounds for 2008. I quit Weight Watchers in June, thinking I could do it on my own. I did keep the weight off for 2008, but I never lost any more. So it's time to end this battle once and for all. 2009 is the year of great results! I can feel it in my bones (and fat)!

My motivation has never been higher in life. Since January 1st, I have already lost 10 lbs. About a week ago, I decided that I wanted to train for a half-marathon that would be hosted in my hometown in April. Some of my friends were very supportive at this idea. Some of my family laughed. (I know they want me to succeed and support me) but nevertheless they laughed. SO I'M ALL IN! I finished day 2 of my training yesterday - and I have successfully ran 6 miles this week, without stopping or walking, trimming 4 minutes off of my time from the first run to the second. I know that this journey will only continue to get harder, but like I said before, my motivation has never been higher than it is now.

I know that with this dedication, I will once and for all beat this weight loss battle. I will know the skills to keep me healthy from here on out. As the rest of the girls, I am a very busy person: working a full time job, creating and running a photography business, attending online school, raising a family - and like Erin, I have decided to put myself, my health first. I know once it's in check, I will have the energy and endurance to handle the rest of my crazy schedule. So here's to the new year and new life!

I don't have any official full body shots to show my progress, but these will at least give you an idea of where I am.

The first one is Thanksgiving 2007. The second one is this past January 2009.

A few pictures from the internship, Amanda's wedding and a trip back a few years ago. 

I want to be Health & Happy {Erin}

Hi! Well I am Erin and I have issues putting myself first. Over the last two years I have gained about 30lbs. if not more. The reason for my weight gain has mainly been stress and lack of time! I started a photography business about 2.5 years ago and it has been the greatest and worst thing in my life.

During the last 2 years I have stayed pretty busy most weekends photographing and weekdays editing. All while having a full time job, Monday- Friday 8-4:30. So pretty much all I have done is work! I mean I still try and fit my friends in as much as possible. But due to my constant schedule of working and rushing from one thing to the next I have continued to put my health and happiness aside. Thus causing a tremendous weight gain! For 6 months I saw a nutritionist and lost 20lbs. which was very exciting, but I have now gained that all back plus more.

Recently, I have started feeling very discouraged by my huge number on the scale. This is by far the most I have ever weighed in my life! I mean I feel saddened that I have let this happen to myself all because I have tried to run a successful business. I LOVE being a photographer and capturing the happy moments of others. Nothing makes me happier then the happiness of a wedding, pregnancy, 1st birthday or family. But I am making a VOW, (which is going to be very hard to keep since I have a hard time saying NO) that I will put my health first & I will choose my own happiness before others. This means I will need to work out no less then 3 times a week for at least 1 hour. Plus I will try to at least loose 2lbs. a week. My diet plan will be weight watchers since it will fit withing my schedule best.

So thanks to all those who are supporting Amanda, Stacey, Lynne and Myself! I am excited & lucky that we are able to share in this journey together! Sorry I do not have pictures like lynne, I tried but my roommate is no photographer,haha (jk kristy love you). But here is a picture I have on my computer so you can see my face at least!

Oh and I guess if I must say it, my starting weight is 226.2 lbs. My goal weight is 140-150lbs. I would also like to train for a half Marathon like Amanda {but I am going to wait a couple moths}. Well Thanks for listening!

Love & Happiness,


No Miracle Cure

I have fought a losing battle with my weight since elementary school. I think I have tried every diet out there; the grapefruit juice diet, the cabbage diet, the Atkins diet, NutriSystem, and many more all without any success. I would lose a few pounds but as soon as I start eating  regular food again I would gain what little weight I'd lost back. I have realized there is no miracle cure for being fat! My sister joined the YMCA last year and started going to a class twice a week. She loved it. It wasn't at a time that I could go to so she started doing it a few times a week for some of the women in our church. After a few months of that with really no change in my weight, but I did feel better, I joined the Y. I would come over twice a week for a water aerobics class. After a few weeks of that and just getting comfortable going to the gym I signed up with a personal trainer. She had me keep a food diary and started me on cardio. I saw immediate results. Then we started meeting for strength training. I have been working with her since July. As of my last progress session I had lost 55 lbs, 24 inches and 10% of my body fat. Now I focus on portion control and making healthy decisions when it comes to food. I no longer drink any kind of soft drink and very rarely eat fast food. I have started eating more whole wheat foods, lean protein and green vegetables. It's not about being on a 'diet' anymore. I am eating the way I should have been eating my whole life. I don't deny my cravings, but when I start wanting chocolate I get a few dark chocolate chips out of the bag in my fridge and not only have I satisfied my craving but I get all the good anti-oxidants that dark chocolate has. When I want something from Mickey D's I just get a Happy Meal.  I am learning to be smart about food. I still have a long way to go, but now it doesn't seem impossible. 

I am going Ireland the summer of 2010 and I want to have lost 75-100lbs.

I am so excited to have the support of three of the most amazing people I have ever met! I can't wait to see us all when we have accomplished our goals.

Stacy Lou - Arkansas

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Weight-Loss Journey - So Far: by Lynne

I joined Weight Watchers on January 12, 2007 after spending most of my life being overweight; I've never been comfortable in my own body and wanted desperately to change that and to be confident and comfortable with who I am and what I look like. My starting weight in 2007 upon joining Weight Watchers was 244.8 pounds.

Throughout the entire 2007, I stayed committed and focused on my goal. I dropped down to around 160 pounds at the end of the year and managed to stay in this weight range until about April of 2008. From April 2008 to January 2009, I struggled with maintaining my loss and went back up to 201.2 pounds, which is where I was on January 15, 2009, my official "second start" with Weight Watchers.

This year, with my new start in mind, I am committed, motivated, and determined to get to my goal weight of 130 pounds. I've already made great progress with this goal, losing a little over 10 pounds in the first two weeks of (re)starting Weight Watchers. I know that with the support and inspiration from my great friends, who are also on this journey, I will reach my goal and for once be confident, happy, and healthy!

An introduction to "4 Girls, 1 Cause"

Almost five years after meeting the most amazing group of people during our College Program during the summer of 2004, four of us girls seem to be heading down the same path simultaneously in different corners of the United States - the journey of losing weight and being healthy, strong, and fit.

Amanda, Stacy, Erin and I (Lynne) have been on the road to being fit and healthy for quite some time, and thought it would be both motivational and inspirational to share our stories and our triumphs and challenges. Each of us can contribute as much as needed, and it will be great to have a place to check regularly to see everyone's progress.

Here's to a new start with old friends!

- Lynne