Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fitness Update: Weeks 11-14

I honestly cannot believe that a month has gone by and I haven’t done a single progress report! Arg! Where does the time go?! Well for me…it’s sleep – eat – gym – work – repeat again. A LOT has happened in this month as well. I’ll try to condense it all into a short but sweet post.

So I can’t remember if I mentioned that I had been really tired lately despite working out, cleaning up the diet, and getting about 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I finally went to the doctor to get labs done. They came back with a clean bill of health…for the most part. The results also pointed to a wheat (gluten) allergy. Out of a 1 – 5 scale (1 being the lowest and 5 being the worst) I came back with a State 2 gluten allergy. The doctor also suggested getting a sleep study done to see if I have sleep apnea as well. For those of you that know me, I’m a sleeper. I can sleep through just about anything. I’ve slept through concerts, baseball games, basketball games, The Battle of Helms Deep (Lord of the Rings), etc. So it’s not a matter of not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep, it’s a matter of getting quality sleep. Assuming my insurance covers this, this will be next on the agenda to do as well as going to an allergist to verify the allergies. Unfortunately, basic food allergy tests aren’t always accurate and pose a 54% inaccuracy. Case in point – they tested me for dairy and shrimp allergies. I’m lactose intolerant and get a crazy weird rash every time I eat shrimp. How you like them apples?!

So naturally I did crazy research on gluten allergies, the foods to avoid, and symptoms of a gluten allergy. LUCKILY I’ve eliminated all processed foods as they are the biggest offenders of gluten allergies. It’s the lesser known offenders that I’ve had to get rid of…soy sauce, oats, ponzu, etc. Quitting oats has made me sad. No more overnight oats :( which are like my favorite. I’ve had to be creative with breakfast (more to come on that) which has been fun, but frustrating since the oats were tried and true. I also consulted with the Livestrong Community about their thoughts and what the GF (Gluten Free) peeps do. Last Sunday was the first official day of being GF. Saturday would’ve counted, but Panda and I had Shabu Shabu (Japanese hot pot). The dang Ponzu sauce has gluten *slaps forehead*. So far I’ve noticed a considerable increase in energy during the day. This is a positive beginning. Now if only I could get more than 7 hours of sleep…

So it’s official – I’ve kicked gluten, dairy, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, soda, and processed foods. Did this happen overnight? HECK NO! It was all about baby steps. It looked more like this:
Processed foods – oh no more bloating? No feeling sick to my stomach? This is awesome!
A few weeks pass by…
Soda – no more bloating! Sweeeeeet!
A month or two goes by…
Artificial Sweeteners – fruit tastes so much sweeter…no bloating?!?!? (can you see a common theme here)
A month goes by…
Caffeine – no more jaw/face pain?! YESSSS! Oh wait…I’m sooooooooo tired…blah…zzzz…
A few weeks feeling blah and then…
Dairy – no more bloating?! No more stomach pain?! Sign me upppppp! Hello almond/coconut milk! (less calories too!)
Gluten allergy?! MUST.STOP.GLUTEN.!!!!!!!!!!!
Gluten – more energy?!?!?!?! What do I do?! OMG soooooooooo much energy!

So now you will be seeing a lot more GF recipes coming in the near future with me experimenting with various things. So far there has been some good progress. ;)

Fitness Gadgets
Every day I feel stronger and the stairs leave me less winded. I took it up a notch and FINALLY opted to get a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM)! Best decision I’ve made in a while. That guy is awesome! I burn way more than I thought I did. It’s really cool to wear it while working out and see the kind of calorie burns I’m doing with the various exercises that I’ve been doing. For example, the second to last NRoL4W Stage 1 Workouts A&B burned a whopping 538 calories for 90 minutes (that included warm up and cool down)! Before I had no idea how to tracking weight lifting. My Fitness Pal (MFP) calculated a burn of 281 calories for an hour.

I decided to get a Polar ft4 after I did all my research and heard about it on Livestrong. It was affordable ($67 on and did what I needed it to do: track my burns. An added bonus: it is PINK! :) If you want to take your weight loss journey to the next level, I would HIGHLY recommend getting one. It definitely takes the guess work out of the burn, calorie counting, etc. Is it 100% accurate? Absolutely not. But the margin of error is around 25%. I’ll take 75% accuracy over 0% any day!

Since I’ve joined Instagram, I’ve become an addict. LITERALLY. I’m on there all the time and I’m posting things non-stop. That’s beside the point. The point is, they have themes for each day. Like Friday is Flex Fridays. Then you have Transformation Tuesdays. So I decided to post a picture of my own. Back in March for St. Patrick’s day, Panda and I went to a charity dinner. They had a photographer there that took the worst picture of my life. It’s this very picture that made me realize that I had gone way too far and had gained a ridiculous amount of weight. 

Around that time I also weighed myself – a whopping 174 pounds on a 5’2” frame! Let’s fast forward to August 6th. Midway progress pics and down 19 pounds. Amazing what 19 pounds can do for a person right? It was amazing to see the transformation just in my face, not to mention everywhere else. The hard work is really paying off and you can see it. The proof is in the pictures! I also started taking full body progress pictures back in June to see the progress there. Here’s a comparison from when I first started lifting heavy with the NRoL4W to a week ago. Then you have the reaction of Panda when I make him take my picture. Ha! Not a happy panda.

Here’s the stats from day one of measuring:

How has your progress been? Slow? Steady? Like they say – slow and steady wins the race! Hope you guys are out there kicking ass and taking names!