People Are Amazing AND a New Progress Shot

Let me start off by saying that people constantly amaze me. This entire journey has just been me doin’ me. I am always incredibly humbled and grateful when people tell me that I’m an inspiration or I got them started on their fitness expedition. I sincerely can’t even believe it.

Yesterday at work a woman came in to cancel her membership. She was set and ready to sign the cancelation papers. A manager came over and tried to persuade her to stay. My trainer, Matt, came into the office and tried to persuade her to stay. A manager called me in and introduced me as, “This is Erin! She lost almost 90 pounds here!”

The member was completely floored. Floored. She was like, “You lost that much weight? I can’t believe it! You look great!” I told her that my highest weight was 288 pounds. She immediately said, “I’m 280 pounds now!” I told her that my story was featured in a magazine and I made sure I got one for her.

The member then had a fitness assessment with a trainer and bought personal training. She said that my progress picture was going to be on her fridge because I am her inspiration.

I have no words. Amazing. If you’re reading this: Hi, Lynn!

I took a progress shot at work yesterday, so here it is:

Progress 11.2

But Why Are We Doing FOUR Reps?

Sometimes you don’t want to screw around with something great. Unfortunately, fitness isn’t like that. You have to constantly push yourself in order to keep losin’ weight and gaining muscle. With Matt leaving the gym in the upcoming weeks, we have a new trainer taking his place. The trainer, Will, has been shadowing Matt for a little while, so I think he kind of gets what I want to accomplish and what I can do and what I can’t do. The best thing about will? He pushes me. The worst thing about Will? He pushes me.

I'm gonna wear this hat at the gym so I stop swearing profusely.

I’m gonna wear this hat at the gym so I stop swearing profusely.

We normally do three reps of each circuit, but NO! Will made us do FOUR reps of each circuit. I wept.

My pre-workout is awesome, though! Just started taking Optimum Nutrition: Premium Pre. Good stuff. I think I like it better than ON’s Amino Energy. Yeah, you spend a little bit more money, but it will probably last me a little bit longer than Amino Energy. I honestly don’t feel tired at all while working out. Well, OK, maybe a little.

Here’s what we did today:

Circuit 1: 

  • Take a step that has four risers underneath.
  • Step-up with a hop. 30 seconds each leg.
  • Box jump onto the step and land in a squat. 30 seconds.

Repeat circuit 4 times.

Circuit 2: 

  • Do little jumps until Will claps his hands. Jump OVER the step. 10 jumps.

Repeat 4 times.

Circuit 3: 

  • Get into a plank position on the floor. Both hands start on the floor and then one hand comes up on the riser. The other hand comes up on the riser. Then one hand comes down on the floor and then the other hand comes down on the floor. 30 seconds.

Repeat 3 times.

Circuit 4: 

  • Mountain climbers on the gliders. 30 seconds.
  • Crunches. 30 seconds.
  • Plank. 30 seconds.

Repeat 4 times.

Circuit 5: 

  • Run up and down the stairs. 30 seconds.
  • Run up and down the stairs again. 30 seconds.
  • Skip a step up the stairs. 30 seconds.
  • Skip a step up the stairs again. 30 seconds.

End of circuit.

I also hopped on the elliptical for 15 minutes before this workout. I burned a whole 600 calories! Wahoo!

Check me out on Fitocracy and see what I’m eating on MyFitnessPal (it’s still Greek yogurt, but today I’m eating turkey, barley, lentil soup!)

Why Bother Having Legs?

No, but seriously? Because all I ever do is slaughter them at the gym thus making them completely useless for the next few days. Sigh.

Yesterday, Paula and I had a killer leg day workout with Little Matt. Total slaughter-fest. My legs feel totally tired and worthless right now. Lotsa front barbell squats. Leg presses. 75 squats. Ugh.

Me walking at the gym today.

Me walking at the gym today.

Today was my usual cardio excursion filled with crying muscles and exploding limbs.

Here’s what we did:

Circuit 1:

  • Tie a resistance band to something and wrap that sucker around your waist. Take a step-up step and place it in front of you:
  • Step-ups with a jump. 10 on each foot.
  • Lateral side jumps. 10 on each side.
  • Jump on top of the step and down. 20 jumps.
  • Take that resistance band off and plop to the ground:
  • Walk out on your hands into a plank position. Walk your hands back in. Jump. 10 of these.
  • High knee jumps. 10 jumps.

Repeat circuit 3 times.

Circuit 2:

  • Grab two 25lb kettlebells. Do some walking lunges all the way across the gym. I’d assume we did like 35 lunges or so.
  • Do a classy duck walk across the gym. A wide, low squat and walk.
  • Then we did some fancy agility stuff with three dots on the ground:
  • Shuffle to one dot, sprint to the first dot, then sprint to the end of the gym. 3 reps.
  • Sprint to one dot, back peddle to first dot, sprint to another dot, back peddle again, then sprint to the end of the gym. 3 reps.
  • High knees to end dot and then sprint to end of the gym. 4 reps.

So, you know, 3 sets of the kettlebell/duck walk bit and then switch off with the different agility things.

Circuit 3: 

  • Mountain climbers on the gliders. 45 seconds.
  • Supermans on the gliders. 8 reps. Or you really just try to do one.
  • Windshield wipers with your legs. 20 reps.

Repeat circuit 3 times.

Then I hopped on the elliptical for a half an hour and then I stretched for another few minutes and then I yapped with someone. So, you know, I burned 890 calories.

As per usual, check me out on Fitocracy and see what I’m eating on MyFitnessPal. It’s still Greek yogurt.

Matt Shows Us No Mercy

The best thing about having a trainer is that they push you to be your best. They always want that final rep out of you. When you think you can’t do it, they know you can. The worst thing about having a trainer is that they make you want to cry a thousand tears because you honestly think your body can’t do what they are forcing you to do.

Matt and I gettin' an arm workout.

Matt and I gettin’ an arm workout.

Matt’s kinda like that.

Yesterday he was making us do pull ups on the TRX. Pull. Ups. Matt had to help us pull ourselves up, so I’d like to think that he had a nice arm workout, too.

Today was just filled with sore arms, sore legs, and fast feet.

Here’s what we did:

Circuit 1: 

  • Burpees. 12 of ‘em
  • Put one foot in the TRX. Squat down and touch the ground. Come back into a standing position. 15 reps on each side.
  • Put one foot in the TRX. Squat and jump. 15 jumps on each side.

Repeat circuit 3 times.

Circuit 2: 

  • Grab an 18lb kettlebell. Lunge and then drive the knee into the air. As the knee goes up, the arm holding the kettlebell goes up. 12 reps on each side.
  • Battle rope speed skate slams. We waited til the other person was done with the kettlebell.
  • Jumping tricep dips. 30 seconds.
  • Spider lunges. 20.

Fall down on the floor and weep. And then do it another 2 times.

Circuit 3: 

  • Ladder drills:
  • Lateral one foot in and out. Like jumpin’. Bouncin’. Get to the end and sprint. Repeat 4 times.
  • Lateral two feet in and out. Hoppin’. Get to the end and sprint. Repeat 4 times.
  • Lateral one foot in and out. Real quick. Like you’re a football player. Get to the end and sprint. Repeat 4 times.
  • Get into a plank position and cross your hands over one another. Get to the end and sprint. Repeat 4 times.

Crawl into the fetal position and question why you pay for this torture.

I also hopped on the elliptical before I worked out. In total, I burned 745 calories!

As always, add me on Fitocracy and see what I’m eating on MyFitnessPal.

The #sprintto100 has slowed to a #strollto100

I don’t really have an issue with me taking my sweet time to get to 100 pounds down. I am not going to not live my life because I have some sort of deadline to meet. The thing about weight loss is that there is some sort of an ebb and flow. You have your good days and your bad days. You get right back on the horse.

These past few weeks have been draining. Something is clearly in the water, but my social life has been booming. That does not mean that I do not work out and I just go out to eat. Quite on the contrary, actually. I am still doing my same routines and making sure to watch what I eat prior to my outing.

Here’s what we did today:

Circuit 1:

  • TRX squat jumps. 15 reps.
  • TRX crossing balance lunge. Put one foot in the TRX and then squat and jump with the other foot. 12 reps on each side.
  • 18lb kettlebell squat jumps. Sit down on the bench and then pop right back in the air. 30 seconds.
  • 18lb kettlebell two-arm front swing. 30 seconds.

Roll around on the floor. Repeat 3 times.

Circuit 2: 

  • Mountain climbers on the gliders. 30 seconds.
  • Pikes on the gliders. 8 reps. (I definitely need to work on this one!)
  • Agility ladder drills:
  • Squat on the outside of the ladder and then jump inside. Continue down the ladder. Sprint to the desk and back. 3 reps.
  • Lateral jumps and squats. Down the ladder. Sprint to the desk and back. 3 reps.
  • Hop scotch. Down the ladder. Sprint to the desk and back. 3 reps.

Of course do mountain climbers and pikes between each different ladder exercise!

Circuit 3: 

  • Hop on the elliptical (it was really the Arc Trainer, if you wanted to get technical). Go as fast as you bloody can for 1 minute.
  • Drop on the floor and lift your opposite leg to arm. 12 reps on each side.

Repeat circuit FIVE fucking times.

I burned 580 calories during this workout!

Check me out on Fitocracy and see what I’m eating on MyFitnessPal (it’s probably greek yogurt).

I Promise I’ve Been Working Out!

No, honest! I really have been working out!

Life has been really hectic, to say the very least. With the holidays, a pipe bursting in my house, and a whirlwind of other things, I just haven’t been able to keep track of my exercises. I also have been taking spin classes instead of my usual routine. Note to self: Spin is beyond awesome.

I can’t even remember what we did today, but here are some quick updates in the fitness realm of my life:

  1. Today I hit a new PR! 100lb front barbell squat! 6 reps! We did 95lb for 8 reps for 3 sets, but tacked on the extra 5lb for the last set. Like a boss.
  2. As of Friday, January 10, 2014, I am down a total of 85lb. That is insane to me.
  3. My article in the local magazine has been published and it is circulating around town and is proudly being displayed at the front desk of my gym.
  4. I also received word that my face is going to be on billboards around New Jersey. Mainly down in southern Jersey, but still! Really awesome.
  5. My mug is also on the back of another newsletter that has been sent out. I actually went through my mail yesterday to see my face on the back of the newsletter. You don’t see that happening everyday, right?

I’m really happy with where I am right now and although I haven’t been updating as much as I should this year, I promise that I will get back into it! Honest!

Here's a picture of me with the newsletter that I got in the mail!

Here’s a picture of me with the newsletter that I got in the mail!

And I don’t think I’ve posted this picture, but basically here is a shot of me with my big ol’ fat pants! I bought these pants in December 2012 and here I am a year later. Insane, right?

Fat pants swag.

Fat pants swag.

Yesterday a woman at the gym came up to the front desk, saw my article, and said to me, “I had no idea anyone could lose 85 pounds in one year!” And I proudly responded, “I didn’t think so either until I just did it.”

Keep fightin’ the good fight, friends!

P.S. While I was at the gym today, someone came in holding my advertisement and said, “I just got this in the mail and I wanted to check this place out.” WHAT IS MY LIFE RIGHT NOW, THOUGH?

Don’t Be Scared! The Gym Loves You!

Whenever I post a progress picture, I usually get a handful of people that message me and ask what I’m eating, what kind of exercises I am doing and what supplements I take. Aside from all that, the most popular question that I am asked is: How did you get started?

It’s the New Year and that means everyone’s resolution is to lose weight, go to the gym, and eat healthier foods. According to WebMD, by the end of January, 64% of these weight loss resolutioners are still hangin’ in. Six months later, only 44% are still in it to win it. That’s a huge drop.

I’m gonna break it down for you as to how I started my weight loss extravaganza.

1. Start simple

When someone asks me how I started, I always say that it was never at the gym. Trust me, it wasn’t. I had toyed around with the idea of losing weight in December of 2012. A gym membership was out of the question. Too expensive and I was out of a job. I looked around for other alternatives. What is free and still can make you lose a ton of weight? Walking and running. I started a program called Couch to 5K and would run outside in the frigid cold. It was hard, but it got easier every time I ran.

2. Join a gym

I know there are people out there who don’t want to go to the gym for reasons beyond me. They are scared of people judging them, they are scared that they don’t know how to use the machines, and they are definitely afraid of the free weights section. The truth of the matter is that the sooner you bite the bullet, the sooner you can lose weight and see results. No one is staring at you and if they are that is their issue. As far as I’m concerned, you are there to make a change for yourself and how can anyone in their right mind judge you or fault you for that?

3. Cardio, cardio, cardio

I, too, was clueless when I joined my gym. I was scared of the free weights section. The only thing I really knew how to do was cardio machines like the elliptical, recumbent bike, and treadmill. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I spent the first 3 months of my gym membership just bustin’ out cardio for the majority of my days. I’d start out and do 30-60 minute of the elliptical and then hop on some weight machines.

4. But don’t you dare forget those weights 

I will fight tooth and nail to make people understand that lifting weights is essential. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate is. The higher your metabolic rate is, the more calories you are burning throughout the day. If you do a weight lifting day, you will continue to burn calories at a more rapid rate than you would if you just hopped on the elliptical for an hour. Start light with your weights, but make sure you increase those reps then. Dumbbells are your friend. Kettlebells are even more of your friend. Go to the free weights section when it’s pretty quiet and just pick shit up and put it down. Ask a trainer if they can show you the proper form on how to do those exercises. Don’t be scared

5. Small group training

I’ll be honest, I got sick of the cardio/light weight lifting routine. It gets repetitive and you want to abandon ship. My mom saw that my gym offered small group training and we jumped right on board. SGT is basically when trainers will hold a class a few times a week and people who are in the SGT program can sign up to join the class. Up to 8 people (depending on the class) can join, but if no one shows up then it is just you and the trainer. Personal training session at a fraction of the cost. Steal.

6. MyFitnessPal

I’ll probably get shot for even recommending the site, but I cannot deny how effortless it is to lose weight through them. I only started counting my calories in April of 2013. I lost about 25-30 pounds without counting my calories, but boy does the weight just drop off when you are mindful of your food. MFP makes it easy. They tell you how many calories you can eat a day to lose X amount of pounds a week. Log every thing that goes into your mouth. Stay under your calorie goal. Lose weight. Easy as pie!

7. Finally, not taking yourself so seriously

I’ll admit that I am intense. I am insanely intense when it comes to my workouts and I’m even more intense when it comes to the food I eat. But I always remember that this is my life. My life includes going out with my friends, it includes going out to eat, it includes drinking endless shots of whiskey, and it definitely includes some cookies and cream ice cream. To give up on those things would be to give up on a part of your life. We all fall off the horse for a day or a week or a month, but we have to get right back on and not beat ourselves up.

And that’s the story of how I got my buns into the gym. Now back to your scheduled program.

And this was taken of me yesterday!