Week 4: On the Mend and Back in the Saddle

Hey everyone! You may have noticed I’ve been a little absent. Unfortunately, I have an excuse.

Two weeks ago, tomorrow, I threw my back out (sprained it, what-have-you), while bending over to pick something up. It was not pretty. 6 days of bedrest, an unhelpful doctor, a new doctor and a dozen or so muscle relaxers later (not at the same time, people!), and I’m on the mend. I was told by my (helpful) doctor to rest my back as much as possible until I’m back to normal. I don’t know how to “rest” my back without resting the rest of me. So, as you can probably gather, I wasn’t working, and well, wasn’t working out.

I have to say, I never thought I’d be one of those people that misses working out. But I truly missed heading to my, now routine, FlyBarre classes and spin classes. I know if I hadn’t been working out on a regular basis, my situation could have been a lot worse. I had started to strengthen my core muscles which was a huge help, and I know that further strengthening them will help me avoid any future injury.

My first foray back into the FlyWheel arena was the FlyBarre Challenge ride with Danielle. It was just what I needed. Great music, lots of sweat and tons of inspiration from Danielle (if you’ve never taken her class, do so, she’s tons of fun). It felt really good to get back to what I’d been working so hard on, prior to being hit with the un-lucky stick for the past six weeks. I needed to push my body, and get it moving again. This week, I hope to squeeze in at least one FlyBarre class, but I’m not sure it’s going to happen. I’ve been swamped at work (missing a week will do that!), and I’m leaving for a long weekend a Penn State early Thursday morning (Go Nittany Lions!).

I’m frustrated and disappointed that the Challenge isn’t going the way I had originally planned. I had anticipated being able to work out a lot and see tons of change. I know life is full of speed bumps, sharp turns and dead ends. It’s what you do when you come to one, that makes the difference whether you get to your destination. Or not. I’ve decided that what I’ve encountered recently isn’t a dead end. It’s a wake up call to really take care of myself (inside and out). I plan on keeping the Challenge going (beyond November 7th), because I know I won’t be where I want to in 2 weeks. But I’m not giving up. I’m truly thankful for the support my family, friends, and everyone at FlyWheel has given me. It’s made all the difference.

Week 3: Weigh In and Mixed Emotions

Hey everybody! I guess I’ll start off this post with the good news. I took 3 FlyBarre classes and 2 spin classes this week. AND I lost 5lbs and a half inch off of my waist! I honestly CANNOT believe it. I bought a dress for an event I have this weekend, and I definitely noticed it fit a little better at the end of the week than the beginning. So lots of good things happening.

I’m really excited that I had such positive results, especially since it was week full of ups and downs. I had intended on writing about how great everything was going and how positive and great I was feeling, but it would have been incorrect and insincere. It’s interesting what kind of emotions are stirred up when you make such an intense commitment to improving yourself, and in turn, your life. I’ve been dealing with a lot of fear this week, and self doubt for sure. I’m afraid I won’t be successful and I won’t have great things to report back to you. You make what you fear a reality, and I was certainly headed in that direction this week. I tend to be a stress eater and emotional eater, and when all of these things started surfacing, I did some stress eating – exactly what will hinder any success I have. It’s definitely something people don’t talk about, and I’m no different. Like a lot of people with a weight issue, my problem isn’t knowing how and what to eat, it’s practicing those things. I think that powering through and trying to make smart decisions most of the time, is what’s been my saving grace this past week. The more good you do, and the more you see success, the less the fear creeps in. I also have to credit my team leader, Kate, for being such a source of support. Sometimes, you need to know you have someone cheering for you, and she’s definitely that person. I’m pretty sure she was more excited about my weight loss than I was!

As for the classes, I took a Monday, Friday and Sunday class. All were great, and I find myself being able to do just a little more each time. In addition, Khori hosted an arms workshop. She held a Q&A, and lots of great questions were asked. It gave me peace of mind to know that I’m not only one who has questions and finds the workouts tough. She capped off the session with an extended arms workout. Boy was it tough! But it paid off later in the week. During my spin class on Thursday, I was able to get through the entire segment with the 4-pound bar! Success! Two of my favorite things about the classes are how encouraging the instructors are and that they check form – as a Type A student, I’m always wondering if I’m doing the exercises correctly and of course, everyone loves to be told they’re doing a great job. Unfortunately, in yesterday morning’s class I strained my lower back a bit (a side effect of just plain weak muscles and having to lift heavy legs), and aggravated it with a not-so-stellar spin class (not at FlyWheel) later in the day yesterday, so tonight’s class was tougher than it should have been. And I’m pretty darn sore. It’s like being punished for cheating on my beloved FlyWheel! I hope after a rest day tomorrow, I can really dig in, and push myself harder to really see [more] change.

The plan for this week is all 4 FlyBarre classes (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) and 1 or 2 spin classes. It’s a packed week for sure, but I’m inspired to really push this week. I want to see good numbers on that scale next week. With today’s success, I really think my 10lb goal is achievable!

Do you self-sabotage? How do you talk yourself out of it?

Week 2: Weigh In

 What I’d really like to title this post is “Thinking Yourself Thin is Just for Infommercials.” I knew going into last week it was going to be a struggle. I knew spending a majority of the week in a supine position plus unlimited holiday feasts wouldn’t be a good situation. What does one FlyBarre class plus semi-mindful eating equal? 175.8lbs (weight last week – 175.4). 4/10ths of a pound gained. I knew I wasn’t going to lose record inches, but my goal of 1lb lost or even a 1/2lb lost was clearly too much to hope for. Maybe if I hadn’t been resting as much or not surrounded by so much cake, it might have been a better outcome, but nonetheless, it’s a lesson learned. If I really want to lose weight and kick ass at this challenge, I might have to give up the chicken wings and booze for awhile (obvious, but still sucks).

On a more upbeat note, my class last night was awesome (thanks Mahri!). I’m able to make it through an most of an entire thighs segment. I’m able to pull myself up for “abs at the barre.” If you had told me I would be able to do that 3 weeks ago – I would have literally laughed in your face. I’m beginning to catch on to the dynamic arms series, so I bop around a little more during that section (which means an elevated heart rate = more calories burned). The dancer in me is starting to come out again, and I attempt to do everything “full out.” At this point, I’m beginning to care a lot less about looking silly in class, and much more about getting everything I can from each class. Today, I’m sore, which is exactly what I had hoped for.

Last night I hit Trader Joe’s after class. If you don’t already, I highly recommend going to the grocery store after you workout (as long as you aren’t starving). I’m much less likely to pick up things that cancel out all of the hard work I’ve just put in. My purchases included veggies to stirfry, frozen (read: quick and easy) brown rice, salad makings and a roasted chicken breast. I know that I’m much less likely to pick up take out or order in, if I have really easy things to make at home. So I guess being prepared is half the battle.

My schedule for this week includes 4 FlyBarre classes: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. And one spin class on Thursday. I hope to lose 1lb. For real this time.

If you’re on the fence about trying this class, I wouldn’t hesitate to tell you to try it. I think if you add it to your regular spin (or cardio routine) even just once a week, you would see such a change in your strength. I’m excited to see if it makes a difference in my ride this week. As you know, I’ll be reporting back.

How do you set yourself up for success? What small changes have reaped the biggest rewards?

Week 1: Bronchitis Sucks and Other Revelations.

Prior to the beginning of the Challenge, I spent a solid week laid up with a wonderful mix of laryngitis, pharyngitis and bronchitis. I figured a week of laying on the couch watching bad TV and eating Tal’s chicken noodle soup could cure just about anything (not to mention some antibiotics and industrial strength cough suppressant). A week was pretty much  my limit on “doing nothing.” So when Monday rolled around, I swung back into my regular routine, including a full day at the office, working out, writing, etc. By Tuesday, my body was NOT happy, and I felt like I was getting sick again. Erring on the side of caution, I decided to go to bed early Tuesday night (skipping my plans) and sleep in on Wednesday morning, which meant skipping a pre-work FlyBarre class (sorry Kate!). In fact, I’ve spent the rest of the week making sure I take it easy and get plenty of rest. I’m anxious to get back to my regular schedule of going and doing and working, etc., but I know if I’m going to be healthy enough to do the Challenge, I’ve got to be patient and listen to my body.  

Speaking of listening to my body, my body was sore this week! It was the first time, since I’ve started FlyBarre that things ached (in a good way!) the way everyone said they would. I kept hearing about this mysterious 4 class tipping point. After my first few classes, I’ll be honest, I had my doubts. I wondered if my time (and money) would be better spent on the bike. After all, I already had an effective workout I loooovveeedd. A couple of FlyBarre classes in, I did notice that my rides seemed a little smoother, but I figured it was just from riding consistently over the past few months. 

Then, Monday night, something clicked. It was my fourth FlyBarre class. But it felt different than the previous few. I was able to DO the exercises. Not complete sets, but more repetitions than before. And with pretty decent form. I couldn’t believe it. And this week, I’m actually SORE. I hadn’t really been sore after the other classes. I know it’s working. I know I’m working abdominal muscles that have been dormant since the Backstreet Boys made their TRL debut. There are some things I know I’ll struggle with (abs and butt (or seat, as it’s referred to in class)), but I’m optimistic about the results and changes I’ll see going forward. Because for me, this Challenge is as much about overcoming my physical weaknesses as it is my emotional ones. 

 I’m not going to turn this blog into a food diary, but I will let you know I haven’t gone off the rails. I did enjoy some brisket and wine on Wednesday night and a Rita’s gelati last night. Tomorrow is my cousin’s son’s first birthday party and Sunday will include football at a sports bar. Both of which will have lots of fattening options and some healthy options. I just have to make sure to stay focused and choose MOSTLY healthy foods. This week is unlike any other I’ll have during the Challenge. Because of my incessant bronchitis, the Jewish holidays, and other prior commitments, I was only able to complete one FlyBarre class. My original plan was to squeeze in some exercise while at my parents’ house in Pennsylvania and be mindful of what I was eating. This week I’ve only been left with watching what I put in my mouth (as opposed to what I’m burning off). Knowing I have to report back to you – that’s been all the motivation I need to stay on track!

How do you deal with settings than are less than ideal when it comes to your weight loss plans? When you hit a speed bump, how do you recover?

Week 1: Kick-Off Party

Ok. So last night was the Kick-Off Party. Not quite sure where “party” entered into the equation, as my idea of a good time don’t usually include being weighed, measured or having a super unflattering photo taken. Somehow, the FlyBarre staff actually made it a pretty enjoyable experience. I’m so excited about the Challenge, and I have to say, my team seems pretty great. The girls are all very sweet and friendly and my team leader is the National Director for the FlyBarre program – so I’m pretty sure she knows her stuff. So let’s break down last night and the week ahead.

The Good:

  • My team. My team leader. Duh.
  • The variety of participants. Honestly, I was afraid of walking into a room full of Stepford exercise girls all clad in Lululemon. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Except maybe for the amount of Lululemon. There were girls and guys of all shapes and sizes, ages and races. My fear of being the “big girl” quickly subsided. I’m still big, but I’m not so worried about it.
  • The flexibility in the program. Yes, it’s rigorous. It’s supposed to be. That’s how change is made. But it’s not so bat-shit crazy I’m going to find myself, three weeks from now, having a breakdown in a Dunkin Donuts. In fact, I hope to add on some extracurricular spin classes.
  • It’s doable. There’s a saying (although I’m not exactly sure what it is but it’s along these lines), “once you set your mind to something, you will be tested.” And boy was that the case this morning. The third email I received at work this morning announced the presence of donuts in the kitchen. You know what, I wasn’t even tempted. I’ve been so anxious about whether or not I was getting in over my head – I never stopped to think that there was no reason I CAN’T do it.That “fat girl” voice has not been my friend. I’m kicking her in the pants and taking this on!

The Bad:

  • This week. I have a previous engagement tonight. And it’s Rosh Hashanah this week, which means I’ll be heading to Philly for the holiday. I’ll be gone through Sunday evening because I have my cousin’s son’s 1st birthday party Saturday and plans with my best friend on Sunday to go watch the Eagles play at a popular Philadelphia sports bar. With all of that going on, I’m only going to be able to get in two classes. Less than optimal circumstances. I’m going to need to figure out how to get in some other activity.
  • Temptation. This week is going to be full of yummy, tempting, and less than healthy foods. I’m lucky in the fact that my mother isn’t too liberal with the butter and cream, but it is the holidays.  There will be brisket and noodle kugel and dessert. Saturday is a kids’ party. My cousin’s mother-in-law is Italian. That means lots of cheesy pasta dishes, sausage and peppers and cake. And Sunday is football at Chickie and Pete’s with some friends. Beer and bar food. Need I say more?

The Ugly:

  • My numbers. I said I was going to give full disclosure. So here goes. My weight is 175.4. My waist measures in at 41.5 inches. I’m only 5’5″. It’s not good. I have a lot of work to do.

The Goal:

  • Overall. My doctor wants me to lose 15lbs. before my next check-up, three months from now. I think I can knock out 10 of those pounds during the Challenge. I think that’s a goal I can achieve without entering bat-shit crazy territory. As for inches, I have no idea. A lot? Enough to take me from a snug size 12 to a comfortable size 10.
  • This week. I’d like to lose a pound. The OCD, Type A part of my brain doesn’t think it’s enough. The rest of my brain knows it’s a good start. With all of the goings-on this week, I think it’s a formidable challenge.

So where do I go from here? I need to figure out a plan of action to get me through the week. Luckily, I already know I’ll have an amazing support system. I’ll have to plan for these food situations that could throw me off course. I’m not going to become a crazy person who wigs out if I see a French fry. I’m not planning on giving up entire food groups or spending every free moment I have working out. There has to be a happy medium, and I’m determined to find it. I’ll be back later this week to let you know what happens.

How are you guys planning on fitting the Challenge into your life? What obstacles do you face and how do you plan to deal with them?

Welcome!

Hey everyone! Welcome to my Back to the FlyBarre Challenge blog! Tomorrow marks the beginning of a very scary exciting time – the first day of the Challenge! As a former dancer/performer, I grew up with a slim figure. I stayed active through my early twenties, and warded off major weight gain. During my early twenties, I watched the scale inch up, just a few pounds at a time. And then in the final blow, 3 years ago, I packed on major poundage. An additional 50lbs. to be exact. I shed 15-20lbs of that weight on my own in the two years that followed. In May, knowing I needed to do more, I found myself at FlyWheel Sports. I fell in utter love with the spin classes. Over the course of the summer, spinning just a couple of times a week, and with minimal changes to my diet, I lost about 8-12lbs. (definitive numbers to be posted tomorrow). Obviously, there’s more work to be done. That’s where FlyBarre comes in.

The ultimate workout, FlyBarre combines barre method, pilates and light weights to sculpt the entire body. I tried out FlyBarre a couple of weeks ago, and that’s when I found out about the FlyBarre Challenge. It’s a super-intense program, which I’m hoping will whip me back into dancer shape. Ok, in all honesty, I’m hoping it’ll get me into smaller jeans. The Challenge is as follows:

  • 6 weeks of classes, 4 times a week
  • Specialized workshops designed to help participants master the exercises from class
  • Additional workshops focusing on nutrition (hosted by Blue Print Cleanse) and goal-setting
  • A group Blue Print Cleanse (optional)
  • A group spin class with my fellow Challenge participants

On my own (and with the support of my fellow team members and team leader), I hope to tweak my eating habits and add in some additional exercise in the form of FlyWheel spin classes and walking the 30+ blocks home from class each night. Once I meet with my team leader, Kate (who’s also the director of the FlyBarre program), and get all of my numbers (weight and measurements), I’ll post my specific goals for the next six weeks.

It’s not going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it! Thanks for reading and I look forward to sharing.