Sara's Second in the Biggest Loser

I probably could have not shouted out my status in the Biggest Loser in the title of this post, and built up to my second place status, but I haven't been this proud of myself in a long time. I have always made excuses about not losing weight, but with a bit of focus, I've been able to do really well with it this time. It started off pretty rocky.

It definitely took a few days to adjust to my new healthier, less food-driven lifestyle. I was hungry all the time and never felt like I was ever satisfied. But my body adjusted. I got used to less food. And you know what? It's crazy how little food you actually do need, once you adjust your body to less food. I'm about to list some tips for healthier eating, but by no means am I qualified to offer suggestions, other than the fact that I've lost a "stone" (which is what the British woman at work said to me, and I thought was so cool I texted several people about my lost stone). To us Americans, that means 14 pounds, which is about 7% of my bodyweight.

Yes, thats 7% less of me to love, but we can get through this together. Anyways, here's my list of diet suggestions:

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My First Run

It's been a few weeks since the great mirror fall of 2014. Since then, the bone has been covered, stitches have been taken out and mederma has become a daily addition to my routine. All is going well, and my workout ban has been lifted. It's been lifted ,plus a few days (just got to make sure that it's fully healed, right?). But finally, I decided to get back into the swing of working out.

Transitioning back to exercise is exciting. The feeling of getting your treadmill legs back. The slow rhythm building, despite all the trauma of the previous weeks.

A slow burn building in the left muscles of the stomach. Breath is getting slower. Staccato.

As the sweat build and muscles tense, only one thought crosses my mind...

It's good to be back.

Even though the run was slower and shorter than usual. The weights are lighter and the reps are lower. But, hell yeah, it's good to be back.

Exercising my right to complain about exercise classes

By Cazey Williams Sara told me that people like lists, and I like complaining. In fact, to get my own tab on Tweets & Mascara, I told Sara, “I bet I can find something to complain about every week.”

I assume most people have attended some sort of exercise class in their life. So tonight I thought I’d list what spikes my blood pressure in group exercise classes other than actually working out. For example:

When class ends early. When I ate my third slice of pizza at lunch (or let’s be real, fourth, because is anyone taking that?), I am anticipating a full 60 minutes of sweat. So when the instructor has me out of the room ten minutes to the top of the hour, I haven’t reached my perceived quota of calories burned. What am I supposed to do? Hop on a treadmill for a 10-minute interval training program? Or better yet, order more pizza when I get home?

Similarly, when class begins late, this ticks me off. 1.) You’re cutting into my hour of calorie burning. And 2.) I’m here to exercise my body, not my social anxiety. Enough awkward time with my phone out of reach!

“You’re stronger than your mind.” This is how instructors begin a lot of classes. And you’re right; I am. Because I am here and did not skip. I resisted going early to happy hour / devouring dark chocolate blueberries that aren’t even actual blueberries (looking at you, Brookside Dark Chocolates) / working through life responsibilities that can’t be left behind at the office. But that does NOT mean I can physically push my legs faster or maintain this plank for a minute.

“You choose what to do.” The instructor says, “Take three minutes and do your favorite exercise, drill, stretch, etc.” I purposefully signed up for this class to surrender my autonomy. Don’t ask me what I want to do. All day I have decided what to wear, what to eat, how to sign emails (Thanks? Best? Sincerely?), etc. Now, YOU tell me how to work my triceps.

Partner drills. “Grab a partner.” Time out. I didn’t come here to speed date. I struggle to make eye contact with my own reflection in the mirror during a class, let alone asking the dripping stranger beside me whether we can press feet together (their soles are brown; mine aren’t much better) and do buddy boat pose.

Or worse, the instructor wants me to cheer on my partner. Back to me not making eye contact: I will not draw more attention to myself by telling my newfound acquaintance that they’re killing it or “Go, go, go!” How about no? Or I’ll kill you.

Lying about the time. I saved the best for last: The instructor says it’s a seven minute climb on the bike. Fourteen minutes later, we’re still climbing. Or they say, “Five,” pause for five seconds, “four,” pause for five seconds, “three,” pause, etc. There is no beating around this bush: I’ll burn it down right here. You’re a ****ing liar, I don’t trust you anymore, and I am neither climbing nor give a crap about you because you have backstabbed me in the heat of a workout, and now I hope your shower after this consists of the toxins leaking from my pores.

Leave your complaints about exercise classes in the comments!

1 month of Bootcamp: In Review

So last month my roommates and I bought a Groupon for one month of deeply discounted bootcamp classes. I'd like to lose a bit of weight, so obviously we signed up and went frequently. The first week was hell, as to be expected. I walked with a limp, but not in one of those cool rappers sort of way. We were also expected to eat healthy, so my roommates and I tossed the sweets and replaced dressings with oil.

The second week was hell, but not because of the workouts. Those, I had become accustom to. It was because we were told to cut out bread. It was like asking me to move to the desert and not drink water. I couldn't fathom life without bread, but they coached us on how to replace bread with lettuce wraps, how to make pizza on non-dough, etc.

We moved forth with this, unhappily eating lettuce wraps and pretending it was comparable to bread. It never was. So in our last week, my roommate and I gave up on that task. And you know what happened?

I ate bread like it was going extinct.

I devoured anything carb related in my sight. Let me tell you, you have NO idea how hard life is without bread (unless you're gluten-free, to which I empathize with). I have always been a carb loader, so taking bread away basically gave me withdrawals. Now that bootcamp is over, I'm not working out anymore and I am probably eating more bread than ever to make up for those two weeks without it.

It's pretty shameful. We worked out every damn day for a month, and the moment it ends, I revert right back to my old ways. The only thing I've kept doing is drinking massive amount of water, which supposedly helps you lose weight. It's not even that I like water that much, but it's a great excuse to get out of my desk all the time.

As great as a Groupon may seem for a month of bootcamp, I would recommend not taking it, unless you can actually afford the full price, or else you set yourself up for failure. I had all these expectations and goals, but with only a month, they're not too realistic. Knowing it was only a month took away a lot of the value because I knew it was all short term changes and not enduring life changes. I'm sure I didn't lose any weight, and I'm sure I'll be out of shape again in no time.