Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Now, I've Really Lost It!

Over the last few months, I've lost 24 pounds. I thought I would go ahead and "
expose myself" again here as an added incentive to keep myself motivated if for no other reason than for fear of public humiliation if I should relapse.

Can you tell which picture was taken in January of 2008 and which was taken in June of 2008?

How'd I do it? Here's the secret...

I joined a gym, I signed on with a personal trainer and I watch what I eat.

Sorry to be the first to tell you this, but there is NO secret. No shortcuts, at least none that I've found. Leave a comment below, please, if you know of any.

But, here's what I've learned along the way and this is what has worked for me. I think my strategy or parts of it might help you too.
  1. Joining the gym is not enough for me. I've joined gyms before and I've been very good about paying on time, just not showing up. They like that, by the way.
  2. I joined LA Fitness, so I can only speak about this gym and how it worked for me. The cost of personal training varies depending on how many sessions you want per week. The choice is 3 per week, or 2 or 1 per week. I recommend picking 2 per week. You will eventually miss one here or there, or they will cancel and before you know it, you'll have some accumulated and you'll be training 3 times in some weeks. NEGOTIATE YOUR PRICE! They started out at $40. per training session... I ended up paying $25 per training session. Folks, that's dinner out at Chili's! Skip dinner one night each week and that will pay for your personal training session!
  3. By signing on with a personal trainer, I am forced to show up to meet someone. We meet for 30 minutes.
    He kicks my ass for 30 minutes and I pay him for it!
    Sweet, huh?

  4. On the days I meet my trainer and on my off-trainer days, I do cardio for 30-45 minutes before or after my appt. (depending on when I get home from work). I aim for every day, but if I miss a day or two, it's ok. I tend to average 5 days a week.
But I hate cardio!
Personally, I hate the cardio. It's boring. I don't get exhausted, I get bored. So, I get on iTunes and look for TV shows that I never watched before and download entire seasons. For example, I never watched LOST. So I'm now watching Season 1. Each episode is 42 minutes. Perfect! Now I get on the elliptical machine, pop in my earbuds, turn on my iPod and watch my TV show. I'm so engrossed in the show that I swear, I'm always amazed that I made it that long without looking at the clock!

What do I eat?

Let's get this out of the way right now... I must have my Starbucks before work. So I order a Venti, NonFat, 2 splenda Latte OR a Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte. (Both are made with nonfat milk and artificial sweetener). About 150 calories (get a tall and your down to about 100 calories).

Ok, so I eat normal food. No powders or shakes or diet pills. But small amounts of real and healthy (complex carb, high fiber, high protein and green foods) and often. And I read every label. I try to make sure any bread I eat has at least 4 grams of fiber per slice (Nature's Own Double Fiber Wheat has 5 grams per slice - and it's soft bread not like most wheat bread that has hard stuff in it). I use Splenda in my coffee and fat free half&half. Now that said... I love steak and about once a week, we go to the Outback. I usually have the small filet. When in a restaurant, I try to order as lean as possible, but I do eat and I do not deprive myself if I really want something. I eat pizza (2 slices, too!) And apparently, it's still working for me. :) I also have a sweet tooth, so I'll have a bite or two of cake or pie if I really, really want it. But I do resist most times.

Too Expensive?

Now, my strategies are costly. When you figure in the gym membership, personal training and the iTunes bills... we're talking some serious bucks. (Although, if you are considering plastic surgery, I've just saved you lots of money. We can split the difference. Just send my portion to my PayPal account.) If money is tight, then be creative and rip some videos onto your MP3 player, find a friend that will walk/run with you so you have that same "other person commitment." My friend, Sue, and I did that for a few years and it was awesome. Why did we stop doing that, Sue????

Am I doomed to fail?
Now I know there are quite a few of you out there who are also very successfully losing weight, getting healthy and attaining your goals as well. What are you doing? See, when this stuff no longer works for me (and what does work forever?) I'll be looking to you for help. Please, leave me a comment and tell me what works for you!


Colette Cassinelli said...

Great job Lee - keep it up!

2 yrs ago I lost 35 lbs but ended up gaining most of it back when I started my Master's program (while working full time!). I'm on a fitness challenge this summer to shed some of the pounds!!!

Thanks for the inspiration!!!

Lee said...

Is the fitness challenge a formal program or something you are doing yourself? Is it something other people can join?

Nancy Sharoff (RL) ~ Laelia Laval (SL) said...

TeachaKidd you're looking FABULOUS! Keep posting those photos to further inspire you! And if you need to shop for new clothes let me know! LOL

aka Laelia

Doug said...


Congratulations on your loss! Since January, I have lost 30 pounds, just from changing my diet. I think that has more to do with weight loss than anything. Keep cutting out the bad stuff, and you'll continue to have success! Good luck!


cindy said...

Come join us for round two of FATBET...(we're called the tighta$$e$) We start up the second round on July 11th..check it out..fatbet.com
In the words of Billy Crystal...YOU look MARVELOUS!!

Brad Fountain said...

Congrats on your hard work and GREAT results!!! Since December have I have been working with a trainer in a boot camp program and it has been wonderful both mentally and physically. Unfortunately I had to take the summer off to move, but hope to find another program in Charlotte by the end of the summer.

Anonymous said...

You are looking fabulous. What happen to us...I guess I just got too old or too lazy to exercise at 5 in the morning. Since you are up in the county and making the "big" bucks you can now afford a trainer. :) We "lowly" teachers can't afford that and after reading NO raises this year, I guess I should stop paying for a gym I don't use and that could be my raise.:)
Luv Ya,

1teacher2 said...

Way to go, Lee! I lost about 35 pounds six years ago and have kept it mostly off--and a pregnancy in between, too! Weight Watchers was my key, which it sounds like you are adopting most of those strategies! Keep it up and can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks! ~Teryl

C. Woolwine said...

You look great Lee, keep up the good work! I think you may of inspired me to get started on a program! Thanks

Charlene said...

You are an inspiration! (I even went for a walk before commenting!)

Lee said...

Shopping sounds great. But the RL kind! I think I need to get back into SL and reshape my avatar there as well. With my SL learning curve, not sure where I would sweat more; Shaping my RL body or SL body. :)

Congrats on your 30#! I agree that diet is most of the problem. We are all so unaware of what we eat, that we really need to focus on what we are eating and that is SO not fun! Here's where the cardio helps though. It's a mind game... if I spend 15 minutes on the elliptical machine and burn 100 calories, then it's as if I never had that Starbucks Skinny Latte! :)

Ok, I'm in. :)

Wow! Boot camp? Very cool. I think I would like that. (Are there men in uniforms?)

Come with me again! You are the wind beneath my wings! I love you, too!

35 lbs? And you are georgous! I'm inspired for life! You and I are going to kick some serious ass in Silver Springs this summer!

Thanks. I wonder how many calories we burn up typing? :)

Lee said...

Let's do it together since we'll be spending a lot of time together this summer. :)

Lee Ann Spillane: said...

Way to go--that inspires me to get started and get back into shape!

Mark Benno said...

Hey Lee,

Great job and inspiring!

Almost three and a half years ago, at FETC, I knew I had to do something. Bad diet #1 problem was six Dr. Peppers per day; usually starting about 8 am and finishing the last one around midnight.

I cut back to two immediately and it was not fun. But after a couple of weeks I was able to cut to one. One single Dr. Pepper. No refills allowed. Whatever the glass or cup size was that came with my meal was the total amount I allowed myself. Going from two to one was not that hard.

I've kept my maximum of one ever since. Somedays it is even zero.

Now that I have that under control I need to work on something else... like McDonald's.

Keep it up for a lifetime, Lee, with whatever strategies work for you, and continue to monitor and adjust, just like a great teacher!


Jason Everett said...


Great job! I am so happy you are feeling healthy and happy about it. That is the biggest motivator of all I believe.

Stay healthy, happy and keep at it! Wonderful job!

Jason Everett said...

Just read this article and thought it was appropriate for this conversation:

Tim said...

Lee, I missed this blog until you linked to it on Twitter today. I just joined a gym (again) and had my first hour of training. It turned into 45 minutes as I could no longer breath or stand up straight! But I am determined to lose the 30 pounds my binge eating put on me over the last 18 months. Congratulations on your loss!

Nedra said...

You look great Lee! Keep those new healthy habits going! I'm always battling a few pounds and have learned to try and keep them from getting out of hand. It's much easier to lose 5 pounds than 15 which is what will happen if I'm not careful. Last year I found Weight Watcher's online very helpful. It made me realize that my portions were what was hurting me the most. I like doing it online because I can join for a month get back on track,drop a few pounds and then get back off. I go to boot camp twice a week. I don't skip unless absolutely necessary because if I do I pay the price with sore muscles the next time.

Lee said...

Congrats on getting back into it. I think 60 minutes is a long time for a training session. Maybe you and the trainer need to have a talk about what's right for you. I've been through a few trainers now (they seem to quit) and each one has his one style. One pushes real hard, one doesn't push enough, one likes heavy weights with less reps, one less weight and more reps... Now I know what works for me and we're in more a groove now.

Stick with it! It seems like a few months will never come, but before you turn around, you look in the mirror and you've made progress.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for sharing your story. :)

MaryAnn Sansonetti said...

Lee, you are an inspiration. I have been fighting with my weight for YEARS. You are right there is no secret. You just have to do it. You have given me motivation to not go hog wide eating in San Antonio. My goal is to not gain any weight while I am gone so I can start losing when I get back! :)

Congratulations... and see you at NECC.

Lee said...

Stick with me. We'll eat together and be each other's support. I'm bringing lots of FiberOne bars. They are delicious!

nicole said...

You look fantastic! I'm doing pretty much the same thing you are, only I'm not very disciplined in the food category. I'm happy with my weight, but am in a weight loss contest and am trying to lose five more pounds before focusing on maintenance. I get bored with cardio too. One thing I've done the last few weeks is go to a class at my gym. It is a boot camp class that has a lot of variety in each session. That class once a week gives me just enough of a break from my boring cardio.