Alyssa’s Weight Watchers Weigh In: Week 1

Tuesday was a great day. Even though I had nervous anticipation all morning before I stepped on the scale on my lunch break, I felt confident with my choices from the week before. I drank a lot of water, I exercised nearly every day, I snacked on Persian cucumbers instead of chips, and I minded my portions. I knew even if for some reason the scale didn’t reflect my good work, possibly the next week would, because “you always get the week you deserve eventually.”

I kicked off my flip flops, climbed on the scale, sucked in my breath, and wished for good news. “You’re down this week!” the leader said, and when she showed me the number, I actually let out a little hoot of joy. Here’s what made me so happy:


YAY! 4.4 pounds is a big, big loss. I was also on the tail-end of completing the Mamavation Two-Week Bootcamp, so being forced to do burpees and arm curls and cardio helped, too. I’m so relieved that the first week of “Simple Start” worked. Basically, it’s a plan focused on lean proteins and dairys, whole grains, vegetables and limited fats. It’s pretty much a “Don’t Eat Crap” manifesto, though you can choose one crap item (junk food) per night, with suggestions being things like a Weight Watchers ice cream, a glass of wine, etc. My crap items were Weight Watchers Dulce de Leche ice cream bars (they’re okay. Kinda fake. Not my fav), oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I made, and one night, two squares of white Irish cheddar cheese. Deeeeeelish. This week, I need to be aggressive about staying “good” — sometimes when I have a strong success like this, I tend to think “Oh! I did so good last week that I can cheat a little bit and I’ll still lose weight!” Nope, not so much. Don’t wanna get over confident over here. However, I did realize this week this is the first time I’m trying a “real” weight-loss plan again now that I know what’s up my wacky body, and that’s exciting.
I was also thrilled this week to hear from three different people that it looked like I was losing weight. Those comments are so encouraging to me, because I see myself all day, every day. Hearing it from someone else is sometimes exactly what you need to remember why you’re choosing the salad over the pizza.

So that’s my awesome news for the week! Can’t wait to share with you next week about my next weigh in, and I can only hope it will be as good as this one, but I’ll be happy with any sort of loss. 🙂  I’ll be back soon to tell you about my newest fitness gadget, the Fitbit Force!


5 Weeks of Boot Camp

Tomorrow morning is the first Monday in five weeks that I won’t force myself out of bed at 6:45 AM, hastily throw on some workout clothes, and rush to the park to sweat. I finished my five week Groupon and I’m happy to report that my boot camp was nothing but a positive experience, as it taught me several things:

  • While I am certainly not a morning person, getting a great work out before the day begins is awesome. It was done for the day and I went to work feeling nice and awake and stretched out and limber.
  • I have lazy tendencies, and need to push myself to work harder when it comes to fitness. My bootcamp instructor was great about encouraging me to do more, and it worked. Sometimes a gentle nudge is all I need.
  • Five weeks seems short, but it made A LOT of difference in my fitness regimen. How much? Let’s see!

On the first day of the class, we did baseline fitness testing where for one full minute, we counted the number of crunches, squats, sprints and “six inches” that we could do. Six Inches means you hold your feet and legs off the floor, six inches above the ground, using your core to support you.

Here’s my baseline fitness test next to my scores after five weeks:

Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 9.40.07 PMI was most proud of my improvements on plank. For some reason, the plank is always the fitness move that eludes me, where I try and try to hoist my body up, teetering on my elbows like a hot dog held up by toothpicks. I’ve finally mastered it, and at the beginning of the five weeks, I thought I was going to die after 15 seconds – and now I can actually hold it up to a minute and 30 seconds. AWESOME!

As you can see above, I improved in every category except for sprints. I am tryiiiiing so hard to like running, but I think I finally hit the nail on the head for why it’s not uber enjoyable for me. It’s HARD to move this body, with an extra 70 pounds. I am agile, flexible and strong, but I am not FAST – and that’s so much of what running seems to be. However, I recognize that it’s an amazing cardio element, so I’m going to try to keep it up.

All in all, after five weeks of bootcamp, I lost 9 inches over all and greatly improved my fitness. I’m already debating signing up again because it felt so much more rewarding for me than my gym. As much as I love Zumba and boxing, this fitness regimen really got me movin’ and combined cardio and strength, and I loved being outside in the morning, watching the squirrels find their breakfast, seeing the sun rising up over the smoggy skies of Los Angeles.

As far as weight, I haven’t gotten on the scale since last week’s kerfuffle, but I’ll be back on it soon. When I’m done with school, I have an appointment with my doctor, just to double check that hormonally, everything is right. Sometimes you just have a feeling something’s wrong, and I want to just double check. In reflecting back, losing weight has been about 94% impossible for me the past year, so I just need to confirm that it’s all good in the hood and it’s likely behavior (food) and not physiology (hormones) that’s making this so challenging.

Anyhoo! So that was bootcamp! I surprisingly loved it.

I hope you have a fantastic Monday – I’ll be back tomorrow!


Picture Post!

If you follow me on instagram, you probably know that I’m a little bit obsessed with it – it’s like my favorite social media site, Twitter, combined with cool -looking photos. Here’s what I’ve been up to this week!


I saw this wall-sit challenge on instagram and was intrigued. I am beginning to master my most dreaded fitness move, the Plank, so I decided to throw another hard one into the mix. My husband is doing this with me and today, 30 seconds was just enough to make my sore legs burrrrrn.


I’ve been really enjoying bootcamp! It’s hard to get out of bed at 6:45 in the morning, but in general, I’m feeling fitter, more sore and happier. The teacher really PUSHES me each time I’m there, and I end up coming home covered in sweat, beet-red, and tired – but feeling GOOD.

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Our new kitten is a lot of fun, but at that wonderful biting phase where he’ll be nuzzling up against your leg and then suddenly goes CHOMP! This picture just about sums up daily life with our two funny little felines – one grumpy gray cat scowling as she tries to nap and one wild kitten laughing with evilness.

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OK, that’s all for today – I know it was a quick one! We may miss a post on Friday as  this weekend I’ll be in San Francisco celebrating April’s 30th birthday! I’ll take lots of pictures and would love it if you write her a happy birthday comment here on the blog. Have a wonderful day!


My first fitness related injury!

Hello all! This morning started out like any other; my alarm clock blared at 6:45, I hit snooze, rolled up in my blanket, nuzzled my pillow and refused to accept the fact that I had to get out of my warm bed and go get sweaty. Then, I heard the “buzz buzz” of my phone, letting me know I had a text. My workout buddy was sick and wouldn’t be going to bootcamp. Instantly, I thought “I shouldn’t go either, especially if she’s not going.” Then, the skinny girl in my brain said “Get yo’ ass out of bed. You have no excuse not to go. HOW BAD DO YOU WANT THIS?!” and with that, I got out of bed, got dressed, and drove to the park. So that was victory number one of the day. Victory #2 is odd because nobody should be happy they got hurt working out, but it’s kind of like this weird badge of honor like, oh, I didn’t get hurt because I tripped on my wedges, I got hurt because I was doing something AWESOME. Tara from Worth Every Ounce ironically posted about this today, too – how getting hurt when you’re doing something cool has way more “cred”. For people working hard to get in shape it’s kind of like, wow, I guess I really am workin’ it! Anyways, how did I get hurt doing something awesome?

Our awesome bootcamp teacher Gordon uses all kinds of creative methods to make sure we get a maximum calorie burn. Today, we all pushed and pulled an orange sled filled with free weights and barbels. I was shocked how hard it was, because the sled was HEAVY and the dirt patch didn’t give it any traction at all.Plus, you have to be way low on your knees and push fast – NOT an easy workout.



As I pushed it, my momentum got the best of me and I lurched forward, having that “Oh sh*$. I’m going to fall” reaction. I quickly thought “not on my wrists”, because as a writer and computer nerd, god forbid my wrists get jacked up, but instead I had my knees pointed out…

On my way to a wipe out

On my way to a wipe out

Going, gone, gone. I was down, landing on my right knee with all my weight. I cried in pain and the teacher called for an ambulance as I read my last will and testament… JUST KIDDING. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Here’s another reenactment, because I’m all about the dramatic:

Ow, ow!

Ow, ow!

I laughed it off and got up, a little muddy and a little embarrassed, but it didn’t feel like anything more than a scuffed knee until we started running sprints. I had to jog in place because my little scuffed knee had started to throb in an unpleasant way – and tonight, I have a battle scar of a purple bruise and a swollen knee.

So yeah! Weird, right? Sucks to get hurt, but thankfully it’s mild, and if anything, I feel all hard-core being like “Yeah. I fell. Pushing a sled filled with 70 pounds of weight. What did YOU do today?” Have you ever had a fitness related injury? What was it? How’d you overcome it? I know my poor dad tore his ACL when skiing and his knee has never been the same…


I’m not a morning person.

Do not disturb!

Do not disturb!

Many, many moons ago, when a good meal was a bag of Doritos and a bottle of Sprite (gross), and a new eyeshadow color was all it took to rock my world (Ok, let’s be real,  I still get excited over new makeup), I rose at 6:45 every morning to head to “zero period” at school for band. I’d stumble into the classroom, yesterday’s eye makeup smudged in what I like to think was punk chic (but really, was just teenaged lazy), sit in my chair (never first chair, second or even third – fourth it was), shove the pieces of my flute together and warm up for a glorious hour of riveting symphonic music. I have NO CLUE how I managed to do this for two years of my adolescence, the time when teenagers are most grumpy and most in need of sleep. Now, when I have to rise earlier than 8 am, I feel like a kitten being ripped from its mothers teat, in which I’m the kitten and my giant, cal-king bed is the teat. Ok, so maybe it’s not THAT dramatic, but you get the point.

I remember sometimes, on particularly disagreeable mornings, my dad would spray us with a water bottle to get us out of bed – sounds mean but really, was quite genius, and a trick I’m sure I will use on my kids one day. When we got old enough to drive ourselves, the water bottle trick wasn’t an option, so I’d sacrifice my good student standing for a tardy-slip, or worse, a notice for detention, and choose to stay curled up in my warm bed. I’m definitely not a morning person, but I’m not really an evening person, either. I keep a pretty regular schedule of bedtime around 11:30 or midnight, and waking at 8 AM. On weekends, I usually sleep in until 9, and on rare occasions when I have nothing to do, which lately is never, I can sleep like a cat and eventually rise out of bed at 11 AM, feeling like a blushing teenager. And naps? Don’t even get me started. The only good thing about being sick this weekend was that I got to nap in a glorious spree. I’m not really a tired person and I don’t “need” naps, but wow, when you get the opportunity to have one, they’re awesome.

The point of all this, is by the time you’ve read this post, I’ll have already gotten a full hour of cardio in. I have only exercised ONCE in the morning by choice – and that was a rare Monday morning when I awoke at 5:45 AM wide eyed and bushy-tailed, and walked to my neighborhood doughnut shop to buy my husband a crueller. (I had egg whites. The things you remember.) This early morning rise signifies a change in me – not just in the fact that I’ll be awake when the sun rises, but that I’m actually tackling something I don’t like (early mornings) for something I want (fitness). There will always, always, always be excuses – but there will also be opportunities to squash ’em. So tomorrow as I flip tires and do burpees in a frosty park, I might still be asleep and wishing I was in my gnome pajamas in bed, but the point is that I won’t be – I’ll be there, in the flesh, making a difference for me and my future.

Are you a morning person? An evening person? A kind of neither person, like me? Could you rock a 7-8AM bootcamp?





Making Fitness a Habit

Happy Monday everyone, I hope you had a great weekend! One thing I’ve been meaning to talk about for awhile is FITNESS! Last month, a friend of mine joined my gym and it’s definitely helped keep me on track as we pick a couple classes per week to go to. I have another friend who’s been going with me too, and I find the buddy system is amazing for hitting the gym – it’s so much easier to decide not to go when you don’t have someone there waiting for you! I was looking at my calendar and I realized I’ve been working out at least four times a week for the past four weeks, which is AWESOME!

Last week, I burned 515 calories in kickboxing… I just love my pink gloves. Fierce and fashionable!

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Then, I left it all on the floor after an hour of heart pumping bootcamp, complete with resistance bands, weights and ab work.

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Then this morning, I started my Sunday off with an hour of zumba, complete with a song that makes me feel like I’m starring in a rap video.

What’s great about the past few weeks is that despite what the scale says, I can feel and see results; like the tiniest ripple of a bicep muscle or  my stamina when I’m sprinting up the four staircases to my allergist’s office. After my last post about throwing out the scale, after my dietbet ends, I’m going to not weigh in for a whole month – and instead base my success on MEASUREMENTS, STRENGTH and STAMINA. I put too much focus on the number on the scale, when in reality, big changes are happening.

I also have something that should really kick it up a notch – Starting the 20th, I’ll be doing a bootcamp every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning from 7:15 – 8:15 AM. While I’m not looking forward to getting out of bed to do things like flip tires, I’m feeling better and better the more I make fitness a priority, and I have a friend who will be right by my side cheering me on. So, I’m actually looking forward to continuing my fitness journey.

I’ve made fitness a habit, and it’s a habit I don’t plan to break anytime soon.

How’s your fitness going?