Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Fit-Penga Plan - Part 2

After re-aligning my diet, I could then begin on the second half of my weight-loss plan:


This is the real meat-and-potatoes of my weight loss journey. As I mentioned, I went to the library for some research. Well, the Bay Area, in all it's glory, has an amazing library system. They have an entire section devoted to workout DVDs. Over the course of 5 months, I think I've checked out two dozen or so. By genre, here's what worked and didn't work for me (click on the names for more info about the particular genre, definitions by dictionary.com):

Yoga - "2. any of the methods or disciplines prescribed, esp. a series of postures and breathing exercises practiced to achieve control of the body and mind, tranquillity, etc."

I love yoga, and the DVDs were great for stretching and relaxing. But I just felt that they weren't getting me anywhere weight-wise.

Pilates - "A system of physical conditioning involving low-impact exercises and stretches, performed on specialized equipment."

These were killer on the muscles, and I enjoyed them immensely, but most of the DVDs required extra equipment (like that inflatable ball thing) and all I had was a yoga mat and some hand weights.

Weight-training - "weightlifting done as a conditioning exercise."

There's nothing quite like realizing you have muscles for the first time. Maybe they don't help for weight-loss, but having your arms feel powerful is a great feeling.

Dance - In secret, these were totally fun, but I didn't use these too much since Sak kept laughing at me. Nothing shelves a DVD faster than making a girl feel self-conscious! These two are my highly recommended favorites though:

Kick-Boxing - "A form of boxing in which the gloved combatants may also kick with bare feet."

Once again, great for making you feel powerful, and a perfect stress reliever!

Cardio Aerobics - "1. Also called aerobic exercises. (used with a plural verb) any of various sustained exercises, as jogging, rowing, swimming, or cycling, that stimulate and strengthen the heart and lungs, thereby improving the body's utilization of oxygen."

This is the type I ended up using the most. I felt they had the greatest impact on weight loss, as all the running and jumping certainly made me the most sweaty!

After trying out so many DVDs, I settled into a few that really seemed to fit me best. This one became my favorite, and strangely enough, it is marketed towards brides:

They have week plans set up, based on the shape of your gown (gimmicky sounding, I know). The basic idea is, if you have a strapless dress, you'll want to work out your arms more, whereas a form-fitting mermaid would accentuate the legs, etc. You can also customize, if you don't like the way the set-plans are arranged. With one, 30 minute session each night after dinner, I saw results. And results are a good thing, because there is nothing more frustrating than trying your hardest without seeing changes.

But with all things, you eventually reach a plateau. When the workouts started getting easier, and I was no longer seeing results, I stepped up the game and put myself on the waiting list for the infamous 30-Day Shred.

If Jillian can't help me, no one can, right?

She did help, and I jumped off the plateau with ease. (Though finding motivation to do her grueling workouts was TOUGH.)

And all was well in the world...until Winter came. Suddenly, it was too cold to exercise. All I wanted to do is snuggle in bed or on the couch with a cup of hot something.

And I didn't resume exercising. In fact, I haven't used a DVD or lifted a weight since October. But I did try something else. I work in a high-rise, and instead of riding the elevator up to the double digits to where my cubicle resides, I've taken on the chore (it IS a chore), of walking up and down the stairs once a day. We're talking the 14th floor here.

And 22 pounds later, that's where I am today. Taking the stairs and watching the rice.

I'm content at this point, so I'd like to at least maintain it. I'm going to continue my methodology, so if I continue to lose a little more, I'll be happy. But I think I'm done pushing the envelope.

But the best part? Now that I've reached my goal, I can start construction on my dress! Woo-hoo! We'll be making the first cuts in January!

Anyone else have a fitness regiment? What worked out best for you?


  1. You go girl! I decided to give myself a goal: Run a 5k by the wedding. I will not worry about scales or measurements (I bought my dress a little big anyway (hey, they didn't have it in my size!) so I don't have to fit any size goals) but I'm going to concentrate on my health. The healthier I am (mind and body) the longer I'll live and the happier I'll be!

  2. That's a great plan, Gator! 5k is a lot! lol :P

  3. I am a procrastinator when it comes to the gym! I recently bought the Buff Bride book and I have stuck to it so far. Granted I am only in the 3rd week and no major weight loss is happening, but I'm enjoying it enough to keep going back!

  4. that's amazing, penga! good for you--that is no small feat. way to stick to your plan!