Operation Remove Butt from Couch

So I just had my first official training session at IronPlate with the lovely, talented and slightly evil Caitlin. When I got her e-mail suggesting that we start our new routine at 6am, I literally checked the calendar to see if it was April Fool’s Day—much to my chagrin, it was not. I thought long and hard and reasoned that maybe being in a dreamlike state would make the workout less hard (wrong), so I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and replied “Okay, see you there.” Yikes! When my alarm went off the next morning it literally felt like I had just gone to sleep minutes before. But right as I was about to slap the snooze button and roll back over, something stopped me, and I threw off the covers and hoisted myself out of bed. After banging into both my dresser and the door while trying to get dressed in the dark so as not to wake my very comfortable looking husband, I was ready to go. 

I arrived at the studio just before 6 in the pitch black, and proceeded to become winded simply by walking up the stairs—my first of many realizations of just how out of shape I am. Caitlin greeted me a few moments later, and laughed as I asked if the climb could be considered part of my workout—it couldn’t. So off we went to the office, where I got weighed in—talk about a wakeup call, and had my measurements done, then we got down to business. 

We started with some jump roping for 1-minute segments and then we then moved through some interval training that included pull downs, planks, burpees, squats and chest presses—all of which were made infinitely more pleasant by the 90’s party beats station Caitlin had pumping through the speakers. Unfortunately no amount of Ja Rule and Nelly could soften the intensity of squat jumps onto the dreaded wooden box, but I gritted my teeth, pushed through it and survived. 

Despite the challenge, it felt good to push my body and before I knew it, I had relaxed and was actually enjoying the challenge of seeing what I was capable of. 

Caitlin has a very unique ability to work you to your fullest potential without leaving you feeling defeated or like you never want to come back again. She is extremely skilled at finding a perfect balance between when you’re doing something at the hardest level you’re capable of, and when you could potentially do more. 

The greatest part about working out at IronPlate was there was absolutely no judgment. I didn’t have to worry about how uncoordinated I looked or if the person next to me was faster, stronger, fitter, etc. (which by the way she was), which made it so much more manageable and honestly gave me the confidence boost I needed to finally start feeling like I might actually be able to do this. In fact, I’m booking my next session online as we speak. Till next time.

Baby Steps, by Kara G.

The preparation for my journey at IronPlate began with a very candid conversation with Kristin, where we discussed my current eating habits (abysmal), my fitness routine (or lack thereof to be more specific) and laughed together about some of the excuses I was using to avoid getting back into shape—Come on who wouldn’t want to wait until after free cone day at Ben & Jerry’s to start their diet? 

After she had a chance to read through my past posts and really get a feel for what she was dealing with, and I emphasized that in the past, changing too much too soon was a big part of the reason I could never stick to any weight loss plan, we decided that the best and easiest way for me to get started and set myself up for success would be to purge my living space of all unhealthy foods. 

So home I went, and got to work. I am not ashamed to admit it pained me to throw away the last of the Entenmann’s party cake in my fridge that I’d been slivering away at day after day. And just because I know myself and desperate times call for desperate measures, I took a page out of Miranda from Sex and the City’s book and threw out the grinds from my morning pot of coffee right on top of it. Then of course I stared at it for several minutes wondering how bad coffee-flavored party cake would actually be? Oh geez, I need help. Why is it that we’re perfectly willing to waste food by shoveling it down our throats without even tasting it, but the act of physically tossing it into the trash is nearly impossible? 

I decided to help myself feel a bit better, I would send the rest of what I found in with my husband to work, so I grabbed a bag and starting filling it up. In went the reduced fat Oreos (not much fat gets reduced when you eat 2 sleeves at a time), the fancy assorted cookie tin I had on hand at all times “for guests,” then on to the freezer where I tossed in the last of the carrot cake and Christmas cookies I’d been hoarding since the holidays. 

Side note: I love when people suggest freezing extra baked goods as a way of controlling yourself. Like a frozen Christmas cookie isn’t just as delicious as a fresh one. 

Anyway, if you’re noticing a pattern here, you would be correct. I absolutely love sweets in every size, shape and form. I could easily adapt to life in the North Pole if it meant living with Buddy the Elf and enjoying the 4 main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup. Is it possible to pull a sweet tooth? Anyway, I digress. So my kitchen is now officially a junk-free zone. Operation Sugar Shakedown complete. I am now ready to hit the ground running. Okay, maybe not running but at least walking briskly.

Stop the Insanity - yes, we've heard that before, but.....

Stop the Insanity! 

Happy 2015 everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday! I think it’s safe to say that most likely all of you fared better than me when it came to your holiday eating, but never fear, I have left the pumpkin pie and eggnog behind me, and I am ready to move forward towards my new healthier self—with the help of all of you of course ☺ Although I am already sick of all the New Year, New You ad campaigns floating around, I do have to admit I’m excited at the prospect of the fresh start provided by the idea of  a brand new blank calendar. There’s a certain sense of comfort in knowing no matter how much you messed up or how many of your mom’s homemade peanut butter bon-bons you may have indulged in, today is a new day, or a new year in this case, and you can start off clean. 

I don’t know about you, but whenever I start on any kind of diet, I am definitely guilty of indulging in what I like to call “the last supper,” a.k.a. eating everything I know is “bad” for me in gargantuan portions before I have to start being “good.” And for whatever reason, I have found I am absolutely incapable of starting a diet any other day but Monday. The phrase “I’ll start next week,” has been a part of my vocabulary since I learned where my Mom kept her secret stash of mint Milanos, and although I would swear up and down every time I “re-booted” my eating habits that this time around would be different, I would always prepare in the exact same way, with the exact same unhealthy mindset of shoveling as much junk down as I could before basically starving myself come Monday, all the while telling myself this was it, this was the time I would lose the weight and keep it off—very smart I know. 

And then every single time, about 6 months later I’d sit there in absolute bewilderment staring at the scale wondering how the hell every last pound and then some had ended up right back where it started. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, yet for whatever reason I never thought to apply that logic when it came to weight loss. This time though, things will be different—why does that sound so familiar? But in all seriousness, I do truly feel this time will be different, because this time I’m bringing in the experts—the amazing staff at IronPlate—to help me change my methods, shift my way of thinking—get rid of this all or nothing mentality I can’t seem to shake and at the risk of quoting Susan Powter for the second time in one blog, stop the insanity!

There’s a Reason they call them “Love Handles” by Kara G.

Hey all. For those who read my intro post, I’m sure the picture I painted of myself leaves you doubtful I’ll ever put the Ben & Jerry’s down long enough to get my stretchy pants-clad ass on the path to good health, but the sad truth is, I know what it feels (and looks) like to be in shape.  Let’s travel back in time together to my wedding day. An absolutely beautiful, picturesque summer day—one I will truly never forget. I am so happy I can look back at the photos and admire the breathtaking beach scenes, my handsome husband, loving family and amazing friends. I’m also incredibly happy to have concrete proof that there was actually a time I had a small waist, defined arms and a flat stomach. Now back to real time, circa 2014, where unfortunately those body parts are now prefaced with much less appealing adjectives like flabby, saggy, bloated, and—well, you get the gist. I’d love to blame my husband for all of this, because let’s face it, what sane woman would actually blame themselves for their weight gain, but the truth is, he had little, if anything to do with it. He actually likes to eat healthy (weirdo) and even if I made him a pile of bean sprouts for dinner, he’d eat it with a smile—I’m not kidding, he’s that easygoing. He’s one of those freaks of nature that will take out a package of Oreos, carefully pull two out and then roll the bag back up and put it away. Again, I’m not kidding, these people really exist. 

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and if that’s true, then my first few years of marriage, cooking up all the comfort food he could handle, certainly cemented my place in my husband’s heart—as well as plenty of extra insulation to my ass and thighs. I had been laid off shortly before our wedding, so once we moved in together and I had more free time than I knew what to do with, I threw myself into trying to be “the perfect wife,” spending hours cleaning until there wasn’t a speck of dust to be found, cooking HUGE homemade meals every night (if I went to the trouble of preparing and cooking it, then I should be eating half, right?) and food shopping for all his (a.k.a. my) favorites. But my Martha Stewart act only kept me occupied for so long before boredom and all my extra “love weight” began to take its toll. 

Some people say you should never let your work define you, but I’m guessing those same people were never laid off for eight months straight living in a 600-square foot apartment, where I can literally reach the refrigerator while still sitting in my desk chair. At first, it was nice having some time off—I could go to the gym whenever I wanted, the house had never been cleaner, and I had plenty of time to catch up with old friends and do those annoying tasks you never seem to get around to with a full-time job, like organizing your sock drawer or restocking your medicine cabinet. I felt free, determined and excited to embark on my next adventure with a clean slate. So I fired off hundreds of resumes, got in touch with former colleagues, bought myself a new suit for interviews and waited; and waited, and waited some more. But all that came were rejections, cloaked in attempted cheer—“We don’t have anything right now unfortunately, but we’ll definitely keep your resume on file for when we do,” and “We really liked you, but decided to fill the position internally” or my personal favorite, “We feel you may have too much experience for the position and are overqualified.” And so on, and so on. I had phone interviews almost daily, went into the city on a weekly basis, and still nothing. My full-time job became looking for a job; and after awhile that fire that had been lit inside me when I was first laid off, started to burn out. 

I felt lost and out of control. I had entirely too much free time to sit around and think about what I was doing wrong or why I wasn’t good enough to get one of these positions. I felt like I was in slow motion, trying to run through quicksand. The sadder I got, the more I ate—bingeing on cookies, ice cream or whatever junk I could get my hands on. I had even resorted to waiting until my husband went to bed and then sitting out in the living room and “relaxing” a.k.a. shoveling down whatever treats I had bought myself at the grocery store or picked up from a fast food joint on the way home. What started out as an exciting journey full of possibilities had turned into a tiresome voyage with no end in sight; and before I knew it, I was right back to square one—all 37 pounds right back where they started (insert any body part capable of jiggling here).

Lesson of the day: Job loss+ tiny apartment=love handles. 


Tales of a Dieting Disaster by Kara G.

Hi all!  I want to introduce to you, Kara G.  Kara is taking the IronPlate Challenge and going to follow our nutritional and training guidance over the course of the next several months, and guess what - write about it for you on our blog!  We are super excited to have her on board.  Think of her as our very own resident IronPlate guinea pig.  She's thrilled to share with you her woes, her measurements and her lightbulb moments to give you all a perspective on what it takes to transform: from the inside out.  So enough said, here's Kara!

Hi everyone.  I’m Kara, a 30-something freelance writer and professional yo-yo dieter, currently 30-something pounds overweight. Over the course of my life I’ve lost over 300 pounds—granted it was the same 30 pounds 10 times, and have tried (and failed at) just about every diet and  weight loss plan imaginable. Seriously, if dieting was an Olympic sport, I’d be a gold medalist by now. There was the low-carb diet—which ended about a week in when my husband came out of the bathroom to find me maniacally eating the French Bread pizza he’d heated for himself, the 7-day-cleanse which collapsed on day 4 after I cried myself to sleep because I could only eat bananas and milk;  and my personal favorite, the grapefruit diet, which ended in a fit of rage when my husband had the nerve to come home still smelling like the Chinese food he’d thoughtfully eaten in his car on the way home and I went absolutely postal.  He swears to this day my head actually spun all the way around. It may have been that exact meltdown that earned me the nickname Gizmo—cute, warm and fuzzy—until I get hungry, and then watch out for my inner Gremlin. That was also the same day that my husband informed me if I went on one more crash diet he and the dog were moving out. He also suggested (while hiding behind our bedroom door) that I try channeling my weight loss struggles into something constructive, like a blog, and since I’m about a stuffed crust pizza away from the point of no return, here I am. Ready to share my ups (and hopefully) downs with all of you. Stay tuned!