Category Archives: Exercise Videos

I Will Always Love Richard Simmons Because of Moments Like This One

I cannot believe that this happened for the first time five years ago!

I think of Richard so often, and right now I’m going through training that makes me think of him everyday.

He helped me change the way I see myself. He made it okay for me to love myself more, to desire more for my life and to feel confident dancing off the pounds.

I’ve gained weight since this video, but I’m in pretty healthy groove right now. Watching this video for the first time in ages reminds me that I can do very cool things.

If you’re reading this, Richard, I love you and miss you and pray for you.

Getting Honest About Some Things

Before I begin I have to warn you that this post might be long and scattered because I have a lot to get off my chest today, and I’m not sure where to start.

I could never put into words how much I appreciate the unwavering support that I receive here.  Many of you have been here since the beginning waiting to see me reach my goal, encouraging me to keep trying.  I love you for that, and I hope you never stop.  But right now I need to start digging out of this rut of complacency that I have been in for a lot longer than I want to admit.

Losing 100 pounds is often enough to dramatically alter the lives of those who lose it, but it’s not enough for me. I have experienced so many positive changes, but this is not a post about that.  Right now I need to figure out how to change my mindset, how to make myself move forward again in a strong, steady and powerful way.

I don’t know how to climb out of this proverbial hole that I’ve been living in.  I’ve been living comfortably with the fact that I’ve lost so much weight for so long now that it feels like I need to start over.  My past accomplishments don’t need to be forgotten, but they’re old news…really old news.  And I want to bask in some new accomplishments.

Before I continue, I’m going to ask that everyone refrain from telling me that I’m more than a number on a scale, or that I need to love myself so others will, or that I won’t be happy when I get to my goal if I can’t be happy with myself now.  I’ve heard all of that, and I understand most of it.  But let’s face some facts today.

When I look at my life I see some things that I like and some things I still want to change, but everything is overshadowed by a giant dark cloud that is the number on the scale.

I used to encourage others by saying that you don’t have to reach your goal before you start feeling good about yourself. You just have to start.  And it’s true.  I know it’s true because when I said it, I was feeling it.   Right now, what I accomplished throughout the first part of this journey is simply not enough.  I’m still obese.

I could make a list of reasons I love and respect myself today, and that list has grown more in the last year than it has at any other point in my life.  I know that I’m a good person, and I have been working through emotions that are difficult to face because I’m trying to become a better person.  There’s a lot of work going on inside my head, and that’s important to recognize (even though most of it is far too personal to discuss in such a public forum.)

But the fact remains that when I look at myself, I see the number on the scale.  We can say it doesn’t define me, but the truth is that it is me.  My body grew to its largest size because of what I did to it, and whether I like to admit it or not, my size currently defines who I am above everything else.

Look, I have a host of other imperfections as well, but my size haunts me.  It’s the truth, my truth, and the things that led me to my extreme obesity (and the snowball effect it has had since) are not easy to face.  It’s hard to admit when you’re wrong, but I’ve been wrong a lot.  I made some pretty incredible mistakes.  I mistreated my body and my loved ones, and in many ways I led a life that could never have been happy and free if I didn’t begin to face those issues.

Before I started losing weight I would always say that I was a “good investment.”  I wanted to believe it was true because surely I’d eventually mature into more than I was – a grossly overweight, unhappy, unmotivated, unsuccessful shell of a human-being who didn’t value herself enough to create any positive change in herself.  (Yeah, the truth hurts, and it’s still not easy to admit now.)  But that’s how I viewed myself.

When guilt set in I told myself that I’d do better tomorrow.  I told myself constantly that the future was filled with hope, yet I failed to give myself any reasons to be hopeful.

Fast-forward to the present: I can’t say that I’m as horribly unhappy or unmotivated now as I was prior to 2009.  As I said, I like a lot of things about my life these days, but there are still some major things I need to change.

I need to change my environment.  I prefer living alone and in a city so I am planning a move into a cute little apartment in downtown New Orleans in the Fall.  Living alone will be good for me.  Controlling what is in the pantry and the refrigerator will be good for me.  I know that, but I also realize that everything I eat now is a choice.  It’s my choice, and it’s up to me to make better decisions.  One thing I’ve noticed spending most of my time downtown is that I’m more likely to go out for food.  It will be easier when I have my own little kitchen, but I will still have to make choices.  Living alone won’t solve everything, but it will be a big leap in the right direction.

I also need to claim what I really want.  I mean, I wish I was fit and trim, but we all know that I have to do a lot more than wish to be at goal.  It looks like I’m going to have to fight a hell of a lot harder than I did when I started my journey, and I have to accept that.  End of story.

I need a routine too.  I’m always on the go, and I don’t spend a lot of time in one place.  Just in the last few months I’ve been in Colorado, Virginia, D.C., New York, Houston, etc.  And over the next couple of months I’ll be in New York again, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Dallas (maybe Oklahoma too.)  Traveling a lot means that I have to have a different game plan.  I lost weight when I traveled before so I know it’s possible, but I have to be mindful.

I’m also lacking accountability.  I left Weight Watchers again recently after another bout of frustration with PointsPlus, and now my meeting no longer exists.  Say what you will, but weighing in at meetings every week changed my life.  I need to find a new meeting and make it my highest priority again.

I’ve gotten lazy with my workouts too.  Sure, I do them occasionally, but I love working out.  I crave endorphins nearly everyday so why the hell am I not doing it?  I don’t have a gym membership anymore, but there’s nothing stopping me from joining another one.  I’ll work that out this week, but until then I will do 30-Day Shred at home at least 5 times over the next 7 days.

I could drone on for hours about why it’s hard and how it’s not fair that I have so much further to go than the average person who loses as much as I’ve lost, but lamenting the work I have to do will not bring me closer to my goal.

I still say no to myself a lot more than I say yes, but I’m not doing enough.  I know that, and I take responsibility for that.

The fact is that my actions don’t help or hurt anyone except me.  I’m surrounded by people who love me and want me to be happy and healthy, but I have to get there on my own.  I’m happier than I was at 400+ pounds, but I’m not as happy as I’ll be at 150 pounds.  And it’s not because I don’t think I don’t deserve to be happy now.  It’s because I know that I am capable of so much more.

I’m preparing a life for myself in which obesity will no longer define me.  I’m in school studying Public Relations. (Yep, I declared recently.)  And I’m dreaming of a day when I can claim what I want for myself in my career and in relationships without the worry that my body is keeping me from fulfilling my desires.

This is my reality, friends.  This is my struggle, and no one can fix it except me.  Last week I admitted that I don’t know how, and sadly, I have not found the answer yet.  The truth is I can’t imagine stepping on the scale and seeing 275 or 250, or 199.  (I could see  the first number in the next month or so, but it feels as far as Mars!)

I don’t know how I did what I did the first time.  I don’t know how to wake up every morning with purpose.  I don’t know how to convince myself that today is the day (not tomorrow.)

I feel an utter lack of confidence and an overwhelming amount of insecurity, but I know what I want today.  I know what I want for my future, and I know that it’s mine for the taking.  I also know that I don’t have to get to my goal before I can start feeling on top of the world again.  I know I just have to start moving toward it.

This is my journey, and I’m doing things on my time.  I just need to turn the clock on again, and I need to remind myself that I’m worthy of it if I’m willing to work for it.

 

 

Giving Away One of my New Favorites Today

I love to hit the gym, but there are times in which it’s just easier or more appealing to workout at home.  And if you know me, you know that I adore Richard Simmons and his workout DVD’s, but sometimes it’s fun to mix things up.  And after meeting Nicole from Spark People last year, I was excited to try her new 28-Day Boot Camp workout DVD.

Coach Nicole and Me at IDEA in LA...

And I love this picture too much not to include it because my lovely friend, Leslie, is standing next to me. =)

Back to the DVD…The 28-Day Boot Camp DVD is excellent for people at any fitness level, and I love it because combining strength and cardio always makes me feel athletic (even when I have to modify the exercises.)  And over the last month, I’ve been reminded that it’s so important to feel good about what you’re doing and that confidence plays a huge role in success.  And I also like that I can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.  You can workout for 10 minutes, 30 minutes or whatever you feel like doing, but you’ll definitely feel the burn.

Do you want to try the DVD?  You can buy it online or at your local Target, but Nicole is going to give one away to one of my readers too.  If you’d like to win it, leave a comment telling me that you want to win.  You can also follow @thecoachnicole on twitter for an additional entry.  Tell her @alltheweigh says hi! =)

Nicole is awesome, Sparkpeople is awesome and her DVD is awesome too so check it out.  And don’t forget to enter to win your own copy!  The winner will be chosen Monday at 9pm central time.  Good luck friends!  Let’s get fit together!

*All opinions in this post are mine, and I have not been paid to endorse this product. Nicole from Sparkpeople will provide the DVD to one winner. The winner will have 48 hours to respond from the time the e-mail is sent.  Resident must be 18 years or older and live in the US.

 

 

Not Really Sure What I’m Doing

Yesterday was a fun day for me. Cal came over late afternoon, and he accompanied me to the gym before heading back to my place to help me make dinner.  He grilled steak for fajitas and I chopped and sauteed vegetables.  And we even made salsa with my KitchenAid blender.  Have I ever mentioned that I love fresh cilantro?  It’s true.  Our dinner was amazing, and I was so ready to eat it that I forgot to take a picture…Can you believe that? 😉

After dinner we watched the Presidential debate on Bloomberg (which is so much fun when I can watch with someone who understands what’s going on in my head!) But I have to admit that I was pretty self-conscious before that  (when we arrived at the gym.)   He’s never really seen me sweat (apart from a slight glisten when we took a walk near the Mississippi River) until yesterday, but it’s a big part of who I am so I didn’t hold back.  I tore up the elliptical for a few minutes before working my upper body, and I felt great at the end.

My workouts have been pretty solid since I joined Anytime Fitness.  And while I know I’ll experience a gain on the scale this week (after how I ate last week when Uncle W was in the hospital,)  I’m still pleased with the direction I’m moving in now.  And I know that the scale will start reflecting my efforts soon.  I’ve been killing it at the gym this week, but I worry that I may not be making the most of my time at the gym. I did managed to climb the height of the Empire State Building 2.89 times before hitting the weights.  (Thanks for calculating it Ron and for pointing it out, Anne!)

On the elliptical....

I’m trying to get comfortable with the weight machines at my new gym, and while I have pretty good form, I am trying to utilize machines that I haven’t used up this point.  And now that I’m comfortable with how, I really need to know how much.  I’d like to hire a trainer soon, but I’m not sure where to start with that so I’ve been taking notes and using google to figure out what I should be doing.  I’ve also been keeping a journal of my workouts.  (Yes, I carry a little notebook to the gym so I can remember what I did.)  I write in it after every set.  But there’s no rhyme or reason to my weight training, and I need to change that.  I’ve been feeling sore over the last few days, but not overly sore so I wonder if I’m doing too much or not enough.  I really don’t know.  If you click on the picture below, you’ll see that I’m putting in effort.  But you’ll also see that I’m making it up as I go along.

There's a bicycle on the front of my book, and it says "Life's a Journey." Just saying...

 

Richard Simmons, while famous for his cardio workouts, teaches the importance of weight training in his classes.  Did you know that he makes toning videos too?   He ends every class with weight training and floor exercises,  And though I’m not at Slimmons every week anymore, I strive to do the kind of workouts that would make Richard proud.  And it’s important to me to make the most out of the time I spend at the gym so it’s my goal to make a better plan.

Uh, for the record, I'm not usually looking up and smiling while I do leg curls.

I’m doing my best right now, but if anyone has advice to offer, I’m willing to listen.  Until then, I’ll just keep doing what I think is right and hoping that I can start seeing the reflection of my efforts on the scale and in the mirror.  Is weight training part of your routine?  Are you nervous to try it because you’re not sure where to start?  Do you have any advice to offer yours truly? 🙂

Turning It Around

I’ve been feeling pretty pathetic over the last few days.  I tracked my food intake, but I didn’t eat the types of food that make me feel good.  I ate lots of fruits and veggies, but I also ate processed crap that leaves my stomach feeling bloated. I went straight from fighting a cold to nursing a foot injury, and it left me feeling like a giant underachiever.

My foot still hurts, but it doesn’t hurt so badly that I can’t workout so I knew it needed to happen today.  I didn’t need to run or do 45 minutes of butt-kicks, but I needed to get my heart pumping so I did.  When my friend, Kelly, exchanged text messages this afternoon, I committed to working out tonight so I decided to do something simple – Level 1 of the 30-Day Shred.  It’s one of my stand-by workouts so I did it then my friend, Megan,  showed up at the neighbor’s house and challenged me to do Level 3 with her so I did that too. I did over 50 minutes of circuit training, and it felt great!

Not sure what happened with my friend's camera, but you get the idea, right?

I was in a whiny, self-loathing, lethargic  mood until I started working out.  And almost immediately, my mood changed.  Instead of concentrating on my faults, I started feeling strong and athletic.  And during the second circuit of level 3, I realized that I could do more than I could last time!  I was even able to do the side planks near the end of the workout.

I’m not sure why it’s so hard to remember that a sweaty workout can change my mood almost instantly, but I’m happy to have remembered today.  My body needed a workout, and my mind needed to be released from the negativity that has tried to work its way in during the last 48 hours.  I’m thankful for friends like Kelly, Megan and Britt who challenge me when I need it. (Meg, our pics so didn’t turn out. We’ll have to workout again with one of our cameras. hehe)

Sometimes this lifestyle can be a battle, but I’m winning.  I am not a quitter.  I am strong, and I will continue doing what I have to do to be a little better each day.  And today, that’s enough.

On a different note, you can now subscribe to my blog (you know, if you want to.)  I’d love it and appreciate it so take a minute to make me smile.  If you have previously signed up through Blogger then I thank you, but you’ll no longer receive update there.

I hope everyone is having a productive and healthy week!

 

 

An Open Letter to Richard Simmons: Thank You

Dear Richard,

You don’t know me, but I want to thank you for helping me change my life – particularly my views on exercise.  I’ve lost over 120 pounds which puts me right in the middle of my weight-loss journey.

I’ve lost over 100 inches around my body so far…

When I weighed almost 400 pounds, I was nervous to go to the gym, but I went.  And after only a few minutes, I was approached by a mean-spirited girl who said that if she looked like me she would give up.  I held my head high even though I felt like crawling under a rock.  I finished a quick workout and knew that I’d have to try something different.  I tried several things then I bought “Party Off the Pounds” – my first and favorite of your workout DVD’s!

Demonstrating Angels, one of my favorite workout moves from 
“Party Off the Pounds” at a party with friends.  Yes, I did that..=)

Since then, I have also added the Sweatin’ to the Oldies collection to my fat-fighting arsenal, and through your videos I have literally been transformed!  I still have over 100 pounds to lose, but I have gained the confidence to walk into a gym and complete sweat-pouring workouts on the elliptical.  And I’m no longer embarrassed by my slow running pace!  Instead, I’m proud of the fact that I can complete daily 5k’s and swim over a mile without stopping.

And Richard, I have you to thank for this because it all started with you and your workouts – jumping jacks that I could do without hurting myself and dances that were fun, not painful.  I still “Party Off the Pounds” regularly, and last year, I made it my goal to fly to L.A. to workout with you in person.  I’m happy to say that I think that time is coming soon…

You see, Richard, the last couple of weeks have been some of the hardest since beginning my weight-loss journey.  I’ve been trying desperately to remind myself that I am not a failure and that I have come too far to allow mean-spirited people to sway me.  I was humiliated in front of more than 100 people at an airport during a layover for my flight from Denver to New Orleans with my mother (you met her when I was a little girl at the New Orleans airport!)

Anyway, during our layover, we were singled out by airline attendants who were disrespectful and incredibly mean due to our size,  telling us that we were too fat to fly home without paying for an additional seat. At 400 pounds, I purchased two seats, but after losing so much I’ve earned the right to purchase only one. I’ve lost enough that I do, in fact, fit in the seat Richard.  =)  But their cruelty took its toll on me last week.

It was as if my worst nightmare had come to life, and I have been working hard to get through it since it happened on Easter Sunday.  After reading about my experience here on my blog, someone from Southwest called me in an attempt to make it right even though they can’t undo the damage.

In short, Richard, I have a ticket that will allow me to fly wherever I want to fly so I’ve decided to turn one of my most horrific life experiences into something amazingI’m going to see you Richard!!!!! I called Slimmons today to see if it would be possible to pop in for a class, and it seems it will be possible! And that’s incredible!

I firmly believe that if I ever have the opportunity to meet you, that you’ll treat me with utter respect and see me as more than just an overweight girl.  You see the beauty in everyone Richard, and even if I’m never lucky enough to workout with you at Slimmons, I’m still thankful for you everyday.  Your videos have changed my life, and I will be forever grateful to you.

The denim jacket in the older pic was 12 sizes bigger than the one in the 
new pic.  The new pic buttons, but the old one did not!

I’ve come so far, and I have a long way to go.  But I want you to know that you have been an integral part of my journey, and you will continue to be a part of it.  I realize that you have changed the lives of so many!  Please just know that I’m so thankful that you’ve changed mine too

Sincerely,
Kenz

Monthly Recap and Prize Info

I can’t believe it’s already February!  I’m excited to say that January was a month filled with healthy food choices and daily workouts.  I exceeded my monthly workout goal which is probably why I lost 16 pounds this month.  I’m not adding all of it to my total yet (I’ll work it out when I’m back to a  familiar scale) because I think I gained a few pounds when I was traveling and spending time with family, but I’m excited to see the numbers going down again in a significant way.

I lost a little and maintained a lot late last year, but I’m confidently headed in the right direction again.  And it feels good.  Yesterday could have been a rest day because I exercised six consecutive days before, but I didn’t plan to rest.  I had an unexpected dinner outing last night so I missed my afternoon workout  opting to do a midnight workout instead.  I controlled myself at dinner though my brain wanted a lot more than my body needed.  And I left the restaurant without feeling bloated before coming back to swat my guts out a little.

Looking at my daily exercise log, I see that I worked out 24 out of 31 days this month.  I’m proud of myself for exceeding my goal, but I know that I could have done more.  And I plan to do that in the next 28 days.  Keeping in mind that it’s a short month, my goal is still to reach 1,000 minutes. I know it’s an attainable goal that won’t require too much effort.  After reaching this goal for three consecutive months, I’ll increase my self-imposed monthly workout requirement.

How was January for you?  Do you feel good about 2011 so far?  What will you do to improve in February?

And one more thing…Ten people wrote in saying that they completed last week’s fruits and vegetable challenge, and using Random.org the winner was Annie!  I adore Annie, and this cookbook is absolutely perfect for her because she’s rocking the weight loss with Weight Watchers!  Check out her blog, http://annieweighsblog.blogspot.com/, if you feel like being inspired.  Annie, please contact me by Thursday to receive your prize!  Congrats to you!  And thanks again to Tammy for sponsoring last week’s challenge! =)

This week’s water challenge is sponsored by Tiff at http://measuringmyself.blogspot.com/! The prize is Kim Kardashian’s Fit in Your Jeans by Friday workout DVD. Please take a minute to visit Tiff’s blog please.  She’s such a cool lady who has decided to make herself healthier in 2011. 

Don’t forget to drink at least 8 glasses of water this week, and come back Monday for your chance to win the prize!

Let’s get fit!

Moments Like These

I just completed a rockin’ workout, and I’m feeling good.  After watching The Biggest Loser (something I don’t usually do) I felt so inspired that I immediately started shredding.  It has never felt as good to sweat as it did tonight – at least not in a long time.  I’ve had some solid workouts in the last week, but none like this.  It is incredible to feel the burn.  Seriously folks…my wrists were sweating!

It was no surprise to me  that it would take some time to get back into the groove…to remember how much my body loves to sweat, but at this moment I love it!  It’s moments like these that make me feel like the person I want to be.  I’m not just dreaming…I’m doing it.

I know from personal experience that some days will be hard and others, like today, will be much easier.  I also know that I will reach my goal and that a year from now I’ll be so happy that I didn’t give up.  Quitting has never been an option for me, but I’m thankful for days like today when making good choices comes easily.

On a different note, one of my dear friends has just started blogging, and I’m her only follower.  She hasn’t asked me to share her blog.  In fact, I hope it’s okay to mention it.  Tammy is a hard-working, caring and totally supportive person who is on the same road as us, and I’m sure if you read her blog you’ll be glad you did.  Check it out, won’t you? http://triumphstrialstribulations.blogspot.com/ 

This is a picture of Tammy and me from last year..She’s a great lady!

Not Letting It Slip Away

I haven’t had a decent workout in at least a week, and I don’t have an excuse for it. Period. I have worked too hard and enjoyed too much success to let it slip away from me, but I feel it happening. And I realize that I need to be very careful.

I’m going to set some small goals that I will share later, but I’m setting a goal I originally set at this time last year. I am committing to doing 30-Day Shred 6 days per week for the next month. No excuses.

I did it last year, and it worked. And there’s absolutely no reason that I can’t spend 20 minutes per day to continue changing my life for the better. It’s on..starting now. I’ll post on the side each day to keep myself accountable. If you’d like to join me, please do. The time to take charge is right now. I’m doing it.

So Important

Eating healthy foods is important, but it’s only part of the equation. Another very important part of long-term health is exercise. And while we all know it’s true, there’s nothing wrong with a little reminder is there? 😉

And because I want you to know that I really do put my money where my mouth is, I’m posting a video of myself during my 35 minute cardio workout. I was getting pumped for the 50 minute cardio workout that I do with my workout buddies, but as you can see I was already sweating my guts out.

For the record, I’m not suggesting that everyone needs to do 85 minutes of cardio per day to lose weight. Obviously, I still have more to lose than most. And I don’t always do 85 minutes. I typically do 30 to 50 minutes of cardio, I spend the same amount of time on weight training too (and not all at once. Just saying.)

Our hearts love exercise, and our bodies really do crave it. I’m telling you the truth. Your body would rather feel your heart racing than to feel too full because you’ve just eaten a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

How can I prove that’s true? Well, I’m not a medical doctor, but I can tell you that when I complete a workout I feel excited..I feel happy and proud of myself which usually leads me to come home and tidy up the place or make something extra yummy for dinner. In short, I feel energized.

And I’m sure all of you would agree that you don’t feel motivated exert extra effort when you’re stuffed. The fact is that when we eat more than we should at once, we feel tired…at very least, we feel lazy thus proving my point that the body likes our healthy choices better. 🙂


Life is ours to enjoy. And the choices we make everyday mold our level of happiness. Exercise = endorphins, and endorphins make us happy. I can’t speak for you, but I’d be willing to bet that when you’re out enjoying the fresh air or shopping or (insert activity that you love) you’re much happier than you are when you’re on the couch channel surfing for hours on end.

We have busy lives…We get tired. Believe me, I get it. But it doesn’t take nearly as long as you’d think to turn it around. When I started exercising I did not love it. But I kept doing it, and soon I loved how I felt when I was done (proud, accomplished, etc.) Then I began looking forward to my workouts, and now I crave them. Yes, you read that right..I crave my workouts more than I crave any food.

So if you don’t exercise then start now. And if you do, I’d love to know how you feel about it. Am I right? Do you enjoy exercise? Or do you just power through it because you know you should?