Thursday, February 25, 2010

Since you asked

I'll admit it, I talk a lot. On twitter, on Facebook, in person.

Yeah, not so much on the blog lately. Weird how I don't seem to have much to say.

One thing I've talked a lot about lately is this funky 12-day weight loss thing I found. I got it free on Kindle right after the first of the year, but right now the bargain paperback is a sweet $6.

I downloaded two or three diet and weight loss type books, and for some reason, this is the one I ended up reading. I never got around to reading the other two. I looked at the reviews on this one, and they all said you'd lose between five and ten pounds in 12 days. Which is great if it's true, but really? There's gotta be something wrong with that. So I put on my hip waders and prepared to slog through some major, er, stuff I didn't believe.

Oddly enough, I not only believed it, but I tried it... and it worked!

He starts by saying you should read the whole book before you do anything, which I recommend. I bookmarked a lot of pages I came back to later.

At the beginning of the book, you take a quiz to determine your body type. Everything else (diet and exercise) is determined by what body type you are. There are three basic body types -- endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph -- but he says most people are a mix of two types. So far so good. I'm a meso-endo, which both shocked me and made me really happy. It means I make new muscle easily and burn fat readily. Not the way I would have bet, but I'll take it!

You eat 5-6 small meals a day -- again, what you eat depends on what body type you are. Here's what I eat for 12 days at a time:

Breakfast: oatmeal, medium fruit, 2 egg whites
Morning snack: 2 oz protein, 1-2 cups greens
Lunch: 2 oz protein, 1/2 cup brown or long-grain rice, 1-2 cups veggies
Afternoon snack: same as morning
Dinner: same as lunch
Evening snack (optional, but I always eat it): medium piece of fruit

He gives you a long list of fruits and veggies that are good (no high-sugar fruits), and protein refers to chicken or fish unless you're an ecto, in which case you can occasionally eat beef.

Now, exercise? This is where it gets "fun."
4-6 times a week I do cardio. 45-60 minutes of it. Now, it's easy cardio -- walking on a treadmill or pedaling a recumbent bike usually -- he specifically forbids anything that gets your heart rate up too high. Ellipticals? Not on this plan! Stair climbers? Not on your life! Apparently you don't burn fat until you've been working for 20-30 minutes, so once I hit the 25 minute mark I'm pretty motivated to stay put because I'M BURNING FAT, BABY! Just try to get me off that bike!

In addition to burning fat though, you have to make new muscle. That means you do muscle building exercise 2/3 of the days. On days 1,4,7, and 10 you do lower and midbody workout; days 2, 5, 8, and 11 are for upper body; and the other days are rest days. Days 3 and 9 are do-nothing rest days; on days 6 and 12 you can do optional cardio (*ahem*fat-burn*ahem*).

You weigh yourself on days 1, 6, and 12. Since your weight can fluctuate from day to day, it's a bad idea to weigh yourself every day. I would think it would be better to weigh yourself on day 13, but what do I know?

I'm now on day 4 of my third iteration through the 12-day plan. The first time I lost 7 pounds, and the second time I lost 8 pounds. Each time, I took some time off in between before starting again, but I've maintained an 11 pound weight loss overall before starting on this round. I'm at a lower weight than I've been for a while, and I hope to eventually get to a much lower weight and lower size, although it's more of a look than a particular number I'm going for.

What's interesting to me is how fast everything changes. Within a few days, I can see a difference in how my clothes fit, and how almost every part of my body looks (lifted, toned, tighter, less cellulite). I've never been motivated to stay on a diet and exercise plan before because I'm impatient and things simply take too long, but that's not the case here.

What about you? Do you have a goal in mind for yourself? Would this be helpful for you? I'm not being paid for my endorsement or anything -- just talking about what's worked best for me.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Going Old School

I'm gonna go ahead and steal a blogging idea from my friend Becky. Lent isn't a super popular idea in our culture, or in most of the circles I run in, but I think it's helpful to focus on spiritual things in the season just before Easter.

Incidentally, I have a good reason for stealing. It's because Vista sucks.

I suppose you want an explanation? I'll try, even though I'm a little grumpy.

I went snuffling around in my photo files today, looking for my pictures from my latest trip to Taiwan. I went the last week in January, so I'm way overdue to blog it, but I figured I could do one giant post and maybe y'all (all 2 of you still reading -- pretty sure that's my dad and my sister) would forgive me.

So I head off to my monster D: drive, and I look in the "Taiwan" folder, inside the "Photos" folder, which is clearly where the Taiwan photos go, since I'm an organized sorta gal, and I find... all the photos from the other trips to Taiwan, but not this one.

You might not think that's odd, but I do. I only started using my monster D: drive recently. Previously, everything went on the much-smaller C: drive. Then it filled up, and I started putting stuff on the D: drive.

Then C: REALLY filled up, and I had to move some stuff from C: to D:... and apparently, that's what made me take the name of a large Washington software company in vain. Loudly. When I moved my "Personal" folder, which included a folder called "Taiwan," chock full of photos from previous trips, it moved to D: just fine.

And then it also overwrote my other Taiwan folder with the same, older photos.

Now, I don't need two copies of the same photos. I want the copies of the newer photos, including the company Chinese New Year party and the pictures we took of us with my boss, who left the company (that was his last day).

Therefore, today's post won't feature a bunch of fun Taiwan pictures. Instead, I'll piggyback Becky's latest post and talk about what I'd like to do for Lent.

Becky is going to do a two-week -- or maybe even a 40-day -- water fast, meaning that she will drink nothing other than tap water. In at least one of the challenges she cites, you can donate the savings from the coffee, sodas, etc. that you don't drink to provide clean water to those who don't have it. It's a great idea, and I'd encourage anyone interested to do so.

However, I'm currently halfway through the second cycle of a 12-day diet plan that's fairly restrictive in terms of what I can eat and drink. (I've lost 7 lb in the first half of the second cycle; thanks for asking!) For that reason, I think I'll take one of Becky's other Lenten suggestions and do some Scripture memorization.

Memorizing one verse a week seems sort of lame, so I am going to try for her larger challenge and attempt to memorize an entire chapter, something I've always wanted to do anyway.

Becky's favorite chapter is Isaiah 6, which admittedly is pretty awesome. Since I just read her blog post a few minutes ago, I haven't decided what to read. Any suggestions? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter!