Thursday, 28 February 2013

Why do the metabolism gods punish me when I lose weight?

I have noticed that the fitness gods are mocking me now.  This month I have hit several nice milestones and lost both inches and pounds, but it's coming back to bite me in the butt.  Now, when I work out on the elliptical, the machine tells me that the calories burned are lower.  Noticeably lower.  Even though I took my step count up as an experiment, my calories burned are lower than they used to be. 

In a similar fashion, the number of calories that I need to lose weight are now 1,640 per day - - it used to be 1,900+.  In other words, I can eat less, and I get less credit for my workouts.  Pooh on that.  That is no fun at all. 

I understand exactly why this is happening, and it is all for good reasons.  It only stands to reason that a lighter body requires less fuel every day than a heavier body - - there's less to cart around, after all.  The same principle applies for the calories expended during exercise - - a heavier person burns more calories than a lighter one because a heavier person is carrying more mass and must overcome more resistance than a lighter person. 

But that doesn't make it fun.  I feel like I am working harder than ever, and getting less credit for it.  Boo! I feel ripped off!

On the good side, as I lose weight I am noticing that I get full faster.  Perhaps after 13 months my body is finally adjusting to my new and improved lifestyle.  I don't need as much food now (relatively speaking), and I cannot comfortably eat as much as I used to, so I don't feel as deprived as I would otherwise. 

Tomorrow's big weigh in will be interesting, where I see if I have maintained (or even improved) on my big milestone loss, or whether I have let the weight creep back.  Plus, it's measurement time, being the end of the month and all.  Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

100 pounds down! [with pics]

I know today is not my regularly scheduled weigh-in, but it was a momentous day that had to be recorded regardless - - I broke 100 pounds down this morning. (!)  Let's not fuss too much about exactly how obese one needs to be to be in a position to lose 100 pounds (in my case, very, very obese), let's just focus on the accomplishment.  I know that there are people out there who are my current weight and who may themselves be severely obese, and who cannot figure out why I would be so happy to be this weight - - you just have to look how far I have come.

Today I reached my major milestone #5, losing 100 pounds (well, 100.3, if you're precise with the decimals).  It has taken me 4 and a half months to drop the 36.1 pounds from my last goal of 270 pounds, and I honestly felt like this day would never come.  For the longest time the goal simply felt unattainable, and then it felt like I was trapped in the 90+ pound weight loss forever.  In reality, my weight has been coming off more or less steadily and it has just been my mind playing tricks on me, but it still feels ridiculously good to pass this milestone.

As you can see from the chart, above, my next major goal is to reach 203 pounds, which puts me into the "overweight" category as compared to "obese", my current status.  That's a loss of a further 33.9 pounds, give or take.  Based on how long it took me to reach this goal, I expect that I will hit Goal #6 sometime around the end of July or mid-August.  From there it is a further 34 pounds to get into the "normal" range, but I can't even think about that one yet.  Too far out. 

It's easy at times like this to get impatient and try to rush things, but the truth of the matter is that I have a further 68.6 pounds to lose, and it is going to take some time to get rid of that weight.  The weight did not go on all at once, and it's not going to come off all at once (barring some sort of traumatic amputation, of course).  It's doubly important now for me to keep focused on checking off the plan each day, to try and hit each week so that I can maintain my forward progress.  No point in getting all cocky now and blowing all the good work I have done to date.

I can see definite improvement in the cheekbone area, and the chin, although still jowly, is definitely getting better.  The hair is still unmanageable, but what can you do - I am not a miracle worker.

And the changes are happening all over.  I think I am approaching a size 18 (down from size 26), but I won't know for sure until I do my measurements at the end of the month.  The size 20 suits are becoming very loose on me, and where they once did not do up, now are gaping.  I like that.

We'll see what changes, if any, show up in the end of the month measurements in a couple of days.  Onward and downward!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

It's Alive...!

So yesterday my little Fitbit went swimming.  Unintentionally.  It turns out that washing machines and Fitbits are not a good combination - - who knew?

As soon as I rescued the little guy and we dried it off as best we could with a dish towel we put the Fitbit into the "Fitbit Dry Dock", aka a container of basmati rice (lovingly labelled by the Nerd in a fit of whimsy).
The specific choice of basmati rice is not, I think, the important part - - it is the fact that it is rice, any rice, that is the point.  Rice is apparently a brilliant desiccant if the Fitbit message boards are to be believed. 

All my sources said that I should leave the Fitbit in the rice for 24 hours to let it properly dry out.  Which was a bummer, because the Nerd and I went on that 2.8 mile walk to and from the grocery store yesterday, and it would have been fun to track the steps.  Oh well. 

Well late last night I finally snapped after a mere 12 hours of "dry dock", and I tried the Fitbit.  Guess what?
It's alive!  Yes, the impromptu swim does not appear to have permanently taken my Fitbit out of commission, and although my step numbers for this week will be slightly lower than they might have been otherwise, it is a small price to pay for having the little guy back safe and sound and (apparently) none the worse for wear.  Yay!

Next time I will check my bra before flinging it into the wash, just in case I have forgotten the Fitbit.  I can't assume that I would be so lucky twice.  Whew!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Catastrophe! The Fitbit went swimming...unintentionally

I have been pretty good in the year that I have owned my little Fitbit.  I have remembered to wear it almost every day, and up until this morning, it never went swimming in the laundry.

You will note that I said "until this morning".  Well, consider my streak as a responsible Fitbit owner at an end.  This morning I did a quick 30 minutes on the elliptical just to give myself room for guacamole this evening (yum!), and I was wearing my Fitbit on my sports bra, as is my custom.  The Nerd started a load of laundry just as I was finishing up, and I rushed to give him my workout clothes, and tossed him everything so that I could catch the load that was just going into the washer.  Unbeknown to me, the Fitbit was included in that bundle, and into the wash it went.  I realized what I had done very quickly, but not before the cycle had begun and the Fitbit was swimming in a pool of gently agitating water. 

Initially it flashed the time when I pressed its button, suggesting that the little guy may not be entirely dead.  So right now it is safely nestled in a box of basmati rice, hopefully drying out from its trip to the washer. 

I checked the Fitbit community forums, and it looks like Fitbits often take trips through the washer, and many of them survive after drying out in rice for 24 hours or so.  I will just have to give the little guy some time to recover from his traumatic ordeal.  Yes, I anthropomorphize my Fitbit, what of it? 

I am a little resentful of the Fitbit's recovery time, because the Nerd and I plan to walk up to the big Loblaws store on Carlton to get spices, and now this trek will be unrecorded on the Fitbit.  But I will track it with Runkeeper so that I at least have some record of the walk.  Nature abhors an uncredited walk...!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Yipee Ki-Yay M----- F------!

I have now lost 98 pounds, which is the same weight as the "98 pound weakling" featured in the old Charles Atlas advertisements in the back of comic books.  I have now lost as much weight as an official person.  Sure, a tiny person, but a person nonetheless.

With this loss, I am pleased to report that I am officially back on track after our little Italian visit and scale calibration induced deviation from the plan last week.  I am feeling a little saucy today because I not only got back to my two-weeks ago low, I managed to lose a bit more, erasing last week like it never happened.  And we shall never speak of it again. [grin]

The lesson I learned from all this is that consistency is critical - - staying on track with my eating and plowing through my exercise 6 days a week even when I had gone up meant that my gain last week was just a blip, nothing more.  And we all have blips - - much as I would like to see it happen, no one's weight loss path is perfectly linear in only a downward direction.  Everyone gains occasionally, and we all plateau from time to time. 

The important thing is not how you got there when the scale shows you something you don't want to see, it's what you do.  Do you give up and start binge eating again on the premise that you gained anyways, what's a little "cheat day"?  Do you stop exercising because it's too hard to do if it's not going to pay any dividends?  The correct answer is "No", because you can't let minor blips get the better of you.  Because then they turn into major problems, rather than minor blips.  And it's much more difficult to fix a major problem, I will tell you right now.  The way to succeed is to keep consistently working your plan, even in the face of adversity or minor setbacks.  As the wise people over at Tristar Gym say, "If you're tired of starting over, stop giving up". 

I have to admit that this week the news that the Patriarch was diagnosed with Type II diabetes threw me for a bit of a loop.  On sober reflection after I let all the emotion drain away, I think it's because "there but for the grace of god goes I" - - he and I are so similar attitudinally, emotionally, and physically, that it's as if I am looking in a mirror.  A mirror that knew he was pre-diabetic last year and did nothing.  I discovered I was pre-diabetic last year as well - - maybe even around the same time - - but the big difference is that I took it as the wake up call that it was, and motivation to keep on my eating plan and exercise regimen.  

I suppose what really threw me and made me feel just a little sorry for myself is the realization that if I stop working out and stop eating well, I will absolutely become diabetic.  With my family history, and with the Patriarch's demonstration of the progression from pre-diabetes to Type II diabetes, there's simply no other conclusion that I could draw.  And before, I suppose in the back of my dinosaur brain I had thought that I would not become diabetic, simply because my mother (and her entire family) was diabetic.  I thought that I could live as I wished, and diabetes would be something for other people.  But now I have to face the fact that if I do nothing, I will (much more likely than not) also get Type II diabetes.

That is not to say that it is inevitable that I will become diabetic, on my current path - - just the opposite, in fact.  I am losing weight more or less consistently (ahem) each week (recent blips excluded), and have significantly improved my eating habits, both in terms of quality and quantity.  I do 55-60 minutes of cardio exercise 6 days a week, and weights 3 days a week for a further 30 minutes each day.  My resting heart rate was 47 the last time I checked, and my blood pressure was 115/61.  I have lost 98 pounds, or more than 29% of my starting body weight.  All of these things are positive, and you can see the results in my fasting blood sugar numbers, which have declined from the mid-high 6s to 5.7 mmol/L.  Given more time, and more weight loss, I expect to see those sugars decline still further.  Eventually, I will have enough normal readings that I no longer qualify as pre-diabetic. 

I just wish wasn't so clear what my path could be.  I would like to pretend that I have some choice in the matter, you know?  I would like to think that I would still be working out every day and eating well just because it's the right thing to do, not merely because I have a significant looming health issue I am trying to avoid.  I suppose anyone who has ever experienced a lifestyle-related health issue (heart attack, high blood pressure, knee and back issues) is in the same boat. 

Next week will be better, as I will have processed all of this diagnosis-related angst, and will be back in my normal routine. 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Biology is not destiny

I got a disturbing telephone call today that I am, frankly, still processing.  It was my father (who I will dub "the Patriarch" for the purposes of this blog), telling me that he had recently been diagnosed with Type II diabetes, with a blood sugar of 9 mmol/L (normal is up to 5.5 mmol/L). 

Not only that, but he had been diagnosed with pre-diabetes last year, and told that if he did not lose weight and change his diet, he would be at high risk to get - wait for it - Type II diabetes.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess which lifestyle he chose.

Now those of you who read this blog know that I do not have diabetes myself, but I still test my fasting blood sugar every morning because the Matriarch and virtually everyone on my mother's side of the family is a Type II diabetic.  With them it's not necessarily weight related, either, as my mother was diagnosed as a diabetic when she weighed 115 pounds (she's 5'2"). 

With a family history like mine, it was almost inevitable that I would be at a high risk of getting diabetes, and sure enough, when I first tested myself last July, the numbers were high.  Not high enough to be in the diabetic, thank god, but high enough to put me in the pre-diabetic range.  Since the treatment for pre-diabetes is simply to lose weight and reduce carbs, I was already doing exactly what I needed to do.  Still, I regarded those fasting blood sugar readings as a wake up call, and extra reinforcement (if I ever needed any) that I had to stay on my program of working out 6 days a week and eating healthy every day.

This news from the Patriarch has, I confess, thrown me for a loop.  I knew the Matriarch's family history was dismal, but I always assumed, down deep in my heart, that the Patriarch's side of the family would keep me relatively healthy.  And to a degree, this is the case.  Where my mother's family has a history of high blood pressure, I have normal blood pressure.  Where my mother's family has high cholesterol, I have always had normal cholesterol.  These are gifts from my father's side of the family, and I have appreciated them - - especially when I see what my mom goes through with her health issues.

But now, both sides of my family history have Type II diabetes.  I suddenly went from a high risk to a stupidly high risk.  It's almost as if my family is trying to kill me, at least endochrinologically (which I know is not a word). 

The ray of hope in my future is the fact that, unlike the Patriarch, I took the pre-diabetes warning to heart, and worked at changing my lifestyle.  Where he did not exercise, I regularly exercise, at a high intensity.  Where he drinks Coke and eats potato chips, I drink tea and water and eat almonds and low fat cheese and vegetables and fish. 

And my efforts have been paying off, slowly but surely.  My sugars back in July were averaging 6.3 mmol/L (where 7.0 or greater is diabetic).  Last month they were averaging 5.7 mmol/L - - almost in the normal range.  This month is a little hinky, but then, so was October (I suspect this is not the smooth linear improvement I would hope for, but rather a herky-jerky decrease in fits and starts).  As long as the overall trends are in the right direction, and I am continuing to get at least some normal readings each month, I'm happy. 

I am still obese (Class I), so it's natural that my sugars would still be elevated.  Eventually, however, I am going to get to be 'merely' overweight, and within 35 pounds of my goal - - I think we'll see a step-change improvement in the numbers at that point.

For now, however, I need to be confident that just because both my father and my mother have Type II diabetes (<gnashes teeth>), it doesn't mean that I will inevitably get diabetes.  Sure, I think we can all agree that if I stopped working out and went back to my old eating habits, I would be certain to get diabetes sooner rather than later.  But as it stands now, with my diet and active lifestyle, I just don't see my future as written in stone like that.  I think the future - - at least as regards to diabetes - - is mine to write, and I want to write a story that involves normal fasting blood sugar levels.  It's a matter of time, but I know I can get there, family history be damned.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

97 steps forward, 2 steps back

This week was a frustrating week, but also a promising week.

On the challenging side, the Nerd and I had an Italian friend staying with us for most of the week.  He was a very considerate house guest and a charming man so his visit was very enjoyable, but a guest - any guest - will throw off even the most disciplined routine.

I stuck to my workout plan and tried to eat well all week and tracked everything, which was good.  However, because our guest insisted on cooking a couple of times, and because we were trying to show him Canadian foods like tortiere, butter tarts and nanaimo bars, and because he wanted to show us Italian foods like osso bucco with mushroom risotto and pasta carbonara, we were eating much richer foods than usual for most of the week. 

I was feeling pretty good until our Italian friend left and we moved the scale back into its usual place (we had hidden the scale in our closet for the duration of the visit, whereas it usually lives in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs).  The Nerd noticed that the scale was giving us strange signals, and I guess with all the moving back and forth the scale had gotten out of calibration.  This would have impacted my weigh in last week, as well as all subsequent weights for the most recent week.  The solution appeared to be to reset the scale, and recalibrate it, just in time for this week's weigh in.

At which point we both suddenly weighed 2 pounds more than last week.  Shock and horror!  And extremely disappointing, especially given how disciplined I had been all week, and how attentive to logging all my food I had been.  Yes, my food choices were somewhat different than usual, but they were not junk food, and I was managing the portions, or so I thought.

Given that we both went up 2 pounds, however, it looks like the scale may be the culprit.  Properly calibrated, I was showing 2 pounds heavier than expected.  I don't think I actually put on 2 pounds last week - at worst, I stayed exactly the same - it's just that the weight I thought I was should have been 2 pounds higher. 

Anyhoo, the good news is I am still on my program of daily workouts and eating healthy, and now that our guest has gone, our healthy routines can continue uninterrupted. 

More good news - - the new workout clothes I ordered from Old Navy have arrived, and they are an XL, and they fit!  (cue my happy dance)

New workout  clothes :-)

A friend of mine at the office was raving about her Old Navy workout gear that she uses for running clothes.  Words like "affordable", "comfortable", "great value", and "awesome" were used, and I was intrigued.

On visiting the Old Navy website, I saw that for them an XL is a size 16-18.  Well I am virtually an 18 - - depending on the cut of the clothes, an 18 is either tight or looking good - - so I thought I would take a chance and get the XL.  Worst case scenario, the clothes wouldn't fit yet, and I would have to wait a month or so to wear them.  Best case scenario, they would fit, and I would have 2 more workout outfits. 

The clothes not only fit, the tops were actually cut so generously that they were a little loose!  This is particularly exciting because: i) Old Navy is a normal store with wide distribution in many malls across Canada; ii) my friend was right - the clothes were very affordable, and they had a ton of selection; and iii) an XL is a normal size.  I am (ever so slowly) evolving away from the need for 1X-2X-3X clothes, and transitioning into more normal sizes.  I love it!

So, overall the week wasn't too bad, even though the scale is a lying bitch out to break my heart.  I was able to stick to my program, which meant that I was not facing a ridiculous weight gain to overcome this week, only a calculation error.  I got some new workout gear which, I am amazed to say, actually made me want to work out right away (!).  And, my new workout gear was from a straight size store in a normal size.  Will miracles never cease?

After our friend's visit the Nerd and I looked at what worked and what did not in terms of the layout of the apartment for having guests staying over.  Because the elliptical machine is in the office, we moved our daybed upstairs to the living room so that we could continue our morning workout routine without interruption.  That worked well.  The fact that my desk had to be pushed up against the bookcase to make room for the bed, and the fact that when our guest wanted to go to bed I could no longer work at my desk or in the living room was less optimal.

The solution: move my desk downstairs to the office.  We also ended up moving a small bookcase (with the books to be read) down to the bedroom, and had to flip the orientation of the office so that my desk and the Nerd's desk are now on the right of the room as you enter, rather than on the left. This required that we empty out the room completely so that we could move the elliptical to the other wall, but all is done now, and the room looks great.  The Nerd is now working on getting all the networking set up, and we'll be off to the races. 

All in all, it was a super productive day, and I am feeling pleasantly tired (read: exhausted) after starting the day with my usual 30 minutes of weights + 55 minutes on the elliptical. 

But the laundry is done, chores are finished, and we're having lamb lollipops tonight for dinner, so it's another good day. 

Hopefully next week I will be back to my losing ways.  The scale is already coming back down, so I am optimistic that this week was just a minor technical issue. 

Friday, 8 February 2013

Welcome to Obese Class I. Population: Me

Yes, the title says it all - - today I reached Obese Class I, with a BMI of 34.9.  For some people, that would be a terrible thing, full of tears, recriminations, and a high risk of developing health problems.  I, too, have a high risk of developing health problems, but this is a huge improvement from where I used to be - - Obese Class III, with its "extremely high" risk of developing health problems.

Yep, it's true.  My 2.5 pound weight loss this week puts me at a BMI of 34.9, which is the lowest category of obesity there is.  Another 30-ish pounds down from here, and I will only be overweight. 

I have to confess that I am sooooo close to hitting the 100 pounds lost mark that I upped my program this week to try and keep the weight loss going.  I took the elliptical up to 55 minutes and a crossramp of 6 (up from 5) with a tension of 5 (down from 8), and a stride rate of 130+ strides per minute (up from 100-120).  The new workout music mix, combined with the lower resistance, makes it much easier for me to hit the 130+ strides per minute rate, and I can certainly see my calorie burn has increased.

My steps per day have also increased with the new workouts:

Looking at the steps taken as recorded by my Fitbit over time, you can see that I started off averaging around 2,000 steps per day.  The steps started to increase in the summer when I got the elliptical to around 5,000 - 6,000 steps per day.  Now that I have increased my stride rate and lengthened my workouts, I am regularly exceeding 10,000 steps per day on weekdays.  I call that progress for someone who still has essentially a sedentary desk job.

I also took the free weights up to 4 sets of 12 reps at 6 pounds for the various dumbbell exercises that I do 3x per week.  I am definitely feeling it in my arms, so that's probably doing good things.

I noticed an ever-so-slight hint of clavicles this week, which makes me very happy.  Eventually I will have actual visible clavicles, and I will jump for joy.  It's still a long way away yet, but I am prepared to be patient and keep plugging away.

So far I have lost 97.5 pounds, which is almost 100, no matter how you count it.  I have to be prepared not to be disappointed if I do not hit 100 pounds down next week, because it's not reasonable to expect to keep these 2+ pound losses every week.  Overall I am averaging about 1.5-1.7 pounds down per week, which means that I should hit 100 pounds down in a couple of weeks.  Assuming that I stay on plan.

Fingers crossed! 

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

My cups no longer runneth over...

It's finally happened. 

I have lost enough weight - - and inches - - that my lingerie (aka "festive plumage") is starting to get too big. 

This is a momentous occasion for several reasons, not the least of which is that I was beginning to wonder if I had miraculous laws-of-physics defying bras that looked full no matter how many inches I lost off my bustline. 

After all, I've lost more than 9 inches off my bust, and surely some of those inches would go missing from the bra-area, right?  It didn't feel like it.  I really haven't noticed that my lingerie looks any different.  It wasn't that I hadn't observed it, it's that I simply never gave it any thought at all. 

Well the other day I went to put on the festive bra shown above, and * gasp * imagine my shock and surprise when I looked down and ... the bra was not full on the one side.  No more "quadra boob" for me, now I am in danger of having to stuff that side with Kleenex, to keep the girls balanced.  The bra is now roomy enough that I can keep a leatherman in there in case of emergencies (at least in the left cup, anyways).

I do not need to break open my smaller size lingerie archive just yet, as I still have plenty of DD bras that seem to still fit.  But they are fitting much better than before, and they are much more comfortable to wear than previously. 

Last year before I started working out I would practically need the jaws of life to get into some of those bras, and god forbid anyone was nearby when I unhooked them - - - a person could lose an eye, those things were under so much tension.  Not so much any more. 

Just another sign that this weight loss is happening all over, even in places that I don't consider on a daily basis.  

Friday, 1 February 2013

Why yes, I *am* 95 pounds lighter than last year ...! [with pics]

This was another milestone week.  I managed to lose 2.7 pounds, which brings me down to 238.9 pounds, for a total of 95 pounds lost overall.  I also lost a further 1.75", which brings my total inches lost to 35.65".  That's almost 3 feet of me gone!

The loss this week has kept me on track to hit my weight loss target about this time next year:

 Although this target date is still a long time from now, it is reassuring that I am still on track. One year done, another year to go, and I'm more than halfway through this little adventure.

This month saw some particular wins.  

First, my blood sugar results improved again this month, for the third month in a row.  Last month I had 9 normal readings, which nets out to 30% of the results being normal.  This month I had 11 normal readings, for 35% normal:
 My average fasting blood sugar was 5.7 mmol/L last month, and 5.6 mmol/L in January - - slow and steady improvement.  Of all the health improvements I have experienced with my weight loss and healthier lifestyle, reducing my blood sugars is one of the most important - - it could help me defy my family history and (hopefully) avoid getting Type II diabetes.  

My second win is that my weight is soooo close to my next major milestone of 100 pounds down.  I can't wait - - 100 pounds down puts me at a BMI below 35, which puts me officially in "Obese Class I", rather than Obese Class II.  To put this into perspective, I started off with a BMI of 49.3, with an extremely high risk of developing health problems.  I am Obese Class II right now, which has a "very high" risk of developing health problems.  Under a BMI of 35, and I "only" have a high risk of developing health problems.  

It's all in your perspective, I suppose, but it will be a major win to reach that milestone.  I just need to keep on track with my regular workouts and healthy eating and I should (hopefully) reach 5 pounds down in 2 or 3 weeks.  Fingers crossed!

I went through a frumpy phase this month, wearing my old, baggy suits long past their prime.  I finally snapped and checked my size 18 clothing archive, "just in case" there was something that fit.  In fact, one of the suits fit perfectly (!) for win #3, and a couple of the jackets almost fit.  That was enough to motivate me to donate those old size 24 suits, and start wearing the new size 18 suit in rotation with the 2 size 20 suits that I uncovered last month.  

My size 20 suits are fitting better and better, and in fact, are getting a little - ahem - loose.  In fact, I was able to do up one of the jackets for the first time this week, and I was surprised to see that I had a lot of room in the jacket.  Yay! 

Finally, win number 4 was discovered when  I flew to Ottawa on that motion, and I was able to do the seatbelt up on the airplane for the first time in many years.  I am not exaggerating when I say that I was so happy about that one that I almost cried.  So unseemly on such a crowded plane. 

So what's the photographic evidence of progress so far?  My face is definitely getting thinner, although the hair is as unruly as ever.

The picture on the right is me in the size 20 suit that I did up for the first time this week.  Everything is definitely toning and tightening up.  It's only a matter of time before those other size 18 suits are within reach.

This past week has been a tough one for workouts, and I have really had to push to finish my workouts the past 3 days in particular.  The good news is that I did push through, and seeing results like this will hopefully keep me going next week if the workouts continue to be tough. 

I can't wait to see what kind of wins happen this month!