Operation: TUGFLW

Most people get fit for the summer...I choose to get fit during the summer. Go figure.

My birthday is a little over 8 weeks away and I really want to look my best for it.
So, after being not 100% happy with my body when I look in the mirror and doing nothing about it,
(but really, as women, are we ever 100% happy?)
and putting off buying new cute outfits, 
I'm choosing to, now, do something about it.

Enter Operation: Tone Up, Get Fit & Lose Weight
(also to be known as Operation TUGFLW)

8 weeks

Ultimate Goal: 
Hmmm, not sure the actually number of pounds I want to lose...
I think it's in the ballpark of 20 pounds - but really I'm just pulling that number out of the air because it sounds good. I plan on weighing myself in the next few days so I know what I weigh and can adjust my weight loss goal accordingly.
I also want to tone up.
And get fit.

If you read my other blog the remainder of this post will seem familiar to you - thought I've slightly updated some of the answers. I feel this q&a are a good way for you, the readers...and myself actually, to get a sense of my thoughts on this whole thing.

(FYI-I attempted Operation TUGFLW earlier this year and blogged it there. I wasn't doing too bad but then I kinda fell of the wagon...)

1. As of the beginning of this "Operation," what are your height & weight?
I'm 5'7" (5'6 & 3/4" to be specific) & weigh....not sure. Probably between 160-168. 
Feel free to click the link a few lines up to see what that weight looks like on me.
It's supposed to be 'taboo' or something for a woman to reveal her weight but it's really not that big of a deal to me because, I think, it's all in the way you carry your weight

2. We all know that numbers never give us the big picture. When you think of your body - its size, shape, strength & health - how do you feel?
Despite what I wrote above, for the most part, I'm pretty happy with my body. 
I'm curvy & I actually, truly, like its curviness. I don't mind that my tummy is a bit soft & I've got a butt & hips. I see my body as womanly. 
Like Beyonce & Jennifer Lopez. 
I've never been the "skinny" girl & I finally became okay with that in my early 20s. Actually, I really came to accept my body when I was about 24...this is around the time I stopped watching music videos & buying certain magazines*. Health-wise, I'm not unhealthy. I mean, a doctor would say I'm healthy, but I could definitely be more fit and I would be happier with what I saw in the mirror if I was a few pounds lighter and a bit more toned.

3. Why Operation Tone Up, Lose Weight & Get Fit'?
I'll preface this by saying that I've never been that girl who cares too much about the number on the scale. I'd much rather go by how I feel & look in clothes & then ballpark a number. Which I thought worked fairly well, until around August 2009 - just after my birthday....
(feel free to again, click the link above to see the rest of this answer...)

4. Based on all of that, what is your biggest goal in
Operation Tone Up, Lose Weight, Get Fit ? 
What is one thing you must accomplish in the next two months?
My biggest goal is to be as close to 100% happy with the way my body looks & that's when I'm a size 6 sometimes 8. To give that a number, I think that will be in the 140 range. However, since I really never weighed myself perhaps it's actually in the 150s? I dunno. 

5. Do you have any secondary goals? What are they?
I generally like my arms and I'm hoping to add some dresses and feminine pieces to my wardrobe.
So my secondary goal is to tone up my arms (biceps/triceps), shoulders & back. I'd also like to run a mile in under 10 minutes...I think I'm roughly at 12 right now.
Oh, and a third goal - I'd like to become more of an ethical eater, and take steps to eat 'better' food and really start to take note of what I put into my body. (more on this goal coming soon)

6. What's your day-to-day lifestyle like? What are you into?
The most exercise I get, if I'm being honest - which I am, is taking Howard out for his walks at least once, usually twice, a day.

7. Anything else you'd like share about "Operation Lose Weight, Get Fit & Tone Up"?
I'll probably blog my progress once a week...expect total honesty!

If you're still reading :) I would love to read any tips, links, or comments you might have!
Feel free to share any good blogs, suggestions on what I can do, good recipes, tips to stay motivated...anything! Also, if you're in the midst of your own 'Operation' I'd love to hear about it.
Truly, I would!

*Doing these two things drastically increased my self-confidence & how I felt about my body because I wasn't constantly faced with & comparing myself to (mostly) unrealistic images of women. Though, working in entertainment, I knew what goes into getting those images to look perfect (lighting, photoshop, pins in the back of clothes so it fits perfect, makeup, trainers etc...) when you see these images every day it's hard not to compare yourself. I encourage anyone struggling with their body image to cut back on your intake of some of these visuals - even for 30 days. Once you start seeing realistic images of women, women around you, you'll appreciate your body more & stop being so hard on yourself.


The Glam Lamb said...

Congratulations on your new operation! just remember that you are beautiful already - you are just doing a little tweaking/tune up! I guess my best thing is I drink a TON of crystal light since i am not a huge water fan and crave diet coke - so the crystal light lemonade has been a life saver. Also --- chobani or fage yogurt help cure hunger! i also have prepared snacks ready in my fridge so i dont binge. best of luck!!

vicki archer said...

Good for you and I am inspired....I have been trying but not hard enough. Good luck....shall hope that we both make that goal...xv
PS I am not eating wheat and dairy and at the same time praying for a miracle...

LifeBegins@Thirty said...

Congrats! I am excited for you!! There is something pretty satisfying about taking control of your body and eventually seeing results!!

I know that everyone talks about smaller meals more often, but honestly it works. I now eat WAY less at lunch/dinner (i mean, 250 cals or something ridiculous) but I eat 4 meals a day like that and two snacks (fruit, etc). Now when I eat more than that (say if i have to go out with work or something) I feel bloody awful.

Anyhoo - keep updating everyone on your progress and what you are doing and you can be held accountable to your readers :-) We'll support you!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog said...

My birthday usually motivates me to get into shape as well! I know you can make it happen!!

Here's a post I wrote up about losing weight:

kay* said...

thank you all for your comment, suggestions, & tips so far!

@the glam lamb - thank you! i'm not a huge fan of water either so perhaps i will get some of that crystal lite - i think i tried it before and liked it :) & prepared snacks....good tip!

@vicki archer - good luck to you too!

@life begins @ thirty - i agree, there IS something satisfying about taking control :) smaller meals is something i kinda do but i think being more consistent with when i eat, sometimes i go HOURS without eating, will be a good step for me.

@kasey at thrifty little blog - thank you! i'm off to read your post :)

Zeitoune M-P said...

The one thing that always works for me is not eating after 7pm. I also find that eating smaller portions and green tea with no sugar added helps also. The last thing I can say is that although I don't beleive in dieting, sweating every day, even if it is a small jog around the block or running up and down the stairs instead of taking elevators is necessary. And...last but not least, I add one grapefruit in my day (no sugar added), I take half of it after breakfast and another half after supper. I found that it just melted my extra pounds off-along with the other tips I mentioned. Good luck!! :-)

Jai said...

I already sent you the twitter link, but here's some more advice (that's what I get from having a overly obsessed health freak of a boyfriend)...

(a) cut out as much sugar as you can...but don't limit yourself. I'm a HUGE chocolate freak, eating it like 3 times a day. I went from that, to once a week and am fine.

(b)exercise for a minimum 10 min a day is a sure metabolism booster. Taking Howard for a walk? Why not turn that walk to a brisk jog or run?

(c) If you like hot sauce, add it to as many meals you can think off. My bf swears by it, and it did help increase my metabolism (something about needing more energy to deal with the spices).

(d) try the tricep dip and push-ups if you want to tone up those arms. I also lift Gizmo (who's about the size of Howard) over my head repeatedly to tone up my shoulder--but she likes it lol.

I like to include my dogs in my exercises, because honestly, I hate to exercise since I get bored easily. I've gained weight over the last 4 years (from a size 2 to a 6), but am not settled to a size 4 and finally accepted my curves (never had them before until I gained weight). Makes me feel more womanly, but I love them even better when I'm toned.

GOOD LUCK! If you need more advice, tweet me!

gia said...

Try to keep in mind, you are doing it to be healthy, to take time for yourself, your mind and your body. It isn't necessarily about looks, but about how you feel inside and out. Good job! Thanks for inspiring!

Jessica O'Brien said...

good for you! i've never attempted to lose weight, but am always trying to stay on course with healthy living and being active.

* prepare snacks ahead of time. chop up fruits and veggies and store in fridge for an easy go-to snack. celery, carrots, watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, etc. if they're already wash, peeled, cut, etc. you'll be more likely to grab them than crackers or another snack.

* no fake foods! if you want chocolate ice cream, have a small scoop of the real deal, then stop. that's better for your body than three scoops of the low-fat version filled with additives.

* drink lots of water! i set a timer to go off hourly to ensure i get my daily dose down. i have a reusable bottle by earthlust and fill it constantly. ( http://www.thegreenlifecostore.com/66.html )

* make simple meals. i used to make meals that had a main and two sides and frankly, it can be too much food! though you want a varied diet full of lots of fruits, vegetables and nutrients, sometimes a one-item meal is just fine.

* look into meat substitutes, whether you eat vegetarian or not. veggie burgers can have much fewer calories than turkey or beef. same with chicken nuggets, morning sausages, etc.

* form a night-time ritual. if evening snacking is an issue, this can be a mental signal to your stomach that eating time is over. oprah actually recommended this years ago and i remembered it! she said you should take the time to make tea then sit with a beautiful tea cup and savor the experience. it results in time for yourself to decompress and meditate and can end the snacking period of your day.

best of luck. keep us posted with your progress!

Anonymous said...

Well, babygirl, I am 5'6 and about 190 so you,my friend, are a skinny mini.

I tried to do my bf's P90x, but it about killed me. It will help you get results, but it's definitely not for the weak at heart. lol

Anonymous said...

Two things.
First, 20 pounds in 8 weeks may be unrealistic. Healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds a week. Don't let TV fool you.
Second, diet is almost more important than exercise. Fuel right and you'll lose weight, but more importantly feel better.
Good Luck!

Katelin said...

good luck lady i'll be right there with you, it's funny too because my post tomorrow definitely covers this topic as well, just without such a defined plan, haha.

Michelle... said...

My advice:

1. PLAN! I find it so much easier when I go to the gym to know exactly what I'm going to do.
2. Know what you're eating! I don't count cals day to day anymore, but I did for a while, and now I usually have a really good idea of exactly how many I'm putting in my body. Also, read EVERY label. I love MyPlate on Livestrong.com for nutrition info, but I'm not sure what they have for Canadian-specific brands. If I ever am wondering about something I'm eating, I go there. Figure out how many cals you should be eating to lose weight (1-2lbs/week is recognized a good healthy, sustainable rate, btw).
3. Set goals aside form weight loss, which you've already done (mile under 10min). But why not expand that? Maybe sign up for a 5K in late August or September? Google the Couch to 5K program, and build mileage up gradually.
4. Do have cheats, but be sensible...eat half that juicy burger with all the toppings, instead of the whole thing ;-).

I hate writing stuff like this, because it sounds solicitous, but I'm going to be adding more about my weight-loss/fitness plan to my blog in the future.

Lastly, Good luck!

Michelle... said...

ps: a favorite resource of mine is the female section of Bodybuilding.com ( http://forum.bodybuilding.com/forumdisplay.php?f=14 ). Don't be scared off by the name, while there are plenty of female bodybuilders on there, there are a lot of people like you and me as well who are just trying to lose fat and be more healthy. There are tons of tips from how many cals you should be eating to lose weight, to meal ideas, to exercise tips, etc. Even if you don't post, just check out the "stickies" that are full of great info!

Kara said...

Well, a few years ago I lost almost 100 lbs and started weight lifting. I'm not at my goal yet, but getting closer everyday.

One thing I'll tell you is this: Don't listen to the diet and fitness myths. Especially don't listen to the one that says women shouldn't lift weights or shouldn't lift heavy weights. That whole thing is a myth. Women are not going to get "bulky" lifting weights (I've been lifting heavy for 2 years now and I promise I'm not bulky in the least). We just don't have enough testosterone in our bodies to bulk up.

Lifting heavy (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps, to the point that by the last rep of the last set you're struggling a little) will build those lean, tight, fit muscles that look awesome. That's what you'll need to do to get that "toned" look.

Eat lean proteins, lots of veggies of all kinds, some fruit, some healthy fats, and round it all out with complex carbs (whole grains, oats, etc.)

A really awesome source for generally good exercise and food advice are these books: The New Rules of Lifting and The New Rules of Lifting for Women. Awesome, no BS books, with solid, well researched information.

Kay* said...

thank you all SO SO SO much for commenting and leaving such encouraging words and good advice! i'm reading all of your comments (several times) and taking notes :)

@zeitoune-one thing i've never done is implement a 'cut off' time...but i think this time around i'm going to try. my problem is i'm a night owl so my eating schedule is usually off...dinner anywhere from 6:30-9 p.m. always with a snack later in the evening....gotta try to stop! on the rare occasion when i eat grapefruit i smother it with condensed milk...guessing that's not good to do! lol

@jai - thank you so much! i did that yoga link you sent me this morning (it's hard! lol) but i'm hoping doing it consistenly i'll get better :) i also plan on trying to get in some tricep dips and ab works during commercial breaks of my must watch shows! i figure that's an easy way to get in 9 minutes or arm work every half hour!

@gia - definitely noted. thank you!

@jessica - so much good advice and tips! thank you thank you!

@sunny - LOL! skinny minny not even! i have that p90x too and do it from time to time...i just pop in whatever dvd i feel like doing...time to break them out again :)

@anon -hey, 20 pounds in 8 weeks is being really optimistic i know...thanks for your reminders and well wishes :)

@katelin - i look forward to your post! we can do this together :) we should start a blogger summer movement :)

@michelle - thank you for your advice! planning i think will be really good for me. reading labels is actually something i'm trying to do more of too! i'll definitely check out that website!

@kara - wow! congratulations to you! those myths about women lifting weights are ones i don't buy into :) i actually like lifting weights - more so than doing cardio :) i think i build muscle pretty quickly so seeing some quick definition, no matter how small, early on in my regimen makes me feel like i'm really getting somewhere :) i'll be at the bulk store this weekend stocking up on some nuts and whole grains - thanks!

patti said...

Hi Kay
I love your blog, and congrats on taking assessment and steps toward your goals.
I love the blog Choosing Raw written by Gena. Gena is a nutrtionist and a counselor who has made eating an ethical, healthy diet a priority. She has common sense ideas on healthy eating (albeit vegan), and loads of recipes for eating well. I love the fact that she takes the time to explain how to make a quality salad that will fulfill your health and calorie requirements.
I do not advocate calorie restriction and false foods that are highly processed. Eat healthy fruits and veggies and while you're at it google for the Top 12 fruits and veggies you should eat organically.
Also check out Fitday.com a wonderful site where you can plug in your eating for the day, your fitness and make your goals, so you can track your progess online for free! It is a great tool to keep you on track.
Also pick up a copy of Michael Pollan's Food Rules. It is concise and will stand you in good stead for a lifetime of healthy eating.

BellaLovesPink said...

Hey Kay! Good for you for taking the steps toward a healthier lifestyle!

The hardest challenge I've found w/ weight loss is being consistent and holding myself accountable. Writing down and seeing what I've eaten each day is helpful (Patti's Fitday.com rec is awesome! -- love that site). And I allow myself one day a week to indulge in my favorite things, which in my case, is CANDY (my vice)!

Good luck, be healthy and i can't wait to see your progress.

5"11 168#

frugalflute said...

I'm doing the same thing! I'm home for the summer, and I want to lose 15=20 pounds before I head back to school in September. I've already lost 5 in just over a week! I'm definitely not an exercise girl either, but I try to make up for that by taking the stairs instead of elevators and walking or biking to my destination if its a mile or less.
The other thing that makes weight loss manageable is knowing that you can still eat most foods, you just need to be conscious of portion size and 'gratuitous fat' (as my father loves to warn everyone about). By cutting cheese, butter, and extra carbs out of a meal you can cut the calories in half! For example, you can still eat Chipotle, just get a burrito bowl instead of the big kahuna itself! I also have been eating a lot of soup, and for breakfast? peanut butter toast!
Best of luck! I'm behind you all the way!

Connie @ SogniESorrisi said...

What a great undertaking! I think regular exercise and portion control are two big things that help me.

Leigha said...

There is a similar operation happening at my house! Good luck to us both. Smile.

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