Caribbean Island Girl Transformation Diary

  • Like most people, I am new at this.  I am amazed at the pictures, the experiences, and the dedication.  If you guys can do it, then so can I. 

    I started my Body For Life program today.  I want to keep a daily diary for the next 84 days.  I am going to weight myself and do stats bi-weekly.  You will not get beginning and ending photos of me until I am completely done. 

    As most of you, we learn from each other.  We encourage each other and we become a support group for one another.  We are all here for the exact same reason.  We want to change the way we look and feel inside and out.  Let me give you briefly a little bit about me.

    I am a 52 year old grandmother.  I am a mother of five children.  Ages ranging from 32 to 7.  My grand-daughter is 6.  My husband is 8 years younger than me, so you can see age doesn't mean anything in this family. 

    About three months ago, I decided to do something for myself.  I have spent my entire life, changing diapers, wiping noses, spanking butts, feeding mouths, reading stories, being a shoulder to lean on, cry on, and a cheerleader for my entire family.  I was there for the birth of my grand-daughter and cheered my daughter on, I have had 4 home births (loving every one of them)  wouldn't change a thing.  One baby was born on the kitchen floor, one at Nana's house, two in the family home, one in the hospital. 

    I would describe myself as someone who has been richly blessed.  Maybe not with physical things, but with spiritual, mental and emotional treasures.  I love pictures, and have over 600 photo albums of just my family.  I believe God and family are the most important things in life.  I believe it is our job as parents to help and encourage our children to take up the cause of exercising - and investing in their health.  So I guess it is my time to lead by example.

    Here are my status for day one - June 4, 2012

    175 Weight

    42" Bust

    13" Left Arm

    13" Right Arm

    38" Waist

    42" Hips

    21" Left Thigh

    21" Right Thigh

    14" Left Calf

    14" Right Calf

    35% Body Fat


    160 Weight

    42" Bust

    12" Left Arm

    12" Right Arm

    32" Waist

    38" Hips

    18" Left Thigh

    18" Right Thigh

    13" Left Calf

    13" Right Calf

    185% Body Fat

    This morning I woke up at 5:00 a.m.  I was at the gym by 5:30.  I worked on my upper body portion - chest and arms.  Then I did a 20 half run on a tread mill.  Came home and had a protein shake, several glasses of water and a cup of coffee. I was a bit shaky walking to the car.

    I am going to be a bit more strict on my diet, than the one described in the Body for Life book.  I am giving up basically 5 things, for 6 days of each week.On day 7 is my cheat day, which means I can have anything I feel I have missed. 

    1.  Flour

    2.  Sugar

    3.  Alcohol

    4.  Salt

    5.  Milk

    My cheat day will be on Sunday's.  So my diet will basically consist of fish, chicken, rice products, vegetables and fruits.  What this means is, I am basically giving up all pre-processed, packaged foods. Pre-packaged foods are where the preservatives are at.  So here's my take on it, as to why people can't lose weight.  If you eat alot of these types of foods, then you are consuming alot of preservatives.  Ask yourself what is the job of a perservative?  To preserve!!! Right?  Well if you gain weight and your are consuming alot of prepackaged foods with high levels of preservatives, then the preservatives are doing their job.  They are [reserving your fat, thus making it very hard for you to lose weight.  That's my take on it.  This is why grandpa and grandma could eat cream on the farm years ago and not gain weight.  They ate foods made from scratch, and they worked hard to maintain the farm.  If we make our foods from scratch, and exercise, we are basically doing what grandpa and grandma did years ago. 

    I will continue to post on this forum, as to what I am eating and what I am doing.  I have read many forum entries and it seems like people are lost getting started and don't know what to do or eat.  If I can I'll post some recipes. 

    I also hired a personal trainer to help me get started on the program, as I was overwhelmed with the exercises, the counting, the minute in between of rest, so on and so forth.  Being day one, I think this was invaluable to feeling like I am getting started off on the right foot. 

    I would recommend stocking your refrig. with things you can eat.  Then get some protein drinks, bars, etc. to carry in your purse.  Another good thing to carry in your purse is apples.  They travel well, and it is a great snack come mid morning or mid afternoon when you need to eat something.  Also, if you use one of those baby formula dispensers, you can put your protein powder in that (in your purse), then carry a shaker, add some water and you have a protein drink quick and easy. 

    I will continue to post every day, and will share with you what I am doing on a daily basis.  I will only provide stats every two weeks.    Remember positive thinking, and consistently thinking about reaching your goals - is very important.  Do not say I can't do it.  Because if you repeat this enough, then you will not achieve your dream of having a better you. 

    Someone said something to me a long time ago, and it is very true.  "Better is it to try and fail, then to do nothing and succeed".  Some of you need more than 84 days, but don't be discouraged over this.  You just have a different body type than others.  Keep your mental goals clearly in mind, ask your family to cheer you on, support you and encourage you, stick with the program.  From reading the testimonials, and looking at the pictures - I don't think any of us are going to regret it. 

    So here's looking at my next 84 days with anticipation and excitement, as I embark on my journey on transforming myself on both from the inside and the out.

  • DAY TWO - Aerobic Day

    Just as a follow up to yesterday.  I had a bowl of fresh fruit for lunch.  Then a salad with a piece of broiled salmon on it for dinner.  

    SO, day two in the gym, doing my 20 minute aerobic workout on a tredmill this morning.  I'm at the gym by 5:30 and usually home by 6:45 a.m.  The nice thing about doing this early morning, is that by the time I get home - everyone else is just waking up.  So it's like my workout never happened.  It doesn't disrupt my families life one bit.  I'm home in time to cook breakfast and get everyone started for the day.  

    I've been on my new diet now for about 6 days and can really feel the difference.  I physically feel slimmer, although I told myself not to weigh or do my stats until two weeks have past.  I've read on this forum, where people have weighed themselves daily, and how discouraging that can be.  So didn't want to make the same mistake.  

    For breakfast, I'm usually having oatmeal with fresh fruit, cup of black coffee.  For lunch and dinners, I'm trying to stick to fresh vegetables and fruits, with broiled or pan fried chicken or fish (light seasoning).  My snacks are either protein bars, shakes or fresh fruit.  

    The front desk at the gym knows I'm doing the Body for Life program and the two trainers that I have (one for upper body, one for lower body), both bought the "Body for Life" book, to understand what it is that I am trying to accomplish.  Both trainers are holding me to the Body for Life program as outlined in the book.  The front desk is cheering me on and every time I leave, we mark off a day from the goal of 84.   This helps me feel accomplishment.  I'm excited to see what my stats will be in two weeks, as I am already feeling changes both inside and out.    

  • DAY THREE - Lower Body Workout

    As a follow up to yesterday.  For lunch had a Greek salad with lamb meat and olive oil on it.  For dinner, had a bowl of fruit.  Snacks are protein bars and shakes.

    WOW!  I left the gym this morning feeling really shaky.  I haven't been eating before I go (as recommended - maximum way to lose fat), and at one point feel wiped out.  It seems to pass as I continue my workout.  I used a machine today at the gym to work my lower body (legs), I couldn't believe the workout my legs got.  

    The personal trainer has been a God-send.  This allows me to focus on my body and all I do is follow what she tells me to do.  She hands me the various weights, counts for me, and clocks my one minute rest periods in between.  This allows me to really mentally rest between exercises.  I don't have to think about what to do next.  

    So for any of you wondering whether a trainer is a good idea, I would highly recommend it.  I think for me personally, if I did not have the trainer I would probably fail at this.  I'm a strong person, but when it comes to pain, I seem to be a quitter.  This is where a trainer doesn't let me quit.  Another reason my trainer is a God-send........she tells me, "This is the round that counts.  Work to exhaustion, to get your results."  She pushes me to do those extra reps, when honestly........if it were just me doing it alone, I would probably quit when it got tough.  

    I know a trainer for many is a bid of money, but this is about investing in my body, my future, my health.  Its about feeling better, looking better and building self confidence.  So I went ahead, invested in a personal trainer - and do not regret it one single bit.

    I can feel the transformation happening for me on the inside, just like they said.  I feel my mind becoming stronger, my determination is stronger.  My son, said mom, just this morning, "I can already see results mom."  Right! (In disbelief) This is what I love about you kids, its that kind of talk that keeps me going.  

    So, day three, feeling the burn - but in a good way.

  • DAY FOUR - Aerobic Day

    Woke up at 4:00 a.m. with muscle cramps in my feet and legs this morning.  I could hardly move.  Every muscle in my body hurt - from the top of my head to my toes.  I move around this house, like a dieing moaning cow in labor about to give birth to a calf.  

    My physical trainer said that one of the best things for sore muscles is to soak in a bath of Epson Salts.  By 4:00 a.m, I honestly thought I wasn't going to make it to the gym today.  Determined to stay the course, I took the advise and soaked in the tub for a half hour.  By 5:30 a.m. I was at the gym ready to be beat myself up some more.    

    I am beginning to notice that it is me and the same people at the gym every morning.  I close my eyes to get that last muscle exhaustion and you can feel everyone in the gym cheering me on.  At first, the one minute rest period between intervals seems like alot of wasted time.  But the heavier the weights you pump, the more reps, that one minutes seems like a ice cream dream cycle on a stick.  

    So here's to day four, feeling like I've just been ran over by a MAC Truck.  

  • Caribbean Island Girl,   Sounds like you are doing great so far. The cramps kind of come with the territory (I know I have them sometimes and I am 54 this year). I use hot/cold water therapy after workouts always. Also I do take the EAS MUscle Armor (orange is my favorite) with the last meal of the day after my workouts to help with the soreness and recovery effort. It does seem to help.  I have also heard that when it comes to legs cramps that simplye eating a banana for one of your snacks seems to help (potassium in the banana comes to the rescue somewhat).  I don't have a trainer and I am trying to do this without their help and so far getting equal or better results simply by concentrating on form and effort at the gym. (The Triump method...a little Try with a lot of Umph). still if  you have a great trainer, then treat them like gold and listen. remember even Hercules needed a good trainer (Phil in the Disney film).  Best wishes to you from one in his GOlden Years to another and Keep Moving FOrward!!

  • DAY FIVE - Upper Body Workout

    I literally crawled to the gym this morning.   First day I can say I truly did not want to go.  But I got up anyway, did not listen to my brain - trying to reason with me on all the reasons to stay home.  I just did it.  I hurt all over, I'm shaky, and completely exhausted.

    Of course, I went go-kart racing with my kids yesterday (my 7 year old beat me!), shopping at Goodwill and Walmart, then to Casa Bonita for dinner (to watch human cliff divers), play arcade games, and went through the scarey Mexican tunnel.  My girls were screaming so loud (from all the frights and sounds), that by the time we exited the tunnel everyone was starring at us.  Then everyone started laughing (seeing us laugh) and then we couldn't stop laughing - just watching them laugh at us.  Got one of those old fashion "dress up" "Cowboy Salon" photos together.  It was a great day-evening.  I blew my diet on cheap glorified "TV" dinner Mexican food.  Up late, so I guess now you know why I literally crawled to the gym.  

    My personal trainer of course laughing at me this morning, because she could tell I had stayed up late the night before.  We did our upper body workout.  She says my stance and body positioning during exercises is improving (despite the temporary error in food judgment).  Also the the way I hold the weights and do the machines is improving.  

    Did a 20 minutes of "walking fast" on the tredmill, to work off that cheap disgusting dinner from last night.  I regret eating it, but I have about 80 pictures to prove we had the time of our life.  Haven't laughed this hard in a long time.  

    Tonight, my son (Age 30) is picking us up in a white limo, the girls have beads, long "Hannah Montana" wigs, sunglasses, and crowns to wear.  My grand-daughter is coming up to join us, as well.  Bought "Elvis glasses" for the boys.  Luke is going to pick us up in the Limo (all dressed) up and then take us to dinner.  I plan on jumping out of the Limo first with my camera and then taking pictures of the kids as the get out of the Limo and go into the restaurant.  You might say I'm one of those "Hip Hop" grandma's.  Always looking for a fun thing to do with my kids.  Now you know why I have so many photo albums.  

    Day Five, still staying the course - but feeling the burn.

  • Thanks for the suggestions WPBill, I will use them.  I'm new to this weight training thing.

    We are all on a team together, striving for the same goal - "To look and feel better."  

    I come home from the gym each day and my sons are grabbing my upper arms telling me, "We feel improvement.  Your seem more firm, and stronger."  My girls hug me around the middle and say, "Mom, your getting slimmer".  I realize that results do not come that quick, but experiencing my family constantly touching me and telling me they see improvement - is what is keeping me going.    

    Happy to hear that your workout sessions are going well.  I think every person is different, and each person has to do what works for them.  I wish I could be a strong person like you.  Remain focused and you will reach your goal as well.  I want to see pictures when you are done.  SMILE  

    Even at 52-54, we can have the body of people half our age, if we work at it.  If I reach my goal (which I will), I will be in best shape of my life.  I'm really looking forward to this and all the doors it will open up for me.  One door will be "Self Confidence".

  • My kids and I before breakfast.

  • Good for you!!  I too have 5 kids ages 26-12 so I can relate :)  It is awesome to have your family encouraging you along, right?!  Stay strong and keep on doing it!  

    ~Nothing changes until SOMETHING changes~

  • SORRY DIDN'T POST FOR A FEW DAYS - House full of kids, family and company.

    DAY SIX & SEVEN - Weekend

    Due to total body fatigue, I took the weekend off.  My older daughter came up with my grand-daughter.  Then the boyfriend showed up with ATV's.  Next thing we were hitting the dirt trails in the mountains four wheeling.  I tried to stick to my diet, protein bars, meats, vegetables, raw tuna salad if you can believe that.

    DAY EIGHT - Lower Body Workout

    The alarm went of early today.  By the time I hit the gym and started with the trainer, I could really feel that I had taken two days off.  I seemed rusty trying to get back into the routine.  I swear if my trainer had left me even for one second, I think I would have broken down into tears.   I'm really feeling the need to push myself from within.  I'm fighting the tendency to want to watch the clock, but then tell myself - focus on your trainer and what she tells you to do next.  Eventually my time is up, and I have the satisfaction that I accomplished one more day.    

    For some reason this workout today is making me feel very emotional.  Like I am really having to hold back some tears.  Has anyone else experienced this?  Perhaps because I am really having to push myself on the inside to keep going.

    DAY NINE - Aerobic Day

    This morning was a little easier.  Although, I will be honest, I am having to force myself to go.  I haven't gotten to the point yet, where I actually look forward to this.  My trainer says it will come, its just all part of the adjustment.  

    Here's my take on it.  The first week, appeared to me to be truly physical.  Your muscles hurt, your body hurt, everything about what you did this week hurt.  Just to bend over, sit down, stand up, and roll over, everything hurt.  The second week appears to be more mental - at least for me.  My body is no longer sore, but I am having to mentally push myself to go to the gym each morning - because I am feeling exhausted mentally.  

    I am finding that I need to re-evaluate why I am doing this.  Reminding myself of all the reasons why I started this, and then re-enforcing the determination to carry on.  

    I find that I am truly thankful when a workout period ends.  I come home, get my protein shake, stand under a hot shower for what seems like eternity.    

    The trainers did some basic endurance testing on me before we started, and I basically failed everything (if that tells you anything about me at all).  They will do this same testing at the end of the challenge, so I can see how far I've come in my endurance and recovery rates.  

    So here's to Day Nine, feeling mentally exhausted like I can't do another day.  

  • I believe you can continue on with the program. afterall you have a great "pit crew" to back you in your efforts and a fantastic reason to succeed as well.  Do it for you and for them as well. Have you thought of trying the EAS Muscle Armor drink after your more tough workouts?  It does seem to help a bit with the soreness and stiffness as well and keep the muscle you gain from being lost. Also, I hope you are getting enough rest and recovery time between the weeks and days as well. Seven to eight hours rest can do wonders for the energy levels. Best wishes to you, keep in touch with us.

  • THESE ARE MY GIRLS............

    This is me (black & white jacket) with my grand-daughter in front of me (age 6), my 32 year old daughter, and my 7 year old daughter in front. 

  • Thanks for Bill for the recommendation on the protein drink.  I will order some and try.  I came home from gym and soaked in an Epson bath this morning, which really helped.   Really liked what one woman said in a post I read on Body for Life.  She did the challenge, as a gift to her children.  I guess I feel very much the same way.    

  • DAY TEN - Upper Body Workout

    After last weekend dirt biking, my older daughter and I had a girl's talk.  Told her all about my Body for Life challenge.  Showed her the book, discussed what I was doing and what I wanted to accomplish.  She was so impressed, that she went home and my mother called yesterday afternoon to say, "Guess what?  Heidi joined a gym and hired a personal trainer!"

    Well my workout this morning was great (as always). But I'll be real honest...........I don't get up yet, and get all excited about going to the gym.  They say that feeling is coming, but I'm not there yet.  I basically just get up, get dressed and go.  If I think about it, my brain starts giving me all these reasons why staying home can be justified.  So shut your brain off and just do what you know you're suppose to do.  That is my advice at the moment.

    This week, I'm feeling alot of overall body muscle fatigue.  I know I'm improving, but feeling exhausted (in a good way), if that makes any sense.  Seems like it takes me a couple of hours after a work out (hot bath/shower, eat, coffee) before I feel like I'm back to my old self.  BUT HEY, something is working - found myself dancing to a tune on the radio while making breakfast this morning and FEELING GREAT!  

    It seems to me, that exercises I could do easily last week, I am struggling with this week.  The sore feeling is gone for the most part, unless I tap into muscles I haven't used in awhile.  

    Here's a question I would like to throw out to the group.  The Body for Life book, I think said not to eat before a workout.  My trainer is telling me she doesn't agree with that.  You basically (come morning), are at the end of your overnight fasting period and then you do this extreme workout with no energy - because your body has been in resting mode all night.  If you eat something small before a workout, then it kick starts your metabolism and this helps you with your energy for your workout.  This is why most people get that shaky feeling during workouts - thus says my trainer.  Is that correct?

    I've tried working out on an empty stomach, and I've tried working out with something small (like protein bar) to eat.  I don't know which one is better.  So any advice from someone who has done it both ways and feels one way is better than an other - I would really appreciation the input.