Challenge, diet, Exercise, Health

VLCD 18

I DID IT!!! I held my plank for 35 seconds yesterday!!! It got shaky for the last five seconds or so, but I did it! It may not sound like a big deal to you, but it is to me. I am soooo proud of myself!


So for my great achievement, I am rewarded with an additional five seconds. Yes, folks…beginning today and for the next two days, I have to hold my plank for 40 seconds. Yikes! However, like yesterday, I’m going to give it my all. Further, after a day of rest from squats, today I have to do 125. The squat is an exercise I actually enjoy, but 125?


My plan is to do them in five sets of 25 with short rests between each set. My thighs haven’t hurt at all during this challenge. Let’s see how I feel after 125 squats!

I recently added a little arm work out. Nothing big, but I’m just trying to tone. Using 3 lb hand weights, I perform a few sets of bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, and tricep extensions. I also do a few shrugs. I’ve noticed that my biceps are stronger than my triceps.

Now on to my daily weigh in – the scale showed a loss of 0.8 lbs. Today makes exactly three weeks before I leave for Martha’s Vineyard. I’m hoping to make a lot more progress before then. It would be great to be in the 160s by that time. I’m hoping to bid adieu to the 180s by this time next week.

That’s all for today. Tomorrow is measurement day. I’ll be up bright and early with my measuring tape. See you then!

Grace and peace!

Raquel

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diet, Health

VLCD 12

Today, I was not only excited about weighing in, but also about taking my measurements. I decided to visit the scale first. I crossed my fingers and stepped on. It showed a loss of exactly 1 lb. I was thrilled! While I’ve been losing steadily each day, today is only the third day I’ve lost at least a pound. What was different yesterday? For lunch I ate grilled tilapia, a lettuce salad, and a sliced apple sprinkled with cinnamon. At dinner, I had no appetite for a vegetable. I ate my grilled shrimp and Melba toast and a half grapefruit sprinkled with stevia. Could skipping my vegetable have anything to do with it? One hcg forum suggested skipping vegetables to increase weight loss. There are days I force myself to eat a second vegetable. From now on, if I don’t want it, I won’t eat it. However, I am not going to starve myself. If I’m hungry, I’m going to eat my vegetables. I believe that despite the advice given on hcg websites and forums, at some point, common sense must prevail. I am not going to make myself sick in my effort to lose weight. 

Now it was time to take my measurements. I took them for the first time last Saturday and posted them. I promised to take and post them every Saturday moving forward while on this diet. So….today’s my day. Here are my current measurements with inches lost in parentheses:

Neck 13 1/2″ (-1/4″)

Chest 37 1/2″ (-1/2″)

Left upper arm 14 1/4″ (-1/2″)

Right upper arm 14 3/4″ (-1/4″)

Waist 35 1/2″ (-1/2″)

Hips 45 1/2″ (-3/4″)

Left upper thigh 29 1/4″ (-1/4″)

Right upper thigh 29 3/4″ (-3/4″)

Left lower thigh 23 3/4″ (-3/4″)

Right lower thigh 24 1/4″ (-3/4″)

Left knee 16 1/4″ (-2.0″)

Right knee 16 3/4″ (-2 3/4)

Left calf 17″ (-0)

Right calf 17″ (-1/2″)

That’s a total loss of 10 1/2″!!! AMAZING!!! I’m stunned to see how much I lost in my lower body – and that’s where I truly need to lose. And who knew one could lose so much in the knees? That was totally unexpected! I don’t expect to lose much in my calves. I inherited small calves (and skinny ankles) from my dad’s side of the family. I see now why measuring is so important. That is a major loss I would have otherwise been unable to celebrate. Between today’s measurements and my 1 lb loss, I am so encouraged. This diet is clearly working. 

Later today, I’m going to my mother and father-in-law’s 50th anniversary celebration. I am going to do my best to be reasonable in my eating and not interfere with the progress I’m making. It’s not in a restaurant, but in my sister-in-law’s home. However, the event is being catered. Chicken is safe (as long as it isn’t fried) and I’m sure there will be salad. I’ll take a sliced apple for my dessert while others are eating cake. 

I’ll certainly tell you all about it tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Grace and peace,

Raquel 

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diet, Health, Uncategorized, Weight Management

VLCD 10 (Pounds AND Inches)

Today, I truly learned why this diet expects us to monitor losses in pounds and inches. I weighed myself this morning and lost another 0.6 lbs. I wished for a greater loss. My current total weight loss is less than 10 lbs after completing 10 full very low carb days on HCG 1234. While I know I’m considered in the average weight loss range…and by those standards, I’m doing well, I can’t help but wonder what’s going on. My mind tells me I should have a higher total weight loss. 

So today, I decided to “see” myself. I put on the same dress I wore when I posted photos on VLCD 1 and posed in the same positions. I can see a difference after only 10 days!!! While my scale is not showing great losses, the diet is working and I am losing. Take a look at these photos:


I’m not losing a lot of pounds, but the photos show that I’m clearly losing inches. My hips are smaller and my stomach is not protruding as much. I don’t look like a big pear now…I’m a smaller pear 😜.

 My body is changing and I am thrilled! 


Recently, someone told me that I looked like I was losing weight. I quickly responded, “No I haven’t.” I think I was so focused on how far I had to go that I couldn’t see how far I had come. Moving forward, I will consider both pounds and inches and will look back at the road traveled instead of being discouraged by the road ahead of me. 

I plan to take and post an updated photo every so often…probably every 10 days. And remember, my measurement day is coming up on Saturday. I’m praying for a huge loss in inches then. 

Lessons learned:

  • Take photos of yourself periodically and compare them so you can see and celebrate your own progress. Try to wear the same clothes and stand in the same position. 

I feel pretty good right now. Now it’s time for lunch: I have grilled Cajun shrimp over fresh spinach leaves in an ACV dressing. 

Grace and peace!

Raquel 

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diet, Health, Weight Management

Daily Weight Loss Log with Week 1 Totals

I made an error when I calculated my total loss! I initially indicated that my total loss for week 1 was only 4.2 lbs. It was actually 5.4 lbs. This totally works out in my favor. I happily corrected all previous blog posts.  

As I reflected on the week, I realized that as much as I complained about small losses, I have to be thankful for losses every day. I do not take this for granted. Any loss is better than no loss…or heaven forbid, a gain!

Each week, I’ll post an updated, running list so you can better see my progress. Here’s my list beginning from VLCD 1: 

Starting Weight 195.8 lbs 

VLCD 1 July 5 – did not weigh 

VLCD 2 July 6 – did not weigh 

VLCD 3 July 7 – 192.8 (-3.0) Keep in mind that this loss took place between VLCD 1 and VLCD 3. I did not weigh myself on VLCD 1 and VLCD 2. 

VLCD 4 July 8 – 191.8 (-1.0)

VLCD 5 July 9 – 191.4 (-0.4)

VLCD 6 July 10 – 190.8 (-0.6)

VLCD 7 July 11 – 190.4 (-0.4)

WEEK 1 LOSS = 5.4 lbs

VLCD 8 July 12 – 189.2 (-1.2)

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Challenge, Exercise, Health

30-Day Plank Challenge 

I’m “old school” so I still do crunches. I’ve been told that it’s time to upgrade to the plank. The plank strengthens the core while one hovers, maintaining a position as if simulating a push-up, for a specific length of time. It strengthens the abs, back, and shoulders. It also tones your glutes because it engages the muscles in the buttocks and hamstrings. 

Today, I will begin a 30-day Plank Challenge. Each day builds upon the previous day’s plank hold time, progressively moving from holding it for 10 seconds in the beginning to 90 seconds at the end of the challenge. (NOTE: There are more advanced challenges available online.)

Here are instructions on how to do a plank taken from 

30 Day Fitness Challenged

  1. Get into push up position.
  2. Bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms. (NOTE: You are not resting on your hands.) 
  3. You should be in a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
  4. Engage your core – suck your belly button into your spine. (This part is important!)
  5. Hold this position for the time listed on the daily challenge. 

Won’t you join me? Here’s the challenge:


I’m ready for better abs in 30 days!

Grace and peace!

Raquel 

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Health

VLCD 6

Time to weigh myself! I actually awakened much earlier and had this thought before going back to sleep:

3:37 AM: I feel three pounds lighter! (I told myself that if I wished it and believed it in my heart, it would be true.) I thought about how well I ate yesterday and how I would be rewarded with kindness from the scale in a few hours. 

After a few more hours of sleep, the time was here. I got on the scale, with the number “3” on my mind. I couldn’t help but sing “3 is a Magic Number” from Schoolhouse Rock. 

3 is s Magic Number – Schoolhouse Rock


Well…I did not get my wish. The scale read 190.8 for a loss of only .6 lbs. I cursed the scale and insisted that it must be broken or the batteries are dying. That number on the scale is simply not correct!

I can’t help but wonder why my first week losses have been so small. In my reading, I learned that many people lose 3-4 lbs in the first day alone and have lost 10+ lbs in the first week with weight loss slowing down after that. I’ve read that one loses less if there is less to lose overall. I definitely do not fit this category…I have a lot to lose. Could it be because the HCG 1234 that I’m using is homeopathic? (I’ve been researching so I’ll share more about homeopathic HCG in a later post.) Well, that can’t be because there are many others who’ve had great losses on homeopathic brands, including HCG 1234. Could it be because of how I initially stopped the diet after three days, binged for nearly a week, and restarted? If that’s the case, it’s totally my fault and I’ll have to stick with it and pay the price. 
I’ve searched the web for ideas and this is my plan for today and the next several days to see if I can increase my losses:

  • I’m going to pay careful attention to serving sizes of both onions and tomatoes. I’ve read that they’re higher in carbs than other allowed veggies. 
  • I’m going to drink two TBS of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) in a cup of water each day. ACV is supposed to help raise the metabolism. I’ll add a little stevia if necessary. 
  • I’m going to increase my fiber intake and have a big, healthy salad each day for at least one of my meals – topped with ACV dressing. I’m not constipated, but more fiber can only help. 
  • I’m going to stay away from beef for a few days. This will be hard because beef is one of my favorite proteins. I like eating HCG friendly chili, hamburgers, meatballs, steak, etc. Instead, I’ll have more chicken, fish, shrimp, crab. 
  • I’ve read that Green Tea supports weight loss so I’ll have a cup or two daily. 
  • I relish in my two servings of Melba toast each day. This week, I’ll have only one serving per day…or maybe I’ll not have it at all. 

In addition, I must remind myself that even if I’m not losing pounds, I might be losing inches and that’s just as important. (See my posts for VLCD 4 and 5.) Who wants to lose just pounds if the body isn’t changing? My next measurement day is Sat, July 16th, so I hope to see some losses on the measuring tape. 

Now that I have a plan mapped out, I’m feeling encouraged. This is my last day of week one. I’ll have my end of week (VLCD 7) results tomorrow. Wish me luck!
Grace and peace….

Raquel

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Health

VLCD 5

Today I was hoping to say goodbye to the 190s. It didn’t happen 😞. The scale showed 191.4 for a loss of 0.4 lbs. I was certainly expecting a greater loss, but I’ll take it. That’s one stick of butter gone.

Last night, I went to a friend’s house for a meeting. She served refreshments and unlike last week at my brother’s birthday party, I did not indulge! I had already eaten dinner, but not my 2nd serving of fruit for the day. At the meeting, I ate strawberries which is totally on protocol and sipped on seltzer water. The host served hummus (which I love) but I didn’t have any. She had a tray of Melba toast for the hummus dip and I ate two pieces which is allowed on this diet. The finger sandwiches and hot wings looked good, but I didn’t have any. Yay me! I left feeling proud. A nice reward would’ve been a loss of at least a pound this morning, but that’s all I’m going to say about my limited weight loss today.


As promised, I did take my measurements. It was really eye opening. I knew I was big, but didn’t know I was that big! Here they are:

Neck 13 3/4″
Chest 38″
Left upper arm 14 3/4″
Right upper arm 15″
Waist 36″
Hips 46 1/4″
Left upper thigh 29 1/2″
Right upper thigh 30 1/2″
Left lower thigh 24 1/2″
Right lower thigh 25″
Left knee 18 1/4″
Right knee 19 1/2″
Left calf 17″
Right calf 17 1/2″


Egad! My hourglass is totally gone and I am completely a pear. I was flooded with questions. When did my arms become bigger than my neck? Are my chest and my waist really nearly the same size?  I remember a time when my thigh measurements used to be my waist size! Oh the agony! I looked in the mirror today and saw rolls in my back. When did that happen? I held my arms up…they were as big as Popeye’s – without the muscles.

I think had the opposite of anorexia…I saw myself as smaller than I am. However, the scale and the measuring tape, who are both clearly my enemies, reveal something else. Today I had a true picture of myself.

Nonetheless, I remain encouraged because I am already doing something about it! I am on the hCG 1234 plan and I won’t be this size forever. You just wait and see!

Until tomorrow…grace and peace!

Raquel

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