Nov 012012

For the last month, I have been so blessed to have been able to use Let’s Get Stepping by Shapely Girl Fitness. I had tried and tried to get into an exercise routine that would work for me as a single car family (so going to the gym is out during the day, let alone the expense of joining one). I am thrilled to be able to tell you about this great program. If you want to get caught up on the last four posts go read Installment One, Installment Two, Installment Three and Installment Four.

Shapely Girl Fitness is the brain child of Debra Mazda, and she knows what it is like to be trapped in the cycles we women oftentimes find ourselves in. You see, she wasn’t always a thin individual. She knows what it is like to struggle with your size, have deep struggles in life and what it is like to over come them. You can read more about her story HERE

I had the choice of several different DVDs for my workouts this month and I chose the Let’s Get Stepping.I had never done step aerobics before and I thought it looked like fun. I was right! Granted I had an issue finding a decently priced aerobic stepper in town and ended up having to order one online, it was still worth it. I love how the DVD is set up with an introduction to the steps, two shorter routines, the full routine, a toning session and section called Circle Time with a great pep talk and discussion about what we face as larger women. You can chose to play any of the sections and do the workout that works best for you that day. There really is no excuse to not do the workouts at least three times a week with how they are laid out.

This program is about so much more than weight loss. It is about finding your self-worth. Working through those issues that are holding you back and being the woman you were created to be. I hadn’t really planned on going through the wringer emotionally, but I did. And in the end, working through (or starting to) those issues have helped me to see that yes, I am worth the time to do the program, it is ok to feel good about myself and I can be pretty.

While I didn’t loose much if any weight, I did lose about six inches last month from my girth. Talk about a great thing. I also gained self-worth, better posture, better endurance, more flexibility than I’ve had in ages and a few shirts that I had been given recently that were all a size too small are starting to fit me now. Talk about being wonderful. My husband has noticed that I am more stable emotionally, I’m happier and I’ve been smiling a lot more than I had been. He is really liking the changes he has seen in me since starting the program.

Debra Mazda has a start moving first, the diet will follow mindset. Which does make sense. If you go and exercise and start to treat your body well through that, you will want to eat better and better as time goes on. Why negate the wonderful thing you’ve done for yourself by inserting a bunch of junk food? I’ve also found that my cravings for carbs has decreased since starting on this journey, which I know will be beneficial in the long run.

If step aerobics aren’t quite your thing, she also has a walking DVD, and cardio to choose from. And they are very reasonably priced (way cheaper than a month at the gym). Debra’s style is kind and supportive (unlike several other exercise videos that I’ve tried that did nothing other than make me feel fatter than I already am and demoralized from the tone of voice and choice of language used). Debra is so encouraging through the entire video and it is so empowering. I also appreciate the fact that the people in them are dressed way more conservatively than a lot of women in exercise videos are. No bare bellys, no short shorts. The most skimpy thing is a tank top that has fairly wide straps compared to a lot of other options out there. Because of their dress, I don’t mind if my husband is in the room while I’m working out (well, from a modesty standpoint, I’m not a huge fan of having an audience while I’m working out, but that is because I get distracted, someone always ends up needing something from me, or they try to talk when I should be concentrating on my breathing and moving in sync to the DVD and don’t have the mental capacity to also carry on a conversation). I do not have to worry that my children will see their clothes and think that one must bare a lot of skin to exercise.

I am so thrilled to have been a part of this review. It has changed me so much and all for the better.

To see what others have to say about this review, feel free to visit the Christian Woman’s Affiliate Product Review Site. Also, Heather, at Marine Corps Nomads has held a weekly link up for those of us on this review, so feel free to go visit over there also.

Now, Debra was incredibly gracious and has offered me a chance to give away a copy of Let’s Get Stepping to one of my readers. To enter, use the easy Rafflecopter form below. Facebook, twitter etc have nothing to do with the giveaway. The prize is being supplied by Debra Mazda of Shapely Girl Fitness and will be mailed out by me upon receipt of the winner’s mailing address. Giveaway runs from 11/1/2012 until noon p.m. (CST) 11/12/2012. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the congratulations email or an alternate winner will be chosen. Winner must reside or have a forwarding agent in the United States.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was given a copy of Let’s Get Stepping for the purposes of this review and an extra copy to give away on my blog from Debra Mazda and Shapely Girl Fitness as a part of the CWA Review Crew. All opinions (and results) are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received.

Oct 222012

Last week was not a good week…On so many levels.

Last Sunday an hour before we were to leave for small group, the eldest came down with the stomach virus that has hit the area and puked all over our bed. Oh, and let me mention that at that point my washing machine had been dead since the Wednesday before…And the dog had already spent two days puking everywhere. Bugs got our second and last set of sheets for our bed.

Monday morning, she wakes up fine, and the youngest is then taking her turn with being sick. Thankfully my replacement washing machine was procured thanks to Craigslist that afternoon and at 4:00 p.m. I get to start doing the mountain of laundry that had piled up. Sick children do make quite a bit of laundry…

On Tuesday, I measure myself to find that I had lost a total of six inches. One off the middle, two and a half off the hips, two off the thighs, and a half inch off the chest. I was feeling pretty good about myself. Despite the near steady holding of the weight. I then did the entire Shapely Girl Let’s Get Stepping DVD, including the bonus toning.

On Wednesday I get a half workout in because my allergies were making me very wheezy. We also had an appointment at the car dealership to get the clutch replaced on our car. My husband drops it off on his way to work. An hour after he does that, I get a phone call asking for him to call the service department. I text him and let him know to call them and a few minutes later he texts me back saying I didn’t want to know what it was about. He was right. I didn’t want to know. Turns out, they forgot to order the clutch for our car’s schedule repair. So they have to order it, and it won’t arrive until around lunch on Thursday. And that they won’t get the car started until Friday morning. This is a big problem…HubbaHubba was told that if he came and got the car and then took it back Friday, that if they ran into a problem, we won’t get the car back until Monday as the guy doing the work on our car “doesn’t work on Saturdays.” Hubbs told them this was our only vehicle and asked what we were supposed to do. They didn’t even offer a loaner. So he hitches a ride home from work, had to cancel his Wednesday night class at church and we break the news to the girls that on top of having to miss church, they would also be missing Judo on Thursday night. That went over as well as a pregnant pole vaulter with them…

Wednesday night, on through Thursday, I started doubting myself. While I was thrilled with the inches I had lost, I started feeling guilty about it. I was spending a few hours a week working on me, when I felt like I should have been working on the house, or spending that time with the girls. I felt guilty for being proud of myself in what I had accomplished so far. Growing up, it was instilled in me that being pretty is vanity, that a mom never does anything for herself, that if I felt pride in an accomplishment I was being boastful and full of myself. I thought that if I did all this work, finally got slimmer, and then regained it all back, which a lot of people do, this journey would have been made in vain. Why would I succeed anyway? Who really cares if I do? I don’t deserve to be slim and smaller. I made myself this way and I should have to live with the consequences of it. Besides, if I lose a lot of weight, I’ll have to buy new clothes. I don’t want a whole new wardrobe. I have to clothe the growing girls, along with other expenses. Clothes cost money that I don’t like spending on myself.

By a miracle, the clutch arrived early and they were able to replace it and be done Thursday afternoon. The girls got to go to Judo, much to their delight.

I was in the pits. Friday night found me laying in bed moping before going to sleep. My husband asked me what was wrong. I told him the bulk of the above. He told me that he was proud of me. That he liked how my body feels to him now (even the half inch loss in the chest, he said he loved how it felt to him now). He was proud of me for taking charge and doing something and making a goal and going towards it. That he thought I was beautiful no matter what, that I wasn’t being vain and he expected me to keep working on it. He loves what he sees me becoming.

Saturday morning rolls around and I got up and did the whole DVD except the toning. I had quite a bit of housework to get done and didn’t want to over do my arms. I felt better about myself again a bit. I’m not totally there yet, probably won’t be for a long while. Yet, I know deep down that these doubts are not right. They are not the truth. The truth is, I am loved, I am valuable to God, to my family. I am a person of worth, who can succeed if she really wants to. Changing my life for the better is not selfish or vanity. I know that in some realms of my life, but it is hard to believe it all of the time. I’m working on that. Have been for a long time and probably will struggle with the self-worth issues for a long time yet. Doing this program has made me deal with the parts I had shoved down and hidden away, trying to keep the pain away. While I hate the feelings of inadequacy, the feelings of unfounded guilt and even shame, I know I need to make the choice to work through the issues that are causing this for me. For I won’t be whole until I have done so. If I don’t take care of them, I will not lose the weight I’ve added to myself, I won’t be the person that God has created me to be. While the journey is hard and long and at times overwhelming, I know that in the end, it will be worth it. Not just to be a smaller size, but to be whole and complete emotionally too. I turn my eyes to the hills, from where my help comes from. It comes from the Lord. The One who loves me more than I can fathom and who wants me to see myself through His eyes.

Feel free to visit the blogs below to see how others are doing on this journey.

I was given Let’s Get Stepping from Shapely Girl by Debra Mazda as a part of the Christian Woman’s Affiliate Review Crew. All opinions (and results) are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received.

Shapely Girl Post 3

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Oct 152012

So we are now going into week three of exercise with Shapely Girl.

Last week was insane. Personally I wasn’t motivated much. I tried getting up earlier to work out without any audience, and that didn’t happen. Then, on Saturday I had to fit in a workout that afternoon and my husband sat and watched. I’m still not sure how I feel about that one. Having someone cheering me on was nice, yet having someone watching me was rather disconcerting. I would pause to grab a drink of water and he would ask what I was doing.

Last week one of the girls came down with either a slight cold or severe allergies and I had an allergy flare up myself so I was dragging. I had to only do the toning twice as it was the only thing I could breathe through. Even after the few toning portions that I have done, I will say I have already noticed a difference in the feel of my upper arms.

Then, our washer died on Wednesday of last week. On the first load of laundry of course. This was on top of an already not working oven and the clutch going on out on our car. To say I was a bit stressed out is an understatement so I didn’t monitor my food as well as I should have. So my weight went up a pound and came back down. I expect that to change as the girls then started a round of a nasty icky stomach virus after church on Sunday. I’m not feeling so great as I sit here trying to piece coherent thoughts together for this post. I also have a mountain of laundry waiting for my husband to hook up our new to us Craigslist find of a washer after he gets back from disposing of the old one. We were going to fix the old one, but parts were twice what we found this used on for on Craigslist.

I still really enjoy working out with Let’s Get Stepping. I do find it way more fun than other things I’ve tried. I find that I have had way more energy for everything when I am consistent in making the time for work out each day, or nearly each day. More energy equals more umph to get the house work done, more time for the girls and more time for my husband. Which, that has been wonderful.The morning pain in the tendons/ligaments of my ankle are nearly non-existent now too, which I really appreciate. And even though my scale wasn’t my friend this week, I noticed this morning that the skirt I threw on was looser than it has ever been. Same with the shirt I slapped on. I’m looking forward to getting the laundry caught up today and tomorrow and seeing how my regular clothes fit now. My favorite and everyday clothing all needs washed…

To see how some of the others on this fitness challenge are doing, click on the links below. Many thanks to Heather at Marine Corps Nomads for hosting this blog carnival.

Shapely Girl, Post 2 Update

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Oct 082012

This is the second post in a month long challenge using the Shapely Girl Fitness DVDs. If you haven’t, why not go read the FIRST POST of the series?

Last week didn’t go quite as planned fitness-wise. We had company until Tuesday afternoon for the eldest’s birthday last weekend and I wasn’t too keen on trying to learn the routines of the step with more of an audience than normal…So I started on Wednesday and did the 25 minute premix option all three days.

I can’t believe that I used to be in colorguard with the marching band in high school. I am so uncoordinated now. I don’t know how I managed to march, suddenly switch directions and kept a flag twirling all over the place simultaneously. You wouldn’t believe it either if you had watched me gracefully stumble through the routines. Yet I persevered through and it is coming together! Granted, I still look like an elephant tripping around my kitchen, it is a bit better 😉

DVD cover for Let's Get Stepping by Debra MazdaI just love Let’s Get Stepping. It is such a good workout for no matter where you are in your fitness journey. I feel terrific after doing it. In fact, I didn’t do it Saturday or Sunday with the craziness of the weekend and after Saturday I could tell physically that I hadn’t done it that day. I was going to do it Sunday before church, but the warm blankets were holding me in bed and I must admit I was a willing hostage. After church a group of us went to a pumpkin patch and we walked a corn maze and had a blast and ended up home late.

Motivation is key here. I could have pried myself out of bed early on Sunday morning to do the routine. But I didn’t. And for that I am regretful for. I could have ignored the fact the rest of the entire family was around all day on Saturday and just done it. But I didn’t. I should have. I noticed a difference in how I feel physically after the first workout. I had more energy, my joints felt looser and more fluid. I’ve had issues with my right ankle for years and the last several months when I get up in the morning it has been extremely tight and stiff every morning. It wasn’t as bad on Thursday morning when I got up and it the pain and stiffness had decreased with each day I exercised. I liked that a lot. My husband even noticed when giving me a back rub how much more relaxed my muscles felt to him even. I felt more relaxed physically and emotionally and it is great.

And I even lost two pounds between Monday and Friday last week!!!!! You have no idea how ecstatic that made me. So I’ve gone from 258 pounds to 256. Every little bit is a victory.

And my favorite part thus far? For the last year or so I had noticed that if I walked any distance or sat in the car for more than an hour, my hands would retain some fluid and my wedding ring would be tight and hard to slide off. The trip to the pumpkin patch took nearly two hours to get down there yesterday and then there was a lot of walking around to see the sights and through the corn maze, then the two hour trip back home. My hands didn’t swell at all. My rings were comfortable the entire day.

I haven’t measured this week, I will next week. I need to get this published and email some pictures from yesterday, make the girls lunch and do Let’s Get Stepping. I like what this is doing to me!

I’m linking up with Heather at Marine Corps Nomads if you are wanting to see how the others on this challenge are doing!

I was given a copy of Let’s Get Stepping from Shapely Girl Fitness as a part of the Christian Woman Affiliate’s Review Crew. All opinions and results are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received.

Oct 012012

I don’t know if you have gathered from some of my posts (mainly my failed 52 Fridays attempt…) but I have been slowly making changes to our lifestyle and have been trying to lose weight. I have been in need of losing quite a bit of weight for a very long time. You see, I’m only 5 foot 2 with shoes on. I was blessed with my mom’s side of the family in height and my dad’s side of big bones…And his side of the family’s larger sizes. Now it isn’t all genetics, I haven’t been diligent in controlling what I put into my body food wise and moving it as much as I should.

I need to lose about a hundred pounds. I have been slowly shedding the weight. And I mean s.l.o.w.l.y….My favorite shirt is now a bit baggy on me. I have some extra room in the waistbands of a few skirts and my lone pair of jeans. Several of my t-shirts are fitting better.

However, it is passed time for me to kick my efforts up a notch or several.

I was chosen to do a month long review of Debra Mazda’s ShapelyGirl Fitness DVD. Out of the selection in her store, I chose the Let’s Get Stepping as I thought that looked like it would be the most fun. I think I was right. I sat and watched the routine and fell in love with the music styles used, the varied steps and styles (aside from just stepping using the risers, there was some dancing and zumbaesque moves, some kickboxing and with toning exercises!) It is not your old fashioned boring exercise routine. You can even chose to mix it up by choosing from among different presets.

And the best part of previewing the DVD? The fact that all of the ladies in it are not stick thin super models dressed so immodestly that I don’t want my children in the room while I am exercising makes me thrilled. That and as opposed to so many other DVDs I’ve seen not once was what I would consider an inappropriate term used (I’ve seen DVDs that use alternate words for rear ends, uses curse words and such which I do not tolerate or want my children to hear to repeat). The ladies in this video are all covered up, no midriffs showing, most are in long pants (one was in capris) and all except Debra were wearing short sleeved shirts. I appreciate the lack of exposed flesh. I am not ashamed if my husband is in the room with this playing as opposed to other exercise videos and their lack of covering.

I am so excited to be a part of this review and to share my experience with you. I will be doing this video at least three times a week. For the first week to break myself in I intend to do the shorter workouts and then on the second week I plan on doing the full hour. On the off days, I will do the toning exercises. The intent is to do part of this DVD daily for five days, do something else active with the family on Saturdays and then take Sundays off. The intent is to loose inches around my waist, hips, thighs and hopefully the upper arms.

Now time for some brutal honesty. At the start of this challenge I weigh: 258 lbs (well, that was a shock, I haven’t weighed myself in ages…)
Arms measure: 16 inches
Chest: 48.5 inches
Waist: 49 inches
Hips: 57.5 inches
Thighs: 30 inches
Calves: 18 inches

It is safe to say, those numbers humiliate me. I have never taken my measurements before. If that isn’t motivation to do something drastic, I don’t know what is.

The intent is to become a healthier me. Losing weight and inches, shrinking sizes (I am currently about a 22/24 2-3X depending on brand and style) is just a nice side effect of this venture.

Healthy eating is coming along in my life. Last month got kind of side tracked with my husband being out of work for several weeks and not having a pay check with which to buy the healthier foods we had gotten accustomed to. We have been working on eliminating processed foods from our lives and eating whole, real foods. We will continue to pursue that as a family while going on this venture.

Pray for me and the other 26 ladies on this review as we seek to make the changes in our lives that will bring honor and glory to God through our bodies. Which are His temple.

To see how the others in this review are doing (and to leave a note of encouragement) feel free to visit them too!

I was provided a copy of Let’s Get Stepping by ShapelyGirl Fitness through the Christian Women’s Affiliate Crew. All opinions (and results) are mine and mine alone an no other compensation was received.