The Biggest Winner Day 24: The end

Well here we are – the end of the training program. I can’t believe six weeks flew by so quickly!

I can’t even begin to tell you how important these past six weeks have been for me. I have taken my weight loss to an entirely new level and it’s all thanks to six amazing people – Jackson, Tianda, Steve, Shawn, John and De2013-02-15 07.48.49bbie. You don’t know them, but you have no idea how much they inspire me.

As a grand finale of his own, Jackson had us run a 5K on the treadmill to get started. I completed mine in under 48 minutes!  A new record for me. I’m so proud of this accomplishment. When I did my first 5K it was just under 54 minutes – LOOK HOW FAR I’VE COME!

More importantly, when I did the first 5K I was useless the rest of the day with aches and pains. Today, I hopped off the treadmill and Jackson sent us to the gym to do more! MORE!!!!!!

Once we finished our run, Jackson had a circuit ready for us as his own little last chance workout before we finished the competition. Oh boy was it hard! I felt horrible but I finished and that’s what matters.  

Today’s workout included: 2013-02-15 08.07.25

  • Broad jumps full court across the gym and back.
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 50 squats
  • 40 Bosu stepper (that’s that half ball I never know the name of)
  • 40 high knees
  • 30 medicine ball slams
  • 30 push ups
  • 20 super mains
  • 20 single leg bridges
  • 20 burpees
  • 20 jumping lunges

…. and a partridge in a pear tree. Oh wait! Nevermind.


In case your wondering, yes I felt like death at the end. In fact, at one point I actually felt dizzy and needed to rest but I still finished.

So there you have it – six weeks of training 4 times a week for a total of 24 sessions. I’m confident that every single body part has hurt at least once or twice. I’ve been exhausted, drenched in sweat, tired, cranky and even sick – but I wouldn’t trade a minute of it!

My team means the world to me. From Shawn who always had something funny to say in his silly complaining way, to Tianda who gives me inspiration and the nickname bikini girl after her dream, to Debbie who always walked and talked with me on our off days. Each of you meant so much to me and I hope you know it (if you’re reading this). Steve and John, I’m so happy we’re Facebook friends – you guys are the best. I loved our talks and your encouragement too!

Of course, I’m not going to forget the one person that means the world to me (in my life of exercise) and that’s Jackson. I know I tell him just how happy I am to work with him, but I hope he knows just how much he’s done for me. He pushes me out of my comfort zone, he challenges me to do more and he never EVER lets me quit. I owe a lot of pounds to him. I’m so thankful to have met him and I can’t wait to see what he does with me over the next year.

While this is the end of the competition, it’s certainly not the end of my journey. The future looks bright and shining and I’m going to get there!


The Biggest Winner Day 19: Oh so many stairs

I can’t believe it’s been 19 days since I started training with the Biggest Winner program. It truly feels like we’ve just began and it’s almost over. I really am sad about it, but I’m really happy that I put in the work to write about my experiences every day. I hope I haven’t bored you to death.

Before I go into all the fun from today, I’d like to start with my small joy in the morning. Last Friday, I weighed in at 264. I’ve been stuck on this number for quite a while now and it’s really annoying. I know I’ve lost inches and that’s great but DAMN IT I want to see a 25 number on there.

Today I weighed in at 262. Two more pounds gone (yay) and 3 more to go. I’m hoping to lose that 3 before Saturday. It just might be able to do it. I’m keeping low on the carbs and putting in some extra time at the gym. Fingers crossed I see a 25 number for my finale. I will literally be jumping with joy!

So back to the focus of this post – what happened today.

I started on my favorite elliptical while waiting until 7am. I got a nice rhythm and burn going as a warm up and I was pretty happy with it. I logged just under 20 minutes before Jackson pulled us to start working out.

We started on the stairs today. Oh the stairs. Divided in two groups, we each took a flight of stairs and round and round we went. Timing at approximately 30 second intervals (ish), we ran and walked the stairs. This went on for (I think) around 10 minutes.

Next we headed over to the gym where Jackson planned a circuit. There were three stations (two groups again) and we repeated exercises for various timed intervals.

Round 1
Squat medicine ball toss-up a wall
– Jump rope
– Bicep curls with TRX

We stayed at our station for 3 reps – 50 seconds, 40 seconds and 30 seconds with 10 second rests. Round 2 was the same with different exercises.

Round 2
Running touches at three points in the gym.
– Burpees with the half ball thingy (I really need to learn the name of it)
– Push ups and roll outs with the TRX

Commence dripping sweat. I’m fairly certain I left a puddle somewhere in the gym!

But wait…. there’s more!

Next we headed out to the machines in the gym. In pairs, two were on the bike with the fan (he called it something but I don’t know what), two were on the recumbent bike and two were on the nu step. For approximately 5 minutes we did 30 second sprints with 15 second recovery. Then switched and repeated until we went through all three machines.

We stretched and called it a day. What a day it was.

I’m heading back tonight to take Zumba and Kickboxing. I haven’t done a double class in a while and certainly not after I already had well over an hour of cardio / strength this morning. Here’s praying I actually SURVIVE the double class!

The Biggest Winner Day 15: Oh so many push-ups

The theme of today was push ups and OMG there were sooooooo many of them.

Let’s start at the beginning though. I walked out of the house late, which means I didn’t get to the gym early to warm up. I was kinda bummed. But life goes on.

We started out doing a short circuit. I started on the treadmill for about 5 minutes walking at 3.0 with a 7% incline and holding a kettle bell.

Next I went to the TRX ropes to do one leg lunges (I don’t know what they’re actually called). Another five minutes.

Finally, it was five minutes on the rope pull alternating every 30 seconds with step ups.

Whew! That was quite the warm up.

Next we headed to the studio for a circuit. This was truly a cardio insanity workout. I can’t even list everything we did because I don’t think I remember it all. I just remember a lot of push ups. At least 5 sets of them … oh so many push ups.

Also in the mix somewhere were jumping jacks, burpees, squats, high knees, kicks and planks.

This went on for what felt like hours, but really it was more like 30 minutes. Drenched, we finished out in the gym with another circuit. I started on the rowing machine with sprints, then we moved to the nu step using only the arms and the last machine was the arc trainer but I never got there before we ran out of time.

I went back to the gym tonight to do Zumba. I’m not sure why, but I just wasn’t into it tonight. I think I’m really that exhausted or just … I don’t know.

Tomorrow is our last day of the week. I’m sure Jackson will push us harder than ever. I think we’re going to be taking the weekend to rest. I know I need it!

In other news, tomorrow I’m going shopping with some friends to find the perfect finale outfit. I’m shooting for a dress, but open to other options. We’ll just see where the wind blows me.

90 minute challenge

Yesterday Jackson challenged us to do 90 minutes of cardio today on our off day from the training program. Now some2967_521985621177322_1319337831_n of you probably are thinking – that’s nothing! Your right … unless you’re still over 250 pounds, having your ass kicked 4 days a week and pretty much feel like jello 24/7. But I’m doing it anyways!

Some of you may have seen my post last night as I pondered how to do 90 minutes of cardio. I’m a big fan of variety so I figured I’d switch machines every 15 – 20 minutes.

When I got to the gym, I planned to start with my least favorite piece of equipment – the treadmill (you were waiting to see the spin bike weren’t you?). From there it was all PROGRESS!

Here’s how my morning went –

  • 20 Minutes on the treadmill walking at 3.5 – 5.0 with varying inclines.
  • 10 minutes on the arc trainer with varying incline and resistance.
  • 25 minutes on the bike (NOT AN EVIL SPIN BIKE) with random hills at level 4 keeping RPMs above 100 as much as possible.
  • 25 minutes on the elliptical on variety (various inclines / resistance)

Per that data … I would have 80 minutes of activity. However, my Body Media Band says a little differently. One of the reasons I love my band is that I can truly see what I’m doing. For example, here’s what data I collected after my workout.

Workout Burn
1,104 Calories Burned just during the workout.

Burn for the day so far

Remaining Burn to Target
759 (I’ll have that before the end of the day at work).

Steps During Workout

Total Step Count for the day so far
 10,762 (Oh I’m so crushing my personal best of 14,000 today!) – Over 2,762 from my target SO FAR! 

Workout Activity Levels
60 minutes moderate activity
30 minutes of vigorous activity
*it counts the time between machines. My 80 minutes above only counts what I did on the machines. 

Total Activity for the Day so far 
1 hour and 17 minutes of moderate activity (47 minutes over target)
30 minutes of vigorous activity (15 minutes over target) 

So if you read that… you know I kicked ass today! I’m really proud of myself. I was soaked in sweat by the end of the workout and very proud of my accomplishments. It’s a good day and I’m very happy with myself.

The Biggest Winner Day 14: No more excuses

Today I continued focusing on what I could do instead of what I can’t do and once again I surprised myself (and no I still complaining caloriesdon’t like spin).

I got to the gym extra early today and had a nice warm up on the arc trainer. I’m starting to fall in love with this machine more and more every day when I use to hate it!

After my nice warm up and stretch, Jackson took us up to the track area. That could only mean we were doing some laps. Right I was too!

We started with laps around the track – one jogging and one half sprinting. I pushed myself as hard as I could … I really tried. I’m getting better at jogging for a distance. It’s coming along but I’m still not where I want to be. It bugs me that I can’t run faster. It’s the impact on my knee that bugs me.

After the joy of laps, we returned to the mezzanine area for kettle bell fun! We started with squats presses, then it was deadlifts with a row. Next was a squat curl and then triceps (That one hurt). Next was Jacks. We repeated this sequence but changed out the jacks for another move that is totally escaping my brain right now. The third time around we did a swing. Sorry… brain fart for the night.

After the Kettle Bells, we headed down to my least favorite room in the gym – the SPIN room. UGH! Just the thought of sitting on that seat makes me cringe. I wasn’t going to whine about it though. Actually, I received great comments from Jackson for killing it on the bike today.

I’m trying hard. With the finale of the contest nearing every day, I’m making a real effort to reach my goals. I know Jackson will get me there. It’s just a matter of time.

The Biggest Winner Day 12: Out of my comfort zone

Well, today I took Jackson’s advice and went out of my comfort zone … .and I mean WAAAAAAY out. Yesterday Jackson warned us that from here on out he was basically going to kill us! It’s a LOT of cardio from here and boy is it rough.

Today, started upstairs… I knew what that meant and that meant the track! Oh boy.

I have a love-hate relationship with the track honestly. I don’t mind walking it. I’ve grown to tolerate the laps with kettle bells Jackson is so fond of but I’m not a fan of running. I think that’s my comfort zone. My knee gives me an excuse NOT to run. I’ve used it too much.

I can run. I’ve done it before but I think I’m afraid I’ll hurt myself again and then I’m back to square one. Today I was determined that it wasn’t going to be like that for me. I was going to run. … or at least try to some of the time.

Now, I’m not making excuses because trust me, I still get knee pain and I’m probably doing things I shouldn’t (lunges, squats, etc). Those exercises all aggravate my knee but I keep trying anyways. I just modify and don’t go so low. It’s hard but I adjust and I try. I know I need to do it. I’ve made sure I stretch before and after every workout session. Sometimes even in the middle.

Anyways, so today we started with laps on the track with kettle bells. One lap carrying weights (mine was 15 pounds on each side) and then one lap jogging / fast walking. This was timed. I pushed myself hard. I tried jogging a little then fast walking and switching between the two. I did really well. This was working for me.

Next we did a circuit. There were three stations and three times around.

Weighted Ropes – First was Jacks. Then it was waves, and then it was fast waves.

Kettle Bell – First it was scissor legs, then around the waist moves and finally dead lifts.

Steps – First it was jump up and down, next was a hop across and then finally fast feet.

In between each round of circuits, we did a couple of laps on the track. Two times around 1/2 walking fast and the last half sprinting. Guess what … I actually SPRINTED! I did so good and I think I even surprised Jackson!

So we repeated this three times around to do all the exercises before taking a good long stretch and calling it a week.

I worked my ASS off today. I’m so proud of myself. SO UNBELIEVABLY PROUD of myself! Today I pushed myself way out of my comfort zone. Far beyond even what I thought I could. It’s a new day and a new me.


The Biggest Winner Day 11: Halfway There

Well, I’m officially halfway through the competition and boy am I loving it! I’m really happy I found a way to pay for this program (thanks to everyone that helped me along the way).

Now back to the focus of my post. First, sorry it’s late. My day yesterday was just pure insanity! Back to back to back to back to … well you get the point… meetings. Just one of those days.

So today, at the halfway point. Jackson had us start on the treadmills. Now, I’m going to confide in everyone for a minute. I am absolutely terrified when we start messing with the incline on the treadmills. I know Jackson wants us to push out of our comfort zone and I will do literally, just about anything but I can’t explain why when he starts cracking up the incline I go into a bit of a panic mode and won’t let go of the rails or the front.

Maybe it’s a fear of falling. I’ve watched one too many episodes of “The Biggest Loser” to see what happens when those people fall off the treadmill. I just have this insane fear that I’m going flying off that machine into the row of ellipticals behind me and I’ll break something!

I guess I keep working on it but wow!

So anyways… back to why I’m talking about this in the first place. We started training today with the treadmills and fast walking with an incline. This was a warm up (trust me I was warm by the end).

Next we headed into the gym for a circuit. I’m pretty sure Jackson loves his circuits and they’re always tough! Today there were six stations. We did each of the 4 exercises in a timed circuit. One at a time.

Station 1 – Rope ladder … we had to do a series of running (in out and in out down the side), then it was lunges (skip 2 squares in between), then it was another run series with a push up and finally jump forward two and back one.

Station 2 – TRX … We did a series of squats, jump squats and lunges. I didn’t get to this station so I’m not 100% sure what all was done but I’m sure it was rough!

Station 3 – Balance Ball. I hate this thing. I have ZERO balance so trying to do step ups and things on this half a ball drives me batty. Anyways… here we did step ups, then we did step overs. Next it was laying on the ball and doing some kind of back arch (it had a name, i don’t remember) and finally flip the thing over to use it for Mountain Climbers (that part REALLY REALLY SUCKED).

Station 4 – Hand weights. Ah something I can do well! Here we did a running man series pumping the arms. Then it was a series of dead lifts. Next it was Jacks and finally lunges. I didn’t like just doing lunges though so I added a bicep curl at the end. Jackson laughed at me!

Station 5 – Weight Bar. Here we did a twist first, then we did dead lifts and finally we did lunges on each side with a hop. OWIE!

Station 6 – kettle Bells. First it was a twist. Then it was squats. Figure 8s were next and then the pump thing where it flys between your legs (boy that sounds dirty).

Ok so we did this for the rest of the morning. It took a while. It was rough and I wasn’t having a great day but I kept trying. Tomorrow is certainly a better day.