Sorry that I haven't posted in a while! I've been keeping up with the nutrition and the workouts and am still going at it. No change there! I am at a total of 33 pounds lost now. Yay!

I have been reduced to 1600 calories a day and am still on the average of 400 calories/day of exercise. I've started trying some different types of exercise, like swimming. I always really enjoyed swimming, but hated getting the inevitable sunburn. Lucky for me, though, the gym I belong to has a large indoor lap pool! That's a nice bonus. I have been using it, too.

I have to be careful about the swimming, though, because it's such a huge calorie burner. I learned that for some people 1 hour of swimming can burn up to 1200 calories. If I am going to do an hour I have to add calories to that day and take away calories from another so I don't get myself back into the same issue I was having when I started this whole thing- burning so many calories that I start going into starvation mode. I have to work hard to keep the balance I need to actually lose weight.

With that in mind, I usually do about half an hour of laps (which for me is about 18 laps). I mix it up so that it's breast stroke and freestyle (slow to moderate speed) and that burns about 500-600 calories. I am trying to do that once a week, twice if I have the time. It keeps things interesting.

I realized last week that I was nervous about the reduction to 1600 calories. I had been getting sloppy with the measurements of food, adding a bit here and there. It didn't feel like rebellion, but it was. I realized after a week of saving different types of calories for a July 4th barbeque, and then eating like a pig on the 4th, that I could eat a lot less than 1600, still do the same amount of exercise with no issue on less, and then eat like a pig and stay within the guidelines for the week. That was a good realization and I started being more careful for the rest of the week. I'm not nervous anymore about that.

I am, however, sore. The way that my body is reshaping itself i have needed to start sleeping with a pillow between my knees or else i wake up sore in the middle of the night. Well, I've realized that the pillow causes it's own soreness issues. And now I have to learn new types of stretches for the psoas and piriformis muscles in order to relieve some of the soreness. it's wreaking havoc on my lower back right now and so I am doing daily stretches to help relieve that.

I had photos taken the first day I worked with Mike, the 'Before' photos. Monday I had more photos taken to see the progress so far, about 1/3 through. I have to say that I was disappointed with how little progress the photos show. I feel I've made a good amount of progress so far and the photos don't show it. I can see some little changes in the photos, but overall I still just see pretty much the same picture. But I have to remind myself that the outfit for the picture is not form fitting, it's not flattering, it's just a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt. Other outfits I have clearly show progress. I wore a shirt the other night that didn't fit at all when this started and now (it's form-fitting) it's big enough to look kinda sloppy. I'll have to photo shop the pictures together and post them on here. Maybe at the halfway point new pictures will show more progress.

That's all I can think of for the moment. I hope you're well!

Author: Kelley Clements, Commit to Fit Winner, 2010

* Please note that calorie expenditures can vary from person to person based in individual factors such as body weight, cardiovascular ability, muscle mass, etc.  Also calorie expenditure can vary due to external factors such as intensity of exercise, rest periods, pace, etc.