Sore doesn't even begin to describe how my body is feeling right now!
As I mentioned yesterday, I had an opportunity come up that made me extremely anxious. I was a nervous wreck all day, and was thisclose to canceling, but I realized I would really regret it if I did.
I was recently asked if I would like to review a book called Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever by Pete Thomas, who is the at-home winner of The Biggest Loser Season 2. He lost 185 pounds and has kept it off for 7 years! As you know, I am a huge Biggest Loser fan. I remembered Pete very well, and was really excited to have the opportunity to read and review his book. (The book will be on shelves Sept. 17th)
While I was waiting for the book to arrive, I even re-watched his season of the show, to refresh my memory. Pete was the kind of BL contestant that I like--quiet, not super dramatic, and did what he was told by the trainers. He started on the ranch at 418 pounds; went home after week 7, weighing 318 pounds; and at the finale, he weighed in at 216 pounds (he's 6'5"--very tall!).
Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever is marketed as "A 4-Step Permanent Weight-Loss Plan". Normally, I despise diet books, but because Pete has kept the weight off for so long, I really wanted to see if I could learn something new. In a nutshell, the book is about how Pete lost the weight, including some insider tips from the ranch; and more importantly, how he changed his whole lifestyle to keep the weight off. He details the diet and exercise changes we can use to lose weight "fast and forever".
Rather than give a detailed account of the book itself, I thought I'd share some points in the book that I found really interesting because they are strategies I used myself. I found that Pete and I had very similar strategies and ideas during our weight loss, which helped me feel like maybe I'm on the right track after all ;)
First, he stresses throughout the book that you need to tailor a plan just for you. You should make it fit with your goals and your situation, and he walks you through that. I am always stressing that same point--what works for me, might not work for you. What worked for Pete may not work for me... and so on. We are all individuals, so we have to find what works for us.
Pete wrote, "I was willing to give my all to get healthy again." Pete had that determination that I always stress is more important than motivation. He was willing to do whatever it took to lose the weight.
Pete lost the weight by counting calories and exercise. That's exactly what I did. He lost it much faster because he was working out, oh, about ten times more than I was ;)
My very favorite similarity in our journeys? Pete writes: "My number one principle of nutrition is: Never, ever, EVER start a diet that you can't maintain for the rest of your life." I am ALWAYS saying that my best advice is to only make changes that you are willing to live with forever. He states, "You have to be able to stick with the diet in any and all circumstances for it to be long-term."
There are many more similarities, but I won't be redundant by listing all of them. Overall, I was really impressed with Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever. I love that it stresses tailoring the diet to your own life. Pete gives some great tips that even I was able to learn from. Pete doesn't say to give up any of your favorite foods, or cut out whole food groups. I think his plan is a very do-able way to lose weight.
I found it very interesting how he discusses in the exercise section about how often you should work out. He gives examples of how much you can expect to lose based on how often you work out. To achieve Biggest Loser Ranch-type results, you'd have to work out for 4 hours a day!
I was really surprised to see that Pete actually lives in Ann Arbor, MI--which is where I go to Whole Foods! When I finished reading the book, I decided to send him an e-mail and see if he might meet me for coffee or something to ask him a couple of interview questions for the blog.
He wrote me back, and actually suggested that I go to his boot camp class. *Cue anxiety*. I knew it was a great opportunity, but I have only done a class ONCE (something with Jessica at the YMCA), and it did not go well. I'm terrible at stuff like that! Also, the "fat girl" inside of me kept saying, "You can't do that class! You won't be able to keep up. Everyone will stare at you. That's too hard for you." Etc, etc. I know that's a terrible way to think, but that's honestly what goes through my mind.
I invited my friend Adam to come with me, and he said that he's seen Pete lots of times working out at the gym in Ann Arbor, and that he's super friendly. Adam didn't want to go with me (I couldn't sucker ANY of my friends into doing it with me!). I spent all day yesterday thinking of excuses I could come up with to not go. But I decided that I needed to do it, to at least say I tried it.
I had to bring a mat, towel, "lots of water", and dumbbells. I chose my 8-lb dumbbells to bring. There were about 20-25 people that showed up, and about 8 of us were "newbies". The "veterans" had gone through his boot camps before. At first, all the newbies stayed in the gym while the veterans went outside with Pete's trainers. Pete stayed in the gym with us for the warm-up.
The warm-up was tough! I actually was pouring sweat. Most of the exercises were ones that I did on the Wii Active challenge--and thank God for that, because if I hadn't done that challenge I would have had a MUCH harder time during the workout. We did lots of lunges, squats, squat holds, butt kicks, push-ups, etc.
After the "warm-up", which left me exhausted, we went outside with the veterans. We started the circuits (the specifics about the circuit training is all in Pete's book). He does what he calls ABC circuits--A is for "above the waist", things like bicep curls, lateral raises, and push-ups; B is for "below (or at) the waist, things like squats, squat jumps, and sit-ups; C is for "cardio", things like jumping jacks, sprints, mountain climbers, etc.
You do an ABC (each exercise for one minute) and then go through those three exercises three times. Then you switch up the exercises and do it all over again. We went through four sets of exercises, and I felt like I was going to DIE by the end. The workout was two hours in total, and my arms and legs were so tired they were shaking. My least favorite exercise was the mountain climbers. I wanted to scream when I saw we had to do them yet AGAIN. I can totally see how people get pissed and just lose it when they are working out on The Biggest Loser ;)
My strengths were actually squats and lunges (yay, Wii Active!) but I really sucked at push-ups and sit-ups. When it was finally over, I got a chance to chat with Pete. I asked him to sign my book, of course, which he did:
I cannot believe I forgot to do this, but I didn't take a single picture while I was there!! I at least wanted to get a picture with Pete, but I didn't think about it until after I'd left. What kind of blogger forgets to take a picture in that situation?!
This post is long enough, so tomorrow I will write all about my conversation with Pete and some refreshing info I learned from him. I'm so happy that I didn't chicken out about going, and I really wish that I lived closer to Ann Arbor so I could do his entire series of classes! By the way, the classes are for people of all abilities--it was tough, but Pete helps to modify exercises if needed.
Don't forget to enter the giveaway!
(In full disclosure, I was sent a copy of Pete's book for free to review, but all opinions are my own.)