100 lb. Club - My biggest loser style experiment...thoughts

05-30-2010, 03:31 PM
In case any of you have ever wondered if you could do it and if it would work for you, I'm embarking on an experiment. I have time over the summer to devote three hours of my time to the gym and the rest of my days I intend to spend at parks hiking with my kids or at the amusement park, walking, walking, walking. I'm hoping to lose as much of this weight this Summer as I possibly can.

But, just one week in, I'm already feeling worn out, so I thought you might all want to follow along with my thoughts and impressions about doing it this way. We'll see how long I last. Plus, I want some documentation to remind myself of the following message...

IF IT GETS TOO HARD AND I WANT TO QUIT, I WILL BACK OFF!!! I will not quit altogether. There is something between BLACK and WHITE.

I'm starting to get those old feelings of "It's too hard and for what?" I gained two pounds this week! :tantrum: And that's ok...I'm used to it. But gosh...every day for a week I've given one hour of intense cardio (spinning or running) followed by one hour of lifting high reps, followed by another hour of low cardio (Elliptical nice and easy or walking). And the diet...right around 1200 calories.

I experimented with upping the calories on Friday. I had about 1500 calories. It was a good day for it because I got to eat birthday cake. :D But I gained, and have not lost, two pounds.

My Body in Motion
05-30-2010, 03:35 PM
I can't tell you why you gained this week, but I can say that if you continue to workout like that, you will drop the weight. Are your muscles sore? If so, your body might just be retaining water to repair your muscles since you've been working out more.

I know a 2 lb gain can be dissapointing, but you ARE getting heathier! Just stay within your calorie range and stay active. The scale will have no option but to start going down!

05-30-2010, 03:37 PM
For myself, I could not do it. If I decided that I would workout that much, I would definitely be eating more calories. But for me, I stay most focused on 30 minutes of some interval training that is pretty intense. For me, I would give up if I attempted to do 3 hours lol. Good luck with your experiment.

05-30-2010, 04:59 PM
The most I've ever done consistantly is an hour & a half. Any more & I'd be totally worn out lol

good luck with your experiment! :D

05-30-2010, 05:35 PM
You UP'D your calories to 1500?!? Wow, I would be exhausted too! I take in 1700 (zig-zagging) and loose much better than I did when I was on 1400. I (like you) exercise very intensely at least 5 days a week and I run a daycare, home school and have 4 children of my own.

People are different. Individual calorie needs vary. Remember: you need calories to continue to exercise like that + your daily activities. The Biggest Loser contestants get way more "rest" and solid sleep than we do.

I can't tell you how many posts I've see just like this...to low calories for your amount of activity, IMO.


05-30-2010, 07:37 PM
I have to agree that 1200 calories seems way too low for that amount of activity. You have to feed your body if you want it to perform that way (imo).

Good luck on your experiment! :D I think it's awesome that you're able to devote that much time to activity!

05-30-2010, 07:53 PM
I have to agree that 1200 calories seems way too low for that amount of activity. You have to feed your body if you want it to perform that way (imo).

That's the thing, since we're trying to create a calorie deficit, if we don't take in as many calories as we burn (require) - our bodies than have to turn to our STORED FAT for energy and use that up, thus we lose pounds. As long as those calories are good nutritious ones it shouldn't be a problem.

Eliana, I say do what you can, yes push yourself, but push yourself - intelligently. Don't burn out. It's NOT worth it.

Oh and I see a whoosh coming up in your very near future. Something to look forward to!

Petite Powerhouse
05-30-2010, 07:59 PM
Good luck to you! I do cardio for an hour and weight training for three hours three times a week and I can't imagine doing more than that. But, if I had the time, I imagine I would. It's addicting. There have even been times over the past 20 years that I have devoted more time to working out, but 12 hours a week has been consistently maintainable for me. You have to find what you personally can commit to.

05-30-2010, 08:06 PM
I just wanted to add, that you asked for our thoughts. Eliana, you know what I think of you and your commitment and your *way of thinking*. You've devised your own plan that is CLEARLY working for you. I know you are impatient, but you don't seem content to just *sit around* and wait for things to happen. You like to do your best to MAKE them happen.

So our thoughts are just our own thoughts. We all have to figure out what works for us - and what doesn't. And so far, you're doing a pretty darn good job of it. I think you should trust your own judgment. I think if you find this in not working, than you'll consider it an experiment and move on.

05-30-2010, 08:30 PM
If it works for you, great! Please be careful. I seem to get injured whenever I throw myself into the deep end.

05-30-2010, 09:33 PM
I don't have much to say on this.. except that I'm curious how you'll do! I have wondered if it was possible to do what they do on Biggest Loser at home, now I'll find out! Good luck.. and remember.. you can do anything you set your mind to :)


05-30-2010, 09:50 PM
I don't have any advice...but I will say good luck, and I hope you meet whatever goals you have set for yourself!

05-30-2010, 10:39 PM
Honestly Eliana-- I'm kind of jealous. I'd love nothing more than to work out 3 hours a day... in fact, I'm kind of disappointed because I was planning to start two-a-day workouts at the beginning of May and instead this turned out to be a CRAZY month workwise....

Let's put it this way-- people all over the world spend all day working in the fields and then come home to a bowl of rice...

I think if you really want to do it, you'll do GREAT.

05-31-2010, 01:50 AM
I'm with you. June 8 is my last day of work for this school year. After that I plan to give myself a few days to chill and then start something very similar myself. If we are able to stick to it then there's no reason it should not work. I'm not shocked at you having a gain in the beginning if your body isn't used to that much exercise. I fully expect to gain at first as well. Good luck sticking to it.

05-31-2010, 01:46 PM
Wow! I saw your post on another thread, and it looks like we had the same idea. I am finding that my work-outs aren't as high of quality as before, and that I am really physically exhausted, but I'm feeling good. For the first time, I am avoiding the scale because I know that exercise can make the scale go up. I did weigh on Saturday morning, though, and went down about seven pounds from Tuesday. But I am just starting again, so this is my initial "whoosh." (Personally, I'd rather be 50 pounds down than get the initial whoosh, though. ;-)

I'm interested in seeing how this works for you. Like you, I hope to fill my additional hours being as active as possible, and I suspect my house will be spotless by the end of the summer!

Oh - I'm also mixing it up so that I'm not stressing the same muscles constantly. Running/walking/elliptical/swimming/hoping to add biking soon.

05-31-2010, 02:56 PM

I like that you change things up and experiment - that in and of itself is incredibly valuable.

The second thought is - track your data. If you have a day when you feel tired, check in on your calories. Try the next week at 1700 calories and see if you are as tired as at 1200. Look for trends and work from there. I'm sure you could've figured that out without my help, but you DID ask. :D

Keep us posted!

05-31-2010, 03:01 PM
My reaction was relief at seeing that some of your active time will be spent walking & doing things with your kids. Not because I'm concerned you're not gonna be a good mother or anything ... but because spending that many hours alone working out sounded so very solitary & frankly more than a little lonely to me. I'll feel even better if you've got a trainer or if you're taking classes at your gym.

The thing about the Biggest Loser to me has also seemed due to the bringing-together of many disparate people who've suffered from being overweight. Being fat & feeling unhappy about yourself is a very isolating problem. The crux of it is feeling that you're not fitting in, that you're the weird thing that doesn't belong. (Even though we sometimes find out it runs in their families.) Then, suddenly, they get moved to a ranch where everyone around them is like themselves. They're mirrored everywhere. They're a community. (Like us at 3FC.) And this incredible camaraderie develops, despite everyone competing for a prize. They become brothers & sisters in arms. Also, the trainers focus on them & work with them & encourage them. Imagine: Bob or Jillian spend time thinking about them & their capabilities & how to solve issues that arise & to further strengthen them. They're not doing this alone, as you are. That's the biggest difference I can see.

That has to really help, when they're exhausted & sore, or when they're having trouble getting up in the morning facing what the day will bring. And when it's over & they're depleted, they've got assistant trainers icing them & tending to them. (It must be like a tent of wounded soldiers after the Last Chance Workout.) And they're in a whole room full of people who are so sore from working out that they can hardly bear to squat to sit on a toilet or lift their arms above their heads or turn at the waist.

So please stay in touch with us during your experiment, because I'm just concerned about the loneliness of the effort.

But I'm a "people who need people" person. Maybe you're not exactly like me (what an idea!) and yo can do without gladly. Maybe you've got kids in your face all the time. I don't know. But I do think the Biggest Loser people have to take incredible comfort from having others in effect sweating in harness right there beside them all day. I think that is why they bond so much & why, when people get voted off, the tears flow as though there's been a death in the family.

05-31-2010, 05:28 PM
If your plan is a sort of pick me up thing that is motivating you then I say woo hoo! AND if you find it isn't working in whole or in part you can tweak it.

05-31-2010, 09:49 PM
I posted this and left it hanging for the holiday weekend! Sorry about that!

I'm short on time, but just wanted to check in. I didn't do any exercising today, mainly because the gym was closed. And it was awful! I have just felt tired all day, and out of sorts. So I'm looking forward to getting in there tomorrow.

By the way, my workouts are from 5:30 to 8:30 in the morning, so it isn't interrupting my life at all...just my sleep. ;) Also, my best friend works out with me, just not quite as long as I do most of the time. I also have a personal trainer and I do take classes, so no, I'm not at all isolated. ;) It's great, actually. And even if I was isolated...I make a very good hermit. :D

05-31-2010, 10:04 PM
I think this is great - I've often thought that if I didn't have to work, I'd do this too.

Just be smart about it, don't set crazy goals, and don't pay too much attention to the scale since you KNOW that for you, this kind of exercise messes with your WIs. (Actually, I know it's kind of funny since I have become a big proponent of daily WIs, but they don't do daily WIs on BL......)

05-31-2010, 11:11 PM
Okay, you're good by me. You're out with your kids. You're exercising with a buddy, even if you leave her in the dust eventually. You've got a trainer. You've got classes with others. This is all good.

I was picturing this solitary driven endeavor. Compared with the Biggest Losers supporting one another. But it appears it's a largely social even if individually driven endeavor.

[You have my permission. ;-)]

Report back on how you're doing. Please, if you can. I'll bet lots of us are curious about how this goes. Heck, start a thread & post on it daily, if you think that helps you. (I already think it would help us.) I did that during all of April, while working on "active recuperation," as someone put it. No pressure, but it would be interesting, if you felt up to it. Like the 30-Day Shred threads.

06-01-2010, 12:00 PM
I would love to continue posting what I do to this thread. :D

It felt really good getting back in the gym after taking Sunday and Monday off. Like I said, yesterday was just blah!

Ran a 5K in 40:30. (Speed of 4.6) Finished with 15-20 minutes of walking about 1/2 mile, so 3.5 miles total.

One hour weight lifting: arms

One hour elliptical, hills workout with steady heart rate around 153. Covered 4.5 miles.

Total: Three hours and 8 miles!

Feels great!

06-01-2010, 12:24 PM
Nothing special to add, just wanted to cheer you on!


I'm so interested in this! Please continue to post here daily, your dedication inspires me!

06-01-2010, 01:03 PM
I really wish I had the time to dedicate to this too. I have an hour I can dedicate but right now I am being derailed by a couple medical problems and having to rely on diet only. (tooth surgery today and another small medical problem which ironically I am not supposed to leave this area on my skin too wet such as sweat so my workouts have to be short and then showers so that takes up a lot of time!)

Good luck!

06-01-2010, 03:12 PM
For those of you who wish you could be doing this, I understand completely. I feel very fortunate that I have the time and the ability to do this. A little of it is dedication on my part for getting up so early, but I owe to my husband too because he's there in the morning for the kids and because he puts up with me going to bed basically with the kids. LOL!

When school starts up again in the Summer, I'll have to back down to a very normal one hour a day, six days a week schedule.

Cita, I'm happy to inspire rather than annoy! :D

06-01-2010, 03:19 PM
Oh man. I think its a great idea. In fact, it was MY idea too...since I finished classes last week and suddenly find myself with more time than I know what to do with until at least the 14th, more likely the 23rd, of June.

And I was going to just be lazy today, but now I'm going to the gym. So I don't have any advice, I just wanted to say, thanks for inspiring me to get off my rear

06-01-2010, 03:26 PM
Oh man. I think its a great idea. In fact, it was MY idea too...since I finished classes last week and suddenly find myself with more time than I know what to do with until at least the 14th, more likely the 23rd, of June.

And I was going to just be lazy today, but now I'm going to the gym. So I don't have any advice, I just wanted to say, thanks for inspiring me to get off my rear

Oh good! :D I'm glad to have had such an effect on you! LOL! Let us know how the workout went!

For those of you interested, Bob Harper apparently facebooked today that he's interviewing or meeting the new contestants for next season. Disclaimer...I'm not as big a fan of the show as I'm coming across. :rofl: I like it a normal amount. :D I think it's just that "Biggest Loser" is something people can relate to. I think I'd be doing this even if the show didn't exist.

06-01-2010, 04:03 PM
Eliana - I am with you!!! I have thought about going hard core for the next few months.

I have no children, and do not work, so I am free most of the day, so I say let's try it!!!

I can't do 1200 calories, but am trying 1500-1600/day.

06-02-2010, 04:55 PM
Hey Eliana! I was just thinking to myself that I wanna do a biggest loser type of thing. I might do it and post here. hmmm

06-02-2010, 05:01 PM
Good luck, Eliana! I'm ramping up my excercise right now, too, but not THAT much :lol:

06-02-2010, 05:12 PM
you know what? after these last medical things get cleared up I am going pretty hardcore too! 1 hour in the morning and 1 at night. I have to work around DH's schedule too as it is a pain to take the kids.
So starting June 14th I should be ready to go as long as medically it works out! YAY! I am excited. I plan to stick with it until the 4th at least... got to make my goal!

06-02-2010, 05:38 PM
Phew, today was hard! And not in terms of exercise.

1.) I don't think I'm eating enough calories, but I fight two things on this. One, I'm not losing, so why on earth would I eat more? Two, I'm not hungry...so why on earth would I eat more?

2.) I'm really tired. Today I was just flat exhausted and my work out sucked. *See problem number 1.

3.) My workout sucked. :rofl: I got through Spin class, but not with my usual effort, I did some ab work, but with very little effort and I actually gave up after 10 minutes of easy work on the elliptical. I actually gave up. Just got off the machine and walked out because I didn't want to do it.

I'm fighting all of the above plus my poor husband's male stupidity. He made the dumbest statement yesterday. He saw a picture of a woman on here yesterday and said, "Huh. She's shorter than you and weighs more than you. Weird." In other words...she looks a heck of a lot better than I do!! Dumb, dumb, dumb. I got a dozen roses for it. :D And a lovely card. I told him afterwards that I really only see myself through his eyes, because my own eyes suck. So having him compare me in that way hurt...a lot...and made me second guess myself big time. (For the record, as with all the pictures posted here, the woman I'm referencing looked awesome!! Which is what DH noted.)

So, I was thinking about how much effort I was putting into this and for what when I entered my workout this morning. And I was tired, so that really didn't help.

06-02-2010, 06:15 PM

Gosh, I SO hear you and understand where you are coming from right now!

I get the working out and being tired and not being hungry and not losing, and... well, the whole thing!

I posted a GAIN for the month of May. I was SO DISAPPOINTED...by the end of last week I was just so darn stressed out and worried and upset. Too much work stress, too many deadlines, too many negative vibes in my life... not enough sleep. Still, I stayed on plan and exercised... the only two good things.

So, this week, I'm consciously taking it easy. I slept 12 hours last night, napped yesterday and the day before.... I look better, less dragged out....

You and me are so similar, I think. We want to WORK AT IT... we want to MAKE IT HAPPEN... and when it doesn't, it's so frustrating.

I think your body is sending you a message that you are overtraining. I think you should take a rest day (or two) and pamper yourself in some other way...

I know that my body fat % has dropped again, and I'm sure yours has too.


You will see a pay off for this, but I'm starting to realize that my body hangs on to weight like crazy when I'm overtired, working too much, not sleeping enough, and stressed....

and good for your DH for giving you roses....

keep us posted.:hug::hug::hug:

06-02-2010, 07:22 PM
Thanks Uber! We do seem to lose similarly. I took it easy Sunday and Monday and just felt lazy and out of sorts. Yesterday I felt great, full of energy, especially with all the exercise. Today was just demotivating...to many factors I guess.

I'm so much better at WORKING FOR anything in life. I'm not very good at passively letting it happen and so much about weight loss seems passive to me. Call me a control freak.

06-02-2010, 08:49 PM
I'm so much better at WORKING FOR anything in life. I'm not very good at passively letting it happen and so much about weight loss seems passive to me. Call me a control freak.

LOL! Me TOO! I am a total control freak! Competitive, driven, a little OCD... that's me in a nut shell.

06-03-2010, 01:07 PM
*HUG* for the comment from your husband. Sometimes they just don't think!

We are all going to have days where we get frustrated and not working out to our normal level. At least you tried... and just acknowledge the fact that it was an off day.

Hopefully today is better for you!

06-03-2010, 07:32 PM
Today was a lot better, thanks! :D

1 hour of running for 8:00 and walking 2:00, 4.5 miles
1 hour lifting (legs) (tough after running!)
1 hour light cardio, including about five minutes walking backward on the treadmill. :rofl: One, I heard it worked different muscles, and it's true. Two...um...I was bored!

I ate breakfast prior to hitting the gym today. I think that may be real key to a long, hard workout. My one hour workouts are just fine without eating first, but I have to remember to eat before attempting three hours.

06-03-2010, 07:36 PM
Fascinating - glad that you're doing better.

I usually lift before cardio; do you always do it the opposite? I'm curious; I don't know if there is a logic to it, I always just did what seemed most difficult first.

I always b'fast first, and on a hard day like you're describing I'll have a snack (protein bar or some such) in the middle to make sure I don't run out of gas. :)

Good job!

06-03-2010, 07:41 PM
Calluna, you should lift first, actually, or so I've heard. You don't as good a lift in if you're already dead exhausted from cardio. I just like to break it up with cardio/lifting/cardio. :rolleyes: Yeah, I'm not a good example to follow. ;)

Next week I may start lifting for an hour, then doing an hour of cardio (the correct order of things) and then leaving the gym to do other activities. I need to break out of my box, so to speak. I'm getting bored and I'd like to spend time at the amusement park or at various parks hiking with my boys and I think I can include those activities in my "workouts".

06-03-2010, 07:51 PM
I thought so. I know what you mean about breaking things up, though, so as not to get bored. I find that biking and running are different enough, esp with changes in scenery, that I don't get bored too much. I also do a lot of thinking then...

I do like to make sure that I have at least one day a week where I do something interesting and fun that also represents a good calorie burn. Hiking is my favorite, but I also like to take the dogs to the beach and roam around there. :)

06-03-2010, 08:07 PM
Calluna, you should lift first, actually, or so I've heard. You don't as good a lift in if you're already dead exhausted from cardio. I just like to break it up with cardio/lifting/cardio. :rolleyes: Yeah, I'm not a good example to follow. ;)

That's interesting - I was just going to ask that question on the excercise forum - which to do first. Now I know and I can be lazy and not go ask :lol:

06-03-2010, 11:11 PM
I always do cardio first then lift... mostly because I skip lifting if I'm out of time...

06-04-2010, 10:39 AM
My personal trainer (years ago, when I actualy went to the gym), always had me do 5-10 minutes of cardio before I lifted, to get the blood flowing, but not enough to tire me out. Then after I lifted, I did the bulk of the cardio. She always said it was not a good idea to lift "cold", nor was it a good idea to lift "tired".

06-04-2010, 04:41 PM
Synger, I was actually going to bring that up. I too like to get my heart rate up prior to lifting, but 5-10 minutes of cardio is a lot different than an hour long session of intense cardio. I should have been more specific.

And of course, with all things exercise related, there is debate about which is better. But I know from experience I can lift heavier weights at higher reps when I am not fatigued from running first.

I had a great workout today! There is definitely something to eating before a workout! I never thought so before, but if I am to sustain this pace, I have to eat first. I had an apple and a banana (usually just a banana) and my energy was through the roof! It was awesome!

I had slightly less time. I wanted to get home to get my kids on the bus for their last day of school. :D

45 min. Spin
20 min. abs
40 min. elliptical, light (3.5 miles)

06-04-2010, 04:45 PM
I like the "walking backwards on the treadmill" thingie! does that work?!

06-04-2010, 05:42 PM
I like the "walking backwards on the treadmill" thingie! does that work?!

Does that work? I don't know! :D But it's fun...and it definitely does work the muscles differently. I'm sure it hits muscles in a way they're not normally worked. I suggest starting out at a pace of like 1.5 and definitely hold onto the hand rails until you get the feel for it!! The body naturally wants to walk forward and that first step is a doozie. :dizzy:

06-04-2010, 06:17 PM
I've also heard the best way to go is a short time of light cardio and then lifting.

I was doing a Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout that is a HIIT combining short cardio segments with short resistance segments (hand weights, push ups, etc.). You stay warmed up the whole time, but you get a break from the high intensity cardio while doing resistance work rather than going down to a low intensity cardio for the interval.

06-08-2010, 03:18 PM
I think it can work for you but it's hard for the body to adjust to that much movement when it's not used to it so you're going to be tired. Also, recovery time is really important too. I think even the biggest losers take off one day a week.

My coach has us take a rest day after our longest workout of the week... this week it was a 5 hour (75mile) bike and today is a rest day.

Upping your calories just a wee bit will probably help keep up your energy. A good time to add them would be just post exercise so you're replenishing the energy stores for your next workout session. :)

06-08-2010, 07:44 PM
Thanks for the advise, Ideal! :D I do rest, usually on Sundays, though this Sunday I stuck a lot of yard work in there.

My sessions are still going really well.

1 hour 10 minutes of running/walking (about 5 miles total)
1 hour lifting- arms
Trip to the amusement park...LOTS of walking