By Llee Sivitz
In January, I joined The Enquirer's "Fit City Challenge," pledging to get fit with the help of a personal trainer.
Beryl Donenfeld, Spinning director of Midtown Health and Fitness in Columbia Township, agreed to take me on.
You've followed my progress as I confronted my poor lifestyle habits and begrudgingly replaced them with good ones. Here is the third installment:
Although I'm stronger, I've lost only eight pounds since I started, so I ask Beryl to take over my eating regimen.
At her request, I keep a food journal of everything I eat. Beryl explains that junk food is food with no nutritive value. I eat sugary dried pineapple from the health food store. Is that junk? She says yes.
At a party, a cake is staring me down. Beryl suggests eating watermelon slices instead. I do, and miraculously my craving for sweets goes away.
I grocery shop, using her list of suggested foods. When I get home, I take two nibbles of a chocolate bar and discard it. I have real food to eat!
On Memorial Day I run a five-mile race at Lunken Airport. A race walker speeds past me, but I finish in 56 minutes.
I'm struggling to keep my sweet tooth at bay with "legal foods", i.e., whole-grain bread, peanut butter, plain nonfat yogurt, dried fruit, apples, bananas, hummus, salsa - anything to tantalize my taste buds.
It's a "red letter" day at Spinning class. My heart rate monitor usually reads 85 percent of my target during the class. Beryl predicts as I get more conditioned my heart rate will settle down. Today my heart rate stays at 75 percent - even though I'm sweating and puffing like crazy.
I've been on my healthy diet for three weeks. Beryl reads my food journal and says I need to add more fresh vegetables.
I look thinner. I measure myself. I've lost 21/2 inches total from my body.
I run the four-mile Hyde Park Blast on July 4. It's very hot and humid. On some hills, I feel as if I'm standing still. But the weight is starting to come off. I've lost 13 pounds.
I join an ultimate Frisbee game. I'm able to keep up and even score a few goals.
My clothes are too big so I go shopping and buy a size 10 dress - one size smaller than usual. I try on pants and I'm not afraid to look in the mirror.
Beryl checks my food journal and tells me I tend to eat "comfy" foods, that is, mushy foods rather than fiber. Just when you think you have the hang of it ...
Bought my "future pants" - size 8. I can get into them and zip them, but they don't look very good.
I've lost a total of 18 pounds and worked off 71/2 inches, however my body fat is 29 percent, down just 3 points since January. Beryl suggests I need to increase my upper-body workouts to get a lower reading.
I'm not eating at night so I'll be hungry for breakfast, the most important meal of the day.
It's my 55th birthday. I see muscles on my arms. I'm keeping up with Beryl's Ballistics class now. I was so hungry last night I could hardly sleep.
Sivitz's fitness goals for 2003
Increase my stamina and endurance
Build core and upper body strength
Correct my posture
Establish a healthy diet
Lose 20 pounds
Finish the six-mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving (information at www.thanksgivingdayrace.com )
A weekly routine
Llee Sivitz's program for meeting her goals of losing 20 pounds and finishing Cincinnati's 10K Thanksgiving Day Race.
Monday - Ballistics (free weights, exercise ball, step, tubes), 75 minutes
Tuesday - Two-mile jog
Wednesday - Total body stretch, 45 minutes; upper-body workout, 15 minutes
Thursday - Spinning class with stationary bikes, 75 minutes
Friday - Aerobics tape, 45 minutes; upper-body workout, 15 minutes
Saturday - Total body stretch, 45 minutes; three-mile walk
Sunday - Training run (five-six miles). Upper-body workout, 15 minutes
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