Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Thanks everyone for reading my blog, Sue's 6 week challenge is officially over :) I will fly to Germany tomorrow night and hopefully look great in my dress... I had so much fun writing a blog the last couple of weeks, and I still have a couple of punds to lose, so I will continue writing about my love-hate relationship with exercising. I also want to include food and all the fun stuff that San Francisco has to if you are interested, please follow my new blog:

Monday, July 5, 2010

A beautiful and relaxing weekend in Tahoe

I spent this weekend in the Olympic Valley near Lake Tahoe with friends. I have been there a couple of times before, I really love it! We chilled near Lake Donner all day Saturday, a lot of time for reading and thinking and especially for doing nothing, I really needed such a day. I felt ok wearing my bikini, the hard workout is definitely paying off :)

I went for a short 5.5 mile run Sunday morning to make up for Saturday night’s Tapas and wine, it was such a beautiful run along a river – except that I totally underestimated how cold it is in the mountains at 6.45 am in the morning! My car measured 35 °F (2 °C). The first 10 minutes into my run, I thought I will freeze to death (I was only wearing a shirt and shorts…). The trail was very scenic and the answers to a couple of important questions I am trying address in my life at the moment suddenly became crystal clear. I was a bit nervous though because I ran by myself (everybody else was still in bed…just like a normal person on a Sunday morning) and there are many bears in the area. Last summer when I was in Tahoe, we were out on our balcony watching a bear that was just standing next to my car…they are definitely around! Luckily, I didn’t meet a bear this weekend! I also swam 20 minutes in the Donner Lake; I really couldn’t swim any longer because it was it was FREEZING cold (60° F/15° C).

Today, back in San Francisco, I went for another 8 mile run to the Bridge, I am panicking a little since the half marathon is coming up soon…It took me 1:20h (6 miles/h pace), I most likely run another 2:20h finishing time even though I wanted to be faster…but I decided to see this race as a simple training run for the marathon in October, because after all, I didn’t really train that hard for this race.

I went to a bar method class tonight, it was great because we were only 5 people. As a consequence, we all got a lot of attention, the class was hard but we all got a lot out of it. Tomorrow morning the new Basic Training session starts – yay, can’t wait!

Friday, July 2, 2010

A week packed with Bar method

My week was packed with Bar method classes, I went there every day. I think I am slowly getting better. The funny thing is that the better my form gets, the more exhausting the exercises feel. I guess I "cheated" a little bit in the beginning or didn't try as hard because it almost felt easier then...I do sweat more now and I find it more exhausting but very efficient. I really like the way my body feels after class, especially my abs. In each class, there is a series of thigh-work, that's the hardest for me. The stretching afterwards is a nice reward though (it is almost as good as the feeling when you get out of your ski boots after a long day of skiing, just that it is a relief in your thighs in this case).

I only went for 2x 3 mile-runs this week, not quite enough to get ready for my half-marathon. I only have 3 weeks left! I'll be in Tahoe this weekend and I hope to squeeze in at least a 6mile-run on Sunday. But the major goal for this weekend is to RELAX. I bought 2 new books and 3 magazines, I see myself sitting at the lake's shore all day...

I am really looking forward to my trip to Tahoe. And on Monday, a new "Basic training"-session starts, I can't wait!!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The time after the challenge

So, the challenge is over.... I think some of my friends are really glad as they got sick of seeing me working out all the time. I read an article about over-exercising yesterday and it said that this is the "new eating disorder". I hope I am not going in that direction, but I am certainly addicted to my workouts already, it gives me an endorphine rush and makes me feel good, especially when work is stressing me. My workouts are at the moment my favorite time of the day. I hope that this will change eventually but right now it has high priority in my life. But I also don't want to be too obsessive about it, I am aware that it is a fine line.

I also needed more sleep the last couple of weeks and I didn't drink alcohol (with may be 3 exceptions) so I wasn't exactly as "social" as I am usually. But I have to say even though the challenge is officially over, I still want to stick with my workout. The half-marathon and the full marathon are still ahead of me and also I am really motivated with the results I achieved over the last 6 weeks. I talked to a Neuroscientist (no, I wasn't talking to myself...) who is specialized in nutrition, with special focus on eating behavior and sleeping habits in context with weight gain/loss, it was very interesting. According to his calculations, my "ideal" weight would be 15 lbs less....jeez! When he asked "Does this sound good to you?" I couldn't help but say "No".... seems like too much. Anyway, he has very interesting views and provided me a lot of information, we'll see.

Bootcamp won't start again before next Monday, I am doing the Bar method almost every day this week. I can feel my abs and my back with every step I take, it hurts but it is a good pain ;-) Yesterday, I had the first class at Bar method that I really disliked. It was the first time I worked out with this particular instructor and I certainly won't return. The worst part was when she walked around to correct people's posture, she didn't use her hands or words (just like all the other instructors do) but she tried to bring my back and butt in the right position by kicking my butt with her knee...are you kidding me?????? That really wasn't appropriate and it certainly didn't help me to find the right position. And that was just one of the things that bothered me...Never mind, lesson learned, you won't see me again in your class!

Yesterday morning I worked out at the Lyon Street stairs and I ran into my old bootcamp group - again! Some of the people I haven't seen in 7 weeks and someone said "Hey Sue, are you going to work out with us today???". Well, I guess not... It was really weird because I do like the people there as well but I have made my choice :) I met a friend from my old bootcamp group in the supermarket yesterday (we used to work out together for several months) - it was great to see her again. She didn't know about my "6 week challenge" and when she saw me, she said"Sue, what did you do? You look great! Did you lose weight?". Thanks Katie!! That makes you the first person that officially noticed a change. I guess it is easier for someone who hasn't seen me for 8 weeks compared to someone who is seeing me every day. Also, more and more people are giving me a feedback on my blog. It always makes me blush, especially since I posted the before/after pictures...but it also makes me so happy that people are reading my blog and join me on my journey. I'll keep you posted ;-)

One thing that I forgot to mention when I summarized my 6 weeks is that I am "sweetener-free" now. I use "real" sugar to sweeten my coffee and I am not having diet coke any more. I tried one the other day and after 5 weeks without diet soda, I honestly didn't like the taste of it anymore. I used to love it, it is amazing how quickly your taste buds change! But ever since I read that sucralose (splenda) was discovered when some British researchers were looking to develop a pesticide, I knew that it can't be right to add it to my coffee...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Last day: the dress fits and I have abs to show off...

6 weeks are over!!! I don’t know what to say, I am really sad! One thing is certain, I will keep up my workout – I’ll join the next session of Basic Training (starting next week) and I’ll stick with the Bar method at least another couple of weeks. I have no idea how to summarize the last 6 weeks, I don’t know where to start. First of all, I feel amazing! To be honest, I could have lost more weight and look more toned if I’d be a little better with my food choices…I have been really good the first 3 weeks but from then on with stress at work coming up, I made many bad choices (but I really needed them at the time…). I will try to focus on food a little more the next 6 weeks (after all, it’s still one month until the wedding!).

So during the last 6 weeks, I lost 5 pounds. Doesn’t seem to be too much but considering that I have been trying to change my workout and nutrition since January with a total loss of 9 pounds up to date it’s not bad. Slow but steady, that’s the way to go :) I have a lot more space in my jeans now and some of my older clothes that didn’t fit me before now fit again. Priceless! And guess what, I can see my hip bones again - where have you been all those years...? My abs are "incredibly" toned – at least compared to any other time I have known them. I took before and after pictures and I wasn’t sure whether to post them or not… (I am sure my Dad would be embarrassed). But I think the change is obvious and I want to motivate people to start working out. So I posted them....and they are not photo-shopped, I promise! 6 weeks isn't that long, anyone can do it! I am a little embarrassed for the "week 1"-picture, but never mind. It's in the past. But anyway, if you see me next time at bootcamp, at work or somewhere else, just pretend you haven’t seen these pictures, ok…? Thanks ;-)

Not only do I like my body better now, I also feel more confident. And I feel much stronger and athletic. It’s amazing what 6 weeks can do! The Bar Method is a workout I really love meanwhile and most likely I will stick with it since it’s a great workout. I would especially like to thank Julia and Keryun, your classes are for sure my favorite ones and both of you are always so friendly and happy. Thanks!!!

The Basic Training was much more than just a workout for me and I mentioned that many times before. I met so many nice people and all the instructors I have worked with were amazing. They certainly love people and they are passionate about what they do and that makes them good at teaching us. They care for each individual. Even though I was almost always the last/weakest in the group, they made me feel like I can achieve anything and that I am doing a great job (even when I thought I am about to die…). And it’s strange but this feeling transfers in other areas of life, particularly in my job. Suddenly I feel like I can achieve anything as long as I try! And I learned that my body and I are capable to reach much higher goals then I had ever thought. This feeling again is priceless and so much more valuable than a 5 pounds weight loss. I know that many of my friends think I am nuts but I cannot wait to run those hills again and give all I have. I hope that I’ll do better next session, I will push hard. Thank you Jenn, Michael, Charles, Sandra and Eli for the last 6 weeks, and also thank you Lisa for pushing me every single day in through bootcamp. Seeing you transform over the last year is my biggest inspiration and I can’t wait to see you in that dress :)

The 6-week challenge is over, but I will continue my program. May be I will contact a nutritionist, I think there is time for improvement on that level. I will continue writing my blog, but may be only once or twice a week…we shall see. I’ll definitely keep you posted on my progress!

Thanks again to everyone who supported me during the last 6 weeks and to everyone who is reading my blog and interested in my story. This project was so much fun for me and I hope that it was the beginning of a lifestyle-change. And Andrea, as far as your wedding is concerned, I am happy to let you know that I fit in my dress again!! Mission completed! Can’t wait to see you again and be part of your wedding!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 40: Right arm lifting with many repeats :)

This morning I went to the Bar method because I had no bootcamp classes left. As much as I love the Bar method, I really prefer doing Bar method in the evening and have bootcamp in the morning. But still it was a good workout.

Today was the last day of the current Basic Training session! It passed so fast, I am almost a little bit sad. But the next session will start in 10 days. Basic Training organized a “happy hour get together” at “Tonic/Russian Hill” tonight – I had such a blast! It was so much fun to see the fellow bootcampers in a different setting. People (including me) look quite different at 6 am in the morning during a workout compared to when they are having drinks at 6 pm... Jenn, Michael, Charles and Sandra were there as well. It was great seeing them outside of the class and to talk to everyone on a more personal level. All the people I have talked to tonight have such an interesting story to tell. Basic Training was just a 6-week-session but tonight it felt like I know these people for a long time. It was the perfect finish for this session and I honestly can’t wait for the next one to start.

The 6-week challenge is almost over – I’ll be rafting this weekend, so there won’t be any more updates for day 41 and 42. But I’ll definitely close this blog with a summary next Monday (and I still need to test if the dress finally fits…). I might give you some before/after information next week as well. Next week will be a recovery week with many bar method classes and I’ll focus more on a healthy nutrition.

As I have learned tonight, my bootcamp instructors read my blog… I guess it is a little bit weird when you read about yourself and your class online…All of you have a different style to make us sweat and bring us back in shape. You all do an amazing job, and even though I never worked out so close to my limit, I never enjoyed working out as much as I did during the last 6 weeks. Many of my friends in Germany ask me why I love San Francisco so much (especially since I was so sure to be back in Europe after 2 years and especially since I always thought America “really wouldn’t be my thing”..) – I think it is mostly the people and friends that you spend your time with that determine your happiness. It’s your best friend, your co-worker that cares, a friendly neighbor, a muni-driver giving you a free bus ticket or people you meet at bootcamp. They’ll cheer for you even if you are racing against them. It is so much more than just a workout. And I also feel like it is so much more than just a job for all the instructors. I’ll stop my little praise here, because after all I want to come back to the next session without being too embarrassed when seeing everyone again (who would have thought that you guys read this…). But I hope it is also nice for you to get a positive feedback and a “thank you” - it is easy to see in all my posts how much I enjoyed the last 6 weeks. I hope there’ll be many more Basic Training sessions to come!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 39: "Running suicides" and many many "burpees"

Basic Training! Today, we worked out with Sandra. There were a couple of moments when I thought I’ll pass out…It was sooo hard! I am not sure if the workout was so much harder than the previous workouts or may be it felt that way because my batteries are empty…probably both! We ran to the old Crissy Field visitor center for our workout. In between all our workouts, we ran loops up the stairs to the presidio bus station and back to the visitor center. We did back rows, exercises for the triceps, “walking monkeys” and “walking alligators” (each monkey and alligator would be offended when they would see us trying to copy their walk…) and walking lunges. In addition, we did some really hard exercises for the gluts and abs, we held planks, and much more.

The hardest part was when we did “suicides” with 4 cones lined up – I kind of got used to them but this time we had to do 10 “burpees” in between each suicide sprint (if you don’t know what “burpees” are, check it on youtube…). That makes a total of 40… and right after that, she send us for another loop up to the bus station…I would have probably sneaked away if she wouldn’t have had my car key…It was really challenging and once again, my shirt was covered in sweat after we were done. No need to mention that even after 6 weeks, I am really having a hard time catching up with everyone, I have no idea how they do it…well I guess they improve from week to week as well, may be I won’t be the last person anymore in the next session with new people joining us ;-) The workout with Sandra was probably one of the hardest ones I have done yet (considering that there weren’t even hills involved!), we worked out every possible muscle group and got a good amount of cardio in. Did I mention that I feel great…?? Thanks Sandra, you really kicked my butt this morning!

Tomorrow morning I won’t be able to go to Basic Training and the next session won’t start before July 5th…I will miss it the next week! I will miss it a lot. And I am already looking forward to July 5th when the next session will start!

39 days down, 3 days to go!