I was sick last week so I only walked once but the general consensus from the week priors post was that I need to add strength training. I had many good recommendations but then I remembered that I had purchased the "Abs Diet for Women" workout last winter and couldn't do it because it aggravated my back too much. I attempted it again last week with much more success and I would highly recommend this DVD. Here is what I love about it - the focus is on building a stronger core but it is a VERY well-rounded workout and you can pick and choose the segments you want when you are short on time. It has a warm up, two ab circuits, a cardio interval, total body strength training circuit, pilates a yoga cool down. While my main goal is to add 2 to 3 days of the abs and total body strength training (requiring a mat and 3 or 5 pound weights), the cardio interval is a great compliment for the days I don't do the walking/running intervals and she even says that you only have to do it a minimum of once a week IF you are doing other cardio on your own. The instructor is informative and not overly annoying the way most are - she reminds you to breath and focus on proper form and of course they have someone doing a modified beginner version if you need it. I am in love with circuit combo strength training! Talk about multi-tasking. Anyway, I don't know how this DVD workout compares to say Jillian Michael's 30 Day shred but I think this is exactly what I needed. It is challenging but very manageable and I know I have made progress because I do the entire workout with exception to the back extension twists and it doesn't aggravate my back. I also love that I can still do pilates and yoga (although admittedly I skipped the pilates because my muscles were pretty fatigued between the cardio and strength training.). One last comment - the yoga cool down does assume you are already familiar with basic yoga poses. She doesn't take the time to talk about positioning and proper form, which fortunately works for me since I have taken classes before.
As for my personal goal of losing a few more pounds, the scale finally became my friend when it showed me 2 pounds down AND all of my jeans from last fall/winter still fit (albeit some slightly more snug) EVEN my size 6 jeans from Old Navy so I think I was just stressing over nothing (gee, like I have never done that before).
The calorie counting was pretty eye-opening too as I found out that their are many days I eat just at or more than my allowance of calories even when you subtract the calories burned from working out. I think that part of that comes from South Beach, which does allow a lot of calorie dense foods like peanut butter and nuts, eggs and lean meats. I think I just need to find the right balance of eating the RIGHT carbs, cutting back on sugar and watching my overall calorie intake but I still refuse to count calories long term or diet.
So that's the latest on my quest to be the best me I can. While I definitely feel like I am headed in the right direction, I am certainly still trying to work it out.