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Too busy dancing to notice the uphill battle

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Although I'm still trying to get myself to stick to a good routine, I try to weigh in each week either on Fridays or Sundays. My most recent weigh-in was on Sunday, 11/24. I had done pretty well that week and lost just about 2 lbs, bringing my weight down to an even 160. At the time, even though I was pretty darn pleased with my accomplishment, I didn't really realize the significance of that number - 160. When I joined SparkPeople in late July, I weighed in at about 185 or so. A pretty high number for someone of my age and height, but for me, 185 was an all-time low. Since I was 8 years old I'd been a bit on the heavy side, and my weight peaked when I was about 16 or so. I was so blind to my size I don't even know how many pounds I was lugging around, but looking back on the (very) few pictures I have of myself from that time, I could've easily weight 220+.

My goal upon joining SP was to lose a total of 50 lbs within a year. In the 4 months I've been tracking my nutrition and fitness, I've lost 25 lbs. It took until just today for it to finally sink in: I'm already halfway to my goal weight!

I can't believe I didn't realize this on Sunday, when I weighed in. Talk about a delayed reaction!

So I'd have to say I'm doing pretty well in my journey. I am by no means a model of perfection though - I still catch myself sneaking a piece of cheese from the fridge just to much on, or grabbing that extra little sliver of pastry I hadn't planned on eating. I must admit, it feels like these little slipups are happening more frequently of late. But nothing will ruin my resolve. Since I spent a lifetime eating poorly, it only makes sense that all my habits and ways of thinking will take more than a little while to change. So I keep working :D

For the first time in my life, since I was just a child, I am no longer classified as obese. I'll always have the stretch marks on my arms and abdomen to remind me of how little I took care of myself in the past, which I find more than a little disheartening. But still, losing this weight, making these changes is an AMAZING feeling. I still hope to be able to share it with my family; it seems as my weight goes down, theirs goes up. This is probably just my perception, of course. But I still see chips, muffins, and ice cream far too often around the house, despite the fact that they say they want to make changes. I wish I could give my resolve to them. But, if there's one thing I've learned throughout all of this, it's that no matter how much someone else may want something for you, if you yourself don't deep down want it, you won't get it.

I for one do deep down want it - I want to be healthy and happy and I want to feel good in my own body. And I'm going to get it.

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ESCHLETZ 12/27/2013 10:34AM

    A belated congrats on making it half way!!! That's awesome. Just be prepared though, a lot of people mention that the closer they get to their goal the harder it is to lose. Be prepared to switch up things in your eating and your fitness in order to boost your metabolism again when you hit a plateau. I'm so excited for you and wish you all the best as you continue. emoticon
Also, that last bit of your blog has helped me rethink my choices again lately. I've lost my resolve in the last year and gained back almost everything I'd lost (40 lbs worth) and it's time for me to remind myself how much I really want to be healthier. So thank you.

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Measuring in

Sunday, October 06, 2013

I'm a little late taking my measurements for the month of September; Since I started work, mornings have been tight and I just haven't had, or made, the time. But I went ahead and brought out the tape measure today to see if anything had changed. I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw! I've lost about 3 inches around my hips, an inch and a half around my waist, an inch and a half around my thighs, and half an inch around my upper arm. I'm also, for the first time ever, in the 160s! 169.4, but it's a start ;)

If you look at the weight ticker on my page, it says my starting weight was 185. While it's true that that was my weight when I joined SP in late July, that was an all-time low for me. Between the ages of 12 and 17 my weight skyrocketed, and peaked somewhere around 220-250lbs. I lost a bit of that weight when I got a steady part time job that involved being very physically active, when I was 17. My weight still fluctuated, though, as at this time I was not being careful about what I ate, and skipped meals quite often.

Now though, this year particularly, I've got this unstoppable zeal keeping me moving in the right direction. I'm watching what I eat, watching what I do. And it's paying off! I am so excited about these great changes. I definitely need to go shopping soon; I've lost so much weight and inches, I'm getting much too thin for my big baggy clothes!

I realize now that I've lost a good amount of weight, it very well may get harder for me to continue losing. Admittedly I'm a bit nervous about that. I've never felt this good in my own body, and I don't want to lose that. But I know it's possible. I just passed a long plateau that I thought would never end, but it did and I'm here. I know I can do this! emoticon

I hope everyone out there is enjoying their journey, too. I know it can be tough and discouraging at some times, but progress, even in the smallest form, is always attainable emoticon Have a good week all :)

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SHARONCAPPS 10/6/2013 11:41AM

  You can do it. You have alread proven that so now you just have to keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing

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Saturday, October 05, 2013

Nothing much new to say for me. I just thought I'd check in again, now that we're already working our way through October. I'm having a hard time dealing with how fast time seems to be going by. Of course it's all relative, but still..Anyway. I'm doing just fine with my new healthy living. Depression is still a looming threat, and I never know just when I'll break down. I hate it when that happens. It always takes so long for the spell to lift and for life to continue. But it's inevitable that the cycle will continue. I think it is slowly killing me.

I'm still eating healthier and keeping physically active. It's all going pretty well. I am having some trouble with my knees, though, and this worries me. They are a lot stiffer and sore than they ever used to be - and not just after a workout (which I would understand). I see my father deal with very painful arthritis in his knees and I can't help but wonder if that's not my future. I try not to engage in too many high impact workouts, but I might have to scale back on a few of my favorite routines. My knees never really hurt while I'm exercising, just before and after, every day all day. Crouching down or folding my legs while sitting is much harder and more painful than it used to be. My young body shouldn't be dealing with this just yet, I figure, so I need to take care of this while I still can!

Eating well is going about as good as exercising. When I was younger we often had a lot of not very healthy foods around the house. I was always told that it was because healthy foods are too expensive (an excuse I still hear too frequently). So I'd eat big bagels and cream cheese, and pop tarts, and fruit flavored candy snacks, and cheese puffs, plenty of bread and cheese, and lots of pasta - all that kind of thing, and not in moderation. This was all a while ago, when I was growing up. Now, of course, I'm in more control over what food I keep around. And I find that I'm in no way drawn to the foods I used to live on. I don't miss eating potato chips and drinking soda, or anything like that (I do eat a bit of dark chocolate every now and then though - love that!). Foods that are better for me are so much more appealing than foods I used to eat purely for the taste (or in some cases, just because they were there). But I see my family, trying to lose weight and think healthier, and they definitely are missing their favorite junk, "comfort," foods. So they keep buying them. I could go on about their eating habits, but I probably shouldn't. Suffice to say, they're doing what we always did in my family: start off with great ideas, going strong and working hard...for about a week and then falling off the wagon, going right back to the way things were, until the next good idea came around, and it started over. See, I was never thin. No one in my family has been considered of a healthy weight my whole life. Growing up my parents would try instituting diets every now and then. We'd be on a plan for a week or so, and then things would go right back to the way they were. They've got good ideas, but little follow-through. I'm guilty of this trait too, but I'm doing my best to keep going steadily forward on my path to being healthier. And it's working! For the first time in about 10 years, since I was a young kid, I am no longer considered obese. In the past few months my BMI has fallen enough so that I am now in the overweight category, not obese. This I feel is a major accomplishment. I am one step closer to being at a normal, healthy weight. And I've never been this close before. It's quite nice :) The weight I'm losing is coming off slowly, which I feel is also a good thing. I'm eating plenty, drinking lots of water, getting enough sleep, and staying active. I truly have never been this conscientious of my weight, health, and eating habits for this long in my entire life. I can remember once a few years ago trying a ridiculous fad I read about in a magazine that promised weight loss. But like all fads it passed and I didn't change at all. Now, though, I've made real, lasting changes, that I'm able to live with every single day. It's pretty wonderful. I just hope that my family can do the same. I want them to feel as good as I do (except for my knees, anyway!) and I know they'd feel so much better if they took better care of themselves. I know, though, that no one can make someone else change. It's got to be something they really want. So I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, offering the help when I can. I try not to push my views on anyone, and I do my best to avoid criticizing their choices. I know that would only drive them further away. So I'm just trying to be patient; changes don't always happen as swiftly as we think they might,

I guess I wrote a lot more than I had planned...I didn't realize I had this on my mind, but it's good to get it down :)

In sum, I'm still a bit worried about my family, but I'm pretty darn pleased with my own progress. My body seems to get stuck at a particular weight every now and then (most recently I was trapped at 171.8 for 3 weeks), but then I just make sure to change things up a bit and my progress continues. It's so nice to be making a lifestyle change and not just dieting, or working out some specific kind of program or whatnot. I've never been in this good a shape in my whole life and it's just getting better. I wish everyone would feel this good :D


Checking in

Sunday, September 01, 2013

I can't say I've got a whole lot to report. Although I can say I can't believe how fast the month of August has gone by! The realization that summer is over hit me the other day, and I have to admit it saddened me. Don't get me wrong, I like fall and winter (for the most part), but I will miss my summer months :)

As far as my weight loss and lifestyle goals are concerned, I'm doing pretty okay. Tracking my nutrition has definitely become a habit, and even when I say to myself "I don't feel like tracking today, I'll skip it just this once" I still end up tracking. And it's a good thing too: sometimes, it turns out, I just don't eat enough. I think a lot of people are surprised by how many calories they take in, but when I started up with SparkPeople, I had already been eating at the low end of the suggested range.

I'm still trying to find a system that works for me, but so far it looks like my health is much improved if I eat an extra 200 calories each day, or every other day. This hasn't been confirmed yet, but the week before last I lost nearly two pounds by eating about 1500 calories 3-4 days of the week. And this past week is the same. (The week in between those two were a bit crazy-I can't remember much of anything.)

On that note -weight loss- I'm happy to say that I am making progress. I have been terribly disappointed that the progress hasn't been as great as I had been hoping. It's no fun to look at my summary report on SP and see that I've steadily been between 3 and 5 lbs behind "schedule" for meeting my target weight. That's really not a lot of weight, I realize. But I've been hoping to be quite slimmer by mid-January, as that's when I will be taking my vacation [if I can afford it! - I'm still without a job and things have been so stressful! :(]. Right now, according to my report, I should weigh in at 174lbs, but today I weighed in at 178.4lbs. This distresses me because there's a 4.4lb gap between goal and reality this week, whereas two weeks ago the gap was only 3lbs. I'm afraid that I'll just keep falling further behind. This fear is compounded by the fact that I still haven't found a diet plan and fitness regimen that works really well for me. I had been doing a bit of over-training when it came to my kettlebell workouts. There were a few days last month when I was just feeling so drained. This has happened before, but usually only when I go too long without eating. I assume that these times when I was exhausted was because I had worked too hard without fueling my body enough.

Oh! Speaking of fueling the body, I had been meaning to mention what I've been doing to keep track of my calories. I use SparkPeople mobile to track what I eat, but one of the first things I do in the morning is decide what I want to eat for the day. I treat the amount of calories I need to consume like money. Today I have 1300 calories to spend, and each food costs a certain amount. I decide the best way to split up the calories so I can eat what I want. Some of my favorite foods are really "cheap," like grapes and broccoli, while others are too "expensive "for my frugal self, like muffins and ice cream. I find it works better to plan ahead this way than to track what I eat as I go. When I did it as I went, I would end up over my daily goal or even under. Now, by making up 3 meals and 1 snack in the morning, it's easier for me to get the nutrition I need. I've also noticed that some meals I had planned are lacking enough calories, so when that happens I make sure to add in some veggies or fruits to make up for the deficit. It's been working really well for me, and I tend to feel fuller and eat better because of this. I also haven't randomly snacked throughout the day at all this past month. That wasn't exactly a bad habit I had to break or anything, but by tracking my planned calories in the morning, adding extra food would be a hassle so I just don't stray from my plan. Also, by tracking my calories in the morning, I'm able to budget in a little bit of dark chocolate, one of my favorites nearly every day. My little chocolate handicap might have something to do with my weight loss not being as high as I had hoped, so I guess I shouldn't be too dismayed. I keep everything in proportion though.

So, that's my update. I feel like an old pro at this already. I'm welcoming September with an "I can so do this" kind of attitude. Still, my personal life and circumstances are far too stressful for my liking - no job, bouts of depression, familial illnesses. But working out and taking care of my physical health is definitely helping my mental health, slowly but surely.

The scale isn't showing me what I had been hoping, and the tape measure is still stretching a bit further than I would like. But I'm really liking the way I look. Standing in front of the mirror, I see more things I like than things I don't like :)

I hope everyone's month of September is starting off well! emoticon

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AJB121299 9/1/2013 1:03PM


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Kickboxing and this week's update

Friday, August 09, 2013

For today's 30-minute cardio workout I went through 3 of SparkPeople's 10 minute videos:

SparkPeople 10-Minute Jump Start Cardio Workout Video (Coach Nicole)
Bootcamp: 10-Minute Cardio Kick Workout
New YOU Bootcamp: 10-Minute Kickboxing Workout

As you can probably tell, today's theme is kickboxing :)

These kickboxing videos are just like circuit training, in that they're fast paced and it's hard to get bored. And with some good music playing, it's just really fun! "Let It Rock (Radio Edit)" by Kevin Rudolf and "Reaching Out (Fred Falke Remix)" by Nero both have a good beat that goes along well with the moves. In my opinion, anyway.

In other news I think I'm on to something with my weight loss. I had been hoping to be down 4 or 5 pounds by now, which is what SP has recommended. I'm only down almost 2 pounds. This is great progress of course, but I've got a few long-term and short-term goals I'd really like to (safely) meet, and I've been working very hard. I've decided to try to determine if I had been eating too few calories these past few weeks. Of course, I never felt hungry; I made sure to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, making sure to take in the necessary fruits, vegetables, and grains, all in appropriate portions, and I'd usually have 2 snacks (one in the afternoon, one in the evening, usually fruit or vegies and then a little bit of dark chocolate). I've also been staying safely within the range suggested by SparkPeople. But I'd been eating at the low end of my range. So I've just started switching things up more, eating at the lower end some days, and then more toward the mid/higher end others and I've seen some improvement with the scale. I'm also trying to keep an eye on how much activity I do throughout a day, making sure not to overdo things.

I'm sure my weight will continue to fluctuate in small amounts, but I can tell I am definitely making good progress. I've also been able to rub off on my family a little! Healthier foods are (slowly!) working their way in their diets. Four-hundred calorie pastries are starting to be replaced with 160 calorie, low carb, low sugar granola bars of sorts. It's a start :)

Life's still got its ups and downs, and I'm still waiting for an up to come around. It's just been one problem after another it seems. But I want to thank those who have been offering me encouragement. It's great to log on to SP and get so much great support. I hope I'm able to return the favor!

I hope everyone has a good weekend!

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HAYBUNNY 8/9/2013 5:00PM

    Glad to hear your family is starting to pick up on your healthy habits, and glad to hear you are enjoying kickboxing. I absolutely love kickboxing/Tae-bo/Kenpo workouts, they are so fun.

My weight loss isn't going ideally either but I'm pretty sure it's just because I've been in the same place for so long. All of a sudden I'm working out for an hour almost everyday and not just eating whatever I feel like, and I think that is really throwing my body off to the point where it's desperately trying to stay where it's been comfortable at. I'm sure it will figure out what I want it to do eventually, and I'm sure yours will too. I know for a fact that I'm already improving my cardio and building muscle because my workouts are getting easier, so I'm just trying to focus on that until the scale decides to play nice.

Keep it up, you are doing fantastic!


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