Thursday, November 21, 2013
In the whole grand scheme of it, what is one more day, really?
I've been following my Spark friend, steph-knee's blogs and status updates. She blogs about approaching/hitting a goal and self sabotage. I've ridden those same ups and downs as she is riding right now.
What comes after we get to goal, really? Unless something out of the blue happens we are the same person we were 2 pounds ago, the same person on the inside and on the outside, driving the same car, having the same amount of time in the day to exercise, shopping at the same grocery store, dating or married to the same person, and having the same amount of money as you did 2 lbs ago to buy your closet full of new clothes you promised yourself you'd get once you are at goal. The exact same person. Weighing in at 2 pounds less.
It's true. The city will not throw you a parade in celebration of getting to your goal range, or to celebrate 100 lbs gone, even though we feel as if the world should know and celebrate with us, a trophy should be given out, and at the very least a day off of work in commemoration would be nice! (That is why we have Sparkpeople, dearest sparkly peeps- to throw us those virtual celebrations).
How do you think your world will be when you get to goal? If you are very close to goal, lets hope the answer is- it won't change much at all. Oh, 'wait wait wait!' I hear you say, 'I won't have to exercise so much! I can go back to my favourite fast food restaurants again once, twice, three times a week!'
And then, my friends, sooner than you know it you will be back at square one.
Gosh, I'm sounding rather depressing, aren't I? Bear with me, I assure you I have a couple of points to make.
If you have a ways to go you are still forming those healthy habits, and finding out what works for you. Here is where you get to plan and daydream about what you will be doing when you reach goal. 'I'm going to run 5k when I get to my goal weight! I'm going to have a closet full of new clothes! I'm going to cook fabulous yet healthy delicious foods for my family for sure!'
Honey, put down the chicken finger and get off the couch. These goals don't make themselves. Find a new healthy recipe to try. Start by jogging for 15 seconds, walk for 2 minutes, rinse and repeat. Put $10-20 away every week that you lose weight. Before you know it you will be at goal, your healthy habits are formed, and you have a new closet full of clothes. It's working for me.
Those of us who struggle with eating issues know this is not always easy. Some days I feel like superwoman with thoughts of steel and full of determination and strength, and the next moment I find myself face down in a plate of my homemade brownies, one hand in the potato chip bag, afraid to step on the scale to come face-to-face with the 10 or 20 lbs I've gained back, the anguished voice in my head calling out 'How's this happen?!'
I swear, officer, those cookie crumbs are not mine!
And then the thoughts of......what's one more bad day?
Famous last words.
I see some nods out there in spark land. You know that famous line we use to try to convince ourselves that another day of unhealthy eating/binge eating won't hurt. Besides, the scale won't budge tomorrow anyways due to what you've been eating. Or oh hey I still have 2 cinnamon buns left and I can't let them go to waste. Or ok, its my kids/husband's/mom's birthday and we are celebrating tonight, so I will get back to healthy tomorrow. Or oh, hey, I am just too tired to work out today but I will tomorrow.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that many of us who binge eat (or who have binge ate) have fought this same battle. And not just once but many, many times. It is an epic battle. An epic battle that rages in your head. An epic battle that no one else sees and many cannot comprehend. But every time the battle is fought and won it leaves a stronger person behind.
That one day can be that one pound which is equivalent to one week of tracking food and working out like a mad woman. It can be the difference between getting to goal 1 week later then hoped for. All for 1 extra binge day. It's not worth it.
This healthy journey has provided me with many binge spirals and '1 more days'. This last 'one more bad eating day' lead to a 25ish lb weight gain. Gah. Let me tell you, it takes wayyyy longer to work off than it does to put on. I'm working on it as we speak.
Next time these thoughts start creeping in I have to try to remind myself of how far I've come and how proud of myself I will be tomorrow for making healthy choices today. I swear it won't kill me to put down that plate of brownies and to turn down the invitation to the all you can eat buffet just this once.
Make today healthy, and a day to be proud of!
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Ok, so we now have a Target. (woot woot)
I will use the non-stretch size 10 jeans to base my size on. They fit. Snug. I bought 'em because they look good. They make my butt look good. You know, all the things important to us girls. A friend I run with has commented on my butt before, about how small it's looking, but Target...dear Target. I think I love your mirrors in your change rooms. I can't see myself from behind on my own in my house. The mirrors in the Target change rooms allow me to see myself from all angles. They are brilliant. Where once I would have cringed at the 360 degree view, now I do a happy dance. I seriously should have taken pictures. My butt was looking good. haha
So I went back today. Why not? I wanted a skirt they had, but didn't have in my size before, and sure enough it was in today.
I am becoming a clothes collector. I have never had this situation before. When I was oversized I could fit into a few things, but everything was pricier and frankly I wasn't impressed with how things fit. Clothes didn't make my size 18/20 body look like a size 2. Duh. Because it wasn't. And no amount of great fabric draping nor good cuts will do that. Clothing is not that kind of magic. It can camouflage a little paunch, or flatter a shape, and it can make the eye think you are a little slimmer than you really are, but not by 10 sizes. Lets be serious.
I never collected lots of clothes when I was larger. I had a pair of jeans, a couple tops, a pair of pants for work.....they were all in good shape and flattered what I had to work with, but I didn't collect the clothes. I can't recall even having a dress that fit.
As I started to lose weight I obviously had to buy clothes. And lately I've been stagnating at around the same size. And lots of clothes fit. Like, almost everything I try on. Some look better than others, so I buy what looks the best. And .......I have quite the collection going! Lots of tank tops, tops, pants for work, 3 pairs of jeans, and dresses. I have 9 dresses plus a bridesmaid dress that fit. I can't remember the last time I owned a dress. Not since childhood. And the workout clothes! Don't even get me started there. I currently own more workout bras than regular bras. And swimsuits. 2 suits, 4 tops and 2 bottoms.
Including 2 bikini tops?!
WTF. Me in a bikini top?! I bought 'em I think more because I could and I thought they looked good in the change room. We will see if I feel confident to wear em at the beach.
Which brings me to today's Target trip. I wanted a longer swim top, one that would cover my tummy. I was feeling a little bare with my bikini top purchases. So I tried one on. And in the amazing mirror I got a great look at the muscle definition in my back.
I have a huge amount of muscle definition in my back. The swim top was halter style, and I am an hourglass shape.
I used to think I was a pear shape, but in that mirror I am clearly not. I have broad shoulders, a smaller waist, and hips. The broad shoulders give me clearer definition and ease of which to build muscle definition. I swear, if I hadn't ever been overweight I could probably start building muscle for competitions. I am doing well on my upper body/back right now.
I think I sat and flexed for a couple of minutes. I have never seen my back like that before. I was in awe. In awe of my body. I was making the muscles ripple and everything. I was all: Where the F did this come from?!
Or maybe it was the lighting in the change room, hitting my back in the perfect way. But clearly, my work is paying off.
Now, to find more dress wearing situations! And to brave the bikini.
I will leave you with a couple pictures from the mud run:
Sunday, July 07, 2013
Oh how I wish it were easy.
Oh how I wish there was a 'secret'.
But every one of us who goes through this, whether it be 5 lbs or 100 lbs gone knows, it's all about the work. The hard work you put in. The careful planning of the meals. Tracking every bite. Skipping off to the gym more often than you may wish it took. Eating less processed foods or getting more HIIT in. Whatever it may be, it isn't easy.
We look at those who have come before us, those magically successful people who lost the weight, and we want to be there, too. We want to be right there, at goal, happy and confident and waving our (sweat) rags of success. To skip along into the future, weight-loss achieved, no more worrying to do!
I bet there was a point in each of us where we have gone, 'Man, I wish I was at goal right now!' Or even, 'Man, I wish I was at goal right now! I won't have to worry so much about what I eat/how much I workout anymore.'
I know it. I know when I was more naive about the process I just wanted to be at goal, and not have to worry so much about everything anymore. I've been there, done that, and gained the weight back to prove it.
I wish some days it were that easy.
Sure, there are some little 'secrets' I have picked up along the way:
drink more water
the more HIIT or running I do the more calories I seem to be able to eat and yet still lose weight
volumetrics works for people who like to eat a large amount of food. (ex: a big salad instead of a slice of bread with dinner, a pile of fresh veggies instead of a couple french fries)
Your body keeps track of the calories and nutrition, even if you don't track it.
But listen. The path from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to end up) is not strewn with glitter and rainbows. There is sometimes not even a marching band and fireworks around every corner. And especially when you take a tumble off that slippery path. The only person there, right there at that point in time, is YOU.
You are responsible for your successes and your slips. And hate is not going to un-eat the cookies. So love yourself, forgive yourself, celebrate yourself and change yourself!
Oh, and do all of those things without food. This past birthday I celebrated with a run, a boxing lesson, and a quarter of a watermelon. Okay. Fine. So it DID include food. But is there anything better than fresh fruit? And it was tracked. Big change from the meal out and big piece of cake (or 2!) in years past. I have celebrated New Years with friends, and no one even noticed I stayed away from the higher calorie foods. No one notices when I don't order the alcohol with a meal. They may notice the first time or two, but slowly your new habits replace your old.
Are you succeeding in getting to point B right now? Right in this very moment? Today? This week?
If the answer is yes, then WAY TO GO! Woohoo! Celebrate with an extra mile on your next run! Celebrate with an extra rep in your lifts, or an extra hug from the person who feels like your biggest supporter on this journey! Celebrate! Because you obviously know what is working for you, and what needs to continue in the next week or month.
If the answer is no, then the only thing you can do is CHANGE what you are doing. Because obviously what you are doing right now is not working. Sometimes if we are having a rough go and we KNOW we are having a rough go (food or exercise-wise) we may want a hug and a 'tomorrow is a new day, start fresh!' We may want to be reassured that yes, you CAN pick yourself up and dust yourself off and get back on the path to success, because in those moments we may wonder if we can be successful. But what we also NEED is a kick in the @ss. No excuses. Bah bah bah- no excuses. The only one affected by your excuses is you. And unless you really do have a thyroid issue or something medical which prevents you from losing weight then it is obviously one of 2 things: FOOD or EXERCISE. The cupcakes don't eat themselves and the weights don't lift themselves, so the common denominator is YOU. Change is often not easy. Change is often not comfortable. But change can be very, very good. Especially when it comes to losing the weight we want to lose, and building the shape we want to have.
Didn't your mamma ever tell you:
Tomorrow never comes, so make those changes today! Are you worth working hard for? I am worth it, so I put in the work. Success begins with hard work. No amount of wishing and bare minimums will get you all the way there. Do an extra rep, an extra mile, an extra healthy snack instead of the pudding cup.
Success will be yours.
Hard work and dedication.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
I hit a bump in the road about 2 weeks ago. I was flying high from 100 lbs lost. Flying high from my half marathon and from my 10k PBs. I was trying to find a balance of carb loading before my races/long runs, and dipping my toes dangerously back into the bread territory.
Let me back this story up a little. February brought about lent, and I was struggling with added sugars and desserts again (probably my biggest struggle). I also had been getting hives for....oh about a decade, and with the cleaning up of my eating I wanted to eliminate (or greatly reduce) their frequency. So with lent I eliminated gluten (my brother gets hives when he eats gluten, which is basically where the idea came from). And with that went the added sugars in desserts/chocolate. Within a couple of days my SLEEP changed. I was no longer tired all day, no longer fell asleep sometimes while watching a movie. I didn't recall feeling this 'refreshed' before.
Now, I know I also struggle with getting enough sleep. 5-6 hours a night is not enough. I know this. It is also a struggle. So I had always thought my tiredness was from lack of sleep. Which obviously, part of it was/is. But when I eliminated gluten (bye bye homemade breads, buns, wheat pastas, desserts, etc) a weird side effect happened that I wasn't expecting. I didn't feel so tired. It was noticeable. So noticeable that I feel more energetic, less generally tired. In such a noticeable way. So yaye! And the hives have went away for the most part.
I found rice pasta, gluten-free bread (don't eat much of that anyways anymore), so I never *eliminated* the starchy food category. Just an ingredient. And it's been a world of good!
Anyways, back to the story. Now, I know I feel better when I'm not eating gluten. And I rarely got hives anymore. But I knew I wasn't deathly allergic or anything to gluten, and I liked the taste of homemade bread, etc. So I baked bread before a race. And ate wheat pasta. And felt so exhausted! But with the great carb-loading I had super legs. So I'll just finish off the bread, I thought to myself. Oh, and dad is coming in to help with a couple items around the yard....why not make some buns for the burgers...and some cinnamon buns?
Oh, and it was at that point that the stress all sort of hit at once. I was SOOOOO strong and then BAM! And I know this about myself. When I am in that strong place in my head with my eating I'm like superwoman- the food in the stafffroom or on the shelves of the store don't phase me. And I know I can eat as cleanly as I like and I wish to ride that strength out forever. Or for as long as possible. Food is just a fuel. I'm in control of my purchasing, cooking, portions and eating. A little hunger before meals doesn't phase me. Oh, I like and am craving salmon? (and I do crave the healthy foods when I am feeling so strong) Let me make the best baked salmon with lemon! With steamed broccoli! Greek yogurt and an apple for a snack! Lots of fresh, healthy, whole foods. Yummy!
Because, you see, when I'm feeling like I'm craving chocolate, cakes, breads, sweets, etc, then the battle begins in my head.
And the stresses of the time, all relatively (some bigger, some smaller) acceptable and reasonable to deal with on their own, piled up at once. And the old me used to deal with stress by stuffing my face. And while I wish I would have stayed strong because what I eat is the ONE thing I CAN control while the situations around me may not be in control, I slid.
And wow, it was glorious.
Gloriously awful. A tasty, delicious backslide of epic proportions.
And potentially as painful for people who saw my tracker at the time as it was for my stomach and waistline. My skin started to break out, I got hives again (oh the gluten), I gained weight, I felt slower on my runs, I had side cramping during my runs, I was soooo tired all the time, I was grumpy, I started feeling low and almost depressed.
OK, I said to myself. This was it. Homemade cinnamon buns and a bun for my burger. That'll be it. 1 day. But it wasn't. One day lead to the next and to the next and to the next. I was in constant text with a good friend of mine, who hit a couple day rough patch herself, and who every morning and evening asked me how my eating was going. Who tried to encourage me that tomorrow will be better, pointed out how far I came and how much work it took to get there. My guy didn't understand, as he thinks that it's easy to just stop eating the food when you're full and just don't eat that other cinnamon bun. If only it was that easy. That did add to some of the stress. For those that struggle with compulsive (over)eating, we know that it is not easy.
Fighting that compulsion to overeat is draining. Very, very draining.
And for 10 straight days I battled. Like a war inside my head. The new me vs the old me. There were many casualties on the new me side (pounds gained). You'd think that with boxing and running I'd be stronger! But the old me has many more years on the new me, which may have resulted in some of her wins (pounds gained back, bad habits rearing their heads).
Everyday for 10 days my brain whispered to me, "you're good, you're strong, you've got this, you like to eat healthy, you want to run faster, you like the muscle definition starting, you can do it, you don't need those calories, just stop at one then, shhhhhh it's ok, you made it almost to supper- that's awesome and tomorrow will be even better, come on just walk past the chips, you are strong, tomorrow will be healthy, this doesn't make you feel good so lets turn this around, there are always stresses- don't let it get to you, come on- you've got this." Like a loop of kind and gentle encouraging words, floating through my head; a constant loop of positivity whispered across the synapses of my mind and soul. It's hard to describe, but at least there was one part of my brain still rooting for me and encouraging me. I drowned it out though with the crunch of the chips. It always came back, thankfully. It helped push me through to the other side of those 10 days.
I don't recall ever talking down to myself (I've head some other people do). My brain is a huge supporter of me (funny, but true).
side note: I am a huge drill sergeant when it comes to fitness. That's a little different. There the talk's like, 'lets go! pick up the pace! come on! you can do it! freakin run faster! push out one more!' I do get a little rough with myself if I've had a slow/rough run with the talk 'I felt sloooooowww! Why am I running?! Lets walk! This sucks! I don't wanna do this anymore!' But it's short lived as the voices in the back of my head push me further and tell me 'the next run will be better, you will do 1 more pushup with clap next time, you can and will do more next time.'
And as the stresses lifted and the urge to overeat wasn't so overwhelming anymore, I mustered all the strength I had to continue my healthy journey. The positive talk in the back of my head, much needed at the time, faded with every day of successful eating I had.
One thing: if you find yourself faced with struggles that are making you want to overeat, try to find a moment of peace and listen for that little voice in the back of your head- the supportive voice, the voice telling you that everything will be ok, the voice telling you that you are stronger than this.
You've got this!
Monday, June 03, 2013
Last weekend I blew my half time out of the water, shaving 18 minutes off my previous time to come in at 2:25:24. I was super stoked with that time! I also took a minute off my 10k training run time! It was a super good run; I felt zen throughout. The weather cooperated- coolish and cloudy to start. Couldn't ask for better weather, really. The only, only rough spot was when I came off a bridge and was cruising really fast and my stomach started to knot and roll. That was around the 9k point I believe. It went away after about a k or so. I loved listening to the spectators cheering me on! It made me smile and gave me an extra push. I took no extra unplanned walk breaks, and in fact pushed myself to take NO walk breaks during the last 4 to 5k. I just pushed through, contributing to my zen state. It was me, my heartbeat, the pounding of my feet and the rhythm of the music from my ipod.
And this weekend I did a mini tri- the short course at that. 300m swim, 12k bike, 2.5k run. I don't swim well, I am aware of this, so tri as I might my swim time was not where I'd like it to be. However, my bike and run portions were alright! I was stoked I completed it in under an hour, and I want to do it again next year. There were a group of us that did it 'together', and I was soooooo nervous! I had no idea what I was doing, really. I don't know how triathletes do it- super fast, super special gear for their outfits and super expensive bikes....
Oh right, it's called TRAINING. Much respect.
I was so tickled when the lady markered me up! I am written on in permanent marker, branded by the tri-Gods. I am now a triathlete. Even in mini-tri form.
Swim, bike, run. I shall tri this again.
Oh, and I was tickled when a friend pointed out how strong I was looking while putting our gear away this morning in the lockeroom.
Her: woah, you look strong! Look at your muscles in your arms!
Me, flexing my arm (of course ;)): I've been working on it!
Her: no matter how much I work on my arms I can't get the rope muscle look like you have.
Me, looking at my arm and the definition that is coming in while flexing: Boxing, baby! Ooooohhhh, wanna see my back? Now that's some definition. (then I dutifully flexed my back)
Her: wow! My back does not look like that. I like a strong back.
Me: I think the boxing is really, really helping.
Her: I bet that helps in swimming!
Me, laughing: bahahaha no. I'm not a strong swimmer, though I'd like to be better. More practice is needed, I think!
Ever have me try to show you a quad muscle and we'd be dying of laughter on the floor. My upper body is starting to show the fruits of my labour. My lower body may never show its definition. Blame it on my body shape. Oh, did I mention I'm starting to get some definition in my upper abs as well if I contract them? I'll have to see one day if they are photogenic or not haha.
I swear if I would have found weight-lifting/boxing before I ever, ever gained this much weight I would have worked towards becoming a fit model. I love the look of muscle definition on women. (and of course men! drool. haha)
Anyways, I guess this was a little bit of a 'sharing all my highlights' kind of post.
It was a good day/week.
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