Thursday, June 09, 2011
So sometimes I go into the message boards and give some encouragement/tips to people who are struggling along their weight loss journey. But not everyone can easily access those message boards, and I think it would benefit myself as well to see how I got this far...especially as I am falling back on some of my tried-and-true tactics to banish fat from the Dani-kingdom once and for all!
So here are some of the things I attribute to currently looking so fiinnnneeeee:
1) Water. I can't stress it enough. I hated the taste of water until recently, but I forced myself to drink it plain. I shot for 10 glasses a day, and both started and ended my day with a nice tall glass of ice water. Diet soda is not your friend, it is that backstabbing bitch that you think is helping you out but is actually sabotaging your efforts. Drink water, it is like the Morgan Freeman of liquids.
2) Letting go. I was a chicken-nugget-a-day type of addict, and my favorite thing in the world was dunking some fried chicken bits into honey mustard with a heaping pile of mashed potatoes loaded with butter and salt. Many a diet fell to the triumph of a crispy coated chicken fiend. So rather than succumb to that slippery slope of 'eating anything, just in moderation', I changed it to 'make healthy things taste amazing'. Oven fried chicken is delicious, as are oven-fried onion rings and banana icecream [only ingredient: banana]. I still can be seen occasionally eating an icecream cone or taking a small bite of my boyfriend's philly cheese steak, but I will only order/buy/make food that is good for my heart and waistline.
I know it sounds horrible, eating 'healthy' all the time, but after a few weeks/months fresh vegetables and spices are way more flavorful then a piece of oil drenched meat. And now I don't even pause over Chili's chicken crispers when deciding to order...it's all about the black bean burger, baby.
3) Now walk it out. I eventually started jogging, but for the first 20 lbs of weight, all I did was go walking for 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Confession: I can't exercise without proper music. So I have a very carefully crafted playlist on my ipod for work outs that I have used [with constant adjustments] for the past 3 years.
4) Twisting vices into advantages. I was one lazy lady. I could [and occasionally still will] sit on the couch for 6 straight hours straight watching chick flick marathons. These days, I tend to throw on a sparkvideo on kickboxing, turn the volume down, and kick it out while watching Gilmore Girl reruns. I also will sit stationary while watching t.v., but use my coffee table to help improve my straddle/split...my point is, the things that you think are working against you can often help you if you just alter it a wee bit.
5) track. When I was steadily losing weight I was tracking every single day. I also would track into future: I'd input what I had for breakfast, and then immediately put in what I'd want for dinner and dessert to see how many calories I could 'spend' on lunch. I also always tried to give myself a 50-100 calorie window just in case things didn't go quite as planned.
6) I had dessert every night. Otherwise, I would have binged on chocolate cake once a week in desperation. Now, dessert does not mean a slice of cheesecake or milkshake. Examples: SF jello with FF cool whip, frozen fruit, orange juice slushies, and low fat frozen yogurt.
7) Sparkrecipes. Before I lost weight, I generally ate things that merely required a microwave or a take-out box. I fell in love with sparkrecipes after trying a salmon/asparagus/hollandaise recipe that I still use frequently, and now I probably have tried about 40-50 recipes from the site. They are healthy, easy to make, and as long as you read the reviews you'll have a good idea of how tasty they are. I'd usually pick 2-3 sparkrecipes to make over the week to supplement my normal selections of wheat-bread sandwiches and shake'n'bake with peas and instant mashed potatoes [going back to #2, if you have trouble letting go, make healthier versions of that which you hold dear and make it 4 times a week, haha].
8) Knowing failure is a step to success. It took me about 14 attempts in my lifetime [and i'm only 23] to finally succeed in losing any substantial amount of weight. The difference between steps 1-13 and the 14th step: all times prior, after gaining some weight back or eloping with a box of double stuffed oreos, I would berate myself and come to the conclusion that it was just too hard for me to be healthy; I was destined to be fat. The 14th time I decided that yes, weight loss was hard, but it was nothing I couldn't do. And I thought of it like climbing a steep hill; you might backslide a couple of times, but as long as you keep moving towards the top of that hill, you'll get there.
9) Reminders. Much to the aghast of friends and family, I made a "fat folder" on my computer. You should probably name yours something more uplifting, such as "progress!" or "drop it like its hot". In the folder I collected the pictures I had long since untagged myself in on facebook, and labeled them "starting weight". Every few months or so I would take another full body picture of myself and add it to the collection, so that whenever I felt like I had made no progress I could go back and 'see' my progress.
10) Be beautiful/sexy/handsome. It's hard to treat your body right when you mentally abuse yourself. I struggled with this the most, but as more people acknowledged and complimented my weight loss, I felt more confident and strove to become even more beautiful. So instead of looking in the mirror and thinking "today i'm less fat/ugly" after some weight loss, look at yourself, your body, and say "damn, i'm even more of a fox now!" Because well, you are.
That's all for now, I'm sure I'll add more one bored, lonely, or feeling extra inspirational day!
Thursday, March 10, 2011
After my 5 day stint in South Florida, I can safely say that I am even more exhausted than before I left. Being from soflo, most of my family and friends still live there and expect to see me while I'm down. Translation: Having plans with people from 10am-6am every day. Running on literally only 3 hours of sleep just about every day of the break has taken its toll- I'm exhausted and feel lazy since my workouts simply didn't fit in my schedule. The good news is that I still managed to eat fairly well [no desserts, lots of fresh veggies] so I am fairly certain the extra pound or two the scale shows will be due to water weight from the alcohol I've had.
In happier times, my best friend and I went to the beach and took pictures. Normally I would be the girl with the shorts and/or tshirt on at the beach, but I rocked just the bikini in all my pictures- and I looked good!
Pictures will be on their way, and now that I realize that I'm actually already pretty hot, I can't wait to see how I'll look when the next 10 lbs come off :)
Random note, if you ever have trouble feeling motivated, listen to 'butterflies and hurricanes' by Muse. Both the music and the lyrics make me want to end poverty, be in perfect shape, learn to paint and run a marathon all while finding inner peace.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Spring has officially arrived in Florida, I have finally retired my peacoat and boots for the season! As a one-piece swimsuit girl for the first 12 years of my life and then Tankini girl for the following 8 years, I've recently been nervously crossing into Bikini Girl territory. Nerves existed for two reasons, the obvious one being that an obese girl does not like to be half naked in private, let alone on a public beach surrounded by naturally skinny i-eat-whatever-i-want-and-still-look-like-
Heidi-Klum types. The second reason for my nerves are my tatas. I have never been a small girl in the chest area, and when I was 15 the top of my only-ever bikini literally exploded from the ever-growing girth that was my boobs, and I was not alone when it happened. The resulting humiliation made me say "hell naw" to anything less than a baggy tankini for the next 5-6 years. Last year I finally purchased a bikini, and even wore it in public, but still favored my tankini.
The tankini is being retired this year. I purchased a 2nd bikini this year, even daring to go in bright bold colors....now there's no "oh darn my only bikini is dirty, guess i'll have to wear the tankini" excuse to use!
I wore my brand new bikini this past weekend to a pool party. I even took off the shorts, so it was literally just a Girl and her Bikini, against the world.
Something wonderful happened: I didn't feel fat in it, or self conscious. I didn't feel like everyone was looking at the gross girl trying to wear a bikini. I felt [god forbid] cute! It was perhaps the first time in my entire life that I was able to completely ignore the 'your fat, throw on a t-shirt' voice in the back of my head and actually enjoy myself.
Totally worth the 3rd degree sunburn I'm now rocking on my shoulders and thighs. Note: next time, bring sunscreen that didn't expire in 2001.
Friday, February 25, 2011
I have absolutely had it with this 'months and months of religiously eating well and exercising with no results' business I've got going on. I gave up on the scale and used a tape measure, also no results. It'd be one thing if the scale was playing mindgames, but the measuring tape don't lie! The only good thing is that multiple measures using the skin fold test revealed at my body fat percentage falls into the 'healthy' range for a lady. It's definitely on the large end of the range, but at least its there!
In honor of spring break next week, my graduation in april and my worldy travels in May, I am going full force into kicking this plateau's ass.
As of Monday, I've added three dance classes to my weeky routine (belly dancing and a choreography class twice a week), I'm starting my kickboxing class again tomorrow morning, and a conditioning/strength training class once a week. The goal is to also eventually incorporate pilates into my weekly schedule and go for a 3-5 mile walk on the days I don't have gym classes.
To track calories burned accurately, I splurged and bought a Polar HRM for use in my cardio classes.
Nutrition wise, I've set a goal to drink at 4 cups of green tea a day because 1) I love it, and 2) a recent study supposedly found that helps people lose weight. I'm also foregoing my traditional lunch of a boca burger, hummus, and crackers in exchange for meals with fresh vegetables and fruit. I'm also attempting to keep my sodium below 2,300 each day..but that's tricky since I eat a lot of wheat bread and cheese.
My last step is all mental. Rather than get upset over the numbers on the scale, I'm going to remind myself that my increase in strength training will cause initial weight gain, and that it is merely impossible for me not to eventually lose weight if I keep up these goals. When I start to feel disheartened, I'm going to play some happy music, remind myself that I already look damn fine, and I'm only going to get hotter =P
Wish me luck!
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Today was a good day, diet-wise.
When I first started on Spark, I just tried to watch my calories...which translated into eating lots of 100 calorie snack packs of my favorite sweets. Eventually I cut those out completely, but continued to use white flour products because I just 'hated wheat'. As my lifestyle changed, I soon found I quite preferred whole wheat or multi-grain products to anything made with white flour. Today, I can't even eat white bread without making a face.
A couple of weeks ago, I realized I had one last hurdle to jump over before reaching my goals: a salt addiction. I have my sugar cravings under control, I've switched to whole grain products, but I have yet to cut out added salt from my diet.
I lived for salty pretzels, salt&vinegar potato chips, and generously doused most of my meals in sea salt.
Today was the first time in weeks that I am actually under the max. amount of sodium recommended in my nutrition tracker.
I know now that I can pass this final hurdle before being the healthiest woman I can be, and it feels oh so great!
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