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A Positive Weekend

Monday, May 21, 2012

A few positive notes about this weekend.

1) Blackberry Merlot = YUM!

2) Finally got to take a warm bubble bath, read, and shave my legs up proper.

3) Getting a little more adjusted to the standing job each weekend. My body isn't screaming quite as much anymore.

4) Somehow, likely a sort of miracle, I got Sunday off!

5) I spent all day Sunday hanging out with my boys.

6) I woke up determined to make it a great day, and immediately headed out to the store to make my Hubs a full and hearty breakfast before he had to head off to work. (Seriously, me and the boys cooked up bacon, sausage patties, sausage links, pancakes, scrambled eggs, french toast and hashbrowns. Cooking always makes me feel better.)

7) The boys fought very little yesterday, somehow (another miracle, perhaps!) they understood my need for peace this weekend and we had a pretty darn good day without all the bickering.

8) All three of us worked together after Hubs/Dad left to pack up a cooler with drinks and granola bars, pack some towels, wash and dry the dishes, and then put on our swimsuits and head out for the day by around 1:30 pm.

9) I finally bought trash bags! *lol* (Been trying to remember this for about 4 days now as we were down to the very last one. I'll take my victories where I can get them!)

10) After gassing up the car and grabbing a bag of ice, I ended up at Rite-Aid where I was able to get over $40 worth of sunscreen (Banana Boat and, my fav, Hawaiian Tropic) for $18. (I win!)

11) The drive to the lake was fun and happy and peaceful, with the boys and I jamming out to songs on my iPhone.

12) I can swim even more like a champ now. I used to struggle to work my way from one buoy to another. Now I can swim the length of three, lap around the last one and swim back. And my recovery time is much quicker. I did a lot of swimming and tried to not think so much about calories burned as I did my form, my breathing, and celebrating that I can move in the water just as I did when I was in high school.

13) We spent about 2 hours at the lake and had a blast, all three of us. It was, perhaps, the best trip we've ever taken out there as none of us were bored and the kids didn't moan (much) when I told them it was finally time to head home to make dinner.

14) I make the best chicken fajitas ever. :)

15) I actually got to see GoT without rushing home or catching a rerun! *lol*

16) I was in bed by 10:30 pm.

Okay, so there was the awful moment when a jagged can lid sliced off part of my thumb. Yea, that wasn't so fun. And the part where I couldn't hardly sleep well with restless dreams (at one point I was working for SP *lol*) and having to wake up to pee about 6 times. But all in all, I still say yesterday goes in the win column.

I got a lot done this weekend, and did a lot of thinking as well.

Some of you may have noticed that I took my page down. I've been feeling a little out of sorts lately. The why isn't important (and the reasons are too numerous to take the time to recount) but I needed to distance myself for a little bit.

Because, no matter what anyone tells you or however the try to encourage you, when you're fighting for one thing for so long and not getting it, well, it tends to frustrate the hell out of you. I know I'm not supposed to pay attention to the scale...and, for the most part, I don't. But when confronted with the fact that I'm getting smaller and losing body fat and YET - I still have to worry about weight restrictions for activites and other things in my life (I honestly thought after 8 years I might be able to stop worrying about whether each and every chair in the world will hold me. It will be a blissful day when I can just go somewhere and sit down in a seat without having an internal dialogue in my head about the risk factors - breakage, embarrassment, etc. - and having to eye a chair while trying not to catch anyone's attention in order to determine how it's built and whether it has the ability to withstand my weight for the length of time I wish to use it.) What's more, I've been stuck in between the same basic sizes (and no single size - I go from 22 to 26s depending on the store, style, brand, etc.) for a year and a half. That's frustrating. VERY frustrating. There are all these clothes I didn't buy, ones sent to me by well-meaning Spark friends, and they just sit there mocking me as I squat my arse off and still have no hopes of squeezing this tummy into them.

So, yes, I've been frustrated.

And I needed some distance.

So I worked this weekend on me and my family. On cleaning the house. On getting chore lists set up for the boys. On spending time with them and hanging out and chillin' and relaxing a bit. I can honestly say I didn't count a single calorie (well, I tried not to) yesterday and yet I still came in at a reasonable amount.

That doesn't mean I'm going to let it fly and let it go.
I will still count calories. I'm sticking to my LDE plan for now.
I'll be doing mostly ST, but I think I'm going to try to add back in some walking. Because my foot is feeling MUCH better.
And I want to swim more than ever now. Because once I got over the self-consciousness of being in a swimsuit (one designed not for looks, but to allow me to actually swim laps without fuss), I remembered how great I am at it and how much I love it.
And, yes, it tweaks my knee from time to time, but the ST I've been doing lately has helped it to recover much faster. No twinges or soreness today that I can tell. I'll simply have to deal with the pain and tweaks and pops for the rest of my life and learn how to manage it the best I can.
I'm going to keep doing what I know how to do. I'm going to keep fighting it my way. Because otherwise it just feels boring and useless and I'll give up.
I grew up all my life with people telling me what I should and shouldn't do because of my size. And it wasn't until a few years ago, back in 2004 actually when I first thought maybe I could lose this weight on my own, that I realized that I couldn't live with their expectations. I consult my doctors and unless they warn me of serious risks to my health (and all each of them has told me is to deal with some, manage it the best you can. listen to your body and take breaks when your body tells you that it's necessary) I'm going to keep doing those things. I'm going to keep going at my strong warrior-like pace, because it's what keeps me fired up and focused.

The one major thing I asked myself this weekend was - "do you want to be 200 pounds, or do you want to feel like a friggin' rockstar?" I wanted to know which was more important to me. Was it the scale? No, not really. Was it my clothes fitting right. Yes, in a way it is. Because I want other people to see me the way I feel inside. I want them to know that I'm not what they see from the outside. Take a picture of me and you see a still pretty big girl. You see the belly and the arm fat dangling. You see huge tree trunk legs and rolls and jiggle. And if people take me at face value, then they're selling me short. And the need for respect for what I do and what I am is very important to me. But the one thing that has kept me going through the past two years without giving in, even when it's tough, even when it felt useless, was that feeling. It's a high. Maybe I'm an addict or something. But it's the feeling of walking out the gym after a great ST session when my muscles ache but I'm standing taller because I feel like I've accomplished something. It's the feeling after a run when I want to just collapse but the walking cool down has me smiling from ear to ear as I reflect on the journey I just took and how amazing it is to feel that good. That's what keeps me going. It's why Stronglift 5x5 wasn't working. Too many breaks and breaks that were too long. By the time I finished I felt like I'd just gotten started. So I'll continue to seek out the things that make me feel that way. Running. Swimming. Heavy lifting. If I'm not harming myself physically and it's building me up mentally, then it's exactly what I need right now.

My weight is in a holding pattern...but I'm flying on, flying through, and letting the wind of that feeling carry me forward. Come what may.

And one last thing. I will not apologize for being wishy-washy. I thought about doing that many times this weekend. I told you I would ignore the scale, and then I had a full-scale mental breakdown because of the stupid thing. I thought maybe I should apologize for that, for going back on what I said. But I realized that it's useless to apologize for something you can't control. I'm working through heavy emotions right now. I'm at that point, like I mentioned earlier, where I'm realizing that all the white noise out there about dieting and exercising and healthy living makes it difficult to find the truth. Not the one truth, but the one that best suits my needs, abilities, fears, desires, etc. And, trust me, there is a LOT of noise out there telling you that THIS way is THE way to lose weight. But how stupid is it for me to mold myself and my life to fit a diet and exercise plan when that's not what I'm after anyhow? I'm after something lasting. Something I can take with me and continue for years and years and decades and years to come. I'm after a new way of living that is fulfilling and rewarding and makes me feel powerful within myself. I can't make myself fit into a set lifestyle mold, the lifestyle has to fit around me. That's why I'm so wishy-washy right now. I'm trying to figure myself out so that I can figure out what works best and what I need most. I won't apologize for something that is likely going to help me grow as a person and better understand myself. There's an X at the top of the page if you don't like it.

Onward! Bandages, bruises, and bumbling moments and all. Onward!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOWFATFOODIE 5/21/2012 8:11PM

    Glad you are back. Really glad you finally got a day off. I know you'll find your own groove that fits you best and when you do, it will be THE way for YOU to succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

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ROMNEY3 5/21/2012 1:29PM

    So glad to see you are back and pressing on. We all just keep doing what we can. Like you said do what make you feel great! That is what life is suppose to be great and fun. Not dull and resticted.

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ARUNNINGKAT 5/21/2012 12:49PM

    It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend! There is nothing better than a great day at a lake or beach! Take care of yourself this week. You are such a strong woman and you will achieve your goals!

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 5/21/2012 11:13AM

    First off, your issue with the scale, I say the same thing. I'll weigh myself every Sunday morning and without I fail I will step on it every day (I actually just put it under my sink behind my cleaning supplies), but if you need to see that number, then step on the scale.

I'm proud of you for taking the weekend off, to regroup and spend fun quality time with the kids. You deserved that break. Glad to hear you had a fun adventure and weekend (sans the finger slicing... hope it's doing okay).

Love the list of the good things from weekend, and hope a new list can be completed through the week. Small victories are still victories!

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BEAUTIFUL_MEGAN 5/21/2012 10:01AM

    Wow! I think I've written a blog nearly exactly like this. Or several probably. I have done everything you have just described. Sometimes I say I'm going to use the scale as a tool, sometimes I say I"m going to swear it off and never look at it. Sometimes I say I'm going to strength train and sometimes I say I"m going to focus on cardio. I say I"m going to blog everyday and push harder, and sometimes I say I"m going to take time off and refocus...

And at whatever point I write/.say those things, they are true in that moment. And I never apologize for being inconsistent or wishy-washy. I do whatever I have to do exactly when I need to do it to keep myself from giving up. It's that simple.

I'm dealing with injuries and set-backs, an 8 month plateau that has messed with my mind and spirit... but at the end of the day, I am trying. And that means the world to me. I am finding a way to take care of myself the best that I can. Sure, there are people who seem to just transform and never look back, there are 300 pound women who can just start jogging and never have an injury... we'll ... that's not me. And I'm slowly learning not to envy or hate those women. Most importantly, I'm learning not to hate myself when I look at those women.

There are lots of experts who suggest plan A or workout B, but at the end of the day this is an incredibly personal and private battle that must be won or lost on our own terms. I commend you for finding your own path forward, and never, ever giving up.

Thanks for being a part of this site. Your contribution is monumentally important to me.

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LDE Plan

Thursday, May 17, 2012

LDE = Last Ditch Effort

So it's no secret that I'm frustrated right now, but before I do this:

I'm giving it one last ditch effort.

Because I think people don't believe me when I say that I've been trying really hard to lose weight and haven't. I'm pretty sure everyone thinks I'm lying to either myself or them, or both. Surely I must be doing something wrong to not be losing weight at 300 pounds! Well, I can certainly tell you that I haven't been perfect, but I can't say that I haven't been fighting tooth and nail to make something - ANYTHING - happen.

I know I promised you all that I didn't care about the scale anymore, but I do still. Because at 300 pounds I'm still constricted by weight restrictions out in the world.

But this has more to do with how I look and feel, honestly. I'm losing body fat, yes, but I don't really SEE it. My goal clothes are getting no closer to fitting. I'm not really losing inches. So where is all this body fat I'm losing coming from if it's not making a huge marked difference to my body makeup and composition?

Plus, I feel like the Stronglift program is a cop-out. I'm sorry for those of you that love it, but it doesn't feel like near enough. I used to workout 6 days a week, and now I'm working out 2-3, doing some heavy lifting that doesn't feel like enough 2 days a week and then pushing out a bodyweight ST exercise another day or two in that same week. And I feel like it's not enough. Honestly...even though every calculator I use (including my HRM) is telling me that I'm doing a good job, I just don't FEEL it. It's not doing what a five mile run or a tough Zumba class or a really good circuit training session does -- it doesn't make me feel like a friggin' warrior. I just feel like I'm going through the motions here...and that's not how I want to feel.

So last night I was about THIS close to just giving up completely. Wave the white flag. Stick a fork in me - I'm done. I got a lot of resistance from friends to that idea. People don't want to see the STILL fat girl quit. Not after she's fought so hard to get to where she is. Not after saying she never would.

But I can't keep rolling this rock up this hill only to have it come rolling back over me a week or two later. If this is my very own sisyphean task, well, I'd just rather get off this ride now and save myself some heartache. There's only so much one woman can take, I promise you that.

One last go. That's all I've got in me. One last attempt to make this work before I just let the boulder roll back down to the bottom of the hill and I walk across to the other side to see what waits me there.

One Last Ditch Effort.

I'm going to make this as simple as possible. Everyone says, "It's all about calories in vs. calories out." So I should be able to eat at a deficit from my TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) and above my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and I SHOULD see a consistent loss on the scale each and every week. Right? Right.

Age: 31
Height: 68"
Weight: 310
Lean Body Mass: around 161 pounds
BMR: 2124
TDEE (light): 2920
TDEE (mod): 3292

(light = exercising 1-3 times per week, moderate = exercising 3-5 times per week)

3292 - 500 = 2792
2920 - 500 = 2420
That's my new calorie range. 2420-2792 calories per day.

Now for the workouts.

I should be able to exercise anywhere from 3-5 times a week.
I'll do ST 3 times a week, and then try to get something light in on the other 2 days without messing up the PF too much. Even if it's just walking the dog, I'll get something in.

As for the ST - I'm going to go by how I feel. I'm going to give NROLFW a try and see if doing that 2 days a week feels like enough (and then hitting the bodyweight exercises on Friday or Saturday when I can't get to the gym). If not, I'm going to simply use the Phase 1 routines from the LiveFit program, because it's the last thing I did that made me feel strong and powerful. Honestly, I can read all the books in the world by all the greatest minds of our country, but if the "plan" doesn't make me feel like I want to do it, well, it just isn't going to work at all, is it?!

If I do the NROLFW, I'll either hit those Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday. Whatever 2 days I DON'T hit the weight room, I'll head to the other gym with the lap pool and get some laps in. Swimming is something I haven't yet been able to try and see if my body can take it. There are no guarantees as it could tweak my back/hips/pelvis and has been known to bother my knee when kicking, but I've gotten much stronger and maybe the support of muscle I've built will make swimming something I can actually do for at least 30 minutes a day. (And I've been known to get "lost" in the pool and stay there for an hour or if it feels good, it could equal a really good workout.)

If I do the LiveFit program, I'll try to follow each ST session (or at least 2 a week) with 20 minutes on the bike at a moderate HR level.

Option 1:
Monday - LiveFit
Tuesday - LiveFit and Bike
Wednesday - LiveFit
Thursday - LiveFit and Bike

And then maybe a light walk on Saturday with the boys and the pups.

Option 2:
Monday - NROLFW Workout A
Tuesday - Swimming
Wednesday - NROLFW Workout B
Thursday - Swimming
Friday - Bodyweight ST Exercises

And then maybe a light walk on Saturday with the boys and the pups.

Option 3:
Monday - Swimming
Tuesday - NROLFW Workout A
Wednesday - Swimming
Thursday - NROLFW Workout B
Friday - off
Saturday - Bodyweight ST Exercises

If swimming doesn't work, I'll try to create a 20 minute HIIT program on either the bike or the rowing machine.

Now, as for the FOOD.

We already decided on a calorie range. Now we're going to set the rules for how we're going to get there.

1) Eat clean at least 80% of the time.
2) Eat out only 1 time per week. Less if possible.
3) Make healthy meal options on the weekends or prep the crockpot in the morning for nightly dinners.
4) Try to stick to a 40/40/20 or 30/40/30 ratio on the carbs/protein/fat macros.
5) Drop as much sugar as possible. No more sneaking a cookie just because you have the calories for it.
6) Make massive amounts of homemade peanut and nut butters so you can boost the calories and get in some healthy fats.
7) Eat a balanced breakfast.
8) Take one meal "off" each week. Try to stay clean and within your ranges for the day, but don't be so strict on yourself. Sometimes a girl NEEDS pancakes, but make them oatmeal pancakes or something with an extra boost in protein powder. Use this one meal to get creative and find something new to add to the list of healthy, clean options in the menu planning.
9) Eat as many vegetables as possible, and stick some fruit in there too. Berries, pears, apples, pineapples, grapes, and bananas (for after workouts). Try to get 2 fruits a day and 3-5 servings of veggies every day.
10) Get some nuts for the house so you can make your calorie goals without relying upon "dirty" foods to get you there.

Other Goals:

* Try to get 6-8 hours a sleep each night, if possible.
* Drink 10-14 glasses of water each day.
* Take all my vitamins/supplements.
* Log everything!
* Get organized at work and make things start moving at YOUR pace again.
* Get the house in tip-top shape for summer.
* Start cleaning out anything we're willing to let go.
* Re-evaluate your job status, house progress, and LDE goals each Sunday.
* Get the boys involved in chores and make them a chore chart.
* Get your mind right. Each week you need to spend 1 hour doing something ONLY for yourself. Take a bath, shave your legs, read a book in the park by yourself. Whatever. Something for YOU.
* Remind the Hubs and Kids that you love them every single day.
* Win the $6 pot for bodyweight exercises by May 31st.
* Report back in as much as possible to keep yourself on track.
* Start looking for better paying FT jobs.

Some of these have nothing to do with my LDE, but I think part of the reason I'm falling apart is because EVERYTHING is falling apart around me. Sometimes I feel a little frazzled when I know I need to work on my life a bit...and that stress does not help matters at all. So if I work on making sure I'm right within myself, it might help to make the scale move again and help me stick to the path.

End Date for LDE Challenge: July 1, 2012 = final weigh-in
Initial Weigh-in for the official start will be this Sunday, May 20th.

One LDE.
One chance to prove myself wrong. (I would much rather prove that I was doing it all wrong and that I actually CAN lose weight than to have that "told you so" moment if I don't...again...still.)

And FYI - I've gone back to private, because I don't see how a 300 pound woman NOT losing weight can be anyone's motivation on a WEIGHT LOSS SITE. My friends can just choose to ignore me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHICAT63 5/21/2012 7:17PM

    Sorry in the lateness of my response....You are not alone, like you in the last year I have seen the same numbers up & down. I weigh more than last summer much to my disappointment and like you I have sat down and made a new commitment to myself and giving myself an another kick in the booty. So come on let's shake this weight off.....have a great week !

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ROMNEY3 5/17/2012 2:21PM

    For what it is worth. I know that swimming with swim fins, is easier on the knee joints fi they are available to you.

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BOB240 5/17/2012 2:21PM

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    I've been where you are.. and I'm still there gal. I have been on the same plateau since October 2011. My weight has fluctuated no more than 5 pounds either way. I've tweaked everything in sight. I've tried every exercise program there is - high cardio, low ST; low cardio, high ST; blah blah blah...I am the same with exercise - if it doesn't challenge me, why bother? I want something that makes me feel like a warrior too! I have found something that does - and it is just plain ol' circuits/bootcamps - because I can tweak them to BE challenging. And I throw in some heavy weights a few times a week. Because I can and it's challenging!

But I HEAR YOU - the frickin' scale needs to move. Yes, I've seen my body change - lost a few sizes along the way - but (for me) the scale won't go below 200.

The ONE (and sometimes ONLY) thing that keeps me trying and trying is this:

I refuse to go back to where I was. Even if I stay "here" for the rest of my life it's STILL better than where I WAS.

Hang in there - please know there are others in the same boat - and if I find anything that "works" I will always share :) Please do the same!


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4EVERADONEGIRL 5/17/2012 1:07PM

    You can do it!!! I know you can...and I'm cheering you on!! We're here to help you push that boulder up the hill, girl!

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BOB240 5/17/2012 1:01PM

    hold it...working on it....

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CHARMED34 5/17/2012 12:57PM


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ARUNNINGKAT 5/17/2012 12:44PM

    ((Hugs)) I know how you feel.... this is such a battle and quite a journey. However, I am glad to see that you aren't give up and you have a new plan. You will make your goals! emoticon

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ACCT1908 5/17/2012 12:39PM

    Let me just stop by and give you A HUGE HANDCLAP AND HUG! I'm exhausted reading your workouts so I'm quite sure (at least hoping) there is no one out there that thinks you aren't giving it 100%. To be totally are doing WAY more than I ever have. I have a friend in the same spot whereas I can "simply" do calories in/calories out and see results, it doesn't work like that for her.

So I cannot tell you the *how* or what you should do because again, you are going hard! I will just send over lots of encouragement your way. You rock and even though you don't think you are VERY inspiring! It's easy to keep going when you see results but to keep going when the scales not moving..freakin inspiring!

I am praying for you. You need a breakthrough!!!! ((HUGS))

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MARATHON_MOM 5/17/2012 12:19PM

    That's a great idea about moving on to the Phase 2 LiveFit ST workouts, even if you can't do the cardio! Trust me, I'm about to finish up phase 2, (one week to go) and those workouts get super intense. You'll get worked for sure!

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TREP13 5/17/2012 12:19PM

    Your friends will be here, continuing to cheer you on. You're a fighter and you're not a quitter. You can do it!!
emoticon emoticon

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CALLIKIA 5/17/2012 12:16PM

    Good point. I'll try cycling in the Phase II workouts instead.

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RUNMELLY 5/17/2012 12:06PM

    You have been a motivation to me because you haven't given up! Don't sell yourself short in that category. On here, I dodn't see people in terms of weight. I see them as they are: motivators and support systems. I don't know your presonal life and frankly, don't know much about you at all. I just know your words and they inspire me. So thank you for that and good luck to you on the LDE diet :)

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LOWFATFOODIE 5/17/2012 11:50AM

    Just a suggestion... Since you already finished phase 1 LIVEFIT a few weeks ago and since you want to work in cardio, just jump into Phase 2 routines. It will give you good guidelines on when to do cardio vs which days to focus on WT.
Phase 2 is a balsnced muscle-build and fat loss.

I think you will ROCK it!


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ALYSSA40 5/17/2012 10:55AM

    It's a long road but in reference to the LDE, if you look back at where you've been...Honey, you are a fighter by birth! There is NO SUCH THING AS YOU NOT FIGHTING! I know that a pep talk doesn't really fix things and it's about how you're feeling that keeps you going.

I say, you need to reflect a bit. Seeing how you've done this with a true heart to heart with yourself should be able to get you back. You've already begun with the rearranging of your routines.

You can do it!

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RUNNINGNP2B 5/17/2012 10:30AM

    You can do it E. You have done it before. You can do it.

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MARATHON_MOM 5/17/2012 10:21AM

    I firmly believe that this plan will be more than your "Last Ditch Effort"!
It looks like you have it well planned, and it looks like all of your goals are realistic, and attainable... and it looks like it will ALL WORK!

I totally understand that you are frustrated. But I also believe that you can do this! Hang in there... I know your results in July will be worth it! Don't give up!

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Mold Me

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Okay, confession's not working.

LiveFit felt great, it really did...and then I had to give it up. Just like my cardio. I've had to give just about everything up lately and it friggin' BLOWS. And as much as I tell you I just want to lose fat, not "weight"'s not ENTIRELY true, because I want to be in the 200s so much it makes me hurt. Like cutting-type emotions (chill, I'm not doing that, but I feel that way). It physically pains me to feel like I am UNABLE to do what everyone says I should be able to do. And if the dam doesn't break soon -- I WILL. I promise you that. I can only be strong for so long. I can only fight a losing battle and get so many scars and broken bones and bruises for NOTHING for so long.

So...everyone CLAIMS to have THE weight loss solution. And I've tried so many things I could probably write 15 books for you with different points of view. Half the time I don't know what I believe any more except that I must be broken because nothing I try has been working for me...not really.

Why am I no longer losing weight?

In 2004-2005, I went from 466 to 380 without too much trouble. And then it got really hard. And I pushed for the last 20 to say I had lost 100...and then I gave up fighting because it was so hard to fight against a wall that would not budge.

So in 2010 I joined SP and went from 416 to about 330 pretty well, thinking I had this thing licked! This was it! I was going to do it. And then it slowed to a crawl...and a few months ago, I hit a brick wall. I've tried going over it, around, through, over, etc, etc, etc...nada. I keep ending up here...between 300 and 310.

I've tried exercising more.
I've tried exercising less.
I've tried eating more.
I've tried eating less.
I've tried eating clean.
I've tried eating whatever the hell I wanted.
I've done cardio.
I've done lifting.
I've done lifting and cardio.
I've taken supplements and vitamins.
I've tried following SP guidelines, MFP, NROLFW, LiveFit nutrition guides/calorie suggestions...

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. My friend Bob suggested I just put my routine up here and yinz could have some fun tweaking it and figuring out how to make me lose weight again. But, that's the problem. I've tried everything and right now I'm lost because the Stronglift I was doing just isn't enough. And I can do too many crunches for it to really be a challenge. And I thought it'd be awesome to plank again, but then I realized I can hold one for 2 minutes already, so... yeah.

So, instead, I'm going to tell you what I NEED and you make suggestions from that.

1) I can't be at the gym more than 4 times a week - Monday through Thursday.
2) I have VERY limited time at home, so prep needs to reflect that.
3) I have no access to a road bike other than Hubs' and no way to ride it because I live on a VERY busy state route and we can't afford a bike rack for the car right now.
4) I currently can't run, jump, hop, skip, or walk for long periods of time because of my PF.
5) I DO have a HRM that tells me my calories burned...not that it matters.
6) I have the ability to log and measure.
7) I am feeding a family of 4 so they have to be reasonable meals...I will not cook 2 meals so they have to be things everyone will eat (except my 10-year-old because he's sometimes impossible to please).
8) I cannot lift 300 pounds or hang 300 pounds using my don't suggest it. I'll injure a shoulder, I promise.
9) Injuries/concerns include: tilted pelvis (which causes hip and knee issues), osteoarthritis in my knees, faulty disk in my lower back and a calcified ligament in my neck -- as well as a HUGE belly apron that gets in the way A LOT.
10) I don't say "quit" very easily and I will fight hard and long before admitting defeat.
11) Because of that, if I say I can't do it, I can't do it.
12) I will not eat sweet potatoes. Sorry - they make me physcially ill. Along with that include citrus fruits and too many bananas and squash (except some zucchini and yellow squash SOMETIMES).
13) I love chicken and peppers - fish is good, but I have scary mercury concerns so no more than 1-2 times per week.
14) I also love rice and beans and use these as my whole grains most office with SOME wheat bread sometimes.

I don't know what else...that's all I got for now.
I've almost given up hope, y'all...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 5/17/2012 2:51PM

    1) I agree with seeing your doctor . Perhaps there is something going on that you can't see that is preventing your from losing weight.
2) Just an FYI, I am following Paleo and I have a 50/30/20 breakdown of carbs/fat/protein so not eating grains and wheat does not mean low carb. (saw your comment about low carb diets and I agree 100%!)
3) I think we are in similar places right now. Always doing everything right and not getting anywhere. You try eating less calories, more calories, workout more, workout less, workout at a higher intensity, etc. etc. and nothing works... so basically, I feel your pain.
4) Just popped into my head. I just finished re-reading "This is Why You're Fat" by Jackie Warner. She talks about hormone balance and how it can keep your body from burning fat/losing weight. It is a really good read (the title is a little hard) and she is so down to earth. Maybe you can check it out? It of course has a full meal plan and workouts. The workouts are awesome (only 5 days a week of cardio and 3 of lifting, complete with workouts!). So if you just cut out a cardio day, this could work for you. Just another idea. And she eats grains (promotes oatmeal like crazy) so its just another approach. Actually, I think it would be a great book for you to read.

Good luck girlie! I hate spewing out advice but I think you are a close friend that will understand that you can take my advice or leave it and I won't be offended. Just sharing my random thoughts!

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SARAHSSUNSHINE 5/17/2012 12:57PM

    I wish I had a good plan here for you or a good food suggestion, but I honestly believe you when you say you've tried everything. I've read your blogs consistently (even if I don't always respond to them), probably more consistently than any other spark friend I have, and I feel for you. If anyone, and I mean ANYONE, on Spark deserves to have what she wants it's you. You have more determination and positivity (while still being real when you need to be) than anyone else I've "met." Even when you're low, you still get up. And to be stuck the way you are just doesn't make sense, not with how much you work. For God's sake, you can hold a 2 minute plank. Just for that, I bow to you, haha.

Apologies if other people have asked this/mentioned it/etc, I don't like to be the person on Spark that seems completely naive to money or expenses or medical bills, but have you seen a specialist STRICTLY for a full-body workup? Because I agree with your most recent comment on this blog. This shouldn't be happening. Something has to be going on internally, even if nobody knows what it is. Because you really have tried everything, and tried so hard, to a point where most people would just give up and say "screw it, it's not gonna happen." So I guess that's something to consider, though I'm only 22 and I have no idea where you would start or what kind of doctor you would see, not to mention the question of whether or not insurance covers it (I know ours in my family covers NOTHING that has to do with obesity. Which is a whole 'nother can of ridiculousness. But it happens).

As for the apron, I do think that's something you should consider removing. It will help you lose weight not as a cheat but as a way to get rid of dead weight in the form of skin. Perhaps one of the reasons your scale has been so steady is because you're gaining muscle (obviously) and losing some fat but there's only so much you can do before your skin gets in the way weight-wise? Not to mention appearance-wise. But I do know that skin removal surgery is obnoxiously expensive, so again, it comes back to the insurance and what it would cover. THOUGH you do have a good case of it being covered due to medical rather than cosmetic reasons (a large amount of excess skin causes discomfort, can irritate the physical ailments you have, etc. So that's always a route you could take to help alleviate costs).

I wish I had more to offer here. I feel like I'm not helping much and I'm probably just mirroring things previous posters have already said. But I know that you can conquer this. I think it just comes down to finding out medically what might be causing the problem. Because you're definitely working hard enough to make some leeway in this fight. You're just not at your "AHA" moment quite yet. I hope that discovery finds you soon and all the pieces fall into place.

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CALLIKIA 5/17/2012 8:19AM

    Thanks for all the food suggestions. I've been thinking for a while that there might actually be something wrong with me, but then I tell myself that it's just an excuse and the problem is that I suck. ...but with a pattern like this it really makes me wonder. I should NOT be stuck on a plateau for so long at 300 pounds. It just shouldn't be happening. Even if I slip up now and again, I stay pretty consistent and that should carry me through with even a tiny bit of consistent loss (even just 1/2 a pound a week right now would be nice). No matter what I do, even if I eat perfectly, it only holds for about a week and a half and then my body rebels and I shoot back up in weight. It just doesn't make sense to me... At. All.

And, yes, I've been considering seeing a surgeon about the skin removal. It's hard to believe that this would be an issue many people get down in weight to a more normal range before they ever have to think about this...but, then again, I'm not most people. It's sad knowing how much muscle I have under there and realizing that it can never be seen. Really this emotion is coming from the standpoint of my stomach apron - it's making it impossible for me to drop sizes anymore. Then again, it could just be that it takes time...a LONG time, apparently.

Seriously, I'm lost and confused with all of this. :/

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GUITARWOMAN 5/17/2012 7:28AM

    A few thoughts, as two things came to my mind.....

Can you see a doctor? It seems that if you are doing the right things and are not losing weight, maybe there is a medical issue related to that....don't know too well how medical coverage works in the states.....

And, can you have surgery for the belly fold? I have a small one, don't like it, but my concerns are cosmetic. Vain me. If if gets in your way, it is a health problem. And, it artificially inflates your weight.

Good luck!


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SARAWALKS 5/17/2012 7:25AM

    Kiwi fruit. Ratatouille - it uses squash but honestly it is SO tasty that you would never know. Of course it has eggplant in it but it is terribly good. Mukimame - that's edamame without the pods - for a great high protein snack. Watermelon.

I hesitate to say this but I know you have thought of it. If you had the belly apron removed, would it give you a lift psychologically and maybe help you through this slough of despond? I think that would not be a bad thing, if financially it were possible.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAMADWARF 5/16/2012 10:53PM

    I have watched you struggle for a long time. I'm there too and its annoying as hell. I finally added tennis to burn some extra calories and remarkably, I can play with 2 bum knees and bulged discs and the bets part is I like it! I really have no advice to give you except to not give up. I know a lot of people claorie cycle eating high one day and low the next within their ranges. One of my favorite meals is salsa chicken. Chicken, salsa, crockpot. Could not be easier and its ready when you get home which makes I the best.Add some taco shells or have burritos, salads or a bowl with black beans and rice. Keep fighting Esther. Somethings gotta give. I'm gonna fight too

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CALLIKIA 5/16/2012 10:18PM

    Not sure how that helps. I've gone down to eating 1400 calories and up to 3000, and each time I ate whole grains. I don't believe in no carb diets and tend to follow a 40/40/20 or 30/40/30 diet (carbs/proteins/fat). And I have a part-time job that requires me to stand constantly and I move around as much as I can at my ft job. Bringing in a stability ball would not fly, tho.

But, seriously? Stand around more is the answer?

As for eating out - I try to limit it to once or twice a week. This week is a very bad example because I kinda gave up on staying strict on my clean eating (which I do about 85-90% of the time).

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FLAMENM 5/16/2012 8:54PM

    Can you stand at work? Or even switch to sitting on a stability ball instead of a chair. You'll burn some additional calories, and every little bit helps!

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MENNOLY 5/16/2012 8:10PM

    My suggestion is to eat out less. All the portions are too big. A Panera bagel is an astounding 310 calories without any spread. Use non-processed foods. Cook clean and cut back on grains, even whole grains. They are yummy but have a lot of calories. Good Luck

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CALLIKIA 5/16/2012 6:19PM

    Stats: 5'7.5- 5'8, 305ish pounds, 31 years old, work 40 hrs/wk at a desk job, about 15/wk on my feet, 46.3% body fat

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

So I bit the bullet and took yesterday off to get some rest. Of course the day ended up being full of chaos and errands to run and all that jazz, but it wouldn't be my life without the craziness it seems.

I had set an appointment to see the Chiropractor at 10:15 am. Monday my lower back was bugging me ...a lot. So much so that even though I really wanted to go lift, I figured my lack of really being able to walk without pain meant it was best if I just held back and took the day off and saw what my Cute Chiro had to say before I got back to it. It was pretty difficult to skip the gym, but I know now that I'd rather delay the gratification of building muscle and burning fat and making progress rather than derail it all together by pushing through and injuring myself. (Look! She's learning!! *lol*)

Of course, luck of all lucks, they were packed yesterday and I had to wait 35 minutes AFTER my appointment time (and, of course, I had gotten there early...) to see the chiro. I'm glad I waited, though. He told me that it wasn't as bad as he expected, which means I've been keeping up with my end of the bargain and keeping myself aligned as best I can with my stretches and such. He told me he was a little worried about me taking on this second job (who isn't?!) because of my issues with my back/neck/pelvis, but I told him it was temporary and I was managing as best I could. He gave me a quick adjustment, told me that when I get back to running to be sure to put good arch support in my shoes, and then told me to ice myself down the next few days and call him when I feel I need him again. (Best part was that I left without paying a dime because they said I actually had a credit! *lol*)

So, all is well. I feel vindicated. I am not tweaking my back with my squats, which means if I continue to focus on my form each time I should be fine. Moreover, I'm doing all my stretches, which helps to keep my messed up body in the best shape it can possibly be. When I started going to the Chiro I honestly thought I'd probably have to go once a week. But it's been months without an adjustment and if I just keep working my stretches and such I should be able to manage the issues for another few months before popping back in his office again for a quick adjustment.

He did go over with me again that it's not likely I'll ever be "cured" of my problems. They're too severe. He has no idea what caused them, but they seem to be pretty permanent. So the best I can ever hope to do is keep myself in shape well enough to manage the issues I have and live as happy and productive a life as possible. It could be worse, trust me, but hearing it again made me a bit sad...not sure why. Still, it stresses why I must continue on the path I'm on. The less fat I carry around, the better my body will manage. And the better shape I'm in - maintaining my strength and flexibility, especially in my back - the less pain I'll have and the better chance I'll have to not end up in a back brace. It also stresses to me the importance of really working hard to get this stomach apron gone...because I know it's not helping these issues at all.

(Quick note: I've been toying with the idea of seeing a skin removal surgeon to see how much more I need to do before I ask for intervention - because I'm pretty sure that's going to be necessary at some point. I honestly wish I could get by without it, but more and more as time passes, I'm starting to see the lasting damage almost 30 years of being overweight has caused to my body. I'm willing to do all that I can, but I don't want to be twiddling my thumbs and busting my arse if there's no hope of it ever getting any better than this. Maybe a little light at the end of the tunnel talk will give me what I need to push forward and keep on the path. No clue where to start this process, but it's time for me to start looking at least.)

After I FINALLY got out of the chiro's office, I headed home, where Hubs told me we HAD to run up to his mother's house real quick (it's never a quick visit, just FYI *lol*). BTW - I still hadn't found time to eat yet...not such a good idea... But it was at least for a good reason. A state and/or county mowing vehicle came down our road last month and kicked a rock up into Hubs' back windshield causing it to crackle and then shatter. Awesome, right?! Thankfully, we reported the incident to them and they've agreed to pay for the damages. (Yay! I seriously thought we were just going to have to eat that expense...another reason I've been working my butt off lately.)

Finally, around 12pm, we headed off to do what we'd planned on doing for the day - going to the movies. We stopped and grabbed a quick lunch of Taco Bell (yea, I don't want to talk about it...) and then sped up toward the city to see The Avengers. (For those wondering, yes, it's pretty good. Love the wisecracks and silly moments a lot that cut through all the fight-bang-beat-up-more-fighting of the action.) And then Hubs and I got into a fight. *lol*

Hubs discovered at the movie theatre that he didn't have his credit card. We thought and traced it back to a restaurant we'd eaten at the night before (I'm doing real good on my diet right now, aren't I? *lol* Yea, not so much...but I keep trying...) and called them up to see if they had it. They told us they'd check the safe but it took 20 minutes to open it so we'd have to call back. I'm not sure how much Hubs was able to relax during the movie but once the first credit hit he popped out of his seat and said, "We've gotta make a call!" So we called, and they said they didn't have it...and then it all fell apart. It was silly of us. He felt stressed, I felt rushed on the only day off I'd had in forever, and well, we had it out before finally settling on not stressing each other out anymore and getting on with our lives.

We stopped by Old Navy and then I popped in Panera super fast for a couple bagels to take home (my new treat when we go to the used to be donuts, so I'm getting better! *lol*).

And, because I feel the need to brag, can we talk just a little bit about women's intuition? Every once in a while I get this "feeling" that I can't describe. It happens a lot when we're driving at night. Sometimes I'll turn to Hubs and say, "Watch for deer!" and he knows it's because I've had one of those feelings. And 9 times out of 10, we see a deer. Sometimes I can even tell if it's going to be a real danger, or just a "close call" (i.e. a deer standing in the field next to the road as we pass). It's strange, and Hubs always remarks on the strangeness of it and I don't know that he even believes it...but *shrug*. What does it matter? Doesn't hurt anything to be careful, does it?

Well, as we were driving back home, I had this feeling I couldn't shake that told me we HAD to go back to the restaurant. I couldn't place why...if someone saw a card on the ground they would have picked it up and used it. Maybe that was a part of it...I could tell it hadn't been used yet..which mant, I hoped, no one actually had found it. Or whoever did find it was trying to do the right thing. Either way, I fought the feeling all the way home, but as we took our exit, I turned right instead of left and said, "I know you're going to think I'm stupid, but I just have to check, okay?" We checked the parking lot...nothing. We went inside and looked around the table and such...nothing. And Hubs turns to me and says, "What do you want to do?" I looked at him and whispered to him that I wanted him to ask them again because I wanted them to say to his face that there was no credit card there, just so I knew we'd done everything we could. But as soon as we walked up the register, the manager recognized us and said, "You were in here last night, weren't you? Lose a credit card?" and grinned and pulled it out from the locked drawer under the register. And I nearly kissed her and slapped Hubs on the arm and said, "See! I knew it!"

So, yeah...I ended the night with a win.


And with the knowledge that (1) I've been eating out WAY too much lately and (2) I have GOT to do something to get rid of this stomach! (We also went so I could try on clothes, but nothing fits right because of the stomach not matching the rest of me...and it makes me sad.) So, I'm pushing myself to tighten the reigns, start eating right as much as humanly possible, and see if I can actually meet my goals. I keep hoping that with the fat loss I keep striving for, I'll eventually see some movement on the scale as well, but that's not happening, and I'm trying not the fret. The only reason I want it is because I'm about 10-15 pounds from a bunch of weight limits on I'd really love to get under that and feel a little more "free" as it were to move about the world.

Anyhow, hope you all had a good Tuesday. I've got a big day today and I'll probably be in and out and running around like chicken sans head. But I MUST lift tonight...hold me to that! And I'm thinking of going for a swim tomorrow, just to test out my lungs and this new less fatty body in the water.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 5/16/2012 11:37AM

    The only time my hubs and I argue is when we are both stressed out. Luckily that is almost never and we both know its just because we are stressed and not actually mad. Works out in the end! Glad you found the card!!!

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4EVERADONEGIRL 5/16/2012 11:15AM

    Way to go on all of it!!!! Well, maybe not the food, but the realization that you are eating out too much is good! :-)

You ROCK!!!

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JEREMY723 5/16/2012 10:54AM

    So glad that you found the credit card!

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 5/16/2012 10:07AM

    You will lift, as will I. I'm doing overhead squats as my main focus... what's your plan?

Even when you eat out, there are more healthy options. Salads with dressing on the side, grilled chicken over fried, and skipping the buns/wraps. You got this girl!

Congrats on the back and being able to keep it mostly in check on your own. That's amazing news.

I really like the Avengers when I saw it last week.

Let's rock the rest of this week!

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Fitness Can Be Made Anywhere

Monday, May 14, 2012

More and more as I struggle to adapt my 2-job lifestyle to this way of living (note the order there), I'm faced with difficult challenges when it comes to getting to the gym. Now I love my lifting programs and am currently trying to use them to really boost my lean muscle mass so I can get rid of all this extra fat I'm carrying around, so, yes, that requires me to keep some commitment to my gym. But whereas I used to spend 4-6 days a week in the hot, sweaty, smelly place (that I love!), now I find myself struggling to go more than twice.

And that's okay.

Twice a week is all I really need if I lift right and make it count each time I there. If I spend every second I'm there putting on my sexy face (see previous blog) and showing myself what's really possible when it comes to lifting.

Sure, three days a week would be most ideal to keep this going, but I can get away with two and make it work.


Look, no lifestyle change is going to work for you if it doesn't work WITH you...with your schedule, your wants and needs and desires and dreams and goals. It has to fit into the priorities you've set for yourself. If you're training for a marathon, that might mean hours spent pounding the pavement or circling a track or hitting the trails. But if you're just trying to stay fit and active and healthy...well, don't limit yourself!

Exercise can literally be done ANYWHERE. I started exercising from my recliner using a rehab type pedal machine that I spent 40 bucks on through Amazon. The most I could do was 15 minutes, but I tried to do that as many days as I could. At that time, watching television and relaxing after a hard day was important to me...and that fit into both my abilities and my lifestyle.

And as my lifestyle has changed, so has my fitness routine.
I swim in the summer because I just wanted to be at the lake as much as possible.
I rowed when swimming got boring, and hiked whenever I didn't want to get wet.
I took long walks with my camera because I wanted to be lost in the world, lost in my own eye, and document what surrounded me.

I've hit the gym when I felt I needed to be there 6 days a week to prove my devotion.
I've taken boxing classes in the basement of a gym full of guys doing MMA moves upstairs.
I ran when I felt the need to fly and logged my minutes and miles on the hilly roads around my house, and at the track of the nearby high school.

Whatever kept me going.

In 2004, I didn't want to be seen outside.
I had no gym membership, nor money to add one to my arsenal, nor desire to even try and be seen there.
So I kicked it in my living room while the kids napped, rocking out to Tae Bo routines and Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds series.

When I needed serenity, peace and meditation - I did yoga.

When I needed to feel bouncy and jumpy and carefree - I Zumbaed.

As much as I've heard "I don't have time to exercise" or "I should join/go to the gym" in the past few weeks, I'm saddened that there are people in this world that don't understand that the opportunity for exercise and fitness goes wherever you go - day in and day out. Every. Single. Day.

Your body is all you need.

Well, that and the courage to try.

I've seen so many body-weight based exercise programs that I almost feel like a book should be collected - one of those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, but you choose your workout according to your likes, dislikes, lifestyle, etc.

How about this one for the Harry Potter fans:

Even if Harry Potter isn't your bag (and why the hell not, I ask you?!!?! ;) ), there are plenty of these types of exercise games you can come up with on your own.

Game of Thrones - 10 pushups anytime someone takes a drink of wine, or asks for it, or throws it
Sex and the City - 15 burpees each time Charlotte wanting a baby is mentioned, or each time Samantha has sex

Get creative. Have fun with it. The only limits are the ones you place on yourself.

Fifteen minute break at work? Wall sit...see how long you can hold it.
Waiting in line at the store? Ab contractions - no one can see!
Stand on your tiptoes while brushing your hair in the morning.
Mow the lawn without the bag so you can rake up the debris later.

It doesn't have to be epic every single time, I promise. (Though, I do fully believe that you should try to be epic at least 3 times a week. See the sexy face blog. ;) I'm not trying to send mixed messages, I just want to make sure that even on your rest days you realize you can remain active...and when you can't get to the gym, you still have options.)

Stop making excuses.

In this day and age you don't even need to leave the house to make it work, so commenting that you don't have time to get to the gym...well, that's a mindless excuse now isn't it?! What are you really saying about yourself? That you aren't worth the 20 minutes of sexy face it takes to make some positive changes in your body and your life? I don't believe it.

Last week I did 3 workouts in the gym - 2 on the same night. The rest of the time I spent doing bodyweight exercises, running around with the kids, challenging them and fighting for the prize money sitting on the kitchen counter (me and each of my 2 boys put $2 in a jar on the counter...the person who does the most pushups, crunches, burpees, mountain climbers, planks, etc. this month wins the dough...and I've got my eye on a new nail polish color or some blush...). Even when resting at home, I tried to get up every once in a while and do something active -- even if it was just 15 minutes of non-stop cleaning so as to keep my body moving. On Saturday I made up a circuit of burpees and pushups and crunches and turned on my HRM and told myself I couldn't stop until I'd been at it for at least 20 minutes. On breaks at work I pulled some yoga moves to stretch my body and keep the circulation flowing. When I wasn't working, working out, cleaning or doing laundry, I was cooking some healthy meals for the week, enlisting the help of my two boys when possible - it meant I had leftovers to pack this morning and I won't be scrambling to find some healthy choice in the drive-thrus that surround me here at work. Each time I completed a task, I smiled at myself and thanked myself for doing yet one more thing to ensure I stay active and healthy even as my life is ripped into chaotic shreds. I spoke positively to myself and let myself know how much it meant that I was using my time wisely since I have so little of it anymore. Even THAT was something to help me along the way - keeping my motivation flowing through positive thinking.

Look, it's as simple as this...
Make time for yourself...not excuses.
No gym membership ever made a person was what they did there (or outside of there) that mattered.

Photo Sources:

emoticon Need more workout ideas? Try searching Pinterest or Google for "at home workouts" and just see what you come up with. Or try fitness and welness and healthy living magazines like Women's Health and Shape and Fitness. Most of them are online now so you don't even need a subscription or to run to the drug store for a copy to get some ideas for moves you can take with you wherever you go! Some of them even allow you to like them on Facebook and update with posts that continue to encourage you throughout each month and remind you of the goals you had when you turned the calendar and saw that big 1 staring you down. Get out there and make it happen!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERIN1128 5/14/2012 4:06PM

    Very true... I can't tell you how many times, when I've told someone I get up at 5:45 to exercise, I hear, "oh, I could NEVER do that!" No, it isn't easy, but if it's important you do it. Thanks for a great blog.

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AMANDA_C 5/14/2012 2:53PM

    So true! I have no gym membership & have managed just fine in the great outdoors & with work-out's possible!

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ARUNNINGKAT 5/14/2012 2:27PM

    Bravo! Doing what you can, with where you are and what you have! Half the battle!!

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TAINYC 5/14/2012 2:27PM

    I wish there was an "I love this blog" option. This was so great! Insightful, motivating and full of great information. Thank you so much for writing this!

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CLHENDY1 5/14/2012 1:22PM

    haha I love the Harry Potter Workout! I do something similar when watching TV. It's all about commercials... ex: 10 crunches for every beauty commercial or 20 jumping jacks for every car commercial. It's like a game! && it keeps me busy from munching! Great post!!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 5/14/2012 12:20PM

    emoticonGreat blog and so true.

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CINDYSDAY 5/14/2012 11:44AM

    You are such an inspiration!

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BOB240 5/14/2012 11:44AM

    "15 burpees each time Charlotte wanting a baby is mentioned, or each time Samantha has sex "

Far too many burpees..

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ALYSSA40 5/14/2012 10:35AM

    I love the Harry Potter one! LOL Nice post!

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