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One Week Left in May

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nearly one month ago I set out some goals for myself in certain exercises. With one week left in May, though, my time to complete these is dwindling fast! I'll have to really buckle down and get these done...especially considering there's a jar with $6.00 at home waiting for me to whip the boys' butt, and I'm pretty sure they've basically forgotten about our challenge. (Hey, is it ALWAYS my job to remind them? I printed them their own lists and they tossed them on the floor for the dog to chew up! *facepalm*)

So here's where I'm at so far:

Pushups (Modified) - 80/150
Pushups (Regular) - 105/150
Burpees - 90/150
Crunches (Regular) - 165/150
Crunches (Legs Raised) - 35/150
Crunches (BigTinys) - 35/150
Crunches (Reverse) - 65/150
Crunches (Oblique/Side) - 51/150
Mountain Climbers - 3.5/30 minutes
Plank (Regular) - 3/30 minutes
Plank (Modified) - 1/30 minutes
Plank (Modified Side) - 1/30 minutes

I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew with the planks, but I'm going to do my very best to make this happen sometime between now and May 31st at midnight.

Here's what's left:
70 Modified Pushups
45 Regular Pushups
60 Burpees
115 Legs Raised Crunches
115 BigTinys
85 Reverse Crunches
99 Oblique Crunches
26.5 minutes Mountain Climbers
27 minutes Regular Plank
29 minutes Modified Plank
29 minutes Side Plank (14.5 minutes each side)

This means that my abs and arms are going to be screaming after this week is over. But I'll be darned if I don't finish my goal by wimping out in the last week! I'm going to go against all my better judgement and knock out these exercises little by little each day (I'm usually a stickler for rest days now, but this is for REALS y'all! SIX BUCKS! ;) ).

I've already got my June workouts mapped out and I don't want to take any negative baggage into the new month with me. I want my Goal Met stickers and I want that 6 bucks!

I've spent a lot of time today thinking forward to June (always happens when I start setting down my workouts for the month) and all I can think is - I WANT SOME PROGRESS!

I either want to lose some weight for good OR lose a noticeable bit of body fat OR get down a clothing size. Right now I'm stuck smack dab in between 20s and 22s or 22s and 24s at most stores - and in between sizes SUCKS! So I want some progress, and I'm trying to make plans to make sure that happens.

But I've got to make sure I end May with a bang! At least I know I learned a lot this month - but I'm kinda sick of that being the only victory I'm coming out with lately. So...I bought my own fat % monitor like the one the gym uses. I hope it's the same kind and reads the same (because my scale is supposed to read body fat too but it says I'm still like 56% fat...10% more than the one at the gym! That's a HUGE difference! (but the gym one seems more on track with the old scale at my old gym, so 2 against 1 and I win with the lower body fat %)). I'll take every measurement I can on June first and then I'll have a better idea what's happening to my body right now (because even looking at pictures starts to dull and fade and I stop seeing the changes I know are there).

But first...
DROP AND GIVE ME 20!! is all I'll be telling myself for the next few days so I can hit those May goals!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPUNKYDUCKY 5/25/2012 9:40PM

    I am so proud of you for working to finish these! And I hear you about feeling like you want something more than learning for the month - right there with you - Let's get some progress!!!!!

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BOB240 5/24/2012 5:42PM

    Interested to se if the bodyfat monitor works. I've tried calipers and electronic things.. the measurements don't make sense to me :(

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ARUNNINGKAT 5/24/2012 5:27PM

    You've got this! You will be the winner of the $6.00 and an incredible sense of satisfaction!

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VICKYMARIEC 5/24/2012 5:22PM

    Win that 6 bucks girl!

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The Weight of My Nation

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Okay, so I watched Weight of the Nation last night for just a little bit and, boy, was that depressing! Seriously, hearing doctors go on and on about how hard it is to lose weight, how we're all doing it all wrong, and how even after we lose the weight we have a serious point of struggle ahead of us as we are confined to eating 20% less than we would have we never gotten fat in the first place. Yay!! *sarcasm sarcasm sarcasm* I swear at one point I thought, "Are they trying to tell us all to just give up and get used to being fat?!" *sigh* Neither here nor there, really, but it has seriously crushed any delusions I had about what my life might be in the future.

Let's just put it out there - losing weight is hard. Losing 100 pounds is uber hard. Losing 200 is almost impossible without surgical intervention for most people. I started out at 466.6 pounds. My goal weight right now is right around 230 pounds. Yes, I know that sounds high to all of you, but if I maintain my lean body mass from this point on, just maintain it, that will put me around 30% body fat. Getting closer to 20% I'll still be in the 200s. I have very few delusions of getting into that "Onederland" (I really hate that term) most people strive for or even getting to what the BMI charts consider a "healthy weight". If I maintained my lean muscle mass, "healthy weight" according to those charts will put me at about 1% body fat. That's healthy?! Anyhow...I digress. 466.6 to 230 for now. THat's the goal. We'll reevaluate later (my magic head number is around 210, btw). That's 236 pounds, y'all! *falls over* That's not losing a person, that's losing an OBESE person. Seriously. Hard row to hoe.

But just because it's hard, and will be for MY ENTIRE LIFE, does not mean I'm giving up.
It doesn't mean I can't do it. It just means I'll have to fight harder to get there.
And I certainly have learned that I have a LOT of fight in me.

So...that show can suck it! *lmao*

Moving on...

Yesterday I ate a little bit over my 2600 goal. I'm not too worried, it's still under my TDEE and I'm just trying to learn what my body needs/wants. Apparently last night it wanted some more fat in the form of a handful of peanuts. I hadn't bargained for that. So what I learned is that I need to incorporate some more healthy fats into my diet so I'm not scrounging around at the end of the night with no calories because I planned the "perfect" day and didn't take my own needs into account. Readjust, reconfigure, and move on with more knowledge.

My "almost perfect" day looked great. And then we had a few minor hiccups (like my sweet husband trying to ease the burden of making dinner off me and making something that didn't exactly fit into my plans for the day...and those nuts). Not sure if his cheeseburgers (at least he made them small) made me want the peanuts more or if I just wanted those damn peanuts.

Breakfast (7am)
2 egg whites, 1/2 cup of oats, 2 Tbsp homemade peanut butter, 16oz coffee with creamer (full fat and sugar)

Snack 1 (9:30am)
La Yogurt Raspberry Yogurt cup and 13 Quaker Quakes (Carmel Corn)

Lunch (12pm)
Subway 6" Turkey sub on wheat with a bit of light mayo, lettuce, and lots of pickles
Veggie Salad with lots of lettuce, spinach, a little sprinkle of mozzarella cheese, pickles (yes, pickles in my salad *lol*), and fat free italian dressing - topped with a package of light tuna I had back at work

Snack 2 (5pm)
Carbmaster Vanilla Yogurt, 12 baby carrots, 90 calorie Quaker Oats Granola Bar

Post-Workout (7pm)
Large banana and 2 scoops of Chocolate Peanut Butter whey protein powder in water

Dinner (8:30pm)
2 ground beef hamburgers on buns with cheese, with light mayo, ketchup, lettuce, and pickles

...and then that handful of peanuts


Calories = 2926
Calories Burned in my Workout = 349 (36% fat cal)
Net Calories = 2577

Now my BMR is around 2150. My TDEE (moderate) is around 3300. I was within my ranges, but not quite as comfy there as I thought I'd like to be.

My Workout:
I did Workout 1 of NROLFW last night...sorta.

Warm-up: 5 minutes on the bike at level 12

Squats - 2 sets of 15 reps at 95 lbs
(SS1) Pushups - 2 sets of 15 at 30%ish angle (can't quite make floor pushups yet, so I did this with part of the support of the squat rack - which got me some funny looks, but ah well!)
(SS1) Seated Cable Row - 2 sets of 15 at 60 lbs
(SS2) Step up - 2 sets of 15 - no weight, pretty high step (knee or thigh level), I got to 9 before I needed the bar in front of me for support so I wouldn't fall over
(SS2) Prone Jackknife -- NOT! OMG, I totally tried to do this and did 1 and nearly fell on my face. I don't know if I was using too big of a stability ball (probably) or what but my pride was damaged and I improvised by pulling out some Mountain Climbers instead.

Then cool down with some yoga and stretches and I was DRIPPING sweat, y'all. Had no clue I was working QUITE that hard as I was doing it.

Total Time: 39:22
Avg HR: 122
Max HR: 159
Cal Burn: 349
Fat Cal: 36%

Not too shabby, I suppose.

Want to know what sucks? I want to swim tonight but I don't have the right chest strap for my Polar to take in the water with me, so if I do that I'll be tacking on 30 minutes or so of exercise that it just won't register...which pisses me off because I was going to reach my set goal of 4hr 5min this week for the FIRST TIME since I got it. *sigh* Maybe I'll have to do something else. I just have to ask myself what I want more - laps at the pool or that 30 minutes counted toward my total. Maybe I'll hit the rowing machine or bike first and make my own mini-mini tri session. *lol*

As for today? I'm sore all over. I'm bloated as all get out, but I know it's from muscle recovery and I've promised to give them a bunch of water today and only hit the cardio at a moderate pace.

Tomorrow I'll probably try to finish up my goals for the month. I still have a bunch of planks and mountain climbers to do so it might be an all day spread out thing until I have to work at 4:30pm at the second job. At least I know I can knock out the regular planks for 2 minutes at a time. Wonder if I can hold it any longer than that??

And then Saturday I'm going to try a run again if the foot still feels good. I shared my run with Tanner (my trainer - aka Cute California Trainer Boy (CCTB) or Cute California Trainer Dude (CCTD)) last night and he said, "Well give it today and then try again tomorrow." Boy, he doesn't waste any time, does he? I told him I wouldn't try again until Saturday to make sure there was plenty of heal and stretch time in between and he nodded and said, "That's probably best." He immediately asked me once I told him about it, "Do you have a 5k in mind?" *lol* Of course I do! I always do! I would've loved to have run the Firecracker 2-Miler again this year and best my time from last year (a very poor showing with a ton of negative jeers before I finished and got a bunch of praise and thanks), but I don't think I'll be ready by July 4th to attempt the 2 miles comfortably. (And I was totally there back in December - running 5 miles and thinking 2 miles was just an "easy run"....that's a little sad.) So I'm trying to think a tiny bit further down the road...and I don't know that I'd be ready for this either (but I could walk if I needed to) but the first of August is usually the Debbie Green Memorial 5k - the first race I ever walked and where I met my girl, Hollynn and her wonderful husband! I would love to knock that one out if I could (though the major challenge would be the monster hill in the beginning...haven't tried the foot on hills yet...). If I'm not ready for that...well, we'll have to look into September/October. I'm sure I can find something to shoot for, but I'm not going to injure myself again to do it. Even if I'm just putting in 5 miles running a week every week on my own street with no one to witness it or cheer for me, well, I'll be happy just to be running again for a while.

Today will be a challenge. Woke up late and rushed out the door and am NOT prepared food-wise. I think I can make it work, but it might be a low cal day for me. Gonna shoot for 2400 and try not to fill it with crap food.

As you can see, I've taken a lighter stance on my "clean" eating for the past few days. The only reason for that is that I need to go grocery shopping! *lol* Our supplies are dwindling and it's time to take a trip around the outside aisles and get some fresh fruits and veggies up in here (or at least some frozen ones). I do have my eye on a watermelon and perhaps a pineapple as well. NOM! Hoping to get some good batch cooking time in this weekend or somehow develop a good slow cooker schedule. Got some good chances this week. 1) I'm off Monday. YAY! 2) I work short shifts this week, so even if I hit the gym after work I should be home closer to 6pm, rather than 8pm. Makes making dinner that much easier. 3) The boys are off as of Friday for summer vacation, so they can stay up a little later, so late dinners won't make that big of a difference. Ooh, and I think the strawberry patch near my house might be ready for picking...we'll have to check that out this weekend and see if we can get a crapload of FRESH strawberries we can eat, freeze, and make into homemade jam!

emoticon What are your go-to clean eating staples at the grocery store? Right now mine are bell peppers and chicken. If I don't have these two items in my house I feel lost! Oh, and bananas for my post-workout snacks.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAMADWARF 5/26/2012 1:15AM

    Esther, I have o doubt you will make your goals. You never give up no matter the challhpenge. I'm cheering for you. Btw, I love the Carmel corn Quaker minis too!!! Can't keep peanuts in the house but I do keep and my parrot love them!!!

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MUSOLF6 5/24/2012 1:06PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ARUNNINGKAT 5/24/2012 12:44PM

    Bananas, chicken, cottage cheese, yogurt and fruit of choice. Those are my must-haves! Turkey pepperoni is also good because it is high protein, low-fat and easy to grab.

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On the Road Again

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I debated not sharing this at all with anyone, because I've gotten a lot of crap about how I shouldn't be running at my weight and that's probably why I got hurt in the first place (it isn't). But I won't deny myself the reminder of what yesterday meant to me.

For the past few weeks my foot has been feeling really good. No real pain in my heel - just a bit of stiffness if I stand for too long (after about 4 hours or so). So I've been toying with the idea of trying to run again...just a little bit...just to test it out. Let me first remark that NEITHER of my doctors have told me not to run. In fact, you can put my PT in that category as well. All of them know the struggles I face with my worn out body - osteoarthritis in my knees, misaligned pelvis, calcified ligament in my neck, and a wonky disk in my back. ALL of them have only managed to say - "Listen to your body and adjust accordingly, as needed." When I last saw my chiropractor (last week) he said, "Well, when you get back to running, just make sure you have good insoles/arch support." And I do. I bought new insoles a couple weeks ago to help with dealing with standing at the new job.

So yesterday, I got this crazy stupid notion that I was going to try to run. Even though I'd slept for 13 hours straight the previous night because I couldn't get up because of a massive headache caused by my ligament pinching the nerve in my neck (at least, chiro says this is most often the cause of my migraines). Even though I couldn't hardly eat 1/2 a bowl of oatmeal that morning for no apparent reason. I felt off...and I honestly had no clue why I felt the need to try to run in such conditions. But something told me to try.

I vowed that if I felt ANY pain in my heel, even a twinge of something, I would stop immediately. Hubs was headed up to his mother's house (she lives about 3/4 of a mile away) and I told him to go ahead and take off with Logan and Ethan and I would meet him there. And then I started C25K W1D1 on my phone, just to see how far I could get through it. 9 runs later, I nearly wept. I had done it. I had completed the entire workout. And I was jazzed! I headed straight out to my FIL's weight bench and did a little lifting and 55 minutes after leaving my house, I had burned 607 calories. And I couldn't contain myself.

I tried not to make a big deal out of it. I was conscious of my foot the entire night. I stretched it and my back through all my PT and chiro stretches and rolled and iced my foot and back for good measure..and then I waited for everything to all apart. I was nervous. I kinda still am. But, so far, only a slight stiffness in my foot this AM that was over after the first few steps to the bathroom. I'll continue to stretch it today, and I have no hopes of even trying to run again until at LEAST Saturday. Once or twice a week is all I will give myself for now. Probably just devoting my Saturdays to runs as I love getting to know these roads once again under new (stronger) legs. And if there's any pain...I'll back off. I'll invest in running shoes before I get serious again. I'm on the lookout now. And before I even think about doing 3-a-week runs, I will make sure I've gone weeks without any pains in my foot from the PF. And I'll probably try to get into the chiro again before I try 3-a-weeks again, just to make sure I'm perfectly aligned (or as best as I can get).

Last night, as I was trying to fall asleep, I couldn't contain my own joy. I felt all this rush of possibilities come back to me and I realized why I had felt so run down and out of sorts the past few months. I was being held back. I couldn't be who I was.

People can say whatever they want about what my body should or shouldn't be able to handle, but I know it better than anyone...and my doctors come a close second behind me. And none of us doubt my ability if I take all the necessary precautions to adapt myself to my body's limitations (and I don't just mean my weight). I'm a slow runner. I mid-foot-strike. I concentrate more on my body alignment in runs than I do anything else, which, in it's own way, spaces me out and helps me destress, but isn't like the freeing runs of so many that I hear about. I don't have time to think about finances and second jobs and the countless things the kids want to see, do, and own. I can only think about my body in motion as I turn my legs over, being sure not to put too much stress on my hips and knees, not bounding too far off the ground but making slow, steady, deliberate steps over and over again. My heart rate runs a pretty moderate rate throughout my runs and recovers through my walks and I seem to be maintaining my breathing well - all things noticed on my run last night. As well as the strength in my legs built through months of basically nothing but ST, and the newfound flexibility that's greater than ever before because I challenged myself with yoga moves and stretched like it was my damn job!

So as all the possibilities flooded back in my head and I felt my own power returning, I started to realize how much of who I am is built up in the things I've learned to love in the past two years. It's things I somehow knew a very long time ago, but was discouraged from ever trying either for financial reasons or because someone, somewhere told me people my weight just didn't do those things. Because I was told I couldn't be the best at those things, and if you couldn't be the best there was no point in even trying to do them.

As an adult, I reject those notions. There are things I love to do. Things I'm good at, in my own way. I'll never be the best at them, but I've honestly known all along who I was and what I wanted to experience - I was just too afraid to go after it. Not anymore. Last night I heard myself whisper to myself in my own wee lil head, "It's who you are. Don't deny it."

And who am I? Well, you've all seen glimpses, if you've been paying attention.

I'm a dancer. I always wanted to be a ballerina or do hip-hop dance moves. I love silly shows like So You Think You Can Dance (starts Thursday, btw! ;) ), Dance Moms, Dance Moms: Miami, and other things of that sort. I find myself mimicing the moves I see - the extensions and stretches and pretending that I'm about to take my own little stage for my own little version of the Nutcracker (a ballet I saw nearly every single year growing up). I'm not going to be a ballerina. I won't be kickin' hip hop moves on SYTYCD. But you can find me, from time to time, pointing my toes, stretching my leg straight up to my head while reclined on the couch. Sometimes I wonder what I could've been had I been given the chance. My flexibility is almost uncanny, especially for someone of my size...just think of what might have happened had I been given the chance to develop it.

I'm a runner. Sorry for those of you that think me foolish, but it's part of who I am. I've wanted to go fast since I was little. Mom used to say that before my father came home and I put on all this weight, she could never get me to stop moving. I fidget like crazy because I can't sit still and I constantly want to be in motion - as fast as possible...but only if I retain control. I have no need to ride fast in a car - that scares me. Still quite terrified of roller coasters and the like. But running? I control that. And even though I'm quite slow compared to just about every runner I know, there is just something about the wind in my hair and my legs churning under me that gives me a slight thrill. I get a runner's high from running down an aisle at the grocery store. It's not about how far I go, but that I go at my own pace and that I engage the proper muscles while doing it. I used to think I was rebelling by running, but I'm starting to realize I'm just giving in to my own innate desires.

I'm a swimmer. Just like running and stretching/dancing, swimming is something I've loved for as long as I can remember. I'll be honest with you, it took me quite a while to learn to swim. I was terrified of the ocean until the age of 30 because of a bad experience when I was around 6 years old, and lakes weren't much better. My breath still catches in my throat when I drop my legs after a swim and realize I can't touch the ground under me. One of my greatest fears is drowning. But swimming? Freestyle stroke through the water? For some reason it puts me in a zone like no other. Nowhere on land can your body move like that, in all different directions, your hips twisting your legs and torso opposite of each other at times, your arms allowed free range of motion above, below, in front, and behind you. There's just something magical about swimming that I've never quite understood, but simply cannot resist. In high school I bought swimming magazines and attempted to perfect my stroke, and even this weekend I worked on form in the water. It's just like running to me - my mind is so busy with form and function that it can't get bogged down with the other white noise that crowds my every day life. Plus, my breathing ability is a bit uncanny as well, crafted through years of breath control in various choirs, but something I was born with and just learned to develop over time.

These are aspects of who I am, and I have no right to deny myself these aspects of my own true self simply because someone somewhere told me I wouldn't be good enough, or I shouldn't do it because it would be bad for me or look bad or would be embarrassing. I'm 31 years old. I'm married and have two beautiful children. Let's be honest, I'm quite done impressing anyone but possible employers down the road. If someone doesn't like/love me for who I am, then it really isn't my time to attempt to develop that relationship. And some relationships built in childhood, when I was denying and hiding myself, just aren't going to live beyond this year if the people in them can't learn to love and accept the others for who they are now, who they've let themselves become through careful examinations of their own beliefs and values and desires in life.

With this newfound realization and reaffirmation in myself, I'm recommitting myself to my own version of a healthy lifestyle.

I have been consistently maintaining a calorie intake of around 2450-2600 calories - right around where I should be. However, I need to ensure that I'm getting most of that from clean, healthy sources.

I will be working out 4-6 times a week for a total of 3-5 hours per week. I will incorporate cardio in the form of running, rowing, and swimming and will continue to lift heavy at least 2 days a week (probably 3-4) in order to maintain my lean body mass and decrease my body fat.

I will continue to weigh-in and better understand those fluctuations in body weight. Honestly, very rarely does my consistency with my goals not reflect consistency on the scale, except recently, when all the rules changed as my abilities were hampered by injury.

And sometime within the next year I hope to run my first full 5k without stopping once. I don't know if it will be as soon as I want it to be, but I will make it a priority to do it safely without risking further injury. I want to be running for years to come and no 5k is worth risking that.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MADE-FOR-MORE 5/23/2012 10:19PM

    Thank you for sharing! It inspires me to go for what I want.
emoticon emoticon

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MARATHON_MOM 5/23/2012 6:56PM

    This blog made me smile! I am so happy for you to be back to doing what you love! I could just FEEL the excitement!!!

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ATROTTIER 5/23/2012 5:33PM

    I know you have been wanting to run again for quite some time now...I'm so EXCITED and HAPPY for you!!!!! BTW I am a dancer too...I always daydream about being on stage dancing and I am a closet dancer just feels right, ya know??!! Enjoy your runs!!! emoticon

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SARAWALKS 5/23/2012 3:42PM

    This is VERY EXCITING NEWS! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROMNEY3 5/23/2012 1:54PM

    You go girl emoticon and I will be right behind you, because I too want to run again!

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MAGPIE17 5/23/2012 12:32PM

    I'm so happy for you, E!

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MANLEYSANDY 5/23/2012 12:16PM

    Thanks for sharing! I can feel the happiness in your words!! Good for you!!

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ARUNNINGKAT 5/23/2012 12:13PM

    You will hear no criticism from me - I wholeheartedly support doing what you love and what your body is capable of! Aren't the greatest people in history those who challenged the standard and the accepted norm? Besides, you are more likely to continue a exercise program that you love. As long as you are careful and listen to your body, you can do great things!

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VICKYMARIEC 5/23/2012 12:12PM

    I LOVE IT! I love that you are embracing who YOU are and not what anyone thinks you should be. Go after it girl!

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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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