Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Yesterday I did nothing. I didn't eat according to my schedule. I didn't workout. I didn't even go to work. I didn't even Spark but for a few minutes. And while I felt that twinge of guilt every now and again, I shoved the guilt down and went about my business of laying on the couch watching movie after movie. Sure, I didn't feel so well (hello to another re-surge of the month and a half long TOM) but there wasn't any real reason I wasn't doing what I knew I should. I just kept thinking to myself that there will always be days like this, no matter the size I am or how "healthy" I'm thinking, there is bound to be days, every now and again, when all I want to do is lay on the couch and watch movies. And, every now and again, I'm going to give into that desire. (And I still stand by that - there will be days like that from time to time.) But as I went to bed my brain started asking those questions of myself that I've become so famous for....Why? The only answer I could come up with was a simple one - fear.
We're all afraid, and while I agree that there are innate fears that are built into us, I believe the majority of our fears are taught. "Don't touch the stove! It could be hot!" good Mommies teach us early. "Don't run out into the road, you could get run over!" Each time we're taught these lessons of fear, we're also taught that there will always be consequences to our actions, whether good or bad. We're taught, more than anything, to fear the consequences, to fear the failure that comes along with not doing what we have been taught we should. It can be something really important - "Don't stand too close to the cliff, you could fall!" or much less so, "Do your best in school and get good grades or you'll lose your privileges!" And as we struggle through this whole, "Eat right and exercise, or you might gain weight again!" it's not the action we're afraid of, it's the consequence. It's fear talking, and fear that motivates us to do well. Sure, there's the other side of the coin, the one that says that we do it all for the benefits or for the positive outcome we might achieve, but when the going gets tough, it's the fear that drives me.
So I knew I was afraid of something. Most of my bad eating habits and forms of anti-exercise rebellion are bred out of fear. But fear of what? It came to me in a sort of "DUH!" moment (this is the opposite of an "A HA!" moment, wherein we realize it's something we already knew) - fear of expectation.
Yep, you heard me right. And I know I'm not alone here. I'm afraid of what's expected of me. I've been getting such positive feedback lately that the little scared girl inside is afraid that she'll answer wrong on a test and lose her perfect 4.0 GPA. And then all these little monsters come out to feed on that fear and scare me further.
You see, the last time I felt these many expectations from those around me, I was in my senior year of college. Oh, don't laugh! It was just last year. I carried a 4.0 GPA throughout all 3 years of college, while working full-time and working part-time at the paper. I did it all. I was the president of two honor societies. I was top in my class. I was on track to bring up my poor transfer scores and graduate summa cum laude. I got great scores on my GRE (not on the GRE Lit test, though...that thing is insane!) so the expectation was that I would either get into a stellar grad school program or I would land a great job. I did what I was supposed to, I followed the formulas, I set myself apart from my peers by holding onto both the full-time and part-time jobs. I spread myself paper thin. And then I graduated and I realized that no matter how hard I might fight, I couldn't live up to everyone's expectations for me. I got scared early, but I stayed the course and finished with all my T's crossed and I's dotted. And then my world fell apart. Four schools applied to, four schools rejected me. Countless jobs applied to in months, very few bites, no offers. Today my old classmates will meet for a English Majors Luncheon and all I can think is that I failed. I failed myself and I failed them all.
Please know, I'm not going for a sympathy vote here, I'm just sorting this out in my head by putting it down in text. Because, you see, I've made a connection from those expectations to these. You all expect me to keep going the course (Lord knows I've got a long ways still to go), and people in my life expect to see more changes. I expect the most, really. And as we move from the "what ifs" to "in the next two years" talk of plans become expectations for what I'm supposed to accomplish. So what do I do? Instead of rising to the challenge, I get scared. Afraid of being rejected again. Afraid of putting all my ducks in a row, doing everything I'm supposed to, and then finding myself sitting in the corner, staring down my ducks and begging them to tell me why it didn't work. I said it. I'm scared.
Expectations are big, scary things. I used to shy away from them completely. I wouldn't tell people I was dieting or losing weight because I was afraid of what they'd expect from me. I never wanted to disappoint them. But when I started here, I made that vow with myself to be completely honest, to dare to set myself up and even, possibly, fail in front of all of you. I know how easy it is to stay hidden and never fail to meet anyone's expectations but your own, and while that might be safe, it's also disheartening. Because I'm missing out on the greatest tool for success -- support. So when I started here, I vowed to be honest - to share my triumphs and my failures, let the chips fall where they may. But that didn't mean that I vowed to never be scared by what was expected of me. In fact, I'm hoping, as I continue, I learn to work on this biggest fear of mine and attempt to overcome it.
Want to know what else I'm afraid of? 230. No, this time I'm not afraid I won't get there. It seems reasonable, actually. But as happy as I was to release a little of the expectations of myself in terms of weight-loss on Saturday when I heard that number, I also felt saddened. That's the best I've got? Do you mean to say I won't ever be "normal" according to a BMI scale? I'll never see ONE-derland? I'll never get to say that I'm lighter than my husband? Why must my fate always be to be fatter than my friends? I'm confused by it and saddened by the lack of expectation there. It sounds silly, and I know I don't have to stick to that number. I know that once I get there I can re-evaluate, but I'm scared. What if that's all there is for me? What if I get to 280 and then struggle for the last 50 pounds and then...that's it? What if I never get to shop in a regular sized store? What if people always see me as fat? What if I work so hard for so long and I'm still not at all happy with my body, my weight, my fitness ability?
So yes, there is fear. And fear is what kept me on the couch yesterday even though I COULD have moved. Even though I DID have the energy to go to the gym. Even though I COULD have put in my 10 hour shift at work. Momma said there'd be days like this, but I've got to work through the fear so that they become fewer and farther apart. And step one? Admitting it.
I'm scared. Of me. Of you. Of what is expected. Of what I may have to settle with. Yesterday I fed the fear. Today I'm starving it and confronting it head on.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Starting Weight: 466.6
SP SW: 416.2
Last Week: 348.0
Goal this Week: 346.0
Actual Weight: 344.8
SP Total Loss: 71.4
Total Loss: 121.8
Okay, so yesterday didn't go so well food-wise. Around 4pm, I took Ethan down to the school for their Fall Festival. I was hoping we would avoid the food line, but around 5 or so he got hungry. The choices? Hot dogs, pizza, and nachos. None of that sounded anything like what I wanted...and the only thing I really wanted was a no-bake cookie. It would've been just fine if I would've stopped with the slice of zucchini bread and 1 no-bake cookie, but I ended up eating a total of: 1 1/2 slices of zucchini bread, 2 no-bake cookies, and a M&M chocolate chip cookie before the night was out. Not good! Not good at all! Okay, I'm letting it go and moving on.
Time to be serious about it again this week! I'm ready to set some goals!
Weight Goal: 342.8
Meals: Pan Chicken Parm with Whole Wheat Pasta, Chicken with Roasted Vegetables, Ground Chicken Tater Tot Casserole, Slow Cooker Pot Roasted with Mashed Potatoes
Training Schedule this week: 2 miles Monday, 2 miles Wednesday, 3 miles Saturday
ST: Follow new ST plan set by PT 2 days this week, include 140 crunches, 24-30 regular push-ups, and 2 planks
Sunday - Rest Day
Monday - 2 mile training, Elliptical
Tuesday - Zumba, full ST
Wednesday - 2 mile Training, Elliptical
Thursday - Zumba, full ST
Friday - Tennis
Saturday - 3 mile training
We've been invited to a Halloween Party this Saturday, but haven't yet found a babysitter for the boys so I'm not sure we'll get to go. If we do get to go, I have no CLUE what to do for a costume. Everything I want to do I'm nervous about trying to do because I'm still too big to pull off most of the "sexy" costumes on the market today. I'm still quite nervous about it, but I'm not going to stress until after we talk to Hubs' uncle today to see if he's free to watch them. Hubs, on the other hand, has actually figured out what he wants to be and we spent about 10 bucks for his "costume" last night. (He wants to go as guy from The Crow. SEXAY!!)
Alright, I'm gonna go grab some breakfast. Ethan's got his big game today and I can already tell he's nervous. They have to beat the same team that BARELY beat them last week in order to make it to the semi-finals. I don't even know if he'll get a chance to play today, but he really wants his team to make it through today with a win. (He's also banking on this win so he can wear his football gear for Trick-or-Treat next Saturday. If they lose they'll have to turn in their gear and he'll be costumeless.)
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Okay, let me first get you the information I got today from the initial contact meeting I had with the PT lady at the gym.
She was running a little late with her previous appointment, so I didn't really get in to see her until around 10:45am or so. She recognized me immediately as I've seen her around the gym (if you go back in my blogs you'll see the day she actually used me as an example for how to walk on the treadmill). She asked a lot of questions...
PT: So, Esther, why now?
Me: Honestly? I don't know. In April I just sat down to try and then it all just clicked for me.
PT: So, what's the hardest part?
Me: Mostly it's the mental part. My brain wanting to do things my body isn't ready for, like the running I talked to you about before. Plus, I just went through a big plateau so that's been a bit of an issue mentally.
PT: So how have you been doing?
Me: I've lost 70 pounds since April.
PT: Wow! How have you done it?
Me: I started out just watching what I was eating, starting to make good choices. I started out working out like 3 times a week for about 15 minutes or so...that's all I could do. Now I work out 5-6 days a week, and I'm usually here for an hour to an hour and a half.
PT: So what does your workout schedule look like right now?
Me: Well, right now I'm training for a half...
PT: A half a mile?
Me: No, a half-marathon.
PT: Wow! Okay.
Me: I did 2 5ks last week or the week before, one on the 10th and another on the 16th, and I ran some of both of them, so I've been working on running a little bit. (We talked a bit about the whole running = eating more things, and I told her that I'm considering just backing off the running for a bit and just work on dropping poundage for right now. She basically said she understood, but didn't give her opinion either way.)
PT: So did you do the 5ks competitively or on your own?
Me: Oh, no...they were races. I've done 4 so far this year - 3 5ks and one 10k, mostly walking but I've added in a little running now.
PT: Wow! That's great!
So it went like that for a while. She said wow a lot. She told me that I sounded intelligent. There were a couple times where she asked me (basically) WTF I was doing on the program then? *lol* I told her that I wanted to save money on my gym bill, and that I wanted to have someone professional that I could ask my questions of. We talked about Spark, and she knew the site. She seemed to have a bit of trouble setting up a workout schedule for me because it wasn't as easy as just setting up someone new. She also used the word "inspiring" a lot. Still, we worked on it together and she gave me a good plan of action. She told me that we'll meet once a month to check on progress and see if we need to develop more for me to do. (She thinks I should probably be moving off the gym machines and onto more free weights...that means my big butt will be rubbing shoulders with the big men on the other side of the gym more...them and Lori (she's a competitive female body builder and is amazing!) so I better get over my fears there!)
Then it was time for the initial weights and measures. (This actually wasn't hard for me. I kept thinking, Wow! Just think what that would've been 6 months ago!!)
Weight: 346 (*love* that their scale even has me under 350!! WOOT!)
Body Fat Percentage: 53.3%
Pounds of Fat: 184.6
Pounds of Muscle: 161.6
So what are the final goals for me? She's hoping to get me down to 30% body fat. With where I'm at now, that means 115 pounds lost, for a final weight of 230! TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY! Can you believe that? I guess I need to settle my mind with the fact that I may never be 150 pounds, and that's alright. Actually, 230 seems somewhat manageable to me. 115 pounds doesn't scare me at all! It's crazy! Of course, once I get to 230, we'll re-evaluate and I may want to lose more after that...but for now, my goal is only to get to 230. (I keep saying that over and over...it just doesn't sound right. Whatever, I'll take it!)
Blood Pressure: 128/80
Pulse: 60 (she said it was nice and low)
Waist measurement: 52.25
She gave me a journal. I'm to write down everything I eat. I'll meet with the dietician next week to go over my eating plan and see if I'm doing what I should, but for now I just need to log everything. She also gave me a copy of a little book from calorieking.com that has calorie/fat/carb counts of foods! BONUS!
She said I'm good on my cardio, and to just keep going. She likes that I'm working toward a one minute plank, and agreed that I need to stop being so scared and try to do regular pushups instead of the modified kind. She also told me that I should keep up the crunches I'm doing and not worry about using the ab machine downstairs. (And I'm thinking that means I should add another set of 15-20 to my crunches! *lol*) We're going to keep working most of the exercise machines, but I told her that I wasn't sure if I should just keep increasing my weight as I go or if I should work on sets. She said I should move on to sets. So this next week I'll start doing 2 days of ST (one down from before, but we're actually adding to my training here!) and do 3 sets on each of the machines we picked. The first set will be 20 reps, then 15, then 10. I'll increase the weight by 5 or 10 with each set. (Example: I get on the pulldown machine and start doing 20 reps at 30 lbs, rest, and then 15 reps at 40 lbs., rest, and then 10 reps at 50 lbs.) In addition to these 3 sets of decreasing reps and increasing weights, we've switched me over to dumbbell shoulder presses instead of using the machine. I'll just start doing 1 set of those. Plus, we've cut out the leg curl machine (I told her that it hurts my knee) and I'll be moving to the leg press machine and work both my thighs and calves (2 different workouts) on that machine, just 1 set of each to start.
I had to giggle to myself a few times during our meeting (remember, I told you she probably had no clue what she was getting with me! *lol*). One was when she introduced me to a girl who is in month three of the same plan. The girl said, "That first month kicked my butt!" and Cissy (the PT) said, "Oh, she's been kicking her own butt for a few months now!" She also actually said out loud once that she didn't know what to do with me. *lol* I feel good about our meeting and will meet with the nutritionist on Tuesday (though I gave her the wrong time so I'm going to try to call her Monday and try to reschedule...I don't want to miss Zumba!)
It seems the theme of this weekend has been surprising people, including myself. Yesterday after breakfast and tennis, Hubs and I headed up to his father's house to help on the garage. His dad is trying to get the garage floor leveled to prep it for concrete and I knew he was trying to get as much done as possible tomorrow. I told Hubs I was going to drop him off because I wanted to see my MIL's chickens (she's got baby chicks hatching) and see his Grandpa. Hubs made some off-handed comment about how I never work when I go up there and for some reason I took that as a challenge.
So I got up there yesterday and started helping. For two hours straight I was raking the ground to pile up gravel, shoveling that gravel into holes, shoveling and raking sand, and helping to level the floor. Two hours straight! At one point the boys went to take a break and I thought, "I've still got some left..." so I headed back to the rock pile to begin raking rocks again and forming piles so it would be easier to shovel it up. A few minutes down there by myself and my FIL was down there with me. "I saw you working down here and I couldn't let you work alone!" he said.
Around 1pm we ran out of sand and gravel with only about 2/3 of the garage done. Now, I hate to leave a job ALMOST done, especially when there's so much of the day left! I kept saying, "There's got to be some way to get more sand!" Long story short, my FIL took two more trips to get more sand while I went to grab some lunch (pizza). When they got back the first time we had to hurry and clear the truck so he could go back for another load before the place closed. By 7pm we were finally done with the floor of the garage and it looked wonderful! My MIL and FIL kept saying over and over how hard I had worked and how much help I was. My FIL looked at me across a bonfire (we had some cardboard to burn) and said, "You know, Esther...if it wasn't for you pressing us to go get more sand, it wouldn't be done right now." I was proud! I made my in-laws proud!
Yes, I had 8 pieces of pizza yesterday and a Miller Lite, but for crying out loud I worked for about 5 hours doing hard manual labor! My arms, legs, and especially my shoulders, are killing me today! It was the first time in a very long time that I felt like I had more stamina than I ever have! I just couldn't be stopped...I just kept going! I surprised myself!
Hope you're all having a great weekend! I've got Ethan's playoff game tomorrow, where I may have to work half of the time in the concession stand... (BOO!! Don't make me work around food again! NOOOOOO!) I cut my walk short today (got 1.3 of the 2 miles done) because the WVU game is on right now. Hoping for a good weigh-in tomorrow, but I'm already down to that 346, even according to the gym scales!! YAY!!
Friday, October 22, 2010
Yesterday I followed the same basic eating pattern I've been using for weeks. The problem is, ever since I started this training and actually started running, I've been HUNGRY lately. I've gone over on my calories the past two days now and that is going to end right now. It's funny, I never had this problem before. I have to wonder if it's the running that's doing it. It's not like I'm running 6 miles every day or anything, but I have heard of this happening. The thing is...I'm still almost (yay! i get to say ALMOST now!) 350 pounds. Now is not the time to struggle with wanting to eat MORE.
So I really have to think about whether I even want to keep trying to run or not. Maybe I should just go back to my high calorie burners - like the elliptical machine. According to Spark, I have to spend a couple hours running/walking to even get close to the calorie burn I get in 30 minutes on the elliptical. And running hurts more. And walking for hours is pretty darn boring. I don't want to give up on it, but maybe it's time to back off a bit...or maybe I need to work up enough stamina to also do the elliptical on my running days.
I'm not making any decision now, I'm just thinking out loud.
Yesterday I also had this moment....I was standing in my office and saw myself in my computer monitor. I did a double take because I saw that my profile is getting smaller. Of course I shrugged it off as an optical illusion - you know, like one of those fun house mirrors? But, hey! It was a really fun moment.
Today I finally get my Friday back! I had to get up and take the boys to school, but then Hubs and I are going to go out in a bit. I hope he realizes that I'm hoping to play tennis again this morning. I don't care if it's cold. The time goes by fast because it's fun, and I burn a good amount of calories without realizing it. Before I realize it I'm sweating up a storm, my legs are feeling the burn, my shoulders are sore, and an hour has passed.
After tennis and breakfast or lunch, we need to do a little grocery shopping and then Hubs has to go up to his parents' place to help his dad prep the garage floor for concrete. For me, that means I'll either spend the day cooking, cleaning, or I'll just head over to the gym and get another little workout in today. I have to do some more ST again!
I've got an appointment tomorrow morning at 10:30am with the insurance company's contact person at the gym. No clue what we're going to do for this fitness test, but I hope to get plenty of questions answered and have her give me more things I can be doing to really work off this weight.
Mentally, I'm all over the place. One minute I'm feeling good about what I've done so far and the next I'm thinking "NOT ENOUGH!" I'm working through it...I'm just ready to repeat the success I had in the first five months or so now that I'm done with that plateau. I keep telling myself, "I've got this. I'm not done yet!"
Thursday, October 21, 2010
For the past few weeks I've been noticing something. It's like a shift has happened, and I wasn't even aware that it was happening. We read all the time about obesity and weight loss. Heck, I've been learning about diets my entire life. But what I've noticed lately is a general consensus that we need to shift our thinking and habits as a whole, instead of looking for quick fixes and magic pills.
Last week I went to an event at the Ohio Statehouse. It was hosted by the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and was to honor 10 men and women who have shaped the lives of human history by fighting for justice and equality. It was a diverse group of people, all fighting under one main theory - ALL men/women are created equal. (BTW - I'll post a link later to the ceremony. There were some touching speeches, especially those by Dr. Frank Hale, who works as Vice Provost at The Ohio State University, Rhonda Rivera, who is known as the "matriarch" of the LGBT rights movement in Ohio, and Baldemar Velasquez, who continues to fight for the rights of migrant farm workers. Oh, and you can catch a sneak peek of yours truly all close-up and such -- SCARY!! -- during Rhonda Rivera's speech. If you can't wait for me to post the link, go to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission's website and click on the link for the 2010 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.)
While I was looking forward to the event, and was seriously moved by several of the speeches made, I had this tiny kernel of fear in the pit of my stomach the whole time. You see, following the event was a reception, and that generally means tiny foods that are calorie-packed. I was extremely nervous because I didn't know where my next meal was going to come from and I knew I needed to find SOMETHING to eat, especially since my stomach was screaming at me about halfway through the ceremony. (It's used to snacks!) But what I found upon fighting my way through the long line to a small grouping of tables actually surprised me. Sure, there were general treats (and, yes, I had a bite of chocolate brownie and a half a buckeye....I just couldn't see past the irony of eating a buckeye in the state capitol building!) but there were also tiny finger sandwiches. The choices? Steak, turkey breast, and portabella mushrooms. I opened the sandwich and find a small amount of protein, a slice of tomato, and some sprouts. YUM! (I picked the turkey.) Moving further down the table I found a wide assortment of fruit and, if you bypassed the general chips and dip, you could feast on hummus and pitas and a generous helping from a big bowl of roasted vegetables.
Now I grew up in Ohio and, while I've never been to an event at the capitol building, I have never seen reception fare be so....health conscious. Everywhere I've gone lately I've noticed a push toward more healthful options. And it got me thinking, has the world changed, if just a little? Or maybe....maybe it's just me.
You see, before I wasn't looking for the healthy options. I was looking for comfort food, sweets, something that tasted sinfully delicious! It was free food, and I just wanted what looked the best. So maybe it isn't that the world is providing more healthy options, but maybe I'm just looking for them. Maybe that's why I know of places in Charleston like The Bluegrass Kitchen, which serves veggie burgers and plenty of healthy food options, or Tricky Fish, which serves delicious fish tacos that are healthy and amazingly tasty (as well as their support of local WV farmers and growers by using WV-grown products in their food). Maybe it's not so much that these options weren't there...maybe I'm just now noticing them because I'm seeking them out.
Or maybe, and a girl can hope and dream, maybe there is a shift happening in the world. WV became synonymous with the word obesity when Jamie Oliver brought his cooking to Huntington and some list announced this state as the most overweight. So maybe people really are taking notice. No longer do I go to a reception, cookout, or some sort of eating event, without finding at least 1 or 2 random healthy options on the list. For example, my work is famous for serving one main dish at every event we host - fried chicken. Sad, I know. But it's cheap and quick, and a lot of people really like it. But last week I was shocked to see that the small box of fried chicken was accompanied by a lean roast beef, some green beans and potatoes, and a huge healthy salad. I don't remember those options ever being there before! And at a "snack day" event last Friday, there were a TON of healthy options - whole wheat bread, lean turkey breast, mustard instead of mayo, fresh fruit.
Whether me or the world at large, I sure am happy for the shift I'm seeing. It leaves me with few excuses to eat unhealthy. I can no longer simply say, "There weren't any healthy options there." They're there. We have to look for them, and we can find them if we do. It's the difference between knowing that I'm not going to go to T.G.I. Friday's with my girlfriends and would rather shift their focus to a place like Applebee's or Tricky Fish, so that I can enjoy my meal guilt free.
Oh, and a word of the wise to places like T.G.I.Friday's....I seem to think the world is shifting a bit, and if you don't hop on the boat very soon, you're going to be left with a pretty empty dining room. No more hiding behind a lack of nutritional information. No more 3 options of healthy food on the menu, none of which I even remotely would like. Give the people what they want! Healthy Options!!
**this message brought to you by the Esther Council on Healthy Eating Options, or the ECHEO, not approved by T.G.I.Friday's or any other establishment (but they should be listening...I'm just sayin'!)
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