Sunday, March 13, 2011
Weight Last Week: 327.2
Weight Goal for This Week: 324 ANYTHING!
Actual Weight This Week: 324.2
Weight Loss/Gain: - 3 pounds!
Okay, we're going to take that as a win even though in my mind I'm thinking "but that means I only lost 1.6 pounds in 2 weeks!" I'm also thinking, "If I would have stuck to my guns yesterday instead of getting caught up in emotions and saying F#&% it all and let myself eat whatever, I could've seen 323." I talk down to myself way too often and diminish my accomplishments - something I've been preaching to my friends NOT to do. One pound lost is one pound lost - and you lost 3 pounds this week. Even if you have this feeling that TOM was part of the loss, you still worked through TOM and you pushed yourself most of those 7 days and you deserve to pat yourself on the back, forgive yourself for one of the worst days ever mentally/emotionally yesterday and be proud of where you stand right now.
324 pounds. I don't remember the last time I was 324 pounds. Mostly because I paid little to no attention on the way up, but I have a feeling it was between kids 1 and 2 that I passed 324 and headed my way to the 400s.
Let's be perfectly honest - I struggle with the thought of still being 300 pounds. I see people start this journey in the 300s and move down from there, and it's hard to keep my focus strong when I realize that the same effort I put in, applied to them, will heed better results. I tell myself things like, "That's because they weren't as bad off as you to begin with." or worse, "That's because you were the fattiest fatty you knew. It's going to take a LOT more to not be the fat friend anymore." I have to stop talking to myself like that. I have to STOP comparing myself to everyone else. My life experiences were different. My journey will be different as well.
Let's hit on another honest point -- I have a hard time allowing myself to believe my friends when they admire how much I do, how hard I push and how well I'm doing - because each and every time it's mentioned I come back with a thought similar to: "but I'm still fat" or "but you're smaller" or "it's not enough."
Let's hit on the math of it all, shall we?
April 18-March 13 = 47 weeks
416.2 - 324.2 = 92 pounds
That averages out to 1.957 pounds a week. Rounding up, it's 2 pounds per week.
Sure there were times I wasn't consistent. Sure I had gains along the way. I also had amazing weeks where I lost several pounds more than expected. And to come out of the end of it still averaging 2 pounds a week lost --- that should equal a VICTORY in your eyes, Esther. Be proud of that!
Let's get to more numbers.
In 2004, you weighed 466.6 pounds.
Today, in 2011, you weigh 324.2 pounds.
That's a loss of 142.4 pounds!
That's NOT something to scoff at. Very few people can say they've lost 142 pounds and are still losing. You've lost nearly 150 pounds! So what if it took you 7 years to do it? SO WHAT? You did it. And you're STILL going. You're STILL looking toward a skinnier future.
And if that doesn't get you, maybe this will.
When you started out at 466.6 pounds, you couldn't FIND jeans in your size. You lived in elastic waist pants. You were completely out of breath just getting out of bed. Your life revolved around finding ways to hide yourself, being embarrassed and trying to make other people believe you were not a bad parent even though you secretly thought you were.
I don't know if you're a "good" or "great" parent today, but there is NO denying that you are a better parent than you once were. You are active with your kids. You spend oodles of free time with them doing activities like basketball, tennis, walking, and good-for-the-heart type things. They no longer fear asking you to take them to the park, because they know you won't be sitting in the car reading a book. You'll be out there playing with them. On the swings. Hitting a ball. You're not afraid to walk out to half-court before your son's last basketball game, be a little silly, and accept from him a rose AND A HUG - IN FRONT OF EVERYONE! You aren't sidelined anymore because you put yourself in the game. And the fact that your 11 year old doesn't mind hugging you in front of all his friends and letting you kiss him on the head, and feeling his arms pulling more around you (and not your neck, your waist!) and feeling him squeeze a little bit of gratitude in it - all this should prove to you that your kids see you with more pride than they saw the 466.6 pound woman on the couch who "just couldn't" go to the park because it took to much energy to move from the couch to the car, to get dressed, and to brave the million stares from those around her.
And as you walked out in front of everyone, you were wearing your size 26 jeans from Lane Bryant that are already too loose on you. You could've been rockin' your size 24 jeans from CATO that no longer push all the belly fat up around your boobs. And you were wearing a 2X t-shirt, but it could've been any number of XL, 1X and 2X shirts you own and wear regularly, saving the 2x shirts for when you want more room and want to feel more comfortable, when TOM is still stuck to you and making you feel a little bloated. What you weren't wearing was a size 4X shirt, because those make you look like a hobo now as they hang off your body.
And, while you did wear elastic waist pants to the bar last night - it was because even in your state of emotional grief, when Hubs pried you to just get out of the house to get your mind off things, you put on your workout gear, not knowing whether what you needed was a workout or a drink. And even though you ended up with the drink, you didn't feel self-conscious in your workout gear - you felt like an athlete who really just needed some downtime. As you sat there in a too-big sweatshirt that didn't fit two years ago, your mind was allowed to focus on the trauma at hand, and not on how you looked to everyone else around you. And, besides, those elastic waist pants were not a size 34. They were an XL. And sitting on the bar stool with your legs crossed was not only possible, but quite comfortable. How's that for some change?
Sure, if you had skipped the McDonald's french fries and the small shamrock shake you never even finished (BTW - these are like kitty crack! My cat wanted to DIVE her head into the cup once she smelled it! *lol*) you MIGHT have seen 323 this morning. MIGHT. Whose to say you would have, though? Whose to say it still would've been enough for your head to be okay with? Stop telling yourself it's not enough because there are plenty of people in the world today who had McDonald's for dinner, and they didn't get to wake up the next morning to a 3 pound loss on the scale. You did. And, hey, at least for you it's months in between McDonald's french fries. For some people, it's once a week or every day. You've had french fries from there a total of what? 3 times since April? 3 times in a YEAR, Esther. Remember when you used to have them several times a month, a week?
telling yourself you're STILL fat.
Tell yourself you're a work in progress...and progress you've certainly seen.
telling yourself nobody will like you because you're fat.
You have a wealth of friends, more now that you've gotten to be the "active" friend.
telling yourself your husband thinks you're ugly.
Because it's not fair to him, who even told you last night, while you were sitting at the bar with no makeup, glasses on, hair in a messy pony, too big sweatshirt and workout clothes that don't exactly flatter your body that he loves you, you are beautiful, and he is extremely proud of you.
beating yourself up.
Because there are so many reasons to lift yourself up. A consistent average of 2 pounds lost a week for the past year. Losing 142 pounds. Going from a woman who couldn't hardly get out of bed to a woman that is a boxer in training, who compares her 'guns' to her husbands, whose boys envy the shoulder and arm definition without somehow seeing the large flab that hangs below them, who looks forward to sunny tennis dates and pick-up basketball games and the openings of sports stores with glee in her eyes.
Just and turn around and take a good look.
Go back and look at pictures of yourself, your mother and your sister. They used to involve all of you sitting around, usually around a table full of food. Now they involve pictures of all three of us, running side-by-side, racing toward the finish line of a 5k.
Go back and look at pictures of yourself with your boys. In them you are seated. You look sad. You look like your world is crushing down around you and the effort it will take to lug them and yourself back to the car could strike a heart attack. Now they involve smiles, sunny days, basketball games, walks around the countryside, hikes through caves and caverns.
You used to worry you wouldn't have enough food for dinner because you'd blown 20 bucks at a place like McDonald's to feed the family for lunch.
Now you worry about what healthy food you'll pack for the trip you want to take them on to this great place that includes tons of walking and sightseeing.
And while you may have had a horrible day yesterday, you woke up today with a renewed sense of determination for the week. You ate your sexy breakfast while reminding yourself that you are worth the time it takes, that yourself and your family are benefiting from all you now have to offer them. And remember that at one time, you used to sink into deep depression over days that weren't even that bad and honestly thought that it was easier to die than to face the morning light. But last night, you simply said a wish and prayer that today would be better. Not once did you think dying would be easier or better, because you now know how beautiful and rewarding LIFE can be.
So, this, my dear Spark Friends, shall serve as a reminder to me to always remember that what I've done is not nothing - it is an incredible, wonderful, amazing thing! I have lost 92 pounds so far this year. I'm just 8 pounds from losing 100 pounds in one year, and I still have 5 weeks to go before April 18th. That's an average of 1.6 pounds a week, which is completely doable. And even if I don't do it. Even if I just lose 5 pounds, or 3 pounds, or none. I will come back here and remember that looking back is a great reminder that we should be looking forward.
Forward to 100 pounds lost in a year (or so).
Forward to 150 pounds lost from my highest weight.
Forward to losing the next 25 pounds and finding myself in the 200's (or, as I like to call it, DEUCEland!)
My kids and Hubs have already voiced this goal for me. 298. For some reason this number, above all others, holds a certain significance to them. Notice it's not 299 - all three of them said 298. And little did they know that this number is like my magic finish line for this leg of the journey...because I can't just think 299 with the fluctuations in weight that I know. I need room for comfort to feel like I've hit upon my goal. (Does anyone else do that?)
Some people say about this weight loss journey that it's a marathon. I've come to think of it as a triathlon instead.
Leg 1 - Losing that first 100 pounds all on my own back in 2004/2005.
Leg 2 started April 18th when I found Spark and started losing again and changed my life. (YES! I HAVE ALREADY CHANGED MY LIFE!) I see this leg ending at 298, and then it's on to part 3...which I won't allow myself to even think about...too much.
Mile markers litter the way, as well as water stops and restroom breaks. And I don't know what the course looks like ahead, but I know I'm doing a great job so far of picking myself up every time I fall and getting back to the task at hand. And while those around me keep applauding my efforts, I have to remember that the biggest applause SHOULD be from me. Because I know the struggles I've faced more than they do. They may not have been there at mile marker 4 where I fell, scrapped my leg and had to get medical attention. They may not have been there when my hip pulled and my knee popped and I had to hobble my way until my legs felt right again. These friends are littered along the race course holding signs for me, reminding me that there are people rooting for me along the way, but they can't be there WITH me because this is one race I have to do alone.
I want to look forward, but not too far forward, knowing that the next two steps are the most important, because without them I'll never find myself to the two that follow. For now, I count in 5 and 10 pounds lost. Each time a new tens place number changes, I get giddy with excitement.
I swam my way to 100 pounds lost alone. I'm now biking my way into deuceland. And we'll have to test my legs before we know anymore once I'm off this bike. Am I right?
In my first race, I kept a route map in my head - and it just about killed me through the first 2 miles - so this time, I will let myself look ahead only as far as I can see before the next bend. 316.2 is ahead. I can feel it, but I can't yet see it because there's a route bend at 319. Let's just work on getting me that far and then we'll go from there.
But even as I look forward, I have to keep reminding myself -- "You've come a long way, baby!" I have to keep my race mantras in my head, like: Now just take the next step and keep going. You've GOT this! You can do this! You've done a mile before, just do one more. Each step is one step closer.
My inspiration for the day:
"The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
"This is the highest wisdom that I own; freedom and life are earned by those alone who conquer them each day anew." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act." - Anatole France
"It is not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference." - Paul Bryant
"Today is just a good day in disguise." - Paul Venghaus
"And me, I still believe in paradise. But now at least I know it’s not some place you can look for, ’cause it’s not where you go. It’s how you feel for a moment in your life when you’re a part of something, and if you find that moment… it lasts forever…" – Richard from the movie The Beach
"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us." - Alexander Graham Bell
"Action is eloquence." or "Be great in act, as you have been in thought." - both from William Shakespeare
"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." - Mark Twain
Friday, March 11, 2011
After reading SUGIRL06 and TUACADOLL1's blogs today, something hit me...and I thought I would share.
Let's just start here. "Work" What does that word mean? Dictionary.com has more than a dozen definitions, but the words that strike me in them are "labor," "toil," and "exertion." None of which I consider fun words, really.
Let's be honest...like most of us, I'm not a big fan of "work." So is it any wonder that sometimes even the idea of a "work"out makes me want to run away and hide (usually under the covers of the bed or to the cozy couch)?
But I have a little secret for you...it's something I've been toying with since I started back in April and now I'm going to share it outright. Are you ready?.....
Workouts don't have to be so much work.
There, I said it.
Sure, there are plenty of times when it's good to push yourself - at the gym or out on the road. Show yourself what you're made of. Make yourself proud by proving that you can do something you never thought possible of yourself. But at times, it's just fun to have...
There, I said it.
Again, Dictionary.com has a wealth of definitions for that particular word - "play," but the words that strike me most are "fun," "jest," and "freedom." Now THOSE are words I can stand behind and smile about.
Work looks like this to me in my head:
But play looks like this:
And how's THIS for a definition of play:
"brisk, light, or changing movement or action"
Now I like that!
Workouts can certainly breed results, but they require work. Walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes at a 19 min/mile pace will burn me about 161 calories*, according to Spark. But if I really work at it, I can see better results:
Treadmill at a 15 min/mi pace will burn me 317 calories.
Treadmill with a 10% incline, 19 min/mi pace will burn 367.
Treadmill with a 15% incline, 19 min/mi pace will burn 412.
I have to WORK at it to burn the calories I want to burn...and sometimes, it's all I can do to push myself through and not just throw in the towel and go home, feeling like I'm wasting my effort.
But if I think out of the box a bit, I find myself with better results...
30 minutes of Cardio Dancing (like Zumba) will burn 423 calories.
30 minutes of Kickboxing = 625.
30 minutes of beating the crap out of a punching bag = 368.
Even 30 minutes of Wii boxing will burn 364 calories.
And these are all more fun than that stupid dreadmill!
(BTW - that game sounds hilariously fun! *lol*)
But, let's take this a step further and get into real play. Let's see what Spark has to say about that...
30 minutes - Playing with Kids - 364 calories burned
30 minutes - Badmiton - 371
30 minutes - Canoeing - 589
30 minutes - Fishing in Stream - 328
30 minutes - Ultimate Frisbee - 459
30 minutes - Horseback Riding - 445
30 minutes - Ice Skating - 494
30 minutes - Kayaking - 589
30 minutes - Kickball - 459
30 minutes - Paddleboating - 253
30 minutes - Ping Pong - 224
30 minutes - Riding a Jet Ski - 212
30 minutes - Rock Climbing - 611
30 minutes - Rollerblading and Rollerskating - 494
30 minutes - Scuba Diving - 591
And my favorite -
30 minutes Skipping burns 803 calories! SKIPPING, people. Do you remember skipping when we were 5 just because we were bored at the hardware store with our parents? Do you remember skipping with your friends, singing a song? I can't even imagine skipping for 30 minutes straight, but just think on this --- 5 minutes of skipping burns 134 calories! That's almost as many calories I would burn walking on the dreadmill for 30 minutes at a 19 min/mi pace! And skipping doesn't require thought, or mental self-talk to "keep going" because this isn't wasted time. Skipping is just plain fun.
(Go read that blog and visit iskip.com and read about the guy who SKIPPED a 5k in a sub-30 time!)
Now doesn't skipping sound more fun than "Insanity?" Sure does to me!
Or how about this one...jumping rope slow for just 15 minutes burns 352 calories!
Now, I'm not saying a good hard workout isn't good. It is. It's great, in fact! Lord knows I get my share of hardcore workouts throughout the week. But if you're dreading the going to gym and just don't feel like putting in the work, try thinking outside the box and do a PLAYout instead of a WORKout.
You'll be burning calories, doing great things for your heart, and encouraging your soul. It's like giving your inner child a chance to smile and remember those carefree days of summer when exercise wasn't even a word in your vocabulary. Run like a 6 year old. Skip down the street. Grab a couple friends and double dutch your way fit! Don't think of it as a "toil"...think of it as "fun."
Still not convinced? Here's a few more things to try 30 minutes of:
Basketball - 564 calories burned
Bowling - 212
Boxing - 634
Fencing - 382
Flag Football - 564
Golf (carrying clubs) - 247
Racquetball (casual) - 494
Soccer - 494
Softball - 352
Swimming (general) - 423
Tennis (general) - 569
Sand Volleyball - 564
Surfing - 423
Whitewater Rafting - 352
This is why my fitspo (fitness inspiration) for today includes:
(all from: www.crossfitoahu.com/archive.php?mon
So get out there and play!
And, just once today, I dare you to skip...just to remind yourself what it feels like.
*Of course these are Spark calculations with my weight figured in, so your calorie burn results will vary.
EDIT: And PLEASE go watch this amazing, euphoric high of a vlog! It made me fall in love with just the thought of exercise once again!
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Yes. I ate some. And?
Seriously, my attitude is nowhere near where it was two days ago. I was so on point, so sure that I just needed to do everything right. A at this time. B at this time. 5 of these and 10 of those. And it was a great day. But today? Today I feel the need to just be kind to myself.
I spend a lot of my workout time and, well, anytime lately telling myself what I've done wrong, what I could do better, how I've screwed everything up, and why I'm such a failure. But late last night, after another pretty successful day - after facing challenges and overcoming them - after eating another healthy dinner at 9:30 p.m. while completely exhausted from a tough workout --- I had a thought. I need a night off.
I actually planned these into my original 2011 plan...did I ever tell you that? I gave myself one day every month, picked COMPLETELY at random, to have what I like to call a "guilt-free rest day." It was supposed to signify a day off from the worries and hassles of working out, counting every single calories, overcalculating "just to be safe" and all the headspace nonsense that comes along with that. One day out of 30, 31, or 28 in which I could just BE without thinking about what dinner would do to my thighs, if I could afford to steal just one of my son's french fries, etc. It sounded reasonable to me in my head when I made this plan (actually, I planned this out back in like September or October of last year).
But then something happened. I guilted myself out of my guilt-free days. I told myself that I had been TOO BAD all the other days of the week/month/year, that I now needed to punish myself. I told myself I couldn't waste this day, no matter what the plan said. Following a schedule for workouts for me is MUCH easier than following a plan that allows me to give everything up for just 5 minutes, 10 hours, or even a whole day. I get tense. I freak out. I think I'm being a loser, I'm fooling myself into thinking that I can have "cheat" days at all when I cheat way too often already. I don't deserve a reward, I deserve punishment. So I have not yet allowed myself ONE guilt-free rest day AT ALL.
And I had no problem with that until last night. Because last night I realized that I'm exhausted. I have BEEN exhausted for some time now. Sure, I put on the brave face, but I'm completely pooped. Too much excitement. Overstimulation. Sure, that's part of it. In my effort to make myself a year of adventures, I've scheduled myself into pure exhaustion. Even Hubs comments that I plan too much and am always scheduling something. And when I have great days, they look something like this:
6:00 am - wake up, make coffee while checking Spark and weigh-in for the day
6:30 am - hop in the shower, pop on some clothes, pack gym bag, make bagel, make coffee to go, grab bags and head outside
7:00 am - leave for work, drive nearly 1 hour in whatever crappy weather the day might have in store for me, eat bagel and drink coffee all the way to work
8:00 am - work starts, turn on computer, check email, check mailbox, organize the day, maybe make a to-do list, put on makeup and put contacts in, turn on digital photo frame
9:30 am - first scheduled snack must be found and eaten, then any leftovers put away after measuring and before eating, be sure to begin drinking water
10:30 am - work break, which involves 15 minutes outside reading a book of my choosing
12:00 pm - lunch must be found, cooked, and eaten, and breakfast, snack and lunch must be logged to take stock of how many calories I've eaten and what I can afford for snack 2-3 and dinner, remind myself to drink more water
2:45 pm - take second work break, again reading my book
3:30 pm - snack two, with lots of water, guage how I'm doing on water and if I need to pound more before leaving work
5:30 pm - prepare to leave for work which includes shutting down anything running on my computer, saving files, marking places for the next day, perhaps making a new to-do list for the following day, packing my bags again, peeing, refilling water bottle and turning off my digital photo frame, and mark with post-its the gym ST exercises for the night in my notecard binder
6:00 pm - drag everything out to the car, drive the one hour home constantly whining about how I have to pee AGAIN, and continue the long process that started around 4pm of talking myself INTO going to the gym and eating very healthy, perhaps eat a small snack on the way home if I didn't eat it at 5:30 or so
6:45 pm - arrive at the gym, swipe card, bolt to bathroom and pee, change clothes, put on tennis shoes, talk myself into a great workout, grab water bottle, towel, headphones, phone, and strength training notecard binder
7:00 pm - after a quick stretch, see what cardio equipment is free and hop on a treadmill or elliptical for 5-10 minutes for a warm-up, ensure heart rate is going up properly and further talk myself into a great workout by reminding myself how much I NEED to do tonight
7:15 pm - after a slightly longer stretch, head into weight lifting area, begin to follow through the set recommended ST moves, moving up the weight each time as I decrease the reps, teach Hubs same moves, talk him into doing them correctly and talk him into increasing the weight, stretch between each move/set slightly to loosen muscles once again, talk myself into each and every rep, especially the last 2-5
7:45 pm - after a short stretch, admit to Hubs that I need more cardio and watch him leave or encourage him to stay, then choose my weapon for the evening, hop on and complete no less than 30 minutes, spending the first 10 trying to excuse my way out of it, and the last 10 trying to talk my way into more, and the middle ten pushing like I've never pushed before
8:20 pm or so - long stretch sequence to end out the night, refill water bottle and head downstairs to gather belongings, begin the 15-20 minute drive home feeling pretty darn good, though
8:40ish - walk in the door, drop all my bags that I collected from the car and dragged in, set the mail down that I retreived from the mailbox, begin the process of making dinner, drink a gulp or two of soy chocolate milk just to give my body something to feed off of as I grow increasingly hungry, tell the boys to take showers and do spelling words with them (if Hubs is busy)
9:30pm-ish - serve dinner to both kids and Hubs, then make a plate for myself, at which time I am then allowed, finally, to sit down and relax a bit as the kids get ready for bed, remind kids to brush teeth and kiss them goodnight before finally laying back on the couch with a huge sigh and finding something mindless on TV to watch or popping in a movie, pop up several times to make sure cats are in and fed and any leftovers are put away, sometimes even prepare the next night's meal and put it in the crockpot (if I have the energy to even attempt that) and start thinking about what I'll make for dinner the next night (because things will probably need thaw time anyhow)
10:30pm - midnight - at some point I finally peel myself off the couch after taking out my contacts and head to the bathroom to wash my face, brush my teeth, change into my jammies and finally head to bed, hoping I remembered to set the alarm
And then I wake up and do it all again the next morning. I fill the spaces with work, and thoughts of work, and thoughts of weight loss, motivation, what I'm doing wrong, what I could do better, and how much better everyone around me looks than me. It's an exhausting life, and I finally got a moment to realize that last night. I finally turned to Hubs and said, "I've got an idea. How about I let you take us out to dinner tomorrow night?"
I don't know why I said it, but I'm not sorry I did.
I've tried to focus all day on the calories and salt and meaningless of it all, but I can't focus beyond a simple, "I'm tired."
So when I had that piece of cake today, I didn't give it more than a second, "Do I REALLY want this?" thought. (The answer was yes...though I didn't much enjoy the sugar rush that followed.)
And when I go out tonight, likely to a buffet because that's one thing our town LOVES (seriously, of the restaurants we have that cannot be considered fast food we have: 2 chinese buffets, Pondarosa, Shoney's, an expensive greesy Italian spoon, 2 Mexican joints and a pizza joint that is NOT Pizza Hut or Gino's -- which I consider fast food.), I don't know what will happen.
I get bursts of guilt over agreeing to it.
In those moments I tell myself that I'm ruining all my hard work.
But, all day today, my inner peaceful self just keeps saying, "STFU!"
I really have worked hard today - it's been basically non-stop. Yesterday I went from having 1 case to having 6. Today they added 2 more. I also spent half the day checking on our job fair person outside in the hall to make sure she got breaks (which is how I got the cake).
And through writing this blog and thinking ALL DAY about this, I can't tell you one way or another whether I'm going to be alright with going out tonight or not.
Worst case - I go off the rails and I punish myself tomorrow.
Best case - I wimp out and go to the gym anyhow.
Maybe better than best case - I go, eat sensibly, enjoy my evening off and spending time with my boys, and have a nice, peaceful evening of relaxing, no-guilt fun.
I had cake today.
So sue me.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Well, I guess I talked myself back into the right frame of mind yesterday. After I wrote yesterday's blog, I had the distinct feeling that I had regained my mojo and hope again. It was a fleeting moment in the car, in the sunlight, while reading a book on my lunch break, but it felt amazing to feel that "right" feeling again...so I acted upon it.
When I got stiff in my chair later, I pushed my chairs to one side and did about 10 minutes of Yoga, testing myself with a new move. I forgot how amazing Yoga feels! Why did I ever give it up? I don't care that it doesn't burn enough calories - the things it does for my body and my mind and self-esteem far outweigh the "low cal burn" factor! I'm going to add it back in wherever possible! (It's funny, I saw the yoga instructor at my gym leaving last night as I was coming in and I just smiled super big and thought to myself, "I have no shame in seeing you because even though I couldn't make it to class, I made my yoga my own today.")
Later, when I got super bored and felt a push of motivation (that tried to fade, but I caught it again!), I laid down a blanket and got to work on some ST moves on my core. I started with a plank. I thought I was going to wimp out at 45 seconds, but I used my favorite line - "You've done it before, you can do it again" to push through to a minute...and then I went past it. 90 seconds later, I felt like a champ. I went from not being able to hold a plank for more than 2 seconds to holding it for a minute in a half in less than a year. That, my dears, is progress.
Also in my ST round-up at work:
4 sets of 25 reps of crunches
4 sets of 25 reps of crunches with twist
3 sets to total 50 bicycle crunches - the most of those I've ever done in one ST session
30 second modified plank
15 second modified side plank
...well, we know where my weakness is. Time to get working on improving those numbers now..and work my way to my new plank goal - 3 minutes. (Crazy, right?!)
After work, I headed straight to the gym. I had told Hubs when to expect me there, but made no thought as to expecting him. If he came, great! If not, great too! I would get done what I had promised myself. I changed, stretched and then hopped on the elliptical by the front door to watch TV for my warm-up session. About 3 minutes into it, in walks Hubs with the boys. I felt giddy and I don't know why. Part of me had been afraid all day he would hold me back or suggest Mexican for dinner, or otherwise, unknowingly, thwart my plans for a successful day...but when he walked into the gym, I felt giddy he was there. He popped onto the treadmill next to me, and I waited for him to get his 5 minute warm-up in, and took myself to 10 minutes (he was at about 7 minutes when I hopped off, but I told him I would wait, and he matched my 10 minutes. *big grin*).
I then headed over to the weight room section.
4 sets of Front Dumbbell Raises, getting up to 20 pound weights
3 sets of Dumbbell Wrist Curls, getting up to 20 pound weights
Funny, I used to shake in terror when I looked at the 20 pound dumbbells. Now they are my friend.
We headed upstairs next, to Hubs' favorite cable machine - the small one, shoved between the elliptical machines and treadmills. We did 4 sets of One-Arm Cross Cable Laterals getting up to 40 pounds. It felt great, even as Hubs was complaining. ("I love this machine, but this is the worst exercise on it!" *lol*)
Another stretching session, and then I popped right onto the elliptical next to me, making no insistence that Hubs do the elliptical as well, only informing him that I was headed there. I refilled my water bottle and by the time I was back to the machine he was on the one next to me, ready to go. We worked the Weight Loss setting on the machine. When we started, Hubs said he wasn't doing it all. I conceded to myself that I could get away with only doing 25 minutes, since my goal was 35 for the day and I already did 10 minutes of Yoga and 10 minutes in my warm-up. But by the time I got to 22 minutes, I turned to him and said, "You want to stop at 25, or should we keep going because we're almost done?" He picked keep going. I knew that after the 28 minute workout there would be a 5 minute cool-down, but I didn't let him in on that fact. At minute 30 he wondered why we were still going. I explained we were in cool-down mode and we only had 3 minutes left. He scoffed, but we finished it out. I ended up burning 500 calories and went 2.23 miles on the thing. He burned 280 and went 2.33 miles. (At one point my competitive nature kicked in and I was miffed that he had gone farther than me, but then I realized, I didn't care. I was after the minutes, not the distance. Gotta pick your battles.)
After we got off, I worried he would mention going out for dinner, but he didn't. We both drove home and I started to work on grilled chicken and roasted vegetables. By 9:30pm we were eating the most delicious meal and happy with ourselves. And even though I was exhausted and wanted to go to bed, I made myself get up after dinner and start the Slow Cooker Jambalaya that is now smelling up the house with all kinds of goodness. I finally made it to bed by my final cut-off time of midnight.
On the eating front, I stuck to my schedule. I made my lunch smaller so my snacks could be a little bigger and that seemed to work just fine.
7am - 1/2 whole wheat bagel with 1 Tbsp. whipped cream cheese with 16 oz of coffee with cream
9:30am - Blueberry Greek Yogurt with Granola
12:00pm - Meatball and Mozzarella Lean Pocket
3:00pm - One pita with 2 Tbsp. hummus
5:30pmish - One medium pear and a granola bar
8:30pm - a bite of pumpkin bread, just to tide me over
9:30pm - grilled chicken and roasted vegetables
So, yes. It was a successful day. And I hope to follow that up with another to get some consistency going. Of course, I woke up today with the worst TOM cramps I've had since probably summer of last year (before I started depo). Full blown headache, muscle soreness, fatigue out the ying-yang, and cramps that could stop an elephant in its tracks. I wanted to die this morning. I got up anyway and took a shower, sure I could just battle through, but as I sluggishly got the coffee ready, I realized that I needed sleep and rest and time to myself. (I'm also struggling with the fact that my boss resigned yesterday and I just want to stay in bed and cry over the fact that I might never see her again. I love her for who she is and for all she's done for me in the past 4 years and I hate that she won't be a part of my daily life anymore.) So, instead, I'm at home...I haven't even eaten yet because my stomach feels like it's holding a brick inside it, but I have had 3 cups of coffee. ....I think I'll go back to bed soon.
Plan for the day:
Have another successful day.
Food - Stay around 1700 calories - eat on schedule when possible (TOM is really messing with me on this one!)
Exercise - 35 minutes cardio, 30 minutes ST at the gym later
Boy, do I wish they'd call and say the car is ready today...would save me from taking off more work later in the week. I hate that I called in sick, but it was necessary. Gotta get some sleep and rest so I can tackle what's ahead of me.
Wishing all of you a successful day!
Monday, March 07, 2011
I've been beating myself up lately, berating myself for not being as successful with my weight loss in the past few months as I was last year. Lately it's been a whole lot of negative talk in my head and it needs to stop...like NOW.
Food is my enemy. Okay, no, that's not right. Time is my enemy. No, that's not it either. I AM MY ENEMY. I'm standing in my own way.
When I joined back in April of 2010, I didn't hold any preconceived notions about this being THE SITE or THE TIME when I would go for it and lose all my weight. I joined to start logging my calories. I joined to get real with myself about what I was really doing to my body. I didn't search for weight loss sites or social networking sites or any of that. My Google search was simply "free calorie tracker." That's how I found SparkPeople and that was my original intent when I joined.
I started logging almost immediately...and I found that when I logged, I was more conscious of what I ate. I didn't want to log my 5,000 calorie Chinese binges, so I simply didn't have them. But as time rolled on, I started a bargaining stage with myself. I told myself it wasn't that important. I told myself I could have whatever I wanted and just make up for it later. I pushed myself at the gym and then went home and ate my ice cream. I stopped measuring anything because I was too good for it. I wanted it to become more intuitive. I tricked myself into thinking that having lost 90 pounds, I didn't need it anymore. I knew what I was doing. I knew better than anything Spark could tell me. I rebelled.
In many ways, it's like the stages of growing up.
In April, I was a child taking my first steps. I did what I was told because I didn't know I could do anything else.
By August I was getting ambitious. I started questioning things and starting pushing myself to see how far I could go. I had reached the tween years and I wanted to discover what my life could really be like, wanted to know how much I could get away with.
And then came December. I was a teenager by then. I was rebellious. I thought I knew everything. I was sure that I knew how to beat the holiday weight gain...and I did. But I didn't have any real success then either. I told myself it was okay. I told myself that I wanted to enjoy my life, not be tied down by all the rules.
In some ways I wish I could go back to being a child again, but you can't change what you know once you know it. You have to work with what you have now and move forward from there. So, what is it that I know now?
Eating 1700 calories is harder than eating 2500 calories.
Is it really? Because that's what I've been telling myself. But looking back upon my first few weeks here on Spark, when I weighed over 400 pounds and had amble supply of calories at my disposal in my Spark range, I realize that I was having trouble then getting all my calories in. One day I started freaking out at dinner because I had only eaten 1,000 calories. It was amazing to me that my body was requiring less calories than I had been eating for so long. Honestly, I think I thought it was going to be easy. But then my calorie count went down again and again as the weight went down. And now that I'm shooting for 1700 calories I find myself struggling. Why?
Well, because I want to eat what I want to eat.
Because I eat out, thinking I have the self-control to keep doing that.
Because I think I should just eat another snack.
Because sometimes I eat when I'm not hungry, hoping it will thwart my overeating at night or at events, only to find myself overeating anyhow.
This just isn't working for me anymore.
I'm an exercise machine.
This one I know. I know how to burn calories. I know what burns the most calories. I know about strength training and heavy lifting. But what I've forgotten is how to take care of my body. What I've forgotten is the little things - breaking a good sweat while giving it your all, for example. My all on the elliptical used to be around 98. Now I'm at a 120 easy pace, but do I ever really push myself to do more? Do I need to? Wasn't I more concerned before with time, not energy output? Why am I suddenly trying to cram everything in so quickly?
Maybe I need to get back to timed workouts, to not worrying so much about burning the right amount of calories. When I started on Spark, I was getting the 30 minutes in that was recommended without ever reaching what Spark thought should be my calorie burned goal - and I was still losing weight consistently. Now I push, then back off. I get up and then fall down. I go too fast and then injure myself and have to take a few days off. There is no consistency in my workouts - and there is no consistency in my weight loss either.
An ounce is an ounce.
This goes way back to my time losing weight when I was still living in Ohio, when I had no clue what Spark was and I was trudging through with help from an MSN Group and with slow moving workouts and structured meals. I had to drive a half hour to get to a scale at the clinic that would weigh me. But every week, I got in my car, I drove into town, I did the walk of shame in and out of the office virtually undetected, and I weighed myself on the huge digital scale...one big enough to accommodate wheelchairs for those who had lost their mobility to obesity.
Each week, I copied my weight down in a little notebook and kept track of how much or little I was losing. There were weeks when I recorded a .4 loss and cried the entire way home...until about 25 minutes in, 5 minutes to home, when I finally wiped my tears and told myself, "Okay, Esther. That's .4 pounds you don't have to deal with any more. No more tears. A loss is a loss." There were weeks I gained and wanted to binge just out of spite. But somehow I convinced myself (most times) that it just wasn't worth it, because I didn't want to see ANOTHER gain the next week.
Each time this happened, I didn't change everything I was doing. I never really changed anything that I remember. I simply went back to what I knew was working. (I honestly think having the scale so far away was a benefit to me, and it makes me wonder if I should take mine up to my MIL's house and leave it there so I have to drive to weigh myself.)
Sometimes it IS possible to be overloaded with TOO MUCH information. Just as my body starts to think one thing, I change it and it needs time again to adjust. So why do I think this constant change is going to help me? Why do I think cheat days will work for me? They never have before. Why do I think I need to change everything in my life, try a million different recipes, and do a million different minor adjustments every single day in order to be successful? Truth? I was more successful when I was consistent and BORING.
I think I've come to the realization that I want my life to be different than what it is. I've been trying to change how my body works and, well, I don't think that's possible. I can change my body's size and shape, but I cannot change how my body responds to certain foods. I will always get gas from certain foods. Too much sugar makes my tummy a mess. There are just certain things that make up my body chemistry and how MY body processes food that I CANNOT change. I need to accept that. I always knew I could never be the girl that ate whatever she wanted and stayed thin, but I guess I hoped I could cheat all the time and still win. I can't.
If I want this to work, I need to take the guesswork out of it. I need to become boring. I need to make up some tried and true things that DO work, that I do love and that help me reach my goals. I have to stop trying to fit this square peg into a round hole!
I am me. And that has to be alright. I have to be alright with that if I want to learn to live my life with joy. I can't get hung up on things I'm not -- I can't keep harping on how much my body sucks because it won't let me run like I want to. Screw that! I have to rejoice in what my body can do. I have to go back to what works and stop being such a dang flake when it comes to getting it done!
Cardio 35 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
That's what my tracker is set for. It doesn't say what kind or at what intensity, it just says DO.
Strength Train 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
Monday - Upper Body
Tuesday - Lower Body
Wednesday - Core
Friday - Lower Body
Saturday - Upper Body
No more double ups. No more 60 minute ST sessions that eat into my cardio time. No more "not at the gym excuses." Push-ups can be done anywhere.
Consume between 1770 and 2120 calories.
It does not say where it must come from, just that it must stay in this range. If I splurge and eat a piece of pie, then I will be hungry the rest of the day. It's important to learn my lesson of what the body I eat does and doesn't do for me.
8 cups of water a day.
More is okay, but less is not. Make it happen.
Eat every 2.5-3 hours, approx.
This worked for me in the past.
7:00 am - Breakfast
9:30 pm - Snack 1
12:00 pm - Lunch
3:00 pm - Snack 2
6:00 pm - Snack 3
8:30 pm - Dinner
Unfortunately, my schedule will not allow me the no food after 7pm habit right now, but I think we can work around that. We shall see.
Get 6-8 hours of sleep a night.
I have to be up by 6 am, so I must be in bed by midnight, though I should try for 10 pm. That's not that early, geez!
It's time to stop changing everything and time to start making it right and consistent. It's time to find my groove and stick in there. Change is only necessary when the path you're working no longer works for you, and it takes a couple weeks to really tell if that's the case or not.
Other things to remember:
TOM is not your friend, but it is not your enemy either. It will pass.
Eating out is evil, but can be enjoyed if planned well in advance.
Don't stress over everything, pick the things you CAN control.
Do what you do. Don't worry about the rest.
Stop negative talk when it starts. You wouldn't let someone berate you for hours without stepping up to defend yourself, would you? Why do you let yourself do it to you?
Exercise is exercise. Stop being so darn "all or nothing" demanding!
Every MINUTE counts!
You CAN do this. You have done it before, you can do it again. Do what works and then be patient! Results will come, they always do.
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