Friday, January 21, 2011
That is my body fat percentage as it was measured last night by a personal trainer at LA Fitness. I am almost half lard! (no wonder I float effortlessly in the pool! LOL!)
I started this journey at 54.6%, and had gotten as low as to 42.9% a year ago. I plan on blowing that number out of the water this year. My goal is to get to 30% by the end of the year, and eventually 25%.
We will be working with this personal trainer as a family over the next 12 months - only once a month (all we could afford right now) and I'm excited about making my time in the gym really count and really making a difference in my body!
I jokingly asked my husband this morning, once he loses some weight and gets buff, is he going to hook up with some thin, hot-looking chick with a great body. His answer totally caught me off guard. He said YES! My jaw dropped to the floor...what the heck? Then he smiled and said, "It will be YOU!" It doesn't get much better than that. What a honey!!
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
I don't know if anyone will even read this. (It's pretty long-winded even for me!) but whether anyone ever reads it or not, I know I needed to write it for myself. Here goes...
It's been two years since I started my weight loss journey, and a year and a half since I had adjustable gastric band surgery. The first year went well - I lost 90 pounds (including pre-surgery weight loss). By Christmas 2009 I was at my lowest weight, 185. I was feeling good - maybe even a little cocky. (sylphinprogress - I threw that one in there for you!) I let myself go a little. "It's the holidays," I reasoned. "I deserve a reward for all my hard work. It won't really hurt anything. I'll get back on track after New Years."
Well, even though I thought I had everything under control - that my Band had me in check - I gained 10 pounds over the holidays, and I couldn't seem to get back on track. We faced a lot of challenges in 2010 (I know many families did) - almost insurmountable debt leaving us on the brink of foreclosure and bankruptcy (we cashed in retirement savings to save ourselves) having an adjustable upside down mortgage and still not knowing if we'll be able to keep our house, my husband lost his job (unemployed for 10 months now) which left me working 60-70 hours a week between 3 jobs to make ends meet, parenting two teenage boys with all kinds of emotional outbursts and discipline issues...blah, blah, blah
So, what did I do? I used my "horrible" circumstances to make excuses and let myself go completely..."It's too hard. I'm too busy. I don't have time. This is just a short-term crisis we need to get through. I'll take care of myself and my weight when our situation improves." Poor me! I ate whatever I wanted (crutching on convenience foods and sugar), sat on my butt almost nonstop (all of my jobs are on the computer) and maybe worst of all, disconnected myself from Spark People. At first I felt a relief wash over me, like a burden had been lifted, but I knew that was a false sense of relief, like a little kid whose parents just left him home alone and he knows he can raid the cookie jar, jump on the bed, stay up late, and watch forbidden things on TV because no one is looking.
So, 2011 finds me having re-gained 40 pounds. That's a bitter pill to swallow. I have done a lot of soul-searching and what I realized is that 2010 was the perfect "all or nothing" sabotage. (Who would have thought that old ugly giant would rear its ugly head again. SAD!) These circumstances I'm living through may not be a short-term crisis - this just may be my new "normal" and I better stop waiting for life to line up the way I'd like it to and provide me the perfect environment for losing weight, BECAUSE IT'S NOT GONNA HAPPEN! Time to stop making excuses and start taking back control. I can choose to make healthy choices in spite of my circumstaces.
So I'm back on track now. I actually started on 12/31 - I wanted to salvage one day in 2010 so I could end the year on a positive note.
I am learning how mportant "sustainable" changes are. My health habits need to be manageable for the long run - especially when life gets crazy. I need to have a "minimum standard" that I can default to that will still keep me moving forward, so I don't ever give up entirely again.
So here is my sustainability plan for 2011:
1) Staying connected to Spark People weekly. Before my "crash" I had been pushing myself to do more than I could manage with everything else in my life, and instead of scaling back to a manageable amount, I dropped out completely. (there's that all or nothing theme again) I know I need this for my personal accountability. I cannot read every blog, reply to every post, track every bit of food I eat or goal I have set, etc., because that just isn't realistic with the time I have available. But I can take a balanced approach and make a difference with the time I do have, and give myself permission to not worry about the rest.
2) Fitness: Get a minimum of 10 minutes of activity in every day, and more on the days there is time. Go to the gym 12 times a month. (Thank you to my company who is now providing a Frequent Fitness benefit for 12 gym visits a month - that's a movitvation!)
3) Eating healthy: Choosing natural, whole foods. Focusing on protein, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dairy - minimize sugar and processed/refined foods. No tracking calories, but generally being mindful of the nutrition I am taking in. Managing portions. I'm also considering another fill, as I do not notice much restriction.
4) Relationships: Make an effort to hug my kids and my husband more, to listen more attentatively and genuinely, to speak kind words, and do little random acts of kindness. Most importantly, to connect with my Creator and thank Him daily for my many blessings.
Well, there it is in a nutshell...from a pretty big nut!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Wow, where do I start. It feels like I've been gone for an eternity, but really it's only been about a month. Things were really spinning so out of control that I finally had to take a break. We were days away from having our home go into foreclosure, and were in the process of packing and preparing to move. Our debts had mounted to the point we were preparing for bankruptcy. My oldest son was having heart monitoring done because he was having periods of lightheadedness and has a known heart arrhythmia (my sister died from a heart arrhthmia when she was 18). In the middle of it all, my husband went from having his hours cut to working overtime, and I got called back to my second job and started working 7 days a week. And then we both got sick, and I ended up with pneumonia.
Fast forward to now, and after many weeks of chaos and a lot of prayer, life is finally getting back on track. The extra hours we have been working has really helped financially, and we decided to cash in some retirement funds and to pay off most of our debts. That freed up enough money each month that we can afford our increased mortgage payment. (We're still in an ARM and are upside down and can'trefinance with anyone but our current lender, so we're not out of the woods yet, but for the next year or two at least we should be okay if our income stays the same.) The heart testing on my son came back negative. No bankruptcy, no need to move right now, we're all healthy again, we have enough money each month to make ends meet...things are finally looking up and the weight of the world is no longer on my shoulders. Phew!
The fallout from all of this is that I have not taken care of myself at all - not eating right, not exercising, not taking any "me" time really at all. And that has led to a gain of 14 pounds since the beginning of the year. I really thought that I had overcome most of my "issues" and would just kind of maintain...and I did for a short time...but then I fell right back into old habits which I thought would never return. I stopped using the wonderful tool I have, my band, and then got frustrated that it wasn't working anymore. It's like somehow I expected it would carry me through and I'd be fine, even though I wasn't doing the work. Big mistake. That's like a carpenter tossing his hammer off to the side and somehow expecting it to pound the nails in by itself. Ridiculous! If the tool isn't being actively used the way it was designed, it's not going to do the work.
My take-away from this is that I am now, and will always be, in the process of overcoming. I cannot become complacent, because I will never arrive...never completely overcome. It's like being on a treadmill - I need to make an effort just to remain stationary...if I exert extra effort, I will move ahead, but if I slow down I will start to lose ground and eventually will end up on my butt after being thrown off the back end. That's where I am today...on my butt.
So, I'm dusting myself off and climbing back on the treadmill...both literally and figuratively. I'm going to start using my tool again the way it was designed. No point dwelling on past failures - I can't do anything about what's in the past, so I need to learn from it and move on. It's time to get back to the work of "reshaping" my future.
I'm looking forward to reconnecting with all of my Spark friends, locking arms, and pressing forward together on our journeys. It's great to be back!
Monday, January 18, 2010
I subscribe to Dr Oz's email newsletter, and I was happy to see a reference to the new book The Spark, as well as SparkPeople.com and SparkRecepes.com in his January 18th edition. I think Dr Oz has been sparked!
"Start your day off right. The Spark -- a new weight loss book from the founder of SparkPeople.com -- recommends these smoothie ingredients for a calcium-rich morning meal: 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of mango chunks, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds, and 4 ice cubes. Try another great smoothie recipe from the SparkRecipes.com community."
Fight fat with The Spark. Jump-start your weight loss, or take it to the next level. This 28-day program, broken into a four-stage plan, has helped millions get their body and life back where it should be. Dozens of success stories will keep you motivated, along with their online community at SparkPeople.com. Check it out now!"
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