Sunday, September 11, 2011
This has been a rough week for me. Several things have occurred this week that made it very difficult to keep eating as clean as I had been. I ended up with very limited ways to cook and ate a lot of lean cuisine, which while calorie/portion controlled, still sets off something in my head that makes me want to eat more.
I've been eating in the high end of my calorie range or slightly above it. I feel a lot less energetic when I eat like this. I was feeling really good from eating clean, and I need to do something to get back on track.
Because of this I put on 3 pounds. I'm trying not to be down on myself for this. My measurements stayed about the same, no real big changes, and I am noticing a lot more definition. While I know that most of the gain comes from overeating, I think at least a small part must be increased muscle. I feel like my muscles are a lot more noticeable this week.
I did all of the JE workouts, and while I have to modify some things because I work out at home, I feel like I worked pretty hard. I also did speed training and lifting this week and threw in some extra ab work to make up for Pilates being cancelled.
In stead of worrying about the gain, I am making plans. I am going to dive into week 4 with a much clearer focus on eating clean, and I'm going to keep working hard. Difficulties will come, but they cannot send me into a huge backward slide every time. I need to just do the best I can and know that it will pass, and I can refocus and keep moving toward my goals.
Week 4, here I come!
Saturday, September 10, 2011
The school year has started, and I find myself being thrown into a lot more interactions with other parents this year. Overall, the people in our town are great. It's a small town squished in between two larger towns. There are very few businesses and a lot of farms. One place where there is a community feeling is at our tiny K-8 school. It seems like most people in town grew up there. There aren't a lot of familes like ours that moved from somewhere else.
My daughter is in kindergarten, so we are newbies. I enjoy meeting people in our community, and my daughter has made a lot of great friends. I feel like we are becoming part of the community, and that is awesome.
Now, I'm finding that I sometimes feel alienated for another reason - my weight. Not in the usual way. Not the way I used to be alienated. Now, I am the healthy one. A lot of the women are heavier, and it seems like their main topic of conversation always involves complaining about their weight, not being able / not wanting to exercise, and laughing at people that jog by the school playground.
I understand this. I was that way. But, they don't know that. They met me after I lost 80 pounds, ran several races, and started lifting weights. They don't know fat me who is still lurking in my head, even if my body doesn't show it anymore.
I want to share my new knowledge with these women. I know how great it feels to run on a gorgeous fall day like today. I know why it feels so good to be drenched in sweat with your muscles on fire and pushing just a little further. I know that there is another level of happiness. This is stuff I didn't know when I was fat.
Unfortunately, I'm having trouble communicating with them. If I say anything about exercise or eating well, they look at me as if I couldn't possibly understand what they're talking about. I've obviously always been fit and energetic. I've never suffered or stuffed my face or tried a thousand useless diets.
I hate that look. I want to yell at them, "no I understand! I was there! I was even bigger than you are, but I did it! You don't know what you're missing!"
Of course, I don't do that. I'm a pretty mild, mellow person. But, I wish they knew how good it can be. How it is worth working hard. How it is worth skipping the doughnut or eating a salad.
I'm not sure where I am going with this. I got the look this morning at my daughter's soccer practice, and I really just needed to get it off my chest. Looking at this blog, I start to think that I might like to be a trainer some day. Maybe I could work with a small group of those women or work one on one with them. I've thought about this before, but I've always dismissed the idea. I'm a little nervous about investing in something else that might fail. The zumba training was a waste, and we do not have the finances to keep doing these crazy things.
Of course, I look at that and see it for what it is. An excuse.
My real problem is the one I always have - fear. I'm afraid to try. I'm afraid to fail. I'm afraid to change.
Maybe I should. Maybe it's time. Admitting this idea to others is a step closer than I've ever gotten before. Maybe it's time to mention it to the hubby.
If you made it this far into my rambling, thanks! I'll keep you posted on this idea. I think it's time for a change.
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
**This is the newest entry on my blog - If I'm Not Fat What Am I? which can be found at ifimnotfatwhatami.blogspot.com/
I plan on doing a weekly blog about health and weight loss that will hopefully help other people start their own weight loss journey. Enjoy.
How 'The Biggest Loser' inspired me...to do the opposite
I love The Biggest Loser. I watch it religiously and have even gone so far as to watch the Australian BL online. I will even continue to watch now that Jillian is gone, although she was the reason I started watching in the first place. That woman kicks some serious a**.
The thing I love about the show is that it is so inspiring. When I weighed 240+ pounds, I would watch it (while gorging myself on pizza and gravy fries, naturally) and think if that enormous person can do it, I bet I could, too. Then came the dreams of being chosen to be on the show and have my butt handed to me by Jillian for months on end. No responsibilities. Just lose the weight.
That dream was short-lived. The longer the show went on, the heavier the contestants got. Soon the lightest contestants were still heavier than me at my highest weight. So, no Biggest Loser ranch for me, but I continued to watch and laughed at the irony of watching it while my husband and I shoved fatty, calorie-laden food into our mouths. Sure, we laughed about it, but it wasn't funny.
It's not fun being fat. Even being relatively happy (which I thought I was), I still wasn't having fun. Life was passing me by, and I was willing to let it. Then I had kids. I wanted them to be happy, healthy, active - I wanted them to do better than I did. I wanted to play with them. Honestly, I just wanted the energy to keep up with two small children, a part time job, and housework.
My ah-ha moment wasn't anything huge. I'd had far more devastating moments that didn't make nearly as strong an impression on me. My ah-ha moment was a beautiful summer day not long after my son was born. I was sitting outside, watching my daughter play while my son played on a blanket in the grass. My daughter wanted me to play with her, and I tried for a while, but it was too much. I had to stop even though she begged me to keep playing.
It broke my heart and changed my life.
What I wanted for my children, I needed to do for myself. The excuses had to go. The binges had to go. I needed to show my kids how to live a healthy life. I needed to be able to play.
So, I started looking online for information and weeding through all the junk to find the real truth. It took a lot of time, but I was willing to commit. I knew I couldn't try another crash diet. I knew it wouldn't happen over night. Or even over a few months. It was a huge commitment, and I made it after a few more weeks of info gathering and reasoning myself into "just one more" indulgence.
I have to admit, I really love exercise. I was just terrible at being consistent. I was the queen of excuses and could always find a reason to not work out. My first step was to start doing some exercise every day. I didn't jump into anything this time. I went slow. I started with The Biggest Loser.
I was watching a season of the Australian BL at the time. I was a bit addicted and would watch several episodes in a row, so instead of sitting in front of the computer, I walked in place. It felt a little silly, and I got some weird looks from my family, but it was something. I felt empowered when I watched the former fatties working their butts off (literally). I wasn't working as hard as them, but I felt like I understood what they were going through.
As time went on, it got easier. I added squats and lunges to my computer/TV time workouts. I tried to watch my calories, but I took that slow, too. Small changes add up, if you give them enough time.
Here is what I did differently from The Biggest Loser contestants. I feel like my approach, while slower, is a much safer and easier path to follow (and to stay on for the long haul).
Small Changes vs. Clean Eating
The contestants on BL are thrown into a very different eating plan than what they are used to. The foods are clean, natural, low calorie - the complete opposite of the greasy burgers and pizza the contestants are used to. It produces major weight loss and over time changes your taste buds (showing you just how gross some of those foods really are).
The thing is - it's not going to work unless you are in a strictly controlled environment like the Ranch. It just won't. I tried to go that route numerous times, and every time I would be confronted by a temptation that I could not ignore. Then comes the guilt, the giving up, the binges...
To make it stick, I allowed myself Anything - in moderation. I started with small changes to my diet. The first one was to eat 1/4 of a red pepper every day for lunch. I hated peppers - all veggies, really - but after a few weeks, I started to crave them and look forward to eating them. I still eat peppers every day (as well as a lot of other veggies), and some days I eat a whole pepper. A quarter cup doesn't cut it any more!
I would like to add that I have nothing against "clean eating". I'm doing it right now, and I feel fabulous. But, it has taken 3 years to get to a place where I can do that. It is the culmination of 3 years of small changes.
6-8 vs. 15-20
Contestants on The Biggest Loser are so lucky. They have top of the line equipment and knowledgeable trainers at their fingertips. They have nothing to do but workout and do so for 6-8 hours a day. Must be nice. Some days I'm lucky to find 15 minutes to work out. It's a dangerous thing to try to jump into. They are all carefully monitored and cared for by medical professionals. Yet another thing that you and I have no access to.
In the past, I always tried to do too much and ended up discouraged, sore, or exhausted. That's not a good way to keep up consistency! To make it stick, I gave myself permission to only do 15-20 minutes of exercise 3 times a week. Some times, honestly, it was more like 10 minutes, but as long as I did something, I felt okay. It became a habit, and I found myself adding extra time and days to my regime before I knew it.
You don't need fancy equipment, trainers, or a gym membership to get healthy. Sure, they're nice, and if you have them and use them - even better! I didn't have any of that when I started. I also had two small kids and felt trapped in the house most of the time. I started with walking in place and a few easy exercise DVDs. When I started running it was the middle of winter, and I didn't have a treadmill, so I ran around the first floor of my house. It was simple and accessible. It was something I could stick with. Even if I felt a little ridiculous at the time.
Short Term vs. Life
The Biggest Loser season is a finite amount of time. The contestants get several months (if they're lucky and don't get voted off first) to cram all of the knowledge and lifestyle changes into their routine. They are cut off from reality and allowed to focus on just losing weight. Most of them keep it off afterward, but I bet it is a struggle. How do you keep up that kind of perfect eating/exercising when you throw in life, kids, work, etc.?
Small changes take longer. It may take a while for anyone to notice your physical transformations, but they will. The nice thing about not being on The Biggest Loser is that you have to work it into your routine. It becomes a part of your life. It's not a one shot, fix it now kind of thing. It's your life. You have to live it the way that is best for you. After a while, the healthy changes become a part of the everyday routine. You stop thinking about them as much. Those are the changes that matter.
So, that's how the Biggest Loser inspired me to do the opposite of what they do. The show is incredible, and they have done a ton of good for the country (and the world) by bringing this kind of info to the TV watching public. Still, their methods are a little unreasonable for your average Joe. Watch them sweat, take in the nutrition information, but find your own information, make your own changes, sweat and work hard.
Then you can be someone's inspiration.
Saturday, September 03, 2011
I love the Jamie Eason Live Fit Challenge! After 8 or 9 months of no change (or worse, gaining), I have finally seen some changes. I feel great, and I am seeing more definition all over.
Here's the numbers
This week, I have lost 2.6 #s, 2" off my bust, 2" off my chest, 0.5" off my waist, and 1" off my hips!!
I was already feeling motivated to keep going, but this increased it even more!
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Today has been a test. It's that time of the month, and I am an emotional wreck. Add to that my daughter starting full day Kindergarten and my little boy starting play school, and it's a recipe for disaster. Clean eating has been a challenge, but I've been doing pretty well until today.
Today, I don't want to eat clean. I want to buy a gigantic bag of M&Ms and go to town on them.
But, I won't. This is a test. I've never stopped and really focused on not emotionally eating. This time is going to be different. So far I've clean ed the house and cried a little. I'm waiting until I can pick them up and see how happy they are. They love school and were so ready to go - even if I wasn't. I'm eating clean and looking forward to lifting with my trainer later.
Today will be a success.
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