Thursday, October 03, 2013
So I have been wearing sizes 20 and 22 for the the last 3+ years (I cannot remember how many exactly). About 3 months ago I found a size 20 jeans at my local thrift store that fit perfectly, so of course I grabbed them. I could not tell what brand they were but they just felt and looked great so I did not care. Anyway, after owning those jeans for a all this time I eventually discovered a secondary tag that shows the jeans were from Old Navy. A Spark Friend of mine gave me the idea to buy the same model of jeans in different sizes as to have a good comparison, since different jeans brands/models are not really sized the same way. So I went to Old Navy today to find a size 20 pair I would like and tried it on. It fit, but felt like I would need a belt with it once I would break them in. I need to note that I do need a belt for the thrift shop pair by now. So I went ahead and got a size 18 of the same jeans, not expecting them to fit well, but to my surprise they fit perfectly. I HAD to buy them and now I have my first pair of victory jeans. I am looking forward to getting the next lower size once these get loose. This NSV is just what I needed. My weight did not go down much lately, but I obviously lost inches. I have been sleeping too little and working too much over the last two weeks because of looming deadlines that absolutely have to be met, but I know this has not been healthy for me. I have been eating intuitively and have managed to eat healthy foods in reasonable portions most of the time, but did not find the time to track. I am proud of myself to not have given in to junk foods despite the stress. I did have a treat every once in a while, but kept them in moderation. This is a big one for me since I have been a stress eater for most of my life. I did not exercise much over the past few weeks since the 5K either, but I do go for short walks on my lunch and try to be as active as possible on the weekends for now. Better than nothing. The good news is that I know this is only temporary and will be over soon, hopefully next week. I miss the insight I get from tracking and definitely miss my morning walks/runs.
Monday, July 29, 2013
I just wanted to give an update. I have been absent from SP for a little over a week and it feels like an eternity. The reason of my absence is that I have been very sick due to a serious mold issue in our HVAC system. In June we moved to a new rental home and both my son's and my indoor allergy symptoms went significantly worse since then. So I decided to have the air ducts of the house cleaned. When the technicians came out for the air duct cleaning, they discovered black mold within the AC unit, which they told me was a result of improper maintenance on a long term basis. They did not perform the cleaning, because that would have caused a lot more mold spores in the air. They gave us an estimate for removal of the mold and sanitation of system which I forwarded to our landlord. Thankfully, there was no fuss and we were able to have the technicians take care of it first thing on Monday.
However, spores had already been in the air all weekend and I was having severe flu-like symptoms because of that (sneezing, sinus congestion, sore throat and cough thanks to postnasal drip, severe headache, body aches, mild fever, fatigue, diarrhea). In short, I have been feeling miserable and I hope listing my symptoms was not TMI. Gladly, I am finally and slowly getting better.
I still have a cough which I hope will soon go away so that I can work out again. This was the worst I felt in years and came very unexpected. I am so glad that my boys have been at their grandma's house for the past few weeks, so they have not been exposed that much. My husband and I have both been very sick from this stupid mold. If you ever have any mold in your home, please remove it safely or have it professionally removed right away. Please make sure your AC system is maintained properly. The mold we had was caused by the system not draining correctly and water and dirt had been building up inside the unit. I know that whenever we move again, I will have the AC professionally checked before we move in. This better be a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Glad to be back and hope this pesky cough will go away soon... I miss my workouts!
Thursday, June 27, 2013
I would have never said that 10 years ago while in high school.
Actually, I have developed more and more love for math over time ever since I finished school. And now I love it even more, since weight loss is so much about math.
I recently created an excel chart into which I enter my daily calories eaten, calories burned through exercise, and BMR which I get from the calorie differential reports here at Spark People. Lately I have been eating reasonably without precalculating my meals. I simply eat reasonable portions of healthy foods most of the time and track everything. Looking at my recently tracked foods each day, I noticed that this way I naturally eat between 1300 and 1600 kcal a day. This is a comfortable range for me. I am satisfied, do not feel starved or deprived of anything. There is even room for an occasional frozen fruit bar, piece of chocolate, etc.
Back to my excel chart. I just created a new tab for July, for which I am committed to track every day. So I entered all the dates, and preentered my current BMR (which of course will change sightly as the pounds go bye bye). Then I entered that I will eat 1600 kcal each day (upper end of the range, so it may actually be less). This brought me to a potential weight loss of 7.0 lbs in July. Then I accounted for the average kcal burned exercising climbing the stairs at work (4th floor) combined with the 5K Your Way program and circuit training on alternating days, with one rest day a week. This brought my potential weight loss in July to 10.5 lbs. Now this is motivating!
Now I do know this is just a rough estimate and the outcome may be more or less, with less being more likely since I am a slow loser. But even if I lose only about half of this, say 5 pounds, I will be thrilled! Nevertheless, I will shoot for the full 10.5 lbs and beyond. I will not lower my calorie intake since I am comfortable with it, but I need to push myself and exercise more. First, I need to make the mentioned training routine a habit and stick to it. Second, I need to find extra ways to burn. And I will! Maybe a nice hike on Saturdays or going to the pool, etc. We will see.
There will be one challenge, but I will figure this out: I will be going to Mexico for about a week in mid July with my boss and team for a large job we are doing there. Los Cabos to be specific. How cool is that!?! This my first time going to Mexico and I am beyond thrilled. I always wanted to go, but had not had the chance to, yet. So here is the challenge: I have been doing the 5 K Your Way on my treadmill at home and we will have a vacation home instead of a hotel, so probably no workout equipment. Maybe I will train at the beach and preload some music in intervals on my iPod? Still have to figure this one out.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
When I do lose weight, I lose super slowly ...and I better get used to it. It has discouraged me many times again and again. Why work so hard if nothing changes? Wrong. Something always changes. If it is not the weight, it is my strength, my endurance, the way my clothes fit, or just me knowing how hard I am working and taking pride in it. Yup, it took me a while to start appreciating my NSVs, no matter how small they are.
I have been off track for a while now. Since mid February to be exact. Ouch. Another four months wasted during which I could have lost weight. Even if it had been just one pound a month. That would have been four pounds lost. Instead, I gained weight. Go figure. No exercise at all... I ate reasonably, but that is not enough for me to prevent weight gain and far from weight loss.
It started with me catching a nasty cold which knocked me out for about a week. Well, that is all that it took. It has never taken much for me to get off track and I need to find a way to get myself back on track once I am off. One thing after another kept me from jumping back into gear. After I recovered from my cold, I worked way too much, then we moved, and during all this time I have been suffering from an increasing number of migraine attacks. Let me be clear. I am not listing excuses. I am identifying obstacles. Obstacles I could have - and should have overcome. Did I have to overwork myself? No. Yes, I had a higher than usual workload, but I could have cut back on other things in my free time in order to exercise. Did I have to let a move get in the way of exercising? No. Same as with the workload. All about time management. Does a migraine knock me out for a whole day, or a couple of days in a row? Yes. But there is no reason why I could not pick myself up and exercise once the migraine is gone.
My 27th birthday was 12 days ago. This leaves me two years (minus 12 days as of today) to reach my goal weight (mid-range of healthy BMI). On my birthday, I signed up for the 5K Your Way program here on Spark People (similar to C25K) and did the first training session that day on the treadmill. I surprised myself and did better than expected. The following day, I did a 30-minue circuit training (DVD). I was proud of myself that day. I had worked out two days in a row. And since then? Nothing. Well, almost nothing. I skipped the elevator and took the stairs at work (4th floor) almost all month now. My husband got me a camelbak type backpack for my birthday which has been on my wishlist for a while now. I enjoy hiking and this backpack does not only have a 2-liter water bladder, but features a mesh construction which allows for ventilation of the back. Well, now I need to use it, that is get my butt out and go for a walk or hike.
A year ago, I walked regularly. On Saturdays I trained with my local Spark Team for a half marathon and throughout the week I met up with a neighbor to walk in the neighborhood. We did walk our half marathon in January this year, but I walked less and less often on Saturdays ever since. Also, my walking buddy moved earlier this year, so now I am on my own. There have been a few times I was able to push myself to walk on my own, but not anymore. I was all hyped up and ready to go on my birthday. What happened? Why did I quit once more after working out just for two days? Right, I had a migraine. OK. I will cut myself some slack for that. But why did I not restart? I have not found that answer yet and I probably should just do it. Just exercise. I could have worked out just now instead of writing this blog. To be honest, I hope that writing this down and sharing it will help me find my way back to exercising more regularly. Maybe I just need to "put it out there". I am a very private person and it takes a lot for me to share this. Admitting my failures, reaching out...
I learned that I need to set smaller goals and that these goals should not have deadlines. I did not meet my goal for the zip-lining I wrote about in February/March. I could have reached it had I only kept working out. However, once I got off track I started telling myself that I would not reach the goal anyway and the closer the deadline came the more it intimidated me, the more I felt like a failure, the less I worked out. Maybe that is why I stopped after two days. Maybe. I do not know. I know I am not a failure. I walked a half marathon, something I never thought I would accomplish. I just have a hard time not feeling this way whenever I do not reach a specific goal within a specific time frame. I will take some time to define new goals. Baby step goals. I will not tie these goals to deadlines. I will, however, do my best to reach them. This means I need to stay on track. Exercise EVERY DAY. Even if it is just 10 minutes. Baby steps. I need to do this. I am fat, but fairly healthy considering. I do not have knee problems (yet). I am not diabetic (yet). My blood pressure/levels are (still) in a healthy range. The question is how much longer? I am morbidly obese and have been for at least five years. Eventually it will catch up and I will not let it! ...note to self: There we go. You just woke up before it was too late. Guess how many people wish they had? You better work out and stick to it from now on.
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