Monday, October 31, 2011
Lately I've been feeling overwhelmed, mostly at work - which is where I do most of my Sparking. My weight loss effort level has been up and down, more down than up, and I keep beating myself up over it. I just need to free up some of the brain space being occupied by all my Spark activities. So I've decided to take a Spark break. I'm still going to exercise and eat healthy, but I'm not going to track and I won't be hopping online. I'm not sure how long this will last; I plan to try it for a month and reevaluate.
In the meantime, I'll miss you all. Good luck in all your endeavors!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
My last blog was about me feeling stuck and frustrated. In it I mentioned that I'm frustrated because DH and I are getting closer and closer to starting a family, but I'm no closer to my weight loss goals. Well, I decided to turn that rationale on its head: I'm using our plans to light a fire under my butt to shed the excess pounds before I get pregnant. This weekend I realized that I have a golden opportunity in my hands: I have six whole months to focus on myself and my goals before my life utterly changes and my main focus will be on other, tiny, people. I realize that it is not only possible but also healthy to devote time and attention to yourself while raising kids. And I also know, courtesy of so many great examples right here on SP, that you can be a mom and lose weight. Yet it is never going to be easier than it is right now. Losing weight gets harder as you get older, and no one has discovered the fountain of youth. Losing weight takes a lot of time and effort, and soon I will have more demands on both of those things.
So. Clearly now is the time to work on ME and MY GOALS. As hard as it sometimes is, it is never going to be this easy again. The window of opportunity is about six months long (provided we don't have any scary infertility problems, which I'm not even allowing myself to think about) and I do not want to squander it. These are my new mantras:
--It's never going to be this easy again.
--Now is the time. Don't squander it.
-- I have six months.
This is very motivational for me and in a very positive way. Yes, being in better shape will be better for the would-be babies. But this is the most important thing I can do for myself in a long, long time - possibly for life. (Or at least this is what I'm telling myself, since it keeps me going and I have no idea what my future will bring.)
I am also a very visual person. So I took little reusable flags and stuck one on my monitor for each pound I want to lose. The flags are in groups of five and each time a group disappears I get a reward. They're a great visual queue for how much I have left and how much is already gone. Plus it's a super easy way to track both my progress and how much I have to go before my next reward. And don't worry, I'm rewarding myself for other things, too, not just the pounds. I reward myself for every 10 100% days I have, which is a great way to keep me focused on the process.
Separately, I had two big wins last night. My work pants situation was getting pretty dire: I only had one pair of dress pants left that fit. And they didn't fit that well - and were quite faded. Yeah, those poor things have served their time and are due for a peaceful retirement. I hate shopping when I don't know what size I wear or what styles will work. Thank goodness for Ann Taylor Loft - they had a great sale and a super helpful clerk. I walked out after 30 minutes with 3 pairs of pants and a dress and without $140. This may seem steep, but normally their pants are $70 a pair and dresses are $100. The pants are pretty, machine washable, well made, FIT, and look great. I'm a happy camper.
After my little spree, I met DH for dinner. We went to a place we'd never tried before called Seasons 52. They specialize in fresh, seasonal food. Many of their ingredients are organic and/or locally sourced. We didn't realize this when we decided to go there, but every item on their menu is 475 calories or fewer - which they state right at the top of the menu. Win!!! That takes the guess work and guilt right out of the equation since it is literally impossible to make a poor nutritional choice. I had the tomato carpaccio (fresh tomatoes, the barest drizzles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, and a teaspoon of goat cheese), grilled trout, asparagus, and roasted potatoes. OM NOM NOM NOM. DH had tuna and avocado rolls, filet mignon, mashed potatoes, and carrots. Yes, his serving size was small. But it was satisfying and nutritionally sound. We passed on dessert, which is a variety of 300-calorie shot glasses of decadence, because I didn't have quite enough room in my calorie budget. But I love that they have the calorie counts readily available and that there are so many delightful choices. I think we've found a new favorite restaurant!
Friday, October 07, 2011
I started out 2011 very strong, losing 10 pounds by February. Since then I've only dropped 3 real pounds, losing and gaining the same pounds over and over again. And I'm heartily sick of it. While I love all the positive comments on my friend feed every time I lose a pound, it also disheartens me because I know that I'm truly only re-losing the same pound I re-gained last week.
This week I reached a new level of frustration. I have been reasonably diligent about keeping to my simplified program but it's not enough. It's time to level up. Losing inches is great, but the pounds have GOT TO GO. I'm more than halfway to goal weight, but the remaining fluff just doesn't want to budge. So I'm going on the offensive. I changed my ticker to show how many pounds I have left (27). I will update only with pounds lost, not the occasional (and inevitable) gain so that it accurately reflects how far I have to go - and I stop fooling myself and others into thinking that I'm losing more than I am by a deceptive friend feed. I will redouble my efforts on both fitness and food tracking. So far this month I've done pretty well at both. But the name of the game now needs to be CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY.
Why, after so many months, am I doing this now?
YOOVIE's blog about fear of success really resonated with me and got me thinking about why I've stalled out.
DH and I are seriously talking about trying to start a family in the spring. And I am NOT where I want to before I get pregnant. Pregnancy will be much easier if I am slimmer and in better physical condition.
I want to only have to worry about baby weight after giving birth, not baby weight plus the other stuff I was carrying before pregnancy.
A while back KITHKINCAID shared in a blog that one of her secrets to success is only updating her weight when she loses, not when she gains. It's a way of saying "Eh, temporary gains happen. Get over it and move forward." Plus it feels more honest to me and I want that right now.
I finally am just at breaking point with the constant 3-pound up-and-down wobble. Sick to death.
[deep breath] Okay. Resetting the ticker is a great first step. But I also have to get it MOVING. To do this I will:
Religiously track my food. No matter if it's difficult, annoying, or I just don't wanna. Do it anyway.
Do some sort of fitness activity every day. Like I said in my last blog, walking, yoga, and Wii fit count because I'm trying to work on flexibility, hand-eye coordination, and agility. But they only count if I am also doing 3 heart-pumping cardio sessions and 2 ST sessions a week.
Level up the ST. What I am doing now just isn't working me hard enough. The trainer at the gym at work has a reputation for bad-a$$ ST routines. I'm going to go talk to him and see what he can do for me.
Track my calories burned for a few weeks of consistent fitness, average it out, and update my nutrition goals accordingly.
This had better work: if it doesn't, I don't know what will. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I'd really love to hear them!
Sunday, October 02, 2011
Last month I lost 0.4 pound, stayed exactly even on inches, didn't stick to my program with iron-clad consistency, but met most of the rest of my monthly goals. So, on balance, I'm pretty happy and give myself a B. Here's my favorite non-scale victory:
Granted, I have on a pretty serious shaper. But the dress is a 10 and I'm absolutely in love with it.
I also had a major victory against emotional eating, which I blogged about last week; I'm still pretty proud of it.
Yesterday brought me another nice non-scale victory. DH asked me if what I was wearing was new. I said no, to the contrary, it's quite old. He said, "Oh, that's right! I keep forgetting that you're smaller now than I've ever known you and I don't know all your clothes anymore." So that's a twofer: I'm smaller than when DH and I met AND I have an observant husband who bothers to notice what I wear.
Right now I'm ready for a change and a fresh approach, so I think I'm going to change up how I do my monthly goals. I'm scaling back the number but making them more challenging and more focused.
Eat in my calorie range plus 5 freggies 5 days a week.
Do some sort of activity every day. Walking, Wii fit, and yoga count. (Gotta work on flexibility, agility, and hand-eye coordination a bit.)
Log 1000 fitness minutes.
Do 3 cardio sessions each week.
Do 2 ST sessions a week.
Sleep for 8 hours a night. Yes, every night.
Drink 8 glasses of water.
Drop to 169 pounds, a 3-pound loss.
Most of these goals are familiar. But enough are new - or at least more focused - that I'm hoping they'll help get both me and the scale moving. Notice that the goal weight is at the bottom of my list; it's there for a reason. I tend to lose inches more easily than pounds and I've - slowly and painfully - learned to focus on process, not product.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Last night I bought a new dress to wear to my good friends' wedding on Sunday. DH is a groomsman but I'm not a bridesmaid. And I know I'll be feeling awful because of my foot surgery later today, so I wanted to look as sexy as possible so I'd feel more confident. If this dress, in plum instead of the gray shown, doesn't do it, nothing will:
These images are really tiny. Go to this link if you want to see a bigger version; I recommend enlarging the details to really see the lace and sequins (uh,yeah, I'm biased, lol):
The best part is that it's in a size 10 and fits beautifully. (10 is my goal size!) Granted, I need a serious shaper to make it work. But it does work and makes me feel like a million bucks. I'll post pictures of me/us at the wedding in a later blog!
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