Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Something has happened to me...just this week. It's like a switch has been flipped, exercise-wise. Perhaps it is due to the fact that I joined the Official Spring Into Shape Bootcamp Challenge issued by Coach Nicole. Perhaps I gained a bit more confidence in myself when I spent a week in Atlanta with business colleagues who were so kind to build me up and compliment the work I do for them. Whatever it is, I feel unstoppable. And I am no longer afraid of this thing called "exercise". In fact, we've become quite friendly.
When I started with Couch 2 5K about a month ago, I couldn't actually do the running portion of the program...I would just walk as fast as I could through the entire thing and I was averaging about an 18 minute mile. I believed this to be a result of my weight (255 lbs starting) and thought that it would be so much easier for me to actually run when I have lost some weight (maybe 30 or 40 lbs down the road).
But, I've read a LOT of blogs over the past couple of weeks. As you know, I feel specifically drawn to the stories of SparkPeople that have lost 100+ lbs. I began to see a common thread in many of these success stories: running. And not just running when they had walked enough to shed a ton of weight...running when they were STILL out of shape. When they were STILL over 300 lbs, over 250 lbs. Running a 5K non-stop at 230 lbs. It has quite literally blown my mind!
And, I don't know...I just thought, "If these people have done it...then I can do it." I can't keep making excuses. A real injury would be one thing, but I had a minor sprain back in the beginning because of bad shoes. Now that I have great shoes, there is no reason I can't try to do this thing right.
Sunday morning, I knew I'd have a 6-hour car ride in front of me. I woke up super early to do my first day of the Spring Into Shape Bootcamp Challenge. I did a 10 minute cardio led by Coach Nicole on my computer. Then, immediately, at 7am, went and started over with Couch 2 5K. But, this time, I ran all the running intervals. I cut my personal best mile interval time by 3 whole minutes!!! I was THRILLED! I felt SO GREAT! Yeah, it was a rough run, but not as rough as I thought it would be.
Yesterday, there were some bad storms. But I didn't want to miss an opportunity for cardio so I did some videos on the SP site. About 1/2 hours' worth. Felt awesome.
This morning, I woke up at 5:30am to take care of my 4 year old. He went back to sleep and I realized I was wide awake and just ITCHING for the sun to come up, so I could go for another run. I cut my mile interval time by another minute this morning. But that wasn't even my biggest victory today. The victory today was that I was able to breathe! I focused on my running form and, do you know, that made things so much easier?! I wasn't in pain. It was exponentially easier than it was on Sunday.
This is just TWO DAYS of work, folks. And I already feel like it's getting easier. I just can't tell you how amazing I feel. This running thing, once you get the hang of it, is really quite addicting. I already can't wait for my next run.
If you only knew me two years ago, you'd understand how shocking this is. I am the girl who used to HATE any exercise. I am the rude person that would post on my runner friends' Facebook statuses that running is disgusting. I am the one who would say, "Who cares if I'm overweight? I'm already married and at least I'll die happy (eating delicious things and living life to the full)!"
But I so wasn't living life! And, to have this chance to truly LIVE...well, I refuse to take it for granted. I just can't wait to see what's ahead!!!!
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
The past couple weeks has been a rocky journey for me. Let's see...in the last 4 weeks, I've been up against:
Kid's Birthday Party
First experience with death of a loved one
Funeral for said loved one
Weeklong business trip in Atlanta
Husband's 40th birthday party
In the next two weeks, I am up against:
Husband finally graduating from college (with the celebration to go along with it)
11th wedding anniversary
End of kids' school year
All of these things have either caused, or have the potential to cause, ups and downs in my diet/fitness routines. Some of the items on the first list resulted in weight gain, which took me quite a bit of focused energy and determination to correct.
I haven't been diligent through it all. In Atlanta, I didn't log into SparkPeople once. And I didn't really think too much about what I was eating...or do ANY exercise. Thankfully, some of my healthy choices from the previous months managed to stick and I was able to do minimal damage on that trip.
As I've been considering this entry, I've come to realize that anything on this list could be used as an excuse to give up and just indulge. But, there has been a nagging in the back of my mind through all of it...
"This is temporary. You won't go so far that you won't be able to make adjustments to repair what you've undone (health-wise)."
"You don't need to go crazy with food to feel better...so just don't."
"You can't fill that loneliness with anything that has a calorie count."
"You have proven yourself to be strong. You have lost 11 lbs, and that is not insignificant. You worked hard for that...and you will continue to work hard for the remaining 97 that you still want to lose."
"You crossed a barrier...and you're never turning back."
See, back when I first started SparkPeople last year, I did give up. I never made it past that barrier....the barrier of self-doubt. I absolutely no longer doubt myself. I know with 150% certainty that I have everything I could ever possibly need to do this and to become stronger and healthier and slimmer. It isn't mentally, emotionally or physically possible for me to let myself go any longer.
I finally became important...to me.
How did this happen? That's easy. I log into SparkPeople every single day and read a blog about how someone has lost 100 lbs by doing what they know to be right - eating healthy foods and working hard. And that's all. And I feel so inspired, like I can do it too. What's more...almost every one of these people has lost 100 lbs within a year. That fact is staggering to me. I used to think, "I need to lose 100 lbs and it will take years and years." But, the idea that if I put all I have into it, this could actually happen within a year is something I never imagined was possible. You know what? I can give myself a year. It's really not that long!
So, what about you? Do you believe yet? What will it take for you to say, "I will never let myself go again. I deserve this and I will do anything it takes to achieve this"?
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
So, if you've been walking with me the past couple weeks, you will have noticed a sudden, strange turn in my blogs when I decided at the last minute to join my Pastor's wife on the South Beach Diet Phase 1 (without even knowing a thing about it!) Lucky for me, I am an info junkie and I promptly did all the research and, within a few days, had read the entire South Beach Diet book and it sounded pretty great. I had some setbacks in the strict 2-week Phase 1, but I saw huge results, as the author promised I would. I lost 9 lbs in the first week. Had a bad weekend and gained some weight back, which I shed in the following week. Overall, I think I did a great job. My friend, however, went off the Phase 1 portion after a little more than a week. I hung in there for the full two weeks, but I felt some confusion upon finishing Phase 1.
At first, I tried to add in just a little whole grain and fruit, as the book instructs. But, over the past few days, I have been really thinking about it and although South Beach Phase 2 does sound like a great, well-rounded, healthful diet...it is just a bit too strict for me. I've found that as I add in more (healthy) foods I like to eat without worrying about glycemic index, I've been able to hover around our maintain the 10 lb weight loss. So, that's great. I was a bit worried if I went off of South Beach, it would all just pile back on within a day. So far, I'm OK. But, I'm still making very healthy choices, mind you. And still kind of watching sugar like a HAWK.
I've seen so many SparkFriends that have lost over 100 lbs and they have simply followed their SparkDiet (staying within daily calorie ranges) and added a WHOLE LOT of exercise to their lives. They aren't heavily restricting healthy food groups because of glycemic index or anything like that...just practicing moderation and controlling portion size. So, I'm going back to my original SparkPlan. It might take longer, but that doesn't bother me. I know I'm on this path for the rest of my life and I'm not concered with how quickly I lose the weight. The happy truth is I know that I WILL lose it. This is the first time in my life that I can confidently say that and not doubt it at all!
I would be remiss to say I didn't learn a LOT from my South Beach Diet foray and I'd love to share these things with you, my SparkFriends:
1. I was eating SO much sugar! I honestly didn't even know! I don't have a big problem with sweets normally, so I figured I was OK. But, once I started to really look at labels and make sure things were meeting the Phase 1 requirements, I was flabbergasted by the amount of sugar in EVERYTHING. And, if that didn't drive home the point enough, the 2nd day migraine sure did. Now that I've cleansed my body from that toxin, I am NOT too eager to start putting it back in my body. And once you get past the second day or so, you really don't crave it at all.
2. I wasn't eating NEARLY enough vegetables! You would not believe the sheer volume of vegetables I went through in two weeks! Those HUGE tubs of spring mix at Kroger? I went through 2 of those completely. This was an adventure in veggies that I could never have imagined.
3. Veggies with protein can be very filling. I did not suffer from deprivation or feeling hungry all the time. When I consiously made sure I was eating a lot of protein throughout the day, along with my insane portions of veggies, I always felt full. And satisfied.
4. I am more mindful now of every single bite I put in my mouth. Even when I was tracking before, it wasn't with as much vigilence as now. This has trained my brain to evaluate my daily eating as a whole. It's second nature now to think, "Does this meal include fiber, a protein and vegetables? Will this keep me feeling full? Do I have enough water in my system so far today?" This is ridiculously helpful for me. I really needed this second nature view on healthy eating and I'm so happy I've finally learned it.
5. Perhaps the most important lesson I've learned is that I CAN limit myself. I have absolute and complete control over my food choices and I have proven to myself that I am capable of sticking to anything I put my mind to doing.
So, while it's not my longterm diet, the South Beach Diet has given me some life lessons that I probably would not have learned if I wouldn't have done it.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Warning: Typing on my phone - autocorrect is a nightmare.
So, here I am at my weakest point - the weekend. Woke up this morning to my mother-in-law making fresh waffles. Oh, how I longed to grab one and drown it in butter and syrup! Instead, had a small cup of coffee, lots of water, a slice of whole grain toast with natural peanut butter. First Temptation: Defeated.
Knew I'd spend the entire day in hospice - my husband's aunt is about to die. I thought ahead and brought some sunflower seeds for my AM snack. Second Temptation: Defeated.
This is a rough day emotionally. You know, NO ONE would blame me if I hung out by the vending machine and went through a bag of chips, a Coke and a couple candy bars. For goodness sake, a dear family member's life is slipping away right in front of my eyes! But...I don't want to feed my bad feelings with junk and feel even worse - physically and emotionally. I opted for a "treat" of a diet soda. Third Temptation: defeated.
Still haven't had lunch, but you know what? This day...this terrible, confusing, horrific day...needs to be taken just one hour at a time. One healthy choice at a time. One tear of joy or pain at a time.
Wish me luck.
Friday, April 13, 2012
So, if you remember from a previous blog, I went a little crazy on cookies last weekend. This resulted in a supposed 5-lb weight gain on Monday morning. I've been back on my pretty strict Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet and have been pretty close to flawless this week. I can't help myself...I get curious and so I've been weighing myself every day to see if I am back at the place I was last week (when I boasted my 12 lb total weight loss).
It's been slow going but the scale IS going down. This morning, I was a bit disappointed because I'm still a little over a pound away from that all-time low that I hit last week.
I thought, "Well, it's OK. It's still a total weight loss of 10 lbs, which has been a milestone for me and that's pretty impressive. Plus, I know I'll eventually shed that extra pound if I continue to make good choices."
Then, I went to put my clothes on that I'd chosen for work. Truthfully, I chose some capri pants because I wanted to wear my tennis shoes. I have planned a BIG walk into my work day to run office errands.
Well, wouldn't you know it? Those pants slid on so easily and buttoned so comfortably and they haven't felt this comfortable and not tight in...well, a year???
It was then that I knew...the scale doesn't tell the WHOLE story. Several family members have made note that I look smaller.
Have you heard that any fitness program takes 12 weeks? After 4 weeks, you start to feel it in your own body. After 8 weeks, those closest to you begin to notice a change. And the rest of the world starts to notice after 12 weeks. Most people just give up too soon.
Well, guess what week I'm in??? You got it...Week 8. You know what that means??? In 4 weeks, NORMAL PEOPLE will notice!!! How exciting!!!
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