Monday, May 18, 2009
I'M IN TWOVILLE! I was finally able to weigh-in at the Y and my current weight is 299! I'm just beyond excited. Even better, I managed to hit that number BEFORE my June 30th deadline. I'm loving it!
It also means that I've reached 50(+)lbs lost since December and 15% of my starting weight! I can't even begin to describe how wonderful it feels. I'm just amazed at the progress I've made. Never in my life have I been this successful at getting healthy and losing weight.
I think one of the interesting parts is I feel below 300 without knowing it because I haven't had a reliable scale. Mine started acting up two weeks ago and I haven't been able to get a good reading off of it. So instead of focusing on the weigh-in, I've been focusing on trying to eat better and get my activity in. It's helped me change my focus from the number to what I'm doing, if that makes sense. I spent two weeks without allowing my emotions to be tied to the digital output on the scale - was kind of nice. :D
So now I get to set new goals for myself. I think right now I'm going to focus on 20lbs losses, which would put my next goal at 279. Honestly, I'm not sure how long to give myself to reach it. Right now SP is saying I could hit that number by the end of July, which makes sense. It does give me a little over 2 months to lose the weight. I guess I'm just worried that may be too quick? On the other hand, it's in line with the success I've had so far. I think, to be on the safe side I'll go ahead and extend it to the end of August. If nothing else, I'll be able to reach the goal sooner and move on to the next one. I guess on the plus side, assuming it does take me until August to lose the weight - it does put me in line to be around 250 by the end of the year.
I guess I could deal with that. ;)
In other non-weight related news, I've really started upping my workouts. Right now my goal is at least 60min a day at the YMCA, doing about 30-40 minutes of Cardio and the remainder being strength training. Then at nights doing another 10-20 minutes so I can keep up with my boot camp workouts as well.
Right now my main Cardio is on the treadmill using an AWESOME training program called Cardio Coach. It's an MP3 based interval program. I started out with my level '2' speed being about 2.0 and my level '3' at about 4.3. Today I was running my shorter sprints at 5.0 (WOOHOO!) and the longer one at about 4.7 (for a minute at a time!). My steady speed is about 3.0, though I think I need to go a little easier on the warm up. My shins started hurting during the first steady state phase. Fortunately the pain didn't get worse, but I think a slower warm-up and some stretching will help with that.
Also - I did TEN minutes on the elliptical. Okay, so the resistance was at 1, BUT it's still 6min LONGER than I've done previously. My goal had originally been 5min, but then five minutes came around and although I was sweating like a pig and my legs were killing me I was all "It's only another five minutes...." So I went for it - and DID it.
Then Ray kicked my butt on the leg machines. I did a total of 6 machines, with about 5lbs more than I had the last time we worked my legs. Tomorrow's going to be worse though - it's going to be my arms. :( My upper body strength is almost non-existent and Ray really pushes me. I know I'll be able to do it - I'll just be complaining about half the time. LOL
So here's to reaching goals, pushing myself to new limits and all the milestones I still have ahead of me. :)
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Not long ago (let's say 6 months) a 'good day' for me would've involved a visit to the movies, a large meal (or two!) at a restaurant (possibly fast food), and possibly a leisurely stroll through the mall, even though most stores didn't care clothes I could fit into. Six months ago I would've wanted to treat myself to a new video game, a new DVD or some food I'd been craving (brie, chocolate, hamburgers, fries).
Well, today was a good day and while it incorporated SOME aspects of the above, it was also completely different. We did start off the day with lunch out - where I ordered a Turkey Ruben (with fries) and shared a couple of tortilla chips with my husband. However, unlike 6 months ago, I came home with half of my sandwich, half of the fries and actually STOPPED eating the chips and cheese BEFORE the main course arrived! True, I could've made a better choice, but I'm learning.
Then we did go to the mall, but instead of spending money on a pretzel, coffee or McDonalds, we were there to buy me new running shoes. I left Finish Line (shoes store) so overjoyed at the purchase of shoes that felt like they'd last and be comfortable, that I felt like I was on cloud nine! On the way through the mall we started talking and my husband told me we'd be able to go to the local YMCA to finish the sign-up process as long as all went well. At this point I was almost bouncing because I was so happy. I already had visions of me on the elliptical machine, trying to keep up with my Cardio Coach Vol. 1 workout. Then while my husband was getting his hair cut, I sat and looked through the style books, wondering what I'd do with my hair next. Suddenly it dawned on me, I wasn't going to do a damned thing until I reached a goal I set for myself. I still have to do the math and set it, BUT, I'm going to let getting my hair done (cut AND colored) be a reward. I deserve it.
Then, after we made it home, we hopped back in the car for dinner (since we didn't do our grocery shopping yet and the cupboards are bare once again). We hit the Early Bird Special at a seafood restaurant up the street. Not only did we pass up an appetizer to take advantage of the soup and salad bar, but I only ate a few bites of the soup and about 3/4 of the salad (with spinach, sunflower seeds, pineapple and no-fat Ranch dressing). Then dinner came and instead of ordering my normal fried-fare, I'd opted for a broiled combo plate. While I did finish the whole plate (minus half a hush puppy), it wasn't a high calorie meal in the least. About 3oz of fish, 4 medium/small shrimp, 5 med scallops, 2 oysters and a small bowl of steamed veggies.
I think the ONLY splurge today was the rootbeer float I got from Dairy Queen. Keep in mind that not only was it a small, but I had them put the ingredients separate so I could eat it later at home. I wound up using about 3/4 of the ice cream and maybe 1/4 of the soda? Took me about an hour of The Biggest Loser finale tonight to finish it.
I also got in my Boot Camp workout, plus Leslie Sansone's 3 Mile walk that's on Exercisetv.tv. Honestly? I could not wait to workout and try my new shoes. I definitely noticed a difference while I was moving. My feet weren't slipping to the sides, I felt like I had better balance because the sole was solid and my feet weren't hurting. I do need to get socks that fit me (and not my husband's feet :p).
Otherwise, I'm raring to go. I've got my MP3 player charging, my shoes ready and am already planning what I need to bring with me to the gym. I'll need to invest in a new lock for my lock, but I think that's it for now. Oh, and one new tank top since the only workout one I have is stained all to hell.
Oh, I almost forgot - I also made $20 today participating in some surveys. You know those guys that are generally standing in the mall with clipboards? Well Ray and I walked by one and he asked if we would be interested in a survey. I said sure - he asked if I'd seen Legend of the Seeker. I laughed - of course I had! I'm obsessed with that show and the series it's based off of right now - I tell you, it was FATE. Anyway, that survey isn't until Saturday, but they had another one for me to take part in today, that earned me the money. When we go back on Saturday, the payout will be $30. I've got to say $50 for tasting some chips, looking at some bottles and then watching a new, unreleased show isn't bad at all. :D
All in all this was a good day - here's hoping the remainder of the week follows suit.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Just like any long journey, the one towards better health and weighing less is also an on-going learning experience. Everyone starts off the journey with a strong set of beliefs; even the casual fad dieter is gung-ho in believing that this miracle cure will be the ONE that magically sheds their extra pounds. Then, as things progress those beliefs are challenged, changed and sometimes completely discarded as we learn more about what does and doesn't work for our bodies.
Sometimes those learning opportunities look like nothing more than huge obstacles or roadblocks in our way, testing our resolves. Those who are able to tough things out always manage to learn something when they finally emerge on the other side.
Right now, my major lesson is learning how I like to exercise. Well, wait, I shouldn't say 'like', because really the only exercise I like is swimming and I can't do that as regularly as I'd like. It's a lesson in learning how I can get myself to consistently exercise.
First and foremost, I have to feel comfortable doing it. I can't be in a situation where I feel intimidated or ashamed. If I'm not mentally comfortable working out, I won't do it. I still have those voices in the back of my head telling me that *everyone* is looking and laughing at me.
Second, there needs to be some amount of physical ease. Now, that's not to say that the exercise has to be easy - far from it. I don't mind feeling the burn in my muscles and working up a sweat. Well, I do mind it, but I'll endure it for the sake of getting healthy. I know those things are necessary to really make progress. When I say physical ease, I mean being able to feel that burn without feeling physically unable to continue. Basically this translates into the fact that I just cannot handle walking outside in the Florida heat. The humidity and higher heat wears me out almost immediately, cutting my endurance in half at best.
Third, I need to have a system to hold myself accountable. I need to feel like I HAVE to workout on such and such a day. Some people are able to work on systems where they work out any 5 days in a week and take off any 2. It's great they have that flexibility, but I need more structure. I NEED to know that Sunday to Thursday I am expected to do X and Y, and Friday to Saturday I can use to rest, though I should still work on getting some activity in.
Fourth, there are still limitations to what my body can handle. I don't have the physical prowess to move as quickly as some of the videos I'd like to do. I don't have the strength or flexibility to properly do certain exercises without modification. I do still need to push and raise the bar, but I need to do so in a way that I can still feel successful and benefit from the exercise. There's no sense in following a video if I spend more than half of it trying to keep up or figure out the steps. Right now, for my exercise self-esteem, it's better to focus on a group of videos and work with them until I'm able to do them comfortably or they start feeling 'easy'.
Fifth, I am not a split-workout type of person. I am NOT a morning person, and worse I'm a night owl. Add to that the fact that it takes me thirty minutes in the morning to even feel like I can move (thank you arthritis in my neck and back!) and daytime workouts just aren't in the cards. Until I start having access to exercises or workouts that I truly enjoy and look forward to, working out will be something I put off until right before bed. Rationally, I realize it would be a LOT easier to get a solid 60 minutes a day if I could split it into two sessions, but I just can't do it yet. Really, I think this is something I'll work on once I get the consistency thing under control.
All that said, I'm SO glad I joined the SP Sweatsuit to Swimsuit Boot Camp. I'd joined another a few weeks ago and unfortunately it just wasn't doing it for me. It's not that I didn't want to, but there was just too much discouraging and working against me. There were no set work-out days, no set videos, the challenges seemed above me to some extent and I was constantly worried that the workouts I was choosing weren't 'enough'. With the SPS2S Bootcamp, there's a lot more structure and I feel more sure of what I'm doing. I feel more comfortable. That's not to say it's easier - the daily videos have been anything but easy so far, but it's a challenge I feel I can meet if I work hard enough.
In other news, I was sad to discover that my scale was out of commission toward the end of last week. I'm not really sure *what* happened or what's wrong, but I haven't been able to weigh-in. My husband and I have both been getting several different weights within a 2 minute period and lots of E (errors). I'm hoping it's just the batteries, which I'll replace next week - but if not, it may be a while before I'm able to weigh in again. This month we just don't have the extra money to invest in a new scale. We may be able to manage it next month, but we'll have to wait (haha) and see.
Like I said, I'm bummed, but it could be a good thing. I started realizing something was wrong with the scale when it was weighing me 5 to 11lbs heavier and suddenly 10-15lbs lighter within a 5 minute period. When I was seeing those higher numbers, the tension I felt was pretty bad. Had the weight not changed when I stepped off and back on again, I can guarantee the day would've been spent feeling depressed and down. I totally support weighing every day, but I think stepping away from the scale for a week (or three or four) may not be a bad thing. Give me some time to connect feeling good with other things like getting my exercise in or staying within my self-imposed calorie range. Letting a little digital box dictate my happiness isn't any healthier than allowing food to dictate my happiness.
So here's to a period of learning to exercise regularly and not to weigh every day. Wish me luck!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
So, today was a bit of a landmark day. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was able to go into WalMart and fit into some clothing. Well, at the time things were still a tad tight and I of course couldn't buy anything.
Well today, Ray and I went to WalMart to get a money order for our rent and I asked if we could go into the clothes area and try some things on. Not only did they fit, but they fit well. The same size 27 jeans I tried on last time, not only fit but there was a bit of a gap at the front.
So in honor of the clearance rack and getting some new duds, I decided it was time for some progress pictures.
I'm going to be honest, looking at the pictures it's VERY hard for me to see a difference, but Ray says there's one so I'll take his word for it. I mean, considering I'm fitting into clothing that is 2 sizes smaller than clothes I was wearing in November HAS to mean something, right???
If nothing else, I finally have a pair of capris I can wear that don't fall down if I put anything in the pockets. :)
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
After about a week and a half, I was finally able to work out again tonight. I didn't get the walking in that I'd wanted, but I still got all my minutes (cardio and strenght) in.
Tonight's workout was:
10 Minute Day 1 Bootcamp Cardio Kickboxing Video
10 Minute Day 1 Bootcamp
10 Minute Jump Start Cardio (this one is a lot of jumping, don't think I'll attempt it again)
15 Minute Ball Workout (Yay! I have my Stability ball back!)
Strength (2 sets of 15 reps of each):
I definitely started sweating during the cardio portions and had to modify some of the routines (especially the jumping one), but I kept going no matter what. I'm definitely feeling it in my chest, but I've got my inhaler next to me and am using it as necessary.
The strength was tough, especially after all of that Cardio which was a lot of leg work. Tomorrow's should be easier since it'll be core strengthening instead of lower-body.
I didn't track my calories today which is bad, but I'll start up again tomorrow. I could go back and input everything, but to be quite honest I don't want to be bothered right at this second. I really wish there were an easier way to input full recipes, or that the recipe input screen allowed you to search items added by other members. I find myself having to go between two or three screens sometimes just to input ingredients to a recipe. Very annoying.
In other news, unfortunately Ray did not get the job he applied for with Arrons. After being the good interview-ee and calling to follow-up, Ray finally got told that the position has been filled. I feel so bad for him. He'd gone all the way up to the drug test and background check, yet they still didn't hire him. On the one hand I keep reminding him to at least be thankful that he's getting calls. He's gotten more calls and interviews in the last 4 months than I have in all 7 months of being unemployed.
Anyway, we're just going to move on and see what happens next. I do have to say, the stress of last week did have one perk, I managed to drop over 4lbs. Now, this does make me wonder how much of it was stress/not eating and how much of it was the fact that I've been having to cut back my Metformin dosage due to running out of medicine. I guess we'll see since I'm going to have to go the next 14 days without because we more than likely won't have the $4 for the prescription. After we do our grocery shopping I'll see what I can do, but I'm not holding my breath. If nothing else, I may be able to see if it's helping or hindering my weight loss.
Being so close to my goal, I'm really hoping it doesn't have too huge of a negative effect. That would suck. To date, I'm 6.8lbs away from my goal of being under 300. With all of May and all of June left, I think I may get lucky and be able to hit my goal. :)
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