Monday, March 10, 2014
As those who follow me know, I got seriously into ST last September. I've been a distance runner since 2011 but aside from some initial WL, it didn't do the trick to get me to goal. But I loved running HMs. I loved challenging myself by adding miles. Last summer I actually completed an 18.12 Challenge and a full marathon, as well as several HMs. I had adapted my running to a 4:1 run/walk program and never ran more than 1-2 miles without walking, especially when running outdoors and on hills.
I tend to race in the spring and the fall and I usually take Nov- Jan or Feb off from running, mostly due to the nasty temps and snow conditions in NNY. This year has been no different. I just got back to running a few weeks ago. I'd been running the indoor track but decided this weekend I would brave the weather and get in my first long run of the season. Sunday morning arrived and the temps and wind chills made me want to bag it but since I have my first race at the end of April, I knew I needed to start running outdoors, longer distances and on hills. I sucked it up, bundled up and hit the road. The first 1/2 mile was HORRIBLE! I was frozen and miserable but I decided to run at least 1 1/2 miles before I turned around and headed home. By the time I got to the 1 mile mark, I was feeling a bit better. I decided to keep going. At the two mile mark, I said what the heck and kept going. I hadn't walked a step yet and I decided to continue on and see how far I could actually run, hills included, without walking. FIVE MILES! Hills and all!! I was amazed at my endurance, especially since I hadn't even done a full three miles on the track and I hadn't done more than a mile at a time without walking! And I've NEVER been one to run UPHILL!
But the best part of all is I have ZERO pain today! I pushed my limits and I'm not paying for it! I know I have my lifting and especially my squats to thank for the change in my endurance level. And I'm sure my clean eating helps too.
It took me 68 minutes to run that 5 miles, but I wasn't pushing for speed, just endurance. With the weeks I have left to train, both on the road and in the gym, my increased endurance levels, and the fact that my first race is a relativley flat course, I've decided my goal is to PR it! I ran it last year as the first of two back to back HMs, so I didn't push for extra speed, but since I'm only doing the one race in April this year, I figure I'll go for it! My goal is 2:45. I tend to average around 3 hours so it will be a challenge for sure, but what the heck!
Ok, I've stated my goal, which will keep me accountable. Now I'm off to the gym to continue my training! I'll keep you posted!
Friday, March 07, 2014
After finally reaching goal in December, I continued with my ST program and clean eating roughly 85% of the time. I hovered around 150-151, which is where my Dr said was my ideal weight based on my muscle tone, height, etc.
Then we went on vacation and my clean eating routine was difficult to follow. In one week I regained nearly 15 pounds! The good news is in three days, upon returning home, I lost 11, and the remaining 4 were gone in a few days later.
What I learned from this was that not all healthy foods are healthy for everyone and that even a small serving of foods I know I need to eliminate, WILL have a negative effect on my body!
So where does that leave me now? Well I sure as H-E-L-L know what I'm not going to eat anymore! But more than that. I am still a work in progress. I still have plans for remodeling my body and even when - and if - I ever reach my ultimate goal, I can't expect to hold tight to it unless I continue walking the walk and talking the talk. It's not like we can get there and say "Whew! Job well done." Then spray ourselves with shellac and expect it to stay that way for ever more. We will always be a work in progress. The hard work isn't over once we reach our goal. And we wonder why it takes us so long to get anywhere! Most of us just can't stick to it long enough to see the final goal play out. That was me for years. I would work hard and be very excited while the results were showing themselves to me regularly but as soon as I hit a plateau, I'd get discouraged and give up. The difference this last time was I never allowed that plateau to stop me. When I'd hit a plateau, I'd attack it head on and full force! I'd continue fighting it until I chipped away enough to get it to move!
Maintenance is the ultimate plateau! It's the one you want to reach BUT if you stop fighting and stop chipping away at it in one form or another, before you know it, the pounds will begin to creep back on again. At first it's only one or two. But then you go out with friends to celebrate something or have company over or go on vacation and before you know it, you've regained much more than you ever intended. Thankfully with my clean eating, I was able to get back on track very quickly. Not everyone is as extreme with their elimination plan as I am, and then it can get dicey.
But enough about that. As I said, my journey continues..... and yes I'm smiling! Just this week I switched things up in the weight room and got back into running again as well. I'm already seeing positive changes in both the scale and my body comp. My plan is to whittle away a few more pounds but more importantly, to fine tune my physique. I feel like a sculptor. I'm smoothing away a little here and adding a little there on my way to remodeling myself just a little bit closer to my ultimate goal. Perfection? At my age? Not important! Precision is how I prefer to view it.
Friday, January 03, 2014
FINALLY! After nearly 20 years of being Obese then Overweight, I have reached my goal!
Roughly 5 1/2 years ago, when the scale topped out at 198, I realized it was time. I had to do something about my weigh once and for all. I joined SP and signed up for BLC10 and lost roughly 10 pounds in the first year. I was guilty of the typical up and down yoyo cycle that many of us do but after another year, I managed to lose another 10 pounds. I began 2011 weighing roughly 178. Any that's where I spent the next three years. Thanks to yoyoing, I only averaged roughly 3 pounds a year so by September 2013, I weighed roughly 172.
Five years and I hadn't even dropped a full 30 pounds! That's barely 5 pounds a year! Less than 1/2 pound a month! PITIFUL! And I had tried EVERYTHING! LITERALLY EVERYTHING! Every diet pill, weight loss plan and exercise gimmick on the market! I had tried every single supermarket tabloid's promise to lose weight fast. I had even tried a prescription injection prescribed by my doctor, guaranteed to help control my appetite. The only thing I DIDN'T try was weight loss surgery.
While I saw initial success with just about everything, nothing worked for very long and eventually, the weight I had struggled to lose, would creep back on. I went from periods of TREMENDOUS motivation to periods of complete lack of motivation. It took so long to lose just a few pounds and just a few days to find it again! On top of my weight issues, I was terribly out of shape and suffered from back and knee pain. I would count my calories daily but not pay much heed to the quality of those calories. I figured 1500 calories, was 1500 calories. Little did I know! And who was I trying to kid?
In January 2011, I took up running. I could barely run 60 seconds at a time when I began but three months later I ran my first HM and finished in 2:48. Initially the scale dropped as my fitness level increased but as my pictures show, there wasn't much difference from year to year.
I was determined that 2013 would be my year of completion..... but as you can see, Spring 1013, didn't bring much of a change.
And neither did fall 2013.
I'm not sure what my turning point was. Not sure which straw finally broke the camel's back, but I finally came to the realization that this was not an on again, off again journey. This was my life! And I needed to attack my WL journey with the same determination as life, living it 24/7/365! I had the cardio thing down. I knew my weaknesses were strength training and nutrition. I was clueless as to what I should and shouldn't be eating, outside of the obvious. So I went in search of a personal trainer and nutritionist and was fortunate enough to find both in one person. I set up a free consultation September 23, 2013 and that meeting changed my life! She put me through a fitness assessment and told me what I already knew. For a fat girl, I was pretty fit. That had a lot to do with the miles I put on my running shoes, training for multiple half marathons, an 18.12 challenge and even a full marathon, between April and September. Over 1000 combined training and racing miles in 2013, to be exact. What she told me next wasn't a huge surprise either. She told me my body was STARVING for muscle! My legs looked great from the running but the rest of me was pretty soft. The third thing she told me literally made me stand up and take notice. She told me she could have me AT GOAL in 8 weeks! All I had to do was follow her instructions for nutrition and strength training. Well that was a NO BRAINER! Eight weeks to goal? I could do anything for eight weeks! She told me what I should and shouldn't eat and she signed me up for M/W/F strength training sessions. In the first week alone, I lost over 8 pounds! After that I averaged roughly 3-5 pounds a week, as long as I stayed on plan nutritionally. During this time I was never hungry and my cravings literally disappeared. I hit a few plateaus but having her support truly made the difference. It kept me focused on my goal and she switched up my training routine every few weeks to keep my body guessing. There's something about having someone ask you every Monday, Wednesday and Friday how much more weight you've lost, that keeps you very accountable!
In the end there were a few surprises for me to discover about myself. My initial goal wasn't very realistic. I was shooting for 138 but I went to the Doctor for my annual physical weighing 151 in early December and when I told him my goal weight, he was very adamant that I should NOT shoot for 138! He said with my muscle tone and body type my goal should be 145-155. He said anything less than 145, and I would look unhealthy and anorexic. Considering all my pants were falling off me and when I went to buy more, I found I was in a SIZE 4, it was easy to see what he was talking about.
I also discovered an addiction to lifting! I'm currently deadlifting 115 pounds, only 38 pounds less than my current body weight. And that's not a single lift. That's four sets of ten reps three times a week! At 52 years old, I'm benching 65 pounds (4x10) easily and this week I will be upping that and shooting for 75. My 18 yo daughter tells me I'm benching as much or more than the majority of her college basketball team and they lift 3 times a week, year round. My overhead press and squats are currently at 45 pounds (4x15 and 4x25).
I had to go out and buy belts for the first time in 20 years because even my size 4s won't stay up without one anymore. But I think the biggest surprise of all is that after 20 years I am FINALLY AT GOAL! I am no longer feeling the need to read every "next big thing" on the WL front. I hadn't realized just how much stock I put in to all those articles and TV commercials until I hit a point where I didn't feel I needed them anymore! I mean, let's be honest. If even ONE of those things really did work, that would be the end of it! Everyone would be AT GOAL and the diet industry would be out of business!
After 20 years, I am no longer "the fat girl". THAT is a huge adjustment! It's hard to change my mindset and realize that I'm no longer fat. I no longer have to buy clothes to camouflage my body. I can buy literally anything I want because everything looks great on me now! All those cute workout clothes I drooled over but knew they would never look right on my rolls, are no longer off limits. I'm not afraid of the changing rooms anymore either. I'm not trying on a size 16, only to find that it is too tight and I need the 18 instead. I'm swim suit shopping for a trip to Antigua and IT'S FUN! I'm actually considering a tankini, which I've dreamed of wearing for years now but knew I couldn't get away with it before. I have more energy than I've had in ages. My aches and pains that I thought were a part of growing older, have disappeared! I can climb up and down several sets of stairs without getting winded. I'm not avoiding the camera anymore! I have more pictures of me with my husband and children in the past two months than I have in the past 15 years! People are mistaking me for my daughters! Even my doctor told me that if he didn't know better, he'd guess I was in my 30s, rather than my 50s. My good cholesterol is so high, he tells me I'm literally immune to heart disease. At 106/62, my blood pressure is lower than it was in my 20s, and I wasn't overweight then!
So here's the proof in pictures. Comparison shots from all angles, January 2013 to December 2013.
After looking at the "After" pictures, I've decided to shoot for another 5-7 pounds this month. I have some fine tuning to do. I'd like to see more muscle definition in my arms, shoulders and abs and I'd like to trim off that little bit of back fat that shows up around my bra. With continued strength training and continued healthy nutrition, I know I can whittle myself down to where I want to be by the time we leave for Antigua at the end of the month. Even though I am shooting for a few more pounds and a bit more muscle definition, I still consider myself to be healthy, happy and AT GOAL! And after nearly 20 years, that seems incredible!
This year alone I've lost 28 pounds, 24 of it since September. I've also dropped over 47 inches!
January to December measurements:
Weight 175.8 -148.0
Neck 14" - 13"
Above Bust 37" -34.5"
Bust 45" -39"
Below Bust 35" - 31"
Upper Abs 35.5" - 29"
Waist 37.5" - 29"
Lower Abs 39" - 34"
Hips 40.5" - 36"
Upper Thigh 23" - 20.5"
Mid Thigh 19.5" - 18.5"
Lower Thigh 17.5" - 15.5"
Calves 15.5" - 13.5"
Arm 12.75" - 11"
Total inches lost in 2013 - 47.35, the majority of which was lost after September 23
ETA 1/4/14: I've been thinking about my new goal of another 5-7 pounds and it occurred to me that with the point I'm at now, while I may indeed have another 5-7 pounds of fat to lose, I also intend to build more muscle, so while I may indeed achieve the fine tuning I'm looking for, it may not be reflected on the scale I'm at a point now where I will be relying more on pictures, than the scale, to confirm my future success. Thank you for pointing that out to me, Pam!😊
Friday, December 06, 2013
I had my annual physical yesterday. My last one was August 2012. I am 20 pounds lighter than I was then and 25 pounds lighter than I was on January 1, 2013.
My blood pressure is 106/62. It has NEVER been this low, even as a 124 pounds teenager, it was 110/70.
My current weight is 151. Higher than I expected but with the muscle mass I've gained from heavy lifting, I certainly don't look like I weight that much. My PT/N did a baseline biosignature modulation assessment and it shows 28.38% body fat and 108.29 lean body mass. That puts me in the IDEAL range for my height, weight and age.
Needless to say, my doctor was extremely happy with me. It was just a few years ago he was addressing obesity issues with me. YES! Obesity! I weighed 198 and was extremely out of shape when I began my journey. His first comment to me was that he couldn't believe I was 52. He said since I changed my nutrition plan, lost weight and toned my body, I look more like a woman in her 30s. LOVE IT!!
I went on to tell him my goal weight was 138 and his eyes got huge and he said, "NO!" He went on to say as my Dr, he was telling me right now he did not want me to shoot for that goal. He said it's was too low for my body type, muscle mass and age. He said if I was early 30s, he'd say ok but he said at 50 our bodies are different and require a bit more weight to function properly - and the above chart reflects that fact. He told me that as my Dr, his recommendation is that I shoot for 145-155. He said any lower than 145 and I'd look gaunt and unhealthy. So according to my Dr, at 151, I have reached goal!
This was me January 1, 2013.
This was me just a few weeks ago.
I still have 3 weeks with my personal trainer and we're fine tuning things right now. I would still like to lose some fat on my abs and tone my arms and abs a bit more. By dropping a bit more fat and building a bit more muscle, I may end up a few pounds lighter but it's the physical factors I'm shooting for now, not the number on the scale. I'm planning on taking comparison pics in the same workout clothes on Dec 31, 2013. I'll be sure to share.
So..... after 12 years of being unhappy with my weight and trying many things, some successful, some not so much, I have finally reached my goal! I'm in Size 4 jeans and Medium tops. My husband and I have a trip to Antigua in February to celebrate 25 years of wedded bliss and I will be shopping for a brand new swim suit! I've always wanted to be able to wear a tankini and now I can!
I have to admit, I never thought I'd reach my goal again in my life time. As much as I wanted to, I just didn't think I'd ever be able to. This is surreal and I'm not sure it's sunk in completely yet. Maybe when I find that perfect swim suit!
Thursday, November 21, 2013
When I started my BLC journey 5 years ago, I was at my all time high of 198. Effective today I am down to 152, very close to my goal of somewhere between 138 and 142. My DH and I just celebrated our Silver Wedding anniversary this week. In looking at pictures with my kids, I was astonished to see the difference in my face, most of which has occurred in the past 10 weeks.
The first pic is from our 20th anniversary, 5 years ago, at my heaviest - 198. The second is from this past June - 175. Not much difference. The third is early November - 155ish I think at the time. I can't believe how fat my face was before!
Now I'm anxious to dig out some FBS pics so I can really compare! And to commemorate our 25th anniversary DH and I are having a portrait done next week. I'm actually looking forward to it! And to think I've been avoiding the camera for the past 15 years!
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