Friday, April 29, 2011
It's been a rough week and I am glad it's Friday. I've been feeling stressed and not getting enough sleep was making me feel worse. I slept pretty good last night and it's amazing what a good 7 hours of sleep can do for you. (and a back rub before bed by your hubby :) ) I got up at 5:30 and did my 3 miles (3.1 to be exact) and did them in less than 42 mins!
Last night I read all the comments on my latest blog and I just have to say thank you to all of you! I appreciate you all taking the time to support me. It means a lot and I really am grateful. I would not have made it this far in my journey without the support I've found here. I can always count on someone to encourage me and keep me going.
Today I am also grateful because my son was in a car accident yesterday and came out of it completely fine. His friend's mom was picking them up after school because it was his friend's birthday. We were all going to meet up at Chuck E Cheese, and this happened a little before that. By looking at the pictures of the car, you'd think someone was seriously hurt at the least, but no one was. The boys were in their boosters and seat belts and the mom did get hit by the air bag and was sore, but everyone was fine. When she called to tell me of course I was worried, but I knew he was ok and the boys were mostly concerned about whether they could still go to CEC. So we met up and I was just grateful everyone was ok. It really put things into perspective for me. I try my best to be positive and not let things get to me, but sometimes stress gets the best of me. This reminded me to not sweat the small stuff, and like that books says, it's all small stuff (mostly). We spend too much time worrying over things that really don't matter.
Without our health we have nothing, and that accident reminded me that we are all one crash or accident away from serious injury or death. We have to LIVE our lives to the fullest and be grateful for every moment we have on this earth because we never know when it will be over.
Let this be a reminder to all of you to WEAR YOUR SEAT BELTS EVERY SINGLE TIME! The boys could have been thrown from the car and seriously hurt or killed if not restrained properly. One of the windows in the car was completely smashed out. But, they were in their boosters as the law requires and walked away unharmed. I am so glad I follow the recommendations and keep him in a booster even though he's 7 and tall for his age. So, double check your kids' car seats and that they are installed properly and that they are restrained properly in those seats. They don't do much good if they aren't being used the right way. Don't think because you are a good driver that you are exempt from the seat belt. You never know when a drunk driver could hit you or someone could be texting or talking on their phone and slam into you. Stop talking on the phone when you're driving. Whatever you're talking about is not worth the distraction when it takes only a split second to be in a crash.
Let's take care of ourselves in EVERY way we can so we can be here for the people we love. I hope you all have a great weekend!
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Tomorrow is one year since I joined SPARKPEOPLE. A year ago I was over 300 lbs... about 325 give or take a few since I didn't have an accurate scale. I was tired all the time and tired of being so out of shape and not being able to live the kind of life I wanted to. For a long time I told myself I would change, but I never could seem to figure out how to do it and stick with those changes. I'd start off excited to change, lose some weight, and then become frustrated that I wasn't losing enough weight (my expectations were too high) that I couldn't walk a mile fast enough ( I felt like I was failing if I couldn't do something that I thought I should be able to do) or I'd make myself very sore and tired (over working myself, again feeling like I should be able to walk a mile in X amount of time). So, I'd give up, feeling defeated, and like I'd never be able to accomplish the one thing I'd always wanted to do, which was to lose weight and keep it off.
I'd been on diets since I was a child and nothing had ever worked. For so long I think I did what a lot of overweight people subconsciously do, and that was punish myself for being fat. The diets were like a punishment, one I felt I deserved for not being able to take care of myself. I got to a point where I was worried for my health; I guess you could say I reached my rock bottom. Broken was how I felt. I could not ride bikes or rides at theme parks with my kids, I couldn't walk very far without feeling tired, and I knew I was harming my body, yet I still kept doing it. I felt I couldn't talk to people about it, because I was ashamed, and felt like they were also ashamed of me.
I'd begun to make some changes before I found sparkpeople, and then once I signed up and started reading the articles, and then the book, I felt at peace about all this for the first time ever. You'd always hear these stories about people losing 100+ plus pounds, but you didn't really know them. Once I saw the struggles of the people here and how they had overcome them, I knew I could do it too! When I saw that doing the things SP recommended was making a difference, and I didn't feel deprived by some restrictive diet, I finally felt like there was light at the end of the tunnel. For the first time I actually believed I could and would do this. That was something I'd never had before, faith in myself.
In one year I've lost 85 lbs, and gone from a size 28 jeans and 30 top to a size 18/20. I've gone from walking a mile in 20+ mins and being out of breath to being able to walk many miles, and now I can even run 2 miles straight in about 25-27 mins. I now have normal blood pressure, have lowered my triglycerides, I have good cholesterol numbers, and now my vitamin D level is normal. I have no signs of diabetes and according to the Dr, I am very healthy now. I have transformed my life.
This has truly been life changing for me in a multitude of ways. Not only am I healthier and feeling better than I ever have, I can do things easier (shave my legs, fit in booths, not have the steering wheel almost touch my belly when I drive) and I can participate in life again. For so long I sat and watched other people do things I wanted to do, thinking I couldn't because of my weight or size. Now I know I can do things, and do them well. I have a confidence I have never had, and even though I am still not thin by any means and am only about half way done losing this weight, I actually feel good about my body overall. After all I've put it through (weight gains and losses, illness, 2 pregnancies, gall bladder surgery) it's still kicking!
If you are reading this and just starting out and think there is no way you can do this, then please, listen to me now. You CAN! I never would have believed someone a year ago if they'd told me I'd be running and half way to where I want to be. Follow the program here, read blogs and articles and track your food. Do more exercise. It will work. Believe it, and believe in yourself. I don't think I would have made it this far if it weren't for so many of the supportive people here who really understand what I am going through. People out in the world will try to sabotage you. They won't want you to change. You have to learn to put yourself first and do this for YOU, and forget what other people think. "Don't let the bastards grind you down." That is from the book, The Handmaid's Tale. You have to be strong. I am not going to lie to you and tell you this is easy. It's not. If it were easy, no one would have a weight problem. It's going to be tough, especially at first. You are going to want to give up at some point, but you have to remind yourself to keep going. You're going to make mistakes, and that is ok, just move on and don't let those mistakes define you. Realize that the only thing stopping you, is you.
This was me at about 325 lbs. I saw this after taking my kids to the park, and I couldn't believe how big I looked. I think we all think we're smaller than we are because we don't feel that big, until we really see ourselves. Take a photo of yourself, even if it's painful. Living in denial does you no favors. You have to be honest with yourself.
This is me now. I weigh 240 in this picture.
This is a picture of me last May, after I'd lost 10 pounds or so.
This is me at 240.
This is me at my first 5k, weighing about 250. I didn't run the whole way, but a good portion of it. My time was 43 mins, 10 secs. I thought about my dad, who died of lung cancer, the whole time and how proud he'd be of me.
I am so thankful for sparkpeople and all the great people I've met here. This year has been one of the best, even if one of the toughest at times. I have faced fears and accomplished many goals. The future is waiting for me, and I'll be ready for it, and all it brings.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Besides my health, my biggest reason for wanting to lose weight was to be able to participate more in life. I wanted this more than I wanted to look better, and still do. I was tired of not being able to do things because of my weight, or feeling like I shouldn't, or not fitting in something..you get the picture. I started realizing booths were too small, or rather, I was getting too big to fit in them. I hadn't ridden a bike in years because I was so out of shape I didn't know if I could. I was so tired of not being able to live life like a normal person.
Today was a huge day for me. I went to an amusement park with my husband and 2 kids, and for the first time rode rides other than the merry go round with them! I was scared to try certain rides at first, thinking the belts wouldn't fit around me (and some of them were close, but I still fit!). I still sometimes can't wrap my mind around the fact that I am considerably smaller. The first thing we rode was the log flume. That has no belts, and really, a pretty large person could fit. Getting in and out of it in the past would have worried me, because you have to step down pretty far into it, and I'd seen some other people struggle to get in and out, but it was no problem for me. I rode the carousel with my daughter, and instead of worrying I couldn't pull myself up onto a horse, I climbed up on my own horse while she rode next to me. I would have been nervous to do that in the past and just stood next to her horse. Not today! The biggest thing for me was riding the small wooden coaster they have. It's really meant for kids and I worried that I wouldn't fit, because not only is there a seat belt you have to buckle, a steel bar comes down on your waist. Well, I fit! The bar was touching my stomach, but not squishing it, so I could ride and have fun! A few months ago there is no way I would have fit in that ride! We rode lots of other rides together and I was so happy, and so were my husband and kids, and it made me realize what I have missed out on these last few years.
For the first time ever I didn't have to tell my kids I couldn't ride with them. I even quit going to the theme parks a lot of the time because just walking around while everyone else rode things was depressing. Now my kids don't have to feel disappointed, and neither do I! I can participate in my life and have fun. I am looking forward to going with just my husband so we can ride some of the bigger rides, like the roller coasters. He says that he thinks I should easily fit in all of them, although there are a couple of the wooden ones with seat dividers that are very snug on his butt, so it might be a while before I can do those comfortably. We will see.
Today was another realization of how far I've come in this last year. I feel like I can LIVE again! The feeling of just being able to do something when someone asks is wonderful! I don't have to doubt myself or my abilities all the time. For so long I lived life on the sidelines. Not anymore!
I'm so happy right now.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
I now weigh less than I did when I got married in 2000. From the time I got married until early last year, I had gained about 80 lbs. As of today, I have lost 81 pounds! It's amazing that it took me less than year to lose the weight that it took a decade to gain. Of course, during that time, I'd lose some weight, then gain it back. It was never consistent. I would give up because I got sick of starving myself and working out like crazy. For whatever reason, I thought I had to eat very little and had to exercise a LOT. I'd push myself to the point where I was sore and exhausted and then I'd give up because of pain.
This time what has worked for me is a reasonable approach, which of course is what is recommended here on SP. I do push myself when working out, but along the way have realized that certain things will be harder for me to do, so I just have to keep working up to them. Last year trying to do 5 jumping jacks felt like it would kill me and my ankles would break. I can easily do 50 now. I can run a mile, and before walking one seemed like a lot of work and I'd be breathing hard and tired, and now I can run!
My soda addiction has been beaten. I rarely have any soda now, and I used to drink 4 or 5 cans a day. I gradually changed my diet and I try new things, and I don't feel punished or like I am missing out anything because I eat such a variety of foods. I still eat things like pizza and ice cream and birthday cake, but I have learned moderation and no longer eat like it's my last meal. That's not to say I don't ever have a day where I eat more than I should, I just own it and move on from there. I've learned that if you are not honest with yourself, this will not work, so I tell myself the truth, even when I know it will hurt.
This is the only time in my life I have stuck with working out. The longest I have gone without exercising was a couple months ago when I had my wisdom teeth out and then was sick after, and that was 10 days. It is a habit for me now, and I actually want to do it because it makes me feel good. I have changed my lifestyle, and my health and general well-being reflect that. I am healthy and strong and my attitude in general is better because I truly feel better.
The other day I decided to do some yard work. Before SP when I'd do yard work, I'd be sore for days and all the bending and shoveling was so hard that I dreaded it. I spent 2 hours the other day mulching and pulling weeds and carrying 50 lb bags of mulch from one end of the yard to the other. I was tired after, but not wiped out. I still came in (I wanted to keep working and get more done, but I had to bring the kids in since it was a school night) and finished laundry and cooked dinner and bathed my kids and kept going. I am like the energizer bunny most days! Earlier that day I'd done strength training too!
It's just amazing to me what I've been able to accomplish. Truly, I used to believe I was not capable of doing any of this. That is why I always failed. Now I am doing this because I know I can, and I refuse to give up. A year ago I used to think, "I wonder how much weight I'll be down by next year." I am thrilled to have lost over 80 lbs. I still have about a month before my one year anniversary here on SP, and I will be excited for that day. This is the year I have changed my life and now I realize how I will never go back, and only continue to move forward. At some point this year I'll reach the 100 lb mark, and that makes me feel very excited!
The little things are what have made me so happy also. I don't worry about whether or not I'll fit in booths now at restaurants, or if I'll break a chair. When driving, my stomach isn't in the way and I have plenty of room. Shaving my legs is easier, bathing my kids is easier, and just being able to walk around somewhere for hours and not be tired is a great feeling. I feel less and less like I am limited in what I can do. For the first time in a long time I don't wake up every day and go to bed every night worrying about my health and what harm I am doing to myself. I know that I am doing everything I can to be healthy person and live a full life, and that is one of the best feelings!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
A few weeks ago I decided to venture into the world of running. I got some new shoes and was itching to run because every time I went walking, even walking fast felt like it wasn't enough. The first time I ran, I decided to just go and see how long I could do it before I needed to stop and walk. To my amazement, I went almost a mile (.86) and it took me somewhere between 11-12 minutes. So, the next time I went out I decided to go a whole mile, and I did it in about 13.5 minutes. I was/am pretty proud of myself. The last time I was able to run a mile without stopping was in high school. This last year is a testament to what regular working out can do for you! This is, in fact, the longest amount of time I have stuck with working out regularly.
Now, the thing that bugs me is that the tracker seems to consider anything over 12 mins to be walking a mile. I know I am not fast, and I am probably jogging, not running, but I am busting butt. I got a heart rate monitor and my heart rate is in the 150s to 160s while I am running. I notice how much slower I am going when walking. It takes me about 16 minutes or so to walk a mile, but I can run one in less than 13 (as of today). I thought my time was pretty good for a beginner, but then I hear people say that they are walking a mile in 13-15 minutes, and then I feel like I must be pretty slow.
Part of me isn't sure if what I am doing is considered jogging or running. I always thought jogging was just slow running, so I suppose that is what I am doing. All I know is that I am working very hard when I do this. I am sweating my butt off, breathing hard and my butt and leg muscles burn. There are a lot of hills in my neighborhood depending on which way I go, and that slows me down some I think because I did a 5k recently and did it in 43 minutes, and it took me about that time today to do a little less than that distance.
So, I guess it doesn't matter that I run slow. I suppose I feel a little weird thinking of myself as a runner considering how big I still am. Sometimes it feels like runners are in this elite group only certain people belong in, and I don't feel like I fit in. I've had so many people tell me how great I am doing, but I tend to always want to do better, which I guess is a good thing, but I am also too hard on myself.
My goal is to be able to run a 5k the whole way. I want to be able to do it without stopping, and really, that is more important to me than my speed right now. A year ago it took me over 20 minutes to walk a mile. I have improved so much in this last year and am doing things I never ever thought I could do. If anyone had told me a year ago I'd be almost 80 lbs lighter and able to run a mile without stopping, I'd have said they were crazy!
Every single day I feel I am becoming more of the person I am supposed to be. I still have a long way to go, and I know along the way I will accomplish so many things. I'm just so happy I feel like it's bursting out of me. I have a goal to be under 200 lbs by the end of the year. It seems harder to lose now than it did in the beginning, but I am going to work hard to get to ONEderland!
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