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Yoga's Unsung Benefit

Friday, May 27, 2011

Everyone talks about yoga as being this great way to improve tone, balance, vitality, etc. As I popped in my first real yoga DVD (the first one wasn't really yoga and was stupid), those were my expectations. I thought that we'd jump into some poses that would be difficult, if downright impossible, for "normal" people to achieve, and that at the end of this we would achieve some sort of enlightenment.

I was wrong in some ways, yet right in others. I never expected this one benefit, and that is that yoga has done for me what no other exercise, no therapy session, no discussion with friends, no look in the mirror has ever helped me to do, and that is to love and appreciate my body.

This isn't small change here, this is quite phenomenal! This is the first time I ever actually practiced yoga, and the overwhelming truth I got out of it is that my body is strong, works hard, deserves to be treated right, and is beautiful the way it is. Of course it can use improvement, and maybe one day I'll perfect the downward dog pose. However, I can't say enough how just one practice affected my self esteem and entire outlook on my body and even the person I am.

It wasn't about not being as flexible as the instructor or being able to get into all the poses. Somehow, it was the act of just taking part that, through the agony of holding uncomfortable positions and watching while the instructor effortlessly guided us through what felt like an impossible maze of breathing mixed in with movement that made me feel a wholeness I've never felt before.

Someone told me that yoga changed her life, and that's why I decided to do it. I bought a mat, got some DVDs out of my local library, and decided to give it a chance. The first DVD was kind of a bust, so I moved on to the second. This one was better. Though not entirely what I want in a yoga DVD, it really benefited me.

Tomorrow I'm going to do the same yoga DVD, and hopefully be a little more flexible, a little stronger and able to stay in poses longer. No more trembling muscles. I hope for yet more revelations. Just with this one concept, that my body is wonderful, yoga has already changed my life, and the party is just getting started.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAINBOWFALLS 5/28/2011 9:13AM

    It is great that you didn't give up with the first DVD. I find it important to not give up on one instructor or one type of class.

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EDWARDSC393 5/27/2011 12:12PM

    I tried the yoga things, can,t lip-read, breathe and get into poses all at the same time. Glad you are enjoying it. Cherie

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Realistic vs. Unrealistic Expectations

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Today I was dress shopping online. We're going to Vegas in August, and I am determined to find the hottest and cutest things to wow my husband with, and show off my new, smaller figure.

I know that there are going to be a lot of new things that come out between now and then clothes-wise, however I'm checking out my options as of now. I'm just so excited!

One place I like to order from is bebe. I wear a Large in bebe, or at least I did before the weight loss. The Large was a little snug, I had to wear certain undergarments to keep it in, and my husband had to zip it up. I looked great, however relied on spandex in the fabric to make it happen.

While never admitting it even to myself, my measurements put me somewhere between a 12 and 14 on a size chart. Bebe goes up to a 12, which would explain the drama in trying to fit into one of their dresses.

I was just wondering what size I'd wear now in bebe, so I got out my latest purchase, a beautiful red satin+spandex blend dress, and tried it on. Well, if there was ever any doubt that I've lost weight, it is gone now. The bust section looked like a little girl trying on her mom's clothes (good bye girls, nice knowing ya I guess!).

I think I'm now wearing an 8 or 10 in bebe, and they run small. I wear an 8 in "real life" now. It doesn't feel like it. I don't see myself as thinner.

I've only lost 18 lbs; I didn't have all that much to lose in the first place thankfully, and I have 12 lbs remaining of my original goal, which is 130. If I get there and it looks like I could stand to lose a few more pounds then I will.

I expect that I'll have a few bumps of "extra", especially in the mid section. That's just genetic for me and I have to live with it. What's unrealistic for me is the idea that I'd ever have to get rid of Spanx. Even if I'm a size 2 I'll still have a tummy to control.

What is a realistic weight loss for me to achieve before August 10? The weight loss calculator estimates that I'll hit 130 on August 10, just one day before the big Vegas trip and two days before my birthday. Already I'm over half way though. If I keep at this rate I'll hit goal in July. I'm ambitious. My goal is starting to look weak. I'm thinking that I can do "better".

But where does "better" end? If I hit my next goal, what's stopping me from going down and down and down? At my lowest adult weight I was 110 lbs. That was because I medically could not work, had no money, and the government thought I made too much based on the prior y ear's income tax returns to give me food stamps, resulting in me being a size 2. Never again!!!! I don't want to be that thin.

My body type isn't built for that either. I looked sickly (and was). What's realistic for me is no smaller than a 4. I should be happy when I reach my goal at 130, not grumpy about it and looking over to that greener grass on the other side. My figure is just this way. I have good muscle mass, used to have big breasts, and take care of myself. I want to be healthy and trim too.

  


Muscle Weight Vs. Flab

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yesterday I went to Walmart to see what size I could fit into. I went to Target last week to do the same, however with such a weight loss from the past week I wanted to try again.

Guess what??!!! A size 8 is very comfortable, and a 6 is a little snug!!! I'm so excited that I can get on a 6, zip it, button it, and not die of oxygen deprivation!!! I never thought I'd see a 6 again!

Which raises the question...the last time I wore a 6 I was 130 lbs. Now I can wear a 6, and a 6 will fit much better at 140 (I'm now 142.5). This is a major difference, a difference of 10 lbs. Where is this coming from?

I thought about it. Hmmm...why is it that I can fit into a smaller size at a higher weight now and I couldn't on my wedding day about 3 1/2 years ago?

It came to my mind and was actually surprising. I gained all that muscle weight. It must be that. I work out almost every day, and I incorporate weight training into my rotation. I'm not a gym rat, but I work out. I walk a lot, do DVDs, and hit the gym for weight training. I think I've got it all covered.

I felt the muscles in my legs. I can actually see them now. They're not covered by gobs of fat. They're pretty impressive (at least for me!)!!! I can make a muscle with my arm, something that would have made me look stupid for even trying when I got married.

My prediction is that based on this muscle taking up less room than the equivalent weight in fat that I'll see a size 4 when I hit my goal of 130. I thought that I'd be in a 6, because that's how it was on my wedding day. No, I'll be in a 4.

This is motivation to hit the weights ladies! If you want to be able to achieve a smaller figure with a higher weight, then the weights are for you. I like to do exercises that incorporate many muscles at once, like in Jillian Michaels's videos. That's just one example that many of you may be familiar with. She works in the smaller muscles with the bigger ones.

If I can already wear a 6 without dying, that means that in another 5 or so pounds I'll wear a 6 comfortably. That would put me at 137. in 7 pounds I can get into a 4. If not, then I can lower my goal a bit to get into those size 4's!!! No matter what, that's my size goal now. I don't really care about the weight as much, because I'm seeing that with my muscle it doesn't matter how much I weigh. My size matters. How my clothes fit matters.

My wedding dress is a 6. In another 5 pounds I'm going to try it on. It's a black kimono style dress with Japanese flowers on it. I went against tradition there and picked a dress I liked that was NOT white! Anyway, I had to wear shapewear with it when I got married because it was tight. Let's see if I need that Spanx now!!! I'm much tighter now. For some reason, I think I can ditch the Spanx.

So, my thing here is to shape up ladies! And while you should pay some attention to the scale, don't make it your only measurement. Make it how your clothes fit.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENJEN1004 5/26/2011 5:43AM

    Yay you! It feels so good to be able to wear clothes that you thought you could never fit into. That's awesome!
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RAINBOWFALLS 5/25/2011 9:07AM

    emoticon

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REBELBLITZ 5/25/2011 8:49AM

    Well spoken! You are doing great.

I used to do Jazzercise and I miss those fun classes. The time just flew by while I became lean. Maybe I will see what exercise classes are online and get more moving in like you.


Cheryl

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The Smallest I've Been in Four Years!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When I met my husband in '07, I was the tiniest of twigs. I weighed around 110-112 and wore a size 2. After candle light dinners, wine, and him buying me groceries (I lived on SSDI and was poorer than a church mouse and couldn't afford food), I gained weight. I was a healthy 130, a size 6.

When we got married, the food and wine continued. I lost my job and my mental health spiraled downwards. I gained more weight. At my height, I was a size 12 and weighed 163.

You're going to say that a size 12 isn't bad. Well, it's not bad unless you consider how small I was used to being, and the mentality of how I gained those pounds. I could understand the dating phase, and how he swept me off my feet with wining and dining conversation (along with other things, LOL!). emoticon It was that depression following losing my job that triggered the eating frenzy. I was using food for comfort.

I've been seeing a good therapist for awhile now. She helps me with all sorts of things, especially with my bipolar disorder. However, she and I also talk about weight, self esteem, and the relationship between mental health and weight. I've learned and grown from this. I've really gained insight and benefited.

The scale this morning had beautiful news for me! I'm 143, the smallest I've been since I said "I do" to my husband. I remember having a hard time putting on my wedding dress because it was a 6 and I had not altered it to an 8 (I ended up using some Spanx and sucking it in to solve that problem!). Now, I won't need to suck it in or use Spanx.

I'm down to an 8 again. I'm a comfortable size 8. I'm not done, but this marks a milestone for me. I've lost 17.5 lbs, and need to lose an additional 13 to be at 130. I've toyed with changing my goal to 125.

My husband says that I was at my best weight when I was between a 4-6, and 125 is for me between a 4-6. Hey, as long as he buys my new, smaller clothes then we're okay. I have some size 6 clothes still, but nothing in a 4. I donated those things that I never thought in my wildest dreams I'd ever be able to wear again. I had some beautiful things in a 2 that I donated and hope someone small and broke like I was could use, like Ann Taylor suits (got those second hand for a total steal, and hope some other poor woman could get them for an equally good deal!).

I'm now over half way to goal. My bras are getting big. I wore a 36D. I'm now measuring a 34D. Victoria's Secret is having their Semi Annual sale, so I guess it's time to stock up on 34D size bras, unless I lose even more weight and drop to a 32. I have a small rib cage and used to wear a 32 for the longest time. You'd have no idea how hard it is to find the bra size 32D. I think that only porn stars, strippers, and I had that size! emoticon

Wow, I don't feel thin, but I am. The last time I bought an interview suit it was in March and I was still wearing a 12. There's not a chance it would look right on me now. I have a function to go to (related to my husband's aunt's death) where I need to wear a black dress I have, but it's in a medium. I can wear that I guess if I stuff my bra. emoticon Otherwise the top will be way too big and people would be able to see everything. I think I'll resort to some padding! LOL!

My husband is also losing weight. He's lost 13 lbs and I've lost 17.5. The competition is on! He only had 20 to lose in the first place and I had 30. I told him I'd beat him to goal. He didn't believe me. Well, seeing is believing, and I'm doing so well. I don't know if I can beat him to goal, but I'm sure giving him competition. I've inspired him to give up almost all meat and dairy, which is a huge accomplishment for this vegan. I've been vegan for ethical reasons for 13 years, and in that time have converted 2 people to veganism. Let's see if I can get a health reasons vegan out of this! I'd be really so thrilled! He'd lose weight faster if he dumped the milk and turkey.

However, this is war! Let the games begin! I'm now losing 4.4 lbs/week on Eat to Live (a vegan life style program that eliminates foods that are bad for you and make you fat). If I keep up at this rate, and I don't know if I will, then I'll hit goal in 3 weeks, or at the end of June. Just in time for bikini season! I'm buying a new one in my new size!

We're leaving for Vegas on August 11th. My birthday is August 12th. I'll safely make goal way before then. I could even make it if I adjust my goal to 125, which I very well may. I'll wait until I get to 130 to make that decision.

What I do know is that my stomach/abs are far from perfect. That's just where my body likes to store fat, alas. I can't do anything about it. I can do all the crunches I want and have strong muscles under the flab, but the flab will remain until my body wants to use it as fuel. This is bad news. I'm going to be toned and look good everywhere else, and then have this protruding gut. Really, it's not too bad when I'm in that weight range, it's just bad to ME. I'm the one I really have to impress. I want to impress other people too, but at the end of the day, I'm the one I answer to.

So, I'm reaching goal in JUNE!!!! Power to the people!!! And I'm beating my husband to goal, despite him having started with 10 lbs less than me to go! If I beat him I'll be so happy. Of course I can't rub it in and have a party, but I can be secretly smug. I'm terrible, aren't I???!!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NCFITCHICK 5/24/2011 8:19AM

    Good for you! emoticon

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CSDAYS 5/24/2011 8:13AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEIDIANNEE 5/24/2011 8:12AM

    Not terrible... Awesome!

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About 6 lbs below current goal weight

Monday, May 23, 2011

When I look at the graph SP provides with that little red line of what my weight loss progress should look like so far, it appears that I'm around 6 or so lbs under that red line.

This is a great accomplishment. I'm excited already. Can't you tell?

My goal is 130, which for me translates to size 6. Now I'm considering lowering my goal a little to be 125, which for me would equal a size 4. I think that size 6 will be loose and 4 a bit snug when I go on vacation to Vegas on the 11th of August.

Victoria's Secret is having their semi-annual sale, and I'm so psyched! I'm shrinking out of 36D and will be a 34D very soon. I want to stock up on 34D bras. I have no idea what to do with m 36D bras that were like $50 each and were barely worn. I just shrank that fast.

I already picked out the teeny bikini I am going to buy so that when the weather gets hot I'll be the cutest girl at the complex's pool. There isn't a lot of competition there, so I'm sure I can win that competition. It's not slutty or anything, but is super cute and more revealing than what I would dare go with right now.

I wanted to know what size I currently am, so I went to Target and tried on different types of clothes in different sizes. I'm an 8 and I wear a Medium. Woohoo!!! I used to be a 12 and wear a Large. I have an interview suit that is brand new, I only wore it once, that is a 12. I'll probably have it altered down because it was too expensive to just donate.

If I'm 146 lbs now and an 8, it serves to reason that when I'm 140 I'll be in loose size 8's and small/tight size 6's. When I get down to 130 then, a size 4 will actually fit! Isn't that a dream come true? I haven't worn a 4 for 4 years. That was before I met my husband. It was too many candle light dinners with wine that packed on my pounds. Well, at least I enjoyed myself! Now it's time to get serious, and I'm very, very, very serious about this.

I picked out clothes in a size Small (size 4-6) from the VS catalog that I'm getting for the Vegas trip. That is another incentive (as if I need more incentives). I don't want to spend money on clothes I won't be able to wear. Not that I couldn't exchange them for bigger ones. I just want to know that I'll see goal, and soon.

I'll see it around the end of July, that is, according to my math. I'm losing close to 3 lbs a week. I follow Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. That's how I'm melting the weight. I'm never going back to the Standard American Diet ever. I love my new eating habits!

My husband had 20 lbs to lose and I had 30. It looks like I may beat him to goal. He is an omnivore and doesn't follow ETL, however exercises the same as I do. I know that ETL has its own unique way of promoting weight loss. Read up on it and see what I mean. It's no fad diet; it's a system, a program, a method of living that optimizes health and brings the body back into alignment with what we evolved to be.

I'm so looking forward to beating him to goal! That will be the day! I will have lost 10 more pounds than him! And this is with him being male and therefore having that advantage on the weight loss front, and me taking Lithium and another med called Saphris that promote hunger and wreck weight loss ambitions. I'm dealing with those meds and I'm still dropping almost 3 pounds a week. I eat as much as I want and while I exercise healthfully, I'm not a gym rat and I'm not obsessed with exercise. I exercise for about an hour a day at a moderate intensity, so the exercise isn't totally to credit for the weight loss.

It makes me so happy to see that I'm below that goal line- far below that goal line- and to know that goal isn't too far away. The next mini goal is in 6 lbs! That should be within a week! Woohoo!!!

I'm treating myself to getting my ears pierced and one of those manicures where the polish doesn't come off for weeks. I'm sick of doing my nails all the time! Hopefully I can find cute earrings and my ears won't get infected, and hopefully I'll like the manicure.

At goal my husband is buying me new clothes in whatever size I end up being. Now that's nice! I'm projecting that if I keep losing 2.7 lbs/week that I'll be a size 4 at the end of July. I'm hoping that I don't hit any plateaus along the way.

I'm afraid to order clothes in a 4. It seems so tiny! I can order a 6, because now I wear an 8, but a 4 seems like a tough one. Yet it's within reach. My rings are already looser. My bras are loose and now I need a 34D and not a 36D. If I keep this up I'll be back in a 32D like I was when I met my husband 4 years ago.

I don't want to be unattractive and I don't want to be a twig. Dr. Fuhrman (guy who wrote and came up with ETL) says that we're overweight, even the thin are overweight, and he has a formula for determining what your weight should be. According to his formula I should weigh 111!!! The smallest I've ever been in my adult life is 112. 111 is bordering closely on underweight according to those weight charts. Dr. Fuhrman says to throw out the weight charts and not to pay attention if people think you're too thin. More muscle can be added so you're not thin anymore if that's a concern, but don't be "fat". I'm not sure what I think about that. I'm really thinking about it. It's true that the thinnest people in a vast number of studies live the longest and have the fewest diseases. Knowing that I should want to weigh 111, however I don't want to be all bones.

Sigh. Well, I don't want to go off subject and ramble more than I already have. I'm psyched to be doing better than the SP goal line says I "should" be doing, and am super psyched that I'll be able to proudly wear a string bikini at the pool/beach/wherever. My figure is far from perfect, however I'm working on it. It's getting better all the time. Even my dreaded stomach fat is melting. I will order the bikini in a Medium for the top (usually I'd get a Large) and a Medium for the bottom (again, normally I'd get a Large). I'm not Large anymore!!!

I'm working on the top being a Medium (my boobs never shrink much, now watch, because I said that they will), and the bottom being a small. I'm sick of tankinis! No more hiding my stomach/ab flab. It's going bye bye.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAINBOWFALLS 5/23/2011 10:13AM

    Great job!

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