Monday, January 02, 2012
I'm doing the January Jumpstart, and the BC Girls January Challenge. The BCG challenge was to post our goals on a blog, which is good, because I wrote down my goals yesterday, but didn't give much thought to how I'm going to get there . So here goes.
I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions; I believe making them sets yourself up for disappointment, or at least in my experience that's what happens.
I am, however, all for spending part of New Year's Day setting attainable and realistic goals for the coming months/year.
Yesterday I took a look at my goals from last year and compared them to where I'm at now, and where I want to be 6 months from now. Today, I re-evaluated what worked for me, what didn't, what jams my motivation, and what makes me feel amazing.
I made a list of things I want to accomplish this year and I'm figuring out what I need to do to get there. Here's a list of the big ones:
1.) Run a 10k Race (Race day is Sunday, April 15th)
2.) 8 cups of water a day (attainable now) and work my way up to 5+ servings of and
3.) Reach my Goal Weight (by July) and learn to maintain (for life!)
4.) Get my Body Fat % under 23.0
5.) Tone my bottom end, then buy (and wear) a bathing suit that doesn't have a skirt to hide it
6.) Learn to manage stress.
7.) End 2012 proud of what I've accomplished; proud of my body and my health and not worried about having to 'start over' in 2013
How I'm gonna get there:
1.) 10K Race: Yoga, Yoga, Yoga! I've learned that nothing is better for my ITBand-bummed knee than the strength-training and stretching techniques that yoga offers. My gym offers the class 4 times a week - 2 of those classes fit my schedule effortlessly. I'm making the commitment to start back tomorrow. Plus, I love the class, and once I'm at the gym, I usually want to crank out some cardio.
Find an interval training program in the next week, to follow: I like Jeff Galloway's 10k, 14wk program, but I might try SP's 5k Your Way to get me going (plus, I joined that challenge back in October, but never completed it.)
2.) H20 & Freggies: I usually drink 6-8 cups of H20 a day, but I want to do 8 every day. Starting my day with water rather than coffee and working out consistently will help: working out = thirst, thirst = water consumed. I miss the days when I'd logged 6 cups before dinner.
and is harder for me. mainly because I donít enjoy a lot of veggies, and get tired easily of the same old selections. I think the trick here isnít to find different veggies I like, but to find different ways to prepare the ones I do like. Also, fruit protein smoothies after my workouts instead of eggs/sandwiches/etc. will go a long way to up the freggie intake.
3.) Goal Weight: My birthday is mid-July. I want to be at my goal weight by then Ė Iím 15lbs off of it now Ė thatís less than one pound a week loss! Totally attainable!
Losing it: Activity, activity, activity!! Get off my butt and do something! Itís that easy. My focus for the January is just to DO something every day. Yoga 2x/week, and running 2x/ week (30min or 4-5k is all Iím after Ė nice and easy.) Eating well! Track my food, lots of water and freggies galore!
Maintaining it: ST, ST, ST!!! I know cardio works for my body for weight-loss, but strength-training is the way to go for maintenance. Eating well and tracking food!! (funny how that one shows up multiple times :P )
4.) BF %: Body Fat loss = Strength-training and vice-verse. Get my butt to the gym. Find new ways to fit in ST (rock climbing, SP vids, etc.) when I need to shake up my gym routine (Ďcause I canít afford a trainer every 8 weeks!)
The 23% is really just a shot in the dark Ė I really donít know how consistently my body looses fat, and since I want to focus more on cardio for the next few months (for the 10k), I may not hit this by July. Thatís okay; as long as I see improvement by then. I do want to see by BF% under 23.0 by yearís end if itís not attainable by July.
5.) Bottom End: I'm a pear-shape Good for me considering the obesity and heart disease that runs in my family, but sooo frustrating to try and target! Doing just about any activity will benefit this, but what really works for me is: Walking Ė especially hills and stairs. Yoga is great, too. And Coach Nicole's butt-blaster vids
6.) Stress: That's easy: Exercise! Seriously, though, itís hard for me to make the time to exercise when Iím on a deadline and freaking out about all the things that need to be done. The busiest part of the year for me is January to April. After that, things calm some, to a manageable level. After July, the projects are done for another year, and Iím free to enjoy my summer.
Procrastination is a biggie for me. If I can learn not to procrastinate (as much), Iíll be okay and find more time to be healthy. How do I mange this? Setting goals, of course. Which Iíll do as soon as Iím done posting this blog.
7.) 2012 Accomplishments: I entered 2011 weighing 143-145lbs. I was getting closer but had hit the dreaded plateau. I told myself in 2010 I would Ďget slimmerí but never made a plan to do so. 2011 found me back at SP consistently, making goals, making friends, joining teams and challenges, and back at the gym, reaching outside my comfort zone and joining fitness classes. By July 2nd, I was at 130lbs, a size 4-6, looked better than I did at my high-school graduation (13 years ago!) and was so proud of myself!
Now, at the beginning of 2012, Iím at 138lbs (no, I'm not posting a pic of that ) Sure, not where I was a year ago (thank goodness!) but not impressed with myself. The difference this year is I know I can get to Ďthat placeí where Iím happy, healthy and the scale doesnít cry when I step on it. I know how to set (and reach) attainable goals, what foods like my body, what calorie range my body is happy at, and what exercises I enjoy. I also know I canít keep up this yo-yo stuff forever. My age is against me, and so is my familyís health history. I HAVE to learn a healthy lifestyle NOW unless I want to end up frustrated, confused about eating habits and unhealthy like my parents are. Nope, not me Ė in 20 years, I want to be that young-looking Grandma with the hot bod and tons of energy to chase the grandkids with!
There are many other things I want to accomplish as well, but these are the ones that have been hanging around year after year. Other, smaller goals, will be accomplished along with the biggies.
Wishing you all a successful, happy, healthy 2012. Our journey to better health starts now!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I'm supposed to be at a gym class right now, but after a 4-day weekend of company and craziness, I needed the peace and quiet more than the workout (that'll come later - right after this is posted!)
I also needed to get caught up on SP news, as those 4 days caused me to go AWOL from the site (okay, fine; really, I was eating too poorly and didn't want to disappoint myself more by checking in and logging zillions of calories with no exercise minutes. There. I owned up :) It always surprises me how much of my motivation and determination is connected to the SP community.
For instance: I was reading a friend's blog this morning about mind over matter and how it's tied to everything we do; how much we excercise, what kind of day we're going to have, what we eat, etc. But one question she posed hit home like a sledgehammer: "what day will you actually start your REAL program to get into the best shape of your life?"
My knee-jerk reaction? "Well, duh. Isn't that what I've been doing here on SP for the past 3 years?!"
Then reality set in (along with a healthy dose of brutal self-honesty.) That's NOT what I've been doing. What I've been doing is paying attention to calories and nutrional values; soaking up pages and pages of info on nutrition, exercise, weight loss and - most recently - enjoying interacting with people in the same position as me.
Now, don't get me wrong. These are all invaluable tools and I could not have made it as far as I have without any of it. BUT. What has any it really done for me?
- I've lost over 30lbs
- I've 'met' some incredible people, many of whom I rely on to lift me up, motivate me and make me face myself honestly. I hope I do the same for them.
- I've developed better eating habits, and in the process, created a healthier lifestyle for my family
- My self-confidence is making an appearance again and sticks around most of the time
- I've dropped 4-6 pant sizes and 2 shirt sizes
- I don't feel like a beached whale in a swimsuit (most days)
- I have more energy (most days)
- My body feels and looks healthier, inside and out!
BUT. I've not stuck to a consistent running/walking program and a strength-training program is virtually non-existent. I even signed up for the "Spring Into Shape Bootcamp" but haven't been doing it. SO. Am I in the best shape of my life?
NO. I AM NOT.
Sure, I've lost a bunch of weight and I've had to shop for a new wardrobe. But I still have tricep 'wings', back flab, thighs that rub together and a belly pouch. Because of this, I'm not comfortable seeing myself naked (or in a bra and panties for that matter!) And you know what? I'd like to.
39 days from now (July 2nd) my sister-in-law is getting married. Four days ago, I bought a dress (at the insistence of my son and sister) that I never would have looked twice at if my sister hadn't hauled it off the rack, shoved it at me and told me to try it on. It's everything I've always avoided: strapless, form-fitting and a size that actually fits and not one that's a size too big. (I even bought a new bra for it!) And I'll admit, I look pretty darn good in it.
The problem? It shows far more skin than I'm currently comfortable with, and it's a bit too snug for my liking.
Yeah, I know what you're thinking: so why'd I buy it?
It's simple really: because I've worked damn hard to get into, and be comfortable, in a dress like this. And my sister says I look hot in it :)
So what's the problem chick?
That's simple, too: I still see all the flaws of my body reflected in that dress, and in 39 days, 100+ people - half of whom I don't know - will see them, too.
Which brings me back to the question my friend posed this morning: "what day will you actually start your REAL program to get into the best shape of your life?"
Guess what? For me, that day is TODAY.
TODAY I start back at day 1 of Bootcamp
TODAY I'm going for a 6k run (right after I post this)
TODAY I made an appointment for a personal trainer to set up a ST program at my gym (this Thursday at 11:15am)
TODAY I'll be back on track with my nutrition, and recording it on the SP tracker
TODAY I wrote down how many minutes of exercise I want to achieve each day of the week (30 minutes M-F and 10 on weekends.) I put that goal on my calendar for all whe world to see.
TODAY I wrote down my weekly weigh-in goals through to June 30th.
TODAY I decided that no matter what I look like on July 2nd, I will wear that dress with a smile, confidence, pride and no spanx! And I will know, regardless of the flaws I may see, that for 39 days I worked my hardest to be the best I could be.
TODAY is the day I start my REAL program to get into the best shape of my life.
(quote used with permission from original author)
Friday, March 04, 2011
So a lot of this was on my profile page, but it was getting too cluttered. A month or so ago, I cut it from my profile, but have since decided it's too important to leave off my page. After all, it's who I am and what made me this way, and it all contributes to the ups and downs of my healthier-me journey. Updates will be added as I feel the need; no rhyme or reason or pattern. Just me, wanting to connect with the SP world and needing to lay it out there to reflect back on at a later date. Feel free to comment, leave constructive criticism, etc. If I weren't interested in what you have to say, I wouldn't be posting this! Here goes:
I'm a 31 year old stay-at-home mom who needs some motivation to set a positive life style example for my kids. And honestly, I'm tired of looking in the mirror and not liking what I see. It is time for a serious change!
I come from an overweight family, but was always the 'skinny one' growing up - even though I didn't see myself that way (I was a healthy weight, but compared to overweight family members, I suppose I did seem on the small side. Plus, I'm short! 5'4") All my life, I've watched my parents (in particular my Mom) and Grandma battle with their weight and sedentary lifestyle. I knew I didn't want to be like them, and foolishly thought since I didn't fight with my weight when young, I would never have to. However, once college and marriage, and then babies came along, I lacked the time, motivation and energy to do anything about my steady weight gain. My youngest child's health problems as a baby contributed to little sleep and late-night snacking and the pounds piled on. Here is an outline of my journey to better health.
December 2007 - I KNEW I needed to lose weight; for the first time since being pregnant, I was over the 170lb mark and my BMI was bordering on obese. I just didn't know how to get started, and with each pound I gained, my motivation plummeted. I was miserable and teetering on the edge of depression.
January 2008 - My sister's wedding was 8 months away and in trying on bridesmaid dresses, I came to a startling conclusion: I hated the number on the dress size tag! So I made a snap decision and ordered a dress a size smaller than I measured for, knowing I would *have* to fit into it by September. I changed my eating habits, joined a gym and lost 20lbs by my sister's wedding (the dress had to be taken in!). Enter SP (I signed up in March), which helped me lose a few additional pounds over the next year.
May 2008 - my husband started a camp job, working away from home for two weeks at a time. Neither of my children were in school full-time, and my parents' deteriorating health made it difficult to rely on them. Come September 2008, with my oldest in grade 1 and my youngest in preschool two mornings a week, I decided that two mornings a week to exercise was better than nothing! I took up jogging, a teenage past time, and felt my stress float away.
February 2009 - My mom had heart surgery to replace a faulty valve, one month shy of her 60th birthday. The surgery was complicated by her obesity, and in speaking with the surgeon, I got the crap scared out of me - I knew my chances of having the same heart problems later in life were about 50/50 - I needed to lose more weight! Back to SP I went, but with two small children, I lacked the time to exercise like I needed to (two mornings a week wasn't enough time to run and go to the gym.) So I set out to maintain, instead.
July 2009 - A mere five months after my mom's surgery, and three days after my 30th birthday, my dad had the same open-heart surgery my mom did. His went smoother, because he was able to shed some weight pre-surgery, but his recovery was long, and coupled with my mom's continuing recovery, I spent a fair bit of time helping my mom and caring for my Grandma, who lives with my parents. I continued to maintain my 25lb weight-loss, but knew I still needed to do more. A visit to my GP confirmed I had a decent chance of needing valve-replacement surgery in 25 years or so, but my GP agreed that the steps I was now taking to be healthy would go a long way to determining what, if any, heart health problems would arise for me as I aged. I made a commitment to find the time to exercise and be healthy.
January 2010 - Hit my 30lb loss mark on New Year's Day!!! After running sporadically for a few months, I decided to try for a 10k in April. I began training and was running up to 6k three to four times per week. My cardio wasn't strong, but it was getting there, and felt confident I would have a good chance of completing the 10k with a decent time. (FYI: I use the Jeff Galloway run/walk/run method and love it! So much easier than trying to run for 1km, 10minutes, etc., which can be discouraging when trying to boost cardio.)
March 2010 - I took two weeks off from running to go on vacation and when I came back, I figured I could start where I left off - after all, I'd been doing tons of walking while sightseeing on holidays. BIG mistake: I ended up blowing the ITBand in my left knee. And with it, went any chance of running the 10k. I did PT for 8 weeks and was out of running commission for nearly 8 months.
January 5 2011 - After the IT-Band injury last spring zapped my main source of cardio (running), I lost all motivation to stay fit. Though I haven't gained more than three pounds since then, I have lost all the tone and strength I had gained from running. To get it back, and kick-start my fitness program, I'm doing the 28 day bootcamp from January 5 to February 2, 2011. My goal is to lose at least 5lbs and finally see my weight drop below the 140lb mark.
February 7/11 - Bootcamp is done, and though I didn't reach my goal weight, I did drop 2lbs. But I'm most excited that I lost 3 inches! One inch each off my waist and hips and 1/2" off each of my arms. I've started Bootcamp for another 28 days because it helped kick up my motivations and I love the exercises! Even on my laziest days, I can convince myself to squeeze in 10 minutes (which always leads to more!) This time around, I'm going to try and focus more on inches lost and how my clothes fit than numbers on the scale. And I have my eye on a new bathing suit for summer . . .
Update February 25 2011 - The 10k is 8 weeks away and my ITBand is giving me problems again. Can't seem to push past the 6k mark on a run, and the unusually cold weather we're having is not helping. Bought new running shoes, and am looking into an ITBand brace to make it through the 10k. In the meantime, I've started doing the daily exercises/stretching I learned in PT and am back at the gym, where I'm doing a yolates class twice a week and treadmill work for cardio.
*****Update March 4 2011 ******
My husband quit his camp job back in September and came home to the job he was originally doing here in town. Still shift work, but he's home every day, which is great. What's not so great? The $15000-$20000/year pay cut we took to get him home. It's taking it's toll on us, and a decision has been made for me to go back to work part-time. I'm scared to death (it's been 10+ years since I've had a job interview!) and am stressing out about what'll happen with my kids after school, is making $500 a month (part-time/minimum wage) worth the hassle, when will I have time to devote to my health, now that I've recently re-committed to my journey (I do all my exercising during the day when the kids are at school.)
We don't live beyond our means, and have cut costs where we can, but with growing children, rising gas prices and food costs, the same wages just aren't cutting it anymore. The kicker? My husband doesn't *want* me to work, but knows we no longer have a choice. So frustrating.
Friday, February 25, 2011
I'm seriously starting to think Mother Nature is out to get me! At the very least, I'm pretty sure she doesn't want me to run this 10k I'm attempting to train for (again).
West Coast weather is something I'm accustomed to; I've lived here all my life. I can deal with the chilly mornings, I can deal with the wind, I can deal with the rain (and even enjoy running in it so long as it isn't pouring!) But the days of non-stop torrential downpours, coupled with 80km/h winds, followed by icy mornings and snow that sticks around for weeks (which is virtually unheard of here - usually it snows, then warms up and rains for a week!) is making it nearly impossible to have a consistent training schedule.
Last year it was a great winter/early spring, perfect for running. I was on track, ready to race . . . and my ITBand went out on me and put me out of running commission for nearly 8 months. I finally got the go-ahead to start training again - just in time for the rainy season. And rain it has! Between the sideways rain (due to high winds), and flooding on local streets covering sidewalks and running paths, and the snow, I can't seem to catch a break.
My favourite running trail washed out just before Christmas; no biggie, they put in a detour. Before they could complete it, however, it snowed. Then rained for another week. And snowed again. Now, where the trail isn't a muddy, mucky mess, it's covered in snow that's been compacted to a 5cm-thick layer of ice. We have snow on the ground still from a week ago (15+cm - 6+inches), and our daytime HIGHS are in the minus single digits, with windchills in the minus double-digits (celcius). What the heck is going on?!
Finally, on Wednesday, after I fell on the ice on yet another trail, I thought: 'enough all ready! I'll go to the gym!' (the likes of which I haven't seen in longer than I care to admit - see Goals blog for further info on my love-hate relationship with the gym.) Also, TRACSGOALS challenged me the other day to go to the gym ONE day this week. I thought "I can do that!"
Today was the day. 10:15 yolates class. I was actually excited and even invited a girl friend to come with me. Got my mat in the car. Water bottle filled. Jacket on . . . and the phone rang.
Now, being that I was on my way out, I normally would have ignored it - except the call display showed the number for my kids' school. So I answered. The school secretary informed me my son was feeling ill and could I please come pick him up. So I did, thinking I still had time to make my class and maybe if he wasn't too sick I could drop him off at my parents' place . . . except when I got to the school, my little guy was in the medical room puking his guts out
See what I mean? Mother Nature, at her wicked, humourless best, is out to get me!
I have 8 weeks of training left till my 10k. Tomorrow is my 8k scheduled run. My son will not be going to school, but that's okay because it's my husband's day off. The forecast is for sunny (though cold) skies and very little wind. Pending (another) freak, unforecasted snowstorm ('cause it's just too cold to rain!) and the ability to find a route that's not covered in ice, I'll be running 8k. And Loving. Every. Second. Of it!!!
Take THAT Mother Nature!
Monday, February 21, 2011
I posted this in answer to a challenge on one of my team forums this morning, but I think for me the real challenge is making my goals public and forcing myself to be accountable to them. And I wanted to elaborate/explore this a bit more, but didn't want to take up space on the team thread. Hence this (my first!) blog.
Challenge was: posting your goals for the next 8 weeks. Here goes:
1.) My biggest goal is completeing the 10k I have coming up in 7 weeks (April 17). It'll be my first. And though I'm excited about it, for some reason it's not enough to get my butt off out of the house to go train. I'll admit, I haven't yet registered for the race (and I know that might be something to motivate me - I can't stand spending money needlessly!) but I tried this one last year and blew an IT band 6 weeks prior to the race. So I'm a bit hesitant to jump on that bandwagon too early. I'll give it another 3 weeks or so before I register. That means 3 weeks to get back into the training mode. I know I can do this; I can currently knock off 7+km at a time with no problem (okay, I'll admit, that only happens a few times a month) . . . but there's that little part of me that's is still worried that this much running is going to screw my knee again. Guess there's only one way to find out!
2.) Which takes me to goal 2: try to establish a consistent pattern of exercise: Run 2-3 days per week and walk 2-3 days per week. It doesn't have to be long runs; in fact, my training program only calls for four days of alternating 30min walks with 30min runs, and one long run once per week. Again, I can physically do this no problem, so what's the problem? Grrrrr!
3.) To smash through this plateau I've been at for the past year or so. I did bootcamp for January, thinking I could do it that way - my goal was 5 pounds to lose, but I only lost 2. But I'm soooo close to my goal (139lbs) I only have 3 pounds to go (today my scale said 142.5) March 2nd is my goal date . . .
4.) Goals 2&3 also lead me to this one: I HAVE to make friends with the gym again! I've had a (paying) membership for three years . . . I don't want to admit how long it's been since I've actually visited the gym (but it's been at least a year since I've stepped inside it- YIKES!) Remember the little comment in goal #1 about spending money needlessly? Yeah, ummm . . . . I'm outta excuses for this one! The weather on the coast is so unpredictable and makes winter outside activities difficult to get consistent with. I KNOW getting back to the gym would help with this . . . . and no, I don't have room for a home gym. Otherwise, I'd have one, trust me! Also, this isn't a problem with the gym being the wrong fit for me; I've tried several over the years and come to the conclusion I just don't like gyms much. I'd rather be outside!!
My eating is under control for the most part (I do have cheat days - okay, sometimes they're weekends!) and I drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. I do have to work on my freggie intake which is becoming easier as spring approaches (more variety to choose from.) And I only allow my self a 2lb range before I kick my own butt back into healthy eating/water drinking, etc.
'K, I think I've rambled long enough. There are more, but these are the biggies. Goals 1,2,3 I can do, but I'm gonna need some serious butt-kicking to accomplish #4 - any suggestions?
p.s. - I LOVE running; it's something I've been doing off an on for most of my life, so that's not an issue. And I love solitary exercising (hence a reason why I don't care for the gym, I think). Honestly, I think I just need someone (other than myself) to be accountable to. Any takers?
Thanks for reading!
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