Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Believe it or not, that's me!! That's the end of summer 2004, the last time I felt really great about my body. I certainly wasn't at my thinnest, or lightest, or most in shape, but I'd just spent 3 months losing 40lb to surprise my boyfriend who I hadn't seen since summer started.
BUT, I didn't lose it the healthy way. I was working 10 hour days as a waitress, so was getting plenty of regular exercise that way, but was eating a VERY restricted diet. I had a half bagel with peanut butter on it every morning in the beginning, then later started skipping that for a sugar free red bull. I had "dinner" at 2pm, which was a chicken cesar with no dressing every single day. If I got hungry again later I would have another sugar free red bull or a tiny carton of nonfat chocolate milk.
My point? You may be wondering... It's hard to convince myself that my body can get back there without resorting to similar habits. The changes in my body are happening, I know they're happening, but it's hard to convince myself that they are there and they are real and the timeline they are happening on is fine. I am not a person who can lose 3-5lb in a week, Or even 1 pound if I'm working out a lot. My body does not drop pant sizes quickly. If I do this right, which I so want to do, it's going to be a very VERY long, slow process. And that's a bummer!!!! I know the old saying, I didn't put this weight on over night and I can't take it off overnight, but I kind of did! I put back on the 50lb it took me 15 months to lose in about 6 or 7 months. It is SO EASY for me to gain weight, and SO HARD for me to lose it. Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair!!!
A couple months ago when I was having a bit of a whine about it, I did get some validation from dear bf, and it at least made me feel like I'm not crazy. When I was trying to decide whether or not to go off hormonal birth control I was telling him about how one of the reasons was to see if I'd have an easier time losing weight, and without me saying anything more he jumped right in and said excitedly that maybe that will be my problem. He told me that he sees all the effort I put in and how careful I am and that what I get out of it just doesn't seem right. He said that if after a few months off birth control I still don't notice things getting any easier he insists that I find a dr who can help me figure out why it's so much harder for me than for other people. I had my thyroid tested last year, so I know it's not that. Now I'm not on any medications, so it's not that... I use my food scale and measuring cups and rarely eat out, so it's not portion distortion. I track EVERYTHING, I do not sneak bites or forget to track drinks or condiments, so I know it's not that. When I work out I work out HARD, I wear my heart rate monitor for acurate tracking, I do 4 different kinds of exercise in my classes each week and my instructor changes them up constantly so that our bodies don't get stagnant, so I know it's not an exercise problem.
At least I have a long list of what it's not!! It's certainly a place to, well, not start, but continue from!
Yesterday was a hard day. All the stress at work is trying to suck me down into old habits and the general misery that goes with them, I had a personal life stressor stacked on top of it at an already weak moment yesterday... It seemed impossible to make myself do what I knew I needed to, I REALLY REALLY REALLY didn't want to. I just wanted to run home and hide myself in half a pizza and a pint of ice cream!! But I didn't. I went to the gym. I worked really extra hard while I was there to help elevate my mood (it didn't but I was glad I went). I carefully portioned a dinner that dear bf likes to make (breakfast burritos) and had less than half the size of what he usually serves up even though I was miserable and wanted to stuff my face. I drank water all evening even though I was upset and really wanted a cocktail. I worked on my current crochet project while watching tv (I have a new goal to always do something productive while watching tv in the evenings/weekends) even though I just wanted to curl up and tune out. I went to bed on time.... I never really felt any better all night, but I knew, and still know I would have felt a lot WORSE if I'd skipped the gym, or ordered in, or binge eaten, or any of the other stuff I didn't do.
It's really tough for me right now, but that's when it counts!!! It's no big deal to exercise and eat well when I'm in a good mood and feeling motivated. Doing what I need to do right now is progress toward changing the habits that REALLY need changing.
So I'm just concentrating on that, and moving forward with a plan!
Monday, April 18, 2011
Not in like a "screw this I do what I want!" stuff my face and lay on the couch way, don't worry!!!
In a, sometimes it's okay to change my plans kinda way. And it is, and I just need to get over all the messy control issues around it and give myself a break!
I'm trying to remind myself that I am doing incredibly awesome FOR ME in the situation I'm in currently. I've been planning a big fundraising event for work for the last 6 weeks or so that will take place this Thursday.
It's important to remind myself that when I planned a similar event for the beginning of February my whole life went out the window for the 5 weeks leading up to it. I was stressed, I lost too much sleep, I turned to junk food for support, I didn't exercise even once, I drank a ton of diet soda to caffeinate myself and almost no water... it was bad news!
Sure, there have legitimately been a couple of times I've had to stay too late at work while doing all the detail stuff and having meetings over the upcoming event to go to the gym, but I haven't stayed when I didn't have to. I haven't binged ONCE this month, and only binged for ONE weekend last month. That's HUGE for me as someone who usually binged every day in the not so distant past. I'm getting myself to the gym and keeping lots of craft projects at hand to help deal with all the stress. I'm doing a better job of planning ahead and sticking to a timeline at work. Only this weekend have I started waking up in the middle of the night with nightmares of not being able to find the right size tablecloths.
I have to remind myself that there is a difference between having an excuse and making an excuse.
When I actually HAVE to stay late at work unexpectedly and miss the gym, I HAVE an excuse to miss exercise that day.
I HAD to stay late on Friday to finalize our catering and table rental contracts. It is not my fault that I can chase my boss around all week and get no results until it's about 30 minutes past the last minute. I cannot make him be more organized. I do not have the credit card. I CAN be proud that I set up a good enough working relationship with these companies that they let me get these contracts to them at 6pm on the Friday before the event because things worked smoothly with me last time.
It is not only okay but AWESOME that I chose to do some hardcore housecleaning and organizing all day Saturday instead of a structured workout. I got sweaty, I must have gone up and down the stairs at least 40 times, I lifted and carried a lot of heavy stuff, and the results are so worth it. I probably even burned just as many calories!
So now my downstairs under the stairs closet is clean, well organized, has EMPTY shelves for storage of things to come and is not floor to cieling, wall to wall to wall to doorway just STUFF piled on top of more stuff with a mystery smell lurking in there somewhere. My upstairs former linen closet is now a game, puzzle, photography, gift wrap, travel bag, beach stuff closet and well organized in a way where I can see everything that's in there at a glance WITH ROOM TO GROW. The closet in the guest room is getting pretty full, sure, but everything is clean and organized and there's still plenty of room for a guest to hang some clothing if they wanted to. My kitchen drawers are finally cleaned out, lined with the really cool contact paper I ordered for them MONTHS ago, and tons of stuff from them has been neatly packed up to go to the Salvation Army.
So did I work out this weekend? No. But am I okay with that? I'm working on it!
Friday, April 15, 2011
There it is! Photo evidence of how hard I worked out last night! Not to worry, it doesn't hurt. I didn't even notice I had it until dear BF started poking it on the couch last night and then told me it was there when I didn't react to the poking. And, why yes, those ARE fuzzy fluffy blue bunion correcting slippers, thank you for noticing. I'm just HAWT like that sometimes!
Looking forward to trying 2 more work outs from my dvd's this weekend! I plan to do one after work today and one at some point tomorrow while I'm home alone.
We have plans to go to my good friends' new apartment as their first guests since they got settled. We helped them move so we earned it!! She's going to make home made manacotti (no idea how to spell that) and garlic bread and we're supposed to bring wine (I'm gonna bring a big salad if she's not already making one), but I'm surprisingly un-worried.
Sure, I splurged a little last Sunday, I had some chocolate covered bacon on Wednesday, and tomorrow has a good chance of putting me a little over my calories again, even with careful planning... but I'm just not that stressed over it. I'm working out so much lately that so long as I'm no more than a couple hundred over I don't worry about it (and that's only on these special days). I just try and stay really low calorie on the days in between. It's like calorie cycling for real life, I guess?
Maybe it's because my concentration right now is really on getting in shape rather than on losing weight. I'm still eating carefully, because I DO want to lose weight, but not with my usual weight loss tunnel vision... I just really want to be buff again! In the past I was working out to get thin, and getting in shape was a positive side effect I was excited about. Right now I'm working out to get in shape, and losing weight is a positive side effect I'm excited about.
I didn't really think of it in so many words until just now, but I'm excited about it. Maybe this is exactly the change in focus I've been needing to stop the lose-gain-lose-gain-lose-gain endless cycle?
Thursday, April 14, 2011
That's right, spicy chocolate covered bacon. You read it right!
Bestie was able to come for her Wednesday visit with the wee baby niecelet for the first time in like a month yesterday. We met in college in Santa Cruz and both feel in love with chocolate covered bacon from the fancy ice cream and candy store downtown the minute we saw it!! Obviously it's a little unusual, though I hear they're starting to carry it in some stores now, so when one of us goes to Santa Cruz we always bring back at least one piece of chocolate covered bacon for the other one.
While I was up there Sunday I picked up 2 pieces of dark chocolate covered and 2 of the new spicy version. I was planning on sharing the dark chocolate ones among my cousins who'd never tried it and saving the 2 spicy pieces for her visit. Well then all my cousins chickened out and no one wanted to try it, so I saved all 4... Which means yesterday afternoon I ate 2 pieces of chocolate covered bacon. IT WAS DELICIOUS!!
I know it's not exactly 'diet' friendly... so good thing I'm not on a diet!!!
I have absolutely no regrets over it. It's a tradition, one we don't partake in that often, and it was delicious and totally worth it!!!
Now that doesn't mean I'm just eating it and not doing anything about it, mind you. I intend to double up on work out classes again tonight, and am feeling much more positive about it after my good experience with trying it last week.
But I'm sure glad the chocolate covered bacon store is a good 50 miles away!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I went to RIPPED at the gym last night even though Blobby McFlabface was in fine form with about 9000 excuses to skip it.
"You've only had one rest day after exercising 7 days last week, you're sore!"
"You're still tired from not really sleeping Sunday night."
"You should go to the grocery store earlier so you're not eating so late."
"You're so busy at work, it'd be so easy to work that extra half hour and have more done before your visit tomorrow so you can leave early to hang out."
Blah blah blah blah blah Blobby!!!
I just concentrated on knowing that I never regret a workout, but often regret skipping them!
It's all about sticking to that plan of doing what makes me feel good about myself rather than what makes me feel "good" in the moment. It's not, you know, EASY a lot of the time, but it's better in the long run. The immediate decisions may be hard, but feeling good about myself is a lot easier than sulking and pouting and regretting and wishing and just generally beating myself up the way I do after making those instant gratification decisions.
Well last week in RIPPED was my first time doing the class with 5lb weights instead of 3lb, and I was able to do everything but the over the head shoulder parts. I've never been able to do the WHOLE over the head shoulder part even with the 3lb weights; I generally have to take some kind of small break. Well last night I decided to go for it with the 5lb weights the whole time, I just told myself I could do it one arm at a time on that part if I needed to. When we got to that part I made myself at least TRY to do it... and it was REALLY REALLY hard, but I just kept repeating to myself over and over in my brain:
I can do it, just tough it out, it's not THAT many reps, my arms aren't REALLY going to fall off, I can do it, just a few more, I can do it, I candoit IcandoitIcandoitIcandoit ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow OWOWOWOWOWOW OUCH!! OUCH!! THEY ARE TOO GONNA FALL OFF!!!
And then it was over! I did the WHOLE THING!! And that was AFTER the push ups set!
I really love feeling so strong again for the first time in so many years. I may not be getting as small as I'd like to as quickly as I think I should, but I'm getting noticeably stronger by the DAY. That feels really good. It's an obvious sign that all my hard work is paying off, even when there are so few other signs and they take so SO long.
I just have to keep reminding myself that I'll take strong and healthy over thin. Strong and healthy lives longer! If I just keep concentrating on strong and healthy the smaller sizes will come, but I need to stop worrying so much over the sizes and the double chin and concentrate on being able to do just that little bit more in every single gym class. That's a much bigger accomplishment!
Anyone can eat fewer calories for a while and lose weight. There were tons of people all around me in that gym class who couldn't do what I was doing! Even people that have been going longer but don't push themselves as hard.
I know we're not supposed to compare ourselves with others, but I can't help it! I love seeing and feeling myself getting stronger and fitter than just a few more people at a time, and looking to those super in shape people and now KNOWNG, and not just wishing, that I can get there.
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