Thursday, January 10, 2013
Last week I could not cross my legs without an assist from my hands. Today, I'm sitting comfortably with my legs crossed. No hands needed!! So happy!
Friday, October 07, 2011
After an extended absence, I’m finally returning to Spark and happy to be here. The work project that kept me away is finally wrapped up and I can now move forward. It is not a complete surprise to me that I am returning with a gain on the scale, but I’m a little surprised by the number. My weight was up about 11 lbs when I left, but that gain has more than doubled to 23 lbs. For the record, a year ago my weight was down 52 lbs. - I had not actually reached my final goal weight, but I was in a good place.
The project I was working on involved very late work hours and few days off. Sleep was very limited at times and eating was often based on what was provided. Junk food was plentiful and frequently consumed in the late hours of the night. Many days I did not eat until late in the evening when dinner was served. If I got home at 10 p.m., I would eat again...and then go to bed. I was drinking a lot of Diet Coke because I needed the caffeine to stay awake. And of course there was the stress.
In just one month, I became the poster child for all the things you should avoid doing if you want to lose weight. The weight gain I see today is proof that many of those warning we see about things that will sabotage a diet are true. For example, as I increased my diet soda intake, I wanted more sweets. The more fried food/salty processed food I ate, the more I wanted. The more stress I felt, the more my stomach seemed to grow. As the amount of sleep I got reduced, the weight seemed to pile on faster. The more I seemed to eat most of my daily food around dinner time with late night snacks to follow (once one person pulled out snacks a crowd would form – like pigeons) the quicker my pants got tight. I joked that the situation was perfect to train like a Sumo Wrestler. Judge for yourself, but following is how a Sumo Wrestler gains weight (I googled):
1. Skip breakfast. By depriving their bodies of food after eight hours of sleep, their metabolic rates stay low.
2. Exercise on an empty stomach. If their bodies have no food, their metabolic thermostats are turned down even lower to conserve fuel.
3. Take a nap after eating. The Sumo secret for gaining weight is that, after eating, they sleep for at least four hours.
4. Eat late in the day. Going to bed with full stomachs means that their bodies must respond to the huge flood of nutrients with a rush of insulin, forcing their bodies to store some of it in the cells as fat instead of in the muscles and organs as nutrients.
5. Always eat with others in a social atmosphere.
To be clear, it has never been my goal to look like a Sumo Wrestler. With this in mind, effective immediately, I will do all that I can to avoid following the Sumo Wrestler plan.
Eating smart, including portion control and tons of vegetables – fruits too, but I tend to eat too many, so I’m assigning a limit of 2. My plan is to eat throughout the day, watch my calories and avoid eating just before bed. Protein with each meal is at the top of my list must dos. I’ve been through this and I know it is not realistic for me to think I will be perfect. My goal is to stick within my calorie range 6 out of 7 days of the week.
Exercise: I ordered a new series from The Firm a month ago to use as soon as things at work calmed down. I will start using those DVDs today. It is a 30-day program. My plan is to follow the program as developed, but may add some additional cardio and Pilates. My joints are starting to feel old. It could be from running up and down hallways and stairwells in heels for weeks, but it could also be that I just need to be a kind to myself.
Drink 8-12 glasses of water a day. I’m still going to have Diet Coke, but I will bring the amount down to a reasonable level.
Weigh in at least once per week. I have moved a scale into the bathroom I use to force this to happen.
Other expectations I have for myself:
Sleep! Having been deprived of sleep for the last several weeks, I can easily see what happens when I’m not getting enough. This one is hard for me, but I'm going to try to get on a schedule.
Stay positive and laugh! There are very few things I could point to about the last month or so that were great, but there is one thing that stands out. While “trapped” with my co-workers around-the-clock and sleep deprived we would find some of the most ridiculous things hysterically funny, resulting in fits of laughter so frequent and common, we could not look at each other, tears would flow and we would have to separate. Even some of the more quiet and reserved individuals could not stop themselves. These moments carried us through. A good attitude is always a key to success. Laughing helps you get there.
Stay active, limit couch time. Avoid naps after eating. Cut ties with Sumo Wrestler friends.
Track food (all of it!)
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Where do I begin? Ah, I’ll start where I screwed up. Let’s see…oh, well, that was a series of mistakes. Ok, I’ll start with the biggest one: 2010 Holidays – I deliberately ate whatever my heart desired because ‘I want to enjoy the holidays. I told myself and anyone who questioned the volume of food I shoveled in my mouth ‘I know how to get the weight off’. The 50 lbs I lost became 40 thanks to that great decision.
So did I really know how to get the weight off. Sure. Did I? No. Fast forward a couple of months, work is really busy, there is a lot of snow and comfort foods seem just perfect for my mood. I can always get back on track tomorrow. Right. I’m working out, but not enough to make a difference. I got back to 45 lbs, but then slipped back to 40. I could do better. I spend most of March and early April working really hard just before vacation. I got back to 45 lbs again. One week on vacation and I’m at 37 lbs lost. I pull things together again and I’m back to 43 lbs lost in a few weeks.
In May I decide workouts in the morning that involve too much jumping and running are too difficult, but I’m great on mornings with strength training and circuit training. I take a look at the calorie burn and decide I will focus on strength training and use Jillian and Bob’s various circuit programs for my cardio (i.e. cardio with ST). I decide to listen to the message that women will not bulk rather than following my long-standing fear that I will. I steadily increase the weights. The treadmill starts to collect dust and the Turbo Fire workouts stay neatly in their package. Five to six days a week through the end of June I lifting weights with circuit training. My eating is decent. I’m firming up. I see the muscles in my legs, I’ve got “big guns” (thank you DH, but telling me that I could be a female body builder was not a compliment - but I do agree it is better than flabby), even my forearms look better… but my pants and blouses are getting snug. What is going on! I get on the scale. GASP! I’ve gained! 33 lbs is all I can claim.
#1 -- I DO NOT have this all figured out
#2 -- Constantly going over my calorie range means I will not lose weight – even if I workout frequently
#3 -- Some girls just bulk. You’re one of them. Strength training is very important, but keep it to 2-3 days a week
#4 -- Like it or not, those jarring workouts are necessary for success. They have to be done on weekdays before work.
#5 -- Stop buying candy. Even when you think you can work it into your calorie range, you don’t. You just want more…and then you want something salty.
#6 -- When your pants start to feel tight, they are! They were not just washed, and even if they were, the used to fit post wash just fine.
I'm starting over with basic goals. I've gotten away from things that I have learned. I looking at this like I'm new to SP. Goals:
1. Log into SP once a day. Using the app is great, but I really need to read what others are doing to stay focused.
2. Calorie range: I’m going to try to get there at least 5 days this week.
3. Protein at each meal
4. 3 fruits and 5 vegetables a day
5. Limit the number of meals from a box to 4 per week
6. Exercise: 5 days this week – minimum; three of the days need to be just cardio.
7. Water: Keep filling up that bottle
Sunday, May 01, 2011
At some point in the last few months, old "Sue"moved back in an took control. Old Sue finds lots of excuses for why she is not able to put forth a lot of effort. Granted she has some really good excuses, the problem with old Sue is that she does not believe she can do it all. In fact she does not believe there is a balance to be found. She forgets that when she takes time for herself, her entire outlook improves and she can actually be more productive at work because her focus is better. Old Sue believes bumps are impossible obstacles, when they are really just bumps and challenges. Old Sue has a bit of a victim mentality and it drives me nuts. "This" is not impossible. Old Sue is just sort of wimp. But me, I am not a wimp!
Once again, I am saying SO LONG to SUE. I know how to do this. I've done it before. Sure it takes effort and there are definitely challenges, but I will keep trying. A friend suggested I join her on Thursday evenings with a running program beginning in the evening on May 12. On June 11 is a 5K. I think I'm going to give it a try. I followed the C25K program last summer with good results, but never quite finished. I have not attempted to workout after work in years. The time change might be good for me. The biggest challenge will be leaving work early enough to actually do it, but I'm committed. As for the rest of the week and my workouts, I'm going to schedule time just like appointments for this month (before work). My goal is at least 5 workouts per week. My calorie range will continue to be my most difficult area, but I'm determined to make this work again.
Although I am proud I have maintained a 40 lb loss, I'm very disappointed by my 10 lb gain - particularly since and I never reached my WL goal. It's time to get serious again. I know it is all about consistency and making more good choices than bad. I just have to keep reminding myself it is not a race.
Friday, April 22, 2011
We had a great time in Aruba! Relaxed, woke up when I wanted to, stayed up late, planted my butt on the beach for hours at a time...it was all that a vacation should be.
Although I did manage to make some good choices (vegetables and fruit at every meal) and some exercise, the bad choices greatly outnumbered the good. Truth be told, I had no intention of staying on track while on vacation. I wanted this to be a worry free, no expectations vacation. I only had a few things I would make sure happened each day, fruits, vegetables, water and walking. I accomplished those things each day. There were fried foods, bread/butter, desserts and various other unhealthy items found at most meals along with the fruits and vegetables.
In the end, I gained about 5 lbs on vacation. This adds to some of the holiday gain that I have not yet lost. I'm not ready to move the ticker up again, but I will. It's hard to accept that I have gained about 10 lbs since last fall, but I only have me to blame. I know how to fix this, it's just a matter of focus and consistency. I'll get there. I'm mostly on board since we returned, but I can do better. May 1 I plan to start a week long challenge with my SP pal, Pele. We had good success challenging and motivating each other last year and hope to have the same success this time.
Here are some pics from our trip...
From our room at sunset
A reminder that I did decline dessert one night. In the background is my DH's plate with dessert and in the front is what the waiter brought me. It was pretty funny.
The view just outside our room
Getting some exercise kayaking
Hanging out at our favorite bar just before sunset
Getting ready to head for home we were melting - hot hot hot - I swear we got tans - but you sure can't see them in this pic
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