Friday, January 07, 2011
Recently, Iíve been thinking that I could conceivably reach goal weight by early April if I continue losing at the rate I have been (*knock on wood*). I donít really care if it takes me longer, though, because Iím finally at the stage where I appreciate the journey. Well, that, and Iím beginning to fit into really nice clothes I havenít worn in yearsóor sometimes everóand want to get my moneyís worth of wearing them.
I walked into my gym this Monday to discover they were holding a new weight loss challenge. Theyíve had them before; participants have to pay $5 to enter, and the entrance fees become the winnerís prize money. This time, there is no entrance fee. The minute I heard that, I told them to count me in, but it got even better. Not only does the overall winner get a prize, the gym is going to pay each participant $1 for every 1 pound they lose. The rationale is that the money incentive will help people keep their momentum high well into the new year. That means I have until April 3rd, which is also my Spark ďdeadlineĒ, to lose as much weight as I reasonably can. I think the monetary aspect of this challenge is probably going to mess with my head as far as being satisfied with my progress regardless of how long it takes to hit goal weight. So far, itís just keeping my motivation sky-high to stay on track with a program I'm dedicated to anyway.
Friday, December 31, 2010
Iíve been exclusively exercising inside during my visit with family because of how frigid itís been outside. The temps have been sub-freezing for practically the entirety of December. (I donít have any proper winter exercise gear but was prepared to deal with it as best I could if need be.) Today was an absolutely gorgeous exclusion: 58į, sunny with a few puffy, white clouds, and a nice, light breeze. I headed outside with high hopes but low expectations because of the sore knee Iíve had for the past few days and my lack of a regular running schedule since August.
I started off nice and easy and gave myself permission to take walk breaks if I needed to. As I got to the bottom of the 1stóand 2nd steepest of my routeó hill, I decided to see if I could run the whole way up. My jog was barely faster than a brisk walkÖbut I did it! So I challenged myself to run for the whole duration of my workout. There were times when my heart rate was really high, and once, my mental self-encouragement turned verbal as I panted out loud, ďyou can do this!Ē. On occasion, I felt exhausted and just wanted to walk, but I didnít. I ran the flat stretches, I ran downhill, and I ran up every single hill I encountered. I canít begin to guess the elevation, but some of these hills are ridiculous beasts that I get winded walking, even after 14 months of regularly exercising.
More than once during my run, I looked back on all the changes Iíve undergone in the past year. Part of me believed Iíd lose weight (obviouslyóotherwise, why would I have started trying?), but another part of me doubted how successful Iíd be. I never, ever, in ANY part of myself, thought Iíd be RUNNING. And liking it, no less! I didnít start my weight loss as a New Yearís resolution. I started as an Aprilís resolution and restarted as a mid-Octoberís resolution. I do find it very fitting, however, that I was out running on the last day of the year. At a time when so many people are making up their minds to change their lives for the better, I looked and saw the result of my own resolve. I saw a person that I hardly recognize who continues to surprise me. I saw a person shining with a determination and deep-in-the-soul strength that Iíve had inside me but never knew existed. Todayís run was the best Iíve had so far because today I felt like a real runner for the first time.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
I started getting very nervous last week about how I was going to handle my week-long holiday visit with family. I gained 3 pounds when I was out here for the week leading up to Halloween; I didn't want a repeat.
The night before I left, I went to Sparkrecipes and plugged in all the recipes for the baked goods my mom and I were bringing out so that I would be able to make well-informed decisions before I stuck something in my mouth. I had a plan for working out (packed my new Zumba DVDs and my running shoes and apparel as a backup). I packed microwavable popcorn and baby carrots and knew there would fruit available to snack on. I felt pretty good about my plan of action. Then I walked in the house and my jaw hit the floor.
In addition to the nut rolls and 6 kinds of cookies we'd brought, there, sitting on the counter and the corner table, were AT LEAST 4 dozen other baked goods. Cookies from my mom's cousin, my grandma's neighbor, a whole box full of cookies and brownies and pound cake my uncle sent, and a cookie jar well-stocked with store-bought cookies. Then there were the 2 boxes of Russell Stover chocolates, the dried fruit platter my other uncle brought with him, the bags of cheese curls, the 8 cases of regular soda, and the full (and I mean absofrickinlutely FULL) freezer packed with such temptations as frozen pizza, pies, ice cream, leftover Halloween chocolate, and packaged baked goods.
So yeah. I will say that I have definitely eaten my share of high-calorie food this Christmas. I do, however, know how many cookies (+/- 4) I've consumed. I've TRIED really, really hard to reserve my eating for when I'm actually hungry, and if I'm not hungry, then to truly savor whatever it is I'm eating. I've exercised 4 days so far and hope to get 2 more workouts in before I leave Sunday.
All this temptation is bordering on torture. Yes, I feel very deprived--especially being around family members who either don't need to worry about gaining weight by overeating, because they have the metabolisms of hummingbirds, or are on benders and don't care. But I also feel really proud of myself. I've come so far from even 2 months ago. I know the kind of challenges I encounter when I come out here, and yet I formulated a plan of attack; and even though things haven't worked out exactly as I'd hoped, I haven't let a few overindulgences throw me off my game. That is huge progress.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Mins of cardio = 0
Strength training exercises = 0
So, how'd I do it, then?
My TOM hit and I gained a bunch of water weight. The next day, I had a tonsillectomy. In addition to not being able to eat solid food, I was nauseous for 2 days and threw up. Now that I have pills for the nausea, the only problem is not being able to swallow. I've since lost the water weight.
It's all good, though. My diet for the last week has consisted of juice, popsicles, (sugary, artificially flavored) instant oatmeal, mac and cheese, and non-diet Jello, pudding, and ice cream. And I don't feel guilty at all!
I can't wait till I can eat solid food again, though. I'm gonna gain like 20 pounds when I gnaw into a raw friggin steer.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
When I stayed with my grandma and uncle for the week leading up to Halloween, I fell off the wagon big-time. Only one day of exercise and a LOT of bingeing = 3 pound gain. I had been doing pretty good exercising out there the past couple trips, but this time it seemed like one thing after another went wrong. I'm not gonna go into all the details since it's been almost a month since it happened, but suffice it to say, I really struggled to get back on track when I got home again. I felt "the void"--which I didn't feel for months--and I just wanted to fill it and stuff all my other negative emotions with a lotta lot of junk food. I didn't hit my exercise goals that first week back, either.
Last week, I made multiple bad decisions regarding food, but it was a major improvement from the week before. I ate rather sensibly for the most part. I got in all my cardio, even though it meant going 5 days in a row. I don't like to do that because I get so tired by the last day, but I took Monday and Tuesday off and it was the only way to get my 5 days in. Most importantly, I finally felt like I was back on track!
This week's been awesome so far. I've eaten very well. (I probably ate too little, actually, because I've been so busy.) I went out to eat at Cracker Barrel last night. I really wanted something ridiculously unhealthy--the cinnamon French toast with cream cheese icing looked so amazingly delicious, as did my mom's hush puppies and the neighboring patron's bacon--but I ordered a grilled chicken salad with dressing on the side. I wholeheartedly wanted to stay home afterwards, but I went to the gym and did my cardio and ST anyway. Tomorrow will be my 5th day of cardio in a row again; you can get your butt I'll be there hitting that goal, though.
It took me 2 weeks to get back to my pre-visit weight. I dropped the extra 3 pounds last week. THIS week, I hit both my 30% lost and 80 pounds lost milestones. It feels so good to be back.
Now I just have to devise a plan of attack for Thanksgiving dinner.
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