Tuesday, September 03, 2013
More than a year ago now, my girl Susan (IMSOOZEEQ) introduced me to the flying squirrels... no, not the little furry creature pictured above, but that pesky arm jiggle we tend to get under our arms! I had never heard that phrase before, but it totally described them perfectly.
So the other day, I started Hip Hop Abs with Shaun T (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE btw), and as I was doing a move that required me to pump my arms... I heard a weird *smack*. It startled me a bit but I kept on moving. All of a sudden two more *smack* *smack*. My dog Sparky didn't seem to be alarmed so I didn't think there was anyone at the door, or creeping around outside. I continued on and sure enough *smack* *smack* *smack*! It was the attack of the flying squirrels!
For a second it kind of bothered me... I've worked really hard, I've lost almost 80 pounds... I've dedicated a lot of time and energy into this journey... and I still had these flying squirrels just flapping away. I had a brief moment where I was a little upset about it, and what has happened to my body, but I quickly snapped out of it! I hadn't heard the flying squirrels *smack* around in a long time, and that reminded me that I was working out and working really hard to lose the rest of this weight. The flying squirrels never made noise while I was sitting on the couch, sitting in the fast food drive thru, or eating all that unhealthy food. They were smacking around and making noise because I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone, trying a new exercise, burning some calories and getting my sweat on! So to the flying squirrels I say FLAP on! They are nothing to be ashamed of, and I will flap mine with pride!
Sunday, September 01, 2013
This is not a drill! But don't be alarmed, no one stole the other 2 chins (I used to have 3), but apparently over the last 17 months they have gone missing, and I have no intention of looking for them! Now before you see the picture, I will say I was the Queen of camera angles. I could make 2 chins look like 1, or 3 chins look like 2, all from the right angle. But this new picture is actually straight forward and genuine. On top of that I was looking in the mirror and I saw it first hand, 1 chin. I couldn't believe my eyes!
So I texted my coworker to let her in on the news! She was laughing at me and then she says "Um, you really should look in the mirror more often, it's been like that for a while now!" I said I just noticed today, when I look in the mirror my eyes immediately go to the stomachs. She knows how I joke and stuff, so she wasn't phased by this, she just said "Well every once in a while, look UP!" This was definitely a huge NSV, and I am feeling really good. Sometimes it is SO easy to look at how far we still have to go, or to look at the things we like least about ourselves, like my stomachs or the flying squirrels (my arms)... that we don't see how much other things are progressing... like having 1 chin and some pretty killer calves. :) I am going to make sure to continue to look at what I have achieved, and not just think about how far I still have to go... and I'm going to learn to appreciate all the little changes. I'm going to make more time to look around and smell the roses!
Saturday, August 31, 2013
When I started off losing weight, the smallest of changes were able to get the weight rolling off. Although there is nothing easy about weight loss (at any size), small changes in my eating, and being slightly more active resulted in big losses. As time went on, I walked more and more, and I lowered my calories and made even better choices, and the weight continued to come off. I overcame many plateaus, and I started walking farther and farther, but I've never consistently made big changes to my plan.
The plan that worked for me when I was over 200 pounds does not work as effectively now. Sometimes I think my body is so confused... I am around 195, there is still PLENTY of weight to lose, especially in my stomach, but my body seems to worry that we are wasting away. I've known for a while now I need to up my game. I've known I've needed to do additional exercise to add on to my walking (Because Sparky needs his walks no matter what ), but I've been all talk! Just as I often am with my strength training. I know first hand that my arms need work, and more importantly I know how important strength training is but for some reason I refuse to get on board and do it consistently.
So September is going to be the month of change for me. I have gotten too comfortable in my routine, and despite my "feeling fat days", I am quite enjoying my 195 pound body. But I am not done losing weight, for health reasons and vanity reasons (hey, at least I'm honest ), There is nothing wrong with being comfortable, I have worked really hard to lose 77 pounds and I definitely deserve to be happy and comfortable in my own skin... and I definitely am. But as my buddy Annie on here says, good things happen when we get a little uncomfortable. Uncomfortableness can drive us to change and push even harder, and I'm ready for that next step in my journey.
I recently ordered Hip Hop Abs and I love it! Absolutely love it! At my weight abs are the least of my worries, but getting in an awesome work out and working on my core strength (which I really need to work on) is definitely my cup of tea! For the first time ever I printed up a workout schedule, and September is going to be my month of actually doing what I say I'm going to do!
I am also working on cooking more healthy meals and relying less on processed food. I took the time to plan out my calories, because I know with more exercise comes more calories, but not so much so that it undoes all the efforts put in with exercise. I am going to work on tweaking the calories until I can find the sweet spot.
Here is my calendar and my goals for September:
One thing not on the calendar is my walking, that happens everyday with Sparky or at work, it's a given and I didn't need to put that on there, but it is still a huge part of my goals.
Hit 2,000 Fitness Minutes for the first time ever! I came close this month but didn't push it, so I fell short.
Continue to try new, healthy recipes until I get a good amount that I can rotate and incorporate into my weekly routine.
To follow my workout calendar the best that I can, with special attention to the strength training for my arms... that is what always seems to get forgotten.
Pay attention to my body. I have arthritis in my knees, a metal plate in my leg and screws in my ankle... I need to listen to my body and if I feel like some of the exercises are too much or I'm facing a flare up, I will scale it back.
I also want a huge focus to be paying attention to my body in terms of hunger. Eating when I'm hungry, stopping when I'm full, you know, all that good stuff.
Let's all join together and make September a good month! If August was great, use that momentum to propel you right into September! If August wasn't everything you hoped it would be, or was just down right horrible, let's just forget about it and start off fresh for September!
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
I have been having a rough week! When I say rough, I mean disaster area type stuff. I have eaten, and eaten until I was overly full , and then eaten some more! I have not done that in several months. I have probably gained 2 pounds this week (will know the damage Wednesday afternoon at weigh in), but more importantly I feel bloated and sluggish. This has ended up affecting my dog Sparky , because instead of our regular 2-3 mile walks, he's been getting jipped with measly 1 mile walks. He definitely doesn't deserve that... if I won't turn things around for me, I at least need to turn things around for him.
So my girl Susan and I were talking about how lately I've been eating like 272-pound-Stephanie. This means 3000+ calories a day in some cases. Other days maybe 2400, but far more food than I (or anyone for that matter) needs. For a brief second I thought to myself, 272-pound-Stephanie had it GOOD. I mean she could eat whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. She never EVER worried about how many calories were in something or "if she should eat that". She didn't have to worry about finding time to exercise because she didn't exercise. But then I thought there was a lot more that 272-pound-Stephanie had to deal with that I was blocking out. I was forgetting about all of those things. So Susan suggested that I have a quick chat with 272-pound-Stephanie, make a list, and then send her on her way. No offense to her but I don't want her sticking around.
So of course I started off asking her how great it was to be able to eat whatever, whenever with 0 consequences. This was her response:
"Food is great! I eat almost nothing other than fast food and I love eating chicken strips, burgers, and french fries all the time."
I couldn't lie, she had me intrigued... not worrying about food or calories ever? How great is that? She saw the twinkle in my eye, and just as I responded "That sounds great!" She cut me off right there and she gave it to me straight!
"You aren't seeing the big picture. Eating whatever, whenever is the ONLY redeeming quality about the way I am living, and to be honest that is what is causing me the most damage. It is physically exhausting carrying around all this weight. I get winded walking up the 7 stairs to my bedroom. Tying my shoes is a struggle, doing the dishes hurts my knees and my back from all the standing. I can't walk through Target without breaking into a sweat. Each night before I go to bed, and I struggle to turn over, I say to myself I wish I could find the strength to lose this weight. The extra weight sits on my chest, and sometimes it is uncomfortable even just laying down. Having to buy bigger and bigger clothes because I am growing out of them makes me feel even more defeated. So trust me when I tell you, all of that food comes with a lot of consequences."
I immediately remembered how all of those things felt. I chose to block out all of the negative things and focused on the 1 thing that I thought was fun (back then). I had already learned my lesson but before 272-pound-Stephanie left, she let me know all of the things that she was jealous of... and reminded me to be thankful for what I have, and that I need to FIGHT to keep it.
"You do many many things I wish I could do. You can walk up and down the stairs with ease, doing dishes is no big deal for you. You can walk your dog Sparky 3 miles and I can not even walk him to the corner. The physical and emotional exhaustion that comes from carrying this weight is no longer a burden for you. You also have grown much more confident not only in your ability to lose the weight, but in life in general. You do not want to go back to where you were, so stop eating like you want that life back. We both know that it's not the life you want and it is not a place you want to return to. Keep your head up, dust yourself off, and work on getting deeper into Onederland!"
Okay okay, so that might have been a silly way to approach things, I didn't actually have this conversation with myself... but seeing the huge difference between the way I used to live and the way I live now made me realize just how far I have come. I will never forget what it was like to be so far overweight, but sometimes if we don't tap into that part of ourselves and give ourselves a gentle reminder, we can let that part slip away. We have to remember it is worth it and we have to continue to fight for what we want. We didn't set out on this journey because we didn't want to change something, and sometimes we have to go back to the very beginning and get in touch with why we are doing this.
So whether I have a 1-3 pound gain at weigh in, I will take that number, and I will do the work to get the weight off, and to keep doing the work to get to my goal weight. THEN I'm going to do the work, for a lifetime to KEEP the healthier body that I have worked so hard to get. This is going to be a lifetime struggle, but I don't mind struggling to keep something that I truly want.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
This is just an update, because I had so many fellow sparkers reach out with support and advice on the feral kittens Lilo and Stitch. They are doing wonderfully! I was able to pick them each up and put them back in their crate with no problem. The first time Lilo jumped out of my hand, but not in a mean way, but the second time she was fine. At first we were only petting them from the side when they weren't looking, but now even if they see your hand coming they will let you pet them.
They will still need some work of course, but they are definitely going to make good pets for someone at some point. We are trying to catch the last feral kitten tonight, so wish us luck because each day out there is another day older that kitten is getting. I think the fact that there were always lots of people at my work and the fact that these kittens already kind of associated humans with food has helped us in the taming. :)
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