Sunday, October 27, 2013
I am very reluctant to post this, because it goes against what I had decided for myself and the advice I give to others. When others ask for tips on how to lose weight, my biggest piece of advice is it's easiest if you make changes you can stick to forever. If you are leading a healthy lifestyle, you never have to go "off of the plan" and figure out how to survive once you aren't doing that certain plan. I am 19 months into this journey and my approach has always been counting calories and exercising. That is not the approach that works for everyone, but everything in moderation (except my blasted trigger foods LOL) was what I followed and I have never regretted it. So to post this goes against everything I've always said. If you want to criticize I will gladly take anything you want to throw at me.
So what is all this hoopla about you might ask? Well here's the scoop. 19 months in I'm bored to tears on my weight loss journey. My arthritis is flared up, my knees are swollen and sore and that has bummed me out. I was enjoying Hip Hop Abs so much and loved doing it almost everyday. I even bought Rockin Body to give that a try but my knees put a firm stop to that. It was keeping me on my toes, it was keeping me feeling like I was doing something new and exciting and it was taking the weight off of me. Since I am back to essentially only walking, I have gotten very bored.
Let's add on to that the part where I am getting towards the end of my journey. Now wait wait, hold the phone, don't jump on me yet! This is a life long journey that never ends, I understand that... but what I mean is I am at a place where I have lost more weight than what I have left to lose. Does that make any sense? Maybe not. What I mean is that I have lost 80ish pounds, and my goal weight on my ticker is 170. According to that I have 20ish pounds to lose. Between you and me, I probably will keep pushing til I got to 160 so that's 30ish pounds. While 30ish pounds is no small feat, it is a heck of a lot less than 80 pounds. Add on to the fact that my body has not forgotten that I've lost all that weight and is continuously trying to find that weight again. With that said the weight is surely coming off at a snails pace. I know my way works, but my body is just rebelling all the way. Too bad 190 wasn't my goal weight, because I can maintain that like a champ.
Anyways, if you are looking for detailed information on this Carb Nite Solution you are in the wrong place. I am not here to promote this plan in any way. In fact, I do not even have the book. I got the information online, and the rules of the plan were readily available as was some of the "science" behind it. One thing I really respected about it was that the guy himself said this is not a healthy lifestyle. It is a weight loss TOOL and that you should not do it for more than 6 months. I really respected the honesty behind that because I do believe a healthy lifestyle is the way to go in the long run and that is what I intend to do. But I thought this would be a fun little experiment. I am really bored and it has lit a fire under me. Granted it is only day 2 (completed) of this plan. Remember when you started your journey? That sense of shiny newness where you couldn't contain your excitement? I am looking to get that back almost 19 months later. I have a goal to follow this plan for a month to: 1. Give myself something new and exciting to try. 2. To be accountable to myself and show myself I am strong enough to do anything. 3. Possibly shed a few more pounds that my body doesn't want to let go of.
So there you have it, that is what I'm up to. If you want to call me a hypocrite I completely understand. I was reluctant to try any plan because I have never been big on "plans". This won't be something I do more than a month or two and it is not a lifestyle. But the difference between me following a plan 19 months in is that I know what to expect when I go off this plan. When I go off this plan the 3 lbs that disappeared in water weight will come right back. When I go off this plan it does not mean going back to eating fast food 2 times a day (sorry Burger King, I miss you, kind of...)... it means going back to my healthy balanced lifestyle of everything in moderation and counting my calories (which I am still doing on this plan btw) and getting the job done. I also thought this would be the extra push to me through some of these dreaded holiday gatherings. If I throw in the towel on this plan, I promise to fess up. In the past I just would never mention it again, but I enjoy the accountability so when I go off the plan I will let you all know.
Countdown to 2014: 66 days
Starting Weight: 193
Current Weight: 190 (just water weight, don't get too excited)
Goal Weight: 179
Thursday, October 24, 2013
We are down to crunch time here... 68 days left in 2013! If I was forced to sit down and really decide if I am where I want to be at this point this year, I would probably say I came up short of where I wished I would be. But you know what, I'm not going to do that. This is a lifetime journey and I am moving forward, getting into smaller sizes and losing weight... at the end of the day that is a victory to me!
With that said, the year is flying by, and before we know it we will be ringing in 2014! But before that we have that dreaded time of year where the pounds try to creep up on you!
The holidays are great, it's a time of family and fun! But it's also the time of massive amounts of food, and every single get together revolving around it! If we just "ate poorly" ON the actual holidays, it would just be a handful of days. But it's not that simple. Everyone is offering you baked goods or candy, wanting to have you over for dinner on other days, and wanting to feed you all sorts of food. It can be really hard to say no to so much yumminess! It is so easy to get sucked into the mentality that "It's the holidays, and I'm going to ENJOY IT!" By all means we all deserve to enjoy the yumminess of the holidays with everyone else, but there has to be a line somewhere. Imagine if we started that attitude on Halloween? That is over two full months that we could have to pack on the pounds.
With 68 days left I feel like I have 3 options, I can gain, lose, or maintain. Gaining would be the easy and obvious choice, it's the holidays! They only come once a year, right? Why not enjoy and eat every yummy treat that crosses my path? But no, that path is not for me. Maintaining doesn't sound too bad, I can't lie to you. Indulging in SOME treats but keeping a good eye on it so that I can maintain... things could definitely be worse. But I will have a lifetime to maintain when I get to my goal weight... so now is not the time for that. I am choosing to take my power back and LOSE weight during the holidays. I am going to actually set some very realistic expectations for me based on some of the things I have coming up. With about 10 weeks left this year I want to lose 10 pounds. Some may say that is "ONLY 1 pound a week", but to me that sounds fantastic, especially during the holiday times. Not to mention I have another trip to Vegas coming up (still recovering from the first one), and I have a 3 week total vacation. The majority of the time I do better at work because I can't get up and eat whenever I want... but I also have a lot of tempting food at work that can make it hard. It will be interesting to see how I do when I am home for a couple weeks. But I am just going to push forward and do the best I can.
So how about you? What is your action plan to make it through the holidays? It might sound early to be worrying about but it doesn't hurt to plan!
Countdown to 2014: 68 days!
Current weight: 193 (Up a few pounds after vacation)
Goal weight: 179
(I said I wanted to lose 10 pounds but I am not including my "extra Vegas pounds" in the grand total).
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Hey you! Yes you, don't look behind you I am talking to you! Do you want to lose this weight? Do you want to get to your dream size and KEEP IT OFF? I have the secret... you aren't going to believe it when I tell you this... okay, I've kept you in suspense long enough. The secret to having the healthy body you want and finally dropping those pounds for good is...
Okay, at this point the average person would walk away from me or stop listening. They do not want to hear that at all. They want to hear what supplement, pill, shake or program they can buy to get the results that I have. But you are different, you are a Spark Person! Not to act all high and mighty, but us Spark People have the edge on the Average Joe's! If you have been on Spark for sometime you know that weight loss isn't something you do until you lose the weight. You know this isn't a diet that you go on only to go off of it a few months later. You know this is a full on lifestyle change, where you track your food (or at least monitor calories to an extent) and you make sure that fitness is part of your routine. But before Spark People, maybe you were like myself.
Stephanie-BSP (Before Spark People)
Stephanie-BSP was a very different person. She was a person who spent lots of $$$ on things that she thought would get her to her goal weight. You see, at 272 pounds, she was DESPERATE to lose this weight. She was a sad person who was overwhelmed by the amount of weight she had to lose. Deep down she knew a healthy lifestyle change was the way to go, but that just seemed too dang hard. She wanted magic! She wanted the Weight Loss Fairy to come while she was sleeping and wake up at her goal weight.
Eventually she gave up on the Weight Loss Fairy and decided to waste a lot of time and money on things that don't work, let's list a few.
Alli, Trim Spa (back in the day), Countless weight loss pills and supplements that I don't remember the names of, low carb diet, cabbage soup diet, detox diet, 4 day diet, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers... and well, you get the point. (Disclaimers at the bottom of this post)
I was desperate to lose weight, and I spent so much time and money on those things. Some I lost quite a bit of weight, but it never lasted because I looked at them as diets that I could go off of when I was "done". Boy was that wrong.
Don't let me catch that gleam in your eye! Are you wondering about one of those diets because you haven't heard of them? Well don't bother, because they don't work LOL. I am guilty of that to this day. I have lost almost 85 pounds through tracking my food and exercising. I have not cut out any foods and nothing is truly off limits. I have done this on portion control and counting my calories. It's really true what they say about calories in calories out. So why to this day do I still look at other "diets"? I don't go looking for them, but I hear a Sparker is doing a juice fast or started a such and such diet and I'm intrigued to go and see what it is all about. In my defense I have never actually done the diet (not in the last 18 months on this journey at least), but why is it that after all this time I still want to go and look? I guess there is always this part of us that is hoping there will be an easier and faster way to do this. We can be successful and still wonder if there is a better way.
These are my tips for finding the BEST weight loss plan for you (I know many might disagree):
Your eating plan is something you can stick with for the rest of your life. If you can't go low carb for the rest of your life, don't lose weight that way. If you can't go the rest of your life on a juice fast (who can?!), don't lose weight that way. Anything that you have to go "off of" at the "end" is not a healthy balanced lifestyle.
Find exercise you can stick to and ENJOY. Again, I will say don't do something you can't maintain for the long haul. I have seen people lose weight by exercising 3 hours a day because they were unemployed and had the time. As soon as they got a job and could no longer exercise that long, they packed back on the pounds. Find something you like to do so you will actually want to do it. You don't have to kill yourself with hours in the gym to lose this weight. We are looking for that balance. :)
If you are starting out start with small changes. Trying to do it all at once can be so daunting... I started with water... trying to get in 8 glasses a day. Then I started tracking all my food, not even worrying about the calorie range, just getting in the habit of tracking. Then I worked on staying in range and then adding in exercise. Doing it in stages helps so much and seems less overwhelming.
Use Spark for support or have an accountability buddy. We all have bad days, we all have days where we eat everything or don't exercise, that's to be expected. But when it turns into several days or weeks, have someone you can turn to remind you to keep your eye on the prize.
If you have ever said you were willing to do ANYTHING to lose weight, then why not do the one thing that is PROVEN to work and proven to make sure you keep the weight off? Healthy Lifestyle For The Win!
My disclaimer is that I know Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers have been a huge success for many. I think out of all the programs, Weight Watchers is the same as a healthy lifestyle and counting calories. It didn't work for me way back when because I had a bad mentality. My mentality was if you can use all your points eating one meal at Jack In The Box and not eating anything else, then do it. BAD BAD BAD. That was my fault, not Weight Watchers. ;) Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem are great while you do them, but what happens when you go off of them? You still need to learn how to eat and cook for yourself. With that said if you can teach yourself those things after you go "off them" then you are golden. I in no way mean to talk poorly of those weight loss programs or anyone who chooses to use them, just saying they didn't work for me personally.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Being overweight my entire life, I have had my fair share of teasing. I had a lot of it in High School... and it wasn't fun. I can remember I was sitting down, waiting for my mom to come and get me. A guy pulled up and took the time to stop the car to say "Can I get your number? Yeah that belly just REALLY turns me on!" I wouldn't even make eye contact with the guy until he finally drove away. It's sad that over 10 years later I can still remember that like it happened yesterday. The good news is, I don't think of times like that very often.
After High School I thought the worst had to be behind me, adults couldn't be as petty and ridiculous as children right? WRONG! I actually found out that adults were even more brutal and judgmental and had no problem showing it. I could provide examples, but I don't want to think about those unhappy moments and give them any more time and energy.
But the other day I realized that I haven't heard a snicker or a snide remark in quite some time... in fact if you asked me when was the last time I heard one, I probably couldn't figure out when it was. The thing of it is, I am still about 188 pounds, not small by any means and I carry a large amount of weight in my stomach. To add insult to injury I live in Los Angeles, and even after losing almost 85 pounds I can almost always be the biggest person in a place at any given time. Whether it's shopping or out to eat, I am often the big girl... this isn't always the case but it happens more than I care to admit. So did people really stop making comments at my expense? Maybe, but I somehow find it highly unlikely. I think what has changed is me. I am no longer looking to see if anyone is giving me a weird look, or whispering while they point at me. I am no longer looking to see who is laughing so loudly, because they MUST be laughing at the fat girl. I am too busy feeling stronger and more confident because I have lost 85 pounds. In the past I literally walked around feeling like EVERYONE was looking at me and passing judgement because I was so big... it might sound paranoid but the sad part is it was often true. But those days are behind me and it's no longer something I choose to worry about.
I joked with my brother if I heard people making a joke about me I would say "Where? Where's the fat girl? I want to see! I've lost 85 pounds so it couldn't possibly be me!" It is to the point now where I don't care who thinks I'm fat or what their opinions are about it. Am I still overweight? Absolutely. But I am happy, healthy and I have come a long way and I am too busy enjoying my life to be worried about what other people might or might not be saying.
I am sharing this with you, because whether you've lost 5, 10, or 100 pounds, you deserve to be proud of yourself. People that pass judgement on others purely based on weight clearly have their own issues, and it has nothing to do with you. My hope by sharing this is that you won't wait until you lose 85 pounds to regain that confidence and to start living life. Don't waste any more time wondering if those people snickering are talking about you... they aren't worth your time. Hold your head high and be proud of who you are today, tomorrow, and everyday moving forward!
Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Everyone's weight loss journey is different... so what is true for me may not be true for you. 18 months into this I have realized my weight loss journey is always in one of the following 3 phases. For the most part, it's either the good, the bad, or the meh. Let's break it down.
The BESTEST of all the phases:
The Sweet Spot, AKA 's and 's.
You know that amazing feeling, when NOTHING can stand in your way? Your nutrition is on point, calories in range, drinking all of your water without even thinking about it... You're exercising like a beast and you feel fierce! Rawr! You turn down that at work, you make healthy choices when you are forced to eat out, you take an extra just because you are ! In fact, this spot is so sweet, you feel like this weight loss journey is a piece of ! You might even momentarily forget how much work this weight loss journey is, because the 's and are taking over! There is only one minor problem with the sweet spot... you can't live there permanently. You can stay there weeks even months at a time, but we are only human. We are going to drop the at some point, we are going to eat more than we should, or skip a workout because we all make mistakes. Sometimes life gets in the way, sometimes things get us down, but we can always push forward and return to the sweet spot if we put in the effort.
Now for the WORST of the phases:
Don't let the adorable Sheldon or the bright colors fool you, the Pit of Despair is pure EVIL! This is the phase where you feel like you should just be hiding under the covers! Everything that can go wrong will go wrong. You will skip workouts, you will eat everything in sight, sometimes you may even get attacked by the dreaded Binge Monster! This will make you even more agitated and under certain circumstances the pit can suck you in for weeks at a time. This time in the pit is very costly, it typically means pounds gained , and lots of motivation lost. The good news is, the pit of despair doesn't have to be permanent! For me, I turn to my special Spark Friends to help pull me back out. Asking for help is definitely a sure fire way to get to the sweet spot, or at the very least the 3rd and final phase.
I present to you: Middle Ground!
While the Middle Ground isn't nearly as exciting as the Sweet Spot, it is definitely miles away from the Pit of Despair! It is that balance... today you might pass up the , and tomorrow you might eat it. You may miss a workout or two but you don't feel out of control and get right back to it the next day. The Binge Monster may come knocking at your door but you turn him away, at least for the night. Bumps in the road happen, but you don't let them throw you completely off plan. This is where I find I spend the majority of my time. Going through the motions, mainly good choices with bad choices peppered in. I am learning that a few bumps along the way doesn't have to throw you right into the pit, and that is progress!
I have learned SO MUCH from all 3 of these phases. I've learned that the Pit of Despair can suck you in so easily, a few days off plan can turn into 6 weeks. Yes you read that right, I had a 6 week stint at the Pit of Despair... they didn't even give me a discount for my extended stay. What I learned from the Pit was to appreciate the Sweet Spot. I also remember a good 6 week stint in the Sweet Spot, where I was happy to pay full price. I really learned to enjoy those moments where things come so easily, because that is not always the case.
I am really learning to adjust to the Middle Ground. Things can't always be 's and but they don't have to be & either. There can be a nice balance to life and weight loss where it does require effort, there are mistakes but ultimately you can still come out on top. 1 doesn't have to lead to 10, 1 missed work out doesn't have to lead to 2 weeks on the couch, we just have to take it one day at a time. So some days, if you find your just isn't in it, and you are just going through the motions, sometimes that is okay! Going through the motions is better than not bothering at all. I really believe success is a bunch of tiny victories all strung together! If you have more tiny victories than minor slip ups, you are on the right path and you are amazing!
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