Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Hi Spark World!
It's been a LONG time...it looks like I posted my last blog in December. So many things have changed, yet so many have stayed the same.
I've been yo-yo dieting, trying to lose weight, joined Weight Watchers, etc. with no success. Not that I don't think certain diets or WW doesn't work - they just don't work for me. You know what worked for me a few years ago? Sparkpeople. It's time to come back to old faithful.
I turn 30 next year and I've begun a new "Light Bulb" challenge. Here is an excerpt from my latest blog over on happyhealthyashley.wordpress.com/ :
I have said since my very early 20s that I thought my light bulb on life - i.e. everything would make since, be clear, have meaning - would happen when I turned 30. I don't know why, and truly, I'm not quite sure what that even means, but I do know that I have exactly 64 weeks (448 days) to figure it out. And figure it out I will!
I was going to start on Saturday or Monday, because that's how I normally do things. I have to "get it all out of my system" before starting fresh only to repeat this same vicious cycle. I was talking with Peter last night and asked him when I should start and he said tomorrow. I kid you not, this is our exact conversation:
Me: I don't want to start tomorrow. I want to gorge myself with a last meal. [Yup, isn't that the classic food addict mentality?]
Peter: It's always your last meal but it never is. Don't you deserve better?
He is absolutely right. I do deserve better - so does he. He deserves a wife who has the energy to go out and do things with him, who he doesn't have to worry about her healthy, who feels like she belongs on the arm of her healthy-weight husband, who can possibly have a healthy pregnancy when it comes to have children. I want a long life with my amazing husband. I know that you have to lose weight for yourself, but Peter is a large piece of my motivation.
With that conversation in mind, I'm starting today. I may not be perfect and my fridge isn't completely stocked but losing weight and being healthy is all about figuring out what works for you. I don't want to diet; I want to have a healthy diet but I don't want to be on a diet. I don't want to always be waiting to eat normal again. I want this lifestyle to be my new normal. So last night, I canceled my Weight Watchers subscription. I truly believe that WW is an awesome program, but it just isn't working for me. It's the classic case of "it's not you, it's me." I can't be trusted with that much flexibility and will be looking at meal plans that offer variety but are tailored towards a daily calorie intake. I am going to be using my old faithful, Sparkpeople.com*. The last time I was successful at losing weight, I counted calories using the food tracker on Sparkpeople. I figured if WW wasn't really working for me at this time, then why not try something else?
To read the rest of the blog, please click on happyhealthyashley.wordpress.com/201
3/08/14/the-light-bulb-challenge/ and feel free to subscribe if you are interested!
Monday, December 17, 2012
When I stepped on the scale last Monday after having a sleep test for sleep apnea and seeing the numbers 274, I felt pretty awful. I let myself feel nice and "woe is me" for a bit because I needed to capture that feeling. I need to remember how awful, unhealthy, painful and embarrassing it was for me in that moment.
But then it was time to move on from that moment, that scale and those numbers.
It was time to make a plan and to create ways to reach my goals. So later on in the week, I hopped back onto Sparkpeople, I started tracking my food and I've been a daily user of Sparkpeople again.
Monday morning through Friday lunch I did really well. I was making healthier choices, eating fruits and veggies and making conscious decisions about what I was eating. I was mindful of how many calories those cookies would set me back. Though I wasn't perfect, it was the best week I had had in months!
Friday night we did have dinner out, then Saturday we met up with family for a pre-Christmas gathering. It was fantastic and, of course, the food was amazing. And rich, creamy and delicious. That wasn't enough so on Sunday, we also splurged and had chips and salsa as well as a fast food dinner.
I'd say if I had to put it into percentages, I was mindful and healthy 60% of the time, and unhealthy, not caring like I should the other 40%. That's not perfect by any means, but I'm learning and making adjustments along the way.
And somehow, I still lost two pounds this week! I'm pretty excited about that - especially knowing how disastrous I was this weekend.
This week I know will be tough: holiday lunch at work today, holiday lunch at our main campus for work tomorrow. My hope is that if I overindulge at the beginning of the week, to make better choices the rest of the week.
I'm already learning that my food choices are going to be a balancing act for me. Some people also call that moderation, but I think for me, it works better to call it a balancing act because I sometimes feel like I'm on a see-saw.
One "bad" decision and I stay down - like this weekend, but then something happens and I make a good choice and somehow I'm back up and feeling great. The goal is to live in that happy medium in the middle. Level. Balanced.
Friday, December 14, 2012
I guess the great thing about beginning again, means that you haven't lost your drive to succeed right?
Here I am, once again, at the beginning.
If we rewind to about 2005/2006, I weighed 250 pounds which I thought would be my heaviest weight ever.
Then, with the help of the South Beach diet, minimal exercise and twist of luck, in 2007/2008 I lost a total of 75 pounds. I was at my lowest adult weight of 175 pounds! I felt amazing and for the first time ever actually felt like I looked amazing. Of course, I eventually gained the weight back and by February of 2010, I weighed 245 pounds.
With the help of Sparkpeople.com, I was able to lose 40 pounds but in the events of the last year or so, have gained all of that weight - plus some - back.
It was heartbreaking to step on the scale Monday morning and see some really scary, unfamiliar numbers: 274.
I have officially gained 99 pounds. Is this even possible? Wow.
So, here I am again, beginning yet another weight loss journey. I'm so grateful for the resources of Sparkpeople and have had the most success and enjoyment in the weight loss process using Sparkpeople.
I was looking back at my weight loss progress report (awesome feature!), and when I was successful in 2010, the results were slow and steady. There were weeks when I lost multiple pounds, but there were many weeks when I lost a pound or less. This helps to give me some perspective and to realize I don't need to lose - nor will I lose - 10 pounds every week.
While exercise is important, I have found that my biggest problems revolve around my extremely unhealthy relationship with food, so through this journey my goal is really re-define that relationship and get to a happy, healthy place.
My goal is no longer to be at 175, rather, I think 190 is more manageable for me. So, that's my goal. My deadline is by my birthday next year (Nov.5), which gives me about 46 weeks or 326 days - almost a full year to reach my goal.
I won't be upset if I reach my goal sooner, but if I average 1 to 2 pounds of weight loss per week on a normal week, then November would be about right to reach my goal.
I've picked Mondays as my weigh-in days and my hope is to post a weekly Monday blog reflecting on my prior week.
I refuse to make this a crash diet. Instead, I'm focusing on making choices that work for me and choices that will work to make for a lifestyle change.
Thank you for all of the support over the years on this site, dear Sparkfriends. I'm hopefully that I can reconnect with many of you and find some new friends, too!
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
A sparkfriend of mine LOLA_98CHIC who was co-leader/leader of some challenges I participated on is working on research project for school. If you have lost weight and would be interested in helping her, here is the link to her blog:
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Yesterday was a bad, bad day. I accidentally - ha, accidentally? - declared it a 'fat' day. That clearly has BAD SIGN written all over it. Not only was yesterday a 'fat' day, it was a binge day. It's never a good day when you somehow end up with food and/or beverages from Starbucks, Wendy's, Mcdonalds and Tropical Smoothie...
Trust me. Yesterday was NOT in my budget - calories or money.
So yes, I'm being honest which is allegedly the best policy, but the truth of yesterday? AWFUL. PAINFUL. HORRIBLE.
But you know what happened? The sun - thankfully - came up. I was wide awake by 5:30am and at the gym by 5:55am. I ran a miles and then walked half a mile. I did 32 knee push-ups. I did a set of lat pulldowns. I did 25 crunches.
What I didn't do? I didn't let yesterday interfere with my today. I let yesterday have its place in the hall of shame. I know I can't be the only person struggling with weight issues that has "those days." You know the ones. Perhaps yours consist of fried foods, comfort foods, chips, cookies or other sweets, etc. You let your day revolve around food and your choices spiral out of control until you don't recognize yourself. You might not even like yourself. You would rather continue eating and sabotaging yourself to the point where you don't even know how to climb out of that dark place.
But you know what? I crawled out. I told myself before I went to bed last night that yesterday was unacceptable and that tomorrow (this morning) wasn't an opportunity to pretend like the destruction didn't happen, rather focus on what's broken and how to prevent it from happening again.
So, how do I keep it from happening again? I had all the answers until this question, but I do know this:
-I ran today and it felt good. REALLY good. It reminded me that hey, I LIKE getting up and working out before work and I LIKE how my body feels after a run.
-I can either dwell on yesterday's mistakes or embrace today's chance to change. By dwelling on the mistakes of yesterday and all of the other 'yesterdays' i lose the opportunity to be successful. That's no fun. I like being successful. And happy. And healthy. And fit. (Well, I think I'd like being fit. I'll let you know when I get there!)
-I like myself better when I'm happy. I'm happy when I eat right and exercise. I am a better wife, friend, puppy mommy, daughter, sister, all-around Ashley when I take time to put myself first. By putting myself first, I'm not being selfish. In all honesty, I'm allowing myself the opportunity to be and do better for other people.
So, here I am. Day one. Again.
(You may be saying to yourself, "but Ashley, didn't you JUST post a blog like, last week with the same tune?")
Yes, I'm a broken-record. But I assure you my song is still playing...slow, quiet and probably off-key. But it's there.
As the song lyrics say, "There is beauty in the breakdown."
*For the next 94 days leading up to the wedding - EEKS! YAY! WOO! - I will post more frequent updates on how things are going, how I'm feeling, what's working, what's not working, etc.
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