Sunday, August 19, 2012
Today, I have no particular subject on my mind, so I thought I'd share some of the more random thoughts that filled my mind this weekend.
Softball--Saturday, I participated in my first softball practice with the team. Mind you, I have not played organized softball in 30 years. We fielded balls, played catch and had a round of batting practice. I was surprised at how rigorous it was. Today, the muscles in my arms, chest, ribs, shoulders and back are sore and achy. Am I too old to be playing?? I'm sore but not injured so I plan to play through it.
Goal weight---Today, I told my family that I made my goal to lose 20 pounds between May and August. Forty-two out of 67 pounds are now gone, with 25 pounds remaining. My family is getting inspired by my journey, which is amazing to me. My mother started drinking morning smoothies like I do. She made up her mind after learning that our uncle also drinks them every morning. He's 96 years old and still going strong. Just amazing! My sister joined a softball league like I did. She told our mother that my weight loss inspired her to be more active. Wow. My next mini-goal? Lose 15 pounds by December.
Friday--When I made plans to go see "Sparkle", I was concerned about overdoing it with food. Fortunately, my health conscious friend and I ate dinner at a Sushi restaurant next door to the theater before the movie. I was a total geek and actually printed out the nutrition information from their website so I could make better food choices. We didn't need to stop at the concession stand when we got to the theater.
BTW, Sparkle is a good movie. I know the critics gave it 2.5 stars, but I've found that when the critics start raving about a movie, it's a good sign I'm going to find the movie boring, convoluted and confusing. Sparkle is entertaining. Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston were good, but I really believe that Mike Epps and the British actress who played "Sister" stole the show. Mike Epps was so in character that you forgot it was him. His character was likable, funny and despicable at the same time. One other note; Whitney looked old, tired and a bit heavy. If you're expecting a more mature version of the beautiful woman from The Bodyguard, you will be disappointed. There were some moments in the movie that were sadly ironic. You got the feeling that Whitney was really playing herself and also passing the torch to the beautiful and talented Jordin Sparks. The character wasn't a stretch for Jordin, but she held her own--especially when she had to sing. She is also 50 pounds slimmer and looks great in every scene. Overall, I do recommend the movie as light entertainment, but don't expect to be blown away.
Clothes--I have few clothes in my wardrobe that still fit so I went to TJ Maxx to buy some pants that I can wear to work. I am between a size 12 and 14, which is frustrating. I ended up buying the 12's because in another 5 or 10 pounds they will be perfect. I will wear the pants with long tops and jackets until those 10 pounds are gone. On top, I'm a 14 or a 16, which is an improvement from 1x or 2x. I can even fit into some size L's.
I also went to my favorite shopping haunt and was delighted to discover that they moved the Women's clothing downstairs across from the misses department. In an earlier blog, I wrote about the store's discriminatory layout. If you wore a petite, juniors or misses, you could shop downstairs near the front of the store. However, if you wore a women's size you had to go to the back of the store, take an escalator to the second floor and walk behind the cookware section to find your clothing size. Yes, they hid the women's clothes upstairs behind the cookware! Well, I'm pleased that they came to their senses.
Anyway, I'm sure I'm rambling now, so I will stop here. I need to do some menu planning and grocery shopping to prepare for next week.
Onward and downward.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
This morning I weighed in two pounds lighter. I'm more relieved than excited because I thought my weight had plateaued. One of the most difficult aspects of losing weight is even if we do the program perfectly, the rate of our loss is going to be erratic. Lose 1 pound, gain 2 pounds, lose 1 pound, gain 1 pound, lose 3 pounds, lose 1 pound. That's enough to make anyone crazy. But the real challenge is when you KNOW that you haven't been perfect. Maybe you're on program 90% of the time, but the other 10%, well....that's life.
For me, it's been nearly 8 months of change. Some of my new food habits are becoming ingrained, which makes it easier, but I don't think I'll ever completely adapt to being on a food and exercise budget. Not when I was used to being sedentary and just grabbing and eating whatever I wanted with no thought about calories, saturated fat, or high fructose corn syrup. I know that if I return to that freewheeling lifestyle, the pounds will return. So here I am, doing what I'm supposed to be doing 90% of the time. It takes focus, commitment and effort to maintain consistency and the only way I can do that is to blog, read, and record what I do.
If you've ever watched Extreme Makeover--Weight Loss Edition, you'll know how inspiring the stories are. (If you haven't you can catch full episodes on Hulu.com for free) The formula for each episode is that a personal trainer works with a morbidly obese person to help them shed 100 pounds or more in 12 months. The first three months he actually moves into their home and turns their living room into a workout room.
In one episode, a man lost his home and was homeless while working the program. They had to move the exercise machines out of his house and put them in storage. Can you believe it? HOMELESS. Talk about stress. Life was definitely getting in the way, but he stuck to the program because it was all he had. He took up jogging at a nearby park, worked out at a community center gym and used their shower facilities to keep himself clean. By the end of episode, he had lost most of his weight, found work and an apartment and was dating a nice lady.
The lesson for me is that life is NEVER going to stop getting in the way. Stuff is always going to happen. Sometimes I eat more than I should. Other times I'm in environments where there are no good food choices. From time to time, I feel stressed, upset, angry, depressed, bored, worried--the list goes on. I cope by accepting myself as less than perfect. On some days, I will work the program brilliantly. Other days are so-so and other days I will want to forget. Yet here and there in the middle of muddling and struggling, a pound will disappear. I rejoice and then keep pushing.
Anyone who tells me that this or any weight loss program is easy is obviously on a different journey than I am. For me, it's not easy but SP makes it more fun. Somehow, I've managed to find a way to work the program over the long haul. I am only seven to eight months into a healthier lifestyle. I realize there are more lessons and more adjustments I will need to make as life goes on. But I'm ready.
Now, time to go celebrate my two pound loss by going to softball practice.
Friday, August 17, 2012
I wasn't surprised when I weighed in this morning. No change. I'm still bouncing between the same two pounds and have been doing so since August 1st. It's as if my body said, "Let's give her the last pound so she can declare 40 pounds gone, then take another break." My previous plateau lasted about a month. I'm confident that if I can ride out the next two weeks, that I will begin dropping weight again. In the meantime, I'm working hard to stay on program and to keep exercising even when life gets in the way.
This week has been full of temptations that I somehow managed to withstand. My co worker brought lots of cupcakes to a staff meeting. I also went to an event where I ended up surrounded by people eating chocolate cake. I just reminded myself that I'm not a huge fan of devil's food cake, which is strange but true. I also thought about the scale and how I'd have to atone for the dessert eventually. When my colleagues asked me why I wasn't having dessert, I told them I'd eaten dessert for lunch. It was true, but my dessert was half a portion of a Weight Watchers recipe.
This evening, I will have another challenge. Happy hour and the movies. A group of us are going out to see the remake of "Sparkle." I'm old enough to remember the first movie with Irene Cara and it was really good. I'm looking forward to seeing Jordin Sparks and the late great Whitney Houston on the silver screen.
Anyway, somehow I'll muddle through this weekend like I've managed to over the last seven to eight months and get back on track no matter what happens.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Yesterday, I met up with "Sierra", my personal trainer for the second of four pre-paid sessions. This time, she warmed me up on the stair-stepper, which is a machine I hate, Hate, HATE with a passion. "I noticed that you work out on the bicycle, treadmill and elliptical. I'm going to mix it up a bit for you," she said, smiling. Gee, thanks, Sierra.
After the warm up, we focused on strength training. I did multiple sets of tricep rows, chest presses with dumbbells, lunges, squats, general floor exercises for my legs, and abdominal work. We did not use a single weight machine. "Machines do lots of the work for you," she explained. "These strength train exercises force you to use your balance, which works out more muscles." She noted that my abdominals are weak and that I need to stretch more.
Once again, Sierra tweaked my technique and workouts. She nixed the bicep curls I had been doing by saying, "No one really moves like this. You need to find exercises that move you like you move your body during the day and work multiple muscles." Okay, no more bicep curls.
She also said that I would need to workout a minimum of 5x a week if I want to lose 20 pounds by November. Given that my weight loss has slowed, I might modify that goal to 15 pounds.
Overall, the session went by fast and today, I'm slightly sore. This evening, I will return to the gym and do cardio. That godawful stair-stepper machine awaits.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
After all the emotion and bluster of this past weekend, I am glad to be 100% back on program. Unfortunately, my weight is fluctuating between the same two pounds.
Now that I'm back to morning smoothies and bringing a lunch to work, I expect to see a loss by Friday. Otherwise, I'm on a small plateau. This time, it won't be such a mystery. I haven't been as careful with my eating and have splurged more often on less healthy foods. I haven't lost control of my eating, but just haven't been as disciplined. I started to turn it around yesterday and today, I'm having a much better day food-wise. This evening, I will be working out with my personal trainer. I'm hoping this will pump up my motivation for awhile.
By the way, that "friend" I accidently added on Facebook (see my previous blog, "struggling")? I did unfriend him. His loss.
Onward and downward.
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