1 - Starting Weight/Measurements -
I started losing weight at 220.
2 - What is your height? How do you feel about your height?
I'm tall, about 5'10". I've never been comfortable with my height. As I've lost weight, people have asked, and I have felt like I appear taller. I'm trying to learn to appreciate that part of myself.
3 - A picture of one of your rewards (dress, shoes, etc.). Why is this a reward? At what point will you “earn” this reward?
This is a very good question. I don't know when I will know when I'm done. I'd really like to have some custom jeans made, and there are a bunch of websites that will make the perfect, personalized pair. I think I need to determine a specific goal so that I make that a more concrete reward.
4 - Your greatest fear regarding your weight loss.
My greatest fear is that I will gain the weight back.
5 - Why do you really want to lose this weight? Who are you doing this for?
I really am doing this for my health. There is too much cancer, diabetes, and heart disease that runs in my family. I don't want any of it. I want to feel young and free to do anything I put my mind too. I want my life to be an adventure, which means I need to be fit and healthy so I'm ready.
6 - Do you have any disordered eating habits? How do you overcome/cope with them?
I'm a binge/emotional eater. I eat when I feel like I'm out of control in my life. I still slip, but much less often than ever before, and I think it was a combination of things that have helped:
1. I exercise, which helps relieve stress and gives me another form of satiety for my body to desire besides food
2. I pay attention to my physical and emotional feelings about eating, which has allowed me to acknowledge the negative effects poor eating creates for me, and I have consciously used that information to learn what does not feel good and therefore what not to do
3. I have tried to frame my lifestyle changes as positive rather than negative, what I "get" to do rather than what I "should" do
7 - Who knows about your weight loss journey? What do they think about it?
Most people know about my weight loss to some degree or another. I talk about exercise a lot, and I am a foodie, so I talk about what I'm cooking pretty often. My husband and family offer varying levels of support; they are not healthy and are tired of hearing me talk about it.
8 - Your workout routine.
I try to do something active every day, even if it's just a walk, but I do tend to rest on Sunday, even though that's not my goal. I can theoretically work out in the morning, on my lunch break, or in the evening, so doing something at one or two of those times is my goal. My primary workouts are walking, running, weight training, and P90X or other workout videos. I just started swimming lessons so that I can start using that as a form of fitness. I also just started TRX. I like hiking, spinning, and taking fitness classes. I would like to try biking and wall climbing, and maybe train for a mini-tri.
9 - What are your co-workers’/friends’/family’s reactions to your weight loss? Positive or negative?
I've gotten positive comments, but not as many people have acknowledged my weight loss as I had thought would. That's okay, because I really need to do this for myself and no one else.
10 - Do you feel like you have given anything up over the course of this process? If yes, what is it, and how do you feel about making the sacrifice?
I feel that one of the hardest parts of this process has been that, in terms of my relationship with my hubby, I have changed, and sometimes that's been difficult. Our relationship used to be very food-centered, spending time together eating out or cooking. We also used to spend a lot of our time watching TV and movies. Now, I eat differently, and I don't really have time to watch TV anymore. We haven't really found another activity that we can enjoy together. I get frustrated with his unhealthy habits, sometimes even taking them a little personally because I want him to take care of himself so that we can enjoy a long and happy life together.
11 - Promote your favorite fitblr! Why do you like their blog?
I really enjoy CAROLYN1213, YOOVIE, NOTABOUTHEFACE, and CALLIKIA's blogs for their inspiration every day.
12 - Tell us what you ate today. Is this a typical meal plan for you? If not, what do you usually eat?
1/4c. trail mix (dried fruit, nuts, cereal mix)
oatmeal with peanut butter, honey, and banana
green beans and chicken breasts with a drizzle of light caesar dressing
strawberries, blueberries, and yogurt
tonight's dinner will be homemade chicken and veggie stirfry with fried brown rice
Today is going pretty well as a food day. I need to watch my portion size at dinner tonight--I tend to overeat in the evening. I've been building momentum with eating better lately, but some days are better than others.
13 - What are you doing to lose weight? Are you in a program or doing it on your own?
Right now, I'm trying to be okay with not being perfect. I'm incorporating what I've learned through using SparkPeople, and I focus a lot on being active and making healthy food choices. I've found that when I throw everything into it, I get down on myself for not being perfect, and I need to just do what I can today, without worrying about yesterday or tomorrow.
14 - What is your ultimate weight loss/fitness goal? Describe what made you choose this as your ultimate goal.
I would like to wear a size 8, be around 160 lb., have healthy stats (BMI, waist circumference, waist:hip ratio, body fat), and feel comfortable wearing a bikini. But really, I just don't want diabetes or high blood pressure, and anything else is icing on the cake.
15 - Are you vegan or vegetarian? If so, how has it affected your life, weight loss-related or otherwise? If not, would you ever consider it? Why or why not?
I'm not, although I've considered it. I (personally) think that humans are meant to eat meat and dairy, based on our evolution and anatomy and physiology. But I think Americans generally eat too much meat, and I have definitely scaled way back from what I used to eat before. I do try to get other protein sources and be a responsible consumer when I do buy animal products. I love that decreasing my meat consumption is a good excuse to eat more peanut butter!
16 - What made you decide to get healthy?
I didn't feel good, inside or outside, and I wanted to be able to set a good example for my daughter.
17 - When was your moment of realization that it was time to quit farting around and change your life?
I went away for the weekend with two girl friends in June of 2009. They had both lost weight, and I was impressed with their progress and spent a lot of time talking about the tactics that had found helpful. We ate some delicious food that weekend, and it finally clicked that I could make my food choices be about exploring new, healthy foods, rather than focusing on denying myself the fattening stuff.
18 - What do you allow yourself to indulge in? Candy, cake, alcohol, etc.? Why did you choose this as your indulgence?
I really love to cook--it is my form of creative self-expression--and I don't like having to think about it in terms of measurements and precision. I want to be able to treat the act of cooking food like painting on a canvas. When I am "dieting", I feel stifled and restricted in something that is supposed to relieve stress for me. I want to indulge in flavor and succulence.
19 - Do you still eat fast food? If yes, what do you eat? If not, why don’t you eat fast food?
I eat at Qdoba regularly. We do also occasionally order Chinese takeout or from the pizza place, although much less often than before. Other than that, no.
20 - If you have been on a weight-loss program, what is your favorite? If not, which one would you be on if you could?
SparkPeople is fantastic. For just the nuts and bolts of losing weight, it really comes down to keeping a nutrition diary and having a heartrate monitor to tally calories burned. I get really annoyed at Weight Watchers because they are charging people for a numeric calculation that is really just smoke and mirrors.
21 - What is your favorite outfit? Why is it your favorite? Post a picture of you in it!
I don't have one. I need one. I have not done a great job of rewarding myself for the progress I've made. I keep focusing on the fact that I don't want to stay at the size I am, so I haven't really gotten many clothes other than the basics.
Then again, any time I've got my workout clothes on, I'm pretty happy!
22 - At what weight did you feel the happiest? Why?
I've always felt big because of my height. I was too thin--stick-like--in the beginning of high school, and I remember people making fun of me for it. Then, later I started getting curves and gaining weight. By my senior year, I was doing a lot of binging and a little bit of purging occasionally, using laxatives sometimes. I was a size 10 when I graduated, which seemed pretty big at the time. I guess that I really never have felt comfortable at a particular weight. I need to change that.
23 - How does the media influence your drive to lose weight?
Not much. I don't really compare myself to other people, in general, and especially not celebrities or models. What's the point? They're all wearing make-up, have stylists and perfect lighting, and it is their job to keep themselves beautiful. My job is to take care of my family and myself. I do my best, and I'm proud of it.
24 - How do you feel about the “pro-ana” and “thinspo” community of weight loss on tumblr?
I'm not familiar with them, those are the anorexia fans, right? I just worry about my daughter and what she will be exposed to as she grows up.
25 - What is a type of workout that you never expected to enjoy but now love?
Pretty much everything. I never was an athlete or exercised at all as a kid. I failed all of my fitness tests in gym class. When I first started working out, I had to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Now I love pushing myself!
26 - What keeps you motivated? Where do you find positive influences?
I know eating well and exercising make me feel good. I struggle with the self-control to limit my portions, and I tend to think that indulgence can and should be a part of life, which is a lot of the reason why I haven't lost much weight recently. But in terms of having a healthy lifestyle, I can't un-know what I've learned. I'm committed, and motivation becomes irrelevant when I have enough inertia working in my favor.
27 - Are other people in your life trying to get healthy/living healthy? How do you handle being around others who do not ascribe to/support your lifestyle?
I've been working on building a little network of supportive people who are also interested in being healthy and exercising. My hubby and my immediate family are not really interested. I need to do what I do, and I can't let them hold me back. It makes me very sad that they are not able to overcome their challenges and establish a healthy lifestyle.
28 - What part of your body are the most proud of? Show it off with a picture!
My face. See that? I'm smiling!
29 - What is your definition of beauty?
Someone who demonstrates respect for themselves and others.
30 - New weight/measurements! How do you feel? Are you going to continue to get healthier? What are you plans for next month?
I'm wearing a size 10, weigh 170, and I can't for the life of me find my tape measure. I feel good, and I'm removing timelines. I just want to do my best every day!