Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Not Sorry for Bodyrocking

I am sore. I am really sore. My glutes are sore. My shoulders are sore. My pecs are sore. My lats are sore, which is a new one for me. I think that the regular style push-ups are causing the lat tenderness.

Oh... I'm not complaining. If anything I'd say I'm borderline-bragging.

I might be a little (or a little more than a little) sore but I feel even more amazing. The soreness means that I'm working my body. It means that the exercises I'm doing are working. It means that bodyrock is no joke!

Sure any trainer could prescribe a workout regimen similar to the exercises on bodyrock. I could come up with my own plan that's very similar. But? It's much easier to follow what is on the website. It's also giving me a good idea of some exercises that really seem to work. In addition to using BR for a workout tool I'm also using it for a learning tool. It's definitely helping me to learn more about different exercises.

I think one of the best things about BR is that it is helping me realize that I am much stronger than I thought. I'm gaining some confidence when it comes to my physical abilities.

Two weeks ago I wouldn't have attempted to do regular push-ups. Until yesterday I hadn't tried in ages... It was so long, I am not even sure how long it was. Today I did several regular push-ups. I did do a few girly style but I think that's because I did two BR workouts in a row. My muscles were tired and shaky.

I lost my balance doing superman push-ups... Do a push-up then lift one arm and one leg (same side). I think I was getting tired because I kept nearly tipping over (even doing girl style push-ups).

So? BR, I still love you.

I feel so good when I finish a BR workout. They're not always so easy (I don't know that any have been easy; some are just not as hard as others).

My goal is not to be "skinny." My goal is to continue to be healthy. My goal I'd to continue to get strong. I want to look lean and strong. I want to appear toned and fit. There's a quote I love...

"Strong is the new skinny."

XOXO

Dinner 2/29

HG Swap-corn shrimp and steamed veggies.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Man Push-Ups and Changes

I am super happy to have realized today that...I can do regular, man-style push-ups. I no longer have to do girly-style push-ups! This is a huge thing for me because as long as I can remember I've not been able to do regular push-ups. I've always done them on my knees, which is significantly easier.  They work your arms, but I don't think it's as much. And...Knee-style push-ups do not work your abs like regular push-ups do.  I've never really had the arm strength to do regular push-ups. I recently started doing a few here and there during my bodyrock workouts but most of the time I did them girly-style.  Today I decided I was going to try them again and this time I did more than I thought I would (or could).  The workout was pretty intense and focused a lot on arms, with three of the five exercises being some form of a push-up...Yeah.... I got sore! Toward the end I did some girly-style, but for the majority of the workout I did regular push-ups.  I'm not great at them. My arms still got shaky. They weren't as hard though. I felt so accomplished after! I can't help but wonder how long I've had this ability but I've just not really tried it or pushed myself. 

I think that I am capable of doing more than I do with other exercises too, but for some reason I don't push as hard as I could. Maybe I'm afraid of failure? I don't know why, really. It's an exercise and no one is going to know if I am horrible at one unless I share it. The worst that can happen is I can't do a move; I lose my balance or my muscles give out....That's not a big deal. I've kind of had this "why not" attitude lately. Why not try? The worst thing that can happen is that I'll learn that I need more work on a certain area. There really isn't anything bad about that. Who knows, I might be pleasantly surprised like I was today.

I'm doing okay with this calorie cycling plan. I've changed a lot of things the last couple days; more yesterday than today. I think it's just a matter of adjusting and making sure I'm calculating everything correctly.  Part of my problem is that I want to eat more than I should. I end up taking something else off of my plan in order to compensate for whatever I eat when I'm feeling hungry.  It's OKAY to eat if you're hungry. It's just not okay to overeat.

I think I need to make a few slight changes. First, I need to figure out something else to eat in the morning. Or go to lunch earlier. I tend to wait too long to eat and by the time I have lunch, I'm feeling a bit ravenous. Then I want to eat more than I plan, which is fine...Except I have to revise my plan for later. The same thing happened this evening while I was making dinner. I ended up munching on some pretzels while it cooked because I was so hungry.  I need to workout a little earlier so that I can be done and eat earlier. It was 7:30 by the time I had dinner tonight... My snack at work was around 3:30 and consisted of a Greek yogurt. I had a protein shake after my workout, but those really do not fill me up. I drink them as a supplement for the extra protein. If I didn't have those, I wouldn't worry as much about eating....BUT I like my shakes and they're good for me.  I usually have one with half a cup of fat free milk. If I'm desperate I'll have one with water to save the 45 calories that the milk adds. The powder itself is 130 calories.  I could have a pretty nice snack for 175! Anyway, I think those couple minor adjustments will help... Lunch a little earlier, workout earlier....and hopefully not feel like I'm insanely hungry. 

I already have my plan ready for tomorrow and I'm 72 calories short...Of 1200!! I know I'll make that up somewhere but I just don't know, right now, what to add. I suppose it's nice to have that little bit of wiggle room. I can have half a cup of pudding with dinner and I'll still have 12 calories left to eat....Which will be difficult. I may end up cutting something else in half (like my carrots at lunch or something) to add a few more calories to that so I can eat something and use the 12.  Honestly I would rather be a little bit over than under.  I was over both yesterday and today by a few calories. It's insanely difficult to try to hit it right on the mark. I guess with the working out that I do, it's better (for me) to eat a few extra than it is a few less.

My workouts are something else that I'm going to switch up. Rather than focus on running every other day and making sure I do this or that when I want/need to...I'm going to tailor my workouts to my eating. For example, days that I know I'll burn more calories (like days that I run), I'm going to eat more calories. So on my higher calorie days, I'll run, as I know that burns more calories.  I've been slacking on the yoga (I'll admit, I'm losing interest and much more focused on my BR workouts) lately but that's a good exercise that doesn't burn a lot of calories. I could do that on a day that I run and be just fine.  On days that I don't do as much I might just do BR. Like tomorrow...If it's a 1200 calorie day, I should be okay burning only 200-300 calories rather than 500+.  On a day where I eat in the middle (1300 or 1400) then I'll aim to burn 300-500. So tomorrow...I may only workout for 30 minutes doing BR.  Or BR for 20 and a quick 10 minute walk or something...Or I will plan on those lower calorie days being my rest days. Whatever happens to work for me....At the moment. This is of course during a perfect week when I have nothing else going on. Naturally things will happen and I'll have to make other changes as I go....Maybe a Saturday will be a 1500 calorie day so another day I'll eat lower cals... We're always having to adjust things in our lives and this will just be an extra thing for me.

I sometimes worry that I'm burning too many calories for what I take in, which is not good.  Obviously eating 1200 and burning 500 of that in a day isn't going to be good.  I think that making sure my workouts are on track with my eating will be a good benefit for me. I'll still be burning extra calories but I won't be putting too much stress on my body. The point of calorie cycling is to keep it guessing but there's a point when guessing because a bad idea. 

Oddly I felt lighter today after work. Maybe it was the workout pants that I wore. Last time I put them on they were a little snug. Now? They fit just fine and are almost a bit too baggy. Or maybe it's just feeling more positive and happy in general.  I definitely think that I could be lighter than last week.  Actually I know I am because of that crazy retention. But I feel like I've just been making better choices and I'm more aware this week too, so I'm hoping to have lost the water plus some actual poundage from fat this week. I'll be happy with two little pounds!

 I realized that I would take a bite of something here or there and not track it. Not because I didn't want to but because I said "oh I'll do it later, it was just a couple bites" and then I forget. Over time those little bites add up, especially if you're not measuring. Guesstimation is often inaccurate. I learned that a while ago...And I learned to measure everrrrything. I know all of this... I've known it for quite a long time now. I just wasn't paying attention to it. Going back to actually planning daily menus and making sure I track everything is a good way to stay on the right track.  I have my day all planned and tracked so if I eat something extra, it's like a signal to me that I need to track that - immediately.  I guess having something unplanned stands out for me a bit more now.  Sometimes going back to the basics is really helpful and a little eye-opening. My eating has definitely been better these last couple days.

I suppose that's about it for now...I'm feeling my eyes get heavy so I should go start getting ready for bed now.  Hopefully I can sleep through the night without any bizarre dreams like I've had the last two nights. Luckily I don't have a headache so I'll be avoiding any type of pain reliever which may have contributed. I guess we'll see tonight if that's a possibility....I really hope to sleep well!

XOXO

Dinner 2/28

Mediterranean One Dish meal from Taste of Home Healthy Cooking.

It looks... Weird in this pic, and not at all like the pic in the magazine but it was really good. I will definitely make it again.

Ingredients: turkey sausage, garlic, couscous (subbed for quinoa which I didn't have), tomato sauce (subbed for canned tomatoes which I don't like), oregano, Greek olives, baby spinach, and light feta cheese. I left out onion because I don't like it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Unexplained Positivity

I felt an overwhelming sense of positivity this afternoon. I'm not sure when it hit me, exactly but I do know it was after I got home from work.

Today I did it. I made THE big phone call that I've been thinking and talking about making for a while. I scheduled a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon. I am both nervous and excited.

My consult isn't until April 6th which I think is a good thing. The woman I spoke to in the phone said that they've had a lot of phone calls lately and that the office has been really busy. I like this. It makes me feel a sense of comfort knowing that he is so in-demand. I've viewed pictures of his work and visited his website and have been impressed.

I think that scheduling this consult is part of what made me feel so positive. I don't know what he will tell me but I'm excited to go. I'm hoping to hear that I'm a good candidate for surgery, and soon! It will be good to get some professional input regarding my progress even if he doesn't think I'm ready... Which I obviously hope isn't the case!

I think that just making this call made me feel good. It reminded me of how hard I've worked and how far I've come. It also makes me want to be the absolute best I can be when I go to the consultation. I'm going to work hard to make sure that my eating is healthy and that my workouts are good. Muscle takes time to build but I know that if I keep working hard, especially by doing my BR workouts, that I will have some nice muscle tone by then. I think that this consult is a good motivator for me.

Then when I was running I felt even better. I didn't have a hard time with the workout. It actually took a while to get my heart rate up to 85% of my max. My legs didn't hurt. I had no problem catching my breath. Most of the time felt normal.... Not hard but not too easy either. It just felt good. I felt like a runner today. I haven't felt that in a while. Especially not last week when I was so tired and had headaches often. It was so much nicer today. It's actually kind of hard to put how it felt into words, which isn't something that I generally struggle with. It really was an indescribable feeling.

I'm not sure where it came from but I like it. I still feel good. I think the new calorie plan has helped too. I just feel... Awesome.

Dinner 2/27

Honey mustard baked chicken and veggies.

I rubbed two teaspoons of honey mustard on each piece of chicken before baking, and that was it! It had great flavor! I will definitely be cutting some up to put on salad for lunch tomorrow.

That's steam coming off the plate.

Lunch 2/27

HG Pizza Luau.

Light English muffin, pizza sauce, fat free mozzarella, a pineapple ring - sliced, and ham.

I also has a salad with it... Lettuce, carrots, and Italian dressing.

Planning Woes

FYI, for me 1500 calories seems like A LOT - especially 1500 calories worth of healthy food. I had my menu for the day planned out nicely. I was only three calories over and figured that would be fine because I probably wouldn't finish something.

Then I saw my sodium count. I was 2800-something milligrams. Not good! I knewI had to re-think dinner. I was planning to have a HG chicken recipe that called for pretzels.  Buh-bye pretzels as well as the added salt and liquid egg substitute. That saved me quite a bit of sodium (about 800 mg) by the time I added what I will eat for dinner onto my tracker.  Although, in thinking about it, the pretzels I use are lower sodium than many pretzels....Probably different than the recipe. However, I'd still be over what I'd like to be.

Funny part? I had half a serving of pretzels anyway. I was really hungry and my chicken took ages to defrost.

The next dilemma? I was under calories by more than 200. This meant that I needed to add some foods to my day that are low sodium.... I added another vegetable to dinner and a banana to my "afternoon meal."  Now? I'm under 1500 by one calorie. I decided this was just fine. I also have no idea what I can eat that will only equal one little calorie. My sodium is still higher than I like it, at about 2000, but I'll deal with it. I prefer it be between 1500 and 2000, more toward the lower end of the range. I know it's because of my lunch (HG pizza luau) including some processed foods like cheese and ham.  I am much higher in carbs (I'd say thanks to all the fruit I ate) than I'd like to be, but I can handle that. I really didn't want to play that game anymore!  Honestly, staying in all ranges and having to eat a lot is not an easy task.

I haven't done the pre-planned menu thing in quite a while. I had forgotten how obnoxious it can be! I feel like a beginner, just learning to track all of these things. I'm honestly not super worried about much other than calories. It's about calories in versus calories out. I'm not jumping on some diet trend. I'm zig zagging to see how that works, but I'll still be eating pretty much anything healthy with a treat now and then.

Here's the summary of what I ate today, which seems like a lot. I like to think of this as evidence for anyone who thinks that they won't be able to eat much when they cut calories. When it's healthy, you can eat a lot!

Breakfast: baked oatmeal, one cup of seedless red grapes, two cups regular coffee.
Mid-morning meal: one cup whole strawberries, half cup blueberries
Lunch: HG Pizza Luau, two cups Dole Italian blend with a serving of baby carrots and two tablespoons fat-free Italian dressing
Mid-afternoon meal: Oikos greek vanilla yogurt, part of a banana (it was yucky so I only had a couple bites)
Snack: 100% whey chocolate protein powder, quarter cup fat-free milk
Dinner: Four ounces boneless, skinless turkey breast with  half a tablespoon of honey mustard, steamed florentine veggies, half serving of fat free pretzels,  partial serving of Lindt dark chocolate (70%) with some fat-free cool whip.
Calories: 1504
Fat: 33
Protein: 97

I don't know about you but to me... That seems like a whole lot of food!

As much as I love my HG recipes, some of them seem to be higher in carbs and sodium than I'd like. I definitely learned that two HG meals in one day isn't a good idea for those values.  I am more concerned with calories but do like to watch my other values too, just to stay in healthy ranges. I'll probably have left over dinner for lunch tomorrow (maybe cut up some chicken and throw it in the salad), and then I'll have a HG dinner. I'm thinking that her "Swapcorn Shrimp" sounds good. I just have to make sure everything fits within my ranges.

I really hope that this new plan helps me bust through this plateau and helps show some results! Because of my recent fluid retention I'm not sure I'll get an accurate reading this coming week, but hope to the next...Which is the last week of my challenge. I honestly think it will take a couple weeks of this changed up plan to see actual results. I'm hoping this helps me get back to a two pound per week loss.

Now to plan tomorrow's menu. Let's see how many times I end up changing it....

XOXO

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Just Made Breakfast...

... For the week!! I made some yummy (there was some left for a sample) baked oatmeal. I found the recipe in Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking. I just portioned it all out and put it in containers. I'm a prepared girl this week!

It's sooo good!

Dinner 2/26

Great dinner for under 500 calories (445 to be exact).

Salad and pizza.
The salad was just Italian blend lettuce, carrots, fat free cheddar, and some light buttermilk ranch dressing.

For the pizza:
Flatout light original baked coated both sides with olive oil (or cooking spray) baked at 350. Then topped with 1/3 cup pizza sauce, 1/2 cup fat free mozzarella cheese, and a serving of turkey pepperoni.

Super yummy!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stronger Than I Thought...Bodrock LOVE!

I did a BR workout yesterday and looking at my stats, I did pretty good - MUCH better than I thought. In fact, what I did is right up there with what other bodyrockers do. This means? That I am so much stronger and physically fit than I thought (or look).  It's amazing how much I continue to surprise myself.

This was from an older workout. It was intervals 50/10 (50 seconds per exercise, 10 seconds of rest). I twas meant to be repeated once, but I repeated it twice so that I could get 30 minutes of work in, rather than 20 (takes 10 min for each round).  I started with a 10 second rest period so that I could start immediately when the timer sounded for the start of the workout. The numbers next to the exercise are the number of reps I did each time that I went through/during the 50 seconds of work.

Here's the breakdown with my stats:

Rest
Lunge squat; left leg forward - 25, 26, 26
Rest
Squat - 18, 21,21
Rest
Lunge squat; right leg forward - 24,24,25
Rest
Squat - 21, 23,22
Rest
Reverse push-up (I had to do dumb bell rows because I don't have an equalizer or dip station) - 29, 32 ,35
Rest
Squat - 21, 24,25
Rest
Knee raises (I had to do them on a mat due to no equipment; more of a leg raise with a backward crunch at the top) - 16, 17, 18
Rest
Squat - 21, 23, 21
Rest
Sandbag weighted crunch (I don't have a sandbag and couldn't think of a good sub for this exercise so I did the crunch without weight) 25, 28, 26
Rest
Squat 20, 22, 23
Rest

Then repeat and repeat again!


I'm definitely going to start keeping track of my  BR workouts. I have a notebook ready to write things down. It'll be nice to see my stats and compare them on the BR site or on the BR FB pages. It will also be cool to look back at my progress - and if I repeat a workout later!

Definitely loving the BR!!!

I didn't workout today... I wasn't feeling the greatest so I spent time cleaning and crafting. Now I'm going to look at my HG cookbooks and see what kinds of things I want to make this week. Then I'm going to look into my calorie zig-zagging plan and figure out which days I will eat which amount of calories. Should be fun!

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

XOXO

STRONGER Challenge Update

First, I didn't post last night because...I was just too tired to get around to it. I spent time doing some crafty stuff instead. I was in a creative mood, but not a writing mood. I guess sitting down and trying to figure out what I wanted to say without babbling didn't seem like it was possible last night. Anyway, this is a blog so I suppose I'm not REQUIRED to post all the time, I just like to...

Anyway... Weekly progress....

I have to say that I'm not disappointed at what is basically a standstill. I figured after that first week of measuring things would taper off a bit. I'm not doing bodyrock as much as I had been (it's just too much on days that I run; my runs suffer). I'm sure my body is adjusting to the change in routine. And this week? Ohhhh what a week! I'm actually pleased with my progress and I thought all had been lost.

This week has been one of insane water retention and an insanely increased appetite. I haven't had cravings, but I have been hungry. I've been honestly,seriously, really hungry too, not just mindlessly eating. I have tried to avoid eating even when I've felt hungry...It's not that I wanted to eat more or that I was trying to find a reason to eat more. No, my body really wanted more.  I've read that it is better to eat when you're feeling hungry to avoid disaster later on. I've also read that at times, hormones really do cause an actual increase in hunger. I've also read, but not found anything conclusive, that at those times the body may require an extra 200-300 calories to function. I've seen info both supporting and refuting this, so I'm not saying it's true. However, I can see how it could be true because my stomach could not be content this week! I've consistently eaten more than normal (but in my range more days than not) this week.

So....

Weight -  up 1.6 pounds, for a total up being up 2.4 since the beginning of the challenge. Um...This is actually a pleasant surprise today. I was fearing the worst!!! This must mean that my retention is going down, although I do feel some in my fingers this morning so I know it's not totally gone. I'm also certain I'm retaining in another area, which I will get to when I get into measurements. 

Body Fat - No change.

As for measurements...Nothing changed much except for two areas. I'm sure I measured in the wrong spot on one though...But I'm not sure if that was last week or today!

My right arm was half an inch less today than last week. I honestly doubt I lost half an inch on an arm in a week, so I'm thinking one week or another I measured in a different spot...Probably a lower spot today than last week.

The part that makes me sure I'm still retaining water (other than my puffy feeling hands)... My boobs! My bust was three-quarters of an inch bigger this week than last week. There is no other reason my chest would have grown...I'm not pregnant. I did not get breast implants, and if I had, the change would be much different than that! Throughout this journey, those measurements have only gotten smaller and smaller. Thanks, retention, for making me feel like I have a chest again. I anticipate being smaller next week. 

Overall, despite an increased appetite and fluid retention, I stayed pretty much the same. I'm guessing that without that extra fluid I'm still carrying, my weight probably hadn't changed from last week, or may have been a little lower/back to where it was at first. I'm not really that worried about it though. I'm healthy, working out, and getting stronger, which is what this challenge is about!

Oh! I reached/surpassed my goal of 1000 monthly fitness minutes on Thursday! Despite not working out on Sunday or Monday and for about 30 minutes on Thursday, I should reach my goal of 2300 weekly calories burned (through exercise) today.

Today is a run day but I kinda want to do BR again. I love it, and look forward to it! I'm undecided but will figure it out later I guess. I can always do BR then run at a slower pace than normal. Weekends are probably a good time to do the two together because I shouldn't be as tired as I am during the week.

I just realized that I only did yoga once this week, so I didn't meet that goal. I'm not surprised. It was hard to get up in the morning because I had a hard time sleeping this week (goes right along with those issues of retention and hunger). I'd either lay there and not be able to fall asleep or I'd wake up several times. It's hard to get up early (or even at the usual time!) when you haven't slept well. I'm too angry about that. I'm still working, still getting my time in and feeling good!

Today I'm going to look at the calorie situation a little closer. I'm going to try to figure out what it is that I truly need. Then I'm going to look for some different recipes, menu plan, and get a list together for grocery shopping (probably tomorrow). I need to remember to keep my recipes/plans together because sometimes when I shop I forget what I buy things for!

Enough multi-tasking, I'm off to give the rest of this basketball game (GO CATS!!! ) my full attention, then it's time to clean, and then probably do a workout. My mom and I talked about maybe going to church this evening with my grandparents but I think I'll see if they're interested in waiting until tomorrow morning. Mom and I have plans for the afternoon anyway, so it'd be easier (especially with the fur babies) to do it all tomorrow. And maybe tomorrow will become a ....Day of rest?

XOXO

Protein Powder

I dropped the canister of protein powder last night. The dogs thought they needed to try to help me clean it up.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Next Toy...Or Two.

There are a couple new toys that I can't wait to buy, but will wait to buy! I love fitness equipment. Unlike many people, I acutally use what I buy. Repeatedly. I use it frequently.  However, I have a hard time making big purchases....Which is funny because I could buy a bunch of smaller things that equal the same price, but have a hard time buying one thing that's more expensive. Odd? I think so. I could probably buy a bunch of little things at once, spend as much as one big thing and even be okay with that. I've invested a lot in clothes, shoes, DVDs, gadgets, and equipment. However, both expensive equipment purchases (my treadmill and my bike) were gifts from my parents (thanks, Dad!).  For some reason I have a hard time justying spending a large amount of money on something like that.

Anyway, these are the next two toys I want to buy.

First, I'll probably go with the equalizer. This is recommend and used in more bodyrock workouts than I can count.  The pink sandbag that they recommend is another great thing, however, I have dumb bells, kettle bells, and other things that I can use in place of the bag, so the bag isn't really on my list. The equalizer? Oh yes...It's number one on my list. 

The next big fitness purchase on my list, the equalizer...Every time I watch a BR video, it makes me want one of these more and more. My BR workouts would be so much more complete with one! Seriously, go to bodyrock.tv and check out how awesome it would be to "play" on one!
http://lebertfitness.com/Products/LebertEqualizer/Home.aspx

This is the sandbag...
http://www.ultimatesandbagtrainingstore.com/ultimate-sandbag-training-power-package-pink-ship-nov-15th-

Second, the TRX system.  The beauty of this is that I can use it at home and I can go to a class and learn how to use it as a teaching tool (after I get my personal trainer certification, of course). SO...This would be a good thing for me, as well as a good investment for future use (if I find a palce that does TRX classes).

Here's the TRX system...Doesn't it look like fun!?
http://www.trxtraining.com/

I LOVE fitness equpiment!

XOXO

A New POA

I have been at a weight loss plateau for months now. I've added exercise time. I've added strengthening activities so I'm not just doing cardio. I've added biking so for cardio I alternate between biking and running.  Little changes like this are supposed to help break through a plateau.

Guess what! This has not worked for me. 

I think I need to change my eating.  I have been eating in the same calorie range for a while now, generally toward the bottom of that range.  Every now and again I'll have a wild day and some skyrocketing out of the top of that range. This is infrequent, but it happens.

This week is not a good indicator of where I am weight-wise, thanks to my gain from fluid retention. I had some higher calorie days last weekend, probably out of my range one of those days, maybe even two of the three. The combination of how far out of my range I was, would not account for weight gain. It's just impossible for me to eat that number of calories.  I expect that this Saturday my weight will still be up. If it goes down even a little I'll be happy. If it's even higher (compared to my weight earlier in the week), I may scream.  Since I weighed in when I shouldn't have, I'm sure that compared to last Saturday my weight will be up. I'm sure it's a guarantee at this point. I didn't count my weight from the other day (when I shouldn't have weighed) but compared to that I am hoping to be down.

Weight loss is so easy when you start....As far as numbers are concerned. If you make changes you'll see changes in numbers.  Yay! I know that actually making those changes can be very difficult for some people, but seeing a drop in numbers is very encouraging.

When you've lost 160 pounds, as I have, losing weight becomes more and more difficult. The closer to your goal, the more the body resists.  If you continue to eat in the same calorie range, you body adjusts. 

I think calories is my problem. 

The simple math is that a pound is 3500 calories.... In order to lose a pound a week, a calorie deficit of 500 must be created daily. I cannot possibly subtract that many more calories from my day or else I'll be eating far too few. 

On a typical workout day, I burn over 500 calories through exercise. Well, hey, there's that magic number! However, if I'm subtracting it from what I'm eating, my net daily calories are....too low.

I've looked into this off and on throughout weight loss. I'm made adjustments and seen changes. I've made adjustments and seen no changes. I know I have extra skin, but I doubt it's that much. Given my body fat percentage, I still have fat to lose. I am in the "normal" range but I can go lower, so I suspect that I am still capable of losing fat.

I just have to figure out how.

I follow a calorie range set by SP when I log my info... My range is 1200-1550. Most days I eat between 1250 and 1450.  I've not seen results doing this. I'm thinking of playing with my calories and seeing what happens.

I did some calculations and according to other formulas for weight loss, I'm eating less than I should. A lot less. I fear adding calories because I'm so insanely terrified of weight gain. But maybe adding calories is what I need to do. Both formulas that I used had me eating more calories than my suggested range on SP. Interesting. However, there was a difference of nearly 200 calories between these two formulas. THAT could make a difference. I'm going to check out formulas a little more and see what else I find. I'm afraid that the higher calorie suggestion is going to be too high. I'd be okay with the lower suggestion being accurate. I do not want to eat more calories than necessary!

Next week (since we are partly through this week and I won't have a current weight until Saturday), I'm going to start zig-zagging my calories to see how if it works. If I'm eating the same overall calories during the week, I shouldn't see a gain.

I will note that I've seen lots of info on zig-zagging and....I'm not about to do the extreme form. I've seen some daily allowances as low as 500 and as high as 2500. Um...NO WAY! Eating less than 1200 calories in a day is, in my opinion, stupid. It is unhealthy to go below 1200 for a woman. No female should go on a diet plan that suggests less than that. Sure, you'll probably lose weight initially...But that's because you're starving yourself. Your body will catch-up with you and in the end, you're going to do more damage than good. Now, doesn't that seem silly?

So...JM uses zig-zagging on the Biggest Loser, or did at one time...At least that's what I've read. Apparently there's a podcast (which I'm going to look for) in which she discusses it. JM is pretty on top of it when it comes to knowing about health and such. I look at her as a reliable source. She's had personal success, helped others to success, and does not condone unhealthy methods of weight loss.  The notion of zig-zagging is that it will keep the body guessing. The body gets used to eating the same number of calories every day, which can result in the good ol' weight loss plateau.

What I will do is use the number of calories I need for the week and divide them out.... No less than 1200 on a given day.  I'll figure out what works (I'm sure there must be a program that does though....I'm not a fan of math) and divide it out over the course of the week. For example, three days I might eat 1200 calories and two days I might eat 1800, and then eat 1600 two days in between. I'm not saying this is my specific count because it's not. I'd have to sit down and figure out what works for me...Those numbers are just an example. Chances are, my top number will not be as high as 1800.  I'll still be eating a healthy number of calories per week, it's just the individual days that will change.

I just have to figure out which number of weekly calories is correct (ha! THAT should be fun... more formula research for the girl who is not a mathematician).

If I'm not changing my weekly calories in a bad way, then I shouldn't gain any weight.  At worst, I should stay the same on this plan. If that happens, then I'll know it doesn't work. No harm done, since I'm hanging out on this fabulous plateau.

I'm still concerned with my overall health...Eating healthy and continuing to exercise (especially bodyrock - LOVE).  But? I do want to lose some more weight.  And I'm pretty sure that what I have to lose cannot all be skin. If I were to have a consult and the surgeon said he could take that much weight off of me in skin alone, I'd be shocked. Here is where I will, again, say that surgery to remove skin is NOT a method of weight loss. However, it might be a factor in my weight at this time because of where I've been, what I've lost, etc. I am not looking into the removal to lose weight. I'm looking at it to get rid of ugly skin that annoys me.

Has anyone tried zig-zagging? I'm interested to know if it's worked for you.... I'll keep you posted on whether or not this plan works for me!

XOXO

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Thin Fat Line

You might be wondering what I mean by saying "the thin fat line."  I'll get to that in a minute.

First, this may end up being a short post (although who knows, I've said that before and have ended up with long posts). I'm insanely tired and have a headache (so hopefully this makes some sense).  I could probably go to bed right now and sleep all night long. Ahhh....The joys of the beast. My stomach isn't feeling the greatest either. The thought of mixed veggies made me feel a little queasy earlier. I ate popcorn for dinner (laziness plus, well, nothing else sounded good), and I'm sure that's only making me feel even more yucky. Oh well...I'll live.

So. The thin fat line. I was thinking tonight about the notion of fat acceptance.  The fat acceptance movement is quite simple; activists are trying to change the way society views "fat" people. I find this interesting because...What is "fat"? I don't think it's a term that has just one definition. I may look at someone and think they're "chubby" but maybe not "fat." I may look at someone and think that they're "fat" and they may not think that they are. My point is that fat is not an absolute term. Everyone views "fat" differently.  I guess for the sake of the movement, it's defined as anyone who is even a little overweight to morbidly obese.

I agree that we should accept people for who they are. In my opinion discrimination is discrimination. Me being nasty to a fat person would be just as bad as me being nasty to a minority. Or someone of another religion. Or someone who is homosexual.  All of these things are still issues, but I don't think the whole fat issue has become as big as others, or as big as it can be.  I think one key difference in being fat and other things is that you can help (I'd say the majority of the time) being fat. Unless you have some crazy disease that prevents it, you can control it. I can control my size. I can't control the fact that I'm white. Or straight.

I think that treating fat people badly is something that's much more acceptable than treating someone badly for another reason, such as the color of their skin.  Fat jokes are acceptable, unless of course you're with a fat person. People talk about one another being too fat (and also too thin, because this is a problem too) without hesitation.

I spent a good chunk of time as the fat girl. I have been the butt of jokes. I have cried many tears of hurt over the years. I spent a long time hating myself for what I looked like, so much so that I was too depressed to do anything about it. I felt hopeless; like I was always going to be fat. I tried, and failed, to control it many times.  I understand how difficult it is to be fat. I understand how hateful people can be. I know how even little comments ("wow, do you really need to eat at Fast Food Place A?") can hurt. No one would question a skinny person walking into a fast food joint. But a fat person...Prepare to be judged.

Here's my issue with that... Fast food is unhealthy. Period. I don't care if you're 100 lbs or 500 lbs...You shouldn't be eating it on a regular basis. I realize every now and then people eat fast food (including not-as-bad places). It's convenient. It's fast. Heck, it's a treat sometimes. The thing is, if we judge a fat person for walking into a fast food place, we should judge everyone who enters one. Size doesn't matter; if you're eating that, it's bad for you.

It's easy to tell people that they can change. I find this super funny when someone who has never battled with weight says it. I often think "really? How do you know that?" and sometimes the words escape my lips. I've been there... I know how hard it is to change. I also know how easy it is (once you set your mind to it).

Obviously, I think that treating people badly because of their size (too big or too small) is a horrible thing to do. I agree that we need to accept people for who they are and not judge them for what we think they should be.

I'll admit there are times when I think things that aren't so nice. Heck, I have a girl's face on a cow's body on one of my motivation posters! I use real people as motivation to never be fat again...This isn't to say I'm thinking negative things about them. I'm just remember how I once was and how I don't want to be again.

 The people who's heads get stuck on cow's bodies and the people I use for motivation? Are not my friends. They are not my family.  In fact, when I look at all of my friends and family, their size (small or big) is not what I look at. I look at who they are. I look at some and think "you're a mother, how beautiful." Or I look at others and think "damn, I'm jealous- you're a wife!" I look at others and think "you're beautiful." The people I use for motivation are strangers to me.

I think that sometimes our own judgements of others come from our own insecurities and experiences.  For example, say a really fat person once sat on you, stole your wallet, and left you fighting for your breath...You might be a little afraid of fat people because of that experience. Yes, that is meant to be a far-fetched example...BUT...People will say those things to justify other forms of discrimination, which is really just as silly. In my opinion. Anyway, an experience or two really should not allow you to judge everyone who looks similar. That? Is ridiculous. In my opinion. Again.

I was once fat. Maybe I now use fat people as motivation because I am TERRIFIED to ever be fat again. That is assuming you don't think I'm fat right now. Someone might, and after the work I've done I'd have to say (and this is so not lady-like) "eff you." I'd say it just like that too. It's rare that I drop the f-bomb. It honestly makes me cringe. If it escapes my lips (unless I'm super angry and don't realize it, or care) I kinda want to slap my own mouth.

Maybe I'd stick an ex-friend's head on a cow. Ha! There's a reason any ex (friend or boy/girlfriend) is an ex. Maybe your head is going on a cow's body because I'm still angry with you for something.  I'm also highly competitive. Maybe someone's head should be on a cow's body because of that competition... If they were (in my perception, no matter how skewed) were "better" in some way that might make me insecure. BAM! Your head? Meet cow's body.  Maybe it's a fear that someone is going to take something away, like attention (that's a big one for a lot of us)...Don't you dare try to steal my thunder (especially if you haven't worked as hard). You just might make a cow become a two-headed monster.

These are all just examples...Not all are true.  I have, admittedly, put a face or two on a cow. And? Quite honestly it was pretty dang funny. Yes, I'm aware that might make me a jerk. It was for motivation and it has worked.

"Only a cow should look like a cow."

That's a reminder that I use often to keep myself motivated. Why? Because no way am I going to allow myself to be a cow again. I can't help but think of one cream colored dress, with a black larger flower pattern, that I wore a few years ago....Uh, I probably resembled a cow in that thing. Horror!

Okay, sooo... I've made my point on size acceptance. Don't judge because someone will judge you back (probably me, if I find out you're judging me...no worries, I'll undoubtedly find something to judge you about; possibly your ugly personality).

What I DO NOT agree with is condoning unhealthy living. Being fat pretty much means that you're not living healthy. I refuse to accept that it is okay to be fat, but from a healthy living perspective. This might be confusing... I just got done saying we shouldn't judge based on appearance. Now I'm saying I don't think that it's okay to be fat.  Yes. That's exactly what I said. And that is exactly what I mean.

This is where the thin fat line comes into play.  There's a VERY fine line between what is okay and what is not.  It is okay to love someone for who they are. It's okay to accept someone for who they are. It's not okay to be an asshat to someone because of what they look like.

I'm saying...discrimination is bad.

When I talk about how being fat is unhealthy and from that perspective, it is not okay, that's exactly what I mean. FROM A HEALTH PERSPECTIVE...NOT based on someone's appearance.  I also feel this way about people who are too thin. Honestly, looking like a skeleton covered with a very light layer of skin is not appealing to me. Am I going to judge you because of it? No. Am I going to have a genuine concern for your health? YES. Just like if you're fat. I'm not going to poke at you and say "teehee" like the Pillsbury Dough Boy, but I am going to worry that you're cutting your life short.

It's not my place to walk up to strangers on the street and say "hey, you need to lose a few pounds or you'll put yourself at risk for...x,y,and z...Maybe a and b, too."  Inside though, I'll feel a little pain for you. Maybe you're okay with how you look, but... How do you feel? I'll have empathy, especially because I've been there. I'll think you're amazing for having confidence to be 350 pounds and rocking a fabulous mini-skirt, with no apparent care that your legs might look like sausages (because that's how I would've felt).  I'll think you're a great example of showing others that they can love who they are, at any size.

When we think of acceptance, we often think of appearance. I hope that people realize that health is a much larger issue. Of course, society doesn't really seem to care what your liver looks like, how hard your poor little heart has to work, or the fact that your knees are wearing away. No. Society cares about how you look in those jeans, a pair of shorts, that mini-skirt, or that muscle shirt.

When I talk about it not being okay to be fat, I mean it from a health perspective. I have a passion for health and fitness now. I knew it was there all along (as evidenced by my love of sports but fear to participate). I wouldn't write this blog if I didn't think I could inspire one person. I wouldn't be open to answering questions if I didn't think it'd help. I write this because I want to share where I've been and what I"ve learned. I want to work in this area so that the people I work with know that at least one person, who has been there, is on their side.

As strongly as I feel about health, I can't force it on anyway. That's like trying to force religion on someone. Pretty soon I'll be viewed as an annoying person that people will cause people to not answer the door and hide, pretending they're not home (and inside screaming "GO AWAY")....Not that I've ever done that. HA! I'm not about to force health and fitness down anyone's throat. But if they come to me, I'll help. I'll be a shoulder to cry on. I'll be a cheerleader. I'll be a motivational speaker. I'll be the crazy person yelling to keep pushing when they want to stop. I'll sweat with them.

Also? I'll probably charge them because, hey, a girl's gotta eat! :)

Here's what's up with the thin fat line... Bascially? It's just a thin line between saying fat is okay and saying it's not okay.  It's hard. In one way you're going to look like a complete jerk who makes fun of people. In another way, you can be someone who helps someone to change their lifestyle. I think that the fat acceptance movement makes it seem like it's okay to be fat. Period. At least, that's what I've found in my googling experience. I think it's better to say that you are beautiful and unique, and that's amazing. Because when it comes down to it, being fat is not okay. It's not okay because of what you're doing to your body, not becuase of how you look.

BUT...It is your body and you have the right to choose how to treat it. I'm not going to get in your face and say "change because you're killing yourself."  Maybe you'd rather live it up now and only live to be 50, rather than having a longer life. I can respect that it is your choice. For me? That's not a decision I'm going to make. I can't agree with that philosophy, but if it's yours...It's YOURS.

I will never tell someone "hey, fattie, you need to lose weight." I'm pretty sure I've heard that a time or ten thousand (possible slight exaggeration). But if I know someone, no matter what their weight, is trying to get healthy... I'll be there to cheer them on. Even if it's as simple as a couple encouraging words to my spark friends, or replying to a stranger's e-mail saying "YOU CAN do this!"

Fat.  One tiny little word that can mean so much, cause issues, hurt feelings...and so many other things. Whatever it means to you, do what makes you happy. If getting healthy is on your agenda, congratulations. I think that's simply amazing. You don't have to want to be a size six in order to live healthy.  Really, your appearance and health are two totally different things. One is just how you look... The other is how you feel and how you live.

Huh... What do you know...That end up being longer than I planned. I guess I ran with it once I got started! Hopefully it wasn't too scattered!

XOXO

Lunch and Dinner 2/21

Pumpkin Vitatop and chocolate PB2 for lunch. Grilled cheese (fat free cheese, Smart Balance light, and light whole wheat bread) and veggies for dinner.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Beast Is Showing Her Face Again

I have decided that the scale will be what I give up for lent...Somewhat. I will not give it up totally because I need to monitor progress but I am only getting on the stupid thing (angry with it, so naturally it is stupid right now) once a week.  I SHOULD be doing this with my challenge anyway, but every week I have taken an extra peek...One week I think it was twice.

So, thanks scale for pissing me off and making my choice easier.

In addition to that I will be limiting my sweet intake. I'm sticking to "not as bad" sweets only... Protein Shakes that are chocolate flavored? Those are okay. Vitatops? Those are okay too. Even the fat-free, sugar-free pudding I made tonight is okay.  What's not okay? Totally unhealthy things like cookies, cakes, cupcakes (ahhh I think I just died) and such. This? Is hard. I'm a baker. Not by profession but it's one of my hobbies that I am passionate about. It helps me release creativity and I just...LOVE it.  This means no more baking just for fun. Generally when I do, I give it away. I DO allow myself one (sometimes two) of what I make, but that's it. The rest? Sent away! For lent? No more of that. If I bake, it all has to be given away. That's baking for no reason. I do have one upcoming event that I am baking for and will probably allow myself ONE cupcake. This was planned before I decided to put the axe on full-fat, full-calorie treats.  They're going to be special cupcakes for a special party for a very, very special little boy. Maybe I won't eat one, but if I do...I'm laying it on the line now. I hope that God will be okay with this. We'll chat about it tonight. Maybe I'll do an extra "Our Father" or something. I don't know... LOL! I'm trying NOT to justify indulging in something that I'm giving up for lent, but at the same time this ONE thing has been planned. I don't want to not do it because of one event. Ya know?

Any thoughts? Feel free to share.

So, the scale and full-on sweets...Buh-bye.  Dang. I didn't have any to indulge in today either... No Paczkis for this girl (ummm.. hello death in a box!!).  I'm okay with that. I had my share of my adopted birthday cake over the weekend, so I don't think I'm missing out anyway.

Back to the scale. It made me super angry earlier. That's what I get for weighing on a non-weigh day. See? This is why it needs to be given up 6 out of 7 days a week. It's bad news. I'm doing good at not being as obsessive as I used to be, but if I weren't giving it up for lent, I'd be on that thing ten times a day for the rest of the week.  I've been on it three times just this evening!

I'm retaining water like mad.  I know this. Yet I put myself through the unexplained torture of stepping on the scale anyway. I have no idea why I did. I KNEW I was holding onto water but did it anyway... And? I was up about eight pounds from Saturday.  Now, this clearly cannot possibly be fat.

Let me remind you of the math...

3500 calories = 1 pound.

I would have had to have eaten 28,000 calories in four days. Um... No way! I honestly am not sure that's even humanly possible. Maybe for some super large person but I am certain that I couldn't do that. Today would be day four, so that means that I would have had 7000 calories before dinner. Haha!! Not even close!! I was probably around 1000 or so! I am 100% sure that I did not eat 7000 calories on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or today. I may have eaten a little unhealthier than normal but not THAT much. 

So, enter fluid retention.  Now, I'm sure that eating out on Saturday night and then again on Sunday night (even if it was just a turkey sub on wheat bread, it was out so it counts) didn't help the situation. I also had some pretzles over the weekend.  Last night's dinner was a grilled turkey and cheese...Processed and processed. Sodium and sodium.  I was going to have the same for dinner tonight but due to the sodium content, I skipped the turkey and only had one slice of (fat-free) cheese. Those couple little things were a HUGE sodium saver.

In addition to the sodium in food, I'm having some hormonal changes. This always equals retention for me. Usually I go up 5 (on a good month) to 10 (the worst I'm aware of ) pounds, with an average of 8. This alone could account for all of the weight I've gained since Saturday. Throw the sodium in foods on top of that and I'm a walking blimp!  I feel like it anyway.  Even my shoes left marks on my feet today.  Sometimes I feel a little bloat in my feet but usually it's my mid-section and my hands, with my thighs thrown in there for fun fairly often.  Today I felt it in my hands, big time. I saw it in my face, big time. 

I've relied on my Diurex aquagels to help me fight off some of it.  I had taken one this morning and felt pretty good. Then, after lunch (about 3 hours after I took the aquagel) I felt my hands puff up. It was crazy! I noticed it right away. Usually I'll wake up feeling puffy and stay that way most of the day, or will get that way toward the end of the day. I'm not sure I've ever noticed such a dramatic change in my body so fast. After I puffed up after lunch (by the way I had PB2 and a Vitatop, not anything full of sodium), I stayed that way. I took another aquagel when I got home, right before I worked out...Which was a matter of seconds before I weighed myself.  I weighed post-workout and was the same. Bummer. I thought for sure all of that sweating would help. Then I realized I had weighed in with all of my clothes on. Duh! That makes a bit of a difference, especially when they are soaked with sweat.  I weighed again before I showered...Which was after having a protein shake with fat free milk and after eating dinner and drinking two cups of water. Even with my hair still very wet, I weighed almost three pounds less than I had just before...And that's with eating and drinking more!!! Apparently the aquagel kicked in and when I peed (there's no good way of saying that, that isn't so...obvious) I got rid of a lot of water, and I'm sure a good 1-2 pounds of the 3 was due to me ditching my clothes. I LOVE that this was after I ate. Even with food and drink, I was still lighter than prior to my workout! This definitely makes me see that the diuretic helps!!

The only bummer is that they only seem to work well for a few hours.  I can only take them once every six hours (after the first one), so I'm still not due for one for two hours. At this point it's too late to be taking a diuretic anyway. I certainly want to sleep tonight, not be up all night!!

The earlier trip to the scale made me very cranky. I was NOT in a good mood when I worked out. I felt tired and didn't want to run. I did it anyway though. I'm glad I did. I had a really hard time during the run but felt good after.

I'm not sure what was up with the run, except that maybe I wasn't using proper form/foot position. My right side is still a little sore from my fall on Saturday, so I think I was favoring it when I ran. This probably made my foot hit in a different pattern, I was using different muscles, and it just made things rough. I had to stop for a minute and stretch, which I don't usually do. Generally my stretching before a run is adequate.  My legs, even my thighs, felt heavy (fluid?) and just ached. But I pushed through. I questioned myself a couple times with the soreness in the right leg/foot but kept going. I chalked it up to plain ol' muscle soreness. I would have stopped if I felt something different or wrong.  I know my body by now and I know when I can push and when pushing myself is kind of an idiotic idea. Today was not one of those days. I went slower when I needed to, took the time out to stretch, and was very aware of my body.  I don't feel any pain after (different than the soreness I've had on that side, since falling), so I think I did okay. I know my limits.

I had a spot when I thought for sure I was going to quit.  With about 10 minutes left, the pain and my mood got to me and I started crying. Running and crying....It happens sometimes. I'm not even sure why I was crying, other than the fact that at that moment things were hard. I broke a bit...But only for a couple minutes. I cried and ran, and then stopped crying and just ran.

Ahhh...PMDD, you are quite the beast. I'd be happy without you in my life. I am sure you're not-as-evil sister PMS would be easier to live with than you. You're like PMS, intensified. You cause havoc on me, physically and mentally...You make me feel giant. You don't always let me sleep. You make me cranky. You make me cry. You make me tired. You? Are really just a jerk.  Unforutnately I have to live with you, so I will continue to try to stay positive and just deal with it.

I'm off to relax for the night... I think that reading (my CPT materials! YAY!) and some tea (Tazo calm) should help me to relax so that when bedtime rolls around I can sleep. I'd love a full 8 hours of sleep; no waking up, no wild dreams...Just peaceful sleep. 

Hopefully....

XOXO



Healthy Eating Habits

Weight loss and health is based so much on what you put into your body.  I've been thinking a lot about this lately because it seems that I've been eating a few too many unhealthy foods lately. I stay within my calorie range but I really need to get away from those things. I miss my protein shakes and those are usually what gets cut out when I make an unhealthy choice. To lose weight you must count values like calories and control your portion sizes. Eating healthy foods generally accompany this because you'll blow through your calories very quickly if you only eat unhealthy foods. It can be done, but it's not a healthy pattern.

Some people will eat very little (or nothing) most of the day except for one meal.  Or maybe they'll only eat twice a day so that they can eat larger portions of what they like, or so that they can eat unhealthy foods.  Back when I did WW I did something like this. If I knew I was going out with friends, I wouldn't eat much so that I could use my points on bad food and/or drinks.  I'd save my weekly flex points for the weekend and drink them (I was fresh out of college and still in party mode at that time). I'd go all day eating very little so that I could indulge in queso dip and chips, beer and shots. This? Is unhealthy.

You may not be going over your calories, but you're not doing your body any favors.  This will likely catch up with you later. I have experienced this first-hand. Sure, maybe now and then it's okay
(although I don't agree) to do this but if you continue a pattern like that, you'll only do damage. There are times when I have a larger meal out and I will eat fewer calories during the day because I know it's coming, but I eat! I eat healthy and often.  I also make a smarter choice at the restaurant so that I'm not splurging on one huge thing. It may be a couple hundred calories more than what I usually eat, but still within my calorie range since I usually eat at the lower end.

Basically? You need to eat....Healthy and often.  Unhealthy eating patterns are just as bad as unhealthy foods. Don't forget that the majority of the weight loss game is eating...Healthy foods, drinking water, eating smaller portions...That's it! Eventually you'll have to add exercise to your plan, but it's a good idea in general.

Jillian Michaels has said over and over again that it's calories in versus calories out... I most definitely agree with her. Sure, other factors can influence things but not to the extent that some diet plans would have you think.  When it comes down to it, you have to change your habits and be healthy! That's the big weight loss "secret" or "trick."  Just eat healthy and exercise!!

Now off to figure out what I will do for lent... I've had a few thoughts run through my mind but haven't decided yet.  I thought of no alcohol, but I rarely drink as it is (usually just on a special occasion, which there have been more than a few of in recent months).  i thought about giving up the scale but I can't do it completely. That's just setting myself up for failure, and I think it's important to monitor progress. I'm doing the weekly weigh-ins for my challenge so maybe I'll continue that.  I have taken a peek at my weight before my weigh-in day (a couple times, at night), so maybe for lent I will only weigh once a week.  I also thought about giving up all sweets again, which would definitely be difficult. But then what do I count for sweets? My protein powder is chocolate? Is that okay?  I eat Fiber One bars that have chunks of chocolate in them. Some of my vitatops are sweet flavors.  I have healthy things that have small amounts of sweets in them...So, are those things exempt?  I realize these are not questions for anyone, but me, to answer. I guess I just need to think on it and come up with my own parameters if I go that route. I know that i need to decide, and pretty quickly! I think sweets would be the most challenging for me, as long as I define it in a way that my healthier options are allowed.

XOXO

Monday, February 20, 2012

Healing.

I will be updating my pages and posting tomorrow night. After my little tumble in Saturday I've been resting and kind of zoned out or something. Just kind of spacey. I'm sure pain medication has something to do with that... Just OTC Motrin but that's enough for this girl!!!

I took yesterday and today off from working out. Not thrilled but not angry with myself because I needed it. After a chiropractic adjustment today I'm feeling a little better. I should be back in action tomorrow!

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

XOXO

Sunday, February 19, 2012

STRONGER Challenge: Update

As expected I did not lose as much this week as I did the previous week. I actually expected a weight gain of a few pounds due to fluid retention but suprisingly that didn't happen.  I can feel it building though so I expect to see that gain next week instead.

Weight:  Gain...About half of a pound, which is much better than anticipated!
Body Fat: No change.

Measurements...
No changes in most areas.
Thigh - I may have lost 1/4 on my thigh but for some reason that just didn't seem right. Of course if I went below where I measured it was a lot less.  I'm not quite sure where I had measured last time. Oops! So, to be safe I'm saying no change even though it is likely that it did change... Oh well. I'd rather play it safe and rule it as no change than be off, I guess.
Hip - 1/4

Anticipated water weight gain aside, I'm not going to worry about what my measurements show next week. I'm going to keep on eating healthy and pushing hard.  Just because I know I'll probably show a gain and will likely be "puffy" and my measurements might be scary, I'm not going to let it throw me off. I guess in terms of my weight and measurements next week, I'm not having any expectations or worries.  As long as I'm healthy and work hard, I know I'm good!!

I'm still feeling good about the challenge. It's difficult to show progress when you're starting to hold onto water. I was going to post this last night but had a slight incident that wiped me out. I celebrated my adopted birthday with my family and some friends and honestly...I can't tell you what most of our dinner conversation was about. I think I was in a state of shock. I ate dinner but I didn't feel hungry. I could have skipped it but ate anyway... Probably more out of habit than anything. I felt like I was just doing the motions. I participated in conversation and laughed a little but I don't remember it.

Geez..So many things are such a blur, it's like I hit my head! I didn't though...I don't think.  I'm sure that it would hurt if I had. I'm sure that when, during this incident, I hit the ground it was on my right side. That's what's sore anyway. Funny how when you're in shock you feel no pain but as it wears off, you feel it. I took some Ibuprofen when I got home,so then I got kinda sleep and didn't post then either.

Sigh....Life sure is unpredictable at times!

XOXO

Friday, February 17, 2012

Training!

My training materials came today. I am so excited!!!

Surgical Assumptions

One thing that annoys me is when people assume that to lose a large amount of weight I MUST have had surgery.  I don't mind people asking me what I've done to lose weight, that's totally fine. In fact I'm happy when people ask because maybe it'll help them get started on their own journey, or give them some hope. It's the assuming that I had surgery that really gets under my skin.

Seriously next time someone makes that assumption I just might expose my abdomen and ask them to please show me where the scar is.  Too many people are negative thinkers and believe that you "can't" lose a lot of weight on your own. They need to be corrected. I can point you in the direction of many people who have achieved great weight loss success on their own.

I did not have surgery. I know I talk about excess skin as a result of weight loss, which I do have but it's not because of weight loss surgery.  I plan to have cosmetic surgery to remove some of the skin, but this is not a form of weight loss surgery. Yes, removing the skin will probably result in a little bit of weight loss because there's so much of it (I think). However I am not considering this surgery as a method for weight loss. This surgery is meant to be cosmetic/corrective, not as a means of weight loss. Go to a surgeon and tell him or her that you want a tummy tuck to for weight loss and see what you're told... It won't be happening!

There's a huge difference between having surgery to lose weight and having surgery for correcting skin because of the fact that I lost a large amount of weight on my own.  The surgery I will have is cosmetic; so I like how I look now that I'm in a new body. It's because I want to wear a bikini. I want to show off my hard work. I'm tired of having extra skin on my body and no one knowing that it's skin, and instead thinking it's just a bunch of fat.

I don't mean to sound as though I'm getting down on anyone who has had surgery. That's a personal choice and not mine to make for anyone else. However, I would never choose weight loss surgery as an option for me and I do have my own opinions about the idea of surgery.

 I'm not a fan of having medical procedures done. I'd prefer to just breeze through life without any major issues. When I had my tonsils out I think I asked at least three different people if I'd know I had the breathing tube in...I was terrified I'd be awake for it. Why I was focused on that, I don't know, but it was my "thing." The whole concept of cosmetic surgery still makes me feel a bit scared. I'm not thrilled with being "put out" for hours while I'm cut into. I'm not thrilled about drains, compression garments, and pain. For me though, cosmetic surgery is worth it. I can understand how weight loss surgery might be worth it to others.  The difference is that I can't fix the cosmetic things on my own. It just doesn't happen. I am capable of taking control of my actions and losing weight on my own.  Why put myself through surgery to do something that I am able to do without it? It didn't make sense to me.

I look at surgery as an easy fix, which is what most people are looking for. They want a fast solution, a miracle pill, or something to make them thin. Weight loss is about so much more than being thin instead of fat. Naturally this is my perspective as someone who hasn't had a weight loss surgery.

From my educational background and experience, the best way to change is to change. Weight loss is not just physical; it's mental. You can go have surgery and change your appearance, but that can't change your thinking or your behaviors. Will that change your habits? Will this be a lasting change? I understand that this is not the case for ALL people. Some people do make those lasting changes. But, if you are capable of making those changes, why not take the slow, healthy route and lose it naturally? Maybe some people need to go through a surgery to make those changes last. Maybe the thought of going through that is enough....I don't know.

I've seen people have complications following surgery. I've seen people gain at least some of the weight back. I've seen other people have success without complications. Everyone is different but unless it's a completely medical issue... You have to get to the route of your problem. Maybe you're an emotional eater. Having surgery cannot correct that. Maybe it's habits. Having surgery can't change the habits. YOU have to be aware of these things and you have to change them.

My opinion is that people who have weight loss surgeries should be required to do more than a simple psychological evaluation (are they even still doing those?).  Let's be honest... I can answer questions in "the right way" to get what I want. I can pass a weight loss readiness quiz...and I could even when I wasn't ready.  It's easy to know which questions to answer which way and it's easy to know what someone wants to hear. People are manipulative. They're going to do what they need to in order to get what that want even if it's not truthful.  I think that therapy should be required pre-surgery, at least.

A lot of people are afraid of therapy. They think they must be "crazy" if they see a therapist. They might think they have nothing "wrong" with them so they don't "need" to talk to someone. Then there is the notion that if you go to therapy you must be "weak." There's a huge stigma attached to therapy. Since it's my chosen profession, I don't quite understand that. I'm referring to therapy in general, not just when it comes to weight.

What is the harm in talking to someone to try to figure out what causes a behavior? What's so bad about having an outside party help you by giving you a fresh perspective? Is it really terrible to have someone work with you on changing your behaviors?

My answer to all of these is NO. Honestly I feel that it takes a stronger person to make the steps to change and seek out someone to help them along the way. To me, if you are stuck in your ways and refuse to see that you might need to change, you're showing more weakness than the person sitting in the therapist's office working to make changes in their life, to better it.

 Even if you don't think you have an immediate problem, maybe you're not aware of it. Denial is a huge thing and sometimes people don't see their issues because they don't want to.  Guess what! Ignoring it doesn't make it go away. You don't have to see a therapist because you have some major life crisis. You don't have to be "crazy."  You can see a therapist just to get a little help in your weight loss journey. You may only need to see them to learn how to change your behaviors... How do you walk past that plate of cookies without eating one? Is surgery going to tell you how to do that? I don't think so.

I went to therapy once..By once I don't just mean one time. I mean a series of visits for one issue. I'm not at all ashamed of that. I had bad self-esteem. I let myself be in bad, and sometimes dangerous situations. I've been harassed, stalked, and physically assaulted. Honestly the mental part of all of it (including the physical incident because of the terror that accompanied it) was the hardest. I was hard enough on myself and allowing others to do it was so easy. If you don't love yourself like you should, then you might not care how you are treated.

I took steps to heal myself...to learn to love myself. Even after that it took me a while to make changes in terms of my health. I had to grow. I had to build up my self-esteem and learn to love myself. Then the physical came. Had I gone through surgery but not dealt with that, I just would have kept turning to food for comfort. I would have continued to not love myself how I should and I would have continued to let others treat me badly.  It's likely that I would have gained weight.

My point is that for me, surgery would have been a last resort.  It frightens me when people have surgery because they have a million excuses about why they can't do it the healthy way.

Here are some of my favorites and my answers.

I'm too old.  Really?  I know people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s who have lost significant amounts of weight.
I'm too fat to exercise. No, you're not. You might be too lazy though! Have you SEEN the Biggest Loser? There are people twice your size on there moving.  You might have to start small, but a walk around the block is better than sitting on the couch.
I have too much to lose on my own. This really annoys me when it comes from people who are not that big. I know people larger than you (possibly myself included) who have done it.
I can't afford a nutritionist, trainer, gym membership, etc... You don't need them. Assuming you have use of your legs, you can walk... So get up and do it.  You don't need fancy equipment, but there are some really reasonably priced pieces of equipment that you can purchase.  A jump rope doesn't cost much. You might have to be creative and put some thought into it, but you can find ways of exercising without that assistance. As far as recipes, research that information. If you don't have internet service or a capable phone, many libraries do.  Take a few minutes to look up healthy recipes. It's amazing what a Google search can lead to. Talk to people who have lost weight, ask for tips. A friend or family member might have some good suggestions. Even simple changes like giving up soda and fast food can lead to results. You can buy a cheap notebook and pen and write down all of your nutritional status... Or use a free online program. Also... If you're having surgery your insurance may not cover it....Soooo you can pay for a major surgery but not pay for a cheap membership at a gym (you can find some for ten dollars a month!)? Or healthy foods? It's all about budgeting and where you choose to spend your money.
I have a family so it's not as easy to cook as it is for a single person.  You have a family? Great! Now... Why wouldn't you want to encourage your family to be healthy too? You're probably not doing them any good by letting them eat junk all the time. If you have children, what a great time to show them how to life a healthy life!
I have a family so I don't have the time. Include them where you can.  Take a walk together. Go for a bike ride with them. Go outside and play a game. You all have the ability to move, right? Heck, even people who are in wheel chairs find ways to be active. Honestly, if someone with no use of their legs can find a way to be active...Can't you?
I work long hours. I would imagine that those hours can be pretty stressful.  Did you know that exercise is a good form of stress release? Also, a lot of weight loss is about what you eat. You can take a few extra minutes to pack a healthy lunch. Or find good recipes and cook on the weekend for the week. It may take a little time, especially at first, but... Isn't your health worth it?

I can come up with other excuses and refute them too but that could make for a very long blog. I've learned to be very creative when necessary. 

My point with this is that YOU are in control of your behaviors. YOU need to take responsibility for your actions. YOU need to make the changes necessary to lose weight and be healthy.  I honestly believe that the majority of people can do this on their own.  They turn to surgery because it's "easy" and they don't have to put in the time or the effort. In the end though, you do because surgery isn't a guarantee that you will never again become fat. The only way to stay healthy is to work at it.

It's a matter of having the mental strength to do it. I think that in terms of the mental aspect it takes a stronger person to do it on their own than it does to say "remove part of my stomach please."  Like I said, some people do stick to healthy changes after surgery, but I fear that it's not as those who do not.

Again, I'm not saying this is true of everyone because it's not. The same things don't work for all people. We are not all in the same place mentally. Not everyone has issues to deal with. I understand this. I want to be perfectly clear that I'm not saying that  no one should ever have weight loss surgery because I'm sure there are some situations that it's necessary. I'm not bashing on people who have had it. Like I said, these are my personal feelings.

I've said it once and I'll say it again and again.... If it's worth it to you, you'll put in the work to get it - no matter how hard. If I can do it, you can too.

XOXO


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pride.

There's a lot I could say about pride; positives, negatives...What's good, what's not....And on and on.  I'm going to focus on a positive aspect of pride for a few moments.

I was thinking tonight that a lot of us don't take the time to reflect on our lives. We don't always give ourselves the props we deserve when we do something good. I've been guilty of making rewards and then when I reach my goals, not rewarding myself. I'm pretty sure I owe myself a massage and at least one new piece of Tiffany silver, and who knows what else. It's funny how when I set goals I get excited about the reward I've said I'll give myself. Then I never get around to rewarding myself.  I continue to make progress and meet goals though, which I think is interesting since I don't reward myself like I should. Maybe the satisfaction of reaching a goal and knowing I COULD have a reward is enough for me.  The first time I was going to get myself a reward, for 100 pounds lost, my parents bought it instead (pretty new Tiffany key necklace). Honestly it was nice that they bought it for me, but I still wanted to give myself something. So I ordered some earrings. It felt good to give myself what I deserved for reaching that milestone. I'm not sure what happened along the way, but I just do not give myself rewards anymore. 

I think I'm happy with the biggest reward of all... My health; my life. For me there's no going back. I'm changed forever. I'll always be healthy; I have new eating habits (although I sometimes go astray) and I cannot imagine my life without fitness!! I love it! Changing my lifestyle has changed me, for the better, physically as well as mentally.

I'm proud of myself. I've accomplished something that not every can, and I did it "the hard way." Given the choice, I'd choose the hard way every time. I've learned so much and changed so much that I'll take all the ups and downs over taking the easy way out. Sometimes people want the quick solution. That's great... But by using those quick solutions... Do they last forever? Can you live like that for the rest of your life? Are you healthy? Are you happy?  Have you changed your thinking? So much of this is mental...If you don't truly change your thinking and your habits, you'll probably have a much harder time than someone who did.

I think that we're taught not to go around showing our pride. Too much of it and you're gonna look like a cocky, self-centered jerk. No one wants that. Or maybe some people do but seriously... Get over yourself! There's a difference between having a sense of pride and walking around like you're the best person ever. It's like anything; there's a line that can be crossed and generally when it is, it's not for the better.

Feel good about yourself. Be happy with your accomplishments, the changes you made...Anything you've worked for. You DESERVE to acknowledge your hard work and feel proud of yourself. Take a moment to thank yourself for whatever it is you've done... Take a moment to realize just how awesome you are.

It doesn't have to be weight related... Maybe you wanted to start exercising just to feel better, or you're eating healthier just to be healthy. You don't have to need to lose weight in order to live healthier. You might be eating healthy and gaining weight because you were underweight and unhealthy before. Maybe you've quit smoking, stopped drinking, or you're leaving another addiction behind...Maybe you're leaving an abusive relationship. No matter what it is, you deserve to feel happy. You deserve to feel proud of the strength you've found within yourself to make a change. Change isn't easy and a lot of people have a hard time with it. If you've recognized it and you're just formulating a plan...Feel proud.

Give yourself credit for the good things you do in life, no matter what they are. It's more than okay to feel proud of yourself - it's a sign of good self-esteem (unless it's inflated and then maybe you have an ego issue which is something in itself). Sometimes if you won't, no one else will (even if they should!!).

Go ahead, give yourself some "snaps."  I'm sure they were well deserved.

Snaps for you - and snaps for me!!!

XOXO

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Need a Vacation

I have the vacation "bug" again. I haven't been on one in a couple years, almost three actually.  I don't see myself going on one this year, but know that next year it's likely that I will be on a Hawaiian vacation. That's if the location doesn't change. For now though, my sights are set on Hawaii.  I COULD take a vacation this year but there are other things that I want to do that will require time off and I'm hoping a job change is on the horizon, so vacation likely will not be possible (you know how it is starting a job, you have to earn it!).  I am happy to wait though, knowing that life circumstances, which will be great things for me, are what is causing me to wait for a nice vaca. 

I think I start to feel this way around this time of year. The cold, snow, and dark days of winter make me want to get away. I want to go out and play, get some sun, and just have a little adventure. I always crave beach-like weather. This winter has been very mild but I'm ready for warm temps, waves, and lots of sunshine.  As soon as Spring comes, my vacation desire will probably subside a bit. 

I took a quiz about exercise and what type is best for me (based on what I like)  on SP today. Oddly I'm craving some strength based workouts. I thought that my result would be cardio, cardio, cardio since that's what I do the most, and what I like the best! I must have some hidden desire for ST. This does make sense though with all the bodyrock workouts I've been doing lately. Maybe my focus is starting to change a little. This is a good thing! I generally choose cardio first and leave ST out.  I think the problem is that ST isn't designed for that calorie burn and that's typically what I'm focused on.  I also get tired of the same ol' stuff when it comes to ST. When I run, I try to run or bike faster or farther. ST hasn't really given me that sort of challenge. Although doing higher weights and more reps has motivated me in the past. I just have a hard time sticking with ST workouts. 

Bodyrock has definitely changed that. I really like the mix of a little cardio with the strength-based moves. This is also the reason I like my JM DVDs. The problem with those is that it's the same thing day after day. I can handle it for a few weeks, as I improve at one level and then move to the next. After a while though, the repetition gets to me. I think part of why I like bodyrock so well is that there's a new workout every day. I've definitely found something in fitness that I LOVE as much, if not more than, cardio. I don't burn as many calories (some days close to it though!) as when I run, but I feel it. I sweat and I know I worked when I'm done.

This is definitely something I will keep in mind when I start training people. I'll want to develop a plan WITH them, not for them. I want their feedback (in terms of whether it not it's too easy, or starts to get boring). I want to challenge them and keep them interested. Whether they like repetition or variety, I'll be sure to have an awareness of that when working with them.

Back to vacation...

When I was taking this quiz I realized that the way I was answering some of the questions is different than I would have in the past. In the past going to a warm destination meant hitting the beach, laying in the sun by the pool, sipping on cocktails during the afternoon, and hitting the bar/club scene in the evening. Of course some days would be filled with shopping.  I wanted to relax as much as possible on my vacations.

When a friend and I went to Vegas a few years ago we did less of that than other things. I remember thinking about how that's all I wanted to do; just relax by the pool and work on my tan. We did some of that but we mixed in other things too... We spent a day hiking, we took a trip to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, we walked around the strip, and other fun things. I'd say we did more active things than we did laying around. Of course being that it was Vegas we did stay out late at night (some nights later than others) too. I remember being a little disappointed about the lack of laying around. But? I had fun doing other things and I'm glad that the friend that I went with liked to stay busy. This limited my laying around time and kept me active, which was a good thing for me.

My previous couple vacations were non-stop busy, mostly with sight-seeing (but these were also trips to Europe) and a lot of walking. There was no rock climbing or spending long evenings in heels. I guess that friend and I were busy in different ways, but we stayed busy.  I'm not sure when my last more passive vacation was... Probably my final Spring Break in college. One of my closest friends and I spent some time in Kentucky and Florida. There was a lot of relaxation.... Laying out by the pool, going to the beach, shopping, and being annoyed by a high school baseball team (fun, though!).

Now? I want to be more active on vacation.  Considering my next planned vacation is likely to be in Hawaii... I want to go hiking, around the island, on the inactive volcanoes, to waterfalls... All of that fun stuff. I want to take a surf lesson or two. I definitely want some beach time, but I want some of it to include running or playing beach volleyball.  Some kayaking in the ocean would be fun; I've only ever gone on rivers and lakes. Oh and maybe some snorkeling! Or swimming with the dolphins. I no longer want to go to a warm place to do nothing but lay in the sun, get a little wet, and have drinks. A little of that is okay, but I want more adventure. I want more activity! Also? I want to be able to wear shorts and bathing suits in public with more confidence and have pride of my body. It might not be perfect but it's a lot better than it used to be.

I think part of why I want to go on vacation so badly is to try new things. I want to have some time off to go play; just get out and be active. I still want the warm weather, but what I want to do is much different than it once was.

I love my new lifestyle. I love being healthy and active.  With this change I've learned to become more confident. I think I was too afraid that I'd look dumb or I'd have something embarrassing happen. I was too afraid to try new things because of my size.  Now? That's totally different. I can't wait for my next adventure!

XOXO

Dinner 2/15

Leftovers plus cauliflower and a salad. This is my definition of a huge dinner. I almost forgot to eat it because I wasn't feeling all that hungry!


Dinner 2/14

Baked turkey BBQ meatballs and lots of veggies (California blend and green beans). The meatballs were awesome, spicy and delicious!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

One Step at a Time

In weight loss, you take steps. You have to take the correct steps to reach your goals. Those steps are often changes.... You change your eating. You change your exercise. Later, you will likely have to change what you're doing in order to continue to reach your goals.

Recently I've made some changes in my exercise routine. I've added more strength training and in one week, had a loss of inches. It was also a noticeable change...Maybe not in the eyes of everyone around me, but people you see often are less likely to notice the small changes.

For the most part my eating has been the same, but I have made a couple little changes, which will (hopefully!) help show some more weight loss results. I will admit that I had a weekend of indulgence which continued into yesterday... I made some unhealthy choices (like candy for dinner - this is NOT a good example).  It's true that a calorie is a calorie. However, I prefer to fill my body with healthy calories that benefit me more than empty calories.

I'm back into the healthy swing of things today. I find it interesting that sometimes I can have a day or two of treating myself and it seems to take an extra day to get back into my normal routine. I guess leftovers are to blame? Ha! It's actually habits. It's easy to slip into old habits, especially if these habits include some of our vices (and fun). I think this is part of why it's so hard for some people to lose weight. It takes a lot of work to change, especially your habits. I'm learning that I'm in an interesting position. It's easy to fall into my old routine but I definitely couldn't do it long-term. I miss working out if I miss a day. I hate feeling the build of of sodium in my body. I don't like not having energy. When I'm healthy, I feel good. My healthy routine is easy to get back into (most of the time; we all have our days)...I miss it when it's not there, but do enjoy an unhealthy meal and a drink or two now and then. I like that I've learned to find my balance.

I've talked, for a while, about how I want to make health and fitness a part of my career. I love the idea of blending mental health and physical health. I took a step in achieving that goal this evening! I ordered home  study materials to work toward my certification!

I also researched  CPR courses (a must-have for a trainer) and am narrowing down which days/times I want to go. I'm weighing what's better... Six hours on a Saturday or two evenings a week. I'll probably go with a Saturday.  The two day times would take me away from two workouts that week. With a Saturday course I might miss one, or none! Plus I won't have to rush around after work and trying to figure out what to do with my dogs, and other logistical things. I think a Saturday sounds the best, now it's just a matter of choosing which site and the date! I'm looking for times in March or April, and will likely wait until April. After all, it will take me a little time to learn and study. I want to make sure I know my stuff before I take the exam.  I did take a random online quiz and did well on it. I missed one question that I'm pretty sure I didn't put too much thought into.

I am so excited to be taking this step!! It's  just now hitting me that I could still work my regular job and maybe do a couple training sessions a week just as something part-time, and to gain some experience for when I look into it full time. I plan on doing the course for group fitness too, but that won't be immediate. One step at a time...

XOXO