Well, hello again

It’s been a while since I wrote here.  I’ve been pretty busy elsewhere for the past nearly two years. (Yikes!)

So updates.

I completed the major exhibits project at work last May (2013) that I had been working on for nearly two years.

I completed my MA of History degree in May also.

And I finally got my ass in gear two days before turning 40 and joined Weight Watchers for accountability and support.  Since October 8, 2013 I have lost 48.6 lbs.  Tomorrow, I hope to log an additional 1.4 gone and make it an even 50 lbs.   I’m not even half-way to my ultimate goal, but I’m proud of how far I have come.  This is a pivotal point in my progress–in the past this is where I have fallen off track and started gaining it all back.  I’m averaging around 2.7 lbs per week right now and if I can maintain that average that will put me over 110 lbs gone and at my wedding weight by the time we head to my husband’s 20 year class reunion this summer.  And it would put me at about 138 lbs gone by the time my sister-in-law’s wedding rolls around in early October–and I will be at my lightest weight in my entire adult life–firmly in Onederland.  But even if I don’t maintain those numbers, it’s okay.  I fully expect to keep up the average of around 10 lbs per month and that is still significant progress.

Right now, I’m exercising a minimum of 2-3 times a week but aiming for 4-5 times each week.  This month, I started taking Karate with my three kids.   I’m loving that experience.  It’s something I have always wanted to try and I’ve always thought I was too fat to try it.  I’m not letting that stop me now.  There are things I can’t do right now, but there is plenty I can do and I’m loving my instructor’s encouragement and occasional surprise when I successfully catch on to something quicker than he anticipated.

I finally feel focused and I’m proud of the steady progress I am making towards my health and weight-loss goals.

I’ve been asked, what will make this time any different then all the other times that I have yo-yo-ed when I hit times of stress.  This time, I have cleared my schedule of any outside commitments besides work and my family, unless it is something that will get me closer to my goals (ie. Karate).  No more PTA.  No other volunteer commitments.  It’s time I take care of myself, because if I don’t, no one else will.

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Baby Steps

Last last summer, I decided that I absolutely had to begin looking at this journey in terms of baby steps.  I’ve long known this is the key, but making it happen hasn’t been as easy as KNOWING what to do.  If it were, I would have reached my goal seven years ago.

So late last August, I finally took the first of several baby steps.  This was a big one.  I gave up diet coke–and all other soda-type beverages.  No more chemical drinks.  Now, I only drink water or flavored waters or occasionally a light/diet lemonade.  For 30 weeks I have been diet coke free.  You would think the craving would be totally eradicated, but it’s not.  Just this past week, while my family was on vacation for spring break I found myself craving a diet coke in the worst way.  And in the past, if I were to give in to temptation it would have been while traveling.  I have survived two major trips now and not broken.  Last November my husband finally took me to Las Vegas for the first time (he’s been many times) and I didn’t drink any soda/diet soda there either.

I feel like this is major progress for me.  And now it’s time to take the next baby step in this process.  No more processed carbs.  Specifically (and especially) I will stear clear of any kind of restaurant bread/grain/chips.  If I can give up diet coke (a serious addiction for me that it has taken multiple attempts to break loose from) I can and will give up processed carbs.  The only exception will be whole grains when I know for certain what the nutrition content is in them.

So, yesterday at Buffalo wild wings I had a grilled chicken salad for lunch and told them to go light (half of what they usually do) on the cheese.  Then at dinner the husband wanted to eat out at a local italian place for “kids night” and our daughter’s birthday dinner so she could get a free dessert.  I didn’t eat any of the bread and herbed oil.  I swear I could taste it though.  That was so hard to ignore.  I ordered the spinach and grilled chicken salad which came with feta cheese, strawberry slices, a few pecan crumbles and a light strawberry vinagrette.  However, I suffered a moment of weakness when I caved in to have a couple of bites of my daughter’s cheesecake but I’m still counting it a win.

My husband loves to eat out–and this is probably one of the biggest–if not THE biggest–obsticle I face in this process of trying to lose weight and get healthy.  Once again, today at lunch, the husband wanted to go to a local burger joint. I told him no thanks, because I knew there were NO good choices to be made at that place.  Shredded iceburg lettuce drenched in ranch dressing is not a good salad.  So he changed his selection to Wendy’s because he knew that was one of the few places I can get what I need and I got my full sized apple pecan chicken salad that I so love.  I can’t wait until strawberries are in season and they bring back the berry salad at wendy’s as well as the one at Panera Bread!

I’ve always loved bread to the point of claiming a carb-addiction.  But I was seriously addicted to diet coke too–so, I figure that if I can give up soda/diet coke for the past 30 weeks, surely I can give up processed carbs. The hardest part is the detox.  Hopefully, giving up processed carbs will be what does the trick and boosts my weightloss into gear and keeps me from backsliding or staying in the same 5-10 pound range I have been in for the past 4-5 months (285-295).  The cut down on carbs will also help me maintain blood sugar levels and head off that diabetic diagnosis I’ve been tumbling towards for a while–and hopefully it will translate to my husband’s eating habits as well, because he’s been backsliding way too much in the past year and his numbers are out of control.

I know that the carbs (specifically processed/refined!) are the key here–as well as making a stronger effort to make 30-60 minutes of real cardio and strength training a daily habit.  My kids are the motivation I need to make that daily appointment.  They need the activity just as much as I do and we are working together to make that happen.

Week 11: The scale moves downward

I joined the local YMCA’s weightloss “competition” this week. I did their version of the “biggest loser” last year and quit part way through out of disappointment in the organization and what the program was offering–or not offering. I wasn’t going to join again this year, but some friends joined and said it was much better and invited me to join their team.

So I decided to give it another chance. So far, it does seem to be better run with more support than was offered last year.

I weighed in and of course the YMCA scale measures me nearly ten pounds higher than the one at home does–some of which probably has to do with the clothes and shoes I was wearing and the time of day I weighed in.

I got back on track this week, really stuck to my plan despite hormonal challenges, until Friday. Friday I tried to choose a healthy lunch by getting a salad–but because it was a fast food salad it was higher in calories and sodium then one at home would have been. Then we ate at the Hideaway for dinner.

For those unfamiliar with Stillwater, the Hideaway is a local pizza place that has been in operation since 1957. It’s very popular and we very rarely go there as its slightly higher priced than the chains. But the pizza is sooo good.

So there was that–I definitely ate more pizza and garlic bread than I should have, BUT, I didn’t have any diet soda–I drank water. That’s huge for me. I’m continuing to swear off diet soda and stick with water only. I refuse to drink my calories and the diet soda leads to cravings for sweets and refined carbs that make it extremely difficult for me to exert self-control and will-power. I won’t go back down that road.

Yesterday, I did well until dinner when we had KFC. I should have gone ahead and had a few pieces grilled, but I didn’t and I also had the potato wedges and two and a half biscuits. Lord, how I love biscuits. We also had corn on the cob–which I love and we made a pan of green beans here at home to go along with it all.

So, I’m paying for Friday and Saturday on the scale with a slightly smaller loss than I would have logged had those choices been healthier. Oh, and I forgot to mention the cake. We bought one of the cakes that was auctioned at the Boy Scouts Blue and Gold banquet earlier this week and instead of just letting the kids have a piece and toss the rest, I had several pieces Friday and Saturday. I clearly still have a long ways to go when it comes to these kinds of things.

All in all, I’m lucky to be logging a 1.3 lb loss for this week–which is totally due to the exercise I worked in as well as the really great days I had the remainder of the week with my nutrition.

This coming week, I will build upon the progress I made this week and hopefully I’ll double the loss I had this past week.

Belated Update: 0 loss 0 gain

I just realized I forgot to post my usual Sunday update.

This last week was a challenge. Mostly dealing with my daughter’s Girl Scout Cookie sale (and the opened boxes the kids were sampling–and that I sampled as well) plus too much eating out topped by too much Pizza on Friday night.

I logged a no loss no gain for Sunday. It could have been worse.

I’m really struggling to get the exercise in right now. I’m going to have to do something about that.   Exercise is always a challenge–due to time and fatigue.

It looks like me and my hometown team of Sparkers are going to sign up for a local 5k/Fun Run/Walk in April. This will be a nice piece of motivation to get me up and moving so I can keep up with everyone.   The last walk I did was many years ago and I was the last one finished.  It was embarrassing.  I don’t want to do that again.

I won’t say I’ll run it. I’m just not there yet, and I don’t think I could get there by April. Running is just too hard on my joints and shins at my current size–BUT I will get to a very fast walk. I can do a 15 minute mile by then–if not better.

I’m doing better this week. Re-focused and staying out of the Girl Scout Cookies.   It’s a wonderful fundraiser for the girls, but seriously detrimental to weightloss if you are the kind of person who has issues stopping at one–and I am that kind of person.

Friday is my tenth wedding anniversary and I plan to splurge a bit this weekend eating out–so I’m staying really focused during the week to keep from totally blowing my progress this weekend.

I managed to skip ordering the all you can eat pancakes deal at IHOP yesterday–and I can’t tell you how hard that was!–in favor of the spinach and chicken salad. I substitued grilled chicken for the fried chicken it usually has.   It was very good–and satisfying.  Still thinking about those pancakes though…

But I’m moving forward.  This next Sunday I will be able to report a loss.

Moods

I’m in one. Been fighting it off and on for the past week. I know its hormonal mostly–but the stress of not having money in hand so we can finish Christmas shopping isn’t helping. Should have money here this weekend, *knock on wood*.

Under a lot of pressure at work too. End of the year deadlines are coming down and there is so much to do–with not enough time. And it doesn’t help when I can’t spend the longer hours I need to at work to get it done. This time last year, I took work home and finished it in the evenings. This year, I can’t do that. We have too much going on.

But I’m on track.

I took the day off from exercise yesterday to sleep in an extra hour and half. I needed it desperately. Stayed in my calorie ranges–on the top end, but still there.

And no diet coke! None since this weekend when we had pizza. I do like a diet coke with my pizza.

I’ll be logging a nice loss this Sunday, if I can just stay focused and not take a dive into a pan of brownies or a couple dozen chocolate chip cookies. This portion control thing at dinner has been especially challenging. Breakfast and Lunch have never been the hard part for me, its the portions at dinner. I’m just so hungry by the end of the day–and no I’m not eating too few calories, I’m between 1500 and 1900. That’s plenty. I’m only working out 45 minutes a day most days a week (like I said, I took the day off from exercise yesterday).

Oh and I’m cold! I can tell my body is burning fat–the furnace is going full blaze inside, because I’m COLD. I’ve got the layers on, but dang it, I sit under two blankets wearing a sweater in the evenings and have a space heater pointed at me on my desk all day. In my experience, this only happens when my body is consistently burning more calories than its taking in and I’m losing weight.

If the scale continues to move the way it has been all week, there is a possibility I may get out of the 290s this weekend. I know thats a lot but its still the first full week (last week I didn’t stay good all week) of total focus on good nutrition, water, and exercise; and I tend to post some big numbers initially in the first couple weeks.

I’m definitely ready for my pants to get lose again.

A good day #1

Today I did good. It’s a fresh start. Everyday is a fresh start isn’t it? I definitely need one.

This weekend I hit a number on the scale I was really not happy seeing.

It was a bad holiday all the way around–and much of it is directly linked to stress and anxiety. I can’t control what is going on around me. All I can control is how I respond to it all, and I have to start exerting control over my choices and my reactions.

So I’m going to get back to taking better care of me. I did 45 minutes of low impact aerobics and consumed 1585 calories and drank 12 8 oz glasses of water (so far! I’m still drinking!).

No diet coke. Lots of veggies and only lean proteins.

It was a good day. Tomorrow will be a good day too, and I’m going to make sure of it by getting to bed by a decent time tonight so I can get up early enough to exercise.

One day at a time. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. One year from today, I can be down 120 pounds. I know I have said it so many times before–its always been true. I just have to follow through with one good day after another.

Couch to 5K?

I got it into my head I was gonna try the Couch to 5K walk/running program.  The first day begins with 2 minutes of walking and 1 minute of running–repeat 10 times.  Each day for eight weeks the running increments increase and the walking decreases.

Today was day one.

I managed the first two rounds of walk 2 minutes, run one minute and couldn’t manage to run anymore.  The shin splints were extremely painful and my ankles and knees weren’t feeling too great either.  I was afraid of this.  I’m just too heavy to be running.  

It’s okay.  There was a time in my life (oh…the first 30 years) that I had no interest what so ever in running or becoming a runner.  I’ve never been a runner–I was the slowest in all my classes growing up and it just was so very hard.

But I would like to be a runner..someday.  

For now, I’ll stick to the elliptical and I found out there is a deep water aerobics class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays that I may try.  There are some other cardio classes and yoga and pilates too.  I’ll keep working towards the running.  But for now, I’m going to take it easy on my ankles, shins and knees.

What I’m Working For

I’m in the groove. Every day I work to get in at least 30 minutes of cardio. Often, I try for more. I’m attempting to keep up with the strength training workouts from the 7 day bootcamp series on Sparkpeople. I’m drinking my water and avoiding diet soda. I’m consistently eating healthier then I have in a very long time. And I’m making progress.

I’ve lost 10 pounds since January 1st.

It’s not easy. It’s never easy. It takes time, it takes focus, and it takes determination. But I’m doing well. I have to remind myself every day what it is I’m working towards.

I’m working towards feeling better about my body.

I’m working towards smaller clothing in cuter styles.

I’m working towards more flexibility and a stomach that doesn’t occupy my lap.

I’m working towards a ten year wedding anniversary spent in Las Vegas, renewing our vows for fun.

I’m working towards a 20 year high school reunion wearing a smaller size then when I graduated from High School in 1991.

I’m working towards taking my children to school without the fear that their classmates will tease them about their fat mom.

I’m working towards a little black dress and high heels.

I’m working towards family vacations where my legs and feet don’t hurt from all the walking.

I’m working towards family photos that I can be proud to hang on the wall.

I’m working towards a longer, healthier, happier, active life.

 

*cross posted on my sparkpeople blog

Early Riser

I am not a morning person.  I never have been.  It’s one of my biggest struggles in this whole journey to become healthier, because I need to be an early riser so that I can get up and start my day right.  I’ve always slept until the last possible moment before I absolutely had to get up to get dressed and eat and out the door.  I never had time in my mornings for an exercise routine and because of that, it often got pushed aside throughout the day and I never got around to it.

Something is changing.  I hope.

Yesterday morning I woke at 5:30am.  I admit I tried to go back to sleep, just like I always have.  But I did something a little different this time.  I promised myself that if I wasn’t back asleep when 6:00am rolled around I would go ahead and get up and start my day.  I would begin without the jabber of young voices demanding and requesting and arguing.  I would do my basic chores, check my email, eat breakfast and see how much of a workout I could finish before they went to school.

So I did.  I laid out their clothes.  I made the preschooler’s lunch.  I ate my breakfast.  I caught up on email and sparkpeople posts and sparkpoints.  I logged my food.  Then I did the 7 day bootcamp workout of the day–which kicked my ass as usual.  I did it all.  And then I did a 3 mile walk away the pounds workout with Leslie Sansone.  While I was doing that the kids began getting up and I directed them to brush their teeth and get dressed and to wake their father so he could help finish getting them ready so the oldest two could make the bus on time.  I only had to send them upstairs twice before he got up and without too much morning grumpiness made them breakfast.

I finished my workout just before they went out to the bus stop.

I did it. I wished I had gotten up when I first woke up at 5:30am to give myself a bit more breathing room to get everything done but I had time to get accomplished what I needed to get accomplished and then I took my youngest to preschool and capped the morning with a 20 minute workout on the elliptical at the YMCA before coming home to shower and get ready for work.

And you know what?  This morning when I woke up at 5:00am I didn’t lay there as long as I did yesterday trying to get back to sleep. I recognized that it wasn’t going to happen and that I might as well get up and start my day.

It’s nice.  The quiet in the morning.  And because I didn’t lay there wishing to go back to sleep like I always have in the past I’ll have plenty of time to do everything I need to do this morning, plus blog about it too.

(cross posted at my sparkpeople blog)

Building momentum

Sparkpeople calls it building a “streak”.  Whatever you call it, it’s important to facilitate consistency and focus.  The momentum is key to build consistency as well as to get that satisfaction and reward of seeing progress in the changes on the scale and in how clothing fits.

Right now, I’m focusing on one month at a time. Not one day at a time–I’ve tried that and it’s too easy to get into the frame of mind that I can just start over again tomorrow.  Right now I’m focused on getting to February 1st without skipping my exercise or allowing myself any caffeinated diet coke.  That’s a big side-tracker for me.  The caffeinated DC. 

I’m drinking at least 12 cups of water today–and more if at all possible.  That means lots of trips to the bathroom but I remind myself that the body has to flush the fat somehow–why not down the toilet?

I’m focused on eating right.  I’ve slacked here most of all.  I’ve allowed myself to derail and go down the fast food path too many times in the last year.  No more.  I’m cutting out fried/breaded foods–and I am going to stick to it.  At least for one month. 

Perhaps I will allow myself a cheat day at the end of that month.  But only if I can confidently commit to getting right back on track the next day.

I have some challenges ahead of me.  There is a lot going on at work.  I’m coming up on the fifth anniversary of my father’s death in 9 days.  And January 29th is our 9th wedding anniversary.

Perhaps I’ll move up my deadline to the 29th, 30th, or 31st when we celebrate–that is, IF I can get a sitter that weekend.  That’s just over three weeks (almost four!) to build my momentum–to build a streak–and finally get out of the 280s.   Don’t experts say it takes just 21 days to build a habit?  That’s just the momentum I need to get this weight melting off. Once and for all.