Here we go again…

I seriously need to get to the root of my consistency problems. I start out strong and I go along doing really well for several weeks and then I just stall. I slip back into old habits and eating the unhealthy foods simply because its “easier”.

Why?

Some say that its good that I never give up, I always come back–but in the meantime I’ve backpedaled on all my progress and its like starting over–over and over and over again.

Why do I do that?

Some would say its because I don’t value myself enough. I’m not sure if that’s it or not. Maybe its true. Maybe I don’t. How do I fix that?

This summer I’m headed back to grad school to finally finish my thesis and my MA of History. I have until next Spring to get it all done. So if I can get readmitted to graduate school in time I’ll take 2 credit hours this summer, 2 this fall and 2 in the spring. On the positive side of all this I’ll gain access to the athletic training facillities at the university I go to. I may be joining a friend’s “Physical Training” group too.

Putting my goals and needs first will have to happen for me to complete this academic goal. Maybe finally finishing this degree will help me finish other goals too?

Dear Me (In 10 Weeks)

August 19, 2011

Dear Me,

I hope you made the most of this summer challenge and the support from your Pink Teammates and the resources on Sparkpeople.  I hope you committed to long lasting change and built a firm foundation for PERMANENT healthy habits.

Please look back at the progress (or lack of progress) you made in the past 10 weeks.  Did you do everything you could to get further down the road to a healthier you this summer?  If you’ve experienced success this summer (and dang it–you better have!) it’s because you put in the effort.  You made more healthy choices than unhealthy choices.  You found ways to compromise without giving into the all or nothing mentality.  You were active this summer.  Maybe you walked, maybe you swam, maybe you worked out indoors where it was cool–but one way or another you found ways to be active.

Now don’t go back to those old habits.

If you didn’t make progress, I guarantee it was because you allowed obsticles to derail you and turned to food instead of healthier  ways of dealing with challenges or stress.

Your 10 week goal was to lose at least 30 lbs.  You are capable of more, of course, but I’m trying to be reasonable here and avoid that “all or nothing mentality” I’ve harped on so much.  If you lost 30 lbs then you should be feeling much more energized and experiencing less pain.

Do your feet still hurt?  If they do, give it another 30 lbs and if they still do, it’s time to visit the doctor.

Thirty pounds gone will put you firmly under 300–hopefully into the 270s or lower if you did more.  What’s your next goal? Stick with your team and work with Sparkpeople,  you know it works!  Don’t sabotage yourself by turning back to your old habits.

The kids begin school today, if you haven’t yet, sit down and examine your goals and make a plan to continue working towards them–not just your health goals, but also your academic goals.  It’s past time to get that thesis finished!

Finish what you started.  You deserve the success.  And yes, the change that it will bring to your life can be intimidating and definitely firmly in the world of the unknown–but embrace your sense of adventure and don’t look back except to remember where you never want to return again.

Remember to “Never give up! Never surrender!”

Goals and Timelines

So this week I’m weighing in at 284.3.  I’m always looking ahead, setting goals for later in the year and its time to write them down here and share them.

If I can maintain a steady loss of a minimum of an average of 2 lbs per week these are the milestones I plan to reach or surpass in the coming year:

March 25th is my daughter’s 7th birthday.  Her birthday falls in the middle of week 17 of this journey and I hope to have lost 10 more pounds by then for a total loss of 24 lbs (or more!)  This is five and half weeks away and totally doable by then.

Next milestone is May 22nd, my husband’s 34th birthday.  This will be week 25 and my goal is to weigh no more than 256 on his birthday for a total loss of 42.5 lbs.  This will also fall at the end of my children’s school year and just two weeks before our big summer fundraiser at work. 

Next up is July 4th.  Independence Day is a big deal at our house.  We have family and friends over for a cookout and fireworks and make the day of it.  This will be week 31 and my goal is to weigh in at no more than 244–possibly less for a total loss of 54.5 lbs (or more!).

August 15th my oldest son turns 9.  This will be the week before the kids return to school as well.   I hope to weigh no more than 232 lbs.  In 2003, right before my dad died, I lost around 75 lbs and this weight will put me just under the smallest number I logged when I lost weight that time.  At 232 (or less!) I will have lost 66.5 lbs (or more!)

October 10th, I turn 37 years old.  But that’s not the next milestone I want to focus on.  Instead I am looking ahead one week later to October 18th, when we plan to arrive at Disney World for our family’s vacation.  The last time we went was in September of 2007 and I weighed in the 290s–probably closer to 300.  By the time we step foot on DisneyWorld property again I hope to weigh 214 (or less!).  This will put me very close to my weight when my husband and I married in January 2000.  It will be less than I was weighed when I went for the first time in the Summer of 2000 with my husband and his family–I had already gained around 20-30 lbs since we had married six months before.  When we go to DisneyWorld it will fall right between my birthday on October 10th and my youngest child’s sixth birthday on October 28th.  We will have a lot to celebrate in October at DisneyWorld–in addition to our birthdays–as I will have lost over 84 lbs and will definitely enjoy our trip a lot more than either of my previous two trips when I tired out easier and didn’t fit comfortably in the seats of the rides.  I especially look forward to taking lots of pictures with my family and actually being proud to display them, instead of hiding from the camera or deleting the photos that include me in them.

The final milestone for the year will be New Year’s Day which will mark my 57th week of working steadily towards my goals.  At the beginning of the new year of 2011 I will weigh under 200 at 192 (or less!)–taking me to a total loss of 106 lbs (or more!) It will take me one pound smaller than my lowest weight when I lost using Nutrisystem in 1997–and it will take me to a weight that my husband has never seen me at.

I have a lot to look forward to this year and every reason to remain focused and on track to make 2010 the year I finally reach my goals instead of looking back with regret at what might have been.

Week 7: Facing Adversity Without Turning to Food for Comfort. 2.5 more lbs gone

This was not an easy week for me. The stress at work has continued to build. I can feel the pressure of so many deadlines crushing down upon me.

Then there’s the sixth anniversary of my dad’s death. I’ve written about it many times before in other blogs, so I won’t go into detail now, except to explain to new readers that Dad was mentally ill, his meds were off, and he drove himself into a lake. In January. He went missing on January 14th and we didn’t find him and pull him and the  truck out until the morning of the 16th.

So…yeah. Tough week here.

I faltered a little bit on Friday night–but I held strong on my choices the remainder of the week.

One thing I did let slide is my exercise. I just didn’t have the time or energy for it. I’ve fought the stress, fatigue, and headaches all week–I didn’t have it in me to make time for exercise. It was all I could do to stay focused on not making poor food choices and sabotaging myself.

So, if you are following along, here are the stats:

In the last 7 weeks I’ve lost 13.2 lbs total. If you count my high weight during Thanksgiving when I creeped back across the dreaded 300 lb mark to 301, then I’ve lost 15.7 lbs.

From November 29th to December 27th I only lost 4.9 lbs. And while I say “only” I DO count that as a huge victory because I halted the weightgain and began a trend of losing during those four weeks of the holiday season. I may have only averaged 1.225 lbs lost each week during this time, but I proved to myself that I can enjoy the holidays and still lose a modest amount of weight. In the three weeks since then I’ve uped that average weightloss to 2.76 lbs per week–and I’ve accomplished this during one of the most stressful times of the year at my job.

Not to mention an emotionally difficult time of the year for me, personally.

Earlier this week, I also took my measurements and found that I had lost a little over 5 inches overall from my waist, hips, thighs, and biceps.

I’m happy with that. And determined to continue to build upon that progress–both on the scale and off.

If it often seems that I’m repeating myself in these entries, its because I need to remind myself of these things to keep my head straight.  I can’t allow myself to forget what I’ve accomplished so far and how I’ve accomplished it–because when I do, that’s when I allow myself to slip back into old, unhealthy habits–the habits that have gotten me over the 300 lb mark time and time again. 

The goal this year is to get me UNDER the 200 lb mark and never allow myself to cross that line again.  This is the year to make the changes stick.  And no one can do it for me.  I have to be the one to do it, because as the saying goes, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

Finishing what I start: Week 5 7.2 lbs total lost

I am extremely proud that I managed to LOSE 7.2 lbs over the past five weeks–in the midst of the holiday season with parties and baked goodies and all the temptations that go with it.   Many people GAIN that much during this 5 week period of time.  I did not.

I can do this–I can make my goals happen in 2010.

Yes, I could have lost more in 5 weeks. It could have been 10 lbs easily, but the point here is that it’s a loss.  And average loss of 1.44 lbs per week, during the hardest time of the year to lose weight. If I can lose 7.2 lbs at this time of year then I can certainly lose another 7-10 lbs every 5 weeks. That is certainly acceptable–more than acceptable! At that rate of losing, I could be down an additional 28 to 40 lbs by May 23–the day after my husband’s 34th birthday.   That’s weighing in somewhere between 263 and 251.  That’s down one size, maybe even two sizes.  

If I do more, than great–but if not, I’m still making progress and that’s all that matters.  Especially when I think about the lack of progress I’ve made the last several years.  I’ve yoyo-ed for far too long.  It’s time to get that scale moving down towards my goals and maintain those losses.  Not backtrack over and over again.

As I was typing this, I heard a quote from Martina Navratilova. She said that Katherine Hepburn once told her, “It’s not what you do in life, it’s what you finish.”  The universe keeps sending me messages and reminders of what this year is about for me. It’s about finishing what I start. It’s time for me to finish what I’ve started so many times before.

And if I can keep doing what I just did in the pasts 5 weeks, than I will be 73 to 104 lbs closer to my goal by this time next year. That’s weighing between 218 (my wedding weight–10 years ago) and as little as 187 (a weight I’ve never seen in my adult life).

This is my year to make what I finish count in my life.  My weight and my health will improve and I will be much closer to goal than ever before, and I will finish my thesis and get that MA in history that I’ve been working on for so long.

“It’s not what you do in life, it’s what you finish.”

Pete and Re-Pete

Pete and Re-Pete were crossing a bridge, Pete fell off.  Who’s left? 

Re-Pete.

Pete and Re-Pete were crossing a bridge, Pete fell off.  Who’s left?

Re-Pete.

Sometimes, I feel like I’m repeating myself here.  Over and over I say the same things.  Make the same promises to myself.  It’s because for me, this is a mental fight.  If I can get the right frame of mind, I feel like all the rest will fall right into place.

I posted the following (like most of these entries) at Sparkpeople today:

It’s that time of year, when we all begin looking at the past year and what we did or did not make happen and what we want to make happen in the next year.

I didn’t make much progress–in fact I backslid.

It’s in the past, I have to leave it there, but at the same time I must learn from my mistakes.

I’m working on correcting my attitude so that this time next year I can in fact be proud of what I have accomplished, instead of regretting my lack of progress.

I’m turning my attention towards changing how I think about food and exercise. I’ve always needed to do this, but haven’t really actively WORKED at it. This is key. For me, weightloss is absolutely a mental issue. If I can master this, then the rest will follow.

In 2010, I will learn to like salads.  I will make healthy substitutions. I will learn to limit sweets and be okay with that. I will learn to enjoy exercise and be consistent with it. I will give up diet soda. I will learn to limit my portion sizes. I will also stop obsessing about food and my weight.

I will learn to live in the moment and find contentment with who I am in that moment, while still looking forward towards my goals.

I can and will be fit before I turn 40. I turn 37 in October. I want to make the most of these final years of my 30s. I’ve wasted too much time already.

I will actively work to have a positive attitude and believe that I am worth making positive changes.  I will believe in myself and all that I can do. 

I will finish what I start.

Making it Happen

“If it is to be, it’s up to me”

I have to choose to make the changes in my life happen. If I don’t, it will never happen. Today, I will regroup from the holidays and the celebrations and the food. I backslid a bit over the holidays with parties, and family get togethers, and making cookies for Santa. Today, I return to my purpose.

My mom got me a Sportline watch that doubles as a heart rate monitor. It’s not a body bugg–which is what I’d love to have, but I never expected anyone to get me one of those. They are just too expensive. I’m using the watch to monitor my heart rate throughout the day, and it counts calories based on my heart rate and age and gender. I’m not entirely sure how accurate that is, since its not a continuous heart rate monitor and it doesn’t factor in my weight. But I’m grateful for it.

It was a wonderful holiday. We had a white Christmas and were snowed in on Christmas Day. It was nice not to have to rush around to visit the extended families. Instead we spent a lazy day at home with the kids. We made our own Christmas dinner and played in the snow. Then went to visit the inlaws the next day and my mother’s family the day after that.

I really enjoyed the leisurely pace of the holiday. So much less stress. Now I’m ready to turn my attention back to my goals and making myself a healthier person.

23 weeks

I have a new goal to work towards! 23 weeks from this past Saturday, on May 15th we have–not one, but TWO–weddings to attend. One is my youngest cousin’s wedding the other is a really good friend of my husbands. The latter promises to be one heck of a party.

When I put my mind to it, and stay focused, I can lose around an average of 3 lbs per week–specifically when I am this size to start. That’s not too much when your starting weight is in the 290s. If I can average 3-3.5 lbs a week I will be very close to the weight I was when my husband and I got married in January of 2000.

I’d like that very much.

BUT, I want to make it very clear–especially after what I posted yesterday–I cannot allow myself to slip into the extremes to make this happen. I really believe that if I can change how I think about food and exercise and just make sure I’m active and exercise 45-60 minutes 5-6 days a week and stay around 1500-1700 healthy calories 5 days a week (and never go over 2000 calories on the days I allow a small splurge!) I can make this happen.

I’m always saying this–I CAN do this. I KNOW what to do. I just have to put my mind to it. It’s all in my head.

So to that end, I absolutely need to get back to journalling about this daily.

Week 1 of New Beginnings: Down 2.1 lbs

My goal is to lose a minimum of 2 lbs each week (up to 3 lbs would be awesome) I met that minimum goal this week. Even though I wasn’t able to do formal workouts each day as I had planned, and had a less than perfect week nutrition-wise, I managed a 2 lb loss.

I’m thinking more realistically about what I can and cannot do. I cannot be perfect. I just can’t. As much as I want to eat perfectly and workout like a fiend everyday, that’s just not me and its not going to happen. I’m setting myself up for a failure. I can’t be the biggest loser. I know that, I’ve always known that wasn’t possible and that its not healthy either. There has to be a middle healthy ground between working out 2 hours a day, eating 1200-1500 of perfect calories a day and doing NOTHING yet eating closer to 2500 (or more!) calories of junk a day.

I must learn moderation and change my relationship with food. I’m not sure how to do that. I’ve tried many times before. What is it in me that pushes me to such extremes? Why must it be all or nothing–all of the time?

I’ve been thinking about where I am at in my life and where I am going. I’m 36 years old. My grandparents have all lived into their 80s. Only one made it to 90 and the last several years of his life weren’t quality due to a series of strokes in his 80s after my grandmother died.

If you base a human’s projected life span upon what your family members have lived, that means I’ve got roughly 44 years left. I want to make those quality healthy years. I want the chance to live longer than that.

This year, will be the year I finally get this under control and learn how to live with food without over-eating, so that I can become the healthy active energetic person I am meant to be.

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.