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.

Goals for 2009

So, I posted about my progress and total weightloss in 2008.   But I haven’t posted my goals for 2009.  I don’t want to let any more time slip away without getting them written down–at least my health goals, anyway.  I have other goals besides these (why hello there, Masters Thesis).

So first I have to acknowledge where I started, so we will take my weighin from January 1, 2009.  It was 287.5.  In the eleven days since, I have lost 5.9 lbs.  I’ve kicked up my exercise a notch, I’m doing really well sticking to healthy choices and its paying off.  I hope to be out of the 280s by the end of this week.

So I guess that is my first goal…

1.  Be out of the 280s by the end of the week of January 11-17, 2009.  Totally do-able.  Somebody should give me a swift kick in the ass if I don’t–because it will have to be because I ate something I shouldn’t or didn’t get any exercise done.  Which leads to my next goal…

2.  No more cheating.  I’m only cheating myself of my goals.  I can have the occasional splurge or “cheat” but occasional MUST MEAN OCCASIONAL, not every other day or night.   I must limit it to once a month.  Period.  So, one cheat day per month.  PERIOD.

3.  45 minutes or more of formal cardio (ie. not cleaning, gardening, walking around a store, etc.) at least 5-6 days per week.  And on the 1 or 2 days per week that I am “resting” I must still find something active to do for an hour or more, such as cleaning, gardening, walking around a store.

4. 2-3 days per week of formal strength training exercises.  I’m really bad about getting strength training in.  I must do this more.

5. Taking my starting weight at the beginning of 2009, lose 10 percent of that number (28.7 pounds) by the end of February.  This will put me at 258.8–firmly out of the 260s.

6.  Lose the next 10 percent of my weight, 25.8 pounds, by the end of April.  This puts me at 233.

7.  Lose the next 10 percent of weight, 23 pounds, by mid-June.  This will place me around 210 (hopefully under!) when I go in to renew my driver’s licence at the end of the month.   This also puts me just under my pre-wedding weight.  After nine and half years of marriage.  Suh-weet!

8.  Lose the next 10 percent of my weight, 21 pounds, by the first of August.  I’ve never in my adult life weighed 189–this should place me comfortably in a size 12 considering I have been in a comfortable 14 in the 200 range. It also places me 2 pounds shy of 100 pounds lost for the year.

Once I get to this point, I know it will be so easy for me to decide to take a “breather” and rest for a while from the whole exhausting process of losing weight.  I admit there is a part of me that is a little afraid of going any further than this…what would it be like to be in a size 12?  Let alone a size 10?  It’s hard for me to look further than getting under 190 lbs.  Simply because I have never been there.

So that is the question, do I stop my goals here for the year?  Do I aim for under 190 and try my hand at maintaining for a while?  Let my body adjust to its new healthier weight, and let myself get comfortable in a new skin?  Speaking of skin, shouldn’t I let my skin bounce back from all that weightloss?

Do I dare look further than 189?  When every health chart tells me I should be looking to 148? 

……well maybe 187, just to take it to an even 100 pounds lost for the year.  That way when people say, “OH MY GOD HOW MUCH HAVE YOU LOST?” I can smile and say simply, “100”.

30 lbs lost overnight!

When I weighed in this morning, imagine my groggy surprise to find I had lost 30 lbs since yesterday!

I stepped off. Then I stepped back on.

Yup. 30 lbs overnight. It was like one of my old fantasies. A dream come true.

Or maybe, it’s just time to change the battery.

After changing the battery I stepped back on. I’m down a pound and half from yesterday. Not as exciting as a 30 lb loss, but one I’m happy to take anyway.

I’m making good progress. I’ve had a very good week despite several challenges.

Wednesday, my 7 year old son was pushed and fell on the playground hurting his neck. We spent three and half hours in the ER Wednesday evening (once we finally figured out that his neck was hurting due to a fall and not just because he turned it wrong and was feeling whiney) for Xrays followed by four more hours on Thursday for a CT scan to confirm he didn’t have a fractured neck vertebrae.

He has whiplash. He has to rest his neck, so that means no contact sports, P.E., or rough-housing until the 19th. He returns to his pediatrician for a check up next Thursday and more Xrays.

Oh and my younger two children, the nearly 6 year old and the 4 year old, have strep throat. I’m just praying I don’t get it.

Meanwhile I’m still getting my exercises in and I haven’t allowed any of this to derail my eating. I’m on track. I’m losing weight–even if its not 30 lbs overnight.

Incentive

The husband was already waffling last night on his resolve to lose weight in 2009. Later in the evening, after we had gone to the store, he flippantly commented that we should have gotten more snacks–I reminded him that we have plenty of healthy snacks such as fruit.

This morning I prodded him with a bit of incentive, at least I hope it’s incentive.

I told him that if he could stick with this and seriously work towards his goal of weighing 180 by June then this would help me and I could possibly get to below my wedding weight (nine years ago!) by then as well. It’s not my final goal weight. I have a lot more to lose than that, but it’s a significant dent in the overall number I need to lose and could put me close to, or below 200 pounds by then.

He assured me he still wanted to lose weight and that he would work with me. I hope so.

I’m going to the YMCA this afternoon after work. I haven’t been in about two months since I spent most of November and December sick with bronchitis. Thank goodness, I’m finally over it. I’m itching to get back on that elliptical machine.