Friday, September 5, 2014

i sorta ran into trouble

I haven't posted on here for over 5 months. There are a few reasons for that.

One was that there just hasn't been much to say. At least not anything positive in regards to my weight and my attempt at maintenance.

The other is that I was trying to take a different approach to my body image so that I would be a better example to my young daughters. I wanted to take off the pressure of what I looked like size-wise and rather focus on just making good decisions for myself. I blogged about that back in June on my Lifesong blog.

So in order to shift my focus, I decided to try to ignore the scale. For real. I stepped on it only a handful of times all summer long. Which is really quite incredible when you compare it to stepping on it a handful of times every day which had been the norm for me for the last few years.

The first couple of weeks after giving up the scale, I felt a real sense of freedom. I felt much more relaxed and content with myself.

But after that...I sorta ran into trouble.

See, the problem was that I was putting too much focus on not stepping on the scale, and not enough focus on still making the healthy choices. It's all a part of the equation, not just the scale. Rather than try to get the message across of "don't worry about the scale as long as you're being healthy", it turned into "don't worry about the scale AND do whatever the heck you want."

That translated into a summer of much over-eating as well as a summer with really sparse work-outs. I'm kicking myself now that I wasted so much of my optimum outside running time by ignoring the calls to get out there and hit the pavement. Sure, there were other contributing factors to that - a long rainy stretch, an extremely busy summer schedule, and many stresses in my life that caused me to hide away at home...and drown my stresses in food.

Ah yes...the emotional emotional. That can do severe damage. And it most certainly has. That 12-15 pounds that I needed to lose at the beginning of the year has now turned into almost 20.

Twenty pounds!!!

Uhhh, that's a lot of weight again.

It seems almost insurmountable. It feels just as heavy of a burden as it did when I weighed 211 and needed to lose 70 pounds. And if I'm being honest, sometimes when I look in the mirror, I think that I look the way I did at 211 pounds too. I know that I actually don't, but the mind plays tricks on you.

I don't have a grand plan of how to shed this unwanted weight again, other than going back to the basics of how I lost it all to begin with. You've heard me say it a thousand times...everything in moderation.

But can I actually stick to it this time? How many times do I have to fail before I get it right again?

Hopefully this will be the last time.

And this time when I say "everything" in moderation...that includes the scale too!

And today it started with a revised & shortened Jillian Michael's work-out video. And if it works out, maybe a bit of a run this evening too.

I don't know how often I'll post - or if I'll even post my weight numbers at all - but it's desperately time that I get back into some sort of groove before these 20 pounds turn into 30 and then 40...and then before long, I'll be right back where I started.

And I refuse to be "one of those".

Friday, March 28, 2014

filling in the spaces

Two weeks ago I posted about my newest goal - to once again fit into a specific pair of jeans from a couple of years ago. I mentioned that I was going to "fill in the spaces" between my 3 main goal (which are, again, limiting Pepsi to weekends, limiting evening snacking to Fri/Sat and running 10-15 miles a week).

So how did I fill in the spaces?

The first weekend following that post, I filled in the spaces by limiting my weekend Pepsi "allowance." Usually I drink Pepsi twice a day on Fri/Sat/Sun, but that first weekend I only had it once on Friday and on Sunday. Sunday was even more of a feat because we were out for lunch after church with friends (as per usual), and I ALWAYS order a Pepsi...but this time, I stuck with water.

I also didn't snack on Friday evening. Because I wasn't hungry. So often I''ll pig out on my snack nights because I'm "allowed" to. But why even do it if I don't actually feel hungry that particular night? Granted, it's a rare thing where I don't feel like eating in the evening, but I'm glad that I recognized it that Friday night and just didn't eat anything.

I think sometimes my mentality is "I only have these two nights to snack in the evening, so if I DON'T, then I have to wait another whole week!" I need to change my mentality and take things one day at a time. Yes, I have allowed myself the privilege to snack in the evening tonight, but if I choose not to, don't think about how long I have to wait till the next time...just take it one day at a time.

During the week I also filled in the spaces with eating more fruits during the day. And limiting going to the pantry for a handful of this or a handful of that. Those aren't in my 3 main "rules" - but they are still important in order to get the results that I am wanting.\

So that was week 1. I felt really good about my decisions, and I stuck to my 3 rules really well.

And how did week 2 go? Week 2 totally and completely fell apart on me.

I think I drank Pepsi every day this week. We also baked fresh oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies on Monday that has been disasterous! And I have even snacked one or two evenings if I recall correctly. Thankfully I have still been working out - I ran last Friday as well as Monday & Wednesday this week. And this morning instead of running, I did a Jillian Michael's No More Trouble Zones video (with modifications for my sensitive back). I figure I need to try to add in something else to help with toning and a bit of strength training. Running will still be my main work-out, but I need to mix it up with a bit something different too. Tomorrow it will be back on the treadmill though.

So, I had a bad set-back this week with my decisions. But I will push through and try to get back on track ASAP. I'm glad that my set-back was with food and not working out though. I find it's so much easier to snap back into things eating-wise - but once I get out of the routine of working out...that can be an entirely different ball game.

So I plug on ahead. Regrets from the past week? Of course. But feeling shame & guilt for it? Nope, not gonna do that. Life happens. I won't make excuses but I also won't berate myself for it either. I will just work hard at making better choices this next week.

Friday, March 14, 2014

new goals

It's been exactly a month since I posted - when my 6 week Biggest Loser competition came to an end. I had been planning on posting every Friday anyway, but life happens.

So here's a bit of a re-cap on the past 4 weeks.

The first week after the competition ended, I still did fairly well. Sure, I began consuming a *bit* more Pepsi again during the week, but I stayed consistent with my running.

The second week was still great with my running (I was proud of myself for continuing to run 10-15 miles every week), but the Pepsi was still an issue...AND, there was a carrot cake problem. I made carrot cake for a family birthday dinner, but there was A LOT of leftovers. Part of that was planned, but there was even more left over than what I had bargained for. And let's just say that carrot cake - with scrumptious cream cheese icing - is probably the biggest weakness for me. Like, we're talking even more than Pepsi or Nutella or Doritos. So, let's just say that it was a bad week and leave it at that.  :)

Week 3 following the end of the competition was really rough. That's when I put my back out...again. If you recall, the last time I put my back out - last June - it was a horrendously painful and long-running issue that had me down and out for months. I was terrified that the same thing was going to happen this time around and I was starting to lose all hope that I would ever get my body back to the way I wanted it. L.u.c.k.i.l.y. it only took a week for things to heal up (praise the LORD!!), but I was worried about how taking a week off of running would do to the roll I had been on before this. And, I did have some feel-sorry-for-myself days where my eating habits were not great either.

So this past week would be the 4th week since the competition came to an end. And at the start of the week, I was really discouraged. Sure, I was able to get back on the treadmill on Monday morning (picking right up with my 10 minute run/1 minute walk intervals - AND I knocked out 3 miles again right away (albeit at a slower pace), but I just knew that I had dug myself into a pretty big hole with the last couple of weeks' hinderances, and I just wasn't sure how to go about things.

This comic strip (that makes me literally laugh out loud everytime I read it) actually helped me get on track partway through this week. Of course I could do without the word "fat" - and also the word "diet" - but I just think how true to life it is for so many people (myself included). We're always waiting for "next week" to start. So while I started off the week feeling stuck in the hole, I was thinking that next week I would really get myself in gear.

But then this comic strip came to mind (I had seen it on Facebook last week sometime) and I thought: Heck, no! I wasn't going to wait till Monday...or the next Monday...or the next Monday. I was going to start TODAY. This was Tuesday.

But I actually didn't REALLY "start" till Wednesday.  :)

So by "start" - what does that mean?

Well, I have new goals. It's good to have goals. It pushes us and motivates us to accomplish something - as long as the goals are reasonable. If they are too far-fetched, I think they only set us up for failure. But keeping things realistic is the key - at least that's the case for me!

So my goals are to continue to follow my 3 main things that I have been trying to do for the past few months - limit Pepsi to weekends, keep evening snacking for Friday & Saturday and run 10-15 miles each week.

So what's the "new" part? The new overall goal is to fit into a pair of jeans that I wore a couple of years ago when I was at my absolute best shape I have ever been in. I tried them on the other day and, um...let's just say that I have a ways to go! So that means not only sticking to my 3 main "rules" I mentioned above - but to fill in the spaces with other good decisions too!

Now, I'm about to be brave and post a picture. NOT of the way these jeans "fit" me now ('cause they don't!), but in the way they're SUPPOSED to fit; the way they fit me almost 2 years ago. It was taken after I completed my personal 6 Week 6 Pack challenge and was almost exactly 2 years AFTER my weight loss journey began. I am not one to post pictures of my mid-section so this is a pretty big deal! But here it is: My inspiration of how I want to look day!

Okay, there it is. That's me when I was in the best shape of my life. Unfortunately I can't do the 6 Week 6 Pack challenge anymore (due to my back issues), but that doesn't mean that this goal is unattainable. Will it require hard work? Yes! Will it require sacrifices? Absolutely! But it is a goal that I really want to achieve. And it's a goal that takes the scale out of the equation, for the most part. Of course I do have a number in mind - I think it would be impossible to not have a goal weight - but I don't want the focus to be on that. In order to get my body back to this shape, I'm going to have to fight for it.

And so far this week it has worked. There have been temptations around every corner, and when I'm about to give in - I think about this picture (or better yet, LOOK AT IT) and it inspires me to make a better choice.

I'm not giving myself a deadline to reach this goal. But I am determined to reach it at some point.

Friday, February 14, 2014

so we meet again: week #6

Well, my 6 week Biggest Loser challenge came to an end today.

I'm not thrilled with the final outcome scale-wise...but I do have many positives that came out of the past 6 weeks [since it's NOT about the number on the scale anyway...right?!?].

First of all - aside from Week 1, there was a curve ball thrown at me each and every week after that. Week 2 was my birthday week. Week 3 was "that" week. Week 4 was when we had the natural gas outage for 72 hours and when I had my two wisdom teeth appointments (thinking I was getting them pulled out on the Monday, only to have to wait till the Friday) so that was a week filled with extra stress and anxiety. Week 5 was recovery from the wisdom teeth surgery and week 6 was getting over the extreme bloating that came with the high amounts of extra strength Advil I was on for 10 days due to an extremely painful dry socket at one of the tooth sites. As well as the start of "that" week...again.

And while I did let some of those events give me excuses to "give in" here and there...and there again, I didn't let them totally throw me off my course. Especially the past 11 days while I was trying to combat the bloating issues, I worked my butt off.

Here are some things (running-wise) I was particularly proud of in the past 11 days:

1) I decided to ditch the Couch to 5K program a week early (I was going to continue on with Week 6 and then just do my own thing after that, but I changed my mind). I wanted to push myself further than what the program was doing. So after doing Week 5 with running intervals of 5 and 3 minutes - I did one day where I did three sets of 5 minutes and then after that, I jumped up to 10 minute intervals. Wow, did that ever feel good!

2) Within the last few days, I also worked my way up from 2.4 miles to 3 miles. I haven't done THAT in a long time either, so that was a huge accomplishment.

3) I also upped my pace! So not only did I up my running intervals and my distance - but my speed?! I tell ya, I felt like Super Woman the first time I did that!

4) I ran 11 days in a row. Like, seriously! I didn't let anything get in my way. I didn't let my wisdom teeth recovery get in my way, I didn't let my busy work days get in my way, I didn't let the fact that I babysat 3 of my nieces/nephews for a few days get in my way. There were no excuses. I even ran once in the evening and twice on the weekend! Those things aren't unusual when I run outdoors in spring/summer - but for winter treadmill running? Uh, yeah...if it doesn't happen by mid-afternoon on a weekday, it just doesn't happen. But I changed that mindset and gave it my all.

Besides the running, I did great with limiting evening snacking to the weekend this past week. I may have flubbed with the Pepsi this week (only having gone without Pepsi on Tuesday if my memory serves me correctly), but that's okay. I won't let that become a common thing, it just happened this week.

There is another round of competition starting up in a couple of weeks, but I won't be joining in this time. I am going to carry on with my consistent running (not necessarily regularly doing 11 days in a, my legs are t-i-r-e-d!) and limiting my Pepsi and evening snacking. Other than that, I am going to life live and enjoy it!

And today? Today, I rest...

Friday, February 7, 2014

so we meet again: week #4 and #5

Last week Friday I didn't post anything because I was busy getting two wisdom teeth pulled - so today will be two weeks in one.

Week #4 was basically a write-off for me. The week was full of stresses from our natural gas being shut off for 72 hours, an appointment to get my wisdom teeth pulled by local anesthetic on Monday which then got switched to Friday by being put under...I was an anxious wreck the entire week. Not good.

I did run 2 times between weigh-in's though - Friday, and Tuesday I think - but since that did not complete week 4 of the Couch to 5K, I decided to re-do it this week.

This week was hard too though - what else is knew?? My weekend was spent recovering from the wisdom teeth surgery, and while I thought it would be "good timing" to lose a few pounds by not being able to eat much, the opposite seemed to happen. I was starving all weekend, and with being limited to foods I can eat, nothing good really entered my mouth. Lots of ice cream and jell-o...stuff that doesn't fill you up so you keep eating, but it's stuff that has a lot of calories. Bad combination. Then when I was able to eat more, I was still in the feeling-sorry-for-myself mode so I didn't really care what I did. Add to that a Superbowl party with chips galore (among other things)...when Monday morning hit, I was in a pretty deep hole.

I did run on my treadmill 5 times this week though (!!!). Even on Monday when I was still quite sore and exhausted from my surgery, I went on my treadmill. Granted, I didn't actually run my running intervals - rather I walked them on an incline so as to have as little jarring movements as possible - but I still did it. And I only had Pepsi on Monday during the week so that was a success in my books too. I did do some evening snacking early in the week though, and that seems to be a killer for me. I also felt really bloated for the first few days of the week, and I'm not sure if part of that was because of the medication I was on (especially the constipation that comes with the T3's). I definitely feel more normal yesterday and today already, but I know that overall my last two weeks have not been huge successes.

As a side note, in regards to the Couch to 5K running program...I know I initially said I was going to follow it exactly - not jump ahead or stay behind - but of course that has changed. Not only because of having to re-do Week 4 this week but because I'm ready to just do my own thing now again. Originally I needed to start the program to get me running more than a few minutes over a 10 minute span of being on the treadmill. Now I'm up to 30 minutes on the treadmill every time, and after completing Week 4 by Wednesday already, I did my own thing yesterday and today and ended up with four 5-minute running intervals in the 30 minutes. Next week there are only three 5-minute running intervals, so I've already surpassed that. And once it gets to the later weeks where I'm supposed to be running 25 and 30 minutes straight...well, that's just not really how I do things. When I am in my running groove in spring/summer, I always run at 10 and 1 intervals. Those 1 minute walk breaks give my legs the rest they need to keep on going at a faster pace.

So I'm thankful for the Couch to 5K program for getting me back on my feet in the running department, but we will soon be parting ways. I think this next week I will do Week 6 (with two 5-minute and one 8-minute intervals) and then after that I will jump to my 10 and 1's and then just continue doing that consistently 4(ish) times a week.

And that, coupled with my lack of evening snacking and Pepsi intake on weekdays, will hopefully soon start translating into noticeable loss of inches. Right now I'm not getting the visual that I want when I stand in front of the mirror - BUT I am learning to ignore the number on the scale and just go by how my body feels.

Friday, January 24, 2014

so we meet again: week #3

I'm going to keep this post short and sweet. I could make it really lengthy, given the breakthrough that I had this week (yes, an even bigger breakthrough than last week!), but I'm not going to get into it. For one thing, I don't really know how to put it into words. And I honestly just don't feel like getting into it all right now anyway.

So the bottom line is this: My weight will no longer be posted on this blog. If it's really not supposed to be about that number on the scale, then why am I even posting it? I will have to report my percentage of weight loss for the next few weeks while I ride out the competition I am in, but aside from that - my numbers won't be available for anyone anymore.

Instead, I will be only posting about how I have done each week with my three main goals which are:

1) Regular exercise - running on the treadmill for 30 minutes at least 4 times a week
2) Limiting Pepsi to weekends...with the rare exception
3) Limit evening snacking to Fridays & Saturdays...with the rare exception

So how did I do this week with my main goals?

1) Exercise: 4 times on the treadmill: CHECK!
2) Pepsi:  I had one small exception yesterday afternoon when I took the girls to Subway for lunch. But I didn't even finish my Pepsi, only had about half.
3) Evening snacking: I had an apple and about 5 small crackers one evening earlier in the week

I really want to be able to say "It's about being healthy and strong - any weight loss is a bonus" and actually mean it.

And after this past week, it's getting to be closer to a reality.

Friday, January 17, 2014

so we meet again: week #2

Week 2 was not without its challenges, I'll tell you that much. Not only is it hard coming off of a good week, but with it being my birthday week too? Yeah, that proved to have its own set of challenges.

I did try to make some good decisions in the area of my birthday celebrations though.

1) My best friend took me out for supper on Saturday, and instead of choosing Boston Pizza where I would've had several slices of pizza and a few glasses of Pepsi, I chose Olive Garden and had a small bowl of soup, salad and (only??) 3 breadsticks with only one glass of Coke. And no dessert.

2) I decided to have Les and the girls take me out for my birthday meal NEXT weekend so that I wouldn't be going out for wings and fries on Wednesday.

3) For my supper on my actual birthday (Wednesday), I didn't make a meal I would normally have made to celebrate - like something Mexican with lots of grease and of course Pepsi. Rather I made a beef & broccoli dish with rice and had a minimal portion...with water. [Granted, I did have Pepsi in the afternoon, BUT I shared it with Les and didn't even end up drinking my whole half...not because I didn't want to, but because I felt like I shouldn't.]

4) While out for lunch with a friend on my birthday, I chose to have a bowl of chicken noodle soup instead of a sandwich and ceasar salad like I normally would have. I did give in, however, and enjoy the FREE birthday cinnamon bun that you get on your birthday.

5) I only had a small piece of birthday cake in the evening with my family. They went to the trouble to make me a cake from scratch, the least I could do is have a small piece!

So yes, there were some additional hurdles to overcome this week, but I still felt good about my choices and I still kept up with my running. Second week of Couch to 5K is officially finished as of earlier this morning and on an "off" day of the program, I did intervals of walking/jogging/incline on the treadmill for 40 minutes to still get an awesome calorie burn.

My problem with this week is that I wasn't happy with the results on the scale. Even though I knew it was going to be a difficult week, I was still hoping to have lost at least a pound, putting me back into the 140's again. But when I saw a 150 on the scale and realized it was only a 0.6 pound loss, I was none too say the least.

One of the other competitors in the challenge posted this on our FB page:

My scale told me this morning I had lost 1 lb.
But what my scale didn't tell me was that I didn't eat any extra sugar this wk. It didn't tell me I walked 1.5 miles each day, It didn't say hey well done you feel better than you have in a long time! It didn't tell me that I go outside for fresh air and walk in knee deep snow just for the fun of it! And it didn't tell me that I'm reading my Bible every day.
All it gave me was a number. Why is this number so important to me? This Challenge, to me, has become way more than just "losing" numbers on the scale or of being the "biggest loser". (that in itself is so negative ) To me its become a positive challenge to become a healthier and stronger individual, mind body and soul!

THAT's my problem with these challenges. It only goes by weight loss; that number on the scale week in and week out. Nevermind the rest of it. I burned hundreds upon hundred of calories this week. I sacrificed many Pepsi's that I normally would've had. I gave up a dinner at Boston Pizza for crying out loud!! I ran around the block a couple of times in my heavy winter Sorel boots last night (that is NOT easy, fyi...). But the scale doesn't tell me that.

Of course weight is the only black & white way to really do these competitions, so there's no real solution there. The motivation behind them is great to get you into gear, but I don't just doesn't seem to be a real way to track successes. I think, for me, a better way would be to have a "support group" on FB like we have within this competition...but to have no money involved, no "winners". Just a way to motivate and encourage each other.

But, that's not what I got myself in to.

So after a really bad attitude this morning, I decided to take my measurements to get a more accurate reading of the choices I have been making these past two weeks. And let me tell you, I'm glad I did!

The difference between my starting measurements and today's measurements after only two weeks was much bigger than I was anticipating! I took measurements in 2 areas in my chest, 3 over my stomach/waist/hips and then my thighs and arms. And I lost 13" in total over all of those areas; the majority of them over my stomach area which is exactly my biggest problem area.

And now I feel so much better.

I have no idea yet where I fall in the standings after this week (last week I was #4 out of 28 people!), but I still have another 4 weeks to go. Anything can happen. And I will continue to TRY to find a balance between working hard enough to attempt to get in the top 3 by the end of this and not letting it rule my life and emotions.

Montana's wings are coming up this weekend and I intend to fully enjoy it!

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