Monday, December 20, 2010

Mid-Week Update

WHAT? Me posting on a NON weigh-in day? INSANITY!!!!

Just kidding. I just happened to have a few minutes alone with my computer before work. This doesn't happen much, so here I am. :)

I found out that the place I will be vacationing in about a week has a workout room. YESSSS!! This means I have NO excuse not to work out, because I will have pretty much nothing else to do all day. And hopefully it will help me burn some Christmas calories.

As great as this is, I find myself looking at my calendar this week, and I am eating dinner out almost EVERY MEAL other than breakfasts. This is incredibly dangerous. Salads are great, but no one can live on lettuce alone. Not to mention, most restaurants cover their salads in too much cheese, fried meat, bacon, croutons, and fatty dressings. So, the salad is deceptively bad for you. I'm doing my best to make favorable decisions, but it's difficult.

On the upside, I have made some of the Weight Watchers low-fat cookies, which have been delicious. As long as you eat the right portion size (which is the trick, really), they don't put a huge dent in my diet. And I've convinced my Dad to let me make a low-fat breakfast casserole on Christmas day. My family is supportive, for sure, but I think sometimes they just don't understand. Except for my stepdad, who is also on a diet. Go Glenn!! He's been doing a totally different program, but it works for him.

Anyway, this post is just to say - I'm frustrated, but not giving up. We will see what this week will bring! Good luck, healthy ones!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Weigh-in Day, Dec. 16

200.0 lbs. I feel like one of those contestants on the Biggest Loser who is excited to lose weight, but DYING to get through to the 100's. It will happen, though. I lost 2 pounds this week (awesome!). My original goal was to be 196.8 or lower by new years. In order to do that, I have to lose 3.8 pounds in the next 2 weeks. Okay, this is not impossible. It will require some serious restraint on my part, though. Especially since it's too cold to run outside.

Here's my situation for the next two weeks: this week, the week before Christmas. Lots of meeting with friends and family and food. I CAN MAKE GOOD CHOICES. Weight loss is ONE DECISION at a time. But, like I said, it will require restraint. The next week includes Christmas, Christmas Eve, and half of a week-long vacation. Phew - that one will be difficult.

So, here's the plan. Buckle down this week as much as possible. Christmas week - no deprivations (remember that one from Thanksgiving?), but no over-indulgences either. And if I get to 2011 and I haven't quite hit my goal, I will know that I didn't sit back and watch my weight climb out of control over the holidays. And THAT on its own is something to be proud of.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Weigh-in Day, Dec. 9

I have decided to stop numbering my weigh-in days, because the numbers don't really correspond to anything. Instead, you get a date now.

202.0 GAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. That's a gain of 4.2 pounds. THAT SUCKS. I'm really pissed at myself. All that talk about "I'm losing weight over the holidays! Yay me!" and now this? I was so close to my 5 pounds before the year is out goal! I feel like I have to start over now. And I know the week after Christmas is going to be really hard because I will be on vacation. So basically, I have 2 weeks to kick butt, when I should have had 2 weeks to just try to maintain.

Okay, enough whining. Whining does not solve this problem. Let's try constructive reflecting. Why did this happen?
1) I didn't track as well as I could have. Even when I think I'm eating healthy, I think I eat more calories than I realize if I'm not on top of it. Holding myself accountable is a big key.
2) It's been too cold to run outside, and I don't have a gym membership. Now, this should not on its own cause me to gain weight. I can lose weight without working out. But I forget that I have to eat less when I'm not working out. I think I based a lot of my eating choices this week on the EXPECTATION that I would work out later. But that's never a guarantee - I need to eat well until I work out, and then afterward I can splurge.
3) I've been out drinking a few nights this week. Alcohol is empty calories, AND when I drink, I want to eat bad food.

Okay, so now I know how to fix things. Step one - track. And I'm doing that today.

Thank you guys so much!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Weigh-in days 22 & 23!

So last week I was too busy to blog, but I wanted to let you know what happened!
Last week (Thanksgiving!) - 198.6. A loss of 3.2 pounds!
This week - 197.8. A loss of .8 pounds!

That's 4 of the 5 pounds I want lost by January 1st. Now I just have to keep them off!! haha

And I actually was able to lose weight the week before thanksgiving! AND the week of Thanksgiving I was able to lose a little weight. How did I do that?

1 - I worked out! I took my own advice and worked out as much as possible the week before Thanksgiving. This past week I haven't been able to as much because of business, very cold weather and rain. Hopefully at least the lack-of-gym problem will be fixed soon!
2 - I tried to eat AS MANY fruits and veggies as possible. They fill you up without filling you with empty calories.
3 - I tracked my points as much as I could. Just by holding myself accountable that way I eat a lot less.

Weight Watchers came out with a new program called the PointsPlus program. Instead of only taking calories, fat and fiber into account like the old Points program, the PointsPlus program calculates fat, carbs, protein and fiber. So I'm trying to figure out the new plan. Basically the point values are different, so I'm making sure that what I would normally eat is still ok. More info as I figure it out!

Here's some more advice about the Holidays:
1. LOOK AT YOUR CALENDAR. How many holiday parties do you have? If you have a lot - don't expect too much of yourself. If not - set a goal! Work hard on the "normal" days so you can splurge a little at the parties. And don't forget to make time to work out!
2. Don't get the attitude, "I'll work hard at the beginning of the year." You'll gain more weight that you'll then have to lose again. If you know your holiday events won't allow you to lose weight, then try to maintain. But don't just ignore it until 2011.
3. Don't deprive yourself either! Remember what the holidays are really about - spending time with your family & friends. If not eating pie is going to make you miserable and get in the way of your quality time, then have a little slice. Just don't lose control.

Good luck on your Holiday dieting and thanks for being my support system!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Goals

Hello weight-loss followers! I want to say, first, that despite how insanely busy I've been, I've really missed writing in here. I forgot how much it keeps me on track and makes me feel like I'm not just changing my own life, but hopefully changing one of yours. So I'm really going to try to keep up with this more.

When I weighed in last week, I weighed 201.8. That's about a 10 pound gain since August. It was my breaking point - I'm getting this under control right now. Seeing that 2 in front of my weight again just reminded me that I won't be able to ever go into auto-pilot. I got to 230 pounds for a reason, and it wasn't because I didn't know how to eat healthy. It was because I love food to much and I thought I could have that extra (insert tempting food here). And it's not ok. I'm not going back to where I was. Yes, this is a setback - but if it took this setback to get me going again, then that's ok. This week already, I've been back on plan, and I've worked out 3 times.

So, obviously, I'm going to have to set some new goals for myself. Goals are what keep me moving forward no matter what I want to do. Here's my new long-term goal - 170 by my birthday (April 5). I'll be 25 - that's a big deal, I think. And I want to be able to look back on pictures of my birthday without saying, "AHHHH, I was so fat!" I want to look and feel fabulous. So - that's about 32 pounds in the next 4 months and 2 weeks. That's about 8 pounds a month - it will not be easy. But it is possible. It will take a lot of work. But it is possible.

I also have a short-term goal. At least 5 pounds lost by January 1st. I know that it will be hard to lose a lot of weight over the holiday season. BUT I need to lose at least a little weight before the start of the year, or my long-term goal won't be possible.

So, the Holiday Season. EVERY DIETERS NIGHTMARE. But I am armed with some tips to help keep you in the right direction. Are you ready?!?!
1. WORK OUT. This is so simple - when you burn more calories, you get to eat more! Go running, do crunches, lift weights - whatever you can do. This way you can allow yourself to have a little slice of pie or glass of wine.
2. COOK. Yep! Find low-fat recipes of the holiday foods you love. That way you don't feel like you're missing out.
3. SMALL PORTIONS. If you think you'll die without stuffing, have a small portion. That's why we do things like work out and make low-fat foods.
4. PLAN AHEAD. When you know you're going over to somebody's house, bring something healthy you know you can eat. Think veggie or fruit trays, or even some of those low-fat recipes we talked about. Personally, I'm bringing WW pumpkin pie and WW green bean casserole. Want the recipes? Just ask!

Love you guys - thank you for taking time out of your life to read this. And as always, thank you for giving me the support I need.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Weigh-in day 21!

Hello again friends! I suppose a month between posts is long enough. Let me start with my weight today - 195.0. That is down 0.5 pounds since one month ago - which isn't much. BUT, it includes the stress of moving (eating whatever was handy and open at 10pm), going on a vacation where I ate every bad thing in sight, and not doing a SINGLE bit of working out. In fact, not doing much to purposefully lose weight at all. To date, I have still lost 32.4 pounds. So absolutely nothing to complain about on my end.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about what the last year has held for me. Last year at this time, I was working a maximum of 10 hours a week. For some people, this is a vacation, but for me it equates to a deep level of hell. I was about 27 pounds heavier, bored, depressed, lonely, completely miserable with myself and almost convinced that life out of college basically sucked and would continue to suck.
Now, let's look at where I'm at today. I work 4 jobs - best estimate is about 50 hours a week. I have at least one gig almost every weekend - once I had 3 in one weekend. I'm a semi-finalist in a young artist competition in December. I played in the Dogwood Arts Festival. I teach over 20 students a week who I love to watch learn and grow. Teaching them actually helps me become a better musician. I am a trainer at my restaurant and I helped designed the training manual which I hope will be in place long after I leave. And my church job is super willing to work with my schedule and is always happy to have me. I'm a size 14 instead of a size 18. I have my own house which I can't wait to go home to every day. I have an incredibly sweet and supportive boyfriend who puts up with me when I'm grumpy and constantly tells me I'm beautiful even when I'm in sweatpants. I've made friends who I know will always be there for me and I'm rarely wanting for something to do. I have to say - I'm pretty damn impressed. I'm not saying that to be cocky - but recognizing success and personal achievements is super important and completely healthy. As I told my step-dad a few weeks ago (he's on a weight loss program, too) - every victory should be celebrated. Saying that you are proud of yourself and what you've accomplished is not selfish - it's smart. If you never recognize your own success, you won't be able to ever be happy with what you have.

Now, I didn't reach every goal I set for myself this year. I originally wanted to be about 20 pounds lighter at this time. I wanted to lose 40 pounds in a year and I didn't quite reach that goal. But that doesn't mean I don't have cause to celebrate. It certainly doesn't mean I haven't taken many steps to make my life healthier.

Theme for today: look at what you've done and pat yourself on the back for it. Even if it's small.

Soon to come: setting new goals for myself!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Weigh-in day 21

Ok - blogging nation, I apologize. I weighed myself today for the first time in 5 WEEKS. Which is why I have not been blogging. I've been too worried to even look at my weight because I was afraid I gained so much. I have not at all been following my plan. (I also started writing this on Friday - sorry it's taken so long to post!)

BUT - when I did weigh myself today, I've only gained 2.6 pounds. In the last five weeks! Sure, this is nothing to throw a party for, but it could be LOTS worse. Weight Watchers considers "maintaining" your weight staying with 2 pounds in either direction. So I stayed pretty closed to those guidelines. Now, here's what this weight gain shows me. 1) How easy it is to put on weight when you're not monitoring yourself. Even when I reach my goal weight, I'm going to have to be active about keeping myself from gaining it back. 2 pounds a month leads to 5 pounds a month, which leads to 10 pounds a month, which leads to being almost 100 pounds overweight. This will not happen. 2) Confidence level can make a big difference. I thought I had gained 5 or more pounds, and I was feeling miserable about myself. I FELT like my clothes fit worse, I FELT like I looked bad in my clothes. But I didn't gain enough weight for any of that to happen. Because my confidence level changed, the way I saw myself changed. So - if I'm not confident, I actually gain weight, not lose it.

Right now, I know I'm too busy to really buckle down. I'm in the process of moving this week. However, starting next week, I'll be living on my own. I'll have my own kitchen, which means my own groceries and my own food decisions 100% of the time. While I've been living with my mom, I have had both temptation to eat badly and encouragement to eat well. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens on my own. Also, my boyfriend and I are going to find a gym near my new house. But honestly, it's not as high on my list of priorities as shopping for things like furniture or other house furniture. However - I wanted to give you guys (and myself!) an update. Thanks for all your support!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Weigh-in day 20!

192.9. So, in the past 2 weeks, I've gained 1.7 pounds. On one hand, that sucks. On the other hand, I know exactly why it has happened. Which means, I have it within my control to fix it.

I've started dating someone new. We're in the "new relationship" stage - eating out all the time, going out to movies or baseball games where there's nothing but bad food. He constantly tells me how beautiful he thinks I am, and although I think he's crazy, it plants a seed of comfort in my brain. The kind of comfort that makes you think you can have that extra serving of cheez-its or order pasta instead of salad. I'm so happy with him, I've forgotten to think about how unhappy my weight can make me. Now, THIS is the struggle. When I'm happy, I can mostly ignore how I feel about my body. In addition to the "new relationship happiness," I feel great about where my body is at right now. Which makes it difficult to remember how miserable I was before. This brings up an interesting point - how do you lose weight when you're in a good place in your life and weight-loss journey?

The key, I think, is to remember that unhappiness, but not lean on it to make you lose weight. Because what happens when you lose weight? You become happier. If the only reason you were losing weight is because you felt bad about yourself, you're just going to put that weight back on again, and go through the vicious cycle of gain-loss-gain-loss. Which #1 is bad on your body and #2 doesn't exactly breed a healthy emotional relationship with yourself. Yes, there is a point of misery that you must reach in order to make the initial change and start your weight loss. BUT - that CANNOT be the only reason that you are losing weight. You have to decide to be healthier and happier in the long term, not just the short term. Otherwise you'll end up rewarding your 5 pounds of weight loss with a giant ice cream cone. I think this is a big reason why Americans constantly struggle with weight. For many, it's about instant gratification. "I have to fit into this dress for this event," or "I have a wedding come up and I want to look great in the pictures." Many of us don't decide to be healthy, we simply decide to make ourselves feel good for about a month. And then go back to our old ways.

One of the many great things about this guy is that he's completely supportive of living a healthier lifestyle. Don't get me wrong, he thinks I'm beautiful just as I am right now, and has asked me why I want to lose weight. But once I explained to him that it was a health issue as much as a self-confidence/body image issue, he said, "Ok, let's do it. I'll cook for you as much as you want, we'll set up a workout plan, whatever it takes." So, ladies, don't be afraid to talk to your significant other about things like this, especially if it's new. If they're worth your time, they will support a healthier you.

When I got serious about getting healthy, I promised myself I wouldn't be in a relationship until I was at my goal weight. I thought I needed to do this on my own, prove to myself that I didn't need a man to motivate me, etc. I think my reasoning was a lot deeper than that though - I didn't think I deserved happiness because of my weight. I didn't think I deserved someone good because I felt so bad about myself. Thankfully, my image of myself has drastically changed since September of last year, and I know that I deserve someone who can adore me exactly where I am and support me on this journey. In fact, it's actually going to be harder to not become complacent now because I have someone who doesn't really care either way. But I welcome that challenge - I want this change to be permanent. I don't want to EVER have to go through this much suffering again. Granted, I know there will be times that I gain a few pounds if I don't keep tabs on my weight, and I'll have to work to take them off. But NEVER AGAIN will I wake up one day, realized I have gained 80 pounds, I hate myself and I'm so overwhelmed with all the work to be done that I hardly know where to start.

So, back to my goal of 40 pounds in a year. I have 5.5 pounds to lose in 3 weeks - that's an average of 1.8 pounds per week. Time to buckle down! I have officially changed my weigh-in day to Thursdays because I don't have to work Thursday mornings, so I have no excuse to not weigh in. Also, it encourages me to work out when I weigh in. Help hold me accountable! Looking forward to blogging more often and still accepting suggestions about what to write about. Don't be shy!! Thank you all for everything you are in my life!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Weigh-in day 19!

191.2! 2.3 pounds down since 2 weeks ago, before I left for Chicago. I'm 4.8 pounds away from reaching my "40 pounds in a year" goal. And I have 5 weeks to go!!!

I didn't weigh in last week because I was in Chicago. Mostly, I didn't weigh in because I didn't have a scale anywhere nearby. But partially, I didn't weigh in because I ate pretty much whatever I wanted while I was there. Now, I did get some exercise - I walked a lot, rode a bike for about 3 hours one day - but, I ate way more calories than I should have. I think coming back this week and going back on plan was a serious shock to my body, because I'm sure I didn't lose any weight in Chicago! Next weekend I'm going to New York, and I don't plan on following the plan much while I'm there, either. But, since it's only 2 days instead of 5, I have a feeling that it won't put too much of a dent in my weight loss plans. I would love to reach 187.4 before September 8th, and at this rate it looks like I might! Motivation is such a powerful force.

Sorry for the short post, but I wanted to keep you all updated. And again, let me say, if you have any suggestions or things you would like to read about - PLEASE TELL ME!!! I'm taking any and all ideas. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Weigh-in day 18!

193.5! 1 pound this week, 33.9 pounds since September 9, 2009. That was the first day I weighed myself after I moved back to Knoxville from Texas. This date is important because it is the key to my new goal. I want to be halfway through my total goal weight loss by September 8th, 2010, exactly 52 weeks since last year. That means I need to be at a total of 40 pounds of weight loss, which means I need to lose about 6 pounds in the next 7 weeks. At the rate I've been going in the last 2 weeks, this seems extremely achievable. However, I will be taking 2 vacations in the next 7 weeks, one to Chicago and one to New York, so it may prove to be a little challenging!

Losing 40 pounds in year - holy cow! I will admit, when I started this blog, I wanted to be a lot farther along than that. But when I think about that - how much 40 pounds really weighs - think about all the stress I will have taken off my body in just a year! Not to mention all the mental stress I will have saved myself. That is an average of .7 pounds per week - an extremely healthy rate of weight loss. And considering that I wasn't very dedicated last year from September to January - think of how much more I can do in the year to come! I'm very excited about this goal - it's short term enough to give me something to work toward, but has doesn't seem impossible.

Which brings me to my point for the day - SETTING GOALS FOR YOURSELF. It's such an important part of the process. If you only think, "I have so much weight to lose - 80 pounds!" you will be so overwhelmed that you'll never make a change. So, start somewhere smaller. Decide you want to try to lose 5 pounds this month. Or, if that's too long term for you to start out with, aim to lose a pound this week, or to go to the gym twice. Pick something that will make you proud of yourself when you do it, but not something so difficult that you won't be able to do it, or enjoy the process of reaching your goal. If you try to lose 10 pounds your first month of weight loss, you're going to be killing yourself at the gym and depriving yourself of most anything you want to eat. This is not the way to keep weight off long term. Sure, you might meet your goal, but what happens after the month is over? You fall back into your old habits. Your short-term goals should encourage you to keep doing what you're doing in order to reach your ultimate goal. You're running a marathon - it requires daily training and conditioning. But it is possible!

Last but not least - I'm doing my best to at least blog on my weigh in days, but I'm having trouble coming up with new topics to post about during the week. So I thought I would ask - what would you like to read about? Is there something you're struggling with that you want me to write about? PLEASE let me know!! Just writing this blog weekly helps keep me on track, but I want to try to help you reach your goals as well. So help me help you! Thanks for reading!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Weigh-in day 17!

194.5! Ahhh, back on the weight loss train. That's 1.5 pounds this week, and 32.9 pounds since September. Feels good to be safely out of the 200's and far past 30 pounds!

I think one of the reasons I got off the program for awhile is that my daily points went down 2 points, and I didn't have a lot of time to combat that with going to the gym. For those of you not on Weight Watchers, once you lose a certain amount of weight, your daily points value goes down to help you continue to lose weight. It's a bit of a shock at first because you feel a lot hungrier than you did on the previous weekly points value. And you, obviously, can't eat as much. So, when I saw that my points went down, I wasn't quite ready to make that extra commitment. It's kind of daunting - you don't think 2 points can make that much of a difference, but it really does. But once I decided to buckle down, it's clear the system works! And it really wasn't that bad, since I got to work out a little this week. Let's hope next week goes the same way!

Something that really helps me is being honest with the people around me about my life. I got a compliment from a woman at church on Sunday about my weight, and she asked what I was doing. I said Weight Watchers, although I fluctuate with how serious I am about it. Mostly, though, I'm just changing my lifestyle. No more fast food (unless absolutely necessary, and even then it's chicken sandwiches and salad), no more fried food, much less red meat and just generally more healthy food. People at the restaurant ask me what I suggest, and I usually suggest healthier things. When they ask about stuff I can't eat, I'm honest and say I can't eat it. Trying to hide your diet won't help you - you'll need support and people around you to keep you accountable. So don't be afraid or embarrassed about your diet - you're changing something about you that you don't like. Who wants to hide the fact that they have the the guts to make a huge change?

Thanks for following and being my support system!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Celebrating Successes

I just got back from the gym for the second time this week! Considering I hadn't been in over a month, this is very exciting. I was still able to do almost all of the workout I was doing regularly in March and April - which surprises me, because I've been so inconsistent lately. I'm focusing a lot on celebrating success and working through disappointment this week. For example, I could get frustrated that it was more difficult to do my ab workout today than it was 3 months ago. OR, I could celebrate that I was still able to do it, even if it was hard. I could get frustrated that I haven't been able to break the 2-minute consistent running mark yet, or I could celebrate that I am still able to run for 2 minutes without feeling like I'm going to pass out. When I first started working out, I couldn't even run 1 lap without going over my maximum heart rate!

I'm also looking at positive changes I've made in my body that might not be visible from the outside. For one, my resting heart rate has dropped significantly from when I first started working out. Right now, it's sitting at about 76-80 bpm. In January, I'm pretty sure it was around 96 bpm. So, I have a much healthier heart in general. My heart also recovers much more quickly after intense cardio activity. It only takes about 30 seconds for my heart rate to significantly decrease when I switch from running to walking. It used to take about a minute and half. This, in addition to low resting heart rate, is key to having a healthy heart. Lastly, I have MUCH less pain in my feet and back than I did in January. My feet used to ache in the morning - the doctor said it was tendonitis in my heels. I had trouble walking when I first got out of bed. Now, my feet don't hurt at all anymore! And my back would be sore after working at the restaurant, or if I slept on it wrong, or after anything strenuous that made me use my back muscles, really. And it very rarely bothers me. Both of these have been solved, I think, by a combination of both losing weight and using yoga to improve my balance and posture. It's amazing all the things that yoga can do. And speaking of which - I believe I'm going to go do some yoga on the wii fit my mom bought not too long ago. Happy gym-going, friends!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Weigh-in day 16!

WOW - I can't believe it's been a month and a half since I posted!!! I didn't realize how long I'd been kind of slacking off in my weight loss. So - that's what my blog today is about. THE IMPORTANCE OF NOT GIVING UP!

First, let me tell you where I'm at. I posted some new pictures of what I look like today. The top 2 pictures are almost exactly like the ones I took at 212 pounds (16 pounds ago!). The bottom one was a request - it was the dress I wore to the Sex and the City premiere that I was so proud of. Sorry I couldn't fit in the shoes, Sarah! Now, on to weight. I weighed myself today for the first time in almost 2 weeks, and I'm at 196.0. Which is actually kind of exciting, because it's 1.8 pounds less than my weigh-in in May, and about 2.5 pounds less than my weigh-in (which I didn't get around to blogging about) 2 weeks ago. So, the past couple of weeks I haven't been doing to bad. Before that, however, got a little crazy. I went to Bonnaroo, which was a blast. But, it's difficult to diet while camping, and the only food you have is what you make or buy at the food stands. Which, needless to say, isn't exactly the most healthy stuff. Frankly, I ate whatever the crap I felt like eating because it was 95 degrees during the day. I didn't want to make myself anymore miserable than I already was by depriving myself of the delicious fattening foods whose aromas were filling the air around me. And even if I did eat well, there was no way for me to log my points because I had no internet access. Obviously, I didn't go too crazy, because I've managed to lose whatever I gained there (and a little more). But you get the point - I certainly wasn't on plan. Once I got back - I got a little better, but couldn't quite get in the habit of daily logging my points. And my intention was to do better starting last week, but then I got a stomach flu this past weekend (which probably helped me lose a little weight), and I ate whatever didn't make me nauseous. So - here I am, deciding to get back on the horse today.

Now, here's what this month has made me realize: NO MATTER HOW FAR BEHIND YOU FALL, this race is about REACHING the finish line, NOT how long it takes you to get there. Yes, everyone would love to diet hard-core for a month, lose all the weight they want to, and then go back to their regular life. But it doesn't work that way. There is no magic word. There is no Staples "easy button." You have to do this the long, hard way - however long and hard that is for you - if you want it to work. I did the quick fix once - and I ended up heavier than I had ever been before. So, yes, it takes some serious determination to decide to "start over" or "start again" - but that decision WILL be one that changes your life if you stick to it. It doesn't matter if you gain back 10 pounds, stay exact the same, or only lose 1 pound over a month. If you DON'T decide to get back on the weight loss track, you're going to regret it. Maybe you won't gain all the weight back, but you will be stuck at a weight that you're not 100% happy at.

Here's the thing I think thin people don't get - you don't wake up one morning fat and miserable. You start out gaining a pound here and there, and it bothers you a little, but not enough to do something about it. You're still happy. You go up a jean size, and that's frustrating, but you're not ready to diet yet. Your shirts start not to fit, and you get a little more sad. And what comforts you? Food. You start to dislike the way you look when you try on clothes in a store. (Or, for me, you start to dislike it more, because it's very rare that I don't leave a store feeling like life would be easier if I was just a little thinner.) You go get an ice cream. As you get more depressed about your weight, you start to focus on other things that make you happy. You look for a way to distract yourself because you feel hopeless about how you look. The horrible body image stays with you for so long, you forget that you ever felt any other way about yourself. You don't realize how much emotional weight you're carrying around, how exhausted your body feels because it's not supposed to be working this hard to walk up stairs. You DON'T KNOW just how miserable you are - UNTIL you start to change.

If you're reading this, and you want to lose weight, but haven't started a program yet, PLEASE listen. Give it 3 weeks. 3 weeks of really sticking to a plan, not cheating (as much as possible), making active changes in your diet and activity level and trying to change. If you don't feel better about yourself, if you don't start to feel more confident, have more energy, have people notice that you look good, have the scale show that you're losing weight, then you can tell me to shut up. But I really believe that you'll realize, on some scale, how much the way you feel about yourself can change the way you live your life. Can change the person that you are. If you've fallen into a weight-loss rut, don't let yourself feel guilty and sink back into that unhappy place. Everyone struggles on this journey - if it were easy, everyone would be thin! Instead of wallowing in self-pity with a pint of ice cream, try to remember a time when you were really succeeding. Didn't it feel fantastic? Did you do things that surprised yourself? It might have been something as small as wearing an outfit that you never would have worn before. Or going somewhere new. Wasn't that feeling better than what you're feeling now? Getting it back is as simple as deciding to take control of your life again. One day at a time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Weigh-in day 15!

197.7!!!!!!!!!! 2.3 pounds this week, and FINALLY out of the 200's!!!! And grand total of 29.7 pounds since September, and 19.3 pounds since January! I really buckled down this week, because I was SO close to breaking 200 last week. But it feels so good to lose that much weight in a week that I think I'm going to do the same this week! Plus, being that it's summer, it's bathing suit season. So the more I stay on track, the more confident I feel about the way my body looks now.

I think that's the biggest difference I notice. Yeah, my clothes fit better, and I'm starting to buy smaller sizes, and that feels great. But I'm just more confident in general - I wear stuff I wouldn't have worn last year. Last night I went to the Sex and the City 2 midnight premiere, and I wore a gray dress with bright red 3-inch heels. And I didn't care if anyone thought I was overdressed. I just liked what I had on, so I felt great.

In other news, my mom and step-dad have recently purchased a Wii Fit! If you've never been on one, they're actually really cool. I house sat for a friend over Christmas, and they let me use theirs. I've been anxious to get one of my own ever since! It has yoga, strength training, cardio and balance exercises. The yoga, I think, is particularly cool, because it measures your balance and steadiness while you do each exercise - to make sure you're doing it right. The cardio doesn't get my heart rate up nearly as high as I'd like, but it's still stuff that's fun to do. I'm so excited to be able to do yoga in my house, and have strength training exercises I don't have to go to the gym for. Not that I'll stop going to the gym, but it will be nice to be able to mix up my workout a little bit. Plus, they have fun fit games!! I'll let you know how it goes!! Thank you all for always supporting me!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Importance of Milk

I drink a glass of milk every day with my breakfast. I LOVE milk - I probably drink it more now than when I was a kid. Now, milk is super important for me because people (especially women) that take thyroid medication are at high risk for osteoporosis. But it's also REALLY important for people who want to lose weight or maintain their weight! In addition to calcium, milk also contains these essential nutrients: protein, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, magnesium and vitamin D. Who can argue with that good stuff?! Weight Watchers recommends 2 glasses of milk per day - or 2 servings of dairy.

Some people believe that drinking milk can make you overweight - this is a HUGE myth!! In fact, having enough calcium in your diet can help weight loss maintenance and helps boost your metabolism. It is important, however, to drink fat free or 1% milk instead of 2% or whole milk. I know, milk lovers, skim milk "tastes like water" - but it's MUCH better for you than milks that are higher in fat. Ween yourself off slowly - if you can only get down to 1%, you're taking in a lot less fat than those who drink whole milk!

Here are some other perks of including 2 glasses of milk per day in your diet:
It prevents osteoporosis (everyone knows!) but also, hyper tension and colon cancer.
It can reduce tooth decay.
It helps you feel fuller longer - who doesn't want that!

Don't like milk? If you're a coffee lover, putting milk instead of cream in your coffee or latte is a great way to add a serving of milk! Also, cottage cheese and non-fat yogurt are loaded with the same dairy protein as milk.
Other great ways to get calcium:
1. Sprinkle a small amount of shredded low-fat cheese on . . . well, anything!
2. Stir some plain non-fat greek yogurt into many recipes for dairy-based dip, low-fat cream soup, or spicy Indian dishes to add creaminess and texture.
3. Wrap some sliced low-fat cheese around asparagus spears, turkey breast, roast-beef or string beans.
4. Use low-fat fruit-flavor yogurt as a topping on angel food cake, a bowl of berries or low-fat granola

So make sure you get that dairy in your diet!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Weigh-in day 14

200.0 GRRRRR! SO close! In 2 weeks, I lost .2 pounds. Now, I haven't been diligent about logging my points OR going to the gym. So, on the upside, I have learned to change my eating habits enough that I can maintain my weight without working out. But, I really wanted to be out of the 200's!

So, hopefully this will motivate me to be a more diligent dieter this week. I think I got used to eating how I ate when I was working out. And now I'm eating about the same amount, but not getting to the gym as often. Which could explain why I haven't been losing weight very quickly lately.

The reason I haven't been getting to the gym is because I am no longer allowed to be on my mom's family gym membership. Apparently, even though I live with her, I'm too old. A month after your 24th birthday, according to Ft. Sanders, I'm officially an adult. Now, my sister is going out of town for the summer for an internship, so I will be able to use her card. But eventually I'm going to have to go gym shopping. My restaurant has a deal with the YMCA downtown where I can be a member there for $49/month. Now, I'm not sure how long I'll be at the restaurant (I like it, I just don't want to be a waitress forever!), but I know I hope to be moving a lot closer to downtown sometime this year. So that might be a possibility. If anyone knows of a cheaper gym, though, let me know!

Despite the fact that I basically maintained my weight the past 2 weeks, I have seen things in the last few weeks that have made me proud. I fit into a size 14 dress for my cousin's wedding. I bought a size medium dress in February that didn't quite fit, but it was the only one because it was at a secondhand store, so I bought it anyway. And I managed to fit into it for Cinco de Mayo! In fact, I had to buy new work pants because mine were so loose. Now, the size 14 jeans are a little tight, but they do fit. All my clothes are fitting better, in fact, and I have the confidence to wear things I didn't before. All around, it's really nice.

As always, thank you for your support!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Self Assessments

I can't remember the last time I believed someone when they told me, "You are beautiful." I am lucky in a lot of ways. I have people in my life that tell me I'm beautiful. Family, friends of my parents, and friends of mine always seem to be boosting my self-confidence. But I never believe them, no matter who it's coming from or how sincere they mean it to be. In fact, it usually just makes me even more aware of how un-beautiful I feel. And I always find a reason for their compliment not to be true. They're just being nice, they're just saying that, they have an ulterior motive, they're required to say that because their a family member/boyfriend/friend, they're just saying it because I'm dressed up, they're just saying it to flatter me because they know I've lost weight and they want to be nice, if they saw me without all this makeup they wouldn't think that, there's other gorgeous girls here and they don't want to make me feel bad, or they're just plain lying. In Sex and the City, the character Miranda, the one I identify with most, is seeing a guy who told her, "I think you're very sexy." And she can't believe him! She says to her friend Carrie, "Smart, yes! Funny, but never sexy. Sexy is what I try to get them to see me as once I win them over with my personality." Sometimes I think that's my mantra in life. I've been lucky enough to have wonderful men in my life, but I never understood why they wanted to be with me. And I know I've pushed many of them away because I don't feel like I deserve them.

Isn't is amazing that all it takes is ONE person's opinion to make you think you're not worth anything? And sometimes it's just the way you interpret their statement that makes it negative. I remember being a kid and watching my dad carry my younger sister around on his shoulders. I always wanted the same attention, to feel like I was just as special as she was. So I would want to be picked up too, to be carried around. And he would often say, "Oh no, honey, you're too heavy." And even as a kid, I felt big in a bad way and unspecial. Less special. I remember being in my bathing suit for swim team picture day and putting on a brave face and smiling and laughing with my friends. But I was always secretly hoping in the group picture that they would put me on the 3rd or 4th row so no one would look at my thighs. My individual picture was a horrible experience every year, and my parents would always (proudly) frame the picture and put it on display. I hated seeing that picture every day. In my high school swim team picture, they put me on the front row. Then they blew up the picture, framed it and put it on a hallway wall in my school. Every time I walked past that picture, I prayed that people didn't know it was me because all I could see was my fat. In fact, I think one of the reasons I gave up swimming is because I never felt comfortable on a team where everyone was tiny.

I was telling my dear friend this the other day, and she said she felt the same way. I think she's gorgeous and I always have, and I know her husband tells her every chance he gets how beautiful he thinks she is. And the fact that she doesn't think she's beautiful either makes me wonder what the HELL is wrong with the world today. What is getting put in the heads of KIDS to make them think that they're not good enough? Is it because they see their mother's dieting and working out constantly? Is it because the ONLY thing they see on television is people who look like they only eat lettuce all day? I know why America is unhealthy physically - but why are we so mentally dependent on food?

I'm not saying this because I want pity. In fact, if everyone of you who reads this (who knows how many that will be), comes and tells me that you think I'm beautiful, it will only make me more aware how screwed up I am. I'm not saying to stop saying it, but I just have a hard time finding it true. And I'll start to think I'm being placated. So why am I saying this? I'm saying this because I'm trying to explore why I got to this weight. What is it that made food my comfort for almost EVERY emotion I can think of, especially the negative ones. I can't go through this process without digging deeper and at least starting to realize why I feel so inadequate, so unworthy of the things that make life great.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Weigh-in day 13!

Okay, so this post is late, BUT I did actually weigh-in on the correct day and . . . . .200.2!!! I've hit my 10% weight loss goal, which means I lost 10% of my body weight!! Two weeks ago I was 202.5, and that was before I went back to Texas and ate pretty badly. I'm slightly frustrated that I'm not quite yet in the 190's, but hitting 200 is a big deal for me. I NEVER want to see that number again!!

The entire month of April, I basically just tried to maintain. There was a lot of traveling and my birthday, house-sitting, etc. so I just decided to do my best to make good choices and work out when I could. April 7th I weighed in at 204.1, so that means I managed to lose about a pound a week! This is the huge thing about that - I'm managing to change my eating habits. Without really watching my points, I still managed to lose weight at a healthy (but not snail) pace. This is not a diet for me - this is me making myself healthy and happy for the long haul.

Here's some perks of losing JUST 10% of your body weight:
1) A healthier heart - you lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, which are two major risk factors for heart disease.
2) lower risk of type 2 diabetes - you improve your body's ability to use the insulin it already makes.
3) mental edge - it can give you the self-confidence and motivation to keep going! Take the time to congratulate yourself for this - it's a big accomplishment! Success builds on success - if you don't celebrate your successes, you'll forget how much you've accomplished.
4) you have more energy and you'll feel better!

Thank you all for your support! I REALLY will try to be better about posting now that I'm wanting to really get serious about keeping track of my points again. Don't be afraid to hold me accountable! Love you all!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Weigh-in day 12!

Yes, I know, I've missed a couple of weigh-ins. AND this one is a day late, but I'm trying my best to post when I can! This week . . . 202.5!! This is a bit of a guesstimate, because Monday at the doctor's office I weighed 202.4, but today at the gym I weighed 202.9 in my non-workout clothes. So, I'm sort of averaging. Nonethless - a step closer! When I weighed in before Texas in March, I was at 203. So, this is good! Once I got back to my (sort of) normal lifestyle, the weight is still coming off, albeit slowly.

I'm about to take another trip to Texas which I'm sure will include some alcohol temptation and also delicious food that I shouldn't eat. These are things that everyone has to deal with on vacation - they can't be avoided. So, I'm going to say a couple of things about TRAVELING while on a diet. #1 - PREPARATION IS YOUR FRIEND!! Don't expect the gas station or the news stand in the airport to have the cereal/snack bars/baked chips you like. Bring your own! There's no airline restriction on how much food you can carry on. As long as it's not liquid, you're safe. If you're staying with a friend, they won't mind you buying some healthy snacks or foods from the grocery store. Family is sometimes a little harder - nobody wants to hurt grandma's feelings by not eating her pie! But if your family supports you, they will want you to succeed. Just say, in the nicest way possible, I just need a couple of things from the store to help me stay on track with my diet! Have a bite or two of whatever they're cooking, and then rave about how delicious it is. Most importantly - don't guilt yourself into eating what you don't want to. In the end, it's your call.
#2 - DRINK WATER! A great plan in everyday life, too, but traveling makes your body retain water. The best thing you can do is stay hydrated and try to flush the salt out of your system, so you won't feel bloated. Steer clear of sodas and even teas (especially sweetened ones) if you can - water's always better!
#3 - Make good decisions WHENEVER POSSIBLE! Everyone likes to splurge a little on vacation. But the key is to plan your splurges. If you splurge at every meal, don't expect to lose weight that week. Eat salads/veggies and fruit whenever you can to help combat the fatty /cheesy/carb-filled things you might want to eat later.
#4 - Be HONEST WITH YOURSELF. If you know you're going to be miserable making "good decisions" all week - then decide BEFORE HAND to maintain or gain a pound or two. Take control of your situation and say, "This is my week to have a little of what I usually can't have, so that I don't feel deprived and I can stick to my diet plan longer." Really, that's the ultimate goal. Nobody can go through life avoiding all desserts forever (ok, maybe you can, and I applaud you!), so it's all about balance. The most important thing is not to lose control - have a little of the stuff you love, and try to push away the plate. Whether it's good foods or bad foods, it's all about portion control. And if you decide before hand to let yourself loose a bit, then you're in control of your diet. Your diet CANNOT control you.

Thanks for reading everyone! Happy vacationing if you're lucky enough to do so!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dealing with Busyness

AHHHHH I know I've been a slacker about blogging!! I haven't given up! But I have been SUPER busy. Here's why: The last few days of March I made a surprise visit to Texas. I did my best to make good food choices, but there was lots of celebratory drinking. And I was in Texas for my weigh-in day, so I didn't get on my regular scale. And since each scale is a little different, I didn't count that weigh-in day.

Then, the Monday after Texas was my birthday! And again, I made smarter food choices than would have this time last year. BUT I did eat a little more than I usually would. And again, celebratory drinks with friends. So last week when I weighed in I had gained 1.3 pounds. Considering the 2 weeks before, I thought that was pretty good. Weight Watchers considers "maintaining" your weight to be within 2 pounds of your weight. So - I maintained to the most part.

My weigh-in day tomorrow I'm kind of dreading. On one hand, I need to get back on the horse big time. On the other, I hate feeling like I'm moving away from my goal. I know, I know - as long as I don't let my momentum go out the window and give up because I haven't lost a lot lately, it will be fine. And in that vein, my friend Sarah and I went to the gym today. I had a free guest pass from the gym as a birthday gift, and she went with me to my Body Flow class. Now, let me say, my friend Sarah has ALWAYS pushed me when it comes to being fit. And now she's in the best shape I've ever seen her in. And she left the class saying, "Wow, that was tough!" It made me feel really good that I go every week and work hard there.

I need 2 things to change for me to continue losing weight. 1 - I need a better way for me to track my points. Some days I come home and I crash, and I don't have the energy to log all my points. And a lot of times, I don't get to my computer in the middle of the day. So I'm looking for the Weight Watchers iphone/ipod touch app. That way, anywhere there's wireless, even if I don't have my computer, I can figure out how many points I have left for the day.
2 - I need to get to the gym more often. I'm working at the restaurant more, and I'm teaching more. These are great financial things that I've been blessed with, but I need to learn to balance that with taking care of myself physically. So, in short, I need to learn to wake up early and get to the gym. I know how to wake up early if I have to - but every time I say, "I'm going to go to the gym early!" somehow, the snooze button keeps getting hit and then I have no time. So - I'm asking for help. (Yes, Mom, I know it's shocking!) I know I have friends who wake up early, so I might ask one of you one day to call me until I'm awake. Until I make myself get in that habit, it won't happen.

So I know what I need to change - all that's left is to do it! Love you all and thank you so much for your support!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Weigh-in day 11!

203!!!! 1.8 pounds this week, 14.8 pounds since January, 24.4 since September. Still going - slow but steady. And on the upside - I'm 1 pound away from losing 10% of my body weight, and 3 pounds away from being under 200! I'm really looking forward to seeing that 1 in front of my weight. I know my number would be going down faster if I could get to the gym more often. But I'm doing my best to eat well even when I can't log all my points into And it looks like it's paying off!

Last week I went to go buy some new clothes because my old dress pants were starting to look like clown pants. I picked out a bunch of stuff, varying from size 14 to size 16 women's. I wasn't quite sure what size I was in. The first 4-5 pairs of jeans I tried on were size 14, and they were all too tight. It was such a miserable feeling - I had forgotten how awful it is to pick out a bunch of cute stuff and have none of it fit because you're overweight. I did find 2 pairs of pants that are size 14 that were a little tight, but fit! And since I'll soon be moving into an even lower size (yay!!), I bought them anyway. Since I've been wearing them I've gotten alot of compliments at how much thinner I look. It feels SO good to have visual confirmation of my hard work.

To all you out there losing weight - don't quit!! And thanks for keeping up!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Weigh-in day 10!

204.8! 1.2 pounds lost this week, 13 pounds since starting this blog and 23 pounds since September!

Not a ton of time to write, but I do want to say that I'm not getting off the horse! I would have loved to have lost more weight this week, but I'm doing what I can do considering my lately very busy schedule. I made time to go to the gym today, even though I'd much rather have started my St. Patty's Day celebrations early. So - slow and steady wins the race! Keep at it friends and thank you for reading!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Surround Yourself

In honor of today's "health tip" thingy I have added to this blog, I want to talk about the importance of surrounding yourself with people and things that remind you to be healthy. Today it was just that - "Surround yourself with people and things that remind you to stay healthy." I've tried this diet thing so many times, but I think one of the main reasons it's working this time is because I'm not afraid to talk about it. Everyone important in my life knows that I'm dieting, and it's like having a little angel on my shoulder all the time, reminding me to eat healthy. Whereas before, I was almost afraid to tell people I was dieting in case I failed. NOW I know I'm succeeding and I plan on continuing to succeed, so everyone knows! And since everyone knows, no one is mean enough to encourage me to order dessert or french fries or a cheeseburger.

If you feel like you're dieting alone, and you feel like you can "get away" with eating whatever you want when no one's around, imagine me sitting next to you. Or imagine someone that you want to inspire to start losing weight. What would they think of you eating that? I know when I was struggling I imagined my friend Brittany (who lost 10 pounds in her first 3 weeks of Weight Watchers!!) sitting with me at every meal. It really helped me eat healthy when I was dying to go for that pizza. Or perhaps you're struggling to continue dieting because you're starting to feel comfortable at your current weight. Remind yourself why you started dieting in the first place - was it just to lose weight? Or was it to make your body and lifestyle healthier? Put a note on your fridge/pantry door/secret drawer of emergency candy that says something that inspires you, that might keep you away from unhealthy foods. Here are things that I think - I'm changing my life. TODAY is tomorrow - tomorrow will never come if I don't start today. Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels. You only get one body - make it last!!
Things like that - though they may be cheesy and motivational speaker-ish - they remind me WHY I'M HERE. When I was feeling unmotivated, I went back and read my first entry in this blog. I've been feeling so good lately, I almost forgot how horrible it feels to be fat and to feel like you're stuck there.

No matter where you are in your weight loss journey, it's possible that you'll hit a bump in the road. Remember that you're never alone on this journey.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Weigh-in day 9

This week I weighed in at 206 pounds, which is .2 pounds MORE than I weighed last week. So, I didn't have the greatest week. It took me a few days after my last post to get motivated again, and I'm sure that this weigh-in is a reflection of that. But, on the upside, I'm feeling MUCH more motivated again and I went to the gym yesterday and today! So, a tiny setback, but nothing I can't overcome. :)

In response to my own question about, "Why go to the gym when I can lose weight without it?" I did some research about the benefits of working out. Everyone knows that working out helps you maintain a healthy weight and helps you lose weight. But why else is it good? Why workout?

Benefits of working out:
1. You can eat more!!! This is my favorite reason - who doesn't want to eat more without gaining weight?
2. Aerobic exercise (anything that gets your heart rate between a moderate-high rate, also known as cardio) works your heart, which (in case you've forgotten from 8th grade health!) is a muscle. It needs to be worked to stay strong. The stronger it is, the more efficiently it can pump blood to all parts of your body. In fact, physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients (important things) to all the tissues in your body, and helps your entire cardiovascular system work more efficiently. The more efficient your muscles and systems, the more energy that YOU have. Also, a strong heart helps prevent heart disease and decrease the possibility of heart attacks. In short - strong heart is good!
3. Strength training (lifting weights, crunches, etc.) builds strong muscles which helps support your joints and prevents injuries. For example - strong abs help support your lower back. Also, muscles burns more energy than fat when your body is at rest, so building muscles helps you burn more calories!
4. Flexibility training (stretching) reduces the risk of strained muscles and sprains.
5. Exercise of any kind produces endorphins, which can help you feel more generally peaceful and happy. It also combats depression and low self-esteem, as well as helping you sleep more deeply. By sleeping better, you can improve your concentration, productivity and mood. (Who wants to be grumpy and scatterbrained?) Be careful not to exercise too close to bedtime, though, or you might be too energized to fall asleep!
6. Exercise lowers the risk of diseases like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes by decreasing your body fat percentage.
7. Exercise can help you age well by preventing diseases like osteoporosis. This might seem like a small thing if you're in your twenties, but your body will thank you later! It's the only body you're ever going to get. And adding exercise as a routine will give you more energy and keep your body strong as you get older. It's much easier to continue exercising than to suddenly start in your 40's.

So, knowing this, consider the other options. If you DON'T workout, you become weaker, fatter, lazier, more tired and more prone to disease and injury. Why NOT workout?! On a weight loss journey, why wouldn't you do something that's going to help you lose weight faster? Not to mention look more toned, have more energy and generally feel better? There's so many reasons to workout, and the only reasons I can think of NOT to workout is if 1) you're busy, or 2) you're tired/lazy. Pretty crappy reasons when compared to all the benefits you get from spending a little time at the gym.

I know not everyone can spend an hour and a half in the gym every day - I don’t even have time for that all the time! Here’s a great website to help make your short workouts effective:
(Careful - this website says it's designed for people who already have a regular workout program. It has some good advice, but don't rush your body.)
Here are some of my favorites:
1. High Intensity -Focus on keeping your intensity high through your shorter workouts. The higher the intensity, the more calories you burn! High intensity = high heart rate, but be careful not to push your heart too hard. If it feels like it's going to pound out of your chest, you might be working too hard.
2. One set, to failure - If you're limited on time but still want to fit in strength training, do only 1 set of repetitions with heavier weights, instead of 2-3 with lighter ones. Lift until you can no longer keep a proper form - when you start to shake, it's too time to stop!
3. Mix it up - don't repeat the same workout forever! Your body gets used to this and starts to burn less calories than if you switch it up.
4. Hills - if you find your cardio workout getting easier, start upping the incline on your treadmill/elliptical machine. This makes you stronger as well as burning more calories.

Happy gym-going!! Thank you for reading and for your constant support!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Struggle and Support

MAN, I have the BEST FRIENDS EVER. I've received everything from tough love to logical love to just plain love since my post yesterday. For the record, I have no plan to quit my diet. The thought of going back to being fat and very unhappy did not even hang out in my head long enough for me to consider it a possibility. I've been feeling too good (I mean physically good, not necessarily emotionally good) since I started this healthier lifestyle. I don't get winded easily, I have more energy and in general I just feel physically capable to tackle things. Maybe it's a growing confidence, or maybe it's knowing my physical abilities better or a combination of both. Regardless, I can't imagine myself going back to eating french fries almost every day or gorging myself with fast food tacos whenever I feel like it. Even having a few unmotivated days didn't make me crave fast food.

I thought about not posting yesterday. I thought about waiting until the unmotivated slump had passed and acting like it wasn't there. But then I realized - who DOESN'T get frustrated when they're on a diet? Who doesn't have days or weeks where they just don't want to do it anymore? If my entire blog was happy and successful and "this is so easy!", that would be a lie. What I was feeling yesterday was true - and one of the reasons I posted it (besides needing inspiration for myself) was to show anyone who's struggling that they're not alone, and hopefully inspire them to push through it. Every dieter will hit a wall at some point. The key is to keep doing your best and NOT TO HIDE IT! If you don't ask for help, NO ONE CAN HELP YOU. I can't even explain to you how long it took me to figure that out. It's like the somewhat cheesy song "Lean On Me" says - "No one can fill those of your needs that you don't let show." I HATE admitting that I need help, that I'm struggling. But if I hadn't posted yesterday, would I be feeling better today? Would I have logged ALL my points for the bad food I ate yesterday? Or would I be in the same unmotivated place? I certainly know I wouldn't have gotten the kick in the pants I needed.

Now, I will say that some people just aren't ready. If you're trying to push your friend, neighbor, family member, etc. to diet with you, and they're not ready, then it's not going to work for them. No one can make that decision for them except themselves. You can encourage and support all you want, but they have to decide to hold themselves accountable. My mom used to encourage me to diet - I took it as some kind of insult, being my very proud and independent self. All I could hear was "You're fat" instead of "I know you're unhappy and you can be happier, please let me help you." Not everyone will see it this way, but it might discourage them slightly. Or maybe they're much more well adjusted than myself and will instantly move into a healthier lifestyle, who knows. But if you don't feel their enthusiasm, don't push. Set an example and perhaps when they see how great you look in your clothes or how quickly you're losing weight, they'll start to make changes too.

A VERY LARGE THANK YOU this week. It amazes me that just by writing this little blog I am affecting other people's lives in a positive way. Thanks for reminding me that I'm not just here for myself. And by here, I mean over 12 pounds down in 8 weeks.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Weigh-in day 8

205.8! 1.3 pounds this week, 12.2 pounds this year, 21.4 since moving back to Knoxville.

Even with this success, I'm feeling REALLY unmotivated. Hence the lack of blogs this week. I stopped logging my points this week on Saturday, and I haven't been to the gym since Thursday. I think it started with a thought that crossed my brain when I was at the gym - if I can lose weight without going to the gym, why go to the gym? I tried to push that thought as far out of my brain as possible, because I know the answer. Going to the gym will not only speed up my weight loss, but it will allow me to eat more per day and increase my lean muscle mass. And yet, here I am. I went to the gym to weight myself (we don't keep scales in the house), and decided I was too tired to put in a good workout. So I came home and ate chips and took a nap.

The more I think about my diet, the more I see it stretching out like a never ending road through the ugliest part of Texas. If I stick to the program and keep losing weight at the rate I am, I won't be at my goal weight until October at the earliest. I still have 55 pounds to lose. I miss . . . . enchiladas. And queso. And cake. So, we'll see how this week goes, I guess. Thanks for reading and all your support.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Weigh-in day 7!

After a week of being sick and not getting to the gym, AND taking last week off - 207.1! 2.1 pounds down! That makes a total of 19.7 pounds, or 10.9 pounds since the beginning of this year. Woo hoo!!!! I'm feeling great, even though I didn't quite get to the 2.5 pounds I hoped to lose. 2 pounds is a great weekly goal, and that puts me 7.1 pounds away from reaching 200 or less by the end of March. From now to the end of March is actually 5 weeks (my week starts on Wednesday), so that should be very achievable. I'm definitely hopeful!!

Today at the gym I pushed myself to up my running intervals. I've been running 2 laps at the end of my running/walking cardio segment, but during the segment I've been running 1.5 laps. Today, I ran 3 sets of 2 laps, which is alternated between 1.5 laps. That sounds confusing! Basically I did this - 2 laps walking, 2 laps running, 2 walking, 1.5 running, 2 walking, 2 running, 2 walking, 1.5 running, 2 walking, 2 running and 2 walking. Phew!! It was definitely difficult, but I want to push myself to be able to run 5 minutes (2 laps takes me about 1.75 minutes) straight by the end of April. By the end of March I'd like to be running 3 laps intervals. Hopefully with a dedicated gym schedule this will be possible!!!

Let me take this time to say how much I believe in interval cardio training. I read a website that said interval training can burn 9 times as much fat as standard aerobic exercises!!! You can also get more energy and more of a toned look. If you notice on elliptical machines, the "weight loss" program is one variety of interval training. Anything that spikes your heart rate, and then allows your heart to recover is interval training. So I use running and walking, or on the elliptical I up the resistance level. Try to make your intervals as even as possible - 2 minutes of one, 2 minutes of the other. Or longer intervals if you want! My running and walking intervals aren't yet even, but only because I need 2 laps for my heart to recover!! I'm looking forward to getting them even, time-wise. You can check out the webiste for more information!

Because of all this working out, I'm exhausted! I'll write again soon. Thank you!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Not Giving Up

Today I'm proud of not giving up. I had some hurdles to tackle this week - sickness, which made me want to eat anything to make me feel better, and not being able to go to the gym. It would have been easy to say, "oh I'm taking this week off" and just wait until I feel better to diet. But I took last week off, and I felt like I needed to get back on the horse. If I kept putting off returning to the diet routine, it would have been even harder to get back into it. So even with sickness and lack of working out, I stuck to it! And I'm actually looking forward to my weigh-in tomorrow. I'm hoping to at least lost .5 pounds, because that would put me at an even 10 pounds since the beginning of January. Ideally, I'd love to lose 2.5 pounds, which would mean I'd only have to lose 7 pounds in March to reach my goal of being under 200 by the end of the month, but any loss is a loss!

I think the biggest thing that made this week a little difficult is the lack of working out. I'm used to earning a lot of activity points (in WW, the more you work out, the more extra food points you get) that I can use to have some extra food. So, it's an adjustment when I don't have those extra points. Sure, I'm a little less hungry because I'm burning less calories, but when you're used to being able to eat something, it's a bit of a change when you can't. I'm still shocked that I missed going to the gym this week. I'm going later today, though! Finally over my cold.

In addition to not giving up this week, I'm proud of myself for not giving up on weight loss altogether. I've technically been signed up for weight watchers since October of 2008. I just couldn't stay consistent enough to really lose any weight until now. So it would have been easy for me to say, oh screw it, I'll always be fat. But I just wasn't satisfied with always being unhappy with myself. So eventually I found the motivation (and, thanks to thyroid drugs, the energy) to stick to it! And somewhat ironically, the biggest motivation to keep losing weight is seeing the results of the weight you've already lost. Seeing my clothes fit better, or wearing clothes I haven't worn in years, or hearing people compliment me about how thin I look - these things REALLY keep me motivated. The more I'm in a good mood/head space about my weight loss, the less I want to reach for those cupcakes. I talked yesterday about being a bored eater, but I'm also an emotional eater. If I'm feeling depressed, there's nothing I want more than fatty and greasy foods. Since I've been so motivated, I haven't been sad about turning down those foods. I was actually thinking about how satisfied I am with my life right now, and when I think back to how I felt about myself in just November or December, it's such a HUGE difference. It's hard to explain, but suffice it to say that my mom and stepdad have both noticed that my attitude has significantly changed for the better. Isn't it amazing the things that happen when you enjoy your life and feel good about yourself?!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bored Eating

Today I'm proud of NOT bored eating. Monday is my sleep in day - I don't have to work until 3:30. Usually I go to the gym, but I'm still not 100% over my sickness, and I didn't want to push it. I do fully intend to go tomorrow. So I woke up around 10, and just kind of vegged for most of the morning/early afternoon. Usually, I would want to munch on chips or popcorn or something, but I didn't! I had my breakfast, and 3 1/2 hours later I had lunch. The thing to do is keep busy, for me.

I have a HUGE problem with eating when I'm bored. I've found some snacks that allow me to do this, but still, anything can be bad if you're not paying attention to how much you're eating. Snacks I pull out when I know I only want to eat because I'm bored - any fruit that's eaten in pieces like grapes or oranges, 94% fat free popcorn made by Orville Redenbacher's and baked chips (still have to watch portion sizes, but they're better than regular chips). I find popcorn is the best for me - satisfies that salty craving and I get to eat a lot of it! Notice - this is not movie theater butter popcorn, it's low-fat popcorn! It still has flavor, a little salt and fake butter, and I think it's yummy.

No matter what I find to eat, I think I will struggle with bored eating my entire life. Even if I know I'm not hungry, I just have a desire to eat something. My mom used to call me out on it when I was a teenager. I think it's just part of my upbringing, or a habit that I might always have to fight. I wish I could say that I know I can break the habit, but I'm content now to say that I'm working towards decreasing the effect the habit has on my weight. I'm aware that it's a problem, and I'm eating healthier things when I have the urge. For now, that'll do.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Clothes and Chubbiness

Today I'm posting 2 things I'm proud of, since I missed yesterday.

First, I'm proud that yesterday I fit into a skirt that I haven't worn in about 2 years, AND I got 2 compliments that I looked nice. I remember that I bought it in fall of 2007 to wear in one of my Vocal Jazz Forums, and I'm positive I didn't wear it any last year - so 2 years is my best guess. And bonus - it's a size 14!!! Now, I'm not completely a size 14 yet, because I tried on a pair of pants in the same size and they didn't quite button. BUT I'm definitely moving closer, because I remember trying on those same pants last year and it looked liked I was trying to stuff 2 sausages into 1 sausage container. Now, usually that image would make me sad, but it didn't look that way this time, so I'm very excited!!!! :)

Second, I'm proud of sticking with my Body Flow class (for those of you that don't know, it's a blend of tai chi, yoga & pilates), even though I'm one of the chubbiest girls in there. And I'm proud that I can keep up with the people that have been doing pilates/yoga for much longer than myself. I usually go on Saturday mornings, but since I'm still sick (bummer), I didn't get to go yesterday. Nonetheless, I've been going at least once a week since I started posting about the class in January. And I'm getting pretty good! It's one of the main reasons I aced the flexibility and core strength portions of my fit test, I'm sure.

In fact, I'm proud of sticking with going to the gym in general. January and February are great because I see chubby people at the gym all the time. I want to go up and give them a hug and say, "Good for you!" but I don't, because if someone did that to me I would think they were weird. But it's nice to see other chubby people working to do the same thing I'm working to do. When I'm surrounded by only stick-figure girls or extremely muscular guys, I feel out of place, even though I'm proud of working out at all. Anyway, this weekend, since I was sick, I was actually upset that I couldn't workout. I knew that it was the best decision to help me get better in a hurry, but I miss the endorphins and the routine of working out. I used to HATE the gym - I think the key is finding a program you like and that you believe you can stick to. And try to make your "program" something you can do 3-4 times a week, not just cramming in 3 hours on Sunday as a last ditch effort to lose a pound. 30-45 minutes, 3-4 times a week is better than killing yourself all in one day. And by program, I mean whatever works for you - if that's an hour on the elliptical or 30 minutes of weight training or a class that you like - if you like it, you'll keep doing it. Personally, even stuff I don't love doing, I find it helps me to set a goal. For example, I hate running, but it's always bugged me that I can't run more than 5 feet (it feels like) without gasping for air. So, I set a goal that by the end of April I want to be able to run for 5 minutes straight. I feel like that's something I can be proud of accomplishing, but not something that's out of my reach. Right now I can only run for about 1.5 minutes, but when I started working out, I would only run for a minute. So we're making progress! And I've been increasing my cardio, so hopefully I'll start making some faster progress soon. And with less weight to carry around, my heart won't have to work as hard, either. So, in short - find what works for you!!

Classes at the gym can be intimidating, because you feel like only the "super fit" people go to them. But how do you think those super fit people became fit in the first place? When I'm just at the gym, I can zone out and pray no one is paying attention to me. I don't stare at anyone else, and I hope they all return the same favor. But in my Body Flow class, the room is lined with mirrors. Now ladies (and some gents, but mostly I think ladies have this problem) - those mirrors are not there to make you cringe and leave the class!! They're supposed to be there to help you improve your form and to be able to see the instructor at many different angles. Don't let stuff like that get you down! Classes are a great way to get out of your routine if you're getting bored, work on things you might have been leaving out like flexibility or strength training, or even just to step up the intensity in your cardio. Being a competitive person, I push myself more when I see other people are doing stuff that I find difficult - it makes me work harder, which gives me a better end result. I definitely encourage trying out a couple of classes at your gym if they're included in your membership, but if they don't motivate you or you don't enjoy them, then that's ok! Just make sure you give a couple of classes a chance - don't just take one and give up. :)

As always - THANK YOU!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Short Note

Today I'm proud of listening to my body. I've been developing a cold for the past couple of days. Yesterday I felt better, but I didn't have time to go to the gym. Today I was really congested and sneezy. After work (I wasn't sick enough to call in), I felt really achy and tired. So I came home and took a nap instead of working out. It's not worth burning the calories if I'm going to be making myself even sicker. I was still able to make good choices and used a few extra weekly WW points, but not that bad! A girl at work even commented on the fact that I'm always eating healthy food. It was satisfying to know that someone else noticed all my healthy choices.

I'm a little tired and have a sinus headache, so that's all I'm writing for today. But even though I'm sick I'm not giving up! Thanks, as always.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What Honesty Can Do

Today I'm proud of being honest. After years of hiding my body, of hiding the fact that I hate the way I look, I've been able to start changing my life by being honest. And mostly, I'm proud that my honesty has inspired some of my friends to take control of their life, too. My friend Brittany has started a blog very similar to this one. She even joined Weight Watchers because it's been working for me. In her first week, she lost 6 pounds! As if I wasn't happy enough losing weight myself and continuing to stay on plan, I've encouraged and inspired someone I love to do the same. And she is not the only one that has told me they're working towards a healthier self!!

I'm proud that I decided for myself that my life does NOT have to be mediocre - I do not have to be disappointed every time I look in the mirror. I CAN be as happy as I've ever been; I can spend my life at that level of satisfaction with myself. Bad things happen in life, of course, and that stuff is completely out of my hands. But the person that I am, the person I'm becoming - that IS in my hands. I'm proud that I've realized all this, and I'm proud that I've helped people I care about very much realize it.

Interestingly, the more I work on my health and my weight, the more I see my personality improving. I'm more of the person I hope to be one day. I'm a generally happier and more productive person. I don't snap at people as easily, I don't get as aggravated or angry at little things. I guess for me, the happier I am with myself, the happier I am for other people and all their accomplishments. The easier it is for me to be 100% happy for them, instead of like 5% jealous and 95% happy. I'm not saying that overweight people are selfish. But I know that sometimes there was a voice in the back of my head reminding me that I was unhappy. If someone got new clothes, I would think, "I'll never look that good in that outfit." Or if someone ate unhealthy food, I would think, "How come they can eat that and stay thin and I can't?" Living as an unhappy overweight person is exhausting - it feels like acting all the time. Acting like I'm happy, like I'm confident, like I feel like I belong in a group of all my gorgeous friends. But lately, I've been actually FEELING the way that I've been acting like I feel for years. I know I'm not at the finish line, but I'm feeling great about how far I've already come. Maybe it's that I can feel my clothes getting loser, or maybe it's all the endorphins from the gym - but whatever it is, I like it!

Please ask if you'd like the link to my friend Brittany's blog - I hope we can help her feel the same support I feel!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Weigh-in day 6!

This week was my kind-of week off. And I managed to lost 1/2 a pound! I'm now at 209.3. I didn't track my points after Friday, and I only worked out 2 days this week. But I managed to lose a little!! Mostly I'm proud that I didn't gain.

This week I've decided to post one thing every day that I'm proud of accomplishing. Not something I'm proud of about myself that comes naturally (like, musucular legs, or my eyes), but of something I've done. It could be something as small as turning down french fries, or something bigger like reaching a workout goal. Today - I'm proud that I could still make decent food decisions this week, even though I wasn't counting my points. I mentioned in my last post that fast food doesn't sound good to me anymore. But it's not just that - I'm more aware of my portion sizes, and I can tell that my stomach has started shrinking. What wouldn't fill me up before, makes me satisfied now. Or perhaps it's just that I don't eat until I feel like I'm exploding. Either way. Even when I eat fattening/bad for me food, I eat it in a smarter way. I don't let myself just eat out of boredom or habit. I pay attention to WHY I'm eating, which is a big issue for me. So I'm proud that in just 2 months I've changed my unhealthy eating habits almost completely.

I'm a firm believer in "you can eat whatever you want in moderation," although I think many people use it as an excuse. To an extent, it's true - if you're working out regularly and dieting, then it's even more true. If you watch your portion sizes and allot for the extra calories in your diet plan, then yes, you can eat almost anything! I can't say this enough - you CANNOT restrict yourself from all "bad" foods - your diet plan will fail. Unless you have much conviction and self-control than I do! I do a mental check before I decide to eat something unhealthy - how many points do I have left for the day? Am I hungry? Do I really want to eat it? I make myself think before I eat. Again, it's one decision at a time!!

And as always - thank you!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Temporary Break

This week kicked my butt. When I wasn't running my butt off, I was exhausted. I often didn't have time to get to my computer to log my WW points. So, around Saturday, I decided to make this a week off. I didn't make horrible decisions, but I certainly didn't follow the diet like I usually would have.

Interestingly, I discovered something. I was thinking about picking up fast food on Saturday on the way home from a gig. Now, the old Danielle would have had no problem going through the McDonald's drive through and ordering the double quarter pound with cheese and a large fry. But no matter what fast food place I thought of, nothing sounded good enough for me to waste that many calories on. it was the most bizarre feeling - I can't say I've ever not wanted fattening food. It wasn't even guilt really that kept me away, just a feeling of it not being worth it. Who knew almost 2 months on a diet could change you that much? I ended up going to Chili's and getting a house salad and chips and salsa. (I'm not calling myself a saint - I ate about half of that bag of chips.)

I'll be interested to see what happens on Wednesday when I weigh-in. I'm expecting either to maintain or gain around a pound. I'm doing my best to not look at this as a step back, but instead as a well-deserved (and needed, for the sake of my sanity) break. Even if I gain, which will be sad, you get what you work for. And I just didn't have the time or energy to put in the work this week. So, not every week is a success. We'll see.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Weigh-in day 5!

So, this week my normal weigh-in day was a little thrown off. Yesterday, I went to Nashville to go see John Mayer, and I had to leave right after work. So, I weighed myself on Tuesday and Thursday and took the average of the weight loss which means . . . . . 209.8! 1.5 pounds down!! AND under 210! People have started noticing that I look thinner and complimenting me. It always feels great to hear that. I know that my clothes have been fitting better and I'm starting to wear stuff I never would have 3 months ago. I still have lots of clothes in my closet that don't quite fit, but it's certainly getting better.

This week might be a little tricky - it's my "female" week. I've been losing steadily since I started this blog, so if this week isn't the greatest then that's ok. I mean, obviously I want to keep losing, but if there's going to be a week of the month that I lose less than others, this is it.

I want to clear something up about the pictures I posted. My very fantastic friend Brittany said she hopes to have my confidence. And while I intensely appreciate her (and everyone's!) support, I am NOWHERE NEAR happy with my body. And any confidence I have is just because I'm down 19 pounds, not because I'm actually confident with the way I look now. I posted those pictures because I'm tired of hiding, of only buying clothes that I know will hide my body. I'm tired of going shopping with my friends and only buying hats and jewelry because I don't want to see how I look in the clothes they look fantastic in. So I may be brave (although that's not the word I would use), but confidence in body is not something I have yet. That's what I'm working on! What I can say is that I'm proud. I'm proud of going to the gym as often as I have been, and of continuing to make good choices.

An old roommate of mine used to have a motto posted on our fridge - Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels. Now, this is all well and good most of the time, until you eat an entire carton of mint chocolate chip ice cream. I actually think nothing tastes as good as the feeling of pride you have when you're making the right choices, or after you leave the gym. Which, ironically, can allow you to have a couple bites of ice cream.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

One More Thing . . .

Almost forgot! In honor of The Biggest Loser, if you are planning on losing weight this year, PLEASE go to and pledge your planned weight loss!!! It's FREE, and for every pound pledged, a pound of food is donated to your local food bank. Last week I pledged to lose 50 pounds this year.

This is a great cause, promoting a healthy lifestyle for all Americans, whether that means eating less or making sure there's enough food on the table to feed your family. 4,018,678 pounds have been pledged so far. Especially in this recession, this is much needed food for people all over the country. 1 in 8 Americans are affected by hunger, and many of them are children who need food to help them succeed in school and break the hunger cycle in their family. Many of you know that my mom is the director of Knoxville's food bank, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, which is part of the parent organization Feeding America. She works everyday to counteract the hunger epidemic in 18 counties in East Tennessee. 1 in 6 East Tennesseans deal with hunger everyday, or 245, 006 people. This is not just a problem in 3rd world countries - it happens RIGHT HERE in America. And you can do something about it - without having to pay a dime! Even if you're only planning to lose 10 pounds - that's 10 pounds of food on a family's table.

Right now Tennessee is in 15th place in the US with pounds pledged, and Texas is in 2nd place!! Texas is one of the fattest states in the country - so go Texans!! No matter what state you are in - every pound counts!! So go and pledge to take that weight off!

Training and Accountability

Hello all! Today's Tuesday, which is usually pretty busy for me, but has cleared out a little this week. So I have plenty of time to go to the gym today - which I plan to do in about an hour! I'm going to put in a little cardio before my Body Flow class. Just wanted to make a quick post beforehand.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I worked with a trainer on some arm and leg strength training exercises. They gave me 3 quick and easy exercises that get all major muscle groups in both my arms and legs. It takes about 10 minutes. Strength training isn't my forte - I'm great at getting cardio in, but I hate taking time to do 15 exercises on 15 different machines. I want to be toned, but it's not what I enjoy working on. I had someone set up a program like that for me once, and I just couldn't stick to it. It took too much time and it's SO boring to me. So this time I asked for a simple, quick program that I could add to later if I felt like I could handle it. My gym was very accomodating. (By the way, both the fit test and the setting up of this program are included in the membership costs. Ask the people who work at your gym if something like this is included for you! Great way to get around having to pay for a personal trainer!) For legs, they have me doing leg presses (like squats but pushing weight away from you with your legs instead of pushing your body up), 2 sets of 12 with 90 lbs. of weight. For arms I have 2 exercises - one is a downward row (pulling weight down and towards me in a rowing motion instead of just straight back towards me), and the other is like a chest press where my arms are straight out and I pull them in, palms together. Both exercises I do 2 sets of 12 with 8 pounds each arm on the rowing, and 4 pounds each arm on the chest press. Between the 2 of these, they get my triceps (back of arm), biceps, chest and back/shoulder muscles. I didn't need any ab exercises since I'm doing abs in my Body Flow class and crunches on my own. So everything's covered!

My mom asked me the other day why I think the diet is working this time when it didn't work so many times before. I told her it's probably a couple of reasons, one being that I moved away from college and am living a generally more healthy lifestyle now. I'm much less stressed out now that I'm not in school and working at the same time. But mostly, I'm really being honest with myself about what I'm eating. I used to say "I don't feel like counting my points today I PROBABLY stayed in my daily points," or "Oh, I'm eating a salad, so it's PROBABLY okay that I have 4 dinner rolls with butter," or "Man, that french onion dip looks good, it's PROBABLY low fat, right?" This all continued until my size 18 pants starting getting tight, or my jeans would wear out in 3 months because I wore a hole through the material between my thighs so quickly. So now, I may still let myself have that french onion dip, but I make sure to enter it into my points tracker (WW online program that counts all your points for you if you enter in the right food). I make sure to enter my points in every day, even if I really don't feel like it. And I hold myself to one roll instead of 4. I'm not restricting myself from foods I like completely - I've just adjusted how often I eat them and how much of them I eat. The other day I had a fun size 3 Musketeers bar. (And by the way, I think the name "fun size" for candy bars is complete crap. Because true fun size would be about 5 times the size of what "fun size" is. They should call it "smart size" instead. Just a thought.) So, morale of the day - find a workout that works for you, and learn to hold yourself accountable!! No one else is going to do it for you! People are always around to support you and help you - but when it comes down to it, YOU are the only person that can pry the chocolate chip cookie dough out of your hands at 1:30am!!!

Thanks to you all for being my support and help!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fit Test

In the interest of honesty, I've posted these pictures. I want something to compare when I've reached my goal weight. Let me say that I haven't worn those shorts in public since probably 11th grade. I usually try to find an excuse NOT to go to the beach or a pool or really anywhere where I know there's going to be a lot of people and I'm going to be wearing about this much clothing. And this is 17 pounts down. So even though they are very difficult to post, this blog is about honesty. What's more honest than photos?

And on that note, the results of my fit test. I'll give you all the stats first.
VO2 max (maximal oxygen consumption) - 32.83 (below average)
Body Mass Index (weight vs. height) - 34.70 (Grade 1 Obesity)
Blood Pressure - 114/72 (Optimal)
Body Fat % - 37.90% (Well below average)
Waist to Hit Ratio - .82 (barely average)
Flexibility - 19.6 inches (average)
Upper body strength - 15 pushups (well below average)
Core body strength - 70 crunches (well above average)

Okay, so some explanation of what all that crap means.
The VO2 max is the maximal rate at which oxygen can be taken up and used by muscles during physical activity. Basically, it depends on how efficient your heart, lungs and musculoskeletal system can work. It's a measurement of Cardiorespiratory Endurance (CRE), which is the to ability work out at moderate to high intensity for extended periods of time. The higher your CRE, the higher your VO2 max. Why does all this matter? People with low VO2 max are at a greater risk for early death from cardiovascular disease. Now, mine is 32.83. Average, for my age, is 35.2-38.0. My level is average for women 40-49. That was an eye-opening number. I'd hate to know what it was before I started working out regularly. But I look forward to see how fast the number goes up - I'll have another one of these in 3 months I think. The girl that did my fit test said it's very possible at my age to get to the "well above average" level, which is 44.1 and up because I'm young. But at this point I'd be happy with average.
Body Mass Index is pretty self explanatory - weight relative to height. Average for women is between 18.5-24.9 kg/m2. I'm .2 away from being at Grade 2 Obesity, which comes right before Morbid Obesity. So I'm sure glad I'm heading the opposite direction at the moment.
Blood Pressure - everyone knows this is important. Mine is good! Hooray!
Body Fat Percentage - this is the women's scary area. Now, according to the paper I received with all this information on it, I'm considered "well below average." "Average" is between 19.1-22.1%. The girl that gave me the test, however, told me that 32 % or less is healthy, 20-25% is fitness level and less than 20% is athlete level. So, I'd really like to be 25-27%. We'll see how that goes!
Waist to Hip Ratio - this is a valuable way to measure changes in body composition. It measures overall distribution of fat. If fat is stored in the abdominal region, you're at higher risk for developing hypertension, Type II diabetes and heart disease. I'm just barely average - which means I probably was high risk 17 pounds ago. But again - headed in the right direction!
Flexibility is important because it can prevent injury. I'm on my way to being above average - the Body Flow class I'm taking is a big help.
Upper body strength - this is always women's weakness. Average is between 26-31 pushups, so that's my goal. Today I worked with a trainer to get a couple of arm exercises that can help me reach this goal.
Core body strength - I ROCKED this section. In fact, I maxed out the test. Heck yeah - doing abs everyday that I'm at the gym is paying off!!

I took this same test in 2005, when I weighed around 190. Just for comparisons sake, here are my results from then. The test has changed a bit, so they didn't measure my VO2 max, but here's everything else.
Body Mass Index - 31
Blood Pressure - 102/60
Body Fat Percentage - 29%
Waist to Hip Ratio - .84
Flexibility - 15.7 in
Upper body strength - 17 pushups
Core body strength - 56 crunches

My waist to hip ratio is actually lower now than it was, even though I weigh more now. I'm going to guess that this is due to my intense ab work lately. Or perhaps I gained more weight around my hips this time than last time. Let's hope for the former. My flexibility is better now (thanks to the Body Flow class and my diligent stretching), as is my core body strength. I don't think my upper body strength is actually worse - I just have more weight to push up now.

In other news, I think things are going well! I went to a small superbowl gathering and managed to stay within my weekly points. I've eaten out a couple more times this week than last week, and I may have underestimated the points on some items. And I didn't go to the gym Saturday, even though I had plenty of time to. Friday I usually have time to go, but I had a gig so I couldn't. Anyway, if I work out tomorrow I will have only worked out 4 days this week. I guess I'll see how it all turns out on weigh-in day! Lastly, at the fit test, the girl said I should do 45-60 minutes of cardio 5-6 days a week. I should be doing strength training 2-3 times a week. I think these are possible most weeks. I also set 3 goals for myself to reach in 3 months:
1) run for 5 minutes straight
2) reach 190 pounds
3) fit into the size 12 clothes I already have in my closet!

As always, thank you for supporting me and continuing to read!