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.