Thursday, July 30, 2009

Heatwaves and the Fat Girl

Boy, I soooo do not do good in the heat. That's why I live in the NW where heat is something we rarely see. However, the last couple days have been hot hot hot! We're breaking records right and left with temps well over 100 degrees. For a fat girl, this can be brutal.

I'm happy to say though, that I'm handling it all pretty well. I guess since I'm not as well insulated these days, the heat doesn't impact me quite as much.

Back in the day when we had 100 degree days, I was a lump on the couch. I couldn't even think about going outside or being active because the thought in and of itself would instantly make me sweat. I hated to sweat. I mean seriously, I avoided it like the plague so hot days (hot being anything over 80ish) was an excuse to be a couch vegetable.

This week I'm continuing my normal routine and trying to deal as usual. I'm walking, jogging (wuhoo!) and trying to stick with my plan. The only difference ... major, major, major amounts of water. I'm drinking every single chance I get! I'm sure I'll be up a pound or two because of all my water intake but I know I'll be back down next week so I'm sticking with it.

I'm looking forward to losing the additional 35 pounds so that I can be even better suited for the heat.

Although, truthfully, by the time I lose that it will be winter and I'll be wishing for the additional padding to keep me warm!

All well. I guess we can't have it all, right?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Why Weight Loss is Like Jogging

Ok, as mentioned before, I am sooooo not a jogger. I could list off a million reasons as to why I'm not a jogger, but that's not the point of this post so I'll only say that my short, squaty body was made for speed not distance.

And I'm ok with that little fact. It doesn't mean though that I've given up pushing myself further, harder, faster, and longer during my workouts.

The other day, for a few miles anyway, I turned into a jogger. I actually jogged quite a distance without stopping, dying, collapsing, overheating, having a heart attack, or otherwise suffering bodily harm. I was and am so proud of that tidbit. It was only a couple miles but for me, that was HUGE!

Jogging is liberating. While I'm doing it, I hate it. I'm literally forcing myself to put one foot in front of the other. It's not just a physical game though. I have to push negative thoughts out of my head too.

It's funny but if, as I'm jogging, I start to think about how far I have yet to go before I can stop, how tired my legs already are, how sore my shins might be, how hard it is to breathe in air, how hot I am, how sweaty I already am, etc., etc., then I am so much more likely to throw in the towel and stop before I reach the end. Those negative thoughts take over my feet and slow them to a walk far before I reach my goal which then reiterates all those negative thoughts and gets me going down a vicious cycle.

On the other hand, if I focus on how far I've already gone, repeat over and over the benefits of the exercise to myself, concentrate on the moment and not the end, and sometimes even congratulate myself on each tiny jogged step, then I can complete the task with success.

Completing the jog is a wonderful feeling. I set little goals for myself while I'm jogging like I'll jog to the next corner ... then I get to the corner and say COOL! now I'll jog to the next two corners ... etc. Every time I set a goal and complete it, I feel free and liberated. It's a feeling I take with me for the rest of the day and it carries through to other parts of my life too.

Now to my point.

Weight loss is a lot like the jogging scenario. I'm a firm believer in what The Healthy Weigh stresses which is that if we change our thinking, we can change our life. We think our own reality.

Since that's the truth, I know that each time I'm struggling and I let that negative talk enter my brain, I'm setting myself up for failure.

Each time I'm faced with my own stinkin' thinkin', I try to remember that I have the power to change my own thoughts and in so doing can get myself back on track. That's not to say that I don't rely on others for support and encouragement but ultimately, it's me that has to lose this weight, make up my own mind to be successful, and then make it happen.

So last week when I was focused on the hard things about losing this weight, thinking about the uphill battle I had left and stumbling over my own thoughts, I knew I had to reach down deep and pull myself up by the bootstraps.

This week I'm much more focused and feeling that no matter what I face, I'll be able to see this through to the end.

I could not have lost this weight had I not changed my thinking. There were and are soooo many times where self-sabotage rares it's ugly head. But by identifying those things early and not allowing it to derail me, I've been successful ... and I continue to be successful as I reach the end which is only 30-some-odd pounds away.

I mean, come on! 30-some-odd pounds? That's so doable! I'll have that off in no time and then it's onto the rest of my life.

And that's pretty darn liberating too!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What a Difference a Year Makes

There was no break through moment where the clouds parted, angels started singing, and I suddenly realized I needed to lose weight.

I mean, yeah, I hadn't been happy with myself for a really long time, but that hadn't set me in any kind of direction to make a change. Truthfully, it just made me wallow even further in my own self pity. Poor fat me. On the outside, I hid my self-loathing so most of my friends probably had no clue how deep my self-pity really ran. But it was there. Hidden by a mound of food but still clearly visible to me and so I would attempt to down it even further by ordering pizza. Aw, such a vicious cycle.

I didn't walk into The Healthy Weigh thinking I was going to lose weight. I walked in thinking they were going to pay me to develop a website for them. I was there based on a recommendation from a good friend for web services and I wasn't going to even attempt to lose weight because ... well ... why? I would fail, I thought, so why try again. I was there to do a job and then get the hell outta dodge before anyone convinced me I needed to do anything to improve myself.

Besides, I wasn't THAT fat. I didn't weigh myself so I had no clue I was over 300 pounds but still ... I'd seen people fatter than me all the time so I couldn't be THAT bad, right? Ha! In hindsight it's laughable that was my gauge.

Regardless, I was not going to change and no one was going to make me do it. So there and humph.

That was so not how it was fated to happen though.

Let me back up though. A couple months prior to this meeting, I had been walking across a parking lot to get to Godfather's pizza. As I crossed in front of waiting traffic, someone yelled out "Move outta the way fatso!". I instantly felt tears in my eyes and my first reaction was to run as fast as my chubby legs could carry me so that I could get out of sight. I kept my calm though, fought back the tears, and made my way to get the pizza that would be my afternoon comfort without even a second glance to the guy that had just insulted me.

Those words stayed with me though. Isn't it interesting that someone I didn't even know could impact my day to day life? He did though. I thought that if someone had the nerve to yell that to me then surely others were thinking it. They just might not be vocalizing it. If one or two thought it, then everyone must be thinking it. Those words stayed with me and knocked on my head repeatedly at random times.

Anyway, I say all that because as I was leaving The Healthy Weigh, even though I had originally thought I wouldn't try another weight loss program, those biting words were playing in my brain. I got into my truck, drove to Muchas Gracious (best most fattiest bean burritos in town) and ordered my lunch all the while the word "fatso" was running across my mind.

I knew that if I started a weight loss program, I would need to commit to it. That meant a total life change. I knew that in advance and therefore I didn't want to take the commitment lightly. I had to think this through.

Wait a minute, was I actually thinking about this? Was I crazy? Could I actually do this?

From the parking lot of Muchas Gracious, I called Letha and asked her if I could start the program. I was hesitant, restrained, and had no expectations of success. I was committed, but I still was not allowing myself to think positive thoughts.

After making the commitment though, I jumped in wholeheartedly. I took Letha's workshop series, journaled all my food, ate ONLY things that were on plan, and applied every single thing I learned to my life. If I was going to do this, I was going to embrace it.

Those first couple months, I felt myself coming alive again. Not only was the weight coming off, which was cool, but I was actually finding my smile more often. I started feeling things (uh-oh!) both good and hard feelings but the team helped me find new ways to cope instead of turning to food.

My life changed a lot too. I got laid off from a very high stress job, found a new low stress job, and said goodbye to my grandpa ... all in a very short period of time. In the past, I would have let food be my counselor through those changes and I most likely would have gained even more weight. This time, I had skills and amazing friends that pulled me through. I even continued to lose weight in the process.

Anyway, I'm relating this story not to rah rah for The Healthy Weigh (although truthfully if I could wear a cheerleader outfit well I'd be standing outside their offices with my pom poms every single day ... I'm sure they're thankful that so far I do not look great in a cheer uniform!). I'm relating it because I find myself being very reflective and thankful for my friends at The Healthy Weigh these days.

Life sure looks a whole lot better than it did last year at this time. I'm about to ride my horse for 10 days at the local fair. That starting pic on the right is from last year at this same exact time. I'll be wearing my tablecloth uniform this year (quite stylish, don't you think?), sitting on the same horse but this year I'll be comfortable, happy, healthy, loving life, and embracing the moment.

I can't imagine where I'd be right now, having faced the things I faced in the last year, and not having the support and tools that The Healthy Weigh has afforded me.

I'm so thankful though, that I don't need to worry about that and can instead be thankful for reaching my lowest point and having the helping hands of The Healthy Weigh team right there just waiting to pull me up.

Truly, what a difference a year, new friends and partnerships can make!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I didn't break the treadmill ...

I've been walking on the treadmill for awhile to start my warm up for the trainer.

Thus far, I've not done any jogging on the beastie machine primarily because I've been afraid that my pounding steps would send screws, belts, and wires flying as the machine collapsed beneath my weight and, to state the obvious, that would be completely embarrassing to have happen while in a crowded gym.

So, I stuck with my 3.5 walking speed and did all my running outside on firm ground.

Last week though, the trainer wanted us to run a quarter mile as part of our cross training session and since it was almost 100 outside, we were to run on the treadmill.

Uh-oh, my brain said.

This was one of those times when my 300 pound self was my reality and not my 190 pound self.

As I stepped on the treadmill with wobbly knees, I could already hear in my head my not-yet-taken thunderous steps and the craziness that would soon ensue when I broke the machine.

I started at a casual 5.7 pace and was relieved when nothing happened. No screws went catapulting across the gym. No belts let loose and smacked anyone in the face. The TV screen didn't fall off the front of the treadmill in a shattered mess. So far no wires were sending sparks. And I was running on the treadmill.

I pushed up the pace a bit more and found myself sprinting at a 7 without any disastrous outcome. I was actually doing it and the machine was keeping up. Ok, truthfully, I was keeping up with the machine but still ... it was happening!

I had a great workout that day. I pushed myself harder and further than I had in awhile and that felt great.

Isn't it odd how we get something in our heads and then have a hard time breaking out of that box to think something different? I'd seen other people heavier than me running on the treadmill (even over 300 pounds) and yet in my head I could never do that task.

The limits we place on ourselves are our own and each time I encounter one that I didn't even know existed, I'm surprised and happy to pick it up and toss it away like the weight I'm losing.

That feels pretty darn good.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Numbers Update

Here's what staying 100% focused and on plan does for my body ... I drop 6 pounds in one week!

Wuhoo! I'm down to 192.something which is the lowest I've been thus far. After my trip-up the last couple weeks, I feel that I'm back and ready to kick this weight loss thing into high gear.

It got me thinking though about how easy it is to throw myself off plan and how easily I can quickly add in calories without even thinking about it. How many times have I said to myself "oh, it's just a couple extra bites of cottage cheese" or "one teeny tiny extra serving of starch won't matter too much".

Obviously it matters. My body tells me it matters by not dropping the weight.

I can offer every kind of excuse in the book as to why I'm not losing weight one week (extra workouts, water retention, girlie stuff, etc.) but the reality is that most of the time (granted not all the time), I don't lose the weight because I'm taking liberates I might not even be aware of.

I'm in the home stretch on this whole weight loss thing. I've only got another 35 pounds to lose.

Wow. 35 pounds. That's incredible. That's so within reach. That's doable. After losing 115, 35 is a drop in the bucket.

Today I'm repeating those statements to myself over and over and over and over and hoping that they keep me centered, focused, and 100% on plan so that I can kick the rest of this weight off my body!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bigger is not Better

Has anyone else heard or seen the commercials for the new McDonalds Angus burgers? Truthfully, the ads kind of gross me out. My mouth doesn't start watering when they talk about 1/3 pound angus ground beef topped with cheese, garnish, oh and bacon ... cause ... well, I guess bacon makes everything better supposedly. No, instead of a watering mouth I start thinking of calories and heart attacks.

I find it amazing that our culture is so entirely focused on quantity and not quality. Supersize fries, mongo burgers, jumbo hotdogs ... what a trend.

The new Angus Bacon Cheese burger at McDonalds has 790 calories. In ONE burger! Eating that burger would almost equate to my entire calorie allotment for one day. Wow.

The sad thing is that last year at this time I probably wouldn't have given a second thought to these calories. I would have downed that burger, added in some fries, and then a "real" coke just 'cause. Of course, all in supersize!

As an aside, I do find it a bit ironic when people order such meals and then get a diet drink. Really? 'Cause saving 100 calories I guess is important if you're consuming 1000? Odd.

Anyway, I'm thankful to not be in the same place I was last year. I'd much rather eat my apples, tomato's, and chicken and be guilt free at the end of the meal. Eating all that supersized McDonalds food made me feel gross, slimy, and fat. I certainly don't miss those feelings and I feel badly for people that haven't gotten the message that when it comes to food intake, bigger really isn't better.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Good Butt Jeans

Since losing weight, I've become a jean fanatic. I am truly obsessed with finding the best pair of jeans out there and have therefore been hitting the stores way too often to hunt them down.

It used to be that I had one option for jeans (Lane Bryant) and I didn't ever try them on before buying them. LB jeans have a lot of stretch so there wasn't really a need to be precise when I picked out a pair. They all made me look fat cause ... well ... I was!

The jean world has now opened up in front of me and the options are limitless. I can walk into any store and find jeans. Well, any store but LB! What a feeling! For once I get to be picky in my jean selection.

And I've become meticulous. Is the cut right? Do they hang low enough but not too low? Do the pockets sit on the butt in the right place? It's all very silly and yet so fun at the same time!

I was at Nordstrom Rack the other day and bought two pair of jeans. One Lucky brand and one DKNY. Never ever would I have thought that I would be wearing these brands and that they would look good on me let alone have them be size 10s. This was total validation that it's not a fluke! I've now bought numerous jeans in size 10! Wuhoo! Cool!

I got home from my little shopping trip, pulled out my "starter" jeans, put them on the bed and then put my new ones next to them. How incredible to see that difference. My new jeans are more than 1/2 the size of my old jeans.

I'm including a pic below even though it doesn't do the reality justice. Look at the difference in the thighs though. Wow. The big girl jeans used to be tight (even with the stretch) on my thighs. Crazy.

I gotta tell you, I so prefer the cute, good butt jeans to the old stretchy fat girl jeans! I like this new world. I open my closet and am happy to have cute options.

Life is good.

Monday, July 20, 2009

How to Find a Smile

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.
~Winston Churchill

I went to bed on Saturday night in a bad mood and I woke up in an even worse mood on Sunday. I was just in a funk.

After four hours of moping around the house, downing coffee, and lounging in my PJs and slippers, I'd had enough. It was time to get motivated! The question then became, what to do.

On a spur of the moment (no pun intended), I opted to take my horse out for a long trail ride. Since I didn't feel particularly conversational, I decided to go this ride alone and not bother any of my horsey friends with my bad mood. I put on my "Life is good" ball cap (given to me by some truly happy people and secretly I hoped the message would somehow absorb into my head by osmosis), quietly hooked up the trailer and loaded my horse, Buttons.

The funny thing about horses is that they feed off our moods. When they sense that we're scared, they get scared. When we're mad, they're agitated, etc. It's an instinctual survival thing for them.

So, yes, my horse was in a bad mood too. When we started the ride, neither of us were in a place to exert any energy. Nice and easy ... no cantering ... no whoopin' it up. Just plodding along nice and easy. That was the intention but with each step our moods improved and before I knew it we were racing through the trees at high speed. I was having a blast. I might have even giggled but ... shhhh ... don't tell anyone. I swear if horses could smile Buttons would have been showin' some teeth in a wide mouthed grin too. We had both found our smiles.

When we got back to the trailer, I stripped off the saddle and let her graze in the meadow. It was such an amazing afternoon and it brought me back to the days of laying on my horses back in the pasture while they grazed. I've never been able to bound onto my horses bareback without some sort of stool, leg up, tree branch, trailer bumper, etc. but the thought hit me and I thought I'd give it a whirl.

I tentatively grabbed her mane, tossed a leg up onto her back, paused (said a little prayer that she wouldn't move while I was essentially doing the vertical splits to get on her), and hopped up.

Yes, folks, I hopped on my horse bareback without assistance. I was so surprised that I almost fell off the other side! I jumped off her and tried it again because I thought that I might have been dreaming but nope, I was able to repeat this behavior three more times. Poor horse must have thought I was crazy to keep jumping off and on her like this but I just couldn't believe what I had done.

Last year, I couldn't get on a SADDLED horse ... and here I was hopping off and on a bareback horse. It wasn't graceful, but hey, I was doing it!

Wow. What a great moment. This was just a little reminder of things that I didn't ever think were possible that are now. Things that I took for granted at one point. I used to see girls hop on bareback and a fleeting thought would hit me "wish I could do that". Now I can.

Thank goodness for strong arms, sun, smiles, horses, and non-scale-victories (NSVs)!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Awesome Quote

"It doesn't make any difference whether what you face is something that affects your work, your personal relationships, your sense of security, your appraisal of self-worth, or your appearance--the way you think about your situation largely determines whether you will do anything about it and what you will do."

~ Source: The 10 Dumbest Mistakes Smart People Make and How to Avoid Them: Simple and Sure Techniques for Gaining Greater Control of Your Life by Arthur Freeman

I love that last part because it's so absolutely true.

How we think about every situation will ultimately dictate how we react. That's something that's been so ingrained in me during this weight loss process and I've found it to be the wholehearted truth.

I'm still having a hard time making the right choices but I'm doing it and I'm changing how I'm thinking in the process. Instead of focusing on the fact that I HAVE to be on plan, I'm instead thinking about how much easier it is to stay on plan than to be upset with myself for being off plan.

If I can focus on turning my negative thoughts into positive thoughts, I will continue to be successful.

This is something The Healthy Weigh teaches and something I've tried to absorb as much as possible. I still find myself reverting back to the old me that's filled with negative thoughts, but I'm more conscious of those times and am working to push past them and back into a more positive place.

The fact that I am identifying when I'm in a funk and then making choices to bring myself out of it, represents a huge change in my thinking in and of itself.

I'm so thankful for my new life. I'm thankful for the tidbits that I'm gleaming that help me stay on the right path. And I'm so thankful that today I'm not struggling quite as hard because my positive thinking is finally calling my brain back home and putting me in a more healthy emotional state.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Teeny Tiny Step & Sore Muscles

Ok, so after my little breakdown, I've taken a step on the path to the right which is a good thing.

It was a darn painful step because it came at the urging of an insistent trainer who was asking me to do more lunges than any one person should ever be required to do at one time ever no matter how in shape they might be or want to be ... phew!

But it's a step nonetheless and it's in the right direction so I'm taking it.

This week Holly and I were silly enough to agree to workout with Madison (the trainer) twice. She then decided to kill us with lunges. Seriously. Lunges, sit-ups, and push-ups. Holly and I were a sweaty disaster at the end of Tuesdays workout.

Then, because we hadn't endured enough torture, yesterday Holly and I decided to go on a quick six mile bike ride at lunch. Oh my thighs! They were on fire through most of the ride. Six miles hadn't been impacting me too much but yesterday I felt every single turn of the pedal.

Today will include another butt-kicking workout and I'm downing advil like it's going out of style. I want to be able to make it through the evenings adventure ... and it would be nice to get up from my chair without creaking, groaning, and wobbling for a few steps.

I see good things coming from all this movement (I think ...) so I'm committed to continuing down the path. Some days are just harder than others.

I've found though that I'm somewhat addicted to the pain. Silly, right? And perhaps addicted is a bit harsh. It's more that I look forward to the pain because it's my way of knowing my body is changing. It's a reminder that I did good on my previous workout. It's like a painful pat on the back. A very painful pat.

I know. It's strange. At this point though, I'm going with it because it's helping me stay focused, tuned in, and on target.

So bring on the pain! I'm hunched over and creaking, but I'm slowly taking steps on the uphill path to my future self.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Where's My Head At?

These last couple weeks have been hard. My brain has left a "Dr is out" sign on my forehead, packed it's bags, and is now enjoying the sun on some beach somewhere while I try to battle through whatever issues seem to be surfacing in my life at the moment.

And ... well ... there are some issues! I just can't seem to put my finger on what they might be. I feel disconnected, uninvolved, irresponsible, and agitated. I get annoyed easily and can't seem to focus. I see situations coming my way where I might need to be responsible and I run as fast as I can in the opposite direction right into the waiting arms of irresponsibility.

How come?

Hmmm... Inquiring minds want to know!

I've actually been fairly good in my diet plan since my misstep on the 4th. I'm back down within a pound of my lowest so that's good news. If anything, I'm having the opposite problem where I can't seem to get all my food in for the day. My stomach starts rumbling, I make food, and then can't seem to eat it.

Ok, people, this is a SURE sign I've got some NEW issues! Me? Not be able to eat my food? Really? Huh.

Today my plan is to go focus on my new emotional tools. I'm journaling, documenting, and pouring over the feeling wheel.

I'm hoping that somewhere in this process my brain will return, turn the lights on, and I'll come back around to a healthier emotional state.

I must stay focused and grounded so that I don't end up where I was last year at this time ~ 307 pounds, miserable, unhealthy, irresponsible, unhappy, sad, depressed, etc.

I feel as if these last couple weeks I've been standing at a T in my weight loss journey just trying to make up my mind on the direction I'm going to go.

The path on the left is paved, gently sloping downhill, and would be so easy to follow. It would take me back to the old me. It's a well known path and one that feels comfortable even though I know that at the end of the journey I'd be unhappy and unhealthy. There's pizza on this path though so it's tempting to me ... lots of pizza and a bunch of squishing down of these darn feelings. Aww ... that sounds comfortable and known. And even though I know intuitively that the path starts off nice and gets rough and brambly and drops off into a deep abyss at the end, that somehow doesn't seem to be pushing me to the other path.

The other path is a steep climb. Forever going up it seems. If I chose this path I would sweat over rough terrain, rocky ground, and an unknown course for an unknown amount of time. I'd struggle for every step. Other passersby have said it gets easier the longer I traverse it (riiiiiiiiiight) but from this viewpoint it doesn't seem possible. I’ve heard that waiting at the top is a great reward and a new, better me. My future is waiting at the end of this path on the right but it's scary, unknown, and a really far way away. My legs and feet are tired. I've already come so far. I'd like to be done. I'd like to be at the end now. Standing here at the T after I've already travelled this far makes me question whether or not I'll ever be at the top and why this hasn’t gotten any easier yet? If that’s not ever going to happen anyway, why shouldn't I chose the easier of the two paths?

Woah. That's some stinkin' thinkin' rearing it's ugly head!

And on that happy note, I'm off to do some deep work on my inner self and put in a call to my vacationing brain. It’s time to buckle down and get some serious emotional work done.

I don't want to be standing at this T too much longer.

It's a painful place to be.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Unhelpful Helpers

People like to offer advice.

I do it too. When I see someone doing something I think I might kinda sorta know something a little tiny bit about ... well, I've just gotta butt in and tell them all about it and how they should be doing it and how it works best, etc.

Thanks to The Healthy Weigh and learning all about "backpacks", I'm getting a bit better about stopping that behavior and instead only controlling the things about me that I can control.

But me knowing this hasn't stopped others from attempting to "help" me along my journey.

Believe me, I've heard it all from how many calories I should be consuming, to what foods to eat, to how to exercise ... and it's all unsolicited!

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate comments from others that are going through the same or similar journey. We're all in this together and all and I really enjoy the camaraderie that comes with sharing and experiencing this adventure together.

But when people who have never had to battle with weight offer opinion on my weight loss, well, it's annoying!

Someone the other day was actually telling me that I needed to eat more starch because two servings wasn't enough to survive. They were adamant and had read somewhere (oh boy, that sounds like ME!) that decreasing starch had a negative impact in the long term.

Now, as much as I wanted so desperately to listen to this person (I LOVE STARCH!), I also know that they weren't experts in this area and just because they had read something somewhere at some point didn't mean that resource was all knowing either.

I actually put a quick end to the conversation and I'm proud of myself for doing so. I was nice and smiling when I said: "Hey, thanks for your opinions but I've lost over 100 pounds with only two servings of starch so I think it's workin' out pretty good for my body to eat this way. However, if I get to a point where I'm not losing, I'll be sure to talk with the clinic about the reasons why and adjust accordingly."


It's tough to stand up for ourselves sometimes isn't it? But the truth is that I am being successful as I lose this weight. Yet I still question it sometimes. Having others question it too doesn't help so I'm getting better about shutting that down before those questions seep into my brain.

I'm so close to my goal. The last thing I need is to let those negative thoughts back into my head.

Monday, July 13, 2009

12 Mile Hike

I went on a 12 mile hike through the woods and didn't die. I didn't have a heart attack, my feet didn't hurt, my back wasn't aching, I could breath when I went up and down the big hills, and I finished the hike thinking I could have kept going for another couple miles.

Wow. That's pretty cool.

I used to get winded crossing the parking lot to get into the office. Going up a hill - even if it was just walking over a speed bump - meant instant sweating and sucking in air like it was going out of style.

And yet here I was crisscrossing through the woods with a smile on my face and easily breathing in the fresh air.

Knowing I could do this full 12 miles and not fall down in a heap of blisters, sweat, and broken muscles gives me a lot of hope for the rest of the summer. I see lots more scenic hikes in my future and am so looking forward to being active and strong this summer.

In the meantime, here are a few pics from the journey. I hope you all had a great weekend too!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Daily Shot in the Arm

This was an interesting article on WebMD about calculating BMI.

In fact, the WebMD newsletter is actually quite good. It has great information and occasionally some good on plan recipes.

I also subscribe to Jillian Michael's fitness newsletter.

I really like getting online fitness and nutrition emails. It's a daily shot in the diet arm. It keeps me motivated and gives me ideas to keep my diet "fun" ... or as fun as a diet can be!

Do you subscribe to motivational enewsletters? If so, which ones?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dinner Dating

Have you noticed how large of a role food plays our interactions with people? I'm consistently amazed at how many people talk, write, or suggest activities that revolve around food.

In our culture, food has become a hobby or activity.

This is especially true when it comes to dating.

It seems like most first dates are dinner, drinks, or coffee. I can handle coffee and dinners. In fact, I have dinner out down to a science and can order a grilled chicken salad like nobody's business ... when with friends. Drinks are a little tougher although I can muster a seltzer water with lime. Yippee. Yes, I lead a thrilling food life.

The truth is that I always feel so silly ordering those items when on a date. For some reason, I don't want the guy to think I'm "that girl" that doesn't eat "real" food.

Silly, right? Cause the reality is that "that girl" is really who I am now. Food isn't so much a part of my life anymore. I'm working to eat to live not living to eat which means that I'm viewing food not as my daily excitement but more as an obligation. I eat good food but I don't really think about it. It's becoming a habit instead of a hobby.

Another truth is that if a guy looks down on me for making healthy choices, he's probably not someone I'm going to want in my life long term. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, I will always be the girl that orders salad and seltzer water. I might have something else now and then when I'm on maintenance, but probably not too often.

So instead of viewing this as a bad thing, I'm attempting to turn it around and view it as a good thing. If I can find that guy that's looking for a salad eating, seltzer water drinking gal, then perhaps I'll have found the one!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Numbers Update

So the news isn't all bad.

I was down 1 pound from Thursday but up 4 from the previous week which puts me at 199. I was thrilled to see I wasn't over the 200 mark cause that might have put me over the edge!

This week I'm 100% back on track and focused. I'm pulling myself up by my bootstraps, figuring out why I was so consciously off plan and then determining to charge forward.

As mentioned yesterday, we all stumble, but I think the true test of character comes in how we handle the fall. I've done quite a bit of soul searching to figure out why I made the decisions I made and that search has been enlightening.

One thing that Glenda pointed out (and this is sooo true) is that even though I went off plan, I didn't do what I would have done in the past. Back in the day, I would have eaten a whole pizza, consumed a whole bag of chips, or had a whole six pack of beer (yikes!). So, this time, even though I indulged, I listened to my new healthy inner voice that told me I didn't need to binge on the foods and could instead enjoy them for what they were.

I'm taking comfort in the fact that my thinking is changing regardless of the minor stumble and celebrating the changes that are coming about in my life.

I'm back at it and looking forward to a big, awesome drop in numbers tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Grocery Shopping

Don't know if I mentioned this before, but I find it completely ironic that fatty, processed foods cost more than my healthy, whole foods at the grocery store.

I was at Safeway last night, loading up on my healthy staples. I get to the check out line with 1/2 a cart full of veggies, fruits, meats, etc. Good stuff. The lady in front of me has a full cart (over-flowing in fact) of chips, beers, sodas, breads, bakery stuffs, etc. The "other" kinda good stuff.

Frankly, I was somewhat drooling while standing behind her in line even though, after my weekend "on the wagon", I knew those foods were no good.

Anyway, she gets through the checkout having spent about $100. I am up next. The cashier types in all the codes for my produce, wraps my chicken in extra bags, and then gives me my total. $125.

Really? For 1/2 cart of groceries? Ugh. Man, it's spendy to be healthy!

The weird thing is that even though my grocery bill has sky rocketed since eating healthier, my overall food budget has gone down. I used to eat out one to two meals a day. No more! I'm living on the edge if I eat out once every other week.
It all works out in the end. If that lady is anything like I used to be, then she probably went home, consumed that food and ended up feeling sluggish, unhealthy, and fat. In the meantime, I went home excited about the fresh foods I'd purchased, dreamed up some new recipe ideas, and knew they would fill, fortify, and energize my body.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Falling Onto the Food Wagon

So, I wasn't particularly on plan over the weekend. Turns out that I checked out, unplugged, and then promptly stuffed my face.

I didn't fall off the wagon (as Oprah says), no ... I fell onto the food wagon.

Pizza. Tortilla chips. Guacamole. Cupcakes.

Yes, the food wagon made a stop in my back yard (literally as the BBQ was in my back yard) and I stumbled over myself to get at it.

This was probably the most off plan I've been since starting my new healthy lifestyle. Sure, I've had little slips here and there but this was a consistent slip all weekend long.

I'm somewhat dreading the weigh-in tomorrow but we're adults and must deal with such consequences, right? No more turning my back on the scale as I've realized that doesn't make it go away.

The only thing left to do today is get my mind in the right place (which it is ... I CAN DO THIS!) and focus on taking care of myself.

The truth is, we all stumble. But truly successful people (like us!) pick, ourselves back up, learn from the mistake, and keep charging ahead.

And that is what is on my agenda for the day.

As an aside, Oprah has a rerun today of her weight loss show where she talks about gaining some of her weight back. If you haven't seen it, be sure to Tivo it. It's very interesting and I sure could relate to a lot of what she was saying.

Friday, July 3, 2009

4th of July Holiday

Hey, everyone, just a little note to let you know I'm going to take a little "blogging break" until Monday. I'm in serious need of some decompression, unplugged, non-computer time!

I hope you all have a wonderful and fabulous fourth! Make wise choices and enjoy the fresh fruit, veggies, and BBQs this season has to offer.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

70 Pound Hay Bales

Last night we worked to put in 10 ton of hay for the horses. Oh boy! What a job!

It was a really great project though not just because it was four hours of back breaking work that successfully got me out of a night at the gym ... but more so because it was a great opportunity to remember where I was last year at this time. Sweating, miserable, unable to lift the bales into the truck, and (at the end of an hours work) throwing up from the physical excursion. That was me. In fact, more often than not, I paid other people to do the hard work while I sat in the truck and watched.

I hated doing that, by the way. It was embarrassing. I always felt like the fat girl and, well, I was. I so wanted to be fit enough to be taking care of my own horsey project!

So, this year was different.

With some great friends working by my side (thanks Holly and Ron!), I put in 10 ton of hay ... I lifted 70 - 80 pound bales by myself ... I tossed them onto the trailer ... I tossed them off the trailer ... I traipsed across the pasture without getting winded ... and I successfully completed the project.

What a rush! In all the time I've owned my horses, I've never been able to do that. Amazing, right? Bucking hay is something most horse owners do!

At the end of the evening, I was tired but I was so proud of myself for having made such progress in my fitness. Last night reminded me that losing weight is about so much more than just the weight. It's about becoming the person I want to be, doing the things I want to do, and truly living the life I want to live.

You might think that's a dramatic conclusion to draw while bucking hay but each time I lifted a bale, I was reminded that the weight (and then some) used to hold me back by being on my body as fat. Physically throwing the bale and figuratively the weight into the bed of the trailer was a great mental exercise.

Each time I tossed a bale I said to myself, never again will I have that weight on my body ... never again will that weight stop me from doing what I want to do ... and never, ever, ever again will I be the fat girl sitting cowardly in the truck.