Saturday, October 31, 2009

Positivity.

Yesterday when I picked up my race packet for the Monster Dash 5k I'm running in about 2.5 hours, I opened up the envelope to check out my number and make sure I put my timing chip in a safe place.

Wait.

Where's my chip?

WHERE'S MY CHIP!?!

I read on, of course, to find that the 5k is not a timed race. This information would have been extremely handy to have at registration time, before I paid $30 to run around a lake with a bunch of people that I already run around with, at the same lake, on a weekly basis.

Needless to say, I'm pretty annoyed. I've been training hard to beat my previous best 5k time and this was the race I encouraged Jessica to run as her first official 5k. She's an excellent runner and will be making EXCELLENT time today, but won't have the opportunity to see the results (officially).

I'm trying not to be a giant baby about it, but I'll fully admit that last night I threw a fit. I decided I wasn't cooking dinner and walked over to the Co-op to pick up something to eat. I grabbed every unhealthy thing I could find that sounded good at the time. I even grabbed my favorite chocolate bar (B.T. McElrath's Salty Dog) and headed toward the checkout. When I looked down at my arms, I was so embarrassed. I looked like the ultimate sad, pathetic girl on a Friday night. I had ice cream, a pot pie (I REALLY wanted that pot pie), a chocolate bar, a box of cookies (oh no! Not the same mistake again), and a pizza. Did I really think I'd be able to eat all of that?

I put everything back and walked outside.

I'm sure anyone who even noticed I was there thought I was insane. I stood outside for about 3 minutes, repeating [outloud], "I can do this," "I can do this."

So, if you happened to be at the Seward Co-op last night, I sincerely apologize because I was the crazy lady pacing outside and talking herself down from sugarcide.

I walked back in, grabbed a pear, a Kashi frozen meal, and some roasted beets.


Success.

I came home, made dinner, lazed around for a while, and then made my own version of a DQ Pumpkin Pie Blizzard with vanilla frozen yogurt, leftover pumpkin pie pudding that I made and crumbled graham crackers. It was divine. It was also 3x the size of a small DQ Blizzard (which clocks in at 13.5 points) and contained only 5.5 points.


GIANT SUCCESS.

So, today is about keeping a positive attitude. It's Halloween after all. I have to remember that one of my very best friends is running her first official 5k today and this day is about her. She HATES added attention, but it always makes everyone feel a little more special.
Looking forward to tomorrow! Race results, Halloween pictures and success stories of how I beat candy to a bloody pulp (by not eating it).

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Don't be a Halloweenie!

Halloween is totally my favorite. Costumes are my favorite. CANDY CORN is my favorite.

If you love candy but aren't sure what's safe to steal from the kiddo's trick or treat bucket, check out this ULTRA handy guide from HungryGirl!

Growing up, I always loved this holiday because my mom was a very creative seamstress. Her amazing abilities allowed me to be every single one of the Disney princesses - in homemade costumes. That was, of course, after I was Shira [masters of the universe] for 6 years in a row.

As a younger adult, I think I loved Halloween because it gave me a night where no one really focused on who I was but who I was being that night. The anonymity was thrilling. I could hide.

I do still love dressing up as someone else, though not to hide my real self. Keeping with the theme of my mother's creativity, I always make my own costumes, or at least construct/assemble them.

Here's me last year:



Rosie the Riveter. I made an exact replica of the actual poster (just without Rosie) fine print, stamps and all [though you can't see] and strapped it to my back. I biked with that on, which still makes me laugh.

I wanted to be a strong character last year because that's how I felt. I had lost nearly 50lbs, and I genuinely felt that We Can Do It, though not in quite the same sense as Rosie meant that.

I'm not a huge fan of chocolate, so Halloween isn't generally a danger-zone for me. I do enjoy a mini-bar or two (or twelve) here and there, but being surrounded by friends generally keeps me away from the candy. Not only that, but we ONLY buy mini-tootsie pops to give out to the kids, and Eli must keep his candy in his closet. Out of sight, out of mind. If I happen to snatch one or two Snickers from his pumpkin bucket , that'll be ok. Remember I'm running the Monster Dash tomorrow!


Do you have a plan to stay on track this Halloween?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Welcome! (and workouts)

I have a whole slew of exciting new followers. I feel extra honored (not only for the attention) but the added support as I work towards finishing up this weight loss journey to continue on in my never-ending quest to be the healthiest I can be.

Thank you for reading!

For anyone who's so new that they can't tell, I'm a fitness FREAK. This is all about fitness for me and I truly believe that exercise and physical health should be at the forefront of any weight loss effort.

When I first started getting reacquainted with activity, I joined my local YWCA. I played around on the elliptical for 30 minutes daily. At 200lbs and a year or two of sedentary lifestyle, that was enough to quickly melt away pounds. With that gym membership, I had 2 free sessions with a personal trainer coming to me. After sitting down with my PT and explaining my history of organized sports and love of bicycling, she determined that I was cheating myself. The elliptical is basically like going for a stroll in the grand scheme of things.

I started strength training 3x a week with a routine she set up for me. I started walking on the treadmill at an incline. I discovered the StepMill and rediscovered the rowing machine. I started attending classes like Zumba and Hi/Lo Impact. I never did the same thing 2 days in a row and I changed my routine every 3-4 weeks.

Varying my workouts has been very important to my success and my continued physical health, endurance and stamina. There's a whole bunch of articles supporting the fact that varying your workouts is a smart idea.

Through the summer I finally took up running. Real running, at least to me, with limited walking and earned myself an average pace of 10 mph, which I'm seriously proud of! I also worked for trade at a Pole Dancing studio where I took a variety of classes including pole dance (obviously), Pole Power Fitness (strength training using free weights and the pole) and Body Booty Camp (an aerobics/tae bao style class).

Early this month, I joined a new gym. It has completely remotivated me and got me back to varying my workouts. I thought I'd share my current workout schedule. Maybe it will motivate you, maybe it will make you hate me, maybe you won't even look at it.

Monday: Morning - Run (3.2 miles). Evening - Step class with Doug. [This class is absolutely insane. Doug, the instructor, wears a speedo and basically dances around the room doing backflips and Fosse-esque moves. I depend wholly on the regulars of the class to know what to do because Doug's not doing it. He's the hype-man]

Tuesday: Afternoon - either 30 Day Shred at home or 30 minutes on the Stepmill at the gym, always with 10 minutes of jump roping added (to whichever I am motivated to do). Evening - Boxing Circuit. [2 minute stations alternating between various combos for bag boxing or shadowboxing with Ted, the instructor. Other stations include jumping lunges, squats with a 20lb medicine ball, jump roping, and push ups on platforms. It's hardcore.]

Wednesday: Afternoon - Run (3.2 miles). Evening - REST (It's my Weight Watchers meeting and weigh in day)

Thursday: Afternoon - Dog Walk (generally between 3-5 miles). Evening - SPIN class with Laura R. [Insanity. My heart rate sometimes jumps to 220+, which is 4x+ my resting heart rate!]

Friday: Morning - Run (3.2 miles). Evening - 30 Day Shred or Spin class with Krista [not as insane as Laura R.]

Saturday: Morning - Step class with Doug. [Saturday Step is 1.5 hours instead of 1 hour. Known to burn 900 calories. Jeez!] Afternoon/Evening - We are typically very active on the weekends and Saturday afternoon might include hiking with the dog, long bike rides or rock climbing.

Sunday: Morning - Bag Boxing class [this one is with a partner and focuses more on combat and technique]. Afternoon/Evening - See above


So that's what I'm doing all the time. It takes a lot of time, but it's ME time. I don't generally take a ton of time out for myself. I'm a giver. I work with the homeless, which is time consuming, and I'm also the ICE (in case of emergency) number in everyone's cell phone because I am always reliable to call on for a favor. My friends know this... and they do it. Often. And I'm mostly ok with it.

I do try to mark my fitness schedule in my planner and in my Blackberry so that they're treated as obligations, like my meetings or Doctor appointments. It's something that's important to me and I want to give it the attention it deserves.

What is your FAVORITE part of your workout routine?

Mistaken

After all that, I ended up having a Losing Week. A great losing week too. Two more pounds down toward the ultimate goal.

Speaking of which, that ultimate goal is only 6.4lbs away.

SIX POINT FOUR POUNDS AWAY.

In 39 days, I will have been working on this for 2 years.

2 glorious years of ass kicking whipped in to shape craziness that has become my life. The focus has almost all been toward fitness and overall health rather than the scale, which is perhaps why it's taking so "long." I don't actually think losing 60lbs in 2 years is slow, but apparently a lot of Weight Watchers do. The shift now is mental, as I touched on yesterday a bit. As I mention every other post, The Beck Diet Solution is helping me so much with that side.

I had a big long talk with my Leader, Diane, last night at my meeting. She was excited and screaming because I only have 6 more pounds to go, and I let loose on her. I spilled out the fact that I'm scared, too scared to do this. If I do it, that means I can accomplish anything. If I do it that means people will always expect me to win, to succeed, to do it well and keep it up. If I finish I might have to tackle all the other areas of my life that are bothering me.

She just stared at me, wondering why any of that was a bad thing. She was sympathetic, though she didn't understand and admit that right off the bat. All she ever wanted was to be "skinny" and all I really wanted was to be fit. My identity has changed, and now I'm sporty and outdoorsy where I used to be a city girl. It's making it hard to keep friendships going and it creates a lot of unnecessary competition in my relationship.

I still don't know what to do with any of these realizations, but I do know that even though I'm scared, I have to finish this. I have 39 days to do it in less than 2 years. I've set a temporary goal to make it to goal by the end of the year, but I'd really rather see it happen before 12/7/09. I've never set an actual weight/time goal, so this is strange territory for me. But I think it's exactly what I need.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Influence.

I had a binge episode on Monday night. I ate 1/2 a package of Low-Fat Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chip Cookies. (Total: 19.5 points) Oh I tracked it, and hell, I even had the points for it, but WHY did I eat this whole bag of cookies?

I feel angry and left out.

I just wrote out a whole rant explaining that, but erased it because I don't want to go in to too much detail about those feelings. I'm exploring them on my own and hoping to gain some insight.

I want to keep my attitude positive. I had a horrible day yesterday (personally, not food-wise), which I attribute to the additional sugar in my blood that I'm not used to, but managed to turn it around late in the afternoon and go to bed feeling lucky to be alive again.

I'm not sure what the scale is going to do for me tonight. What with the cookies and my intense muscle workout last night, it's unpredictable. However, I like Foody McBody's take that I'm having a "Learning Week" this week. So I made a mistake, I know what not to do next week.

I especially feel on top of my game this morning recognizing my feelings and some difficult conversations I'm going to have to have soon. I'm not looking forward to them, but at least I can acknowledge that I don't need to eat them. It's pretty hard to talk when your mouth is full of food.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

To Do: Lose Weight.

I touched briefly, the other day, on the qualm I have with people always looking for "the secret," "the trick," the magical part of weight loss that lets us continue to do exactly as we've been doing and still drop the pounds. Well, it's not there. We all know that, or we would all have utilized it by now and not come here each day to discuss and dissect our struggles with this big "To Do."

During weeks that I gain, I have no "To-Do" itinerary, I'm just hoping for a "Ta Dah" at weigh in. It never happens for me however. My weight is highly fluctuating and I must be extremely on top of the ball in order to be successful. I know this is the case for many of you so I thought I would share some of my daily "To Do(s)" that keep me in the success zone.

Eat Breakfast
We've all heard it time and time again, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Fine. I get it. I'm not hungry when I wake up. I'd rather exist on copious amounts of coffee for the first half of my day than put anything in my face. However, I always want to overeat at night. Solution? Add calories in morning so my body isn't searching for them at bedtime. To compromise, I generally eat a small breakfast full of fiber and protein such as a banana and yogurt or a bowl of oatmeal and a latte.

Eat Sitting Down
A rule I've recently adopted over the past few months from The Beck Diet Solution, I must be sitting down in order to put anything in my mouth. Consciously practicing this daily felt awkward at first, but I now recognize why it's such a great habit, and there's a number of reasons. 1) I am able to focus on my meal. Enjoying and savoring every bite. This is important when you have a limited amount of calories to imbibe each day - make every bite count. 2) Free food. Cocktail parties, grocery store samples... at first I'd just grab them and nosh as I pushed my cart or carted my drink.. but now that this habit is fully formed in my brain, I'm not ABLE to eat those foods if there is not a chair near by. The light bulb clicks on in my head alerting me to the fact that I don't really *need* that to begin with, it is not a part of my plan and I am not willing to deviate from that plan. I then, in turn, feel very powerful and in control.

Eat My Plan
Every Wednesday after my Weight Watchers meeting I sit down to a healthy dinner with my cookbooks splayed out in front of me. Utilizing a mental list of what's in the fridge and cupboards, I work through a comprehensive meal plan for the week that involves limited items purchased to keep costs and food wasting down, that will feed me, my family and allow leftovers to be recreated into new meals with a little creativity or the help from my favorite WW cookbook Now and Later.

The Weight Watchers plan also encourages 8 Good Health Guidelines (GHGs) which include certain portions of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, dairy, whole grains, healthy oils, water, a multi-vitamin and physical activity. When I sit down to plan my week in meals, I keep a checklist of the GHGs next to that list and check off for the day. If I am not meeting the 8 GHGs, that day is not complete. No matter how prepared I am, if I am not following the program, I am not guaranteed to lose. I want to do what I set out to do. I know the program works and I do my best to follow it exactly.

I make 4 copies of my meal plan. 1 for the fridge, 1 for my daily planner, 1 to put near the oven, and 1 to give to Justin (my partner). I give this meal plan to Justin as means for accountability and also to prevent him from eating leftovers that may be on my meal plan.

Exercise
I know a lot of people can be successful in weight loss without it, but I wouldn't feel successful in life without it. Being physical allows me to live a life with less stress. Not stress-free mind you, but significantly less stress. It is much easier for me to "make time for myself" when I am doing something constructive such as taking a fitness class. I feel less guilty for being "selfish" in that manner. One of the biggest struggles we face is believing we are worthy of the time it takes to lose weight. You are. Trust me. Your family thinks you are too. They kind of like you and would like you to stick around.

If you're new to exercise, just walk. You can do it anywhere and you can easily progress in it. Walk. Eventually jog. Eventually run. It's free and anyone can do it (unless you don't have legs, in which case I'm severely sorry). If you really want to feel powerful, start strength training. Having muscle helps you burn more calories and fat while resting, which means you can lose weight while watching contestants on the Biggest Loser lose weight. Strength training can easily be done at home with free weights. The lower the weight, the more repetitions you'll want to incorporate. Strength Training should be difficult or you're not pushing yourself. If you're new to fitness and "busy," I highly suggest the 30 Day Shred, a 20 minute DVD that incorporates cardio, strength training and abdominal workouts. It's hard, but it's worth it. There are 3 levels to help you build stamina and stay interested.

I love fitness because it encourages me to push myself and that bleeds into other areas of my life.

Rest, Relax, Recoup
Just stop. Stop for 2 minutes and close your eyes. I do this every day and it centers me. It's another way I can take time (albeit a small amount) for myself. I let my mind wander to all of the healthy behaviors I practiced during the day and silently give myself credit for them. I think about how far I've come and I make drastic attempts to picture what I want my life to look like to keep that goal in the front of my mind at all times.

TREAT
I eat dessert every day. It's part of my plan. I love dessert and there are a plethora of healthy dessert recipes out there. If dessert is important to you, don't try to give it up! Just sub in healthy substitutes. When you restrict yourself too much or eliminate things you LOVE from your "diet," you're less likely to stick to it. The trick is learning moderation. I obviously can't eat creme brulee every night or chow down on a pint of cookie dough ice cream, but I can eat Sugar Free pudding or make myself a frozen yogurt sundae. It's a trade off that I love.


What do you do every day to ensure your success?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

In(tro)spection

It has been so uplifting to have so many new blogs to find and follow lately. The "new crowd" is so introspective, so set on getting in touch with themselves and finding harmony between their head, heart and heinies. I feel as if I'm building my network of support each day, and it's touching, because I can't tell you how sick I am of reading about 100 calorie packs (worthless/gross).

Yesterday, I found this great website called JogTunes.com where you can input your mile time and it will give you a big beautiful list of songs from a wide variety of genres that fit the BPM to pace your runs. I was in heaven. I needed new running music and now I have 3 new run playlists for long runs (up to 1.5 hours), recovery runs (which I do after weight lifting at a much slower pace) and my training runs. I typically run a 10 minute mile, of which I am proud, but because I've been "training" to get faster for my 5k next weekend and because I have this new and powerful tool, I decided to make a playlist for someone who runs a 9 minute mile to see if it would improve my time. I am VERY driven and inspired by music. Beats flow through me and guide my feet. My inclination was right - with the new playlist I can run a 9 minute mile. I can run THREE 9 minute miles.

It's amazing how much our heads get in our way. Exertion is almost 90% mental. Your body is capable of so much that your mind won't let it do. I'm tired of that battle and I've begun the necessary steps to build my faith in myself and my body. I want them to know each other, considering they share the same small living space, you'd think they'd want to fight a little less too.

I'm trying to focus on how lucky I am to have the body that I do. My legs work, and they're strong as hell. They carry me where I need to go when I need them to with minimal effort. They're even willing to be used and abused with ridiculous amounts of exercise (but secretly, they love it). My belly is soft, and that's ok. It's round and curvaceous and I happen to think it's very sexy. Sure, I've got stretch marks but those are battle scars. Markings of a war I've WON over weight. My breasts aren't all they used to be, in fact they're half their size and have maintained little of their buoyancy, but I just assume they're trying to get a little closer to my sexy stomach and that's ok, I don't blame them.

There is so much to love about our bodies. They do SO much for us, everything in fact, that we should reward them with what they really want (good fuel food and exercise) not what we "want." It's time to stop being selfish and start giving back to the person who does it all.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Food Filler Fun.

As I often do when I'm feeling my accountability slipping, yesterday I photographed all my food. It helps me stick to my meal plan, and it reminds me that I'm going to show all of you lovely ladies and gentlemen what I ate, so I better keep it clean because I want to reserve the right to inspire you and motivate you to do what we're all trying to do - eat healthfully.

My morning coffee + 1/2c soy milk = .5

Lower Sugar Oatmeal (2)

Cashew Ginger Carrot soup (2) + toasted flat-out wrap (1)


Jellow SugarFree Cinnamon Rice Pudding (1)


Fav Fruit Salad 1/2 apple 1/2 asian pear 3/4 banana 1/4c Yogurt (3)

Then I made Chili, which I didn't eat.

and went to my Weight Watchers meeting

Carrots and Radishes (0)

Eggplant/Squash/Zucchini Pasta + 1/4 c Cashew Ginger Carrot Soup (5) + Side Spinach with 1tsp Olive Oil (1) and 2 oz Turkey Cutlet (2)

1/2 c Chocolate Pudding + 1/2 c Vanilla Pudding + dollop of Reddi-Whip Free (2)

Total Points = 21.5 (-.5)

Here's to another day of good eatin'.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Narrow Escape.

I had myself all worked up this morning, whining to Jessica about how horrific my Weigh In is going to be since I'm suffering from TOMsyndrome. I was considering going to the meeting and not weighing in at all because I didn't want the GIGANTIC gain to waver my motivation and general awesomeness that has been the past few weeks.

I bucked up, shut up, headed to the meeting and got on the scale.

A measly .8 gain. That's all water, and I know there's a loss under it and I can't WAIT to weigh in next week and see what it's going to be.

In the meantime, I have a few challenges coming up this week. We're having dinner at my Mom's on Friday night, which poses two problems: 1) I don't know what we're having, but I always bring a "safe" dish so I can at least count on that 2) It forces me to miss my 5pm Spin class I like to go to.

There are easy solutions to this one. First, I call my mom and ask what we're having and/or tell her what I'd like to have. Simple. Solved. Second, I do something else on Friday. I've decided to go for a training run in the morning, rain or shine, and then head to a very scary Circuit Training class.

Scary? Yes. I have seen women with rock hard bodies come out of this class looking like they're going to puke, sweating head to toe and breathing like oxen. I'm terrified, but it sounds like JUST the class to kick my ass before an unpredictable dinner. What do you think?

The next challenge is that Sunday we are taking Eli to Boo Bash on Grand Avenue, an outdoor trick or treating festival for kiddos and their families. There's going to be candy. There's going to be travelling candy that makes its way into our kitchen. There are rules against Eli eating too much candy, which means the candy will sit there.... out in the open, where I could get it.

What do I do?

Cheating the Plan = Cheating Yourself.

In the last few months, I've had to "unfollow" a handful of weight-loss related blogs. In a sense, I depend on all you blogger gals to help inspire and motivate, to teach me a different way, to show me it can be done, and I surely hope I'm providing the same.

I had to unfollow these blogs because there is an apparent "free pass" community somewhere in weightlossville where you don't do what you're supposed to and still get angry at the scale. These secret members also come to my Weight Watchers meeting to toss out excuse after excuse after excuse about why the scale isn't moving, or going up, when it "should be" going down.

This kind of sprung from reading Jack Sh*t's post this morning. Jack Sh*t is a blog I've been reading for quite some time, but since I've decided to be more engaging with this blog via comments and linking, I'm giving him a shout. Though his post about doing the work is far more gentle than mine could ever be.

There must be a plan. You must stick to that plan. You must not have unreasonable expectations of that plan, but you must have faith in yourself that you can accomplish it. You must realize that it's not easy, because if it were there would not have been a struggle to maintain a healthy weight in the first place. You must have a goal, and you must keep your mind securely fixed on that goal.

Additionally, we must also realize that as a diet or weight loss blogger, our accountability might very well affect the people who read it, and so we must be very careful with our excuses.

Let's say you're a Weight Watcher, like me. If you are not tracking your points intake (caloric intake) and meeting the good health guidelines, you're not really following the program. You're following *your* version of the program, and that's fine, but if you're not following the program, there is no guarantee it will work, and you simply can't blame the program itself because you haven't tried it.

I used to often have a conversation similar to this with my good friend Jessica. Jessica lost nearly 40lbs and when people began to really notice they'd always ask, "How'd you do it?" At the same time, I had lost about 35lbs and people noticed. We'd converse about how it never felt congratulatory, but more accusatory. More.... searching for the secret. When the answer was "diet and exercise" the reply was always "oh," shrugged off with disappointment. I'm not saying I don't understand that mindset. Until I made the ultimate commitment to be here for life, I used to go to bed each night just praying/wishing/bartering with whatever was out there that I could wake up thinner. I just didn't want to do what I knew I needed to do because it was scary and sounded hard.

I guess what I'm saying is, "Buck up. Do the work. See the results."

I think I've finally reached the point here, with weight loss, and in my life, where I need to be surrounded by positive thinkers. People who have goals, who work hard, and keep their chin up about it. Not "perfect people," mind you, just ambitious and reasonable.

Are you there with me (or at least willing to be)?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Excuses.

I try to make excuses all the time, for everything. It's such a huge part of the American culture. When I return something to Target, I launch into an hour long explanation of why I'm bringing it back to the store when all I need to do is say, "it didn't work out." The clerk clearly doesn't care, doesn't need to know, and stares at me blankly.

Why do we make excuses?

Yesterday, I was the anti-excuse. I went for my Lake Harriet training run for the upcoming Monster Dash 5k and it was simply gorgeous out. The sun was shining, it was beautiful. I could have easily sat on my front porch reading all day, but I knew I needed to run.

I got out there, made my way around the lake (3.2mi) and as I had my car in sight, I decided I was going to walk around it as a cool down. Walking quickly turned to jogging 2 minutes later, and I ran the lake again. 6.3 miles total, and complete insanity.

Our bodies are so capable of everything we want them to do. It's the mental game, the excuses, the breaks, the free passes that we give ourselves that hold us back. Yesterday, I believed I could run 6 miles, and I did. Later that night, I believed I had the energy for Doug's crazy Speedo Step class, and I did.

Did I mention that all of this was on the first day of .... Aunt Flo? That's right kids, the day every lady gives herself a pass for, I did all of this. Believe me, I woke up feeling pretty worn down, not ready to face the world but definitely ready to face a giant chocolate pudding for breakfast. It's all about decisions.

Choose not to excuse.

I can't reiterate enough that losing weight is just hard work, but doesn't hard work feel good?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Positive Outlook.

I've been extremely motivated and determined these last few weeks. I think a lot of that, and I'm sure you're sick of hearing it by now, is because of the Beck Diet Solution. This book has helped me in so many ways. I feel equipped, I feel like I literally have all the tools and mechanisms in ways that work for me.

I've also been nixing negative talk, or at the very least trying to catch myself when the thoughts creep in and try to figure out how to turn it around. I've been laughing more, which is actually hard to believe because I already laugh so often, and there's just a general feeling of lightness. Not physically, but that life isn't so serious - because it's not. Sure, I've got problems, but when I look back 50 years from now on this time in my life, do I want to remember the problems and how horrible they were or how happily and triumphantly I conquered them with creativity and pride?

That could be about anything; finances, job situations, relationships, etc. Everything can be fixed.

And it was a stroke of coincidence that I stumbled across this little video on Mish's blog the Eating Journey, and I think it's important. We don't realize how much our negative comments, whether about ourselves or others impact women as a whole. Men too! Self esteem in general, and I think it takes a certain age or experience of really knowing yourself to realize how much self-esteem really drives your life. It makes it easier, or it makes it exceedingly difficult.

Anyhow, watch this.



It's part of End Fat Talk Week. I didn't know such a week existed, but I'm glad it does.

How will you spin these kinds of thoughts into positive ones?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday was one of those "ultimate" days. I woke up early, enjoyed my coffee slowly on a slightly warmer than it has been all week morning. I made it back to Step class with Doug, who donned a fabulously hilarious costume that involved a hollowed out bucket, a balloon and funny actions. [If you haven't heard about the Balloon boy yet... c'mon.]

I sweat my way through Step, headed home for breakfast. Took the dog on an epic hike, made a delicious lunch and bummed around the house, reading on the porch, walked up to the Co-op to get a few things for dinner. Cooked that up, enjoyed it and went to bed early.

It seems Blogger just really didn't want to let me put photos onto this post, so I did it through the html side. Forgive the weirdness.





Breakfast:
My fav fruit salad. 1/2 pear (.5) 1/2 apple (.5) banana (2) + 1/4 c Wild Woods Soy Vanilla Yogurt (1) with coffee (0) [4]





Lunch:
Cashew Ginger Carrot Soup (2) + Grilled Cheese on Arnold Sandwich Thin (2) [4]





Snack:
1/2c Kashi Go-Lean Crunch (2) + 1/2c Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze (0) [2]


Another Snack:
1/4 B.T. McElrath Salty Dog Chocolate Bar (2) [2]




Dinner:
1c Spaghetti Squash (0) + 1/4c Homemade Sauce (1) + Gimme Lean Sausage (1) + Wilted Spinach (0) + Balsamic Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Onions (0) [2]

Total Points: 14

But I didn't include the half pint of ice cream I ate last night in bed, not because I was mindless, but because I had tons of points and it sounded ultra delish. That was 7 points, bringing me to exactly 21 for the day, my points target. I burned 680 calories in Step, 300 on my hike. I'm setting myself up for a great loss again this week, though I know it won't be of the epic 2lb variety. Its extremely difficult to have "big" losses when you're getting so close to goal. I hope to lose at least .8lbs. That's my unofficial *hope goal* for the week.

Today is supposed to be 60 and sunny, which is a beautiful change from last week's weather. I'm going to run Lake Harriet as training for the Monster Dash, and then probably walk around it once as a cool down. I'm not sure what else I can do to exercise today. The options are infinite! I'm sure I'll figure something out.

Have a great one!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bloggity Blog Blog.

I am so bad at commenting on people's blogs. I WANT to, but I always read the comments and everyone else has sad what I want to say. I don't want to be the person at the town meeting who stands up and repeats everyone else just so they can hear the sound of their own voice...

But then I realized, it doesn't really matter. There is strength in numbers, so even if I have something stupid and repetitive to say, I'm still showing that blogger support. Showing him or her that I'm here, I'm reading, and I might have even paid a little bit of attention.

Commenting on some of the blogs I've been reading for more than a year, I found a bunch of new blogs to follow. This is exciting and overwhelming to me, but I am a sponge for tips and tricks and I'm determined to suck as much knowledge from all of you as possible. I might even provide some knowledge, it sounds like, and so I thank my new friend starfish264 at Losing a Little Bit of Me for giving me a shout!

Additionally, Rebecca at Durch Dick und Duenn offered me this little challenge/award thingee. No one has ever tried to give me one of these, so I don't actually know what to do with it. Therefore, I read the instructions and I follow the rules. Here goes....





Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated me. [Thanks Rebecca]
  2. Copy the award and place it on my blog.
  3. Link to the person who nominated me.
  4. Name 6 things people might find interesting.
  5. Nominate 7 bloggers.
  6. Post links to the bloggers I nominate.
1. I drink about 2 whole pots of coffee per day on average. I have no idea why, and in fact I didn't even like coffee until I was about 20 years old - hanging out in restaurants and coffeeshops and everyone else was drinking it. At first I thought it tasted like chalk, but now I kind of love it.

2. I learned to drive in a flaming red Camero. My driving instructor, Bart, taught me in his 100% Chick-Magnet-Mobile. If it weren't for the "Bart's Driving School" emblem on the side, I'm pretty sure he would be picked up for statutory rape charges pretty often for having 15 year old girls in his car.

3. I'm terrified of being "skinny." All I've really ever known was being the "funny fat girl." It's my personality! It's who I am, just without the fat part anymore, but I always forget that. I get myself in trouble these days for talking about my "fat," which will forever be a phantom limb, like when people still itch arms they don't have.

4. I sing songs to my dog based on top 40s hits. This week my dog is apparently "wearing short skirts" while I "wear t-shirts" and is a "cheer captain" while I'm "on the bleachers." I don't actually know who sings that song.. which leads me to number 5...

5. I am a lyric machine. If I hear a song once, it's almost guaranteed I will remember the words for life. My dad has been trying for years to figure out how to get me on that show "Don't Forget The Lyrics." (is that even still on?) I would probably win a million dollars and never blog again.

6. I think Ranch Dressing smells like vomit, which basically makes me an outcast in the state of Minnesota where people bathe in Ranch Dressing and put it on every single thing that goes in their mouth. Literally, there are bottles of Ranch Dressing in the toothpaste aisle. Ok, not literally, but maybe there should be. RANCH DRESSING IS GROSS PEOPLE.


So... I invite/nominate/subject...

The ladies of See Glam Diet and 100in12 who remain unnamed because they choose not to have them.
Doug at Beer and Cheese
GoBucksGirl13 at Candy's Losin' It
Priscilla at Lil' Miss Hungry
and of course, my good friend who might need a nudge to participate, Jessica at When's the Last Time You Did Something For the First Time?

GET TO IT KIDS!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thweet Thursday.

What a weigh in! I lost two whole pounds and I deserved each of them. I can't even begin to describe how fantastic this feels, especially because it TRULY is harder to lose once you're down to the wire. I have 7.4lbs left to goal and the way things are going, I really think I can pull it off before the end of the year.

The motivated side of me wants to make that a goal and the logical side of me is fighting it. I have never set date goals on weight. I'm realistic in the fact that I have no idea how my body is going to respond to the things I do, even after 2 years on this program. I have been known to gain 5lbs in a week by only going a few points over, and lose 1lb after eating mass amounts. I'm unpredictable. However, I'll keep it as a goal in the back of my mind.

Today is going to be a much needed day off. I have been literally kicking my own ass at my new gym. I have worked out there every single day since I joined, and each day I leave dripping with sweat and soaked to the core. My legs feel like they might explode through my jeans, in a good way, not in an overstuffed way. I'm not sure I could accomplish anything if I tried, my glute and hamstring muscles are so tight I'm finding it difficult to walk. Today is a stretch day, and I might give the Biggest Loser Yoga DVD I got from Jessica a try.

I'm walking in to the danger zone tonight, kids. The CityPages, a hip weekly circular here in the Twin Cities is throwing their Iron Fork competition and I won tickets. As a total foodie, I love going to local chef presentations and competitions, so this is something I will love, however, I always find it extremely difficult to stay on track. I've devised a plan. There are going to be MANY MANY exhibitors offering samples of their restaurants' deliciousness. Many of these things I will have had before, so I've set a limit to the amount of things I can eat.

I can have 6 mouthfuls out what will surely be more than 100 choices. This will keep me on track by forcing me to peruse all my choices, nominate the top ones and decide if this is something I "MUST HAVE" or just something I want. Of course, none of it is something I "MUST HAVE" but by using the words "MUST HAVE" I really mean "something I would never ever put the effort in to making myself, therefore I MUST HAVE it because I'll never get this chance again."

6 mouthfuls and a glass of wine. I've budgeted 15 points, which will hardly be enough, but I figure if I can manage those "mouthfuls" into half a mouthful by sharing with Justin, I may be able to escape unharmed. The back up plan is that tomorrow I am running the course for my Monster Dash 5k and taking the dreaded crazy Spin class at the gym. These 2 things together will most likely earn about 11-12 APs, which just might make up for it and give me a clean slate.

I also vow to do my best to accurately track what I'm eating by taking photos of the little signs explaining each dish. That way, when I get home, I can't play dumb. I can't "forget" that it had cheese.

I still feel like I'm in a great place. I'm excited to have today off from fitness but I feel a little itchy for the gym, just knowing that I'm not going. I think it will make me have a better workout tomorrow.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tim Gunn is my co-pilot.

I'm still truckin'. I'm still working hard. I'm "making it work,"and like Rebecca at Durch Dick und Duenn, I'm recommitting every day.

My new gym is still the greatest thing that's happened to me lately. It's new, it's exciting, and it kicks my ass. I am working out harder than I have in close to a year, and I'm loving every sweat-dripping second of it.

I had some "unplanned" eating yesterday. I am taking Dr. Beck's suggestion and not using the word "bad." It wasn't a "bad" eating day, there were merely some surprise twists and turns on my eating path. I tracked every single little bite and morsel (like the 4tbsp of peanut butter out of the jar) and still have tons of flex and activity points to make up for it, a simple reminder that every day will not be a ridiculously strict and scripted one. In fact, most of them aren't.

As it gets closer and closer to Wednesday, my weigh in day, I gain more and more momentum and excitement to jump on the scale. I've pushed myself this week in the gym and in the kitchen. I've said "no" to so many things, and rather than lament the fact that I "can't" eat them, I celebrate that I've chosen not to eat them. Credit where credit is due. Maintaining a positive outlook.

I decided to bring some "Before" pictures to my Weight Watchers meeting this week. I know that I can use the boost, the reminders, of how far I've come, but I also truly enjoy seeing other people's progress and remembering that this can be done. That many men and women have done it before me and many men and women will do it after me. Any part I can play in encouraging the people who feel as if they've "got so far to go" to keep going is one I am obligated to.

Remember that this is a new week. If you had some "unplanned" eating this weekend, start over. Right now, no matter what. You can turn this day around, and this day will inspire the next, and so on. When you hit a bump, let it go. Every second is another chance to start over.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Stepping Up(date).

I went. It was awesome. I burned 817 calories and the instructor was wearing a speedo.


I'm going back, that's for sure.

Step Saturday Pysche-out

I'm trying to convince myself to do what I planned to do this morning, which is try my first Step class ever. The reason why it's so intimidating is because it's one of the most popular classes at my new gym and the description leaves a lot to be terrified about. I've been feeling somewhat uncoordinated lately, which is half the reason why I'm so nervous.

The initial class of a new variety is the most intimidating. You're walking into a room of people who already know what they're doing... and you have no clue. I guarantee I'll be turning the wrong directions, step up when they're stepping down and I could quite possibly collapse in a tired heap on the floor, but I need to go. You don't get to be one of the people who knows what they're doing unless you go to that first class.

Take the first step... literally.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thursuccessday.

On Tuesday I won tickets to see Yo La Tengo, a band I used to be extremely in to about 9 years ago. The show was on Wednesday and I brought my friend Jessica. We went to get sushi before hand and I ate according to my plan and had only one of the two drinks I had planned for the show. #success

After getting only 3 hours of sleep Wednesday night, I headed to work Thursday, walking into an extremely busy day. I tried having peanut butter toast for breakfast, just because I needed to change it up. I now realize that it wasn't enough to sustain me, but it was great I tried something new. I go to work around 6:30am, and at about 10am I realized that it was a mandatory all-staff potluck day. The second Thursday of every month at my organization, we have an all staff potluck. Traditionally, the buffet style table is laden with oily pasta salads and friend chicken, as well as a ridiculous amount and variety of sugary desserts. Normally, I avoid these functions at all costs because it's simply too trying for my willpower. This month, I had to give a presentation, so I was forced to attend. Luckily, I was able to resist my packed snack long enough to bring it to the potluck, seat myself next to a co-worker I love chatting with, and eat it good and slow. I didn't cave to that stupid buffet table at all. #success

Thursday night, I tried a SPINNING class at my new gym. I've been to spin classes before. It was one of the first classes I did at the YWCA when I joined and at 190lbs I burned 1100 calories in the hour, I also barely touched the resistance wheel. This time around, I did everything the instructor instructed. I gave it my all. I was happy the music was loud and thumping because I was literally screaming out loud for a few seconds every couple minutes. I pushed it. In 55 minutes I burned 784 calories. It is HARD for me to burn a lot of calories these days. In cardio classes I generally burn about 450-500 in the hour, even while pushing myself... that's the comparison. I rocked that class. #success

When I got home from the Firm, I started making dinner. Linguine with Asparagus, cremini mushrooms, shallots, garlic, ricotta and perconni. DELICIOUS. I didn't eat while I was cooking, and I measured all my food. #success

I feel great. Today I'm headed over to my mom's in an attempt to get her outside. We're going to (hopefully) walk her little dog. She hasn't been physically active in any way for a very very long time, and every time we make plans, she backs out somehow. I don't have my heart set on walking with her because the pattern would say she'll cancel, but I'm still going to try. After that, I'm headed to Lake Harriet to do a training run for the Monster Dash - the 5k I'm running on Halloween morning.

It's going to be a great day.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

3 Week Weigh In and Awesome People.

Last night I made it to my Weight Watchers meeting after having missed it for 2 weeks straight. In my head, because I know how touchy my system is and how poorly I ate for those 2 days (and a few days the first week I missed a meeting) I was just hoping to maintain. Essentially, I did that, sneaking by with a little .2lb gain.

When I say I ate "poorly" this week, I simply mean I made bad choices. I still had the points, I just chose really stupid fatty salty foods and beer. I felt hungry a lot and I felt really really swollen. I'm not attempting to console myself or make excuses for my itty bitty gain, there are just always a number of factors.

Either way, I had a wonderful day of eating again yesterday. When lunchtime hit, I really didn't want what was on my meal plan, so I sat down, figured out what I wanted and re-wrote the whole thing. I needed to physically have it down on paper. Having that plan really keeps me on track and helps me feel less stressed about the whole thing. This is probably the one place in my life I let someone tell me what to do (I suppose because that list ["someone"] is me!).

I'm still feeling the effects of the boxing class. My arms hurt in different places this morning and last night my hip started to feel like it was cracking inside my joint. Not a cracking sound, like physical shattering. It feels a little better today.

Tonight I'm headed to a spin class at my new gym where I will most likely be laughed out of the room for not having stupid clippy shoes, which I guarantee you, I will cave and buy if everyone else has them. I'm hoping to do a sprint triathlon next summer (it's a goal!) and I'll need to train with one of my mom's $7k racing bikes and I'll need them them.

Today's goal is to stick to the plan entirely. We have an all staff potluck, which I always avoid under usual circumstances, but it's also a new employee orientation, so it then becomes mandatory for all Program Directors to be present to speak about their programs. We also take our yearly all-staff portrait in October, so we'll be doing that.

My strategy at this point is to be there for the picture, and sit far away from the buffet line with a diet coke. The lunch I have planned for today involves cooking, and I want it that way because this is the lunch I need to make in order to make delicious dinner for the boys tomorrow with some of the ingredients. I also have measured out a portion of pistachios in case I decide I need a snack, and planned them into my day.

My fingers are crossed.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Food. The Firm.

My arms are extremely sore for the first time in a very long time. I'm so happy I got a chance to mix up my workout last night. I mentioned my Sister bought me a 5 Class Pass to the Firm for my birthday back in July, and I'm only now getting a chance to use them. I went last night, but rather than utilize the 5 Class Pass, I just joined. I need this right now, a new change in scenery. The cost of the 5 Class Pass was applied toward my first month of membership, which also came with a free week and was prorated because it was the 6th... so it cost me literally almost nothing.

Technically, this membership is much more expensive than the YWCA (my current gym), but because I rarely go to the YWCA now, it's still a smart move. Whatever gets you moving, right?

I attended a Bag Boxing class last night. I had my gloves and my wraps and I was ready to go. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I will tell you that it wasn't THIS! The class ended up being more like a bootcamp... a really hard one. It was great though, I really needed to work out that hard. There were 10 stations, and each station had a particular move you must do for 2 minutes. Loud music would be interrupted with a "BEEP" as a signal that you can quit for 30 seconds, followed by a second "BEEP" that would tell you to get your ass back in gear.

Station 1 consisted of punching a bag twice, and then doing a Burpee. Google that if you don't know what it is. Seems simple enough, but gets tiring. 2 minutes is sort of a long time.

Station 2 required jumping lunges.

Station 3 had another boxing bag, which you had to punch quickly and with enough force to keep it at a continual angle. Ted, the teacher, calls this "Bag at Bay."

Station 4 had your choice of 20lb or 30lb medicine balls which you get to hold and squat with. Over and over... for 2 minutes.

Station 5 gets you back at the bag with a 3 punch combo and shuffle. You essentially punch and travel around the bag, keeping it in control with the direction of your punch.

Station 6 had jump ropes. I was happy when I got there, since I have become an intermediate jump roper. It was the one station I felt like I could do better than anyone else in the class... which... isn't that really our goal when we go to the gym? (kidding!)

Station 7 was kindly titled "Steering Wheel" and had a stack of weights... the round ones you stick on the end of bars for benchpressing. You pick it up, hold it straight out in front of your chest at shoulder level, and steer it back and forth, back and forth. Again, sounds simple, but it was SO SO SO hard.

Station 8 was kind of like a break. It was simply a mat on the floor where you can do the ab exercise of your choice.

Station 9 was a trio of boxes set up in a T. Arms up front, toes together on the back. PUSH UPs. On boxes. For 2 minutes!?! Yeah right. I really gave this station everything I've got. I am really pretty horrible at push ups. I refuse to not have good form, so I can only do about 4 before I collapse and die. I did my 4, collapsed, got back up, did 4 more, held a plank position for the rest of the time. The plank is something.

Station 10 was Ted and his mitts. Cross punches. 20 of them. Speed punching. OUCH.
One thing I will say is that I am going back. Another thing I will say is that even though that was really hard, as a beginner, I really stuck in there and I NEVER ONCE QUIT. I had to stop to rest a few times, but I always was back in the game after no more than 4 seconds. 2 minutes, in essence, isn't a ton of time, so taking a break during those 2 minutes seems wasteful, especially when I'll get a whole 30 seconds as soon as I hear that stupid BEEP.

Ok! So I'm a member at the Firm, I'm going to a spin class tomorrow and today I hope to get over there and check out the cardio machines. I saw them on my tour last night, but didn't pay close enough attention. I saw there was a step mill, and that's really all I needed to know.

Here's what I ate yesterday.

Coffee + 1/2 cup Light Soy Milk (.5) + Organic Oatmeal (3)

1 Jolly Rancher (0)

Amy's Mexican Tamale Pie (2) + Cucumbers, Radishes, Carrots (0) + Apple (1)

1/2 cup Stonyfield Farms Low Fat French Vanilla Yogurt (1.5) + 1/4 cup granola (2)

1 mug Sensible Sweets Marshmallow Lovers Cocoa (1)

1 Spicy Black Bean burger (2) on Sandwich Thin (1) + 3/4 cup Yam cubes (2) in 1 tsp oil (1)

Bostom Creme Pie Pudding (1)
Total Points Used: 18.5 (2.5 remain + 6 APs earned)
I normally wouldn't advocate for leaving a deficit of your daily points, but I had a bad couple of days and I'm just trying to implement self control. Don't be like me, unless I'm being good.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

On my Knees

Somewhere in the last 2 days, I completely fell apart, got it back together, and fell apart again. I look back now and see I had 2 days with total disregard for points values/limits/etc. I "spent" all of my weekly points (about five times) and just let it keep happening.

Not this morning though. This morning I'm accountable.

Today, I've got a plan and I'm taking pictures.

Tomorrow morning, you'll know if I managed to stay on track or not. (YES!)

In case you noticed, I haven't weighed in for nearly 3 weeks. Tomorrow is my weigh in day, which makes me quite angry. I have completely ruined the ability for my efforts to show up by indulging in ridiculously salty foods for 2 days straight. I'm going to weigh in regardless, but understand that I'm allowed to be frustrated after working hard for 2 weeks and only messing up a bit.

Ok, done with negativity. It's time to get back on track.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

ROCKSTAR PARKING ONLY.

I get to park here.

I get to park here because this morning I ran 7 miles. I get to park here because I have been working diligently on staying on track but indulging enough to stay sane. I get to park here because I have fantastic friends who level with me and give me the truth, push me to work harder and meet me where I'm at.

I'm a rockstar.

I have to post these things here as awkward as it feels to sing my own praises. It's an important part of this journey, learning to give yourself credit for the things you are doing well, things you are doing right, and remember that this is the way you will BE. This is me.

This new me LOVED running 7 miles, even when she hated it. The reason I ran this morning was to get to a spot on the Twin Cities Marathon course so I could cheer on my sister who is running 26 miles today. I cried almost the whole way through. I was screaming and cheering people on. People I didn't know. People with their names written on their arms, or perhaps they were reduced to the color shirt they were wearing, it didn't matter. I cheered for them because I can't imagine running 26 miles at once. I can't imagine the strength and mental stamina that takes. I can't imagine the incredible feeling of accomplishment when you reach the finish line. I'm so whole-heartedly impressed with anyone who can run a marathon, I don't care if it takes you 8 hours, you're amazing.

Today is a great day. A great day that will only continue to grow better by spending time with my girlfriends at a Clothing Swap, where I get to rid myself of things that no longer fit or just aren't "me" and grab myself some new swag free of cost. There is a lot of self-esteem building conversation at these swaps, complimenting each other on how amazing we look in clothing. It has to be a positive environment, because it's difficult to gather a bunch of women in their underwear, women of various sizes, ages, shapes, etc.. and try not to compare yourself to the others in the room. These are my friends, they are not me. I am someone and somewhere else. I do not need to be there. I am here. I am me.

This evening we are celebrating another marathon accomplished by my sister with Bush Jam VI! A bonfire slash musical potluck. Everyone brings their instruments (from cowbell to soprano voices) and we play tunes, drink beer and just hang out at Bush Lake. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm going to fill my thermos with diet hot cocoa and indulge a bit in a delicious growler of Oatmeal Stout that Justin brought back from a recent trip to Wisconsin.

It's a good day people. How's yours?