This is suppose to be my Learning to Trust Myself- Day 6 report, but I have much more exciting news to share. Tracking, shmacking! I've been published! Ok, it was just for our school district's healthy living newsletter, but I've been put in print!!! I've been feeling for a while that I needed to share my success with others to encourage them to find their own healthy way. I contacted the Wellness PR lady for our district and shared with her about SparkPeople and how it has helped me. Well, that led to her wanting to share my story and here it is on page 3....
Hmmmm- this doesn't seem to be working. Well, maybe it is. I still weigh myself several times a day. I know that this is not a healthy habit and it is on my list of things to work on. :) So, on Friday night we ordered pizza and both Saturday and Sunday found me eating out. I almost never eat out (or fast food) three days in a row. The triple eating out has led to an additional 5 pounds that I didn't have on Friday night. When recording I actually wouldn't have eaten out so much because I wouldn't be able to record. It pains me that I would forgo a great time with friends because I wouldn't know how to record my food. That is actually one of my motivations for trying to ween myself off of recording. I want to be able to live and not be continually consumed with the calorie count.
Lunch today was AMAZING! I went to a Mexican restaurant with some girls from the gym. (THANKS KELLY AND JULIA!!!) and had great conversation and fantastic food. I only had a few chips (fewer than 5 10) and only a few fries. I even moved the plate to the end of the table when I was finished with my entree. I ordered the grilled chicken instead of the fried. Here's where I had a problem~ The chicken wrap was HUGE. I easily could have been satisfied with half of the wrap, but I ended up eating the whole thing. I *should* have taken half home and eaten it for dinner. Ugh!
I have two more days of not recording. I hope to get my weight back down to normal by increasing my water over the next two days and eating as many natural (read low sodium) foods as possible. Weight is a fluid number- I get that. I just don't like how it's flowing! I'm looking forward to healthy eating and reducing my processed foods in the days to come.
Ok, I'm on day 4 of not recording my food. I'm not sure that I can really count today since I don't usually record on Saturday most weeks. Today was not a fantastic food day, but it was a typical Saturday. I did find myself wanting a piece of cheese most of the day. I finally broke down and had one after I got the kids to bed. Looking back on my day I had a lot of snacking that I think now could have been cured by eating my cheese earlier in the day. It seems like when I have a really strong food craving the best thing to do is to indulge that craving and move on. It's almost like I keep eating to try to fulfill that need. Ooohhh and water! I never get in enough water on the weekends. I need to figure out a way to meet my water goals when it's not right in front of my face at work Whew! I feel like I've been learning a lot this week!!!
Today was interesting. I didn't really struggle with the idea of not recording as I have in days past, but I did struggle with portion control tonight. I've been feeling good and making great choices over the past few days. I had a great workout after school today and made it home before the sun was down. We were planning on ordering pizza. I had hubby pick up some salad at the store so that I could have a huge salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing along side my pizza. If I was recording I would have easily stopped at one slice of pizza. It would have put me in my calorie and fat range. The sodium alone usually stops me from having another piece of pizza! Well, I wasn't recording today and ended up having 1 and a half pieces of pizza. That half a piece really isn't that big of a deal, but it was the thinking behind the eating that concerns me. I was putting the pizza away and thought "Oh, I've worked hard today. I deserve this piece of pizza." As I was eating the piece I was processing that comment and thought "That's crazy! Food is fuel. It's not something that you deserve. It has no ability to reward you." I ate the pizza. I'm not betting myself up about the 1/2 slice, but am very aware of the fact that I need to set limits for myself even when my food tracker isn't there to tell me to stop. Still a work in progress.....
I'm working on not recording my food this week. Today's the second day (thus the title!) and I have to say that it was a lot easier today than yesterday. I still logged into SparkPeople to record my food, but stopped myself, made a nice comment on someone's page and then logged off. I had a great breakthrough today and I did it all by myself- no online tracker required. I was getting my food together for lunch and wanted hard boiled eggs for lunch. Normally I'd grab two eggs and be out the door. While preparing my lunch it occurred to me that I'd be having pork roast for dinner (high in fat, but yummy!) and that eggs were also really high in fat and that my afternoon snack (almonds and craisins) is also high in fat. Something had to go! I put away one egg and decided to have one egg and some low-fat Greek yogurt for lunch. It was the perfect compromise and I did it all by myself.
On a side note~ Tonight I was at the gym and I was watching this chick in the mirror that was doing perfect leg lifts. I was so impressed with the tone in her legs and the height of her lift. The funny part? I was looking at myself and didn't even realize it until I started looking around to see what face belong to those legs. Ok, sometimes I'm a dork. I admit it!
I got this crazy idea earlier this week that I would go a week without recording my food just to "see what would happen". Today is the first day of not recording and it has been TOUGH! Last night I even had dreams that I started to binge because I figured that if I didn't have to record that it didn't really matter what I ate. I started my day with my typical breakfast (mini wheats and milk) and had my usual morning snack (fiber one bar and a cup of hot cider). It's lunch time and I am starving. I know that I've had enough to eat up until this point, but not recording it makes me feel like I haven't really eaten. Does this make any sense???
I was reading Ann's blog about how she was setting a goal of recording every day this week. Ironic, huh? I told her that my goal was not to record for a week and she called it "Big Girl Weight Loss". She hit the nail on the head. I am terrified of "Big Girl Weight Loss"! There is nothing magical about recording my food. When I started recording it was a tool to help me learn how to eat. I *think* that I have learned what I need, but am fearful to trust myself enough to make those decisions. This might be a long week.... My goal is to post daily for the next week to try to gain some clarity as I continue to learn about myself and my relationship with food.
I record my food. It's how I live. I'm lucky enough to have found Spark People that does most of the work for me. I put in my food and it keeps track and enters all of the data (calories, fat, sodium) for me. At the end of the day if I'm below my calorie goals I eat more to make up the difference. If I am approaching my goal for the day I eat a light dinner and go to bed cranky.
When I first started recording I saw it as a tool to teach me how to eat a healthy amount of food. As I am approaching my goal weight (16 pounds to go...) I have been challenged by many asking what I am going to do to maintain. Part of me feels like I want to record for THE REST OF MY LIFE because it's safe and I know it works, but there is this other part of me that would love to be free of the constant need to get a gold star for the day on my SparkPeople chart just because I ate the number of calories it told me to eat.
*Deep breath* I've decided to take a week off from recording to see what happens. I expect my weight to stay the same. I am going to record tomorrow, weigh in Wednesday, and then not record until the following Wednesday. What's the worst that can happen? Well, I could gain weight- a lot of weight and then know that I need to continue recording. The best that could happen? I could maintain or even lose a pound (!!!) and maybe losen up the expectation that I've placed on myself to need to record every day.
Today was on of those "blah" kind of days. It didn't start out that way. I was thrilled to find out yesterday that I was a SparkPeople Motivator. I've been using SparkPeople for almost 2 years and was so honored to be showcased as a Motivator for losing 166 pounds. It's nice to be noticed! Around noon the "blahs" hit. Lunch was blah. My afternoon classes were blah. Blah! Blah! Blah!
After work today I was scheduled to go on my run. Lucky for me Hubby was home when I go home from work or I am almost positive that my run would not have happened. I got home and was still feeling blah. I didn't want to run today because I felt blah. He asked me what was causing my blahs and I really couldn't tell him. He asked me if the scale said something mean to me. He knows me SO well! No, the scale did not say anything mean to me. THEN, do you know what he said?!?!
"Get out there are run! You always feel better after you run."
So, what did I do?
I felt better.
Today my motivation was my husband. I've told him before to not let me off the hook just because I am being lazy and today he kept his promise.
I'm wondering what motivates you on the days that you are feeling blah and just don't want to?
A year ago this month I started running. Why running? I had been walking laps at school for a few months along with doing a few classes at the gym. My weight had stalled and I was looking for a way to mix things up. I never, let me repeat, never thought that I'd be a runner. Hubby likes to talk about how when I was younger (and fatter!) I'd tell him that if I couldn't get there by car that it really wasn't worth going to. Times sure have changed! Here are a few of my running highlights:
February 2010- started running at 292 pounds; I started using the C25K podcast (C25k- couch to 5k) that allowed me to play my own music, but would ding at me each time I was suppose to run or walk. My initial runs were on the treadmill at a whopping 3.8 MPH. The first week consisted of 3-30 minute runs that would include a one-minute run followed by a 90 second walk. Those one minute runs were SO hard. My heart rate was through the roof and I invested in a Polar F6 to help me keep things in check while running.
March-April- I got to Week 4 in C25K and got stuck! The goal is to complete the program in 9 weeks and I was stuck at week 4 for like 6 weeks. It was very frustrating! I lowered my speed and still could not complete the run for that week-jog 3 minutes, walk 90 second, jog 5 minutes, walk 2.1/2 minutes- repeat. I was getting stuck on that 5 minute run. I had an amazing breakthrough when Tara came up to me at the gym and changed my running forever! She asked me if I was doing C25K and encouraged me to just keep going. She assured me that much of running is a mental thing and that I needed to push past that mental block to see success. My very next run I was able to complete the entire run and went on to finish the remaining weeks without any problems. At the end of April I weighed 273 pounds.
May-June- I completed the C25K program and was running consistently 3 times a week for a total of 40 minutes a shot (30 minutes run with a 5 minute warm up and cool down). I was running at a speed of 3.8 and feeling great about my running progress. I weighed in at 252 pounds at the end of June. The weight was pouring off! Wow! I just realized for the first time that I had lost 40 pounds in the short 5 months it took me to feel comfortable with my running.
June- After the school year ended I decided that I wanted to start running outside. Those first few runs outside were horrible! It is much harder to run outside. I struggled with my pacing and didn't understand how to decide when to run and when to walk. I posted on many message boards and finally found a pacing system that worked for me. I'd count 1-2-3-4 and then I'd do it again.
July-August- I found a running route that worked for me and started training for my first 5k. I signed up for the Free to Breathe run/walk in my city. I mapped out a 5k route and ran/walked it 3 days a week. With each run I'd add an extra block until I was running the entire route. I was down to 234 pounds at the end of August.
September 2010- My first 5K and I got sick! I finished the 5K in 43 minutes. Not a great time, but I had earned money for a great cause and was proud of myself.
October-December- The rain and dark mornings arrived in Washington and I moved inside. I tried running on the treadmill, but found that I HATED running inside now that I had experienced outdoors running. I was happy to see that I was not able to run inside at a speed of 5.5-6.0 A whole lot faster than when I first started. I dropped one of my runs and only ran 2 times a week. I added an extra class at the gym and ran outside EVERY chance possible. My weight continued to drop and I found myself at 199 pounds right after Christmas. My husband got me a copy of Runner magazine for Christmas and I loved it! I was challenged in my magazine to add some hill work. I changed my route and added a hill- my hill.
January-February- I got tough! I bought a headband to cover up my ears and a rain coat to keep off the weather. I started running outside again. I've added back in another running day. My hill and I have become close personal friends. There are days when my hill kicks my butt, but I love every minute of it! In January I ran my first 10 minute mile on the treadmill. It was a huge running goal that I had set for myself when I first started running.
One year, 100 pounds later and I am still running!!!!!
One year, one hundred pounds.....
I can't wait to see where running will take me in the year to come.
I work up this morning and I was 192.0. For the past 4 weeks I've been between 190 and 195. The scale seems to be messing with me. It's favorite number these days is 192. Normally when I see 192 I get frustrated with my lack of progress. Today was different! Let me say that again, today was different.
I got on the scale, saw the 192, and smiled. I knew that I'd worked hard all week. I've eaten in my calorie range. I've met my exercise goals for the week. I weigh 192 pounds and it's OK.
Now if you were to ask whoever invented that stupid BMI chart they would tell you that I am still not "healthy". I am suppose to be 174. Let me tell you what I am. I am someone who works out 6 days a week and I mean I WORKOUT. I am someone who eats roughly 1800 calories a day. I am someone that can run a 10 minute mile. I am someone who drinks more water than soda. I am healthy and I am in control of my body.
Will I be at 174 someday? Maybe. I hope so!
Do I have to be at 174 to be healthy? Nope, no way! People say that you find a weight that "feels good". I am not sure that I have arrived at that weight, but I do know that I am in a place where I make healthy food choices and exercise because it's the way that I live. I no longer feel like I do those things just so that I will lose weight. A bad day no longer send my to my local drive-thru. Being tired is no longer an excuse for poor eating or skipping my workout. I live this way because it's who I've become and it's the right way to care for my body.
Is this what maintenance feels like?
I've been thinking about this post for several weeks. Want to know my diet secret? Are you sure? Do you really want to know?
It's YOU! My diet secret is that I have surrounded myself by amazing people that have been a support to me each step of the way. Here are just a few examples of people that have encouraged and supported me in ways that they may not have even realized:
~ There's the co-worker who tells me that I CAN wear my new heals to work and she was right! I felt so sassy wearing my new heals :) I have many friends at work who have been such a support by their complements and encouraging words. My students have also been a huge support through this journey. Almost every day a student or parent comments on how much I've lost. I love getting complements that always seem to come when I am feeling discouraged with my progress.
~ There's the members at my gym and group fitness instructors that have taken a personal interest in me and my fitness goals. They are always willing to answer questions, never give up on me no matter my size, and are always changing up the classes to make them worth coming to each week. These people inspire me to live a healthier lifestyle and to continually adjust my fitness goals.
~There's my family. My husband who has allowed me to purchase every fitness gadget that I've "needed" through this process and has supported me though each and every pound. He is my rock on emotional days and my party planner when I meet my fitness goals. My kids that allow me to drag them to the gym on rainy nights when all they want to do is stay home. Nothing is better in this world than having your daughter say, "Mommy, I want to be as healthy as you when I grow up". They are what inspire me on those mornings that I just don't want to get up and work out.
~The online community- the people that comment on my blog, my friends on Facebook that celebrate my success and encourage me through failure, the people on SparkPeople who comment on my questions and help me celebrate when I reach my fitness goals. It's nice to know that there are others out there that have the same struggles. It's amazing how I've bonded with some people that I've never met. Today I wanted to give up on my run and kept thinking, "I really don't want to post that I didn't finish my run". I powered through my run by thinking about what clever status I could post after conquering my run.
My big secret? Surround yourself with people that support you as your work towards you goals. Instead of beating you up when you fall down they are there to pick you up, remind you of all that you've done, and encourage you to move forward. I'd love to be that person to everyone reading this blog. So many people have given and supported me throughout my journey and I am continually on the lookout for ways that I can support others.
Last month I bought a little black dress because it was a great deal. I had no wedding to attend, no high school reunion, not even a party to go to. I just really wanted this dress. One of the fitness instructors at my gym took it upon herself to get a group of us together to eat dinner at the Matador. All week long I've been planning~ new shoes, toenails painted, legs shaved, I even busted out my curlers that haven't seen the light of day in probably 5+ years.
I had hubby take a few pictures before we left:
LOOK at those calves!!!! Those are what help me conquer my runs. :)
Here's the group that I went out with tonight:
See me? I'm the nearly skinny, super fit one next to the handsome man (my hubby!) in the blue shirt. I should have stood sideways... I had an AMAZING time. It was so nice to be out for dinner and be normal. I didn't worry about not fitting into the chair. I didn't worry about how many calories were in my dinner. I just enjoyed good food with great friends that have been a huge part of my fitness journey. I love that my new normal is evolving!
Surgery set for May
In other news I am excited to report that I have scheduled my tummy tuck and arm lift for May 9th. I was unsure about my decisions and still struggled even after making my appointment and paying my deposit. Last night we had a financial scare that would have meant that I could no longer have the surgery and I was devastated. I felt like that lady who doesn't think she wants to be pregnant, take a pregnancy test, finds out that she in not pregnant and then is sad that she isn't pregnant. I have some worries about the surgery, but I now know that this is the right decision for my body and can't wait to see amazing results.
I went to Shred today (my favorite class at the gym) and was just not feeling the love for Shred that I normally do. The class focused a lot on arm strength (push-up city today!) and my arms are by far one of the weakest parts of my body. They don't bend like they should even though I am willing them to go down or out or whatever direction they are suppose to go. Push-ups and I just don't agree....yet! One of my goals for this year is to increase my arm and chest strength and to be able to do a beautiful push-up in full plank. About halfway through class I was thoroughly frustrated and not anywhere near meeting my calorie burn. The instructor is great about giving modifications to each move, but I get frustrated with myself when I feel like I should be able to do more. This frustration leads to a complete shut-down which leads to more frustration. It was at that moment that I wanted to be anywhere but at Shred.
What did I do???????
And I ran FAST!!! I met a huge running goal today. I ran the whole stinkin thing! For the first time ever I ran a 10 minute mile on the treadmill at the gym. I picked this goal because it is the same speed that our 5th graders are suppose to run the mile in at school. I set the speed at 6.0 and just kept going. I felt AMAZING! I was proud of myself for my time, but more than that I was proud of myself for not giving up on my workout just because it wasn't what it had started out to be.
Be encouraged the next time your workout isn't going as well as planned. Your body might just have something else in mind. We talk about intuitive eating to meet the food needs of our body. I'm starting to wonder if there is something to be said for intuitive exercise.
Guess what else I realized today? I AM A RUNNER! A real life runner! I actually like running. I've always told people that I do it because it's good exercise. Today I pushed my body further than it has every gone before and I actually liked it.
On June 19, 2009 I started my weight loss journey. It has become quite the journey! As of today (2-1-11) I have lost 162 pounds and have gained a whole new life. This blog is a continuation of my journey. I hope to inspire and encourage others through my process.