Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Overeating Spiral

Spring break has arrive at my house and with vacation typically comes overeating. I am staying home for vacation and can't even use the excuse that there are no healthy choices. 2 days into my vacation and I'm having to regroup and start fresh with my eating. I am definitely someone that thrives in routine. Being home has led to a lot of mindless eating. I walk through the kitchen and grab a snack. We are at the aquarium and I finish my son's chips. I'm not even hungry! I wake up and have a diet soda for breakfast with my mini wheats. It doesn't make sense! Something about being on vacation equals taking a vacation from my eating. I found myself eating peanut butter off of a spoon earlier today and thinking, "What in the world am I doing?". I wish I could tell you that I wiped off the spoon. I finished the spoonful. Again, I wasn't even hungry.

Bored? Feeling entitled? Rebellious? All of those play a factor in my overeating spiral. Here's the real struggle- I overeat at breakfast, for example, and then tend to overeat ALL DAY LONG. Again, it doesn't make sense, but it's how it goes for me. I'm not the overeater that eats a dozen doughnuts at one time, but I am the one that eats, and then eats 30 minutes later, and then... You get the picture. Here I sit- 167 pounds lighter and still struggling with the same food issues. Does it get easier? I still have bad days, but am able to correct my behavior and I no longer beat myself up for making these poor choices. Another thing that is really cool is that I am able to listen to my body and know that I've had enough food. When you are in the habit of eating what you body really needs it is very easy to tell when you've been overeating.

Tomorrow is a new day with new eating challenges and I am really to make choices that will propel me towards my goals!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Run Kari Run

This will be short, but I wanted to share...
I had an AWESOME run today! It was raining so I had to put on my tough face and start running. I ended up running 4.5 miles in 50 minutes. At mile 3 I felt like a rock star and thought that I could do 5 miles. I hit mile 4 and was exhausted. I pushed through another half mile and had to stop.

On another note- I bought a body pillow tonight for my surgery. It's hard to believe, but in a little over a month I will be having excess skin removed from my arms and stomach. I bounce between total elation and complete terror. I bought a few cute sleeveless shirts at Old Navy this week. My plan is to wear a jacket over them until after the surgery and they will be perfect post-op.

I'm on Spring Break this week from school and am totally excited to try some new/old classes at my gym. :) Here's to a healthy week!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

You need to go pee in this cup...

Many years ago I applied for life insurance and was denied because of my weight. I have decided to apply for life insurance again since I am so close (15 pounds!) to a healthy BMI. Part of my life insurance application was that I needed to have a physical.

Today a man in a nice suit showed up with a suitcase to my front door. We sat at my kitchen table, he asked me MANY healthy related questions, and then handed me a cup. I was told to fill to the line with urine and leave on the bathroom counter. My 5 year old was sitting on the couch watching cartoons. She was very confused! Anyhow, after I went to the bathroom I came back and he told me to step on the scale. I weight in a 189.2. I'll take it! I've lost 167 pounds! After my weigh-in he took my blood pressure. Here's the exciting part- my blood pressure was 117/72. According to the American Heart Association I have a healthy heart! That is success!!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Playing with the Big Boys

I have been waiting for 4 hours to blog about my workout today and it has been killing me! This week is one of those crazy weeks that make it very difficult to fit in exercise. I have meetings after school 3 times this week and almost all of my workouts are after school. On Tuesday I got up early to run before school. I hate getting up early, but LOVE being done with my workout before I even get to work. Today (Wednesday) I actually flex my schedule and get to leave work at 2. My meeting today was at 4. I decided to hit the gym and do some cardio before my meeting. Normally my cardio will consist of a 5 minute treadmill warm-up, 15 min on the stairs, 15 min on the elliptical and then a 5 min treadmill cool-down. Here's where the fun starts....

I LOVE my group fitness classes because they are always changing, the music keeps me going, and I am able to go on auto-pilot and do what the instructor tells me to do. I started my normal treadmill warm-up and though,
"Why can't I do my own little class all by myself
instead of doing the usual stairs and elliptical"

After a 2.5 minute warm-up I decided to job over to the empty boxing studio. I had NO IDEA what I was doing, but here's what ended up happening:

- Jumping jacks for 1 minute
- Front kicks for 1 minute

I repeated this 3 times....

Then I did...

- Football drills for 1 minute
- Lunges for 1 minute

I repeated this 3 times...

Holy cow! I was already 6 minutes into my 30 minutes of cardio!!!

Feel all cocky at this point I headed over to the free weight area of the gym. The boys over there were HUGE! I think that any of them could have squished my in their biceps. Guess what I did???

- Mountain climbers for 1 minute
- Biceps curl for 1 minute

Then I repeated the mountain climbers and did tricep kickbacks for the second minute.

The big boys were staring at me. I am pretty sure they were thinking, "I wish I could do cardio like her!". :)

After doing a little bit of weights I went back to the boxing studio and did some plank work (I hate plank!), some more jumping jacks, some wall squats, and side kicks. Finally, I ran upstairs and did some work on the Step mixed in with some ab work (another yuck!). I ended my workout with some great stretching in the sauna!

The entire time I was working out I could hear my amazing fitness instructors calling out the next moves!  I love my group fitness classes, but I love even more that I have learned the skills necessary to get in a good workout even though there isn't someone there telling me what to do. I burned 418 calories in 40 minutes. In a normal group fitness class I burn between 500-600 calories in an hour.

If I would have continued my workout I totally would have met that goal. My success today was not only in the calories that I burned, but in the fact that I was able to push myself in a way that until now I thought was only possible when someone else was telling me what to do.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Moments

Earlier today I was talking with someone (VERY exciting! More about this conversation in a few days...) about my weight loss experience and he asked me the dreaded question. What inspired you to lose all of this weight? I have thought a lot about this "moment" all week and after a lot of processing (thanks to those of you that have listen to me ramble) I've come to the conclusion that I didn't have a moment and I don't need to have just one moment. I have been successful at weight loss and changing my life because of a series of moments that have changed my life forever. Here we go...

* I have lost weight before. I was down to 303 before getting pregnant. In June 2009 I decided to commit the summer to getting healthy and trying to get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. I KNEW that I could meet that goal.

* August 2009- We went to an amusement park and I couldn't fit into the rides. I didn't try, but at 330ish pounds there were no way I could fit. Others had to take my daughter on rides. I knew that day that the following summer I would be able to take her. I hate rides, but I WOULD be able to do it.

* October 2009- My dad died of lung/bone cancer. My dad was (still is on some days!) my world and it pained me to lose him. I want to be around for my kids as long as possible. I don't want them to every say, "I wish my mom would have taken better care of her body."

* February 2010- I started running! It was hard, but I was doing it! My body was changing and I was so excited to be doing things that I never thought possible.

* June 2010- I lost 100 pounds. 100?!?! That was the day I felt like I'd truly arrived as a weight loss success story.

* August 2010- I return to school from summer vacation and everyone at work had noticed my hard work. People were coming up to me and telling me that I inspired them. This became addictive! I found myself wanting to share with everyone that I encountered how they too could be successful.

Yes, I've lost weight, but my "ah-ha" moments have so much more to do with what my body is capable of accomplishing and who I've become as a wife, mother, daughter and friend. Earlier today he asked me what I look forward to doing now that I am healthy. I didn't have an answer! I've been so focused on being that magic number (174) that I haven't even thought about all of the amazing things that lie ahead. I'm curious- what goals have you set? What are you looking forward to as you work to improve your overall health?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What if I change my mind?

A wave of terror washed over me this afternoon. I was in the middle of teaching a class, feeling super healthy, and had a minor panic attack. What if, just what if, I start to think that all of this (the food monitoring, the workouts, the continual sipping of water) isn't worth it? What if they remove all of my extra skin and then I gain back all of my extra weight? What if this all gets too hard? *BIG SIGH*

Last week my article came out and I was super proud. I got many supportive e-mails from co-workers encouraging me in my journey. One told me that I was very brave to share my story. Brave? Oh no! I never thought about it as being brave. I just wanted to encourage others with my story. Brave? No, not me. I am terrified!

Twice this week I was asked what my "ah-ha" moment was that led to me losing weight. Here's the thing- I didn't have a major moment. I wasn't scared into losing weight. One healthy decision led to another healthy decision. Success led to additional success. I wonder if that will help or hinder in the long run. What if I've shared my success with others and then let everyone down?

I wish I had a big "ah-ha" to tie up this blog, but at this moment I am flooded with the same insecurities that led me to bury my fear in food and a sedentary lifestyle. Here's the difference- tomorrow morning I am going to get up and run. I will have a healthy breakfast and take on a new day.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Confession Time

I started a post last night about how I've reached a plateau, but the more I looked back on the past month the more I realized that the problem was not necessarily a plateau. Now, it might be partly a plateau- I am overdue. 166 pounds and I haven't gone more than 2 weeks without losing. A few weeks ago I decided to stop recording for a week. During that week I did maintain my weight loss, but gained (reacquainted myself with) a really bad habit. I became a *gasp* snacker again. I find myself walking past the jar of almonds and grab a handful without recording them as a snack. I eat half of my kid's sandwich because she isn't going to finish it. My favorite snack? A huge handful of Mini wheats. I measured out that handful and came up with nearly a serving size of cereal or approx. 200 calories.

Here's the problem with my snacking- it leads to MORE snacking and before I know it I am spending my nights knee deep in bags of chips wondering why I am no longer losing weight. Mindless eating is what got me to 356 pounds and I refuse to go back. I am going back to recording with fidelity. If it goes it my mouth I record it! Now, there are going to be days when I can't record, but that doesn't give me permission to abuse my body with excessive snacking.

My goal is to lose another 10 pounds before my surgery on May 9th. I plugged my goal into SparkPeople and am once again back on track. My goal is to be 180 by surgery. I am hoping that they will remove 10 pounds of skin from my stomach and arms putting me at 170 (a healthy BMI!!!) post-op and post excess fluids from the surgery.

Until next post, I am off to record my dinner....

Sunday, March 13, 2011

How I make this work

A common question that people ask me is how I have been able to fit it all in. I work full time, exercise 6 days a week, my children are involved in sports and church activities and here is how I make it work....

Exercise- Part of losing weight is exercise. When I first started working out I set a goal of exercising 3 days a week. Over the past two years I've added to that goal and now work out 6 days a week. Normally I do a combo of classes at the gym and running on my own. Here's my schedule:

- Monday- Kick-It class at the gym
- Tuesday- off
- Wednesday- Shred at the gym (High-energy old school PE type class)
- Thursday- Boxing at the gym
- Friday- Run
- Saturday- Step aerobics/Yoga at the gym
- Sunday- Run

This schedule doesn't always work. I am a teacher and often have meeting after work that don't allow me to make it to the gym. Sometimes I flex my day off and attend a class or run on Tuesdays. If I can't make a class and I can't flex my day that I wake up early and either (a) do a workout DVD at home or (b) run. The point is that I make the time. Exercise is a priority and an appointment that I keep- even when I don't want to do it. Just because I can't make a class that I enjoy is not an excuse to skip exercise.

Eating- For breakfast I usually have oatmeal or mini wheats. Morning snack is a latte. Lunch is usually a combination of veggies, yogurt, hummus, crackers, popcorn, cheese or a fiber one bar. I don't eat all of that at once. :) My lunch is usually between 300-400 calories. My afternoon snack is some type of fruit with nuts. I prep all of my lunch and snacks on Sunday for the entire week and take everything to work on Monday. Taking everything to work at once has really helped. We use to eat out- A LOT! By a lot I mean 3-4 nights a week we'd either get fast food or go to a sit down restaurant. This was probably the hardest charge for my family. It's hard for me to work all day, pick up the kids after work, go to the gym, and then get home and fix dinner. My husband has really helped in this area. He's a great meal planner and does all of the prep work so that when I get home from the gym I usually have to just heat everything up and dinner is ready. We also use our crockpot at least once a week.

I'm always looking for short cuts on eating healthy quick foods. What do you do to make sure you and your family are eating healthy?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My new plumb line...

I am doing a Beth Moore bible study at my church called "Believing God". This past week's study has been about measuring what we know about God against the Bible. The Bible is our plumb line or measuring tool as we learn about God. Still with me?

Last night was tough. I've gained and lost the same 4 pounds nearly a dozen times in the past month. My weight has fluctuated between 188-192 for over a month. I had a great workout last night, but struggled because when I looked in the mirror I saw a girl that still had so much weight to lose. I don't have a lot to lose, but I still feel huge.

Here's the exciting part......I realized something amazing on my run today- I need to have a healthy living plumb line! This was never about me being skinny and over the past few months I have placed a pressure on myself to be skinny.
Healthy does not equal skinny!
Did you hear that?
Healthy does not equal skinny!

I believe God and I believe that His word is the ultimate authority for my life. Here's what the Bible tells me should be my healthy living plumb line-

- 1 Cor. 10:30 "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."; Am I honoring God with my eating? If I am out of control when it comes to my food choices I am no longer honoring Him.

- 1 Tim. 4:8 "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."; There is some value in physical training! Am I fitting in exercise to take care of the body that I've been given? If I am skipping my exercise on a regular basis I am missing the value of physical training.

- 1 Kari 1:1 "You must fit into the height/weight chart at the doctors office"; Ok, maybe I made that one up. :) Today I get it- I should have goals and work hard to reach my goals, but it is way more important to exercise and control my eating than to reach a magic number on a chart. Nowhere in my study have I come across a verse that says "Thou must weight 174 pounds to be healthy". It seems so simple, but is soooo very hard. Today I get it. I am not sure what tomorrow brings, but I now have my healthy living plumb line in which I can measure my success. Am I making healthy food choices? Am I exercising? That's where my success is measured!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Morning Hangover

Here we are again Sunday morning. Weight gain- check! Feeling full even after not eating for 8 hours- check! Fatigue even after getting enough sleep- check! Dry mouth- check! Guild-ridden- check! Regret- check!

No, I didn't go out to a club last night or even spend a night at home drinking away my sorrows. Yesterday I went to my mom's. I go there nearly every weekend and that always results in me feeling this way on Sunday morning. It's not from drinking. It's from eating. And eating. And eating! Throughout my weight loss journey I've always given myself permission to eat what I want on Saturdays. When I was over 300 pounds it really didn't make a big difference that I would eat an extra 500 calories once a week. The salt and sugary foods didn't leave me feeling sick the next morning. I wake up on Saturdays and crave Poptarts because I know that I am "allowed" to eat them. I never meet my water goal for the day because I know that I'm not keeping track.

It's not just that I go to my mom's and feel like I have permission to overeat. I still have some emotional eating issues related to my childhood that come flooding back when I go over there. I see the open bag of chips and HAVE to have some. Anywhere else I can walk away from the chips. I eat from the time I get there and take a snack to eat on the way home.  My body chemistry has changed and these over indulgences now leave me feeling tired, bloated, and guilty. I need a plan!

Do you have places that lead to overeating? What do you do to avoid or help prevent you from making poor choices?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Non-recording week recap

I decided a week ago that I would take a week off from recording my food. The first few days were tough! I've grown so use to recoding every single detail that I felt a bit lost when I wasn't logging on to SparkPeople multiple times a day to enter my food. My original plan was to use my weight (gain, loss or maintain) to decide if I was able to stop recording all together.

The best laid plans.... I got a really bad stomach bug last night and lost 6 pounds between Monday and Tuesday morning. Don't ask and I won't tell you how that happened! ;) I am suppose to weigh in tomorrow, but don't feel like I can really use my weight tomorrow as a gauge.

Here's what I learned from not recording for the past week:
- I am able to control my portion sizes even if I'm not able to record all day long.
- If I really think about my eating for the day I am able to make wise swaps. (ie- one egg instead of two if I'm having a fatty dinner)
- Recording helps me to monitor my overall calorie consumption, but is not required for me to have a healthy day.
- Recording is a tool and not something that I have to live by. Just like the scale is not the only indicator of health, my food journal isn't the only measure of good food choices.

Please don't read this and think that I am anti food journaling! I have lost 166 pounds using journaling and exercise. I've had to learn how to eat and keeping a food journal has helped me to learn about portion sizes and how it really feels to be full instead of stuffed.

Next steps? I don't know... I still would like to lose another 5-10 pounds before my skin removal surgery in May. I thought about recording every other day just to make sure I am staying on track. Any suggestions?
I'll keep you posted!

About Me

My photo
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.