Monday, February 20, 2012

Still Learning

It's amazing how far I've come and yet, even more amazing, is how much more I have to learn!

Since it was President's day, I had the day off and had an opportunity to attend a great Boot Camp class at my gym. Everyone has been raving about the class, but it's only offered during the day when I am normally at work. Kristi is an amazing instructor because she "gets" that people are in different places, but is always pushing you just a little bit farther with each and every workout. A few things I learned today....

~ The TRX ropes will not break when I use them! I've always seen the ropes, but have been terrified that they would break. Guess what? They didn't break! They didn't even start to tear. (Just checked- the recommended TRX weight is 350...) There is still this small part of me that sees those ropes and sees a 356 pound girl. A girl that would actually be too big to use the system.

~ I am getting stronger! I haven't taken a group class in several weeks. It was SO COOL to take a class today and be able to notice the difference in my performance. We were doing this medicine ball sit-up toss with a partner and I was able to got all the way back and then sit up again. 2 months ago, I would have been lucky to sit half way back and then get back up again.

~ I can go to Burger King and don't have to order anything. I took the kiddos there to play, got them lunch, and just sat back visiting with a friend, and enjoyed my yummy Starbucks skinny latte. I don't have to order fast food just because I am there.

~ Shopping is actually starting to be fun. I went into 3 different stores today and was able to comfortably fit into large shirts and size 12 pants. I had to giggle today in Old Navy as I was slipping into my size 12 jeans and remembering the first time I tried on 14's and couldn't believe that they fit!

I'm continuing to change and grow. It's exciting to see. I look forward to what is still to come. I think that I need a new blog name! See, I'm no longer weighting. I still have some weight to lose, but I am no longer weighting. I'm living and looking forward to what is to come.

Hmmmm....gonna have to ponder this one. Any suggestions???


Friday, February 17, 2012

How I Measure Up

I decided in early January that I needed to do something to change my exercise plan. Change is hard for me. My schedule is tight. My workout routine is set. Change is hard for me! I came back to my New Rules of Lifting for Women book. Last week I completed the first phase of workouts. Hubby was kind enough to measure me today. (He hates this job, but does it anyhow...)


Whoop! Whoop! I am really pleased with my progress. My weight hasn't changed much, but I am SUPER stoked about the changes that I am seeing through my mid section. My legs are getting stronger. I am running further and longer. While my thigh measurement is larger than before, I am ecstatic with the appearance and tone that I am started to see through my thighs.
I also see a lot more definition in my shoulders and calves.

I started Stage 2 of New Rules last Friday. The workouts are harder and longer. There are more compound exercises. The *rest* periods are longer and much more necessary. :) I'm not in love with a few of the exercises, but am reserving final judgement until I finish this stage.

What about my group fitness classes????? I miss them, but am comfortable with my choice to pursue my own workouts at this point. I've learned how to push myself. I've learned how to ask for help when I don't know what to do. I've learned to do it (push ups....planks....static lunges....etc) even when I don't want to because I know that they are good for my body. I pop in to group classes when I have time to spare, but it feels so good to know that if I am on a limited schedule and can't fit in a class, that I can still get in a great workout. (Full disclosure.... I'm not perfect. I did skip my lifting workout today because I've been sick all week and took an extra rest day. Tomorrow I will be back at it!)
Have a great weekend and please, please, please put down the pink weights and lift a little bit more! :)


Sunday, February 12, 2012

9 months post-op + Bonus material

I'm writing to you tonight from my local Starbucks. I never thought I'd be that girl. Can you see her? Sitting in the corner with her skinny mocha and oatmeal? She looks so put together.  She's at peace. She's enjoying a quiet cup of coffee after a great workout. Tonight, if even for a moment, I am that girl.

You probably came here looking for a post-op update, but I am starting off with bonus material.....

* This week I got a new pair of running shoes. I may be in love with them, but am reserving judgement until I get a few miles under my feet. I've only run with them once and I kept wondering if they could take me the whole 13.1 miles. Could these be the shoes that lead me to completing my first one and only 1/2 marathon? Feel free to admire the latest addition to my running shoe collection. They are Asics GT-2160s.

* Speaking of running..... I had set a goal, back in January, of running a sub 11 minute pace by the end of February. I am SOOOO close. Here's the proof:
It's hard to read, but I am at exactly an 11'00 minute pace. I was so close! I have my Nike app set to update me on my progress every quarter mile. I was consistently between 10:58 and 11:04 the entire run. Looking forward to seeing that pace drop below 11.

9 Months Post-Op

9 months ago I had surgery to remove the excess skin that was hanging off of my arms and stomach. It was not a decision that was easy to make, but it is one that was the right decision for me. Plastic surgery is not for everyone. I didn't think it was for me, but I now know that it was what I needed to move on to the next phase of my life. I was both literally and emotionally weighed down by the skin that would never go away, no matter how much exercise or how much more weight I would lose.

My incisions have all finally closed! The scars on my arms are still red. I keep waiting for the redness to go away. The nurse told me that some time after 6 months that I'd wake up and the redness would be gone. My arms do look better (more of a light pink color than red), but I am still waiting for all discoloration to go away. There are a few spots on both arms where all you see if a thin white line. My stomach incisions are a thin white pencil line all the way around. I take hope in knowing that one day my arm scars *should* look like my stomach scars.

Exercise at 9 months post-op is amazing! Not a day goes by that I don't notice the lack of flapping arm and/or stomach skin during my workouts. My arms start to sting after an hour or so of intense exercise. I am sure that this is nerve pain. I had a breast reduction 11 years ago and it feels exactly the same- sharp, instant, quick jabbing pain that goes away as quick at it comes. When doing ab work my I feel a sort of pull right above my pubic bone. I'm not sure if this is from the surgery or from my 2 c-sections. It's not so bad that I can't push through, but it is noticeable.

Would I do the surgery again? Yep, in a heartbeat. I knew that the excess skin bothered me, but I had no idea how much until it was gone. The scars aren't too bad and actually give me an opportunity to share my story with those that ask. Is there more plastic surgery in my future? Well, first I have to pay off this surgery. :) Honestly, I have no desire to have any other work done. There are days when I wish that I would have had my vertical cut done, but it doesn't matter that much to me that I would want to go through another recovery.

Sorry this was so long! Feel free to ask questions if there is something that I didn't cover and you are dying to know about. I  leave you with a few arm pictures.

Front- Pre Surgery
Front- 9 months post-op

Arm Scar- 4 months post-op

Arm Scar- 9 months post-op


Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Rules- Phase 1

Woo hoo! I completed New Rules of Lifting for Women- Phase 1. I started on January 2nd and did my final workout last night. Go me! I feel great. My plan was to take measurements, but I am retaining fluid (read PMS) right now and don't want to weigh-in or measure myself until next Friday. Look for a stat update next Friday....

I love data! Some may even call me a data junkie. It's partly the nature of my job and part due to my need to control everything. Here is my chart that shows my reps and weights that I've been lifting over the past month and a half. Be sure to click on "Workout B" so that you can see both workouts. I alternated between A and B, 3 times a week.

I am most proud of how much I've improved in my ab work and overhead dumbbell press. My shoulders are rockin! My abs hurt all the time. I am thinking that my sore abs might be partly due to previous c-sections or even my surgery. The next post from me will be an update about my surgery. I am already 9 months post-op! The lat pull down was by far the hardest exercise for me and I didn't see a lot of improvement over the past few weeks. Ohhh....I almost forgot about my push-ups. They are starting to look really nice! I can now do 8 full push-ups in a row!!!! When I started I could only do one or two before having to go down on my knees. I keep hearing Kelly's voice telling my to lower my butt. I like to stick it up too high.

On to Phase 2. Step 1 of Phase 2 is finding my book. :)


Monday, February 6, 2012

A new day dawns

Confession: The last few days have been awful when it comes to my eating.

Saturday is typically my "off" day....not a cheat day, but an "it's OK if I eat an extra serving of bread kind of day". I've learned that food isn't something that I cheat with, but rather something that I enjoy a little bit more of on certain days.

I went in to Sunday with the best of intentions and then I ran into an unexpected potluck lunch. The potluck lunch turned in to another bonus day where I didn't record. It's so hard to record when I don't prepare my own food. There is a piece of me that feels like I can't record when I didn't prepare the food. I could record, but I tend to use potlucks as an excuse to not record or hold myself accountable for the foods that I choose.

Monday brought another potluck! Another potluck! There were so many food choices. Some things that I did right: only ate half a sandwich, filled my plate with veggies, had yummy (and filling soup). Things I could have done better: not eaten the rice crispy treat treats after lunch, had one bowl of soup instead of the two that I had, AND not given myself permission to keep eating for the rest of the day. I met a friend for dinner and wasn't even hungry.

The good news is that tomorrow is a brand new day! I can make new choices tomorrow. I do find myself getting into a cycle. I am not yet at the place where I can eat one (insert crappy junk food choice here....) and stop at just one. It's like once the taste is in my mouth there is no stopping me.

I have another potluck to attend of Friday and it's Mexican food. I need to make a more specific plan before Friday about how I am going to tackle another potluck. What about you? Do you have rules that have helped you when you encounter unknown or unplanned food situations?


Friday, February 3, 2012

Food Issues; The Kid Version

Dinner for the past few weeks has been torture in our house. Bug (remember he's 4....) has refused to eat dinner for the past 2-3 weeks unless it's basically a kid's dream. Things he will eat: pizza, nuggets, plain chicken (no sauce, no cream, nada), plain rice, waffles (yep, plain waffles). For lunch he is even refusing to eat everything except for plain bread. Not plain as is white, but plain as in plain- dry, nothing on it, plain bread. He puts together two plain slices of bread and calls it a sandwich. This not eating has caused several late night issues that I don't know how to solve. Issues such as a really bad attitude, not falling asleep until close to 10 at night, crying for candy or dessert, and power struggles at the dinner table. I am at my wits end!

When I was a kid the rule always was "eat your dinner and you can get your dessert". Dessert was the reward for eating dinner. "Eat 3 more bites and you can have a candy bar". "Clear your plate for a bowl of ice cream". I don't blame my parents, they did the best with what they knew. The worst was when we would have pancakes with syrup and my Mom would count the syrup as the dessert. We always thought that that was an awful trick.
As an adult who has struggled to overcome seeing food as a reward for good behavior (eating all of my dinner) OR I eat (use to eat....) two donuts for breakfast because no one was going to tell me that I couldn't. Somewhere along the way, food became a source of validation- I am good enough to eat this or I am grown-up enough to choose how many donuts I want to eat.

Typical solutions to this problem are....

~ Eat it for breakfast (my husband has horrific not so good memories of eating many different types of dinner for breakfast): Here's my problem with that- Food shouldn't be a source of torture. Saving dinner for breakfast as a punishment gives the food power and value that it shouldn't have.

~ Sit at the table until it is all gone: We shouldn't eat until our plate is empty. We should eat until we are full. How in the world will I ever know if he's really full? There are times when I'm just not hungry. What if he really isn't hungry.

~  Eat 3 bites and then you can have dessert: Again, food is not a reward. Dessert should be a special treat and not a reward.

~ Send him to bed hungry: I've been doing this for 3 weeks and it's not working!

~ Offer at least one food that he will eat: How much plain bread can (should) a kid eat in one day? I do, usually, end up giving him a piece of fruit when he totally refuses to eat anything that I offer.

~Try everything once: LOVE this idea, but he won't open his mouth. It's not like when he was a baby and I could "airplane" the food in and get him to try everything.

~ Have him help plan and prepare the meal: Yep, tried this...he was a great helper and still ate nothing.

Did I mention that I am stuck. I really don't know what to do. I want to raise children who have a healthy relationship with healthy food. I model eating a variety of food. Hubby even chokes down a steamed carrot now and then to encourage positive eating. :) Has anyone encountered this problem? is there a solution that I haven't considered?????


Thursday, February 2, 2012

What a week!

This week has been hard! Three nights this week I have had trainings after work. I am facilitating these trainings and that means that I leave at 7:45 AM for school and don't return home until close to 7 PM on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. These are LONG days. When I get home my kids expect me to be Mommy and my husband actually wants me to form complete sentences. :) I enjoy these trainings, but it is hard to add an additional 9 hours of work to my week that is already usually really full. 

Monday night one of my amazing co-workers asked me my exercise plan for the week. I love that she gets how important my workouts are to me. Long ago I passed the place where I worked out just to "lose weight". Somewhere along the line my workouts became a priority because they help keep me centered, help me sleep better, improve my attitude at home, and, yes, because they help me to maintain my weight. Many people that read my blog are parents that work full time, have families, and are trying to make it all work. I wanted to share my workout schedule for the week to encourage you that you can find time, even on those crazy weeks.

Sunday- Weight lifting before church
Monday- Woke up early and did Kinect Fitness before work
Tuesday- took the day off from exercise
Wednesday- Weight lifting and Shred (no meeting tonight)
Thursday- Morning run (took the AM off...more on that in a minute)
Friday- Weight lifting after work
Saturday- Running before hubby goes to work

Whew! Friday and Saturday are my plans to work out. Wednesday morning I woke up and was exhausted! There was no way that I was going to make it until Friday. I had a killer headache and I was so tired! This journey has become all about balance. Work. Being a Mom. Being a wife. Fitting in exercise. Making healthy food choices. IT"S A LOT! I still had 2 personal days that I could take before the end of the school year. I choose to take a 1/2 day personal day today (Thursday) and go in at noon instead of 7:45. This choice allowed me to sleep in an extra hour, get in a great run, play with my kids, and even eat lunch with my hubby and son before heading to work. Taking that little bit of time for myself gave me the opportunity to catch my breath and I can guarantee you that I will be a better teacher and facilitator for the rest of my day. 

I totally recognize that not everyone can just "take a day" off when you are feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of the day (week, month, year), but there are things that you can do: turn off the TV 1/2 an hour early and spend time in quiet reflection, wake up before the family and enjoy an extra cup of coffee, take the kids for a walk and get some fresh air. I encourage you to find time in your day (yes, even today) to stop and enjoy life...even if it's just for a moment.


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.