Weight Loss Tracker

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey Day has come and gone

And how did we do? Let's rewind a bit, and go back to Tuesday.

I weighed in at 203.5lbs!! YESYESYES! I have lost 40.5lbs since starting this journey 3 months ago. But that number isn't the important thing. What's important is that I feel like I am getting a 2nd chance at life.

For the past two years it felt like my life was an inevitable downward spiral. I had to get my kicks in while I could because what is so darn exciting about living? Being the single friend for another few years? Writing papers(which I hate doing with a passionate fury)? Traveling so I didn't have to deal with my problems? And then what? Graduate and sit on the couch for a few months being rejected from job after job after job.

Low points. And my fat allowed(allows) me to set up a protective wall. It is my barrier, my battle gear, my excuse. And that will be hard to deal with as I break it down bit by bit, pound by pound.

But I have started. I now know that I CHOOSE MY LIFE. There is so much I don't have control over. But I do control my actions. I control what I eat. And what I do. I know that I can set goals and reach them. I know that there is more to life than passing classes and building resumes. I know that I can push myself physically.

So I am thankful for my self-confidence that is returning in small pieces. I am thankful for my family, my friends, and this blog. And for good music and coffee and my dog and books:)

I read a post from another blog the day before Thanksgiving that really spoke to me, and I wish I could have shared it sooner. It is from a blog called Feed Me I'm Cranky. I just started following it, and her post on Thanksgiving spoke to me.

You should follow the link and read it, but for those of you who can't be bothered to go, here is a intense compression of what she had to say:

Don't build up the holidays as this huge ordeal that you have to get through. Plan for the chaos, make your own decisions, don't set yourself up for failure.

So I took Thanksgiving as a pretty regular day with a big meal at the end (not hard, considering I worked that morning:)
I ate small portions, had a big dinner, and only indulged in one dessert. (okay, don't hate me, but I don't really like apple/pumpkin/pecan pies...I know, sacrilege. Sometimes they hit the spot, but not usually, so it was easy for me to pass on them)

How did your Thanksgivings go? Favorite foods? Did you exercise on Thanksgiving? How are the holidays going for you so far?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Preparing for battle!

Thanksgiving week is upon us! In preparation for some long days and temptations, I am planning and preparing my food as much as possible, and scheduling in workouts when I can.

For example, this was my Monday:
3:30am-wake up. eat oatmeal.
4:25am-start work. eat awesome spinach salad with veggies I made. drink coffee. eat homemade yogurt parfait. eat orange. drink banana protein smoothie
12:45pm-meet with friend for awesome vegetarian lunch of peanut sauce, veggies, and brown rice. remember that I hate brown rice, but force myself to eat it.
2pm-go on a walk. up a big hill. get lost on purpose and find quiet in big city.
3:30pm-sit in small library and read new book.
4:15pm-drink expensive tea in hipster cafe while covertly eating my wheat tortillas and mango chicken salsa from home. read and rest my feet.
5:45pm-start 2nd job. cashier, joke around, stay standing.
9:45pm-go home. eat peanut bar. watch the end of the sisterhood of the traveling pants 2. realize that it is full of good intentions, but a terrible movie none the less.
11:15pm-write in food journal. go to bed.

Because of how far away I live from my jobs, it doesn't always make sense for me to go home between them, which is why I filled the gap with friend, exercise, and rest. What really helped me through that day was having plans, flexibility, and prepared food..which is how the rest of this week will hopefully go.

Talking about preparation, I spent some time the other day going through old magazines and cutting out what I found useful or interesting! I have Shape magazines from 2005, if that gives you any idea how many I had collected.

This is what our table looked like as I was working. It may look like a mess to you, but it all made sense to me:) I am down to only possessing 2 fitness magazines! Once I go through them and cut out what I want, I will have the best health binder ever, and be saving space in my room.

And now for an opinion or two (keep in mind that these are old magazines I was going through, so time may have changed them from what I am judging right now).

I like Women's Health way more than Shape. It has more articles than little blurbs, and it seems more well-rounded than Shape. I would say that Women's Health is the cool older cousin who seems to have it all figured out, while Shape is the trendy college freshman whose attention span is about 30 seconds:)

It still bugs me that bikini bodies are their constant covers though. What about a wetsuit? Or pilates clothes? A parka? Maybe some hoodies and sweats? Heck, I could model those!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Beer belly in the works...

Ok. So my last few days have been full of gatherings. Fun, happy times with those I love! And of course, they wouldn't be complete without food and drink, right?


For my mom's birthday dinner, we went to a german restaurant to celebrate. Good moments:I only drank water, I ordered the small version of my entree, I...ok, that's it:)

Not so great moments: I ate appetizers(cheesy, fatty appetizers, only half of which were actually good), I ate a roll of bread with lots of butter, and I ordered dessert...but it was one of the baby desserts, so I get kudos for that, right?!

It is so difficult to let go of the "eat what you can right now, because others will eat it all, and you will be left with nothing" mentality in family settings. So what am I going to do next time?
Plan what I want to eat. Order a really healthy entree if I want to indulge in something else on the table. Stick to water!

What's funny is that yesterday I ate healthy, well portioned food, and then drank beer all evening. Oh self-sabatatoge, you tricksy devil.
Beers can range from 100-175cal per 12oz serving. By my factoring, I had about 400extra calories last night, due to my drinking. Part of it was that I had had a long day at work, and wanted to relax. Kick back, drink something yummy, and let customer service go.

But there is also a part of me that just doesn't want to become the girl who says no. You know the girl in your group who is always sizing up calories, who wants to go out, but doesn't actually order anything, who complains about how they are so full from dinner hours ago?

I need to be more comfortable with being picky about what I eat. I just don't want that to define me. Blast and wretch!

In good news, I took my dog on a really long walk this week and got through the pain of tuesday's workout! And I spent 65min on the treadmill! So there is hope and happiness, and one more day of the weekend!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My first award, and some other lovely blogs to read!

First and foremost: I have received my first blogging award! The most fantastic Sugar-free Cupcake over at Health, Happiness, & Skinny Jeans passed me on the honor of the:

Of course, as with every Bloggy Award, there are A Few Rules. They are, forthwith:
  • Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
  • Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
  • Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

    So in the great blogging spirit, I would like to present the Super Scribbler Award to these five blogs I lovelovelove to read:

    fit this, girl! Mary has fun when she moves, and you can watch how she reaches her goals, listen in on her conversations with her body, and even get a good recipe for mac'n'cheese!

    The making of Dree How do you get fit with an intense class schedule and the busy life of a college student? Dree is figuring it out, and gaining confidence in the process (you rock!).

    Prior Fat Girl I like to think of Jen as a leader in the weight-loss/health blogging world, probably because her posts are fantastic, and she has gone on such a long journey with her weight. Woot woot for her wisdom she shares!

    Washington^Squared Oh Katherine, I love knowing what is going on in your life as you teach math in Washington DC. Keep grooving like you do, and let those kids know how exciting integers and matrices can be!

    Somewhat Crafty Wedding You are just so darn crafty! Not only with your wedding, but with your new house projects too! And your puppy is adorable:)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Blonde Jillian

And now, for a dramatization of the Biggest Weight-Loss Challenge Work-out tonight.

Me: What's that you're holding, substitute trainer?
Trainer: Oh this? It's your ass!
Me: Oh...it's kind of big.
Trainer: I know. Well, are you ready?
Me: For what?
Trainer: I'm about to hand it to you.
Me: Damn.

Sometimes, we get comfy in our routines. We get used to the pace and moves we set for ourselves, and we forget to shake it up.

Tonight we had a substitute trainer, and I would describe her as a blonde Jillian. I hated her and loved her for one hour:)

She pushed us past where we thought we could go, and while my tomorrow is going to be painful, I appreciate it. Some exercises were a battle. The Burpie? That move where you drop to your hands and knees, kick your legs back, pull them back in, and stand up? I'm pretty sure I sounded like a rhinoceros passing a kidney stone while I did it, but dangumit, I did it!

Oh Fergie. You crazy woman you. I have tried some intense inclines because of you. I can handle 15 minutes. You do it for an hour? You crazy!

But seriously, what a great workout. I have been doing intervals where I walk on a 15% incline for 4 minutes, lower down to 3% for 1 minute, run for 3 minutes, walk, and do the whole thing over again. (yes, it hurts. Yes, it is worth it.)

I lost another 2lbs this week, which means I now weigh 205lbs, only 5lbs away from adiosing the 200s! And I had this crazy idea today.

Why not ring in the new year at 199lbs? If I lose 1lb every week for the next 5 weeks (which is my usual goal, but this is holiday season, so loss is going to be trickier) I could be halfway to my goal weight for the start of 2010!

Now, I don't want to set myself up for failure, or feel like a failure if I can't reach this goal, but I KNOW I can do this. This goal while keep me focused through the holidays, and the motivation of a massage is plenty good!

So here is my challenge to all y'all. Make a goal for the next 6 weeks. It can be a fitness goal, a health goal, and organization goal, any goal. Don't wait for the new year. What can you accomplish in the next 6 weeks?

Let us know what you can do before 2010, and how you are going to do it! Let's make the last bit of 2009 rock!

As the stressful seasons begin..

In addition to my barista job, I have taken on a seasonal position at an outdoor retailer (yay!).

Both of my jobs are part-time, so I will be working anywhere from 40-55 hours a week until January, prime holiday season. Which means holiday shoppers...blegh.

Before I go on, allow me to say that I love my jobs.

Okay fine, I enjoy my jobs and get along with my co-workers and don't completely dread going to work. It would be awesome if I was being paid to travel and read and bake and be myself, but not everyone can have that job...does anyone have that job??? (damn you Anthony Bourdain!)

Dream job aside, I like my jobs because I am directly interacting with people all the time. I get to have brief conversations with interesting people from all walks of life, and hopefully brighten their day with a good latte, or by helping them find the perfect water bottle for their camping trip. I would say that 85% of my customers are great.

But the other 15% can make my life a mini hell-on-earth.

I know this is off-topic from health, but for my mental health, read and remember these thoughts below as you delve into Christmas shopping, Hanukkah shopping, grocery shopping, or what have you.

Remember that you are interacting with a human being. Not a machine. Not an animal. A person. Someone who deserves respect. That means that "please" and "thank you" are good words to use.

Exercise patience. Maybe you will wait 5 minutes instead of 4 minutes for your usual espresso drink. Maybe the lines are long. Maybe they were out of something in your size, or the cashier is new and has to ask questions. Breath in. Breath out. Calm down.

Please, get off your cell-phone. Call the person back, set it down for the transaction, send it to voicemail. The cashier does not think you are cool because someone is calling you. Seriously.

Don't sweat the small stuff. This time of year can turn your average laid-back person into a caroling-deal-chasing-zombie...trust me, I've seen it happen. The drive to buybuybuy can suck the fun out of what should be a winter wonderland.

You may not be in charge of everything, but by golly, you can control yourself. You get to decide your level of calm, and how you will live. Focus on the important things (which aren't things, but people, time, and feelings) and let the craziness go.

Remember that it is the thought that counts, and the heart behind that thought that really matters.

And seriously, get off your cell-phone.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What can I say, I've got good jeans:)

So this is me almost 3 months ago, on a very exciting trip to Ikea (wait, aren't all trips to Ikea exciting? Answer: YES.) I consider the dress I am wearing my Kirstie Alley dress. You know how she had a legion of those long cotton dresses for when she was overweight? This was my go-to dress for when nothing else fit right. It hugged and flowed in all the right places, which was a bonus this summer since my capris were a wee-bit tight, and I didn't want to drop money on depressingly large-sized new clothes.

But I have been trying this new thing where I eat less and move more (maybe you noticed:), and these days I feel a little more like this:

Aren't we awesome? I don't quite have my brother's drummer arms yet, but I certainly have less arm than 2 months ago, and a little definition in my shoulders...and you might note the lack of a double chin?

The Pants Dance
I have been belting all of my pants to fit my slimmer body. For the past year and a half I have bought only one style/make/brand of jeans, but they are spendy, so I have been waiting to buy new ones until I have saved up money for moving out, college loans and health insurance.

Ross came through for me though! I was doing a quick walk-through, on the lookout for a new belt, and I saw a pair of size 18 jeans that was one sale for 12 dollars. Worth a try?

YES! I am down two sizes since I last checked! So this is me and my new jeans(they stay up without the help of a belt!)

It feels great to be fitting into all of my clothes properly! And just as inspiration for even smaller sizes, one of my amazing/talented/fantastic/wonderful friends sent me inspiration jeans!!!

They are some of her old ones, size 10, and one day....I will fit in them.

Right now, I can only get them up this far. No worries! I will be trying them on every 5lbs so we can see them get closer and closer to actually fitting over my thighs, zipping, and buttoning! (And I will officially have my first pair of jeans with sparkles on the ass:)

So here is to sparkles on the ass, 80's dancing with friends, late-night food-carts, walking in downtown, and jeans! Have a great Saturday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit!

I lost weight! Is this some dirty trick? I have a stressful week, stray from the healthiest choices, and am rewarded? I was hoping to find gain, so I could beat myself up and learn from my not so great choices...really.

But the scale tonight said 207lbs!! Holy Mole, that is such a low number! If I make it my goal to lose an average of 1lb per week thru the holidays (aka: booze/binge season), I could weight 200lbs as I ring in the new Year!

So many exclamation points!! I didn't know how important the Biggest Weight-Loss Challenge would become to my health, but it makes me sad to think it will be over before Christmas. We all cheer each other on, and make faces as we do painful exercises our instructor smiles and talks thru:)

(This is what I look like when I work out;)

So what have I done right in the past week? I haven't been hitting the gym too much for fear of becoming sick again. I wanted to give my body a chance to fully recover, so I walked...and walked...and hiked...and walked. (My dog really likes this trend:)

I also make sure I always have a healthy snack with me. Some people can "forget" to eat, or go for more than 5 hours without eating.


Yeah, right.

If I don't eat about every 4-5 hours, I get cranky, tired, and my jokes fall flat:) Some common snacks I keep around are apples, oranges, string cheese, mini packages of teddy grams, edamame, or trail mix (which can be very high in calories and sugar, so be careful with portions). I also have started drinking green tea at least every other day. I don't know much, but I know it is healthy for some reason, and with some honey, it is pretty tasty!

What do you snack on through-out the day?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Excuses, Excuses

I have been waiting all week for the blogging mood to strike. Waiting for a fantastic positive message, waiting for more to write than simple (boring) updates, and I realized something today...

I didn't really want to blog because I have been off in my health plan, and I didn't really want to share that. I want to be strong, and above food cravings, and past the emotional eating! But as I keep typing and reminding myself, I am HUMAN.

I like to think that to have a balanced life means balancing good and bad...okay, a little less bad than good would be great:) I have good days, I will have bad days. I will resist, I will give into temptation. I will exercise, I will watch an entire season of Veronica Mars in one week. (924 minutes=15.4hours=too much squinting to watch tiny people on my computer)

So here is my catch-up, my truths, my week in retrospect:

The good news is...I lost another 1.5lbs! I currently weigh 209.5lbs, the lowest I have weighed in the past 2 years! To celebrate, I went out and bought 2 new DVDs. I wanted some funny in my life, so I got She's the Man (so bad it's good), and Beyond the Pale (stand-up by Jim Gaffigan). Woot woot for some laughter to come!

The bad news is...I talked more than I walked this week. My mouth was running off with ideas, suggestions, theories and opinions about weight-loss and health, but I wasn't living what I was saying. So I am trying to spend more time living my ideas than telling them to other people.

I ate...while distracted with media. I would either be on my computer or watching Veronica Mars, and I slipped right back into my old habit of munching while watching. We have all read articles about turning off the media (except for music) when we eat so that we can enjoy the tastes more and be conscious of what is going in our mouth. I don't want to slip back into un-aware eating. I don't want to be a couch potato. I want to be healthy. Blegh.

I was discouraged...about being sick. A girl can only cough so much!

I made...chicken soup! With veggies and brown rice! It turned out pretty well, and I felt ultra-healthy after eating it for lunch:)

I saw...a Jeep Cherokee with real deer antlers on the front. Truly. It was a sight to behold.

I appreciate...the beauty that is around me. The pouring rain and thunder that scared my dog. The silly community-theater play I saw with my parents. Having comfy shoes and dry socks.

I will...be kind to myself. Challenge myself. Pick myself up, dust myself off, and keep moving.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Fine Foggy Day

Thank you to everyone who gave me advice about being sick and working out! What I have been trying to do is be active every day without doing anything intense, and get lots of rest. And today I was able to talk in the morning without sounding like the 90 year old woman who has been smoking since she was 13! Imagine, a whole shift without using a cough drop!

On Friday I was able to workout with a friend and we swapped ab exercises and ideas. While I love listening to my ipod while working out, it was a great change of pace to talk while on the elliptical (I didn't even notice the 45minutes whiz by) and have a knowledge exchange.

It is so much easier to achieve a goal when you have help and support. When people know what you are trying to do, they can HELP YOU. And we are humans. Flawed humans. We need help:)

Especially with the holiday season fast approaching! How can you be healthy and happy when the only way to make your aunt Edna happy is to ask for a second helping of pecan pie with whip cream? How can we integrate new, healthier recipes into family traditions? Where do we find the time for movement when we are exhausted at the end of the day? All these answers* and more, coming soon to a blog near you!

*answers are subjective, and do not apply to everyone. As a matter of fact, they might be very individual, but can still serve as jumping points for you to answer the questions for yourself:)