Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Update and an update photo

I am going to have to give up my 30 day challenge and start over another time. I have not been able to exercise at all this week. My work schedule has gone absolutely crazy and for the past several days I have been working from the minute I get up until well after 9. Monday I didn't finish working until after midnight. And to top it all off...... I am sick! I feel like crap. I have a cold that is just bad enough to be completely draining my energy. It's not enough to stop me from working, but it is taking every ounce of energy I have to get through the day. I have not exercised at all since Sunday.

The only plus side of having the cold is that I have very little appetite, so I'm not eating much either. Oh well, I just have to get through this week and get back on track as soon as I can. I do have an update picture to share. I came home from an appointment this morning and hubby decided to take a picture. I'm not sure if it was because I was wearing a skirt (which I hardly ever do) or what, but I let him take it. It's not the best picture, but it's current so here it is.

I'm having blogger withdrawl because I haven't had time to read any blogs since Monday, so I will be playing major catch up this weekend! Have a great week!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wow....water......who knew?

This morning's weigh in was a milestone. I've hit the 25 pounds lost mark and I have less than 10 pounds to go in order to reach my initial goal weight. I lost 2 pounds this week and I think I may have finally broken that plateau I was stuck in for several weeks.

I had a good week as far as exercising. With the exception of Wednesday, I did some exercise every day. My eating was pretty good too and I finally managed to get rid of the urge to snack which had been plaguing me for the past week or so. The one thing that I really improved on this week was how much water I drink.

I've been saying for weeks that I needed to increase my water intake. I just couldn't seem to do it. On Thursday I put a piece of paper on the fridge to remind me to drink water and to keep track of how much I was drinking. Well, that must have done the trick because I've had at least 50 ounces of water each day since Friday and yesterday was around 80 ounces. And viola, lost 2 pounds. Ahhh, water. The plateau buster. :)

So Friday was bad for me (as you know from my pity party post), but after having a long talk with myself (is it bad when you are actually having a conversation in your head??? LOL!), I've come up with a plan.

I'm going to spend the next couple of months working towards my goal weight. It's kind of an arbitrary number, but it's based on weight charts, BMI charts, etc. for someone my height, so it's what I'm going with for now. It's also right around what I weighed before I had my second son, so it should be achievable.

Once I get there (or close to it), I am going to spend several months really focusing more on strength training and toning and less on aerobic exercise. I will still do some walking, etc. but it won't be my main concern. After a few months, I'm going to re-evaluate how I feel about how I look. If I'm still having a real problem with certain things, I am going to explore other options.

I did some pretty good soul searching this weekend and a couple of things really hit me. First, I am not 25 any more. I'm getting close to 40 and losing muscle tone is a natural part of getting older. Things do "sag" more as we age and after we've had kids. That is just a fact of life. If I want to fight that, I'm going to have to really work on strength training. Second, I may be expecting too much too soon. I've only been on this journey for about 4 months. I was overweight for over 10 years. My body got really used to being a certain size. I may need to be a little patient and wait to see how much things "snap back". I don't really know how elastic my skin is, so some of what I am unhappy with may fix itself given enough time. We'll just have to see.

So that's it. My super long post has finally come to an end. Looking at my calendar, I can already tell my week is going to be crazy and we are expecting rain & snow for the next several days. It may be a challenge to get my exercise in all week, but I am certainly going to try.

I hope you all have a great Monday!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I like to sweat

I don't know if I've mentioned this before or not, but when I do my 60 minute workout at the Y (it's actually longer than that now, but let's say it's 60-haha), the first half is a cardio workout. Based on the workout that my helper/trainer/torturer gave me, I have a "calories burned" goal. I am only allowed to do the cardio for 25-30 minutes and I am supposed to try to burn a certain number of calories in that time. I love having that kind of goal when I exercise (have I mentioned the Type A, goal setting personality? LOL!). I can use any cardio machine that I want, but I always use the elliptical. It's easy on my joints and I really feel like I've done something when I am finished. Anyway, today my goal increased and so to make sure I hit it, I cranked up the resistance a little higher than I normally would. OMG! Who knew that going up one level of resistance would make it soooo much harder? About half way in, I noticed that I was sweating. By the time I was done, I was really kind of gross. And I liked it. :)

Walking is great exercise and it's gotten me this far, but I forgot how much I like to sweat when I exercise. When I used to teach step classes, I always ended up sweaty and I always felt like I had really worked. That is how I felt today. I'm going to keep cranking up that resistance this week and I might even try a step class or two so I can get my sweat quota in this week. :)

On another note, I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who commented on my post on Friday. I was really feeling bad when I wrote it and your support and nice words were very helpful. I know we don't "know" each other, but when you blog like this and put so much of yourself out there for the world to see, you feel like other bloggers are your friends (at least that's how I feel). I am feeling MUCH better now and I have a plan (Damn, I can't get away from that controlling, Type A thing, can I? HA! HA!) which I will be sharing as part of my post tomorrow after my weigh in.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, February 19, 2010

I'm headed to a bad place

Warning - if you are looking for motivation, inspiration, something happy or funny, today's post will not be for you. I feel a venting, whiny, pity party coming on.

I'm in a bad place today. Yesterday I posted that I am having a weird week, but I didn't mention one of the things that is bothering me because it's very personal and it seems petty and superficial. I read blogs about amazing weight loss stories from people that have lost a lot of weight, really gotten healthy and completely transformed their lives. I usually find them to be so inspirational! I really enjoy reading each story. Whether you've lost 100 pounds or 5 pounds. Whether you run 30 miles a week or struggle to get on the treadmill for 5 minutes, I normally love to hear about your accomplishments. This week has been a little different. I'm still reading your blogs and I'm still happy for everyone and what they've done, but I don't feel happy about where I am.

If you've read my earlier posts, you know that my initial motivation for losing weight was that I was unhappy with the way I looked. I am going to be 39 in a couple of weeks and I just didn't want to turn 40 and be overweight. I wanted to look and feel better than I did. Right now, I don't feel better about the way I look. I feel worse. I told my husband a couple days ago that I wanted my 20+ pounds back. That if I could go back, I'm not sure I would do this again. He told me that I didn't mean that. Part of me did mean it. 20 pounds ago, things were bigger, but they weren't as saggy as they are now. When I look at some parts of my body, I'm not even sure if what I'm seeing is more fat or extra skin. I don't know if those areas will even tighten up or if that's just how it's going to look (which by the way, isn't pretty).

Then there is my favorite. My chest. I have joked about it and written funny posts about it, but it's now gotten to the point that it's really bothering me. When I was heavier, I still had times when I felt pretty or sexy. I don't feel that way now. I feel healthier and I feel stronger, but I don't like the way that I LOOK. I am really struggling with this. And I'm not whining because my double D's are now B's. I seriously don't even need a bra anymore. I was never big, but now I feel like I have the chest of a 12 year old boy. That is not a good feeling. I know it's petty and I know it's superficial. I know that it's my body image issue that is causing this feeling, but I am not sure how to fix it. I didn't have body image issues before. I mean, we all have our insecurities, but I never had anything like this.

I'm not sure where I go from here. Part of me just wants to stop worrying about diet and exercise all together. Have you ever tried to fix something or clean something and you realize that you are only making it worse? Like pulling a thread on a sweater. Sometimes when you pull it, the sweater starts to unravel and you end up with a ruined sweater. You would have been better off if you never pulled the string in the first place. Part of me thinks that I've worked really hard to get to where I am and I'm so close to my goal that it would be silly to stop here, that I might as well see this through and then decide what I want to do.

Maybe I'll feel better about this in a few days. I think I'm going to keep on the diet and work out all weekend and then re-evaluate how I feel on Monday. Thanks for letting me vent. I needed that!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Weird week

Well, I am having a weird week. Monday we got another foot of snow, so of course that meant no school on Tuesday for the kids. Monday night (before school was even officially closed), they started requesting things for meals the next day. I was in a bit of a mood from my weigh in on Monday, so I figured, what the heck. I'm going to cook all the things they want and you know what? I'm going to eat them too. And that's what I did. I ate whatever I wanted on Tuesday. I did manage to get a 30 minute walk in, but that was the best I could do. The roads were so bad that there was no way I was getting to the gym and even the 30 minute walk was a little rough because there is so much snow on the ground and lots of my neighbors don't shovel their sidewalks.

Yesterday the kids went back to school and I discovered that with all of the cooking and cleaning and working and playing with the kids, I forgot..... wash my workout clothes. Oh crap! It's not like I can exercise naked at the gym and it's not like you can wear those things twice (YUCK!), so I was in a bind. That is when an odd feeling came over me. I felt tired. Just worn out. Tired of worrying about what I am going to cook and eat for each meal that fits into my diet plan. Tired of trying to find time in between work and hubby and the kids and the house and the CRAPPY WEATHER to get in a good workout. Tired of remembering to wash my workout clothes. Just tired of it all. So yesterday I did not exercise.

That is really bad considering I was only 10 days into my 30 day challenge to myself, but I seriously just couldn't find the time and motivation yesterday to get myself to do it.

Today has been a little better. I did walk this morning and I've eaten the things that are on my "good" list. I am hoping to feel a lot better tomorrow and get myself to the gym for a really hard, long workout. We'll see how it goes. Wish me luck.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Oh, so close!

UGH! I really, really wanted my weigh in today to be a milestone. I really wanted to be 10 pounds or less away from my goal. So what does Sybil (my scale) do to me today? She smiled as I stepped on. She giggled while I waited for the number and then....SHE CACKLED LIKE THE WITCH THAT SHE IS!

I needed to lose 1.5 pounds to be 10 pounds away from my goal weight and I lost 1. That puts me 10.5 pounds away from my goal. So close and yet so far. HA! HA! Oh well. I did a pretty good job over the weekend with drinking water and I am really going to make an effort to keep it up this week. I need to shake up my exercise and I'm going to work on that this week too. So let's see if by next Monday, I can reach that goal. I certainly hope I can. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I like goals

I am so Type A. I like lists, I like having a schedule, I like goals. Anything tangible that lets me see results and I am on board. I did get to the gym today and since yesterday was my weight workout, today was all cardio. I decided to do the elliptical machine (I love those things!) for 45 minutes. I am breaking in a new pair of shoes and after about 35 minutes, the left one was bothering me. I thought, OK, I've done 35 minutes, maybe that is enough for today. Then I looked at the "calories burned" number on the machine. It was a little over 400. I decided that when I got to 500, then I would stop. It took a little burst of intensity for the last 5 or 6 minutes, but I managed to get to 500 right as my 45 minutes was up. And you know what, I was concentrating so hard on that number, I forgot all about my foot hurting. I felt really good when I stopped and I know I am going to feel great today.

On a side note. I am not sore today. While I was doing my strength training yesterday, it felt hard. I felt like I was pushing myself, but this morning, no soreness. Hmmm, I may have to increase a couple of the weights next time and see what happens. Oh won't my little personal torturer (oops, I mean trainer) like me increasing the pain (oops, I mean intensity) on my own. LOL!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Don't forget to do something special for your Valentine tomorrow and don't forget to do something special for yourself as well!

Friday, February 12, 2010

How did I not notice this?

I track my weight loss progress on a spreadsheet. Every week I enter my weight and measurements (on the weeks that I take them) and I have the last column set up to calculate the difference between my first entry and my last one. So how did I miss the fact that I am in a serious plateau? My last 5 weigh ins have been nearly the same number. January 11th was the last week that I really lost anything. Since then I was + .5, -1, +1.5, -2. So in 4 weeks I have lost a net of 1 pound. I didn't even realize that until yesterday. For goodness sake, I track this all on a spreadsheet so that I DON'T miss things like that. Where has my head been?

So I guess it really is time to shake things up. I am a morning exerciser. If I don't do it in the morning, the chances of my doing it go down drastically. Plus, I like to work out and shower and then be ready for the day. I don't want to exercise after I've already gotten ready for the day because I don't want to wash my hair twice in 1 day (curly hair, washing twice in 1 day is not a good thing for me). However, I am considering working out in the evening for a while just to shake things up.

I think for this weekend I am really going to focus on my water intake which is never as high as it should be. Then starting Monday I will change my workouts to include some classes (maybe step or pilates) for something different. I'm going to give that a week and see what happens. If that doesn't work I may have to think about exercising at night.

Do you ever feel like you are trying to "trick" your body? That's how I feel right now. Like it's not cooperating with me and so I've got to do something sneaky to get it going again. UGH!

On a positive note, I did make it to the gym today and I got to do my first workout with the new exercises my torturer (oops, I mean trainer ) gave me last week. Only 4 more to go and he will add more pain (oops, I mean intensity). Woo hoo. Can't wait for that. :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

No gym for you!

Remember the Soup Nazi? NO SOUP FOR YOU! That's how I felt today every time I tried to figure out how to make time to get to the gym. It was like my day planner was screaming "NO GYM FOR YOU!". Today was just one of those days. My schedule was packed full from the time I got up at 6:00am until I just got home a little after 9:00pm. Luckily I did manage to get a 35 minute walk in this morning in between getting my oldest off to school and waking my youngest up to get ready for school.

That little break in my morning has become my safety net. I try to use it every morning to walk. Besides getting my body "going" for the day. It's nice to know that even if my schedule gets crazy once I get my youngest off to school and I can't get to the gym, I've done a little exercise for the day. My kids are out of school tomorrow, so I've decided that no matter how much I have to do tomorrow (and my list is getting longer by the minute), I am going to workout in the morning. I am probably going to have to get up early to do it, but I know I will feel great afterwards. My goal date is rapidly approaching and it's crunch time (hmm, maybe I should take that literally and start paying some extra attention to my abs-haha). 3 days left until my next weigh in and on Monday I want to be able to say I'm less than 10 pounds from my goal. I'm hoping 3 killer workouts this weekend will help get me there.

On another note, I am thinking of trying some classes at the Y. I know that changing up my workout should help push my through the plateau I'm in (I've been bouncing around this same weight for 4 weeks now). I'd love to hear what kind of things you guys have done to shake up your workouts. Has anyone tried pilates? Yoga? What did you think? I'm looking forward to hearing about your experiences. Have a great night!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Now that feels better!

I am getting back into my "groove". After not exercising Friday, Saturday & Sunday (boo to the snow), I decided to challenge myself on Monday to see if I can work out for 30 days in a row. Today was day 3 and I got a very nice long walk in with my neighbor. This was the second snow day in a row for our kids and the exercise was just what we both needed to burn off some frustration and get in the right mood for the day. It is amazing how much better I feel during the day when I start the morning with a workout.

Although I feel better than I did a few days ago. Guess what? I miss the gym. OMG! Did I just say that? Just a couple of months ago I had gym phobia and here I am missing my strength training. I really want to get in there tomorrow and hit the weights, but I have a continuing education class in the morning and a ton of work to do in the afternoon. One son has hockey practice at 4-something and the other has a guitar lesson at 8. Oh yeah, and somewhere in there I need to make dinner. I'm going to have to get very creative in order to fit that in my schedule. I'm planning to walk in the morning just in case I can't find the time to get to the gym at least I will have gotten a little exercise for the day. Even though I'm pretty sure the elliptical machines are calling my name (it's been over a week since I've seen them), the gym may have to wait until Friday.

Well it's time for me to get to bed. I hope all of you had a great day and if you're snowed in, I hope you're snuggling with someone special. :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Time for a new challenge

I feel like losing weight is a like puzzle. There are all of these pieces (exercise, eating well, drinking water, getting enough rest, etc.) and each piece plays a part in creating the overall picture. Some of us are better at some pieces than others. For the past couple of months, my strength has been the exercise "piece". I do it almost every day. I've increased the intensity, increased the time, added weights and thrown in different types of cardio to keep it interesting and keep me moving towards my goals. The eating well comes and goes and I am not so great about the water and getting enough rest.

The weather is really testing my resolve to exercise right now. We got a foot of snow Friday & Saturday which is a lot for this area. That meant no walking and I couldn't even get to the gym. By Sunday the roads were getting better, but the Y doesn't open until 11:00am on Sunday and by then I was already into my day and couldn't take the time to get over there. Yesterday I had a ton to do for work and because we are supposed to get another 5-10 inches today and tomorrow with high winds (which may mean power outages), I had to make sure we were stocked up on all of the necessities. I did manage to pop in an exercise DVD yesterday, so I did do something, but I need some new motivation to get me through the next few days. So I've decided to try a new challenge.

I did a 30 day exercise challenge in November/December and it worked great. Doing that really got me in the habit of exercising daily and finding a way to fit it into my schedule. I'm on the home stretch now (11-12 pounds to go before I hit my first goal weight) and I need to kick myself in the butt to make sure I cross that finish line. Yesterday was Day 1, so I'm going to try and exercise every day at least 30 minutes until March 10th. I'll keep you updated.

I hope you all have a great day. I've got to go find a DVD to do. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weigh in

So today is weigh in day. I'm not sure why I even call it that anymore since more often than not, I check my weight all the time. But Monday is the weight that I use to measure my progress, so here it is. I am down 2 pounds from last week, but I was up last week due to water weight. Since I was up last week, I had been checking my weight throughout the week and my weight today is actually a pound or two higher than my low during the week. Of course I am not surprised by that for a couple of reasons. First, I apparently forgot what happened to me last week when I ate the ham & bean soup, so Saturday what did I decide to make for dinner? Ham. OMG! How stupid am I? When I woke up Sunday morning, it took me a second to figure out why I felt so crummy and then it hit me. Not again! Yep, up like 4 pounds from the previous day. DOH! Of course that meant I spent the whole day drinking a ton of water (again, this is probably a good thing) trying to get rid of it. Second, my boys and I (2 sons & hubby) watched the Super Bowl last night and I made a TON of not-so-good-for-me food. I made a ton of it and I ate a ton of it. I have to admit that it was totally worth it. I love football and I love the football party food that I usually make. I got to spend the evening eating and watching football with my family and I don't regret one bite. I didn't eat it because I was bored or sad or anything else. I ate it because I wanted to and when I went to bed I wasn't thinking of all the damage I had done to my diet, I was thinking about what a nice evening we had. I didn't wake up this morning with the attitude that I could eat anything I wanted since I had "ruined" my diet last night. Last night was over and done and today was "business as usual". There are times when I am going to want to eat things that are fattening or sugary or greasy and I don't want to deny myself those things. I want to be able to get to a place where I can "indulge" for one meal or one treat and then move on. Hopefully I am on my way to that place.

I want to thank you guys for your thoughts on Saturday. Our game and team dinner did get cancelled, but it was early enough in the day that I had only baked the cake. I was actually more worried about the cookies because those you just grab and eat. Eating the cake takes more of a conscious effort (since you have to cut a piece, get the plate & fork, etc.). I haven't had any yet and I haven't really been tempted to either, so I am hoping the boys finish it before long.

Thanks to everyone who commented on yesterday's post. I know I can't control where the weight comes off and honestly I am glad that it's coming off at all, but sometimes it is funny how this weight loss thing works. And by the way - I meant it is expensive to replace the boobs, not the bras. LOL!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Request to the weight loss gods

OK. I get it. You have a sense of humor. I decided to lose weight a few months ago and you thought you'd have some fun. I'm not mad. I love a good practical joke as much as the next person. But you've had your fun, so can we get down to business? I'm not exactly sure where I will weigh in tomorrow, but the bottom line is I have less than 15 pounds to go to reach my goal (well my initial goal anyway). Is there any chance that those 15 pounds could come from an area of my body that I actually want to get smaller? Hips, butt, thighs, tummy. Any of those areas is fine. Seriously, I'll let you pick. Just stop taking my weight from my chest!!!! I laughed when I had to go buy new bras. I joked when even the new bras seemed a little "roomy". Now I'm saying enough is enough. I can't take it. Do you have any idea what it costs to replace those things? It's not cheap. So if you could see your way to taking these last pounds from any other area, I would be forever grateful.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Today is going to be a challenge

Snow, snow, snow. UGH! We got a lot of snow yesterday. School got out early, hockey was cancelled last night and most people just stayed in and watched it fall (and fall and fall and fall!!!). My son's hockey team is supposed to have a team dinner tonight. I am in charge of bringing the sweets. I'm baking a cake and some cookies to take. So here is my dilemma - it's possible that our hockey game for tonight will be cancelled. The team we are playing is from a more rural area than we are and they are currently under a snow advisory (don't drive unless you absolutely have to). However, the game isn't until much later tonight, so it's possible that the advisory will be lifted and the game will proceed as planned. If the game is cancelled, the team dinner will probably be cancelled as well and then you know what I'll have? A cake and a bunch of cookies in my house. I don't need that right now! Not on a day when I can't get to the gym and workout. Not on a day when I really can't even get out and walk (we have over a foot of snow and lots of people in my neighborhood don't shovel sidewalks). Not when I'm trying so hard to reach my goal. Saying that seems kind of silly. Like I'm not capable of having those things in the house without eating them. I know that's not the case. I've been really good about not snacking (especially on sweets and other "junk" even when I have it in the house), but I'm worried that being cooped up in the house will make it harder. I'm worried that one cold, snowy weekend will undo the great week I'm having. I've been at this for over 3 months now. Shouldn't I have more will power? Shouldn't I feel more in control? Of course, emotional eating is probably how I got overweight in the first place, right? Eating when I was bored or upset or celebrating instead of eating when I was hungry is how I got there. Maybe I can keep myself busy cleaning or doing other things and this won't be as big of an issue as I think it will be. If you read this, send me your good thoughts. I'm probably going to need them. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hubby's 2 cents

As you know from my post yesterday, I had a frustrating day feeling totally bloated and carrying around a ton of water weight. I'm happy to say that I did end up drinking a lot of water yesterday and by last night I was feeling normal again (well as normal as you can feel when you are peeing every 10 minutes from drinking so much water).

I told my husband that if I didn't get to a certain weight by my next weigh in, I was going to give up coffee and see if the caffeine really is hindering my weight loss. He looked at me for a second and said "No." I laughed a little and he just stared at me and said it again "No. Do you know what kind of person you would be with no coffee?" I drink coffee all day long. I did switch to half caffeine at home just because I drink so much of it.

He was kidding (well, half kidding), but it made me think about the things in my diet that really aren't the healthiest. For me, coffee has to be up there. I don't think I'm ready to give it up yet (let's see what the scale says on Monday-LOL), but maybe I should cut way back and see what happens. Has anyone else cut something from their diet (sugar, caffeine, white flour, etc.)? How did your body react? Do you feel better now that you don't consume those things? I'd love to hear about other people's experiences.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Lesson learned

I feel so bloated today. Not the way I want to feel on weigh in day. I had been having a pretty good week. Lots of exercise and not too bad with the diet. I have had sick kids since Wednesday (btw, sick kids + lots of work = no time to blog-LOL). It had been cold all week and I decided Sunday morning to make some homemade soup. I had a ham bone in the freezer from Christmas and some beans, so ham & bean soup sounded like the perfect cold day lunch. It's not something I would eat on a regular basis, but I figured one bowl couldn't hurt too much. Was I wrong.

Not long after eating lunch, I felt it. By yesterday evening, I actually felt huge. I thought it was my imagination, so I got on the scale. WHOA! I was 4 pounds heavier than the day before. I am not sure I would have even noticed this a few months ago, but now I do. I know that it's water weight. I am sure the sodium content in that soup was through the roof and I just have to give it some time to get out of my system. I have been drinking water like crazy trying to make it better. I will really be watching my sodium for the next few days and I will continue with the water (which is probably a good thing since that is one thing that I am really bad at right now).

Of course, my weigh in today stunk. Up 1.5 pounds from last week. You'd better believe I intend to lose that plus some by next week. This was really a good eye opener for me. I don't count calories as well as I should, but even if I did, sodium is not something I tend to pay attention to because I don't use a lot of salt in things. It's interesting how one little thing can really mess up what should have been a pretty good week. Oh well, as the title says - Lesson learned.