Monthly Archives: September 2011

Weigh Day (week eleven)

As you know (if you read last week’s weigh in) this week’s weigh in was a little more meaningful than any week previous.  I was at a weight that I have not been able to get below in nearly six years…and that was stressing me out.

So, with anticipation and anxiety all welled up inside my body, I stepped onto the scale this morning.  What I saw when I looked down both excited and disappointed me – all at the same time.  Can you believe that?

I weighed in at 279.6, so the excitement comes from *finally* being below 280.  However, the disappointment comes in because I only lost a single pound this week.  I worked *so* hard, and I did not eat anything I should not have (or in quantities that I should not have).  I can’t help but wonder what went wrong…

So, enough of that negative talk (coming from that horrible peanut gallery I mentioned in another post)… I wore a pair of khaki capris this week (yesterday, as a matter of fact) that I have *never* worn before.  I bought them back in the summer of 2009 because I thought they were my size, but they were not.  I could not even pull them up past my thighs, which completely depressed me.  Yesterday, I grabbed them just to see what would happen… I pulled them all the way up (with ease), buttoned them, zipped them, and then did a little happy dance.  They were even a teensy bit baggy in the waist and thighs, which totally shocked me.  I consider this a victory.

Also, I mentioned before that I was able to move my bra in to the middle row of hooks a couple weeks back… to add to that, I had to adjust my shoulder straps this week (tighten them) because they were falling off my shoulders.  I consider this a victory as well.

Well, there you have it…my successes for the week.  Overall, I would say the week was a good one (despite the only-one-pound-loss sadness).  I will work hard this week to ensure I continue to see that number dropping each week.

How did your week turn out?  When you have an unexpected result, how do you keep yourself motivated and positive?


Adventures of PT

Working with a personal trainer has been an adventure, honestly.  Each week we do something different, and I like that.  I enjoy knowing that every time I go I will learn a new set of exercises, and that I will be pushed in a new, challenging way.

That does not mean; however, that I do not occasionally wonder what in the world this lady is trying to do to me.  I found myself saying, “I don’t think I can…” or even, “I can’t…”  The problem with that is I am only limiting myself.  Ebony (personal trainer now – Vanessa left to coach basketball) is not the one suffering from my negative thoughts – that’s only me.

So, let me say, though, that I was not trying to be a complete pain in the ass last night.  My ankle makes me *very* nervous.  I am still in a brace, and it still hurts every single day.  I am certain I have mentioned previously that I injured the tendons in my right foot/ankle back in March.  My peroneal tendons are still damaged, though.

Because of my ankle I refused (yes, refused) to do jumping jacks.  I also hesitated to do lunges with arm curls.  Maybe I should not have given Ebony a hard time, but I am so worried that I will damage my ankle worse than it already is.  The potential of surgery is still on the table (depending on how my ankle does after another 5 or 6 weeks in this brace), and that makes me nervous.

My plan going forward; however, is to trust Ebony.  She knows I have a brace on my ankle (obviously), and she knows it still hurts.  So, I am going to trust that she would not ask me to do something that would hurt me.  This is me relinquishing control and trusting another person (which is a challenge for me in itself, by the way).

My workout was great, though.  I really felt my muscles working hard, and I am a teeny bit sore this morning in a few places (thighs and upper arms).  She taught me four or five new exercises last night, all of which I enjoyed and will do at home on my non-gym days (Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday).  The routine included four types of crunches that worked various groups of the abdominal muscles.  I can honestly say they were crazy.  Crunches usually do not bother me, but adding leg movement into the mix certainly kicked it up a notch (or two or three).  I liked it.

Quick question for all you out there who do crunches.  I have a problem with my neck muscles hurting when I do crunches.  Ebony told me I am straining my neck.  She also told me to support my neck with my hands, which I tried.  However, my neck still gets sore.  Any of you out there have any tips on how to avoid neck discomfort when crunching?

Weigh day is coming soon.  I will be honest, excitement and a little apprehension are lingering around in this head of mine.  I need to post some pictures of me to show my progress.  Maybe I’ll do that on weigh day?


Preparing for Success

It just takes one *right* turn

So, I was searching for a photo that would be appropriate for my title “Preparing for Success” and came across the image you see here.  This image resonated with me because it is truly *so* simple to choose either success or failure, based on one turn in your life.

One *right* turn is truly all it takes to make a huge difference in your life.  Whether or not weight is your personal issue does not really matter.  All success takes determination and a “one-step-at-a-time” mentality.  Sure, you are bound to encounter obstacles, detours, and seemingly insurmountable complications, but determination and perseverance can see you through.  Just take that *right* turn when faced with something challenging.  Your goal is waiting at the end…all you have to do is show up!
That being said, I’m stepping off of my soapbox now, and I’ll be continuing with my regularly scheduled post.
My next published goal is coming closer (275 pounds), and I am getting excited.  Since I know that will just fly by me I mentioned I should be setting up some future goals and rewards now.  Here they are:
Current goal:  275 pounds (37 pounds lost) = this purse
Future goals:
262 pounds (50 pounds lost) = this necklace
250 pounds (62 pounds lost) = pretties from this lady
235 pounds (77 pounds lost) = a ring from this lady
I’m sure you can see a trend…I *love* Etsy!  I love how unique everything is…and that purchasing from someone is just that, purchasing from *someONE*.  These are real people making a living doing what they love to do (and are quite good at, if I can say so).  I like the idea of supporting someone else trying to reach their goals.
Life is funny.  Sitting in front of my computer even three months ago I would not have thought I would be 30+ pounds lighter today.  I honestly was in a place where I thought I would just be fat forever.  I was starting to resign myself to a “fat life” just a few short months ago.  Today I could not be happier, and I cannot wait to see where I am in three more months.
Is your week off to a good start?  If not, there is still time to get moving toward your goals for the week!

What Works (for me) – Part Two

So, here is the second half of what is working for me.  Please remember I am *not* an expert.  Some of the food choices I post here may not be the healthiest (best) choice for everyone.  This is still a new lifestyle for me, so I may not have all the kinks worked out just yet.

However, that being said, I have never felt better than I am feeling these days.  I have plenty of energy, my body hardly ever aches, and I feel satisfied (not hungry) all day long.

As you may or may not know (depending on how long you have been reading my blog), I was advised by a doctor to avoid enriched flours.  So, I have been scouring grocery stores for breads and pastas that are completely whole wheat/grain.  This task proved a little more challenging than I initially thought it would.  I hope that I can save someone else a little time when searching for healthy foods in a primarily unhealthy grocery industry.

Nature’s Pride – This line has a variety of breads including 100% Whole Wheat (my preferred bread) and Double Fiber (this had a peculiar taste to me, not bad, just strange).  Also, NP Country White bread does not list *enriched* flour in the ingredients, so if you absolutely cannot do wheat or grain bread, this is probably a better option than “regular” white bread.

Nature’s Own – This brand has really delicious “sandwich rounds” for those who do not like a lot of bread with a sandwich.  They have 100% whole wheat rounds that have only 100 calories each (and 20g of whole grain per serving).

Flat Out – For those who prefer wraps to sandwiches, these are *amazing* in every way.  They taste delicious, they are the softest “tortillas” I have ever found in any grocery store, they are awesome.  I have found two varieties: Healthy Grain (100 calories, 8g fiber, 12g whole grain) and Light Italian (90 calories, 9g fiber, 8 g whole grain).

Thomas’ – Thomas’ now has 100% whole wheat bagels.  I, personally, love bagels.  I do not eat them often, but I really do love them.  I was excited to see a whole wheat version in Bigg’s the other night, so I grabbed them.  Honestly, the bagels (just as with most other bagels today) are a little on the big size, so I would probably opt to have half at one point during the day, and half some other time.  One bagel has 240 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 saturated), 10 g protein, and 48 g whole wheat.

Ronzoni – This brand has a complete line of “Healthy Harvest” pastas, all of which are whole grain.  A serving size on the rotini box I have here is 2 ounces.  Each serving contains 180 calories, 1 g fat (0 saturated), 7 g protein, and 30 g of whole grain.

Barilla – Most of the pasta we consume now is Ronzoni brand, but they do not have lasagna noodles in their “Healthy Harvest” line.  So, that is where Barilla comes in.  The great thing about Barilla?  Their pastas (at least all the ones I read) do not have enriched flour, really.  The box of lasagna noodles I have here is primarily made of semolina (wheat), and durum flour.  Of course, I have no idea what durum flour is, but I don’t *think* it is the same as enriched flour.  Either way, when we “need” lasagna, Barilla is my brand.

Rice-A-Roni – Rice-A-Roni now has a line of “Whole Grain Blends.”  The box I have sitting in front of me is Chicken & Herb Classico, and the picture looks fabulous.  I have yet to try it, but when I do I will certainly let you know.

Near East – This brand boasts “100% Natural” right on the front of the box.  I have two boxes here, one is couscous (broccoli & cheese) and the other is long grain & wild rice (roasted vegetable & chicken).

Snacks and Dessert
Triscuit – As far as I can tell this is the *only* brand that manufactures 100% whole grain/wheat crackers.  Wheat Thins even contains enriched flour (boo!).  When I first bit into a Triscuit it reminded me of shredded wheat (you know, the cereal), but without the sweetness.  Honestly, it skeeved me out a little, but I got over it.  I actually like Triscuits now, and I often eat a few with a reduced fat cheese stick.

Reko – Even though I have not been *craving* anything sweet I still enjoy a little something every now and then.  Reko allows me to have something sweet without wrecking my whole day (or week).  Pizzelles.  They are Italian style cookies, and they are delightful.  One cookie is about the size of my hand, but only has 23 calories.  One serving is 6 cookies (I usually only eat one or two).  Each serving has 140 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 saturated), 3 g protein.  These cookies taste like fortune cookies…or a waffle cone for ice cream (in my opinion anyway).  Yummy.

Snyder – Tortilla chips.  I love them.  Snyder tortilla chips are the best (in my opinion).  The ingredient list could not possibly be shorter, and the taste could not possibly be better.  They are still not the healthiest choice, but if you are going to have tortilla chips anyway…you might as well get the best option.

Outside of all this processed food…I make sure to have fresh fruits and veggies on hand *always*.  We typically have at least five different kinds of fruit in the house on any given day.  Right now we have bananas, apples, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi.  When I want/need a snack, I would much rather grab an orange than whatever else I used to grab (which believe me was *much* worse than an orange).  One change I made when I started taking care of myself is purchasing *smaller* fruit (bananas, apples, oranges).  Once upon a time I would pick out the biggest bananas on the display.  Today, I choose bananas that are about 6 inches in length.  This makes it *much* easier to control portion sizes.

As I discover new products along my journey I will be sure to share them with you all.  If you have any comments or recommendations please feel free to share with me.  I certainly hope this will help someone.


Weigh Day (week ten)

Weigh days used to cause such anxiety and apprehension.  These last few weeks; however, I am really just getting more and more excited to weigh in.  Today was no exception.  I weighed in at 280.6, which is 3.2 pounds lost this week (31.4 in ten weeks).  I could not be happier.

I finally feel like I am winning this battle.  The battle I have lost, consistently, for 14 years.  The battle against the fat me, the unhealthy me.

To be honest, I still find myself a little anxious about the numbers on the scale.  As I mentioned before, I have not been under 280 in *many* years (about 5.5, in fact).  So, as I inch closer to being below 280 I still have a negative voice whispering bad things.  The difference is…this time I am *not* listening!  Next week I will be weighing in, and I *will* be below 280.  I also suspect that I will be hitting my next goal of 275 very soon, which means another reward for myself (yay!).  In fact, I am so close to reaching my last incremental goal that I really should start thinking about my next set of “pound goals” and rewards to go along with them.  Crazy.

How did your week turn out?  Are you where you wanted to be right now?  If not, what can you do this week to get yourself there?


What Works (for me) – Part One

Recently, I have been asked several times what “magical” thing I am doing that is causing my body to change shape (into something smaller).  It makes me think back to all those times I was “trying” to lose weight and was fascinated by others who were actually doing it.  I, too, wondered what “magical” secret they had that I did not.  Funny thing…there is no “magic” involved at all.  Just pure hard work and determination.  No “quick fixes” or “miracle cures” for fat – not here anyway.

So, as far as what *is* working for me, here it is:

Exercise.  This is vital.  Not only does it help sculpt my body (and hopefully avoid excess skin as I lose the weight), but I actually feel energized after working out.  I love it.  Exercise has become a big (important) part of my daily life.  I count the hours until I am stepping foot in the gym, honestly.  Of course, the gym is not for everyone (or every budget), but exercise is a must.  Even if this means walking around your block five times a night, exercise has to be part of the equation.

Mindset.  This is probably the most important of all ingredients to weight loss.  I have heard many people say over the years, “Mindset is key.”  Honestly, I never understood what in the world they were talking about.  I always thought, “Of course my mindset is there.  I *want* to lose the weight, so my mindset is golden.”  It was not, though.  I never claimed my unhealthy relationship with food.  I never acknowledged that I was eating too much, and *why* I was eating at all.  Majority of the time I was eating, I was not hungry.  I was bored, angry, hurt, lonely, socializing, watching television, etc.  Hungry was rarely a factor for eating.  Now that I have owned my unhealthy relationship with food, and have started making myself accountable for what goes into my mouth (and why), the battlefield finally seems leveled.  I am winning, once and for all.

Goals.  Reasonable goals are important.  Even more so are *small* goals that are quickly achieved.  Before I would just set the goal to lose my weight by such and such a date (usually six months or less away).  The problem?  I was setting myself up for failure, every time.  How I changed that?  I decided to celebrate *all* my successes – big and small.  So, my initial goal was to exercise three times a week (even if that meant only 30 minutes each time).  That was easy, and I felt good about meeting my goal.  Then, it was lose 10 pounds.  I accomplished that within two weeks.  Incremental goals, not overhauls of your entire life…that’s where it is (success).

Weigh-ins and measurements.  Honestly, I used to weigh myself every day, but I never took measurements.  This was bad for two reasons.  #1 – weight fluctuates throughout the week (from day to day).  #2 – muscle weighs more than fat, so even if a loss is not seen on the scale inches may be coming off.  This time I failed to take my measurements right at the beginning, but I did take them about five weeks into it for comparison.  So, I will not know exactly how many inches I will have lost, but I will have a ballpark.  I have also decided not to weigh myself every day anymore.  I get too upset to see anything gained on the scale from one day to the next.  So, once weekly it is for me.

Food.  Delicious food.  This is probably the hardest element of weight loss (especially as an addict).  Unlike a drug addict or alcoholic, food is something we *need* to live.  We simply cannot walk away from all food, which means moderation and determination play a *huge* role.

I’m just going to put this out there – I’m not a calorie counter.  I cannot bring myself to calculate every little morsel I put into my body before it goes in.  I find it time consuming (and a little depressing).  That is not, of course, to say that you should not be conscious of your daily caloric intake.  You should, you must.  Instead of counting calories I decided to eat more sensibly, and more often.  I typically eat five to six times a day now, but I usually do not eat “meals.”  All that being said, just yesterday I decided to check out Lose It!, and signed up.  I logged all my food into their system (much easier for me than actively counting calories as I eat), and it turns out I am doing A-OK anyway.  I consumed about 1,500 calories yesterday, and I felt satisfied all day long.

I was going to go into what foods I have been eating (and what I have been avoiding), but this post is getting a little on the “novel-long” side.  Instead, I think I am going to break this into two posts where I cover my eating habits in its own post.  So, be on the lookout for that one to follow shortly.

How have you been doing this week?  Have you accomplished any incremental goals for the week?  What are your goals for this upcoming week?


Still Pushing…

So, the head cold has not managed to beat me…yet.  I worked out with my trainer last night.  She told me a head cold is fine to workout with (depending on how my body feels), but a fever or any kind of fluid loss (throwing up, or worse) is a definite sign to skip the workouts for a while.  Working out with a fever raises your core body temperature too quickly (or too much), which can be dangerous.  So, always skip the workout if you’ve got a fever (even a low grade, apparently).

My head is still congested today, unfortunately.  I was really hoping to wake up and feel miraculously better.  I do not feel any worse, so I suppose I should just be thankful for that.

Meanwhile, I am working on a post that covers what I am eating since I have kicked majority of enriched, refined flours.  I have had several people ask me what brands of bread, pastas, and such I am choosing, so I thought I would just share with everyone.  Not that I am an expert (by any definition), but I suppose things are working for me this way.  I hope to have that post completed by tonight or tomorrow.

I also wanted to say thanks to those who wished me well, and gave some advice on kicking a head cold in the tushie.  Resting is certainly on my priority list today – along with lots of water and vitamin C (in the form of oranges).  I suppose I am going to consider taking a multi-vitamin.  Anyone out there recommend anything?

How are you doing this week?  Are you taking small steps that take you closer to your goal(s)?


Sickness = Hurdle

So, I woke up this morning feeling stuffy.  My face hurt a little and my sinuses felt dry.  All day my body has felt strange, not bad or sore, just strange.  Of course, I went to the gym anyway…because I love it.

A few people have told me you should not workout when you are sick.  Have any of you heard this?  Also do you have any kind of explanation or grasp on just how “sick” you have to be to skip the gym?  I was not running a fever or throwing up, so I thought going to the gym was no big deal.  However, after trying to lift what I would normally, I felt it in my muscles (weakness).  I ended up reducing the weights and my reps in order to get my whole circuit in.  I still did fine on the elliptical, though, and it did not bother me even slightly.

Also I am not with the whole medication thing, so does anyone have any knowledge of natural “helpers” to kick a head cold?

Here’s to hoping I am feeling better tomorrow because I meet with my trainer at 6:30 PM.

How is your week going?  Are you still on the right track?


Weigh Day (week nine)

It has been an insane week.  I was at the gym every day Monday through Friday, which was exhilarating.  Really.  I love being there.  The atmosphere is amazing.  The people are inspiring.  I just love it.  Monday, Wednesday, Friday is my “normal” routine, but this week Thursday was my workout with Vanessa (personal trainer).  Tuesday, Fitworks had a special community workout to raise money for autism.  It was an amazing time.

My workout with Vanessa was intense this week.  We did a lot of resistance training with bands.  I actually enjoyed it, and I felt it the next day.  I have been pretty consistent on the elliptical this week, too.  The course I do is 33 minutes (including cool down time), and I have been able to maintain about 2.25 miles in that time all week.  My calories burned usually hovers around 415, too.  I think that is awesome, if I do say so myself.

So, as for my weigh in this week…I am happy to report I am still consistently losing.  The scale read 283.8 this morning, which is 2.4 pounds lost for the week (28.2 total for nine weeks).

I notice the lower the number gets, the more anxious I get.  I suppose that is because I have not seen anything below 280 in about 5.5 years!  My tension is rising as I inch closer to 280 because somewhere inside me there is still a little voice echoing, “You’ve never gotten below 280.  Never.”  I am my own worst enemy.  Really.  As I continue this week at the gym, I will be keeping that voice tied up in a closet as far back in my mind as I can.  I *will* be getting below 280 this time.  No doubt.  My prediction is I will be under 280 by week 11 (September 25th), and I cannot wait.

How did your week go?  Are you where you wanted to be today?  If not, what is your strategy for this week?  Remember, marginal changes last a lifetime.  Overhauls wear you out and cause failure.



For Your Information

I have been meaning to share more links/information I found while surfing the Internet.

50 (Simple) Ways to Lose Weight

Making Fitness/Exercise a Lifelong Habit

10 Worst and Best Foods

I went to Fitworks last night for a special workout benefit.  They were raising money for Autism.  It was a great time, really.  I would have liked to workout longer, but the time just ran out.  Of course, I will be back at the gym tonight for my usual Wednesday night routine, and I am looking forward to it.  I find that I rarely sit on the couch anymore.  Isn’t that an odd revelation?  Even when I am watching my favorite shows, I find I am on the floor stretching or doing leg lifts (or the occasional crunch).  Sitting still is hard for me to do these days because I enjoy moving so much now.  That certainly makes me happy.

Tomorrow is my workout with Vanessa, so I will be sure to share how that goes.  How is your week going?  Are you on the right path to achieve your goals?