Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Facts

  • Since February 14, I have had some type of formal exercise 4 - 5 days per week, each week, for at LEAST 30 minutes. Most days I go to the gym. A few days I have walked 40 - 60 minutes at the park. At the gym, I usually do 45 minutes to an hour of cardio (elliptical and bike).
  • During this time, I have not lost a lot of weight. My pants are definitely looser, and my double chin has almost disappeared. But the numbers on the scale are staying around 305 - 310.
  • I counted calories and journaled for about 2 weeks, but have now slacked off.
  • I realize that I need a STRUCTURED eating plan. I need guidelines.
Yesterday, I binged.
(I really hate admitting that.)

It was not one of my "normal" binges of the past. I didn't sit and eat 10 Cadbury eggs in one sitting, I didn't stuff myself at one meal. It was sort of an all day thing. I ate way too much, and gave into cravings. I actually drove to Publix and spent money that I didn't have on a cupcake and some sushi. After I ate it, although it was good, I felt sick about it.

And something different happened. I actually prayed about it. I knew I had lost control, and I needed to know how I was going to get it back before I failed again.

The answer was clear... I need to find an eating plan and stick to it for a while.

Thankfully, exercise is becoming a habit. But if I have been exercising regularly for 5+ weeks and I am not seeing changes, eventually I am going to stop. I don't want to stop. I want to keep going.

I own almost every major diet book ever published. So I started looking through books and plans that "fit" with what I am looking for. When I successfully lost weight 2 years ago, it was mostly by eating clean, unprocessed foods, limiting sugar, and adding good fats to my diet. It wasn't a formal "plan", but sort of like a mixture of plans that a good friend helped me put together.

You know what they say... if something worked in the past, it only makes sense to try it again.

Starting tomorrow, I am going to follow the guidelines in the Abs Diet for Women. The "Power 12" are foods that they recommend eating daily.
  1. Almonds and Other Nuts
  2. Beans and Legumes
  3. Spinach and Other Green Vegetables
  4. Low or Non-Fat Dairy, Yogurt, Cheese, etc.
  5. Oatmeal
  6. Eggs
  7. Lean meat (turkey, chicken and fish)
  8. Peanut butter
  9. Olive Oil
  10. Whole-grain breads and cereals
  11. Whey protein powder
  12. Berries (Raspberries, blueberries and strawberries)
All of these foods are foods I enjoy and find satisfying - so that absolutely raises my chances of sticking to the plan. Most, if not all, of these foods are already in my pantry. I also plan on limiting my sugar (sigh). I know that it's necessary. I am an addict.

I will eat 5-6 meals per day, no more than 4 hours apart. For the first week, I will journal, because I like numbers and they help me see what I am REALLY doing. I will limit my caffeine and alcohol (not really a problem). Oh, and I will drink lots of water!

Ok. That is officially my plan for eating. I will give it a month and see what happens. And I will keep hitting that gym 4 - 5 days per week for at least 30 - 40 minutes or more.

I have 4 full days until I go back to work, so it's a good time for me to get this started. My goal jeans are hanging up in my room where I can see them. I can still wear them by my birthday if I buckle down!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Relaxin'

I LOVE my spring break so far. I am starting to really feel relaxed, and am thankful that I have another six days of laziness until I go back to work.

I have been productive... my house is clean(er). I have run some errands and done things like that. I have been going to the gym almost daily. I go to bed late, sleep late, and hang out with my kiddos. The life, right?

My depression is much better. I am now on meds again (which I am happy about). The weather here in TN has been GREAT... 70's and pretty sunny every day.

Instead of dwelling on the bad stuff in my life, I am beginning to break through to the point where I am counting my blessings and looking forward to the future.

I am struggling with eating lately, so this week, along with my daughter, I am trying to really watch my sugar intake. I finally have been exercising for a while, but I need to have both diet and exercise under control asap. I always have to be aware... I always have to pay attention to EVERYTHING I put in my mouth.

But overall, I am happy with the positive changes. Especially the exercise. I feel good about the direction I am heading in. Finally.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy

I am very happy today.

I have REALLY been struggling over the past few months with depression. So I treasure days like today. My mood is up, and I feel very blessed and ready to take on what the world is giving me right now. My circumstances are not ideal... I am walking a tough road and facing a lot of trials right now. But today, I feel like things will be okay. In the end, I will be good.

So... Yesterday I cut my hair again. Yes... again. I just didn't **like** the last cut. It was a lot of work to get it just how I wanted it, and it wasn't a "gym-friendly" style. I felt like I had helmet head after a good workout. So I went in and did what I wanted to do the first time...


It's drastic... but I love it! With summer coming up, I know I will love it even more. And after the gym today... it still looked great!

Speaking of the gym... I did ONE HOUR on the elliptical today! Yeah!

Over the past few days, I have felt myself losing focus. With three extra kids this weekend, it was impossible to get to the gym. I walked for an hour at the park on Saturday, and got two HUGE blisters on my pinky toes. Yesterday was an in-service, so today I knew I had to get in the gym and push myself hard. I will not start sliding backwards now.

With all the haircuts over the past few weeks, I have noticed something... my double chin is disappearing again. Gotta love that. AND several people have mentioned that they can tell that I am losing. The scale might not want to cooperate... but the gym workouts are making a big difference in my overall size. I slid on a pair of jeans yesterday and I felt so good because I could definitely tell they are looser.

I have two week at home, and I plan on making the most of it. I REALLY want to keep this great feeling!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

You are NOT the biggest loser...

Wow... I can't believe I haven't posted in a week! Sorry about that... it's been a CRAZY BUSY week. But guess what? It's officially SPRING BREAK! I am off for TWO WEEKS! Well, I do have an inservice to go to on Monday, but I don't have students, and I don't have to get four kids out the door. I am so ready for a break.

Last week was so hectic. It was almost like every day was a countdown to the next, and all the days were a countdown to Friday. But I made it!

Yesterday was the final weigh-in. I lost I didn't win, but that's ok. I am still doing well, and ready to ramp it up! I worked out Monday thru Thursday last week, and am feeling so much stronger. I think that having two weeks home will be great, and that I will be able to re-focus on my food and calories. I fell of with journaling last week, which I need to get back to.

I will try to post back later. I am watching Jess's three youngest boys this weekend, so I need to go pick them up right now. Then I will try to hit the gym before dinner. I am going back to weight training today, which I am excited about.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

How the scale dictated my day...

Yesterday was Biggest Loser weigh-in at school.

Thursday night, I had a GREAT "last chance workout". I ate a salad for dinner. Overall, I was pleased with my week. I woke up Friday morning, and my scale at home had me down. .8 for the week. Since it's I've had TOM since Monday, I thought having a loss at all was pretty darned great! My pants were loose, my shirt was loose... I was feeling so good about myself! I figured that I would probably stay the same on the scale at school, but that it would all catch up next week for the last weigh-in.

Then I got to school and got on that old, antique, inaccurate scale. It said I GAINED four lbs. FOUR. When a size 4 co-worker came in and announced she had lost 3 lbs, I just lost it. I cried. I actually cried.

See, if it weren't for this challenge, I wouldn't have cared what the scale at school said. But the competition at school has suddenly turned into just that... a competition. With one more weigh-in left, everyone is suddenly all about winning. Except for me, I guess. Yes, I would love to have an extra $75, but I would rather have the encouragement of people at my workplace. But the encouragement has left the building. People have actually been saying how happy they are when people gain or stay the same because it gives them a chance to win. Not cool.

So now I just feel... humiliated? No one cares about my scale at home, or the fact that my pants are loose, and I am increasing my workouts at the gym. They only care that I "gained" 4 lbs. That I really didn't gain at all. I was so frustrated.

And it ruined my day. I actually thought about not weighing in next week and just withdrawing from the competition.

But I won't. I will finish... not only this competition, but my JOURNEY. See, most of these people will stop trying to lose because they are only losing for a cruise or a vacation or a cash prize. I am in this for LIFE.

My birthday falls on the last day of school this year. And I have a goal in mind...

For my birthday in 2009 I had lost down to a size 20, and bought a great pair of jeans that I loved. I had to retire those jeans in January 2010 because I had started to re-gain the weight and they were SKIN TIGHT. Those jeans are still hanging in my closet, and I'm going to wear them again on my birthday this year.

Watch out.... :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cankles

Today, when I was busting it on the elliptical (I did a 45 minutes today for the first time in a couple of years)... I was looking in the horrible wall-length gym mirror, thinking... "I wonder how much longer I will have cankles?"

I, then, began to scan my entire body... and I almost got depressed.

My calves are HUGE. My thighs are HUGE. My belly is HUGE. My arms are HUGE. It's going to take YEARS of work to get my body in decent shape. I feel overwhelmed.

**sigh**

Oh, well. At least I am TRYING.

Did I mention that I did 45 minutes on the elliptical today? The gym was not quite as PACKED as it's been, so I got to go over the 30 minute limit. I decided that I could get a better workout by going 15 more minutes on the elliptical, than my usual 30 more minutes on the bike. It sure did make me sweat!

And speaking of sweating...

Thanks for all the compliments on my haircut. I really like it. But I need to figure out something to do while I am exercising. My hair is naturally curly (like in my profile pic). But in yesterday's pic, I had flat-ironed it (like I usually do). But after 45 min on the elliptical, I had a 'fro! Maybe I can wrap it up while at the gym? Is that too tacky? Maybe a headband? It's too short for a ponytail (I tried).

I won't have to worry about it for much longer. As it starts to get hot outside, I will flat-iron it less and wear it curly more. Then it won't matter.

Ok... off to bed for me!

PS....tonight was church dinner. I took advice from many who left comments, and I ate what I wanted. I'm not going to worry about it. I will watch my portions, and try to make good choices. But I will enjoy my Wednesday night dinner, and only have dessert on the nights I go to the gym before dinner. Thanks for helping me with this one!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Haircut... again!

I decided to go a few inches shorter... and I love it! It's all a part of the new me!