Friday, December 3, 2010

Buh-bye November, Hello December!

November was a stressful month. Long story short, we had to tear out our kitchen, living room and dining room floors due to some water damage from a plumbing leak. I tried not to let it affect my plan, but sometimes it was out of my control. With that and Thanksgiving, which I turned into a 4-day food-fest, I am still maintaining my goal weight, although I'm pushing it close!


Here's the November run-down:
I am up 2.6, but still under my goal weight, barely.
I met my goal of working out 22 out of 30 days.
I missed my 1,100 minutes goal by 72. I'll make that up in December.
I burned 6,833 calories. This is off from October, but I had less minutes, so it makes sense.
I drank at least 8 cups of water most days. I think I had one or two where I was under.
I ate at least 5 freggies most days. Again, I missed a couple of days, but I averaged well over 5 for the month.


December goals:
No gain, period, for December.
I will work out 25 out of 31 days. That is going to be a challenge, but I'm going to hit it.
My fitness minutes goal is at least 1,000. That should be do-able with 25 days working out.
I'm in another 30-day water challenge. I will hit at least 8 cups every single day.
I will try to average at least 6 freggies a day.


This is a totally workable plan, and I plan to rock December's socks off!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Plumbing Damage Repair Nightmare

When Dave was out of town, we had a plumbing leak for which I hired someone to repair. I knew the flooring was wet underneath, but there wasn't much I could do until Dave got back. We had several hardwood boards that were bowing up. The day after Dave returned, he called the insurance company and an adjuster came out.

Long story short, we ended up ripping up all the kitchen floor and sub-floor, and in the process found some HVAC problems we hadn't anticipated. Dave re-tiled the kitchen and it looks fantastic. It was something that we had been planning to do at some point, so it was nice to have the money to do it sooner rather than later. After that project, we moved on to the living room and dining room. Again, we had to rip up over half of the hardwoods and sub-floor. We are near the end of the project, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

It is very stressful to have your home torn up around you, but I am so grateful for Dave who has coordinated this whole process and worked his tail off to make it right. It would have been much more stressful to have strangers doing all this demo, not to mention exponentially more expensive!

I am very lucky to have such a talented, intelligent husband who wants nothing more than to please me and make me happy. He rocks my world!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What's YOUR Excuse?

Excuses: It's hard to get started, I don't like to sweat, I don't want to change how I eat, losing weight is too hard, etc.

Some people bitch and moan about not being able to lose weight. They always have an excuse for not doing what needs to be done. And excuses don't just apply to weight loss goals.

I've been there. Most of my excuses were internalized rationalizations, but I made them plenty. Then one day I decided that I, and I alone, am responsible for my actions and inactions. That was my epiphany and the starting point to my eventual success. I am doing this FOR me, so the buck stops WITH me.

I've read variations on this several places. Losing weight is hard, being fat is hard, maintaining your weight is hard. Yeah, so pick your hard.

I am committed to paying forward my success, and I am here to help any person who asks me. But I want to hear what you are doing for yourself, not excuses. It's cliché, but Nike's campaign is simple and brilliant: "Just Do It." I'll take it a step further. It's not "Just Do Everything, and If You Can't Do Everything, Do Nothing." Maybe it should be "Just Do SOMETHING." This weight-loss, fitness, --insert your own goal here-- journey is not all or nothing. Don't set yourself up for failure or burnout by trying to change every aspect of your life at once.

And remember, this:

If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got. I decided to do better and get better. =)

Monday, November 8, 2010

What a great weekend

After Dave being gone for so long, it was nice to have a relaxing, fun weekend together. We did some errands on Saturday, then went to the First Annual Belmont Beer & Wine Crawl. We heard some blues music and sampled some beer and wine. Later that night, I played one of the guitars Dave built. I was surprised I actually remembered a chord. The guitar sounds fantastic! I need to get some pictures to share.

Yesterday, we bought a dishwasher! WooHoo! You don't know how big of a deal that is unless you don't have one. Our kitchen is miniscule, so we got a portable one. I can't wait to pick it up tomorrow night and try it out!

Afterwards, we spent the afternoon at the Renaissance Festival. It was a little cool, but a very nice afternoon. Then we watched horrible Panthers football. That was a little depressing.

All-in-all, it was great to recharge and get geared up for the hard work coming up the next couple of weekends replacing our damaged flooring. More about that later...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Adjusted November Goals

After some reflection and my current struggle to not lose any more weight, I am adjusting my workout goals to 22 workouts and 1,100 minutes. Hopefully this will allow me to gain a couple of pounds and maintain more easily.

Plus, I get extra family time by not working out on the weekends. =)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

October Retrospective and November Goals

October was all-in-all a good month for me on the health and fitness front. I was worried that with Dave gone all month, I'd succumb to boredom and mindless eating. I am still not tracking my food, which is liberating, but I know if I start to gain, I may need to consider it. I feel like my body is struggling a bit adjusting to maintenance mode. But I am determined to find that magic combination of nutrition and exercise to stay where I am. 

How my October went:
I have maintained my goal weight for the month.
I worked out 25 out of 31 days. My goal was 26, but I did have a few days that I worked out twice, so no worries.
I met my goal of 1,300 fitness minutes with 1,304. 
I burned 9,179 calories.
I drank at least 8 cups of water every day.
I ate at least 5 freggies, but averaged at least 6.

November goals:
Here is where the real challenge begins. At this time last year, the new lifestyle was still fresh and exciting to me. This holiday (read: eating) season could be a little more challenging. I can't let my guard down. I am committed to maintaining this month and forever after.
I plan to work out 25 of 30 days.
I plan to get at least 1,300 fitness minutes again.
I'm in a 30-day challenge for November to drink at least 60 oz. of water daily. My goal is to aim for 80 oz.
I will try to average at least 6 freggies a day.

I'm going to end 2010 the healthiest I have been in decades!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I (mostly) ran a 5K!

If you asked me a year ago if I would do a 5K, let alone run one, I would have thought you were insane. 

I don't run. It's never been something I've done. But I passed the local Y the other day and saw that they were having a 5K. I thought, Dave is gone, it might be fun to get out and do something different for exercise. I went into this thinking, I'll just brisk walk it and hope to come in under 50:00. 

When I got there this morning, I almost didn't pick up my chip. I thought that it would just be silly to be timed. I was wearing my HRM and was going to time myself for my own curiosity. But I took the chip. I didn't even know what to do with it... LOL 

I started out running... me! Running! The first little bit was uphill, so I thought I'd run a bit, then walk. But I kept running. When I got tired, I'd slow down and walk, but then I would run again. When I reached the mile 1 marker, I checked my watch... 11 minutes. Wha-what? That spurred me on to keep trying to run as much as I could. 

I was so afraid going into this that I would totally embarrass myself. I signed up on a whim. I did no training whatsoever. The last time I ran at all was at the beach over 2 months ago (maybe for 3 minutes), and that was the first time since high school, probably. But my body responded well. It rewarded my hard work from circuit training and cardio with performing admirably at running. 

I really want to do this again. It felt fantastic. 

Here are the race results: 

133/197 over all 
66/106 female 
5/9 female 45-49 
Time 35:32 
Pace 11:27 

I am so freakin' proud of myself! Am I becoming a emoticon?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October 19, 2010 - One Year Later...

I lost a significant amount of weight in 2004-05, but as so often happens I gained back much (actually, most) of it. People who have not had a weight problem do not understand this. “You worked so hard, how could you gain it back?” Back in 2005 when I reached my goal weight, I simply got lazy. I had not done a radical program, nor had I gone gym-crazy. I actually followed Weight Watchers, ate sensibly and exercised. But all the things I did to get to goal, I gradually quit doing once I got there. So what happened? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. I gradually gained. I had some life issues between then and now, but that really can’t be an excuse. We have to figure out how to handle life’s problems in way other than food. 

Fast-forward to October 17, 2009. I was very unhappy with myself and where I had let myself end up again. The unhappiness was affecting my relationships as well. Dave and I were at a Renaissance Festival that day, and it all just kind of hit me. I cried and apologized to him (although he never said a negative thing to me) and made the decision right then to start back on Weight Watchers the following Monday. Dave was and is so supportive of me. On October 19, 2009, I got myself to a WW meeting and was humbled by the scale. I had no idea until then of how much I weighed. I started calculating and counting POINTS again. 

Then I knew I had to turn my attention to working out. I had become pretty fit before. My first workout was humiliating. I couldn’t get through it without stopping to catch my breath. The same DVDs I had done a couple of years ago, I couldn’t begin to do now. However, I kept doing them and just did the best I could. 

When I lost before on WW, I didn’t really concentrate on what I was eating, instead focusing on the POINTS. Well, let me tell you that a calorie is not just a calorie. Our bodies need quality fuel, not processed garbage. This time around, I decided to focus on whole, non-processed foods as much as possible. It is amazing the difference in how you feel when you eat properly. I do stray from “clean” eating from time to time, but I do so in moderation. For me, this keeps the deprivation mentality at bay. I know I can have some of my favorite things, just not vast quantities and not every day. I would set myself up for failure and bingeing otherwise. After all, this has to be a new life, not a temporary change in eating habits. 

I decided to switch from WW to SparkPeople in January 2010 for tracking my food and exercise. Meetings were difficult with my schedule, and since SP is free, I decided to give it a try. I discovered a great online community there with tons of support, motivation and information. That is one of the best things I’ve done in this journey. 

I have been plugging along now for a year. I have had ups and downs. But I have always had support, and I have always stuck to it no matter what. On September 22, 2010, I met my goal weight. This equaled 86.6 pounds GONE! I like to “gone” instead of “lost,” because I never intend to find those pounds again. My fitness level is amazingly improved. My blood pressure and cholesterol are stellar. I feel fantastic. 

Now, the secret to my success… It is so simple, yet so elusive for some people. The secret is consistency. You know what to do, you just have to keep doing it every single day. Not just when you “feel” like it. Not just when you want to. Not just when it’s convenient. You do it every single day. And if…um, make that when…, you screw up, you move forward immediately to get right back on track. Don’t let a meal or a day or an event turn into a return to those bad habits. With consistency, you learn new, healthy habits that will serve you for a lifetime. 

I would be lying if I told you that I am 100% sure I will happily maintain my healthy weight. In fact, it scares me to death sometimes that I won’t. Dave worries that I obsess about it. But I know that I have a great support system in place between him, my family and the SP community. I just have to keep in tune with those support systems by checking in daily. I need help to be accountable. If... uh, when... I fall off, I have to consistently get back up and get it done. 

Today is October 19, 2010, one short year since I started this journey. I’m a year older, but feel 10 years younger. I’m about 90 pounds lighter, much more fit and am looking forward to celebrating every October 19th as a healthy, fit person. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Finding My Groove With Maintenance

At the end of three weeks since I hit my goal, I am happily maintaining. It's a little stressful to figure out the right level of food and exercise to keep it steady, but I think I have a pretty good handle on it.

I think it's important for me to keep having goals for which to strive to keep me on track. My intermediate goal is to maintain through the end of the year. I am participating in a challenge for that goal that will help keep me accountable.

I can do this!

p.s. I love you, Dave. <3

Thursday, September 30, 2010

September Retrospective & October Goals

September was a bit challenging with a couple of out of town trips where I didn't have much control over the selection of food available. I started trying "intuitive eating" for the last three weeks of the month. That is to say, I didn't track, but tried to keep attune to my bodies true hunger signals. All-in-all, it was pretty successful. 

Here's what happened in September: 
I reached a "healthy" BMI number which was my ultimate weight-loss goal. 
I worked out 25 days, twice some days. 
I met my goal of 1,300 fitness minutes with 1,332. It was tough to reach in a 30-day month. 
I burned 9,832 calories. 
I drank at least 8 cups of water every day. 
I ate at least 5 freggies, and my average was probably close to 7. 

October goals: 
Maintenance, baby! This is where it gets tricky. I want to at the very least maintain my current weight. I would like to lose a pound or two of pure fat, but I don't mind settling in here for a while. 
I plan to work out 26 of 31 days. 
I am going to try to hit the 1,300 fitness minutes again. 
I am not going to set a calories burned goal. I dropped my weight in my HRM, so my burn is slightly reduced. As I stated last month, though, I will continue to challenge myself. I have my eye on a couple of new DVDs to shake things up. 
I will continue on the 60 in 60 water challenge. 
I will try to average 6 or more freggies. 

It's a whole new ballgame now. Setting forth my goals publicly keeps me accountable and on track. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

GOAL!

In eleven months and three days, I have realized my weight banishment goal. You will note I said "banishment," not "loss." I do not intend to find the banished 86.6 pounds ever.

I will not say it's been easy, but it was not as hard as I thought it would be given my age and moderate yo-yo'ing over the years. I look better, I feel better and I am at a "healthy" BMI for the first time in decades. I definitely feel healthy and fit. I still have some areas to tone up, but I'm very happy with myself. This is a process, and although I'm at the finish line for the number on the scale, I have to keep working to stay there. I WILL maintain this weight this time. I am determined to keep doing what I did to get here for the rest of my life.

I have a great support system, both in real life and online. You have been and will continue to be instrumental in my success. Thank you all!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Trip to Warm Springs, GA

We took a little road trip to Warm Springs, GA this weekend. Dave and his brother were commissioned by their great uncle to build a model of the U.S.S. Potomac. Their uncle served on the boat while it was being used as President Franklin Roosevelt's "floating White House." The model is on display at the Roosevelt's Little White House historic site, which it will be permanently housed.

They built it from pictures. I think they did an awesome job. Their uncle was thrilled with it.

The U.S.S. Potomac model
Dave, Paul & Phillip.



Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Am I really this close?

After today's weigh-in, I am less than 2 pounds from my goal of a "healthy" BMI. I put "healthy" in quotes, because even though today I'm still "overweight" by the BMI chart, in reality I am extremely healthy.

Thinking back to October 2009 when all this started, I never dreamed I'd be here today. Sure, I've lost weight before, but I figured with my age it would be much more of a challenge this time. I think then I would have been deliriously happy to end up 15 pounds higher than what I weigh now. But I've been working the plan, and guess what? The plan works.

I haven't talked much about the plan itself, but it's amazingly simple. Other than the few weeks I was on Weight Watchers at the beginning, I haven't spent a dime on the plan. I have not set foot in a gym. What I have done is track my calories within the range SparkPeople suggested for my goals, exercised at home using workout DVD's, (mostly The FIRM), and became active in the SparkPeople community. The support of the community is a huge part of my success. Being able to ask questions, get advice and just whine a little sometimes has been motivating and encouraging and has kept me accountable.

So here I am, on the verge of complete success in phase one of this process. Phase two is going to present its own set of challenges, but it is actually simple too: Keep doing the things I did in phase one.

I'm 47 years old, and have yo-yo'd a bit over the past couple of decades. Even so, I changed my body and my health dramatically these last months. If I can do it, anyone can.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August Retrospective and September Goals

August was a very good month in most respects. Dave and I had a mini-vacation, and I am proud to say I ate with dignity on it. That was really my only out-of-the-ordinary challenge food-wise. I committed to being active while on vacation too, and was proud of the miles I walked. That was not my usual method of working out, so it was a nice change. Mixing things up is not a bad thing!

Here are my stats for August:
I lost 9.2 pounds, which is pretty amazing since I'm getting so close to goal. I don't expect a repeat in September.
I worked out 26 out of 31 days.
I worked out for a total of 1,277 minutes.
I burned 9,508 calories.
I drank at least 8 cups of water 30 out of 31 days.
I ate at least 5 freggies every day.

Now for what I need to get done in September:
I would love to get to my "healthy" BMI number. That involves a loss of about 4 pounds. I will do my best, but not stress if I miss that one. I will get it eventually.
I plan to work out at least 25 days.
I plan to try to increase my minutes to over 1,300. I've not done that since I started this journey.
I don't have a calories burned goal, because that is totally unpredictable with my lower weight and higher level of fitness. I do plan to keep up or exceed my current levels of intensity with my workouts and continue to increase the weights when it gets too easy to complete my reps.
I am in a 60 @ 60 Challenge. Drink at least 60 oz. of water for 60 days. The original challenge was for 60% of your body weight in ounces, which would be around 11 cups for me. I am going to try to exceed the 60 oz. and go for the 60%.
I plan to eat at least 5 freggies every day at a MINIMUM and try to average 6 or better.

I think my September goals are challenging and attainable. They will keep me focused on the next-to-last leg of the journey (goal), and the last leg (maintaining for life).

I'll report back on October 1st!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Old "Before" Picture

I don't have many "before" pictures, because I avoided cameras like the plague. This picture was taken February 24, 2008, and was not at my highest weight. I don't know what I weighed here, because I was in denial and didn't even own a scale at the time. I do know that those jeans were size 14 and I couldn't wear them when I started this journey in October 2009, because they were too small.



Now I proudly offer this one up as a gauge of my progress. It makes me sad in some ways, but really excited for what I've accomplished. It also motivates me to finish to my goal and stay there.

Here is a picture of me at the beach last month. I like this one much better. =)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Goals and Such

After my last blog entry, I started thinking about goals some more. Where do I go from here? How can I use goals as a tool after I reach my ultimate weight-loss goal, whatever that may be.

So, for now, my weight-loss goal is a "healthy" BMI. That means 6.2 pounds have got to go. I think I can accomplish this by September 30, or at least by my one-year mark of October 19, 2010.

If that is where I want to stay, then I need motivation to stay there. It seems obvious that the motivation is to keep the weight off. Well, as I and millions of other people have learned, that is way easier said than done. This is going to take constant work.

I think one important goal for me is to work towards a 2,000 calorie burn per week from exercise. I usually get that now. I actually probably exceed it slightly if I were to count non-exercise activities like heavy cleaning, etc. The exercise is something that is non-negotiable for maintenance. That is one reason I haven't gone nuts with the exercise to lose the weight. I have been doing what I'm willing to do the rest of my life. I can't expect to hit the magic weight number and then be able to stop doing all the things I did to get there.

The other thing I am struggling with is tracking rigidity. A part of me thinks I need to continue religiously tracking, and another part of me would love a break from the obsession, (as would Dave). I think I will end up somewhere in-between. I want to be able to read my body's hunger signals and eat intuitively. Eat to live, not live to eat, as they say. That will be an experiment that may or may not work. However, I plan to keep close tabs on the scale, so adjustments can be made as necessary.

I didn't do so well on maintenance last go 'round, so I'm very nervous about it this time. Hopefully I have learned from my mistakes.

Getting So Close

As of this week’s weigh-in, I’m 6.2 pounds from my current goal. I say “current” because I’m not sure if that will be my ultimate goal. My current goal is to have a “healthy” BMI. It’s possible that 6.2 pounds won’t be where I want to stay, but I just have to wait until I get there and assess again at that point.

I have lost 80 pounds since October 2009… WHA??? It’s hard for me to believe it. In some ways it seems like a really long time, but in other ways, it’s happened so fast. I’ve done this before, so getting to goal scares me a little. I have to remain diligent to keep it off this time. Sometimes that can be harder than getting it off. Fortunately I have a great support network, both IRL and via SparkPeople and Weight Watchers communities. So, while I am a little scared, I know in my heart that I can do it.

Other than a few months in 2005, I haven’t been below 150 in decades. I like the way I feel and look, and I am not giving that up ever again.

I owe a big “thank you” to all my peeps. Okay, I am way too old to say “peeps.” Anywho… you are all an integral part of my success now and in the future. I need you to keep me going. I’ve worked way too hard to throw it away.

I also want to tell anyone reading this that if I can do, you certainly can. Take advantage of every source available to you to reach your goals. We are all in this together.

Monday, August 2, 2010

July Fitness Totals

A full July retrospective and August goals blog is to come, but I wanted to quickly share my July fitness totals:

# of days worked out:
25
# of minutes:
1,250
Avg. workout length:
50 minutes
# of calories burned:
9,343

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Slowing Weight Loss

Today is my last official weigh-in for July. Compared with previous months' averages of 7-8 pounds, July came in slower at -4.8.

Factors affecting the rate:

-Pushing harder with heavier weights has caused muscle soreness which could result in water retention.
-The less I have to lose (I'm less than 15 pounds from my goal), the slower it can be.
-I'm eating roughly the same calories (the minimum recommended range) as I have been for months, so with my decreasing weight, I get a lower calorie differential.
-As I lose weight, the same workouts burn less calories.

Things I'm doing to keep going:

-Focusing on quality food for the calories I consume.
-Trying to increase the intensity of my workouts. I am pretty maxed out on the amount of time I spend working out.
-Taking measurements for additional feedback vs. just the scale.

I view these slower weeks as practice for maintenance. I know as long as I keep doing the right things, I will eventually get to goal and stay there! I know that no matter what the number on the scale, I am fitter and healthier than I have been for years. I don't want that to change. I won't allow it!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I defeated the hungry monster

On Thursday, I was hungry all day long. I was still a little tired, so I took my second consecutive rest day, first time I'd done that in months. While getting dinner together, I just kept nibbling. At least it was somewhat good stuff and not junk, but I was grazing nonetheless. I finally decided after still being hungry after dinner, I would just take off the day from tracking and eat to satisfaction. I had some yummy Trader Joe's dark chocolate almonds and some multigrain crackers. I figured I was over my ranges, but once in a while, that is entirely okay.

I broke down and tracked it all the next morning. To my surprise, I came out within my ranges. I feel like this was good practice for the final leg of my journey: Maintenance. I was able to eat mindfully and to satisfaction, not stuffed.

I didn't let my lack of tracking lead to a binge or mindless eating. For that, I'm very proud of myself!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Please indulge me for a non-weight loss-related entry

I don't show Dave enough how much I love him and how happy he makes me. So I'm telling him and the world (or my half-dozen followers) that he rocks my world! And I am going to work on showing him every single day.

Baby, you are my lover, my best friend, my confidant, my partner. You mean everything to me, and I love you so much!

Friday, July 16, 2010

C'mon Football!

Dave and I are sorely missing football. UT's first game is Sept. 4th and WF's first one is Sept. 11. We cannot WAIT.

Unfortunately we won't be able to watch much of the first part of the season together. Dave's leaving mid-Sept. for 6 weeks for Luthier school. They don't air much UT, WF or Carolina Panthers football down in Atlanta..LOL. Hopefully he can watch online, but he'll be tied up in classes on Saturdays.

Panthers training camp will gearing up soon. I'm hoping we can hit FanFest on Aug. 7th with Shea.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

RIP, Old Red

What a freaky night last night turned out to be. I'm 40 miles into my 60 mile commute home when Dave calls and tells me to exit the interstate. His dad was doing a pastoral visit at the hospital. He's been using Dave's truck for a couple of weeks. While he was inside the hospital, the truck caught fire! It's completely destroyed, and it damaged the vehicles around it. Luckily no one was hurt. We are also fortunate that it didn't happen while Dave's dad was driving.



So we hung around while they took information and got the truck towed out of there, then I took Dave's dad home. I finally made it home around 9 pm. Talk about a long day!

Dave had dinner started for me and thanked me profusely for handling things. It's nice to be appreciated!

p.s. Here is a link to a news story about the incident:

Blaze shuts down deck

Saturday, July 3, 2010

June Retrospective and July Goals

Sorry this is a little late. I didn't formally set any goals for June other than to be out of the 160's. I hit that goal on June 23rd. Woot!


Other June stats:
I lost 9 pounds.
I worked out 25 days for 1,216 minutes and burned 8,836 calories. Average workout length was 49 minutes.
I drank at least 8 cups of water every day.
I ate at least 5 freggies evey day.

Goals for July:
I want to be out of the 150's by the end of June.
I will work out 5-6 days a week for an average of at least 45 minutes.
I will be mindful of the intensity of my workouts. I will not just "go through the motions," instead, I will push myself and challenge my body.
I will eat within my calorie range at least 6 days a week.
I will drink 8+ cups of water each day.
I will eat 5+ freggies each day.

I can and WILL do this!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I really hate failure: My P90X venture ends (for now). Back to The FIRM.

I was so pumped up about P90X. I thought, "Wow, this will take working out to the next level for me." I have worked out with it 5 times now, doing 4 different DVDs. I am not impressed, and I am extremely frustrated. I don't think this is the program for me. I suppose I am in the minority here, but I do not enjoy it in any way. I could live with not enjoying it if I felt it was actually doing something for me. I am doing longer workouts and getting lower calorie burns. I know it's not all about the burn, but with The FIRM, I was getting my HR up on cardio and strength. I don't even get a good burn on P90X cardio workouts. I feel like I'm "Bring"ing 100%, but not getting the payoff. Maybe I'm just fooling myself that I'm pushing as hard as I can, but I have never been one to slack on working out. I try to give everything I've got every time I lace up the sneakers. I don't want to waste time by "phoning it in."

Maybe I haven't given it enough time yet, but I don't want to invest any more time in it now. I have not given up on it completely. I will use some of the workouts on weekends when I have more time. And down the road, I may jump in with both feet again. But for right now, I have to give up on the program.

That pains me, but I know my body and to what it responds.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Size 8? Really?

I will start by saying that eight months ago, I would have never believed how far I've come today. I knew I had done the weight loss thing before, but I'm older with a slower metabolism, so I was a little nervous about how this would go.

I'm here to tell you that I'm over 65 pounds lighter which is amazing even to me. I feel so much better, and I feel better about myself. Let me tell you about today's little boost in the Kohl's dressing room....

I've actually been wearing size 8's from my old clothes here and there while I'm in losing mode. I've been trying to hold off buying a lot of stuff, because I'm not where I want to be yet. But I have to get a few things, hence my trip to Kohl's. I have no shorts or capris, and honey, I live in the hot, humid south, so jeans are becoming miserable FAST! I decided to check out the clearance racks. If you have time to sift through, you can find some nice things at great prices. I optimistically decided to start my search with size 8. I found a cute pair of casual capris and a nice pair of dress slacks for work. I went to the dressing room expecting them to not quite fit, but if close, I'd get them for later. Both pair fit perfectly. DId I mention they were size 8? LOL

Needless to say, I snapped them up. Now, all the pants I currently wear are either size 8 or baggy size 10. The ones I'm wearing today don't even have to be unbuttoned/unzipped to take off. They are a Kohl's clearance pair I got a couple of months ago that were too tight when I got them. They are practically new, so they'll hopefully find a happy home via the local Goodwill.

My wonderful friends, I tell you all this for two reasons:

First, I want to pat myself on the back for my hard work. Hey, I think I deserve it!

And second, if I can do this, ANYONE can. Don't get discouraged. Or if you do, #moveforward and keep on going. You can be healthy and fit. You just have to do it. It's not rocket science; you don't have to deprive yourself; just make good choices most of the time and enjoy LIFE!

You are all a HUGE part of my success, and I am truly grateful for all of you, but especially my fabulous husband who is my #1 fan.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What is a Workout?

I ran across this today. It's uncredited, so I have no idea from whom it originated, but I think it is very cool, and I wanted to share:

~~~~~

What is a Workout?

A workout is 25% perspiration and 75% determination.
Stated another way it's 1 part physical and 3 parts self-discipline.
Doing it is easy once you get started.

A workout makes you better today than you were yesterday.
It strengthens the body, relaxes the mind and toughens the spirit. When you workout regularly, your problems diminish and your confidence grows.

A workout is a personal triumph over laziness and procrastination. It is the badge of a winner, the mark of the organized, goal-oriented person who has taken charge of his/her destiny.

A workout is a wise use of time and an investment in excellence. It is a way of preparing for life's challenges and proving to yourself that you have what it takes to do what is necessary.

A workout is a key that helps unlock the door to opportunity and success. Hidden within each of us is an extraordinary force. Physical and mental fitness are the triggers that can release it.

A workout is a form of rebirth; when you finish a good workout you don't simply feel better... you feel better about yourself.

~~~~~

Don't y'all just LOVE that? It's very true.

Last night I so wanted to just blow off my workout because I had gotten home late and was hungry. I finally willed myself to get it done and felt such a sense of accomplishment and empowerment afterward. I knew I had done something good for myself.

I triumphed!

Monday, May 31, 2010

May Fitness Totals

26 Workouts
1,230 Minutes
9,623 Calories burned

6.2 Pounds lost

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Random Ramblings...

I'm sitting here on the screen porch my fabulous husband built for us thinking about all the things for which I am so grateful. I have a wonderful husband (I already used "fabulous"), great family, good job, and everything I need in life.

I am by nature a worrier. I try not to be, but I struggle with it. I loved the quote in a recent Healthy Reflections e-mail:

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." - Corrie Ten Boom, author and human rights activist

That is SO true. Worrying accomplishes nothing but sapping your energy for living in the now.

That's all for now. Please resume your regularly scheduled programming. =)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Seven months in...

As of today, I am seven months into this lifelong journey.

Here's what I've accomplished:

I am fitter and stronger.
I am no longer "obese" per the BMI chart... just "overweight"... LOL
I like my body again.

*** I have lost 57.6 pounds! That's over 25% of my starting weight! ***

I am not to goal yet, but I will get there. I also know that the journey doesn't end there. I want my accomplishments to last the rest of my life.

Thank you to my husband, Dave, for his continuing support and encouragement. I get lots of positive feedback from him. He means the world to me.

Thanks also to SparkPeople.com, all my SparkFriends and ESPECIALLY my Stand Up and Lose It! teammates. You all are critical elements to my success.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fun night with the family

We all went to the Kannapolis Intimidators game last night. We had the best time...lots of laughing and being goofy. I think the kids enjoyed it too.

It was actually a great game. The score went back and forth the whole game and the Intimidators entered the bottom of the ninth down by 2. A balk by the pitcher allowed a run, then a two-run double sealed the game. What an exciting ending!

The fireworks were great too. It was a great evening. =)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tough Love

I got a little bent out of shape over something Dave said to me last night. I was saying that I'm not going to give up, and he said I had a bad attitude (paraphrasing). While I didn't mean it in a negative way, I see what he meant. The fact that I would even mention giving up (which deep-down I didn't even consider) over this tiny blip on the horizon is just ludicrous. I think the reason I am somewhat over-reacting is that it worries me that I will start to slide. I lost a lot of weight a few years ago, and obviously gained it back. I am scared to death about that happening again, even before I get to where I'm going. Maybe I should hide the scale and only bring it out once a month. I have this plan in my head for when I want to get to goal. Maybe I need to relax about "the date" and let this happen on its own schedule. If I keep doing what I'm doing, it WILL happen eventually.

I'm very lucky to have Dave to encourage and motivate me and keep me focused and on-track.... and smack me upside the head (figuratively) when I am being irrational and stupid. I love you, baby.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I just don't get it...

I maintained this week. At least I didn't gain again, but I just don't get it. Maybe the stress this week with my neck pain. I've worked out on plan, I've eaten on plan, I've done everything on plan. I was down on an unofficial WI on Monday, but today, right back where I was last week.

I usually do a cardio workout on Tuesdays, but Dave really wanted to take me to The Wine Room last night, so we went. I had 2 glasses and a chicken quesadilla, but still was within my ranges. I made sure to get extra water to compensate. I was feeling quite cozy afterwards, and it was getting late, so no workout. I have to say that I enjoyed the evening very much.

I'm feeling a little frustrated. I got over the gain last week in anticipation of making up for it this week. Now I'm that much further behind on the track to my goal. I hope this is not the beginning of a dreaded plateau.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Worst fear realized (Yes, I'm being over-dramatic.)

Yep, I'm up a pound. I have no idea why. I've done everything exactly like I have been. No binges, no slack-off of exercise, eating quality food. I had a 5,340 calorie differential for the week. WTF?

I know it's just a stinkin' number, but it still sucks. I'm allowing myself a pity party for the day, then I'm so over this.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

April Retrospective

April was a very stressful month at work, I was sick for a few days, and we took a weekend trip out of town. Those are all very challenging to eating right and keeping my workout schedule.

I am proud to say despite the challenges, I turned in a pretty good month. Here's the down-and-dirty:

I ate within my calorie range 27 out of 30 days.
I worked out 24 out of 30 days for a total of 1,174 minutes.
My average workout length was 49 minutes.
I burned 9,348 calories.
I drank at least 8 cups of water and 5 freggies every day.
I got 7 hours of sleep about 80% of the month.
I lost 8.8 pounds.

The funny thing is, this is becoming kind of second-nature. It's not really hard to meet my goals. I am to the point now that this healthy-eating, fit lifestyle is *gasp* a habit!

I have to thank the people in my life whose support is integral to my success. First of all, my fabulous husband. Without him, I couldn't do it. I also thank my SparkFriends, especially my Stand Up and Lose It! teammates. They are with me, good, bad or ugly.

I'm looking forward to a fantastic May, repeating or exceeding all my accomplishments for April.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Six months... 49 pounds and counting

Yesterday was six months since I joined WW and started the whole lose weight, get healthy thing, so here's a little retrospective:

In some ways it seems like yesterday, and in others it seems like I've been doing this forever. I have found that this is becoming like second nature to me. In those six months, I have tracked my food in one way or another every single day, good, bad and/or ugly.

I am about to move from "obese" to "overweight" on the BMI chart. That is my next mini-goal. Hopefully I can reach that by the end of May.

I have a ways to get to my ultimate goal, and I know even then, I will have to track everything. That was my downfall the last time around. I got to goal, got lazy, didn't track, didn't weigh, didn't workout. What I'm doing right now is what I have to do the rest of my life if I plan to stay healthy and at a healthy weight.

That sometimes seems daunting, but with all the tools available in this day and age, it will be a snap. It's a habit now that I don't plan to break. I want to be around a long time for Dave and my kids. I want to be a healthy example for my kids.

Dave took this picture of me yesterday to commemorate my 6-month anniversary. He says I have a Giada square smile in it. I actually like the picture, and usually I hate pictures of myself. The reason for the huge smile is that he made me crack up with his "smile" phrase. No "say cheese" for him. I won't repeat it, because his dad might read this. I love you, Harold!



I'm doing this, and I'm going to keep doing it. Thanks to all the support I have from people in real life and online, I have no excuse not to. =)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

March Results

March Results:

I worked out 25 days for 1,271 minutes.
I burned 9,528 calories.
I lost 9.8 pounds.

2010:
74 days for 3,658 minutes.
28,335 calories burned.
24.8 pounds.

Still rockin' it!

My March goals revisted:
1. Lose at least 5 more pounds.
2. Workout at least 5 times a week.
3. Get 7 hours of sleep per night.

I met all but #3. I am getting 7 hours of sleep most nights now, but it's still something I have to work on.

I am feeling great. Last night Dave and I took the dogs for a walk in the woods. I had on shorts, which I am really not comfortable with yet, but he kept checking me out from behind, which was a real ego booster! Thanks, baby!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Love My Husband

He is going through a rough patch, but I have NOT lost faith in him. I never will.

He has so many wonderful attributes, and I know he loves me with all his heart. I want him to be happy, and I will do everything in my power to make that happen.

Monday, March 22, 2010

10 Reasons...

Thanks to a challenge in one of my SparkPeople teams, I came up with 10 reasons why I am losing weight.

Here they are in no particular order:

1. To make Dave proud
2. To feel better about myself
3. To get my BP under control w/out meds
4. To look better
5. To enjoy clothes shopping
6. To have "functional fitness"
7. To live longer
8. To get a "righteous" butt
9. To lower my cholesterol
10. To get "checked out"

It's a cool re-affirmation of the purpose of my goals. =)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Five Months Today

Five months ago today, I took my first tangible step towards getting back in shape. My first real step was the decision to do something, but on October 19, 2009, I re-joined Weight Watchers. As you know, I have since switched to SparkPeople.

What has happened in five short months? I have lost a total of 40.6 pounds. I work out 5-6 times a week for an average of 50 minutes per workout. My blood pressure is improved, my cholesterol is way down, and I feel so much better.

While I still have a ways to go, I have no doubt I will make it. Dave is always there to encourage me, and even though it means I don't have time to make elaborate dinners or what he might like, he accommodates me in any way he can. I could not do this without him.

Compare this picture from last week to the one on my blog page taken the weekend before I joined WW:


I think the difference is remarkable.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Is This Really Me?

From couch potato to someone who loves working out? Well, I don't *love* it, but I love the feeling I get after I do it, and I love what it does for my body and my health.

Twice this week, I've dutifully worked out, then decided to do another. Working out twice in a day? Yeah, it really is me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Halfway-Point Reflection

Since I'm halfway to my ultimate goal, I am going to reflect on how I got this far.

Support from Dave has been the number one thing that has helped me on this journey. Ultimately, I had to be the one to make the decision and the commitment, and I am very proud of myself for that. But having a support system to motivate and encourage is vital to success. Another big part of my support system is the community at SparkPeople. As much as I love Dave, (which is more than he knows), and as encouraging as he is, he's never been through what I'm going through. My SparkBuddies have and are going through the same struggles as me. They are a huge part of my success.

So now I have to refocus and recommit to finishing this up and turning it into my forever lifestyle. Tracking food and working out has become a habit now. But I know how easy it is to skip a day, which turns into a week, which turns into giving up. That will NOT happen. I want everyone reading this to hold me to that. Kick my ass if you see me slipping. TOUGH LOVE, I tell ya! You've got permission in writing, especially you, Dave.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Progress, and almost halfway there!

At today's weigh in, I am down 2.6 for the week. That brings my 2010 total to 17.6 and my grand total to 37.6. I am feeling pretty good about myself, even though I'm not quite halfway to my ultimate goal yet.

I have to say again that my biggest motivator is Dave. He sees me every day, so gradual changes tend not to be as visible. But last night when I got home, it was like a light bulb had gone off. He even told me my "butt is righteous." I don't think I've ever been told that before!

I love him with all my heart, and I know he loves me no matter what. It spurs me on when he reacts so positively and vocally to what I'm doing. He supports me in every way and that means the world to me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Goals

I posted these in a thread for one of my teams, but I wanted broader appeal for more accountability, so bloggity-blog-blog:

1. Lose at least 5 more pounds.
2. Workout at least 5 times a week.
3. Get 7 hours of sleep per night.

I actually hope to lose more than 5 pounds, but I know the farther I go, the weekly loss rate will drop off some. I think 5 is definitely attainable.

Working out seems to be not so tough now, but I know skipping a scheduled workout here and there can be a slippery slope. Five workouts give me wiggle room for when life interferes or my body needs a little extra rest.

Sleep seems to be my biggest issue... this coming the day after I got practically NO sleep. I really need to get in bed and on my way to falling asleep by 11:00 pm. I tend to stretch that, because I want to spend more time with Dave, but my body is going to suffer if I don't start getting a little more quality sleep.

I'll report back on April 1st to let everyone know how I did!

February Results

February:
I worked out 23 days for 1,149 minutes.
I burned 9,032 calories.
I lost 7.8 pounds.

2010:
49 days for 2,387 minutes.
18,807 calories burned.
15 pounds.

It feels freakin' awesome!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Extra Blog Today

I am soooo happy. Dave is the love of my life, and he brings much love, joy and laughter to my life.

That is all. =)

Enjoyable Evening Out

Dave and I decided to try a new Italian place in the neighborhood last night. I made him wait until after Wednesday WI... LOL

It was really good. I had 2 slices of a 12" pizza which was cut into 8 pieces and a Bud Light. As we were having fun and talking, we got off on a subject that kind of depressed me. I have some issues with my son, and although I try not to dwell on it, sometimes it gets to me and makes me sad. Dave realized this and suggested we go check out the wine shop across the street. We both got a glass of wine at the bar and talked and laughed and snuggled... just had a great time. They have food too, so we got an appetizer cheese board to take home for watching American Idol.

When we got home, I decided to give myself the day off from tracking; something I hadn't done for months. I also moved my rest day to yesterday instead of today, because it was late. I enjoyed some cheese, crackers, olives and grapes. I was completely worn out from the day, so I went to bed after Idol feeling happy and satisfied.

This morning, I could stand looking at my partially-completed tracker, so I decided to log last night as best I could. To my surprise, I was only 113 over on calories. I tried to "round up" on the food that I couldn't accurately track, so I feel that was pretty darn good.

The point to all of this is that even though I gave myself a pass yesterday, I still didn't go overboard. It's now in my subconscious to make good choices and exercise portion control. Also, that I can relax and have an enjoyable evening without feeling guilty or deprived.

This is a plan for life, and I can do this!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ready for the weekend

I am so ready for this week to be over. Work stress is at a high.

Unfortunately, Dave is sick. I haven't shown any signs of infection yet, so hopefully my healthier eating and fitness program has improved my immune system. Based on her FB status, Shea has a cold too.

This weekend will be some cleaning, movies, and relaxing. Oh, and burning some calories! I hope my chest/back injury allows some upper body weights, but if not, I'll concentrate on cardio & lower body. If Dave feels better, we may take the dogs to the park and walk a bit.

Valentine's Day will be low-key. We may go out for a late lunch tomorrow to celebrate. Our anniversary is coming up later this month.

Onward and downward!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I love it when my hard work pays off

I have struggled with my weight for a long time. Along with that, I had associated health issues in the beginning stages, i.e. elevated blood pressure and cholesterol. Thursday, I had a physical and some of my lab results were available while I was there. A year and a half ago, my cholesterol was 241. In all honesty, it had probably been higher between then and now, because I had put on some weight since then. Thursday, my cholesterol was 180! My LDL (the bad kind) went from 169 to 101.

As for my BP, I was on mild meds for it several years ago. I don't remember what it was at my last physical, but they usually mention that it's up a little, probably due to "white coat syndrome." Thursday, it was 130/80. I'm very pleased with that!

I know that my diet and exercise are responsible. When I did WW a few years ago, I really concentrated on the points and not much else. Of course it worked, the math worked, but I have learned this time around that WHAT you eat is as important as the calories. SP is so helpful with that in the nutrition tracker.

Another payoff I noticed yesterday had to with my "functional fitness." Our driveway slopes down from the road to the house. I had to roll the trash bin up to the road yesterday morning. It's not light, and in the past by the time I got to the road, I was huffing and puffing. I noticed yesterday that I zipped right up the hill with no heavy breathing. How cool is that?

I know I am getting more fit in addition to losing weight, which is just as important. My calorie burn is getting lower (boo!) because my weight is going down and my fitness level is improving. My most important muscle... my heart... is so happy these days. I've made it's life easier!

While the scale is a very important indicator of success, these non-scale payoffs are simply amazing.

I'm going to get to my goal, and I'm going to stay there and live a strong and healthy rest of my life.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Been neglecting the blog...

My dear father-in-law mentioned my blog on Saturday, and I realized that I had neglected it for a couple of weeks. After my last post, I regrouped and made a little change. I started participating in SparkPeople.

I am really enjoying it. I decided to drop Weight Watchers for it, because it's totally free. I was a little apprehensive at first, because WW is so familiar to me. However, I am totally sold on SP now. Their tracking and reporting is extensive, and they have a great community with teams. I have joined several teams, but have settled in with one as my "go-to" team for support and motivation.

So after my disappointment, which I know was just a blip, I have since lost 4.6!

I have been tracking my workouts on a spreadsheet, so they haven't been listed here, but I will bring my monthly totals up to date:

12 workouts totaling 675 minutes and 5,378 calories burned.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Disappointed

Ugh, I am up 1.4 pounds today.

Last week I weighed on a different scale because I couldn't go to my regular meeting. I was floored with a 3.2 loss. I ate within points, but there was a lot of alcohol and sodium involved. I drank tons of water on Sunday and just ate my daily points.

Fast forward to this week. Again, I ate within points, there was *some* alcohol and sodium. Also again, I drank my water and just ate dailies yesterday.

The only thing done differently was that I worked out a little more and a little harder. I did a new workout on Saturday that made me sore. I hope that water retention from that and adjusting from last week's fluke weigh in accounts for this week's gain.

I know in my head all the factors that affect weight at a given point in time, but it still stinks!

Regardless, I'm not quitting. =)