Getting back into the swing of things…

27 07 2011

Vacations are a curious thing… you leave behind the daily grind with expectations of relaxation and peace. But the truth of the matter is, it’s simply a different location with a different “grind”. Don’t get me wrong, I had a wonderful week at the beach. It was relaxing, and refreshing, and very needed. But I sometimes wonder if we don’t build it up so much that there is no way it can ever be what we’re expecting.

Sometimes I find this true of diet and exercise as well. You get in your mind a certain number or measurement. You have a date in your mind that determines success or failure. We build it up, and plan and track and do everything we think we should to ensure success. But sometimes, our expectations fall by the wayside as we learn to deal with the different nuances of each day in the life of a health plan.

Sometimes, rather than setting myself up for success, I end up causing my own failures by setting unrealistic expectations on myself and my body. I use other’s interpretations and tools to try to measure my success and it just doesn’t work. I pick a date, a number of pounds or inches to be lost, and I go go go never really analyzing each step of the process to make sure that it’s actually working for me.

I look at BMI calculators, and wonder if I’ll ever be out of the “obese” category. My mom and I have the same height and build. When she weight 175 she was so skinny it was almost too skinny. But when I look at the BMI calculator, 175 leaves me on the wrong side of “obese”. So, do I go by the measurements and say so of others, or do I take it one day at time and find what works for me?

I think that the focus and drive we put into our dieting can be integral to our success. But it can also be detrimental. When we don’t allow any wiggle room, any room for trial and error we are setting ourselves for failure.

Like a vacation, we can plan every minute of each day, but you can’t account for the flight delays, language barriers, and myriad other things that try to remind us that we need to stop and smell the roses.

Having a plan is crucial, but having flexibility is key. I need to learn how to allow for those moments that go outside of my plan. I need to let go of the all or nothing thinking.

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Looking Back

17 06 2011

I was going through some old journals and came across an entry from early 2006. It was a list of my goals for the year:

  1. Lose 60 pounds (5 lbs a month)
  2. Stop negative thinking towards myself
  3. Exercise more
  4. Make better food choices

 It struck me how similar my goals today are to those I so wanted to keep five years ago. And then I thought, wow, where would I be today if I had been able to meet those goals? I’ve always doubted myself, been my worst critic, and had unrealistic expectations for myself. In doing so, I’ve only set myself up for failure. Had I given myself some grace, allowed the mistakes, forgiven the bad days rather than beat myself up for them, where would I be today?

Unfortunately, or fortunately, I can’t answer that. But I do know I’ve had similar goals to those for most of my life… lose weight, exercise more, eat better, cut myself some slack.

For some reason, I haven’t been able to get past my perceived failures. I’ve used up every excuse in the book to stay right where I was five years ago. I’ve had some successes along the way, but I usually just end up eating myself right back to where I started.

So what’s different this time? Of the dozens hundreds of times I’ve started a diet and/or exercise routine, why is this go round different? Why is it I feel I will succeed this time when I never have before?

I’m different this time.

There is no failure, there are no excuses. This is not a diet or routine. This is my life. I am not perfect, and I will never be perfect. So, each day, I get up and remind myself of my intention to be healthy. Everytime I face a temptation or desire that is not healthy I do my best to avoid it and find an alternative. I refuse to berate, belittle, beat up myself for being human. Instead, I choose to learn from it, grow from it, and MOVE ON. Easier said than done, but one day at a time and I’m getting there.

The goals are different.

Of course the end result may look the same – drop weight, eat better, exercise more – but the road to get there is so different. The end result is NOT my focus. Weird, I know. My focus is right now, today, this moment doing the best I can to make the healthiest choices. And the biggest and hardest part of that is not allowing my poor choices to dictate future choices. Rather than beating myself up for that bowl of ice cream, or skipping that workout, I try to figure out a way to fight that choice the next time. 

I freeze fat-free, sugar-free yogarts and you know what? They give me the feeling of eating ice cream with about 350 less calories!

When I don’t want to go to the gym, or my schedule gets in the way, I try to do things around the house or use a dvd.

 

When I get caught up with the number on the scale, the measurement, the end result I lose focus of the process. I lose the reasons behind doing it all in the first place. Do I want to lose weight? Duh! But if I don’t change ME I will never be truly successful. So I focus on creating and maintaining healthy habits. Daily setting my intentions on the steps to get me to a healthier, happier me.





Seeing Some Results

6 06 2011

After a full week of hard work, determination, focus and INTENTION I am already seeing some results of making better choices. I haven’t weighed in or measured my waist again yet, so I’m not sure of those results, BUT I’m noticing a lot of physical results! I have more energy, I’m really thinking about the things I’m eating, and I’m actually (gasp!) looking forward to my time in the gym each day.

This weekend we were pretty busy. We watched our friends 9-year-old and 4-year-old daughters. In preparation for this visit I HAD to clean my house. LOL I swept and mopped the living room, kitchen, hall and bathroom. And let me tell you, that was a LOT of floor to clean! I also cleaned up the kitchen and cleaned the bathroom. Got in a little bit of a work out I dare say. 😉

Since we don’t have kids, our house is a tad boring. So, after watching a movie we headed out to the park. Yes, it was about 1 million degrees in the shade, but it was really fun! We walked around and watched the girls play for a while before taking them back home. Normally after such an adventure I’d be beyond exhausted. Don’t get me wrong, I was tired, but I was also exhilarated. The activity of the day felt good, rather than draining. It felt good to get out of the house, to run around outdoors and not just stay cooped up inside all day.

If you know me at all, you know that I really, REALLY enjoy vegging out. 🙂 Watching TV and movies while I crochet or make bows is how I like to decompress from my week. It was a great change in pace to do something active on my day off rather than lounge around the house. I actually felt less tired.

I firmly believe this is due to my recent lifestyle focus. It’s exciting to see these changes, rather than waiting for a number on the scale or even on the tape measure. Of course those measurements are very important, but for me they become a distraction to the point of self-sabatoge. So while I figure out what works for me on this journey, I’m going to continue to focus on making healthy choices, staying and getting more active, and accepting myself where I am.

So what did you do this week that made you proud of yourself?





Reality Check

1 06 2011

Today I got quite a shock when I stepped on the scale. Though I knew from the feel of my clothes what I should expect, seeing that number really gave me a dose of reality. I was originally going to go strictly by waist measurement, but the more I thought about it the more I wanted to know what my number was on the scale. My plan for now is to weigh in the 1st of each month. Today I got my “new” starting point and my goal is to lose 10 pounds a month minimum. July 1st I will weigh in again and hopefully be AT LEAST 10 pounds lighter. 🙂

If you followed my original blog then you know how my journey started. I was brought on the Dr. Oz Show where I met my inspiration and personal wellness coach, Nancy Shuessler. That day, October 21, 2009 was an amazing and life changing day. I was completely overwhelmed, but ready to start a new life of health and wellness.

Twelve weeks later I was brought back on the show where it was revealed that I had lost nearly 50 pounds. My favorite reveal of the show was when I found out that my body fat % had gone from an unmeasurable, but greater than 50% to a measurable 46%. The most phenominal part of the show was when they unveiled an enormous, high tech eliptical machine that they were GIVING to me! I love that machine! 🙂

During that trip to NYC for the second show taping several things happened that caused me some concern. My relationship with my husband, my relationship with food, and most importantly my view of myself really came into question during that trip. After the first taping I went from an all time low point in my life, to an amazing high. I truly believed I’d never be the same. And I’m not. But after that second taping, I went from an incredible high to some rocky times.

Life tends to throw us some pretty crazy curve balls. If it’s not one thing going on, it’s another. Being a food addict you have to learn ways to cope with life’s curve balls without turning to food. At this point, I was only 12 weeks into this new lifestyle. I was still in the “honeymoon” phase so to speak, but the honeymoon came to a crashing halt.

In the course of the next few months my life was turned completely upside down:

  1.  My husband and in-laws and I moved into a new apartment
  2. I lost my job
  3. We went on a road trip to New York to see family
  4. I got a new job
  5. My in-laws moved out and we had to get roommates
  6. We got a new house and moved to the other side of town

During all of this I was also struggling to make my marriage work. I was struggling to be successful at diet and exercise. I had goals and dreams I wanted to accomplish, but I was losing myself in the process. I was trying so hard to be what everyone else wanted and needed me to be that I forgot WHY I was doing it all in the first place.

I gained and lost the same 10-15 pounds. I was miserable physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I was drained and beaten and at the end of my rope. And all this time I was trying to convince Nancy, and the world, that I was ok. I had this! But the scale said differently. I was eating according to the plan Nancy had for me, but in addition to that I was eating out more and making some not so great choices. It was a spiral of negative self talk and bad choices. And it ended up costing me a lot in the end. More than just gaining weight, I lost a friend.

At the end of October I made a very difficult, very personal decision to leave my husband. I loved him very much, but it was not a healthy relationship and I had to leave. The next couple of months to follow were very difficult. I went from having a beautiful three bedroom home with a huge kitchen and a lot of “stuff”, to sleeping on my brothers couch and living out of a suitcase. I had to get rid of so much stuff, and it was good, but it was HARD. It was uncomfortable. It was not where I saw myself at that stage of my life, but I knew deep down I had made the right decision. I had a hard time letting go of all of my things. I had built a beautiful life for us, and though it was just “stuff” it had become my identity. Letting go of it all was a challenge, and it still is today if I think about it too much.

The most difficult part was feeling like I had failed. Feeling embarrassed, and feeling like I had to explain myself. No one person made me feel this way, and to be honest, I was surprised that I felt that way. But I learned to get past it, and I now understand that it wasn’t a failure and I am not a bad person for leaving my marriage. It was the best decision I have ever made and my life is better because of it.

So, all of this to say that crap happens. 🙂 Life happens. I’m trying to learn how to get through life without turning to food. Good, bad, indifferent, food is always there. But I can be stressed with life and fat, or I can be stressed with life and healthy.

This journey is all about learning how to live as healthy as possible. I may never be a skinny-minnie. And honestly, I don’t want to be. But I know that where I am right now is not healthy, and it’s keeping me from realizing my dreams of being a mom. So one day at a time, I’m going to do my best to make GOOD choices and slowly but surely whittle away this fat to reveal a healthier, happier, sexier woman. The woman I am meant to be.





Weight vs Waist

25 05 2011

You may have heard others talk about this subject, and it’s definitely something that’s piqued my interest. Dr. Oz speaks a lot about the importance of “Waist Management” and since reading his book YOU: On a Diet I learned a lot about the importance of banishing the belly fat. In fact, the topic has intrigued me to the point that I’m considering using my waist measurement rather than my weight on the scale to judge my success.

Don’t get me wrong, obviously there is a correlation to losing inches and pounds. But I have found in all my years of dieting that the scale has a huge negative impact on me personally. I dread the scale. I hate it in fact. I do everything in my power to “trick” said scale into cooperating with me and all of my hard work. Obviously, I have some scale issues. 🙂

Now measuring my waist, on the other hand, seems a little exciting. The biggest down side to this method is that it’s going to be a lot slower going than seeing pounds drop on the scale. But think of it this way: even losing 1/4, 1/2 or 1″ is still progress. Imagine losing 1/2″ a week for 12 weeks. That’s 6 inches off your waist. And I’m nearly convinced that if the measurement stays the same for a couple weeks it won’t be nearly as devestating as seeing the same number frozen on the scale week after week. I could be wrong, but for now, this is my logic. 🙂

So, tonight, I’ll be measuring my waist with a piece of yarn. It will be a visual reminder of where I’m starting. Each week I’ll either use a new piece of yarn or mark the first one to show the difference. Haven’t decided that yet… But I’m excited to see where this leads.

Also, last night I did an amazing walk on the treadmill. I say amazing because I detest the treadmill, but this time I actually enjoyed it. 1.35 miles in 30.03 minutes with a 2-3 incline burning 286 calories. I then did my arms on 3 separate machines for a total of 9 reps of 12-16 with 25 pounds. I was at muscle failure by the time I was done! Tonight I’ll be on the treadmill or the elliptical and then doing my legs. And for once, I’m actually looking forward to the gym. 🙂