Monday, April 26, 2010

Take Pictures

That's my advice for the day...take pictures.

More specifically, take pictures of yourself....

Oh yeah, I know...I say that too...I hate to see photos of myself. I'd rather be behind the camera than to see my behind captured by the camera. But, photos can also be a bit motivational. You see yourself every day, right? Well, because of that you don't notice the changed in your body.

Sure, you probably notice that your clothes fit better and you hear when other people comment on how good you look, but do YOU really notice how much you've changed? I don't think so.

Here's what got me to this point. I have lost 30 pounds since mid-January. I obviously feel that in my clothes...hell, I can take my favorite pair of jeans off without unbuttoning or unzipping them! But, most of the time I lose "sight" of the fact that I've lost 30 FREAKING POUNDS. That's a lot of weight. Granted, it's only a drop in the bucket for me, but I've lost 30 FREAKING POUNDS. This shows me that I can do so much more.

But I get frustrated...I get stressed out...I get "this is too hard" crappy attitude. I get "I don't have enough support in my house" or "I'll finish the kids dinner just this time because I deserve it"...whatever....the point is, I get unmotivated. That's when bad things happen.

But, over the weekend the hubby bought a new camera for work. The display window opens up (similar to a video camera) and even rotates. We were discussing how this made taking a self portrait sooooo much easier. So I did...I took that self portrait and then kinda forgot about it.

Well, hubby posted it on facebook today. My initial thought was "Good hair looks like CRAP" but then I noticed my would see the weight loss in my face. WOW...I actually looked like I had lost some weight.

Now, the comparison is striking, in my opinion. I went to Vegas to visit my Dad in early January. As soon as I returned from that trip I began my new fitness and nutrition regime. Here's me just before I started and then below it is my self-portrait from Saturday.

OK, sorry that my photo editing skills suck, but you get the point....I can see it. And seeing is believing. So now I have a renewed belief that I can do this...I can lost another 20 to make 50. And then after that first 50 I can keep going. I can get below 200 and keep on going until I feel comfortable in my own skin. I can do whatever I put my mind to. Did I mention that I've lost 30 FREAKING POUNDS? Well, I have.

So, get the camera out...take some photos of yourself. And then a couple of months later, take some more. The power of seeing will amaze you. It will amaze the skinnier, smaller, and more fit you!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I LIE!!!

Imagine this scene:

You walk into the DMV (that's Department of Motor Vehicles) to get your Driver's License. The workers there are always so completely pleasant and helpful, so they always ask you if you need to update any of your personal information. Well, I normally say NO, but the last time I went for my license I decided to get a bit closer to the truth and add 10 pounds to my previously lied about weight. I told the guy to add 10 pounds.

This was maybe a year ago.

Now, keep in mind that even with adding the 10 pounds I was still lying my ass off. I told him that I weighed 230. Ha ha ha. I'm sure he was thinking "Um, SURE you do lady". But, he added the 10 pounds and that was that.

Well, today I realized that I am only 6 pounds from my lied about weight on my Driver's License. This only made one thought pop into my devious head....

It's time to get a new license!

I'm thinking I'll kick it down to 190. But then I heard that Illinois now charges $25 or $30 for a replacement and I hardly think it's worth $1 per pound to lie a little more. I did draw the line in the sand with my own self though and decided that once I hit 199 I'm getting a new Driver's License.

And I'm gonna lie.

Oh yeah....I'm gonna lie yet again. I'm thinking when I'm actually at 199 that I'll tell the guy 170. That seems a reasonable lie...hell, I was shaving more than 30 pounds off before, so why not do it again! Plus, the way I see it is that it's another goal to shoot for...gotta get to that Driver's License weight so that I can go get it replaced yet again.

So, there you have it, blog readers. I LIE at the DMV about my weight. But, in 6 pounds I will no longer be a Driver's License weight liar!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ugh...The Frustration!

So I am in the final week of the Biggest Loser competition at my gym. I have been in first place pretty much all along. Last week, someone nudged me out. If you follow my blog you know that I have been having some difficulty getting the scale to move.

After last Thursday's weigh in and realizing that I was no longer in 1st place, I kicked it into HIGH gear...really eating lite....lots of cardio. Well, sign me up for Mensa, cause this girl genius has screwed herself even WORSE!!! Oh, yeah, I said WORSE. Today I weighed and was up 2 lbs. from Thursday. I have been maintaining a 1200 - 1500 calorie deficit since Thursday. I am eating the target calories but exercising a LOT more.

...And I gained 2 lbs...

So today I had my trainer look at my BB program on her computer and see if she has any helpful hints. First of all, eating so LITE has bitten me on the butt. Apparently for a diet to be considered LOW FAT you consume 20% of your calories in FAT. Well, I've been getting 10 - 12%. So I have not been getting enough FAT. Wow...can't even believe I'm typing that "out loud"...not enough FAT. Who knew?

Secondly, I am getting WAYYYYYY too much sodium. Now here's the deal food log is pretty darned accurate. I weigh and measure almost everything at home. I'm also going over on my carbs. (Referencing the daily pie graph you can bring up under the "Nutrition" tab of the body bugg.)

So, here's the plan for the next 6 days until the competition is over...I'm eating chicken breasts, fresh or frozen fruits and veggies, and really watching my carbs. I'm going to drink a ton of water to try and help flush some of that sodium out of my system. I'm going to try like hell to avoid eating out, because there's so much sodium that I can't control.

I came home from the gym and took 2 bags of chicken breasts out of the freezer and put them on the grill. I figured having 9 lbs. of cooked chicken breasts in the fridge would be a sure-fire bet that I don't slack and eat something "easier" because what's easier than that?!?

Now, on to my Couch_To_5K training. Today I started Week 4. I had to download the remaining podcasts because honestly, I didn't think I'd make it to Week 3, let alone past that. Well, Week 4 scared me. No longer are the running and walking intervals equal. The walks are 1/2 of the run. This week was warm up, 3 minutes run, 90 second walk, 5 minutes run, 2.5 minutes walk, repeat intervals and close with a cool down.

UGH...Today was the first day I didn't "complete" the day, but I'm ok with that. I actually did better than I anticipated. I had to walk 1 minute of the 5 minute run intervals. So I ran 2 minutes, walked 1, and then ran the remaining 2 minutes. I did that on BOTH of the 5 minute runs. Not too shabby for an out of shape 240 pound woman. So, my strategy is this...when I can't "complete" a day I will repeat it. So, on Thursday I'll be back at the gym doing Week 4 Day 1 over again. Once I get that done without any alterations, I'll move on to Day 2!

I'm not sure exactly what strategy I'm going to take after Monday's final weigh in is over. I started this journey on January 15th, 2010. I got my Body Bugg towards the end of February. To date I have lost 25 pounds and 17.5" from my body. I am feeling good and ready to keep going, but maybe at not such a frantic pace.

Regardless, I think that it's really important for any BB user to make sure that you're watching that GRAPH at the bottom of the NUTRITION tab. Make sure that you're not going WAY over one thing, WAY under another, but hitting your calorie target. Obviously all of those things (fiber, sodium, carbs, protein, etc) make a difference, so we must make sure we're watching where we're at with those. If you're high on the carbs, watch that closely at dinner and skip the carbs for dinner time. If you're getting too much sodium (KETTLE) then watch out for those processed foods and focus more on fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables.

The lesson here is "It's not just calories"...I've hit that target and made those deficits...but I'm not losing weight. You have to watch WHERE those calories are coming from too. Now it's time for me to sign off and go eat some fat!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Oh, it's ON!!!

My gym is having a Biggest Loser competition. To date, 20 of us have lost over 200 lbs. in 6 weeks. I am mathematically in the lead, and that makes me happy.

Now, let's talk about what does NOT make me happy. I had a "no-loss" week last week and most of this week looked like it would be the same deal. Also, I have been hearing that some of the other women in the competition have posted big numbers this week so they're gaining on my lead. I do not like this at all...I do not like it Sam I am.

So, back to happy...I weighed in this am when I ran in for some cardio before tonight's group workout. I weighed in at 240. This is a 2.5 pound loss this week, and even more importantly for me, a total of 25 pounds since 1/15/2010. HAPPY!

But, before we get all "yippee---let's go eat cheesecake" about this loss, let's talk about what got me here. It's normal in any weight loss program to have plateaus. That's just a fact. But apparently I had gotten it in my head that I would amazingly be the exception to this rule and the math would carry me. Well folks, that's just not true. I hit the plateau and I'm pretty sure I would've stayed there for a while had I not changed things up.

Oh yeah, it was time to change things up. Since the Body Bugg is really all about math, let's consider this math. RMR....resting metabolic rate...this means how many calories it takes to keep your body going when you're doing nothing at all. When I started using the BB I weighed somewhere in the high 250's. When I started exercising and reaching for "Fit By Forty" I weighed 265. So, for this example I'm going to use 265 as my starting weight.

For a 5'6" woman that is 38 years old, weighing 265, the RMR is 1939. So my body is going to normally consume 1939 calories per day just to stay alive.

My initial BB program was based on this. The program said to burn 2900 and consume 2050. This gives a deficit of 850 per day. I lost very well on this program.

Then I hit the plateau...and I wasn't coming out of it. So, time for a change. Time to create a new program. Consider THIS math:

For a 5'6" woman that is 38 years old, weighing 242 pounds, the RMR is 1839. Hmmmm....suddenly I am burning 100 less calories per day just living life. One hundred per day...that's nothing, right? It probably doesn't make a difference at all....Consider that over a week though. Over a week we're talking about 700 calories. That's pretty significant.

So I created a new program and set new goals. Now I have a new target burn of 2800 and a new intake of 1900. My deficit is 900. This is not much different from before, but the little change in routine is doing a couple of things.

First of all, having less calories to consume means that I am more careful when choosing what to eat. It's only 150 calories, but I'm making sure that what I'm eating is good for me. Lots of protein. Low fat. I'm not going to waste 100 calories on something unless it's high in protein and will help carry me through. (thank you lite yogurt!)

Also, reducing the number of calories I have to eat is making me weigh, measure, and log carefully. I got pretty used to what 2050 calories was, so maybe I only logged once per day. Not anymore, buddy! I'm logging after every meal if possible and if not, I'm jotting it down and logging as soon as I can.

I am committed to hitting the cardio HARD for the next 2 weeks. (After that the competition is over at the gym) Once I'm not in that competition mind set anymore I will weigh every other week and do more strength training with the cardio. I want/need to burn, but I also need to tone as I go, so it's time to do some more strength training. This quite possibly will slow the actual pound loss down, but that will be OK once I'm not competing for the Biggest Loser challenge at the gym.

Plateaus or gains can be the kiss of death to any weight loss journey. It's EASY to say "Screw this...I'm not working THIS hard and getting NO results....I'm done....someone pass the cheesecake". Way too easy. The hard thing is to look at the speed bump, give it the finger, and keep on traveling down the road. Change it up...if you're a BB user, create a new program. Do something different at the gym or from your home. Just change it up...your body is getting used to the status quo and isn't losing as quickly.

Also, put things in perspective. Did your weight stay the same? Well, you didn't GAIN! Sure, the point is LOSS, but staying the same is better than a GAIN. Maybe you made some food choices that were less than stellar. Maybe you didn't hit the gym quite as hard as you were before. Whatever the reason, move forward. Don't let a tough time be the reason you threw in the towel.

You're WAY better than that!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

REFUSE to give up!

OK, my promise was to not weigh daily and only allow myself a sneak peak today (Tuesday) before this week's official Thursday weight in.

Let me just say that I will be very glad when the competition is over at the gym. When the competition is over I will not be so obsessed with the weekly weigh ins. I will go to weighing every other week. This weekly crap is for the birds!

Today I weighed the same....and that makes me really mad.

But, mad and tossing in the towel are 2 different things. I am NOT tossing in the towel. This is about a bigger journey, and 2 (or 3 or 4 or whatever) weeks of no weight loss will NOT stop me.

(That's a lot easier to type than it is to execute, but I'm working on that!)

So today I created a new program on the Body Bugg. When I initially set up the BB I weighed 265. I'm at 242.5 now, so I set up a new program with a starting weight of 242.5. My calorie intake and burn goals are now different. I think if nothing else this will make me concentrate more on the new numbers. I was getting pretty good at estimating how much I could eat.

So, tomorrow is a new day and Momma's got a brand new program. Now I'm shooting for 2800 burn and 1900 consumed. (or I think that's the goal...will have to double check that!). I've got a new set of goals for April.

However, I'm all about truth, so here's the truth...even with all of this "new attitude" business, I'm gonna be totally pissed on Thursday if I don't lose anything. I know a pound or two is good, but anything less than 3 is gonna piss me off, and I'm pretty sure it's gonna be less than 3. I'm trying to put it in perspective...staying the same is better than's normal to hit a plateau...blah blah blah. I know, but I'm still pissed, so THERE!

On a side note, Couch to 5K is going well. I have completed through Week 3 Day 1. Tomorrow is W3 D2. The three minute runs were tough, but I did them...I pushed through, and that felt pretty good. I had a long day at the gym on Monday. I had a big burn that day.

I'm hoping that the next few weeks will go well, and I will be very glad when I can get out of the weekly weigh in mindset!


Saturday, April 3, 2010

A "no-loss" week....

Well, it was bound to happen and it finally did. This week I had no loss at my weekly weigh in. Man, that SUCKED.

And I mean SUCKED big time.

As far as the bugg, I maintained my 850 deficit every day and THEN some.

So, how did this happen, I wonder? Well, here's my theory.....

First of all, this was my PMS time. Sorry, guys, but it's just a fact for us ladies. I tried to be careful, but I did eat an entire bag of microwave popcorn one evening. Now, was Lite, but still...a whole bag. That was not good. But, trust was WAY better than some of the other choices I contemplated.

I also have been doing less cardio this week than in the past. I'm starting to get some loose flesh, so I focused on weight training more than I have previously. This may have caused some muscle to build up, and we all know, "muscle weighs more than fat".

Other than that, I don't really have any theories. Although, I will tell you that I think with those two combined it could be the answer. I think it's entirely possible for my body to hold on to some water weight or whatever before the cycle begins. I'm hoping that next week once I'm all over that issue the scale will show some big progress. I also think that the strength training and less cardio could have something to do with it. My arms are firmer, so I really think there's some muscles developing in there.

Now, before I get to what I'm going to do about the last week, let's first discuss how I felt after that weigh in.

I FELT LIKE CRAP. Big time...I was sad, mad, depressed, deflated. I felt like CRAP. I wanted to come home and eat a pint of Ben & Jerry's....or chocolate.....or cheese.....or anything else that I haven't been eating since I started trying to get Fit By Forty.

But here's the important part....I DIDN'T. Nope....not even one little bit. I didn't bury my feelings in food, which would have in turn made me feel even worse. I told my hubby how disappointed I was, I told a friend, I talked about it. But I did NOT GIVE UP. The interesting thing is, that was the first thing the hubby said..."Don't let this be a reason to give up now". So very the past I would've done exactly that. But this is different. This is a change of mindset. This is the new way of thinking and doing. There is no giving up now, because giving up would mean giving up on my life. I just can't do that.

So, I think the first key thing here is that I didn't bury my feelings. I let 'em out. I bitched about it to my hubby and my friend. I told them how disappointed I was in not losing that week. I let it out...I talked and talked, and even talked to myself a bit.

Thursday is my weigh in day. Friday was supposed to be my Week 2 Day 3 of the Couch to 5K training. Did I skip that since I was feeling so blue and down? HELLS NO, people....I got back to that gym, got on that treadmill and did Day 3. It wasn't fact, it was pretty hard, but I DID IT. And that's really what it's all about....getting back on that horse when you fall off.

Now, what am I going to do about it?

Well, first of all I'm not going to beat myself up about it any more. I'm not going to obsessively weigh myself every time I walk in the gym to see how I'm doing. I will allow myself a weigh in on Tuesday to see where I'm at. Then Thursday is the official weigh in. Other than that, I WILL stay off of the scale.

I'm going to be really careful on tracking my food. I will make sure I weigh and measure the things I'm not sure about (meat, rice, pasta) and eat lots of fruits and veggies. I always drink lots of water, so I'm not worried there. I will make sure that I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at NORMAL times instead of it getting so late and I'm so hungry that I am ready to eat a horse!

I'm going to do more cardio....I'm not going to cut back the strength training, but add in more cardio. I was previously doing about 45 minutes per day, so I'm going back to that. Walking the dog for 30 minutes in the am helps. I'm also moving on to Week 3 of C2_5K next week, so there's more cardio planned in my week. Cardio....cardio....cardio. The good news is, it's warmer outside so I can get some 15-30 minute walks in here and there from home that I had difficulty with in the cold months.

And finally, and possibly most importantly, I'm going to trust the process. I have been having such great success since 1/15 that I can't let this stop me now. Who knows why the scale didn't budge this week, but it has been every other week....maybe my body just needed a little "stop-and-let-me-think-about-this" moment. Next week I'll be down....I'm thinking 2-5 pounds....I'm sure of it. I trust this process. I trust the calories in minus calories out equation. It's good solid math, and it works. I just have to trust the process....and that's exactly what I'm going to do.

So, in closing, just let me say, whatever the cause for your tough week is (whether it's a stress binge, vacation eating, that time of the month, lack of exercise, or just lack of motivation in general) the most important thing is DO NOT LET THAT WEEK DEFINE YOUR FAILURE. Let that week be a springboard for education, self awareness, and future success. That's really the point, isn't it? We cannot let one bad week set us back forever. Choose YOURSELF over failure. You're totally worth it! I know I am, so I am choosing ME....I'm not going to let last week define my failure, but instead last week's lack of loss is a springboard for a little re-evaluation of where I'm at and where I'm going. It's going to be a wild ride! I'm worth it....and SO ARE YOU!