Saturday, December 27, 2014

Support

I get a little frustrated by the people on MFP who complain that they have no support.

NEWSFLASH! You are an adult. Take responsibility for yourself. Your weight loss (or weight gain!) is not dependent on anyone else. Period. No exceptions.

Let me introduce you to myself for a moment. I'm single (no husband, no boyfriend). Childless. I live alone… Kind of. I rent the upstairs of my sisters house. We share a kitchen and a laundry room, but that's it. We don't share food or meals. And yes… I pay rent every month. I work full time to be able to support myself. Both my parents are dead. My friends are mostly (like a vast majority) married with children. And most of them (all but one) live more than an hour away from me. My friends are either healthy weight (and have been their entire life) or are overweight but are doing nothing about it. My siblings (I have 4) are all technically overweight or obese… some by greater degrees than others. And 3 out 5 of us (including myself) have been our entire life. The other two have been their entire adult life. Two of them have successfully lost some weight. But both of them follow diet plans that are unsustainable for me. The other two say they need to lose weight, but then don't do anything about it. Needless to say no one in my family eats the same way I do. I have two co-workers that I work with on a regular basis and have for several years... They are both overweight (probably technically considered obese). They both have tried diet after diet including Atkins, HCG, Weight Watchers, etc). They have both lost weight and put it back on. Again and again. Neither one of them believe that calorie deficit is what will help you lose weight. Both have argued with me time and time again on that point. Lately they've stopped arguing as they can see it's worked for me… but they still won't listen. So, I've stopped talking. When I go the gym, I go alone. When I go for walks… I have one sister who will join me. But she lives 5 hours away… so it's only those few times a year that we are together for family events that I have a walking buddy.

So, let me tell you what support looks like for me… the trainer (and maybe two other staff) at the gym will tell me I look good and the trainer will occasionally inquire about how much weight I've lost. A couple of the regulars at the gym will also tell me I'm looking good. When I send "brag" texts to my sisters I will get a "you're awesome. Good job."And when I do see them, they will tell me I look good. The sister I live upstairs from is obviously the one I talk to about this stuff the most. She regularly tells me I'm looking good and makes random occasional jokes about how she's gonna have to start being nicer to me because now I'm getting strong enough I can pound her in the ground if I want. She does not join me on my walks. And has stated on one more than one occasion that she hates gyms. She also talks about those who go to the gym with a vague air of condescension… and has stated that basically they are selfish, vain people who don't think of anybody but themselves. And while she agrees with the idea of CICO… and believes that I'm going about this the right way, she thinks I carry things a bit too far by weighing and measuring my food. In case you haven't figured it out… she is one of my two siblings that says she needs to lose weight, but doesn't do anything about it. But for Christmas… at my request, she did buy me a HRM and a sport arm band to hold my phone, and gave me a few gift cards for places I could buy clothes… since I'm shrinking out of them rather quickly. That's what support looks like for me.

I will never complain about about not having support. In my mind, I have an amazing supportive family. And I have amazing supportive friends. But none of them follow the same eating plan I do. None of them workout with me. None of the will push or even encourage me to workout. If I decided not to go one day… nobody would say a thing. Wouldn't even ask why. If I sleep late, nobody is gonna come push my butt out of bed. If I decided to pound down a dozen donuts… nobody would say anything. If I go overboard on a meal… they don't even notice (because most likely, I'm eating the same amount they are). And every last one of them will suggest high calorie restaurants (is there another kind?!) when we go out. And they certainly don't hesitate in offering me high cal food/drinks.

Just because it doesn't look like you want it to… or think it should… or come from the people you think it should... It doesn't mean you have no support. And I'm sure there are people out there who really have no support. Maybe their family makes fun of them for being heavy and refuses to recognizes their efforts at trying to change. Maybe they don't think they need to lose weight and wonder why they are even bothering. Maybe some of them actually do try to sabotage you. But I would daresay that most people do have support… even if it doesn't look the way they think it should. And for those that don't… I'm sorry. That sucks. But suck it up. It is not a valid excuse. You are an adult. And nobody owes you anything. Nobody has to understand what you are "going through." Nobody has to follow your same eating plan. Nobody has to workout with you. This is your life. Your journey. It's okay if they don't understand it… it's not for them. It's okay if they don't workout with you or follow your same eating plan… maybe they have different goals or priorities.

Friday, December 26, 2014

8 Months Progress… Merry Christmas to ME!

About 4 months ago, I took a picture of myself and put it alongside my "before" picture as a way of seeing how far I had come. It was the picture that made me cry… because it was the first time I had truly been able to see a change. I can't remember who said it… but someone told me then to just wait until it had been 8 months and see how it compared. For whatever reason that stuck in my mind and I wanted to do another picture at 8 months and put it side by side with the other two. Tonight I finally took that 8 month picture and put it side by side with the other two.



I think I see a difference. You know… just a little one! :-)

I think I'll take another one in another 4 months. I kinda like seeing the progression at these even intervals. For the record… tomorrow is weigh in day… but as of right now… there is a 114 pound difference between the picture on the left and the one on the right.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Excuses, Excuses


My friend posted this on Facebook as a funny…. halfway jokingly suggesting to her husband that he post this in his office (he works as a Family Nurse Practitioner). The reason why I say halfway joking… is I know this is a sentiment that she feels pretty strongly about. Her father (and by extension, her mother and the rest of her family) is suffering from complications due to diabetes. She has taken responsibility for her own health, eating properly, making sure she stays a healthy weight, and getting regular exercise as she is determined that she not have to deal with the same things later in her life.

It is also a sentiment I share. I have zero patience with excuses. ZERO! They frustrate me to no end! When people suggest that the reason they are overweight is due to genetics… I want to scream! That is nothing more than an excuse. It may be real. Their entire family may be overweight. They may have been raised eating unhealthy food. But when it comes down to brass tacks… the choice is still theirs. Nobody is shoveling food down your throat and forcing you to swallow. I also believe that there is an amazing liberating freedom that comes from accepting responsibility for your own actions. If obesity really did depend on genetics… then people like me are sore outta luck! But by recognizing that my own choices got me here… that also means that my own choices can get me out of here. If it wasn't my fault that I became obese… how can I hope to change it?

However… let me say this… while I have zero patience with excuses… I have a lot of patience (and respect) for honesty. Rather than making excuses (like your whole family is overweight), just be honest and say that losing weight is not something that is that important to you right now. And that's okay! It is your body and your choice on how to treat it. There will always be consequences for your choices… both positive and negative… but if you are willing to accept those consequences, the choice is absolutely yours to make. And I recognize that just because it's not important to you now… doesn't mean it won't become important to you. So I can be patient with that. There truly is a time and a season for everything… and just because this is my time and season… doesn't mean it's yours. I'm okay with that. Just be honest about it rather than making excuses for it.

Okay. Now I'm done with my little soapbox on excuses. Onto happier things…

I have had a 30 day plank challenge pinned on one of my boards on Pinterest for ages. It's always been something I've wanted to do. But the last time I tried a plank…I couldn't even get up into one…. much less hold it! So, I've been working on core strength doing other exercises. But earlier tonight, I decided it was time to try again. So got down on the floor and tried to push myself up into a plank. And I made it! I wasn't able to hold it for long… but I got up there. Later on that evening… after my workout… I checked out my plank challenge. Day one required holding it for 20 seconds. I decided to set my stopwatch on my phone and see how long I could force myself to hold a plank. I was really hoping I could make 20 seconds. And I made it for 20 seconds! It was rough. Darn near killed me. My body started to shake at about 18 seconds. But held on for 20 seconds.

And I'm pretty d@mn proud of that! For some reason I had in my mind the idea that planks belonged to the ranks of the elite in physical fitness. I think that's one reason why I wanted to be able to do it so badly. I also knew that planks were great for strengthening your core. And someday when I lose all this belly fat… I want to have abs under there! So being able to do a plank means a lot to me. I know I'm not in the ranks of the elite… but the fact that I can do a plank shows me what I'm capable of becoming. And that means a lot.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Musings About Lifestyle Changes

We throw around the term "lifestyle change" quite easily and casually in the weight loss community. "It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change!" Basically what we are trying to say is that we intend to keep the weight off that we have lost.

But have we really changed our life if we are constantly fighting the urge to overeat? If we have to log every bite religiously for the rest of our life? If we always have to avoid certain foods because we know one bite will throw us into a binge?

Do you think that it's possible to get to the point where you intuitively know what foods will fill you up and help you feel your best without constantly stressing about your macro levels? Where you intuitively know how many calories you can eat without weighing and measuring and logging every bite of food? Where you go out for a run because that's what you do? Because it's so much a part of your routine that it would be like going without brushing your teeth for a day if you skipped it. Or even better… because you want to? Because activities like that are your hobby, your "down time." Instead of veg-ing in front of the TV, you go for a long walk? Because you prefer that as your way to relax and unwind at the end of the day/week? Where maintaining your new weight will be just as easy for you as gaining it used to be? Because it's just what you do. It's who you are. Its how you eat.

I happen to believe that's possible. I think we can be "normal." I don't think it's easy. And I especially don't think it's easy for people like me who have been significantly overweight for a very long time. And I don't think it'll come without a long period of logging religiously… even once we reach the maintenance phase. But I believe that can come. After all… isn't that what a "lifestyle change" is all about?

I'm not saying we will never overeat… I think that the vast majority of American's do overeat occasionally. But I'm saying that it's an occasional thing… not something that we struggle with constantly. I'm not saying we'll never gain an ounce. I think the vast majority of Americans do have those gains. I'm not saying we'll never eat sweets again. I'm saying we can eat them in moderation without it sending us into a binge. I'm talking about being normal. Where, when we gain those 5-10 pounds, we instinctively make up for it, by eating a little less for awhile or upping our intensity or our time on our runs. I'm not talking yo-yo dieting… I'm talking about being like those people who can pretty much just eat what they want without worrying about the calories/macros/nutrients and yet they somehow manage to keep themselves healthy. My theory is there is nothing special about them. The difference between them and me is that they have made it their life and I'm still "dieting."

Am I crazy? Is a true lifestyle change too much to aim for? Too much to hope for? Too much to expect?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Good Motivation

Hot Guy at the gym strikes again! :-)

Several months ago, I posted about a super built guy who came up to me at the gym and gave me props for the motivation. Well, in the several months since that time, he's kinda kept his eye on me. Just so much that he will say hi and ask how I'm doing when he sees me (or wave, if we're too far away to talk). That's about it. Not a big deal. But his interest and his kindness has changed him from merely being the "super built guy" to now being the "hot guy." And I'm sorry… but still after all these months… neither one of us knows the other's name! I'll have to work on changing that. He needs to have a name. We're becoming closer to friends…. so it somehow seems disrespectful to only refer to him as Hot Guy.

But last night, when he came up to me, he was with his buddy. And his buddy has been with him every time I've seen him at the gym, but I've never talked to him. But anyway, Hot Guy asks me how much I've lost "because you've just been killin' it in here." I told him 104. The buddy looks shocked… "104 pounds?" But goes on to tell me good job. Hot Guy simply gives me a hug. Which was worth a 1000 words.

But I must say, I was feeling pretty motivated after that. :-)



Saturday, November 29, 2014

Small Victories

NSVs---

My curiosity got the better of me and I pulled out the outfit from my "before" picture and tried it on. GINORMOUS! And I swear they got longer too.

Spent Thanksgiving with my family, stayed at my sister's house.  When I first got there on Wednesday, my sister was folding some laundry. She had a couple of camis in her pile that came from the same store I bought my most recent camis at. WE WERE WEARING THE SAME SIZE! Now, she's still 30-40 pounds less than me, so they fit us a little differently…and her jeans are 2 sizes smaller than what I'm currently wearing, so I don't fool myself into thinking that we're actually the same size… but it's so cool to know that we are close enough that I might be able to borrow a shirt from her if say I spilled something on mine. I'm pretty sure I was in elementary school the last time I could borrow clothes from her… she would have been in high school.

I think I told you about the pajama shorts that literally fell off of me a couple of weeks ago? Well, I was needing to replace them. I found a pair at Walmart while I was there with my sisters on Black Friday. They looked a little small to me, so I wasn't sure if I could fit them and I really didn't want to take the time to head the fitting room and all that jazz for a lousy pair of basketball style shorts. I simply held them up to me and asked my sister if she thought I could squeeze into them. She wasn't sure but said that even if I couldn't, I would probably be able to in a month, and since they were only 3 bucks, it might be worth it to buy them now. Later that night as I was getting ready for bed, I finally tried them on. Yeah, they fit. They were far from loose, but they didn't feel like I squeezed into them either. They are a 1x. The pants from my "before" picture? 4x. And they were a little snug.

Also, I have a collarbone! You can see it! I had always heard of those… but I never thought I had one! Same with the ribs I can feel when I'm laying down. While down with my family for Thanksgiving, my sister commented that she could see the muscles move in my neck when I talk and the muscles in my arms move when I dealt the cards for the game we were playing.

Also--- for interests sake… I asked my sisters (who are all older than me) when was the last time I was at a healthy weight for my age and height. They asked how much I weighed when I was born and discussed it for a few minutes and they came to the consensus of 4 months old (I think they may have meant 4 years). Either way… YIKES! I know I'm still not there… but what that means to me is that when I get to my goal… I will actually be smaller, relatively speaking, than I was in Kindergarten. Oh, yeah… we're keeping this going!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Why Behind the Blog

So, I posted a "success story" in MFP yesterday, sharing my 101 pound loss. And my MFP account exploded with friend requests.

Which is fine. I get it. I didn't request very many of my friends on MFP… but the ones that I did request  are ones that I saw in the forums as having lost a significant amount of weight. I wanted to follow people that had been where I am… and are now living where I hope to be! I wanted to know what kind of calorie goal they were on. I wanted to know what they ate and how they exercised. I wanted to know what kind of struggles they still had and what successes they had that I could look forward to. So, I can understand all the friend requests although it's still a little weird to me to think that perhaps people want to follow me for the same reason I wanted to follow those few that I requested. Who would have guessed that someday I would be a success story? Who would have guessed that someday people would look to me for inspiration and motivation? Especially when it comes to weight loss!?

Maybe it's the curse of having been overweight my entire life… but things like this are surreal to me. Like it's some dream I'll wake up from. This can't be real. This can't actually be happening to me. Maybe someday my brain will catch up to reality. Maybe then I will be able to look in the mirror and see what others see instead of what I'm used to seeing. Maybe then it won't seem so strange to me that people look to me for inspiration and motivation.

So… for anybody from MFP reading this for the first time… welcome. I started my attempt to lose weight before I joined MFP and that's when I started this blog. So, I choose to use this rather than creating one at MFP. Plus it seems more user friendly to me. I'm not getting any benefit (financial or otherwise) from this blog, so I hope posting links to this blog on occasion on my news feed won't freak out the tender sensibilities of the mods over there. I hope you will come back often and check in. I post on here fairly regularly… which to me means, once a month or more. Some months will be busier than others in terms of number of posts. And for heavens sake… if you have questions or there is something you wish I would talk about… drop me a comment in any of my posts or message me at MFP. I'm sure I can respond to them within 72 hours… usually more quickly if it's during the week.

I'm not here to "toot my own horn" so to speak. It's not that I think I have answers or that there is something special about me. But I love hearing about what others have gone through. I've looked for weight loss blogs to follow myself. The first trouble I have is finding ones that are still active. It seems they go for a while and then dwindle off to nothing. The next trouble I have is finding ones that are just real people talking about their journey. It seems like the ones I find are usually professional ones… which comes with a ton of ads… and a ton of sponsored posts for various products… most of which don't have anything to do with weight loss. So, that's part of what I'm aiming for in this blog is to create the blog I wish I could find! Thus, I repeat the invitation… if there is something you would like to know or want me to write about … drop me a line.

I created this blog for two main reasons… One: For me. My weight is something I don't talk about. I never have. I've never been happy with it… but I just learned over the years that I don't let something like that determine… well, anything. I've never felt "held back" because of my weight. I've never felt depressed or unworthy or anything because of my weight. I knew I was fat. I didn't like it. But it was part of who I was. So, I didn't talk about it. And because of all the misconceptions that abound about overweight people and weight loss… I didn't care to go public (meaning open) about it to my friends on FB or even in real life. I am open with my sisters. They all know what I'm doing. I am extremely tight with my sisters. They are my everything… my world. The very earth I stand on. My extended family (nieces and nephews) knows what I'm doing to the point that it's kinda hard to hide the fact you are losing weight when you've lost 100 pounds. And to the point that my siblings may share it with them. My co-workers know what I'm doing in the same way my extended family does… that it's kinda hard to hide it. My co-workers and I form a pretty tight knit little team. And they will ask on occasion how I'm doing or what I'm doing. And especially since they are among the few I hoped to prove wrong… I'll be open with them when they ask. Other than that, I have two old friends (dating back to my high school days) that are even semi-aware of what I'm doing. But because I don't care to share my journey with most people, I created this blog as a space for me to write and to talk about what I'm going through. Both the successes and the struggles.

But the second reason I created this blog was in case my experience could help someone else. I decided a long time ago that I wasn't that unique. Meaning… if there was something I struggled with… there was probably someone else who struggled with the same thing. If there was something that I found helpful… there is probably someone who will find the same thing helpful.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

That's Halfway, Baby!

Okay, it's official…tonights' weigh in put me at 101 pounds lost. That's halfway, baby!

The bags on my shoulders are 25 pounds each.
Then the bag of sugar is 50 pounds.
I wanted a visual representation of how much I've lost.
I also wanted to feel how it felt to carry that much around.

So, I got home from the gym and told my sister to load me up. I wanted to feel what 100 pounds felt like. Yeah, I didn't do much "carrying around."Just in the time it took to load me up and take the picture, I told my sister "No wonder my back was always sore!" (Not to mention my hips!)

I texted this picture to another sister as well. She responded back with "Do you wonder how you ever were even able to move?!!!" YES! Feeling that… ugh! No wonder I was always tired. No wonder it hurt to stand longer than about 2 minutes. No wonder it hurt to walk for very long. Honestly… though, it'll probably be the last time I'm able to do pics like this! I can't imagine adding another bag of sugar to that load in another 50 pounds! If we could find some more compact ways to do it… then maybe it might be possible… but such as it is? Maybe I'll have to try giving a piggy back ride to my 29 year old niece! HA! That'd be a picture! :-)

Anyway. At the gym tonight, I had just finished my warm up when the trainer approached me. He wasn't working… he was just there to workout. But we chatted for a few minutes and he asked me how much I'd lost. This was prior to my weighing in. I told him 98 pounds, but that I was weighing again tonight and that might put me at a 100. I loved his response. "Are you sh**ing me?" He then apologized for swearing, "but, oh my gosh! You've really lost 100 pounds? You're kicking @$$ girl!"

You know how I mentioned the "Biggest Loser" contest they were having at the gym? He asked me if I had signed up for that. I told him no, I hadn't. He said he would make sure I got a prize anyway. He said he'd talk to Brooke and make it happen. Which is very kind of him. I had thought about signing up. I would have been able to set my own goals… but when I thought about it… and what I really wanted to accomplish by the end of the year… my goal was simply to lose 100 pounds. But I was so close to it as it was and I was sure I would be able to do it without the added incentive of the contest… I didn't feel like I needed to sign up for something just to get a prize. Plus, I would have felt pressure to set a goal for something a little higher. And I didn't want to do that. I prefer to set my mini-goals as extremely conservative. That way, they aren't really goals so much as milestones that I look forward to… and that way, if I don't quite make it… there is no sense of failure… just that I get to look forward to it a little longer.

Since I've now hit the 100 pound/halfway milestone… the next one is to get below 275. At that point, my BMI will be out of the "morbidly obese" range. I would love to leave "morbid obesity" behind me in 2014. So my hoped for timeline for that is by December 31. Pretty sure I'll get there way before then… but like I said… I prefer to go extremely conservative on those.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Virgin Territory with New (and Old) Clothing

Okay… I was going to wait until I hit an even 100 pounds lost before I went shopping again… but as I walked out of the dentists office the other day, I literally watched my pants slide further down with each step I took. I couldn't stand it anymore. I high-tailed it to the nearest store that I thought might have something my size. Went straight there from the dentists office actually.

It's a chain store that has several locations… one of which is in my hometown… and that I've never been able to shop at because I was too big for even their plus sizes. But with fingers crossed, that is where I went. I could have gone to the Walmart that was just across the street… but Walmart sucks my very will to live out of me…. so I avoid it unless there is no other option. But either way… Maurice's is where I went. First of all… I have to send out a huge kudos to the salesgirl. She was extremely helpful to me and even went in the back to find some additional clothes that were on a higher clearance that I might like.

Yeah, I went into the dressing room with like 8 different items. So much for only going for jeans! But as I tried on a size 24 pair of jeans, I literally… no joke… did a little dance in the fitting room as I was able to button them up! I did another little dance with each shirt I tried on. There was even Christmas music playing on the loudspeaker and I still danced! (For those who know me… you know I'm morally opposed to Christmas before Thanksgiving) Sometime, once I've truly hit the 100 pound mark (should be by the end of this week), I will have my sister take a picture of me wearing one of my new outfits so you can see what they look like.

We are officially in "virgin territory." I honestly do not remember the last time I wore this size. It may have been high school… but it would have been early on. And like I said… I really don't remember.

When I went up to pay for my purchases… I asked the salesgirl (the same one who'd been helping me) if there was any way I could wear a pair of those jeans out… because the ones I was wearing kept falling down. She said yes and rang them up and took off all the tags for me and sent me back into the fitting room. When I got home, I decided I was just DONE with all those clothes that were too big. So, I kept the one outfit from my "before" picture just for future photo ops… but everything else… if it was anything larger than a 3X I dumped 'em. Including all the ones I was holding onto out of sentimental purposes. In fact there were even a few shirts that I had affectionately named my "skinny shirts" that I had been hanging onto because I really liked them and they were still in good shape, but I had outgrown them a long time ago. And now they hang on me. A couple of them I could still make work for a little longer… but one I had to toss because it was way too big… and it was one of my "skinny shirts!"

In destashing my closet… I came across a t-shirt that I had gotten from a friend several years ago. I knew when I got it that it wouldn't fit. But I got it because of what it represented. I treated it as a souvenir or a novelty item. I never expected to be able to wear it. But neither would I toss it because of what it represented. But I checked out the size on it and thought… just maybe. Yeah, it fit… easily, but not too big. Shanon just got a new workout shirt. Which is nice, because I needed one!

And finally… the other day I went to put on a pair of pajama shorts. I had previously had to pin them, and when I went to put them on… they still hung a little low even with the pin. So, I went to tighten the pin. Yeah… that wasn't going to happen. Too much fabric. I felt like I was folding them in half! Out of curiosity, I took the pin out completely to see how they fit. Yeah… they didn't. At all. They completely fell off of me! This wasn't a "hang loosely on the hips" thing… they literally fell off of me. That was a first. Elastic waistbands are pretty forgiving and so my old pants never got to that point. They just got baggy to the point where I looked better without clothes than I did wearing them! But because these were just pajama shorts… the bagginess never bugged me. So, I took the classic picture of me wearing these shorts and holding out the waistband like the "after" photos you see. And here you go… this is not stretching the elastic. But just so you know… the legs are supposed to be very loose and flow-y. That is not part of the "after" shot of this photo.

The look you see on my face is trauma
at the realization that I used to
actually fit those! 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Weigh In Results and Future Shopping

Last weeks weigh in was 2 pounds down. Which is perfectly respectable, but not consistent with my calorie deficit. I chalked it up to water weight and a couple of misc. other factors. So… for this week… dang it! I watched those other factors like crazy. I was really careful with my sodium and made sure I was getting adequate water. And took care of anything I could prior to the weigh in that might affect the outcome.

And it paid off! 7 pounds! Which is consistent with my calorie deficit this week and make sense with last weeks calorie deficit. So that puts my current weight at 287. That's 94 pounds! I'm hoping to hit the halfway mark (100.5 pounds) by the end of the year… and that should be no problem at this point! I may even hit it before Thanksgiving.

Just for the record… Two pounds lost in a week is perfectly acceptable to me. It just didn't match with my calorie deficit according to my logging, so I wanted to make sure that I accounted for those other factors that can affect weight on the scale, so I knew what the problem was. Was I not logging accurately… or was it really just water weight, etc. This weeks weigh in makes sense with this weeks calorie deficit and the remainder of what would have been last weeks. Which is good for me to see how  sodium affects me and good for me to know that my logging is accurate.

But I'll be honest… I really want to hit that 100 pounds lost mark. My sports bras are too big, as are four of my five workout shirts. And my jeans are starting to fit like an "after" picture. And that's in the waist… which proportionally… is the biggest part of me. By the time I cinch up my belt tight enough that my pants don't fall down, the fabric bunches. But I'm kinda wanting to wait until that halfway mark before I buy new clothes. I'm trying not to buy until I need to… because it can get expensive especially since I'm only going to shrink out of them anyway.

My shirts are still okay for now and while I may allow myself to buy one more shirt at 100 pounds… I'm gonna hang on to them for as long as I can. When they start looking bad… then it'll be time to move on. But I purposely bought shirts that I thought would be able to last for me for several more pounds.

With exception of shoes and socks… I've had to buy a completely new wardrobe in the last 6 months. And with the need for these new clothes… I'm wondering how long it will be before I have to do it again. That's kinda why I'm hanging in there until I get to the halfway point. I'm hoping I'll only have to do it once more (with maybe a few additional pieces here and there) before I get to my goal. But I really don't know if that'll work. I think pounds and inches become more pronounced as you get smaller. And if you're wearing a size too big… You notice it!

But… it sure is a great problem to have! :-)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

FLAB-ulous 5k

A few weeks ago, someone posted an announcement on FB about this upcoming 5k. It was actually a girl posting it to her dad's wall ("hey, Dad. Do you want to do this?"). But because her dad was my friend, I ended up seeing it as well in my newsfeed. 

It was organized by Jackson Carter, who was one of the finalists on The Biggest Loser on Season 14. I actually watched that season… and I loved Jackson Carter. He was a Utah boy and from this area… so of course, I was already pre-disposed to cheer for him. But personality-wise, I liked him as well. So, when I saw the post for this 5k, the only ounce of "star-struck" I have in me went crazy. "Oh, my gosh! I could meet JACKSON CARTER!" Yeah, I know. It's pathetic. But I swear… I really don't get star- struck or celebrity crushes. This was my one exception. 

I have had a 5k on my bucket list for awhile. Wanted to do one eventually. But I kinda wanted to be able to run it when I did for the first time. So, any other ad for a 5k… I would have ignored. "No… not now. Give me a few months. Then I'll be ready.'' But this was JACKSON CARTER! 

Okay, stop judging me! The point is… I decided I was doing this. Even if I couldn't run it… I was doing it!

I invited my marathoner friend to join me… but as it turned out, he had other things he needed to do that day. My sister agreed to come along to be my cheering section though. And to take pictures. 

I was a little unsure how this was going to go. I knew I could finish it. That wasn't the question. I do that length anyway on the treadmill 3 days a week. But everything I've ever heard says that open road is very different than the treadmill and usually slows people down. I've been doing a 2.0 incline on the treadmill, which they say will better prepare you for the natural inclines, plus wind resistance of the open road. The flat open road. But I notice on Sundays I can't keep the same pace on my walks around the neighborhood that I do on the treadmill. So I was worried how this was going to go. I could finish… but how long would it actually take me? My usual pace on the treadmill is 3.5 mph. Which is 17:08 minutes per mile. Doing the math, I figured it would take me 53 minutes assuming I could keep up that pace. A 3.0 mph pace would put me just barely over an hour. I figured I would be satisfied with anything less than an hour… but ideally, less than 55 minutes.

I felt very out of my element the morning of the race. I'm watching the people who are showing up and every last one of them appeared to be in better shape than me. And it seemed like they were all in groups… or at least had one other person with them. And it seemed like they were all friends of Jackson's. I felt very out of place. But I was there. As we got lined up, they asked the runners to line up in the front. The run/walkers were in the middle and the walkers were in the back. I went to the very back. There was a lady beside me that I made small talk with and I thought I ought to be able to stay up with her if nobody else. 

When the race started, I took off. And I mean… I took off! From the very beginning, I just pushed it. There was no pacing myself. I just went! I was passing people right and left. I got up where I was more in the midst of the run/walkers. As long as they were walking, I could keep up with them, even pass them. But the second they started running again, then they passed me. And that's about where I stayed the entire course. I was behind all the runners, but ahead of all the walkers.

My wonderful sister took my phone and would drive ahead and find places along the course where she could stand by and wait for me so she could get pictures along the course. I was nearing the halfway point/turn around spot when I saw her for the first time. 

Jackson Carter had started with the rest of us… but ran up ahead and stuck around at the turn around spot for awhile to keep encouraging everybody. My guess is that he waited until everybody had made it to the turn around spot, then he ran back so he was back at the finish line when the last people came across. As it was, I made it back to the finish before he did! 

Once he was back, I was able to get a couple of pictures with him. I even got an autograph. 

This wasn't a timed race. There were no prizes for first, second or third place. So, when I got back, the first thing I wanted to see was the time… how long had it taken me. Without a stop watch… and exact to-the-minute start time… we had to estimate about how long it took me. We figured it was somewhere between 48-43 minutes. I was satisfied! My sister told me I was awful close to a jog when she saw me. 

Overall, it was pretty thrilling. One… to see that I could keep up the pace. And two… just being there and being part of it. It was kinda fun to me to see the flags at the start line. Of course they said start… but at the very top was the phrase "Get out and live." Which you may remember is what GOAL stands for in the title of this blog. It seems appropriate. 

Somewhere after half way.

Approaching the finish
JACKSON CARTER!



Friday, October 24, 2014

Playing Favorites

So, I'm at the gym this morning… just finished my workout and wiped off my machine. I was heading in the locker room to weigh in and pick up my stuff to leave, when the trainer calls my name and motions me over to the front desk where he is hanging out with another staff.

"So, Brooke (the other staff) and I were just talking… about how great you look! How much have you lost now?"

I told them and they both gave me high fives. Brooke proceeds to tell me that I'm amazing that I inspire her. She told me I'm her "favorite."

And, by the way… I love Brooke (and not just because of what she said!). She's my favorite too. She is so cute and sweet and friendly. And she was the first staff that made an effort to learn my name and memorize my membership number. So, she sees me coming and logs me in automatically, so I don't have to stop and check in. Not that checking in really takes very long (like 5 seconds tops)… but sometimes there is only one person at the desk and you've got a whole group that comes in, each bringing a guest that they need sign for. So, it's very handy to have staff like Brooke, who know your number and can just wave you on.

Craig (the trainer) asked me how I was doing with this latest program. He said he saw me doing a few things and it looked good. He just wanted to make sure I was feeling okay. That it was challenging, but not too challenging.

They encouraged me to join this Biggest Loser challenge that they are doing within the company. I tried looking it up online, but I couldn't find any information. I'll have to think about it and check in with them on Monday (or tomorrow) for more information. I'm really not one for challenges like this. There is zero competitiveness in me. But I respect Craig and Brooke and I really appreciate their encouragement and faith in me. I feel like I owe it to them to at least consider it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Things I Just Don't Understand

What is it like to have been thin (or you know… normal weight), then gain weight?
What is it like to have a closet full of clothes that are too tight?
What is it like to feel somehow "unworthy" because of your weight?
What is it like to know what weight you want to be at because that is when you looked and felt your best?
What is it like to hate yourself because of your weight?
What is it like to be able to whip out a list of 10 things right off the top of your head that you hate about being overweight?
What is it like to be able to pinpoint an event/time in your life when you started gaining weight?
What is it like to have to deal with some emotional baggage in order for you to keep losing weight and/or keep it off?

These are questions that I can't answer. Because they are things I have never had to deal with. I spend a fair bit of time at night perusing the forums on My Fitness Pal. So many topics are discussed and so many things come up. And there are so many that I can't relate to. And it kinda surprises me. I'm overweight. I have been my entire life. You would think I would know that place. And I'm losing weight. I've lost 85 pounds. That's not a small amount. So you would think I have a pretty good idea of that place too. The only thing I don't understand… and I know that I don't understand this… is what it's like to try to maintain your weight. Because that's a place I've never been. But I am realizing how much of a world is out there that I don't understand… even in the overweight world.

How is it that there is so much about being overweight that I have no clue about? My best guess is because it's the place I have spent my whole life. It's a place my entire family has spent most of my life as well. The only time in my life that I know I wasn't overweight… was the day I was born. I was a healthy sized baby... 7 pounds, 14 ounces. But I wasn't a fat baby. I've seen pictures of 2 year old me. I was stinkin' cute little toddler. Complete with fat little cheeks. I see those fat cheeks and I don't know if that was normal baby fat or if I was a fat toddler. I just don't know. I know I was the "fat kid" as early as kindergarten though. I know what it's like to be teased or called names because of your weight. But I had been overweight my entire life. As a kid when I had to endure the worst of the teasing… I wasn't aware that my weight was something I could control. It was just who I was. And my whole family was overweight. Calling me names for being overweight was like teasing someone for having a particular color of eyes or hair. Yeah, I endured the teasing… and yeah, it sucked. And it hurt. But it was always chalked up to "kids are cruel." I never knew it was something that I could change about myself. Fortunately kids grow up… and while there will always be the jerks… the teasing kinda died off by middle school. I don't know at what point that I became aware that weight was something that was within my control. In high school, I had some really, really wonderful friends. And I had gotten involved in extra-curricular activities that allowed me to make even more friends. I had discovered talents that I had. I never felt held back because of my weight. I was in the drama club, I was on the newspaper staff, I was the manager for the volleyball team. My senior year, I got involved with the spirit club. And the summer before my senior year, I started a part time job. I kept busy. I didn't date a great deal… but I got to go to two proms and one girls choice dance. And I had friends… including male friends. I didn't lack for things to do on Friday nights.

Obviously by high school, I was aware that weight was something I could change. But I never felt the need to. I never had health problems because of it. And like I said, I had found many activities that I could be involved in. I could even be part of a sports team. I wasn't "popular," but I didn't need to be. I had friends and I had things that I could do and that I enjoyed and that I was good at.

As I got into college, I became more aware that my weight was probably hindering some dating opportunities. But it was something I never understood and I still don't. In my mind, you get to know someone and become attracted to them and then decide to start dating. I've never understood the need to be attracted to someone first. I get that you need to be attracted to your spouse. I really do get that. But I also believe that if you love someone, they will be attractive to you… no matter what they look like. So, I've never understood why attractiveness is so important when people have lists of qualities they want in a spouse. I mean… I was a typical teenage girl. I had my lists of all the qualities I wanted in a future husband. And it got pretty extensive at one time. But no where on my extensive list did physical attractiveness come in. Seriously. It wasn't even 500 items down. It just wasn't there. Because I knew that if I loved someone… they would become attractive to me. In all of my dozens of "crushes" I had in my teenage years… not one of them was because I thought they were hot. The hotness came afterwards.

Anyway. All of this in a nutshell… Yes, I was overweight. But it never bothered me. Why should it? I never had health problems. I was still able to do the things I wanted to do. Dating was the only thing that I was aware it might be effecting. But in my mind… that was because the guys were all stupid and shallow. So, really… what was missing out on? A dumb*** guy that only had one thing on his mind? Yeah, no. I wasn't bothered.

I don't know what it was like to have a closet full of too-tight clothes. Elastic waistbands were very forgiving… which is what I wore my entire life. They always wore out in other places before they would get to the point I couldn't wear them anymore because of size.

I have no clue what weight I want to be. I have a goal in my mind… sure. But I was probably 14 the last time I was at that weight (I'm guessing… I have no idea really!). So to pick a time when I looked and felt my best? Uhh? I don't know. I've always felt fine. But I've always been fat… so that doesn't work.

What do I hate about being overweight? Uhh? That it's harder to find clothes? I don't know… I've always been there. My thighs have always rubbed together. I had no idea "thigh gap" was even a thing. I've always had to bring my foot up to my knee to be able to tie my shoes. It never occurred to me that other people could just bend down and tie them. And so many more that I've always just accepted as life. That it's "just the way it is." I had no idea it was a "fat person problem."

And to pinpoint a time when I started gaining weight? Uh… yeah. Birth. Injuries or accidents that all of sudden made me sedentary? No. My favorite activities for as long as I can remember have been reading and writing. When I'd go shopping with my mom and got bored of following her around… I didn't go to the toy aisle. I went to the school supplies aisle. The stores that left me speechless and so excited I couldn't sleep? Yeah, that would be Barnes and Noble and Office Max. Death of a loved one that I medicated by food? Nope. I've lost all four grandparents and both my parents in the course of my life. I was overweight before they died. I was overweight when they died. And I chose other ways to cope. Some possibly even more damaging. But still.

I know what it's like to be miserable. I know what it's like to hate yourself. I know what it's like to feel "unworthy." I know what it's like to have 50 tons worth of emotional baggage that you feel is holding you back. But I was overweight before that time. I was overweight during that time. And I continued to be overweight even after those issues were resolved. I have no clue what it's like to feel miserable, self-hatred, or unworthy because of weight. They never had thing one to do with each other.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Celebration and Affirmation

WOOOHOOO! 

Can I write that any larger? Can I emphasize it any more?

This weigh in on Friday put me below 300. 296 to be exact. Which is a total of 85 pounds down. I can't begin to say how thrilling that is! Seeing a 2 as the first number somehow seems… I don't know the word. But it feels like the biggest milestone to date. I can't imagine that even losing 100 pounds would be more thrilling to me than this has been. It starting to make this seem real… like, "Wow. I really am losing weight. I can do this." All my other goals still to come, all of a sudden seem doable now. It somehow feels like I'm not so huge anymore. Being in the 200's somehow seems like "normal" overweight… not like "embarrassingly huge" overweight. I mean, I obviously still have a long way to go… but this one has probably been the most surreal moment yet. I can't hardly believe that number can belong to me! When I think about it… it kinda brings tears to my eyes. 

I don't know how long it's been since I've been that weight. My weight is something I've never really wanted to know. Even when I've gone to doctors appointments, I have not paid attention to what the scale said. The last time I was aware of my weight was about 9-10 years ago when I attempted to lose weight before. I was about 350 then. Before that however… the only time I can really remember knowing what I weighed… was back in second grade. And I know that will not be a number I will reach. It wouldn't be healthy for me to get back to that weight! My sister believes that I'm smaller than when I came back from my mission and supposes that I'm at my high school weight. I don't know. I know that the jeans I'm currently wearing have the same number on the label that the jeans I wore in high school had. But with vanity sizing… I don't know if that really means anything. 

If you know me… you know that there is one person that I trust 100% with everything. He is my dearest friend, my greatest supporter/cheerleader, and somewhat of a father figure to me… and I can't tell you how much I love him. As a man… and an older one at that… he would never comment on my weight. He's way too respectful to do that. Maybe being married and having two daughters, he's learned that comments on a woman's weight are at best, a loaded gun. But in the process of conversation a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I am trying to lose weight. He didn't really comment on it. Took it with about as much reaction as if I had mentioned I was trying to grow my hair out. And that was fine. It was appropriate considering the context of the conversation. Today I was walking around the neighborhood, which is the extent of any exercise I do on Sundays. I pass his house on my route. Today he was just pulling in his driveway as I was coming up to his house. He stopped briefly to wait for me. Put his hand on my shoulder and said "you're looking good kiddo. What you're doing is working." I thanked him and continued on my way. But coming from him… it made my day. He loves me and is my biggest supporter. Anything I do that is even remotely positive… he supports and will help me with as much as he can. But he is also 100% honest with me. And he will call me on my crap. He won't blow smoke. And while he will say things to be nice and be supportive… he won't say it if he doesn't mean it. And that brief affirmation… meant the world to me. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Break From the Routine

The last two weekends have been spent places other than home. And when that happens… it means any exercise is limited to whatever short walk I can squeeze in in the morning before everybody gets moving for the day. And it also means trying to stick within a calorie goal becomes very difficult!

The first weekend (the 3rd - 5th) was a joke! Friday was my birthday, which I intended to enjoy. But I also knew Saturday would offer a great deal more opportunities for high calorie food, so I wanted to go easy on Friday. With cake and a high calorie dinner (because that's what my family serves!)… even taking it easy put me eating more than I usually like to. My only saving grace was that I got in a good workout before I left that morning. Saturday on the other hand… was a JOKE! Big breakfast. No lunch. Then dinner at a Mexican restaurant. So, so bad. I ate way more than I should have. I was getting full after about half of my entree. And I should have stopped and taken the rest home. But it tasted so good! And so I kept eating. And I felt miserable afterwards. Not guilt. I don't waste time feeling guilty about being human in these matters. But I was sooo full! Miserably full. But lesson learned. I'm not an emotional eater. I'm not even really a binge eater. But I like food. And so I eat it. Even if I'm not hungry, I'll eat it because it tastes good. That's something to be aware of. And something I can work on. Because I still could have taken it home and had it later. Oh well. I knew there would be days like this. Days where old habits rear their ugly heads. The good thing is... I recognized what the problem was and where I could have done something different. And that I just got back on track the next day.

The next weekend found me traveling again. This time leaving on Thursday. This was two days of workouts missed. UGH! I hate that. I don't mind missing a Saturday here and there. But I hate missing two in a row. Friday is usually my weigh in day. Since I wasn't going to be around on Friday and because I know my body hates not being in a routine… I was just going to skip the weigh in that week. That would give me two weeks between weigh ins. And while both weekends would be out of routine… it would be give me one solid week before the next weigh in. However… I couldn't resist a sneak peak on the scale Thursday morning before I left. If the scale is to be believed, I dropped below 300 for a total loss of 85 pounds! YAY! However, because of the change in routine and what not… I'm not counting that weigh in for official purposes. But, if the number was accurate, and this last solid week will be within my average loss range… it'll be a rather impressive loss for my next weigh in.

For whatever it's worth… the reason I was traveling this past weekend….

My niece is studying esthetics and had an event coming up for school that included a professional photo shoot. Which she could use for her portfolio. She asked me a couple of months ago if I would be her "model" for it. She would do my make-up. Then photos would be taken. I agreed.

While I was down there… my niece said that one reason she wanted me to do this was because of all the hard work and dedication I had put forth toward losing weight and she felt like I deserved to show off this new me. Even though these photos were primarily for her to built her portfolio and show off her skills… she wanted a full body shot done of me. It was kinda fun. She did my hair and make up. And then the photographer had some fun putting me in all sorts of awkward positions that she swore would make me look great… some smiling. Some serious. Some that I think ended up looking like a smirk. I think the photos will be done in a couple of weeks. I guess we'll see how they turn out! I'll post a few here if they turn out any good at all.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

When "Can I" Is Irrelevant

Today I finally got my new routine from the trainer. There was a mix up on signing up for a time, so I showed up, thinking I had a time with him and he wasn't planning on me. However, he had my new routine completed, so he took about 5-10 minutes to run me through what he wanted me to do. The main difference was in cardio. All my weights were the same… just higher sets and less reps. So, I was okay with that. Cardio I know. So, 5-10 minutes explaining what he wanted me to do was fine. If there would have been changes with the weights, then I would have needed more time.

So, I followed his new routine for today. It definitely served to get my heart rate up! I have been struggling lately with getting my heart rate up. I don't know if my resting heart rate has slowed down a bit, so it's going to take me a bit more effort than it used to to get my heart rate up… but it's been a struggle. However today… yeah. Not a problem! And the calorie burn was through the roof. This was the first time I'd seen a burn that high.

However, today also tested my determination. Holy stink. Have I ever told you that lateral raises are the very DEVIL? They kick my trash. And he changed up how I did them today. So, the trash kicking level was intensified. And like I mentioned, he upped my sets. I thought my arms were going to fall off.  I kinda wished they would! It was during this time that I had to just force myself to keep going. The thought "I can't do this" kept popping up repeatedly. I had to pull out all my positive thinking mantras.
I finally got to the point where I said to myself "Can I is irrelevant. The question is will I?" Then I realized that wasn't the question either. I would. I will. I did. What I then started saying is "The question is not whether I can. The question is not whether I will. The only question is how much is it going to hurt?"

That thought carried me through the cardio boxes as well (cardio boxes= think the steps used in circuit training). The cardio boxes were the new thing he added to my routine. The only time the trainer put for cardio boxes was "as many as possible." He suggested I start with at least 4. I made it through 7. That was where the heart rate finally got up! And I had to pull out my positive thinking mantras for those as well. After the boxes, I got back on the treadmill for 20 minutes to finish off. I upped my speed and incline just slightly. After the boxes, it was a breeze!

But it was a good feeling finishing that workout. I felt accomplished and kinda proud of myself. I loved my new mantra.

The question is not "can I." The question is not "will I." The only question is "how bad is it going to hurt?"

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Reminder

When I first started this blog… I talked about what GOAL meant to me. There is a reason it's all capitalized. Because in my world… GOAL is an acronym. It stands for "Get Out And Live."

GOAL Inspired Living… is living a life where I choose to Get Out and Live!

This comes up as a result of a few posts I've seen recently on MFP. 

I am not a goal-oriented person. And I'm proud of that. "Goal" is a nasty four-letter word in my world. I attempt to eliminate from my vocabulary as much as possible. I get a little frustrated by people who try to insist that I use "goals" in my life. I try to explain what goal means to me and why I don't like it. Some people then try to define goal for me and explain why it is a positive word and why I should use it. IT DOESN'T WORK FOR ME! (And yes, in this context… using all caps is meant to signify yelling. Because apparently reasonable and intelligent conversation doesn't get through to some people. I'm looking at you G.S.)

In fact… in my attempt to eliminate "goal" from my vocabulary… I'm going to change the phrase "goal weight" to "maintenance weight."

But here is why I do not like the word goal and why I'm trying to eliminate it from my vocabulary. To me… goal is an end point. It is something you work towards and when you reach it… you're done. Mission accomplished. It's kinda like wanting to get my bachelors degree. I worked toward that. And then I accomplished it. And once I did… I didn't keep working on it! That wouldn't make sense. I already had it! And that is what goal means to me. 

Except when it comes to weight loss… if I do that… then I would end up gaining the weight back. A goal is not a lifestyle change. It is something you work for… then when you accomplish it… you pat yourself on the back for a job well done and you move on to something else. 

So, I have chosen not to be goal-oriented. I chose to be process-oriented. I focus on the kind of life I want to have… and I live accordingly. In this area that includes eating healthier and less. It includes getting in regular exercise. If the scale goes down… that's great. Don't get me wrong… I love to see the scale go down. But if it doesn't (it didn't today), I don't get down on myself. I don't feel like a failure. And I don't consider throwing in the towel "'cuz it's not working anyway." I simply keep going. Because the important thing is that I continue doing those things that will allow me to have the life I want. My week is a success if I continually do those things that I need to (eat right… exercise). My week is not a success if I lose weight. 

And therefore… when I get down to my "maintenance weight" (ooh, I really like that term!) it doesn't mean mission accomplished and move on. It means I keep going with what I need to do have the life I want. 

A quote I found that really speaks to me says it well...  

If you focus on results, you'll never change.
If you focus on change, you'll get results.

This works for other areas of my life too. But that is another topic for a different venue. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Random Current Events

In interest of keeping things current…. the most recent weigh in was 309… aka 72 pounds down. Very exciting stuff. The next milestone to get below 300 is within tasting reach (meaning so close I can almost taste it!). Heck…even 100 pounds down (1/2 way there!) is getting within tasting reach!

I am due for another re-design with the trainer at the gym any day. I need to get an appointment set up.

Did I tell you about my latest great idea to introduce intervals into my cardio routine? Yeah. I got antsy to "up the game" so to speak on my cardio routine. So, one day I upped my walking speed from 3.3 to 3.5 and added in intervals of 5.0. You know… because I'm a masochist! I made it through two 30-second bursts of 5.0 before I felt like I was going to die. And I did the rest of my time at 3.5. But I broke that barrier into jogging (although to me it felt like an outright sprint!). And chances are good that my trainer will want me to start doing intervals once I meet with him for the redesign. And I've got it into my head to run a 5k within the next year.  I actually want to do two of them. One in the spring (the annual 5k that my church hosts) and one on the 4th of July in my hometown. Now as mentioned, the first one of those isn't on the calendar until Spring… and probably later spring at that. So, I've got some time to prepare myself for that… but I figure interval training will be good for me in that process.

I've been trying to recruit my sisters to run it with me but that's been a big fat fail. Without exception, I've gotten a "no way. I can't run." I tried to tell them they had almost a year to prepare for it… but it's still been a no-go. However, one of my nieces has agreed to do it with me. If my brother and my other niece will do it again (they both did it this past July), then there should be 4 of us for that. That is an acceptable showing.

This past weekend I was with my family for a special event. Most of them haven't seen me in 42 pounds. I have sent pictures to my sisters… so they have an idea of where I'm at, but this is the first they've seen me. So, my weight loss was a fairly common topic of conversation throughout the weekend. On Sunday, I had an extended conversation with my brother in-law about how I was doing it.

People at work are starting to comment and ask what I am doing as well.

On MFP… it seems like people are coming out of the woodwork, having seen one of my posts on the forums… and wanting to add me as a friend because I'm inspiring to them.

It's all a little surreal. This is new territory for me. Inspiring is not a word usually used to describe me. I kinda like it… but I kinda don't know what do with it either.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The 5-Week Prediction

Weigh in tonight was 317. That's 64 pounds down.

Also, as I've mentioned, I use My Fitness Pal to help me count calories. Every day, once I've completed all my entries for the day as far as food, exercise, and water, I hit this little button that says "complete entry." It will then give me a 5 week prediction of my weight based on my calorie intake/output of that day…

It reads If every day were like today… You'd weigh XXX in 5 weeks.

Then it gives a little disclaimer stating…"your projected weight loss is an estimate based on your total net calories for today. Actual results may vary." Which is an important disclaimer. Basically it's saying that theoretically, in order for that prediction to be accurate… you would have to eat the EXACT same amount of calories and burn the exact same amount of calories every day. Which is not realistic at all. But some people miss that little disclaimer. And they get upset with MFP for not giving them an accurate assessment. Or they somehow feel like a failure because they are not hitting that weight in the estimated time period. Personally, I love seeing that little prediction. It's highly motivating to me. However… once I've looked at it… I'm done. I forget it about it. It's not like I'm keeping track of those numbers every day and then comparing them to my actual weight at the designated 5 week mark. To be honest… I have no flipping clue whether or not their predictions have been accurate for me or not.

But all that being said… I got particularly excited by tonight's prediction. Tonight's prediction said that I would weigh 297 in 5 weeks. Like I said… I don't put great stock in it…. but this was the first time that my weight has been low enough that the 5 week projection put me at below 300. And that's pretty thrilling. There is something about having a 2 as the first number that feels SOOO much smaller. That feels kinda "normal" overweight rather than "freaking huge." It is a little frustrating that I've lost almost 65 pounds and I'm still well over 300. Not that I'm letting it get me down. I'm plenty happy with how things have gone so far… but it is something that's a little demoralizing. So, it feels very good to see that number as the 5 week prediction… whether it's going to end up being accurate or not.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Props, Apologies, and Appreciation

So, I was at the gym yesterday (Thursday). I was on my last machine for weights. I had just adjusted the seat and the weight and had sat down to start my reps when a guy that was working out on a neighboring machine came over to me.

"I just wanted to say… props for the motivation." *Holds out his hand for a fist bump* "My buddy and I are here everyday and we see people come and go. But those who keep it up and work hard… well, good job."

I thanked him. He left and we both continued with our workouts. But I have to say… that pretty much made my day. He was one of those super fit and built guys. The kind that can probably lift with their pinky finger what I struggle to bench. It's nice to know that despite my piddly light weights and moderate speed (at my fastest) walks… that someone respects the efforts I've made… even though he probably does more than that on his rest days.

So my apologies to anyone who I may have mentally judged as a "meathead" and assumed they were all full of themselves. And my thanks to that guy at the gym. I really do appreciate what you said.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The One that Made Me Cry

Last night, I wore my new jeans and one of the new shirts to work. One of my co-workers commented that she could definitely tell a difference with me wearing those new clothes.

I got home and took a pic using the mirror. Then I compared it to my "before" photo taken almost exactly 4 months ago today.

And I cried.

It was the first time I've ever been able to truly see a change. A change that I really could see without chalking it up to "ahh, it may just be my own wishful thinking."

So, I put them together. To share here.


I hear on MFP that people have seen pics of themselves when they were at their heaviest weight and it made them cry. It was their wake up call. I never had that. I've always kinda hated the camera… but I never cried because of how I looked in a photo. Until I saw these two side by side. But they were happy tears.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Clothing Issues

FTR (For the record): Last weigh in came in at a 58 pound loss (6 pounds in one week). Doesn't quite make sense… so I'm preparing myself for a "stall" for a couple of weeks.

However… did I mention altering clothes is fast becoming more trouble than it's worth? I think we finally got all of them figured out, so my next trip in to the cleaners should be to pick them up… but sheesh! It's taken forever. It's painfully obvious that she really won't be able to take them in anymore once I lose more. And at best these will probably only give me another 20 pounds. No way they will last for another 50 pounds.

So, today I made a trip to Ross to check out their pants. Just to see if I could make them work. I found one pair of jeans that I thought might be big enough that I decided to try it on and a pair of khakis that I really wasn't sure would work, but I liked them, so it was worth a shot.

Drumroll please… THEY FIT! The jeans fit! Actual normal jeans with a set waist band. That I found at an actual brick and mortar store. And they buttoned up. And I could breathe. And when I took them off, I found I could actually pull them off without unbuttoning them. It was a sweet moment. Unfortunately, they weren't a style that I liked. BUT THEY FIT! The khakis fit too. They were a touch tighter than I normally would have liked, but knowing that the weight is only gonna go down… I decided to get them. They are a little tight, but I can still wear them now. I can sit down and still breathe. And they will only get looser. Having them a little tight means they will last longer. And I've been wanting some nice khaki pants for awhile. I also found a couple of shirts and a skirt that I loved.

However… since finding jeans was a no-go, I then stopped by at Lane Bryant. The largest size they had was actually a size smaller than the one I tried on at Ross. But because those fit so well, I decided it was worth a try… AND THEY FIT TOO! And they had a style that I liked, so I bought a couple of pair. They are, what is referred to as, "skinny jeans" but they don't fit they are painted on, like some skinny jeans I've seen. But because they are of the "skinny jean" style… I think they will last me a little longer too. The coolest part of these jeans is that by sheer number… they are the same size I wore in high school. That may be a vanity sizing thing I'm running into, because I'm not sure I'm quite there yet.  Although, to be honest, I really don't know. I know what weight I claimed on my first drivers license, but I never bothered to actually weigh myself so who knows how accurate that wasn't.

But either way… I was so excited about that, I called my sister from the car. I couldn't help it. I can't remember the last time I was able to fit into normal jeans that could be found at an actual store. She asked me what was up. I told her I had to share my exciting news. She asked "how much have you lost now?" (I sent her a pic a week ago of me holding the two shot bags from the previous post.) I told her about the jeans… and that my next goal was to be able share jeans with her (that will be 4 sizes smaller than the ones I just bought). Once I get to that point, the next stop will be to be able share jeans with my oldest sister. And I have no idea what size she wears. But she's only 20 pounds higher than my goal weight…. so that will be HUGE when I get to that point.

Anyway… once at home, I realized as I start bringing more clothes in… I really need to make myself get rid of some. Either by throwing them away or donating them. That was harder than I thought it would be. I still like these clothes! And they are still in good shape. They are just 2 sizes too big now. And some of them literally look like a tent on me. I'm a little nervous to get rid of them until I have stuff to replace them. I think I pulled out one dress, two shirts, and one pair of jeans. The jeans are giving me anxiety. I haven't yet been able to actually put them in the donate bag. The other ones are old enough that I'm okay with getting rid of those.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Progress

WE MADE IT!

Weigh in tonight came in at a total loss of 52 pounds. That's 1/4 of the way to my goal.

Yesterday, I was talking about it with my sister. And 50 pounds in my mind equals 2 bags of shot. Yes, I know that says something about the family I grew up in! It doesn't equal a bag of flour or sugar. It equals 2 bags of shot. I remember hauling them as a kid. They were heavy buggers (you know, when you're only 10!). So, I wanted to feel what 50 pounds felt like. My sister had a few bags of shot in her reloading area (she inherited all that kind of stuff when my dad died), so we went downstairs and I asked her to load up a couple of bags on my shoulders. I was a little nervous… because I remember how heavy they were as a kid trying to haul them. She loaded me up… then I wanted a picture to commemorate the moment. But I had left my phone upstairs, so then I climbed the stairs with those things on my shoulders. I think that alone says a lot about how far I've come in sheer fitness if nothing else, because I don't think I could have done that 50 pounds ago. Well, I probably could have done it, but it would have kicked my trash! And I probably wouldn't have done it.

But anyway. So, we took a picture of me carrying those 50 extra pounds again on my shoulders. Here you go.

For the record…. I have about three shirts that I have kept throughout the years even though they have progressively gotten too small to wear comfortably… much less look decent. I kept them mostly because I loved them and they were still in good shape and I hated the idea of throwing them out. They are what I have jokingly referred to as my "skinny clothes"(although I'm far from skinny!). The shirt I am wearing in these pictures is one of those. It is over 10 years old. I would bet that it dates back to 2002. And it fits me! And it hangs off my boobs like it's supposed to, instead of resting on my stomach.

Anyway. I don't think I mentioned… A couple of weeks ago, I headed out to Ross to see if they had any clothes that would fit me. Mostly out of curiosity. I was able to find 2 shirts and a dress that fit and I liked. I am hesitant to spend a lot of money on clothes, because I know I'll only shrink out of them. But, at the same time, I can't be wearing my old clothes until I get to my goal weight… I'm going have to get new eventually. So, while at Ross, I had in my mind a few guidelines. One, I was looking for shirts… good basic staples that I could wear with anything…. jeans, khakis, black dress pants, or a skirt. And that were of the style that they would see me through the next 40 pounds or so. The dress I bought was a different style (different fabric, pattern, and style) than what I usually wear, so I wasn't sure how it would go over. I liked it because it was different. And because it fit my criteria. It would see me through several more pounds (lost!). But I wasn't sure how it would be received. I wore it to church last week. Apparently I made a good choice. I got a lot of compliments on the dress. And I got my first comment from someone outside my family (and a few select friends who knew that I was trying) that they could tell I had lost weight. It took 49 pounds to get there… but that felt great.

I may have mentioned… I can't remember… that I dropped off a few clothes at the dry cleaners about a week ago to get some alterations done. To see if they could take them in, so they fit better. She wanted me to come back yesterday once she was done basting them, to try them on again and see how they worked. The jeans looked great. But the other 3 items were still too big. The black pants especially. She had to take an additional 2-3 inches off the black pants. Another inch on the skirt, and another 2-3 inches on the dress. So, I still don't have them… but I should be able to pick them up next Thursday. But I can tell that that's gonna be it for them. I don't think she'll be able to take them in again. So, I may take my other jeans in to get them taken in… but I think I better start checking out Wal-Mart or Target and see if I can fit into their pants yet. I'm not optimistic. I think it's still a little early. And I have a tricky figure to fit. But it's a nice problem to have!

Friday, August 8, 2014

What I Like Best

Someone asked the question on one of the forums on My Fitness Pal… "what do you like about losing weight?" The following was my response. (I copied and pasted it)

Well, I still have a ways to go… but…

-My clothes fitting looser and being able to buy smaller sizes. 
-Feeling lighter on my feet. I feel like I *walk* down the hall instead of clomp.
-Confidence in the future. Even if I can't do it yet… I now know it's possible. It's in my future. (Ex: I want to be able to run a 5k with my  family next July 4th… I can't do it yet… but I know it'll be possible for me by then!)
-Not being ashamed. (I used to hate it when my co-workers would talk about losing weight. I would remain totally silent in conversations because I was I ashamed that I was the biggest of them all, but not the one doing something about it. I like that I feel like I can join in their conversations and that even though I'm still the biggest of them all… I don't have to be ashamed of it now… because I'm losing)
-Not worrying about potential health problems. (I'm still young and I have good genetics, so I haven't had any health problems due to my weight… but there was always the possibility that someday it would catch up to me)
-Having more money. (I may be buying more fresh food, which is supposedly more expensive… but I'm eating significantly less, so I'm still saving money.
-I don't feel guilty about camping out on the couch for an evening with my favorite show or scrapbooking my night away because I'm still getting my exercise and I'm still losing weight… so I don't feel shame in the fact that several of my interests are sedentary ones. 
-I love hearing my sister say that I inspire her and that she wishes I could siphon some of my determination into her. (I've always admired HER determination!)
-more energy. I used to be tired ALL THE DAMN TIME! Now, I still work a graveyard shift… but I feel like I have the energy to do things. 
-I like not huffing to catch my breath for 5 minutes after coming up the stairs. 
-I like seeing myself in pictures and not cringing. (and I still have a long way to go… so it can only get better!)

I could go on forever.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Soooo Close!

Well, after a couple of weeks on the new program… I'm much less sore than I was the first week. However, the workouts themselves still kill me! Just last night was a legs night on the weights. Holy stink! My legs felt like Jell-O afterwards. And trying to go into cardio afterwards felt like torture. Just walking was a chore. Suffice it to say… I just did the bare minimum of cardio recommended by my trainer that night. I was DONE! It was not my finest workout. I'm thinking next week, I'll do the legs first, then do the back. That way I'll have a few minutes of recovery before I hop on the treadmill.

I'm trying to up my water intake. I've been doing really good at getting my 8 cups up to this point. But according to almost everything I've seen, 8 is the bare minimum. Apparently I should be getting much more based on my weight and my workouts. That's gonna be rough. I like water. But I don't get thirsty that often I feel like I'm just having to chug it in order to get it down. And then you get the water-logged feeling. I've heard people have an easier time when they use a straw. So I'm thinking one of those plastic cups with a straw attached might be of benefit to me. I also downloaded an app that will send me notifications every two hours (or whenever I want it to) reminding me to drink more water. We'll see how this works for me. So far tonight… the drinking water certainly has staved off the hunger. It's almost 3:30 and I haven't eaten anything yet. Haven't even felt hungry really. And usually 2-2:30 is about my limit before I feel like I need to eat.

Anyway. Another weigh in tonight. Down 49 pounds! SOOO close! It's so close it's almost disappointing. 50 pounds is a milestone I've had in mind for a while now. For one… I had in the back of my mind since early on, "I wonder if I can lose 50 pounds before Micah gets home." (Micah is a niece who has been on a mission. She comes home in September.) I quickly nixed that realizing it was a very lofty goal and I didn't want to set myself up for disappointment if I didn't make it. But it's still been there in the back of my mind. But on the other hand… 50 pounds is 1/4 of the way to my goal. It's a major milestone. Don't get me wrong… I'll still hit that mark before Micah comes home…. and I'll still reach that milestone. It's still an impressive loss and something to be proud of… and I am. But to come that close, but not hit it… is a little disappointing! Not that I'm really disappointed by any means. 49 pounds is a lot of weight and it's come off faster than I ever thought it would. And I still feel good and like I can keep going. But I am waiting for that 50 pound milestone.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Re-evalutations, Redesigns, and Personal Pride

Okay… first things first…  most recent weigh in found me at 338.5 pounds. That is 42.5 pounds down total. It's surreal and exhilarating at the same time. Eight more pounds will put me at 50 pounds, which is 1/4 of the way there. That's a thrilling milestone that almost doesn't seem real. I almost don't dare believe it.

I'm starting to re-evaluate what I've been eating. Obviously what I've been doing is working… but I notice I'm really not getting a lot of fruit or veggies. I mean, I'm getting some. I have been eating bananas every morning with breakfast and I have a decent sized salad almost every evening. But that's really it. When I look at the food pyramid for how many servings of fruits and veg I'm supposed to have… I'm horribly deficient. So, I'm trying to add more stuff in. Also, I'm noticing that I'm starting to get hungry earlier in my shift, so I'm snacking more. I'm also really becoming aware that eating the food they leave for us at work makes it very difficult to account for calories… not to mention… they aren't always serving the most nutritious stuff, so it sometimes leaves you feeling hungry or my estimated calorie count is higher that I really want for one meal. I'm hoping that's where I can incorporate some more of my fruits and veggies. So, we're shifting the eating plan again. We'll see where that goes.

Things have not been working out to get together with that trainer friend of mine… so I finally just set up a time with the trainer at the gym for a re-design. This one was MUCH better. For one it was one on one. For another… I knew enough to ask some questions this time… so I felt like I got a much better idea of what I was supposed to do. I also felt like I got a better workout… HOLY STINK! I am sore tonight! Like all over sore. But I'm satisfied with that because I know that it's usually the sign of a good workout.

However, I had a personal pride moment today too with that. The trainer introduced me to a "machine" located in the 12-minute abs room. I see it every time I do my abdominal machine. And I look at it and think what a killer workout that one machine would be. I figure it was one of those that only those with really killer abs could really do. And sure enough… the only people I've ever seen use it are those that are already very fit. And the trainer wanted me to do it. HA! Yeah, right. I think he saw the look of fear  and doubt in my eyes when he showed it to me. He got me up there and I COULD NOT MOVE! I tried. I really tried, but it was not moving. I said something along the lines of "yeah, that ain't happening." He told me I could do it… it was my brain that was the problem. I took a deep breath and tried again. Not happening. And again. I finally got it to move about 2 inches. I tried again and again. NOTHING DOING. Finally, he told me to get off and he readjusted the height on something and suggested I move my arms forward a little. I was glad that he told me to move my arms… because that's what I kept wanting to do… but he had told me to keep them back, so I was just trusting his judgement.   I mean, what do I know about form? But those minor adjustments made a huge difference for me. I don't know if it was merely a mental thing… of if those adjustments really made that big of a difference to allow me to do it. But I did it. Adjustments or not… I was finally able to do the exercise I had watched for almost 3 months now and thought I would never be able to do it. That was source of personal pride for me. The trainer even gave me a high five and a good job afterwards.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Surviving the Holiday… with Success

After seeing how things went with the wedding and how lousy I felt… I was kinda dreading the 4th of July. However, I wasn't able to get the 4th off of work, so I only had one day (24 hours) that I could be with my family. And I was able to keep in check during that time. Thursday (the 3rd) I had off so I was able to get in a good workout before leaving to see my family. That night for dinner they all wanted to go to Wingers. Hello, calories! I had plenty remaining in my count for the day (about 1000)… but I'm looking online at nutritional information for various dishes there… SHOOT! I finally settled for a salad… which was far from being low-cal… but it was within my calorie limit and it tasted good. The day of the 4th, I ate breakfast with the family (waffles… I just had to watch my portions), but actually didn't eat anything else until I left. Lunch kinda got forgotten due to an accident which included a niece being taken to the ER. When I left, I just had to grab a pre-made sandwich from the gas station. It wasn't great… but it was within a decent calorie range and it kept me satisfied until I got home. And I chose to walk from my sisters house to where we were set up to watch the parade. About a mile. Another sister walked with me… it was nice to have the company and it felt good to be able to at least get some exercise while I was down there. So, the 4th didn't derail me like the wedding did. I was able to get a good workout in on Saturday… so it wasn't bad at all.

And finally… after about a 2 week stall… the scale finally moved again today! Another 5 pounds down. To make a weight of 346 and a total of 35 pounds down. I got to move the bottom slider thing on the scale! That made me ridiculously happy.

And tonight at work… one co-worker, with whom I have never discussed my efforts to lose weight or work out… mentioned "Dang, you've lost some weight!" I know it's pathetic… but that phrase "You've lost weight" is one I've been waiting to hear. My family and a couple of friends have all said stuff like "you look good" or "I can tell your clothes are fitting looser" or "your face looks thinner" other such stuff… but I had yet to hear "you've lost weight" And that was good to hear.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Two Days "Off"… And Feeling It!

I just spent the past two days back in my hometown with my family for a wedding. While the wedding was beautiful and it was so nice to be with my sisters again, and love on my nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews… I am in amazement that my oldest sister has managed to successfully lose as much weight as she has (and keep it off) while still being apart of all our family gatherings!

It was easy enough to keep portion sizes down while I was there. The hard part was being satisfied with those portion sizes. It seems we are the kings of "empty calories" in our family. Calories that don't fill you up or stick with you very long. Something I never realized until now.

Anyway… I tried to watch my portion sizes and make as good of choices as I could while I was with my family… while still allowing myself to enjoy the activity and be part of things. To the best of my estimation abilities… I definitely went over my MFP suggested calorie goal both days… but was still below maintenance calories. So, it shouldn't do too much damage. Exercise wise… the best I was able to get in was a 15 minute walk with my sisters on Saturday morning. But my general activity level both days was higher than it normally is.

However, back at home, my body is feeling the effects.  I'm sure a good portion of that is sheer tiredness. Because I can tell you… you don't get together with my family hoping to catch on your sleep! But, I feel like crap. My stomach feels lousy from the kind of food I've been eating and walking kind of felt like trying to force a horse to walk by pushing on his backside. Slow. Step by agonizing step. Two days "off" from my routine and I was feeling it. The good part of that is that I realized how much better I felt when I was eating better and exercising regularly. I think that was good for my motivation to make this a lifestyle change.

However… I appreciated the comments from my family. They didn't say much about how I look like I've lost weight… but I got a lot of comments of "you look good." And my sister commented that she could tell my clothes were fitting looser. My sweet niece would occasionally get in comments about how I've become a health nut. I would usually counter her by pointing out that I had eaten everything she had… I had frozen yogurt with everybody… I went out to Wendy's with everybody. She always would point out that I had eaten smaller portions than everybody though. A note on Wendy's… it was the day of the wedding, about 9:00 pm and nobody had eaten anything of any substance since the luncheon at 1:00. Wendy's was the solution. I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich. No fries or anything. And just drank water. And I felt lousy! My body did NOT like it. I take that as a good thing. And to her credit…. my niece… while still making her little "health nut" digs… was always very supportive of my attempts to eat better and thought it was great that my body felt like crap after eating crap.

Anyway… I'm back home and looking forward to getting back on track. My two days "off" was good for me to see that I actually prefer eating right and working out. I feel better when I do.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Dare I Believe?

I am really not sure I can believe the scale tonight. I would LOVE to believe it….. but this week was showing a Biggest Loser type loss. I played with the scales for a few minutes… thinking, it was the way I was standing or something. But no matter what I did, it still was showing a huge loss. I think I may try again in the morning, just to see. Once I accepted that daily fluctuations were normal and stopped stepping on the scale every day… and just decided to trust the result… it's been a lot better on my sanity. And essentially they have been losses that make sense. But like I said… tonight didn't make sense. It would make sense if I was on the Biggest Loser… but I'm not. So, I don't really dare believe it.

The weight the scale showed tonight was 351. That's like 7.5 pounds in one week. Which makes for a total of 30 pounds. I told my sister I didn't dare believe the scale tonight… she asked what it was… I said it showed a total of 30 pounds lost… She told me she believes it. And she said it shows. And I might be able to believe the 30 pounds thing, if it wasn't such a huge loss in just one week. So, contrary to advice and my own decision… I'm going to weigh myself again in the morning. If it's within 1-2 pounds either way… then I'll believe it.

UPDATE (6/23): Okay… I did indeed weigh myself the next morning after my workout (all my weigh ins are after a workout)… and sure enough… 351. I guess I have to trust it! But I admit, it now makes me nervous about what to expect at the next weigh in! What is my body going to do to compensate for that?

However… it was kinda fun tonight. It is the Relay for Life this weekend. My sister called me just as I was leaving the gym… in fact, I was still in the parking lot, and asked if I wanted to come down and walk a couple of laps. I agreed. She had invited me earlier in the week and I just didn't think I'd be able to have time once I got out of the gym. But I really did want to, so I figured I'd walk a couple and then double time it once I got home, so I could still get to work on time. So, I met my sister at the park where they were holding the Relay. We got onto the track and started walking. I started walking at a pace that felt comfortable to me. I wasn't trying to be in a hurry… although I didn't want to waste time either, simply because I still had to shower, eat and get ready for work. But anyway… I started to walk a pace that was comfortable to me. I soon realized I was passing people like crazy on the track. And my sister and her friend were falling behind. They tried their hardest to keep up with me though. We walked once around and stopped for few minutes to chat. We decided to walk another round, and again they fell behind. They kept falling further behind. A couple of times, I noticed them cutting across curves so they could catch up to me. That's never happened before… in my life. Tonight I moved up the speed to 3.2 mph on the treadmill. That's the highest I've gone yet. Love seeing progress.