Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Update and My Own Little Pep Talk

One week in….

Discovered a scale in the ladies room at the gym that will go up to 400 pounds… which means it measures me. The weight I weighed in at was 381. That's a little hard on my ego. I knew I was up there, but to actually come face to face with it is a different story. But at least I know the true starting point. And now, I have access to a scale that I can use to track myself. This discovery was just made on Saturday. So I'm gonna wait for a few days to do my first weigh in. I'm not expecting anything huge. I'll just be happy if it's less. 

I'm still easing into the diet portion of this. According to my oh-so-official internet research… eating 2000 calories a day will approximately put me at 1000 calories LESS than what I need to just maintain my current weight. One thousand calories less a day puts me at 7000 for a week. Which is what I would need for a 2 pound weight loss. That does not take into consideration any of my workouts. But I admit, I haven't been strictly counting my calories either. I pay attention to labels and serving sizes, so I can keep a loose tally. And my snacks consist of fresh fruits and veggies. The other morning I went out to breakfast with some co-workers. It might not have been my best dietary choice. But I did better than I might have otherwise. And I did work out and the rest of my day was in line. I figure if this is something I want to be able to keep up for the long haul I have to be able to do that on occasion. 

We are not talking Biggest Loser kind of numbers here. But that's okay. This isn't a contest. Like I said, if I'm going to be able to lose this weight and then keep it off… this has gotta be a lifestyle change. And it's gotta be something I can stand to do for the long haul. 

I spent 5 years on a spiritual overhaul. FIVE YEARS! There was plenty of times when I didn't go forward. In fact, there were plenty of times I actually went backwards. There were plenty of times I wondered why I was even bothering to try when I was still going backwards. There were plenty of times when I said "I give up." But there was at least one more time than "plenty" when I started again. And I realized that although, I may have had plenty of "back-sliding" I was still in a better position than if I hadn't tried at all. It took me about five years before I got to a place where I felt like I was in a good place and I felt like I had somewhat sure footing. Then I went into "maintenance mode." Sure I still have my bad days. Even bad months. I still have my back-slides. But I am sooo much better than I was when I first started that overhaul. And when I do back-slide it's so much easier to get back on track than  it used to be. 

FIVE YEARS! It was a hard five years. I faced demons like you wouldn't believe. Demons I didn't even know I had! But I kept at it. I survived. If I can do that… I can certainly keep to this. I'm not saying it's easy. But I faced far scarier demons than my weight before. And no matter happens. I'll be better off than if I had never tried at all. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The First (and second) Workout

Okay… So, I've now visited Planet Fitness twice to workout.

I have an appointment set up for a week from today with their "fitness trainer" (I think that's what they call him) where we will be able to put together a routine together based on my own needs and goals. Until that time… I'm spending my time on the treadmill. I know weight training is an important part of a workout…but I'm a little scared of them… at least until I'm properly trained in what to do and the proper form. When it comes to cardio, I think I pretty much know how to use the machines and what intensity to go for the cardiovascular benefits. But I don't know weights at all. And I'm afraid of hurting myself either through trying too hard right off the bat, or through poor form. So, until next week, I'll hit the treadmill. As I get in better shape and start losing a bit of weight and become stronger, then I'll start mixing it up with the elipticals and other machines, but for right now, treadmills are the easiest on my knees. Although, I will occasionally get on the bikes. Usually I like the bikes for cool down periods.

Anyway…. two workouts in. Day One: In the past, I find it works best for me to begin my day with a workout. I wake up, get dressed, and go workout. Then I can come home, shower, etc., and proceed with my day. So that's what I did. Except, I work a graveyard shift, so my wake up time is about 7:15 P.M. So, I got up and left. I wanted to be at the gym by 7:30. It was a bit crowded. Turns out 7:30-ish is one of their peak times. But there were still machines available… and I really don't care about crowds. I don't care if 40 million people are watching me… I don't care what they think anyway). I tired out quickly and kind of had to force myself to keep going. I kept the speed low enough that I could breathe and carry on a conversation, but my body was tired. And I just had to force myself to keep going. Kept repeating all the mantras I'd heard on The Biggest Loser and repeating to myself all the reasons I wanted to do this. Tried to imagine my goal sitting in front of me and every step was taking me closer to it. It's very cliche, but because it's still early on, it worked. We'll see how that's working for me three months from now and beyond. I spent about 45 minutes on the treadmill and got on a bike for about 5 minutes to cool down. I was gonna spend longer than that, but my body was giving out on me. I was done!

Day Two: I was a bit smarter today. I got a bit better sleep. And I was smart enough to eat a banana before I went. I felt a bit sorer (is that a word?) than I had yesterday, but the energy level was better. I didn't have to resort to my positive thinking mantras to keep myself going. And I stretched a little afterwards which helped with the soreness. I'm not good at warming up. I need to be better at that. Maybe warming up and stretching beforehand will help with the soreness. But anyway. Skipped the bike today and just did the treadmill. A little over 45 minutes. Having better energy tonight was encouraging.

When it comes to diet… I'm still working out some bugs. I'm doing better at incorporating more fruits and veggies into my diet. I taking little containers of veggies (carrots, celery, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, etc.) with me to work. I found a recipe for a veggie dip that I feel pretty good about as far as health goes, and it actually tastes good (honestly, that surprised me). I've also been taking apple slices and strawberries as well. I will take some string cheese and either greek yogurt or peanut butter for some protein. And I snack on those instead of my usual supply of junk food. I'm still trying to find good things to eat for meals though. Something that actually has substance and feels like real food to my stomach… without being too high in fat or calories. I finally just a had a sandwich tonight. Turkey and swiss. I need to change up my white bread for a whole wheat option. And I'm really okay with that. I like whole wheat bread. What I also need to do is figure out a lower fat option for mayonnaise! It's not the flavor I need… it's the moisture! I hate dry food.

So, there are obviously some things I need to iron out. But I feel like I'm on the right path. I sat down and played a card game tonight with my sisters before coming to work. They brought out ice cream and girl scout cookies. I had a small scoop of ice cream and three cookies. I'm not claiming that was the healthiest option I could have made, but I was proud of myself for being able to limit it to that, especially when there were two brand newly opened boxes sitting right there in arms reach. I'll take the small victories where I can get them. Especially when it comes to food… because I know that will be my hardest thing.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Journey Begins

I went to a marathon once to cheer on one of my friends who was running as the "legs" part of a wheelchair team. The acronym G.O.A.L. was all over. I eventually learned it stood for two different things. One it stood for the name of the association who organized the event. Greater Ogden Athletic League (or something like that). The other things it stood for was the motto of the event… Get Out And Live. It was the only time in my life I have ever liked the word GOAL. And I have chosen that mantra for the basis of my blog.

This is a weight loss blog. Yeah, I know, like there aren't enough of those already out there. But this one is for me. I'm a strange sort. I do not want to have a friend or a family member as a workout buddy or to lose weight with me. In fact… I would prefer that my family and friends have no idea what I'm doing until all of a sudden, they realize…"hey, have you lost weight?" I have a tendency to lose all motivation the second someone tries to "cheer me on." No matter what it is I'm doing. I may still do it… but all of a sudden I feel like I'm doing it for them. And I start to resent it. And then it's not long before I abandon it all together… out of a sheer perverse determination to maintain control of my own life.

I know it's not healthy. It's something I'm working on. To realize that just because someone else thinks it's a good idea… it can still be my idea. And if I thought it was a good plan… it probably still is… in spite of the fact that my family thinks so too!

But I'm not there yet. And so, this is my way of holding myself accountable and being accountable to others…without having to enlist the support of my family.

I tried to lose weight once about 9 years ago or so. Cleared out my house of all junk food. Started counting my calories. Joined a gym. It was going well. My face was starting to thin out a bit. My boobs were shrinking slightly (that pissed me off!). My jeans were not exactly falling off of me, but I was starting to be able to just pull them off without having to unbutton and unzip. I think I was aware of having lost about 15 pounds. I was really enjoying the gym. I was very lucky to have found an excellent one right off the bat. I was able to hit the gym at least 5 days a week for about an hour and a half each time. I had access to their trainers who had set up a workout routine for me. I was really getting into a routine. Things were going well. Then I changed jobs. Relocated. Relocated to a tiny little town that didn't had a gym of any kind. Hell, there wasn't even a school in that town so I could run their track. I totally lost my routine. And I'm such a creature of habit that routine is vital for me. And I fell back into my bad eating habits. And there went my motivation. Of course I gained all that 15 pounds back… and then some.

And here we are now… Nine years later ready to try this again. Moved out of that tiny little town that sucked the very life out of me. This is the very beginning. And I'm trying to pace myself. With all the weight I have to lose…. we are looking  at at least a 2 year process to get to my target weight. And then we have to keep it off! So, this has definitely got to be a lifestyle change for me. A quick fix fad diet is not going to do it. So, I'm trying to pace myself. Start with small steps. The first step is to get into a workout routine. I just joined Planet Fitness today and am looking forward to starting my first workout. If I can get back into a workout routine… that will help a lot. And honestly, that will be easiest part for me. Once I get into a routine… that will be something I'll end up actually looking forward to. The diet part will be the hard part. So, we are starting small by trying to introduce more fruits and vegetables into my diet. And not only that… finding a way I can enjoy them. Then we will go from there. When the time comes, I'm going back to counting calories. I don't set store by cutting out certain food groups from your diet. Not to mention… the deprivation of my favorite foods would surely be setting me up for failure. By counting calories it will be all about portion control.

I have absolutely no clue how much I actually weigh. Normal bathroom scales won't go that high. I figure I'm somewhere between 350 and 400. If I were to guess, I would say 370-ish? Sometime over the next week or so, I'll try to get a "before" picture. As soon as I can find a scale that will measure me, I'll find out what exactly my weight is. But for now… I'm not too worried. I've got a long way to go. And besides…. the number on the scale will not be the only number I'll be monitoring.