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.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A New Direction and a Few Non-Scale Victories

Well… I think I finally bit the bullet. Kind of. I have had good luck with doing what I'm doing and the workout the free trainer at the gym set up for me. But… I can't remember if I mentioned this or not… I felt a little rushed the last (and first) time I met with him. It wasn't one and one and he seemed determined to get a routine set for BOTH of us up in one hour. There were a few things I felt a little lost on. And when I look at my sheet… I sometimes wonder if he intended for me to do more… but since he didn't take the time to explain it and show it to me… I haven't been doing it. I don't know. So, while I have been getting results, I wasn't too overly impressed with my experience with the fitness trainer.

Well, I recently became aware that one of my friends from high school is a personal trainer. She wasn't one of my best friends… but we were good friends. Anyway, even though she lives over an hour away, I contacted her asking if she'd be willing to work with me. Of course I would pay her. She agreed and we have discussed what all would be included in that… especially since this would be a long distance thing… and usually she is used to meeting with her clients at least once a week, and sometimes as often as four times a week. She just left today for a camping trip with her family and will be gone for the rest of the week… but we are now just coordinating schedules for when we can get together for our first session. I'm a little unsure of this… I'm not sure how I feel about so much accountability. But I explained my issues with accountability to her and I think we can work through this. Especially at this point in the game. I've already been doing this for 8 weeks. I feel like this has started to become routine for me. Which is good… because I'm such creature of habit. And by this point in the game… my sisters all know what I'm doing. A majority of my co-workers know what I'm doing. And anybody who has discovered this blog knows what I'm doing. I haven't exactly advertised this blog to anybody, but I have included a link to it on some of my other blogs. So, if anybody has been paying attention… they'll know. With all these people aware… I'm thinking that if I was gonna wuss out on it because I felt like I was doing it for someone else… then it probably would have happened by now. (knock on wood!)

And finally… a few NSV's for the week. I am finally starting to notice that a few of my clothes are starting to be a little too big. The first thing I noticed was my work-out clothes… particularly the pants. Because they are elastic waisted, they weren't exactly falling off… but they had become loose enough on the hips that the fabric started to catch during my time on a particular weight machine. So, I ordered a few different pairs of work-out bottoms. They just arrived today. They are leggings style… so they're pretty much form fitting.  But they do fit comfortably. And I'm hoping that because they are leggings style… they will last for a few more sizes.

And just today I became aware of a couple of other items of clothing that I may have to buy new of. It's a bit frustrating. Because I pretty much just overhauled my wardrobe in 2013. And it wasn't cheap. So, I hate the idea of having to replace clothing that's still in really good shape and that I still like. Not because I hate shopping… I love it… but my bank account… it kinda makes me cringe. But it's a wonderful problem to have. And as I get smaller, clothes will get cheaper and more readily available.

And finally… today my sister gave me a hug and said "Wow. You've lost weight. I can feel it."This is the sister I live with. The one who sees me every day. The one who gives me a hug pretty much everyday. So, for her to start noticing things… says something.

Next weigh-in in a couple of days. And next weekend… my nephews wedding… which means seeing a lot of my family. The majority of whom haven't seen me since I started this.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Wonders Never Cease

Weigh in tonight. Another 3 pounds down! The scale at the gym is one of those "doctor style" scales where you slide the weights to try to get it to balance. I never thought I would get so much satisfaction from sliding a stupid weight further down.

Pretty much, I consider every day that I don't give up as a victory. But the first major intermediate goal is to get below 350. That's when I get to slide the BOTTOM weight as well as the top one! It will also put me safely below the point I was at last time I tried to lose weight. Or in other words… smaller than I've been in almost 10 years. I am now within 8.5 pounds of that golden moment.

I've been upping my speed on the treadmill a bit in the past couple of weeks. I'm glad to see that I can breathe at that level… it's a NSV (non-scale victory) that I enjoy noticing. However, my ankle is starting to hurt again at that higher speed. But it's not as bad as it was before, so I'm able to push through it and keep going at that speed. That's another NSV that I'm particularly proud of… that I am  pushing through the pain. I haven't let it stop me.

The other day My Fitness Pal (MFP) asked a question on FB about what "rules" we've set for ourselves for healthy eating/exercising. You know things like always taking the stairs, or parking farther away in a parking lot. Stuff like that. I commented with, not a rule per se, but something I keep reminding myself of that helps me keep going with it. A few days later, MFP posted on their blog a compilation of those "rules"… either things that got repeated several times or ones they felt were particularly good ideas. I was somewhat surprised to see that my comment was included as one of their rules on the blog. They even attributed it to me. Will wonders never cease? Who would have guessed that I would be quoted on a fitness blog?

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Tonight was a great night on the scale!

I am beyond thrilled to report that I have lost a total of 19.5 pounds. Which makes my current weight 361.5. That makes 5.5 pounds this week. Which is my biggest single week loss yet. I could have cried.

After a week of tracking my calories on MFP, I kept looking at all the days I wasn't even anywhere close to my 2050 daily calorie goal. I couldn't help but think I would have to see a great loss on the scale this week. But at the same time, I was dreading it. I know that muscle weighs more than fat, so sometimes those weeks that you're not seeing the numbers on the scale might be a week where you gained more muscle. I understand that in theory, but there is something rewarding about seeing the scale go down. And I think I would have been very discouraged if I hadn't seen it on the scale this week after tracking all those calories. So, I was really happy to see the scale was my friend tonight.

When I came home from the gym, my sister was working in the yard, so I walked over to talk to her for a minute. She mentioned that she could tell I had lost weight. This was the first time she had ever said that. I gather it was just at that moment as she watched me walk across the grass that she noticed it. Since she sees me everyday, she would be one of the last ones to notice, so it was nice to have that little reinforcement added to the success on the scale.

The next intermediate goal is to get down below 350. Success is really motivating!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Okay… it's official. My stomach must have shrunk and my body is now accustomed to less food. A few days ago, I finally joined My Fitness Pal for help in counting/tracking calories. Based on my current weight and my own math based on internet searches, my estimation of how many calories I should be eating to lose 2 pounds a week is right on with what My Fitness Pal suggests. They suggest 2050 calories a day. So, I've been tracking calories. On Sunday, I was below 1200 calories and it warned me I was not eating enough calories and I might be putting my body into starvation mode. Monday, I realized I was on the same track. So, I ate out of sheer principle. I was soooo full! My daily intake was still about 1325. But I was full! It took about 6-7 hours before I felt hungry enough to eat something again. Granted I kept drinking water… but still. I had kinda chalked it up to the weekend… my typical schedule for meals is all thrown off on my weekends. But, today I was eating dinner and calculating calories in my head and I realized that I was still gonna be low on calories (and I don't mean lower than 2050, but like below 1200), so I added a small bowl of cottage cheese and fruit to my meal. My total  intake for the day was 1416 (again about 600 calories lower than my 2 pound a week limit). And again… I'm FULL! Like almost uncomfortably full. I'm really glad to see my body becoming accustomed to less food (to the point that it feels comfortable to eat less… it doesn't feel restrictive anymore). But I must say I'm a little concerned as well. It seems as if there is something wrong with the fact that I have to force myself to eat more than I'm comfortable eating just so I don't put my body into starvation mode. 

I keep wondering if I'm not logging accurately and unknowingly eating more than I realize. But if I am, it is completely escaping my attention. I try to be very conscious of what I'm putting into my mouth and pay close attention to portion sizes. So, I'm not sure what's going on with that. 

Anyway… So in addition to realizing that my stomach is shrinking… I realized something else. This one is even more interesting. I was talking to my sister this morning and she mentioned she was trying to get back on track with diet and losing weight. Which that wasn't interesting in and of itself… every so often she will do that. What was interesting is that she mentioned that I was her motivation. With 14 pounds down… its not enough to really notice a difference in how I look. Especially for someone like my sister who sees me everyday. But she has watched me for 5 weeks stick to a healthy diet and workout faithfully. And I think she figures that if I can do it… she can do it. 

Which, honestly, I'm not sure my family really believes I'll stick with it. My sisters love me. I am the youngest… so I'm their baby sister. They love me. They have watched me grow up. They know what I'm capable of. But they know me and my weaknesses as well. And I would bet good money that none of them really think that I will do this. They believe that I CAN… I doubt that they believe that I WILL. And I would bet really good money that this particular sister is beyond stunned that I've kept it going this long. So, I think she figures that "if Shanon (of all people!) can do this… I can!" Which is very interesting to me. Who would have thought that I would end up being a motivation to my family? I guess I really can do hard things!