June 5, 2014

The Fine Line - Finding balance in weight loss

It's been a while - about seven months, actually - since I sat down to write about my weight loss journey. When I was last here in December, I was at 216. In January I was down to 204 - the lowest weight I've been since junior high school. From there, the scale has climbed back up to 229.8 (I refuse to round up). Now, I could whine about gaining back nearly 26 pounds in five months. In fact, I have felt sorry for myself many times in the past few months. However, this needed to happen, and I'll tell you why. 

When I reached 204 pounds, I was not in a good place. This journey, which began with impressive motivation and determination (really, I'm still not sure where it came from) somehow, around five months in, turned into something unhealthy. I don't know what shifted it from good to bad, but it happened. I was exercising daily, eating clean and healthy (and taking in around 1400-1600 calories per day). I never slipped up, never cheated, had no desire to. I was so proud of myself, and somewhere in there I became obsessed with food and the scale. I kept precise records of what I ate, and got so focused on it that I was eating less and less - some days under 800 calories. If I ate over 800 calories (and I'm not sure why the number was 800 - no clue), the next day I would punish myself. Not intentionally, mind you.  None of this was intentional. I would end up eating even less the next day, subconsciously making up for the extra calories from the day before.  Also, I had begun to weigh myself every single morning, and again, if the scale moved up instead of down, ended up eating less. 

So, at 204 pounds, I was in a dangerous, borderline disorder place in which I could potentially cause myself great harm. My husband had begun to notice my behavior and shared his concerns with me. He suggested that I take a break from everything and just give myself time to relax. I did not want to stop my progress, but realized that I was headed in the wrong direction, so I reluctantly took his advice. At first it was fine, and I allowed myself to indulge in some of the foods I had avoided for six months. But then, as expected, I got too relaxed with eating. I started overeating again, and ate more junk than healthy food.  Surprisingly, I kept up with exercising, because I greatly enjoy it. I also got a job at a local gym, which introduced me to many different types of exercises and machines. So, although I've slowly been putting weight back on, I have maintained my fitness level and see the dangers of letting the weight loss control me. 

I am starting fresh with a new outlook, a new plan and some new support. My cousin, who is currently living at my house and working on her personal trainer license, has agreed to take me on as one of her first clients and will plan out a fitness and nutrition program for me. She will also keep an eye out for any of the behaviors that might mean my previous issues are returning. We are implementing Chris Powell's method of carb cycling, as explained in his book Choose More, Lose More for Life

I have realized that even when attempting to lose weight in healthy ways, it is easy to slip into harmful habits. I feel confident that the accountability of my cousin and my determination to journal about the process on a regular basis will help me stay on the right track mentally and emotionally. I'm excited and hopeful that this time, the journey will remain an uplifting, encouraging process! 

December 5, 2013

Fitness Humor

Yesterday I was bored (which seems to happen more frequently now that I don't have 2-3 books to read every week) so I googled fitness memes, and came across some hilarious images.  I decided to share a few with you guys.  Hopefully you'll get a good laugh (or several) from them.

Just posted this on my Instagram with a short bit of info about how I had to reach the point where I realized it didn't matter what I was wearing, I looked fat because I was fat. Still am, but not as fat as I was! And I'm a heck of a lot healthier! 

LOL My husband LOVES this.  He's all about that kind of cardio (as I'm sure most men are).

Not happening. 

Hubs and I had this exact conversation once.  
We laughed through most of it, but there was some truth to it! 

I am addicted to yoga pants.  
I still haven't gotten small enough to wear them in public, but I'll be there!

P90X evokes this feeling in me sometimes.  
Like last night, doing Kenpo X, after 15 minutes I was whining. Some days are easier than others...

I think most of us would be among the first to die anyway, but still.  


Spongebob and P90X.  So much awesomeness.

Yeah, this guy.  When we first started P90X, we would do a workout and I'd see the time counting down and think "YES! We're almost done!" and then Tony would be like, WAIT - Ab Ripper! Ugh. 
(Now I love it. Kinda.)

A LOT of motivation required. 

Fitness is never finished.  Ever. Embrace the lifestyle, people. 

December 4, 2013

Blogging takes a break, but the journey never stops

Hey guys.  Thanks to those of you who have stuck around. My first semester of graduate school is complete, and I must say that while I adjusted to it faster than I figured I would, it still consumed a great deal of my time. However, I'm on a break until mid-January, so hopefully I can get back in the swing of things and then keep up with it come Spring semester. 

Just as an update, I'll share where I am in my fitness journey.  I weighed in this morning at 216, which puts me at 59 pounds lost.  I am SO excited about hitting 60, but after passing my first goal of 50 the next is to be 75 pounds down, so I have 15 to go before I reach my second goal and then I am on the edge of ONEDERLAND! Yes, ladies and gents, I will be - for the first time in over 12 years - under 200 pounds.  

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! I can hardly imagine how excited I will be.  I know fitness is more than a number, but for me, personally, being in the 100s is something I have longed for, dreamed about, but never really believed I could do. Of course, once I hit that goal I still have 55 pounds left until I reach my weight goal.  I'm not worried, though, because I look back at how far I've come, what I've accomplished in the past five months, and how much stronger I am.  I look forward to the challenge, because I know I've got this.  

Oh yeah, I finally got around to joining Instagram.  Find me and I'll follow you back.  We can share fitness motivation, encouragement, recipes and successes! bea_beautiful_12 

Happy Hump Day! 

August 15, 2013

Ab Ripper X (or why I hate Tony Horton)

So, as Hubs and I have increased our stamina and fitness, we decided to up the intensity of our workouts. Hubs did P90X a few years ago and was some kinda buff.  Then he got the flu, took a week off and that was all she wrote.  He held on to the DVDs though, so when discussing our exercises he suggested we start using the Ab Ripper X workout every other day to help prepare ourselves for when we jump into the full P90X workout schedule.  Of course I thought it was a brilliant idea.  We could continue to improve our fitness and throw in some intense ab workouts to better prepare for the next step.  I have been feeling super enthusiastic about my workouts, and I know I have gained stamina, strength and endurance.  Surely I was ready for a 15-minute ab workout.  Should be no problem, right? 

Wrong.  So, so wrong. 

The P90X guy, Tony Horton, is super fit.  Like Chuck Norris before his Walker, Texas Ranger days.  Like Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator.  Like Sly Stallone in Rocky.  You know, FIT. He's also really enthusiastic.  He talks a lot.  Like, a whole lot.  Although his words are that of encouragement, you can't help but get pissed when you're sweating like a pig, out of breath trying to do the 117th variation of a sit up and this guy is Chatty Kathy-ing it up about spandex or feeling good or something (I'm not entirely sure, I wasn't listening. I was trying not to think about the remaining seven minutes in the workout). 

I won't lie, I feel like a beast after completing the workout.  But it HURTS. LIKE. HELL.  My abs were so sore the next day that I could have cried. I did it again on the second assigned night and it was just as torturous as the first time.  My abs weren't quite as angry at me the day after that, though, so I'm hopeful that after I fight through it tonight my abs will have adjusted and be able to forgive me.  

All in the name of being fit and sexy. 

August 14, 2013

Little victories

Yesterday I had some girl time planned with some lady friends, and as I haven't put on a pair of jeans since Spring, I reached automatically for the size 26 (yes, internet, I just admitted my pant size) jeans, the 'ol reliable off-brand-because-popular-clothing-companies-refuse-to-use-that-many-yards-of-fabric-for-one-pair-of-jeans-because-if-they-did-it-would-cost-$200/pair.  When I put them on, I was delighted to find that they were way too big.
I WISH my stomach was this small (it will be). You get the picture. 

I had a couple of other size 26 jeans and one pair of size 24, but in my peripheral I saw hanging in my closet a pair of Mossimo 22s I bought back in 2005.  Yes, I've been hanging on to them for eight years.  When they no longer fit, I told myself that someday I'd be able to wear them again, after one of the MANY diets I attempted.  Each time I went through my clothes to toss out stuff, I never threw them out.  Despite the fact that when I tried to put them on I looked like this:
This tummy picture is much more accurate.

I still held on to the hope that someday, somehow, I'd start losing weight and I'd need them in the in-between sizes. 

Yes, 22 is still a quite large size, but since I haven't been able to FIT into them in over eight years, I figured being able to get them on again would be a small victory of sorts.  I debated internally for a few minutes, then decided to give it the old college try and see if I could squeeze myself into them.  I pulled them up with a fair bit of ease, then took a breath and pulled the waist together to button.


The buttons snapped with no pulling, no struggling, no sucking in or laying flat on my back.  Those puppies not only fit, they were LOOSE!


I just stared down at my waist for a second, then started to giggle.  Yes, I giggled in my closet.  For a good two minutes.  Then I just felt such pride.  You dropped two pants sizes, I realized.  Two! That thought was followed by, If you can drop two sizes, then by God, you can drop more!

Of course the little nagging witch in my head (I call her Myrtle) was there to try and convince me that it's impossible to lose that much weight, but I shut her up easily this time.  I CAN do it.  I can get down to a size that I'm comfortable and confident in.  I can, and I will.

Just sit back and watch me, Myrtle.

August 13, 2013

Yes I can. I can!

Sometimes I feel like Eddie Murphy in the Nutty Professor, after Sherman gets motivated and starts eating right and jogging up a ridiculous number of stairs.  You know, when he gets to the top and does the Rocky dance thing.  Yeah, that's how I've felt lately. 

Before I started getting fit, though, I felt like this:

I thought it wouldn't matter how many miles I walked/jogged, how many crunches or jumping jacks or cardio workouts I did.  I felt like I would always be fat.  I have always been overweight, so maybe I was just one of those people who would stay overweight their whole life.  

I have quickly learned that it does, indeed, matter how many miles I walk.  Every day that I walk gets me more in shape than I was the day before.  Every time I do a Chris Powell workout, that's 30 minutes of cardio and core strengthening I've accomplished.  Getting healthier, day by day, matters.  

It matters that I'm eating better.  It matters that I'm drinking water instead of sweet tea all day long.  It matters that I eat more fruit and vegetables than pasta and bread.  It matters that by getting healthier, I can look forward to watching my kids grow up, instead of worrying that I won't make it to see them become adults.  

It matters.  

So, with that in mind, I'm sharing this video of poor Sherman from The Nutty Professor, and how he started off feeling down about working out, but got better and better at it.  Progress, guys.  Progress. 

August 12, 2013

Monday's Meal

Happy Monday! (Yeah, right.) 

Since I've been eating clean, I spend a LOT of time searching for recipes that don't include butter, sugar and other no-no items.  The best recipes I've found have been thanks to Instagram and Pinterest.  There are many great accounts posting fitness motivation and recipes.   

I have designated Mondays as recipe day.  Each week I'll share a new recipe that I've found and tried.  Up first: 

Garlic & Lemon Chicken
 posted by Key Ingredient on Pinterest 

4      chicken breasts
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ pound trimmed green beans (I used 2 cans)
6       red potatoes, cubed or quartered


Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a large baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; add the green beans and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the green beans and arrange them on top of the lemon slices. Add the potatoes to the same olive-oil mixture and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, arrange the potatoes along the inside edge of the dish or skillet on top of the green beans. Place the chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken, skin-side up, in the dish or skillet. Pour any of the remaining olive-oil mixture over the chicken. Roast for 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the dish or skillet. Place the beans and potatoes back in oven for 10 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender. Place a chicken breast on each of 4 serving plates; divide the green beans and potatoes equally. Serve warm.

This recipe is super-easy and something that takes very little prep time.  Best part: it was DELICIOUS! Even Hubs and the kiddos were fans.  I only ate two bites of potato, but had my fill of the green beans.  

If you try it out, let me know what you thought!