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Embracing the Ugly

 

 

You know those inspiring fitness memes? They say things like, “It’s better to be sore than sorry” or quote someone famous (like Buddha or Marilyn Monroe). There is usually a black and white picture of a super fit chick with sweat dripping off her muscles to accompany the uplifting words.

I don’t look like those when I work out.

In a yoga class recently I took a good look at myself in the mirror. It was difficult to accept what I saw. I think I’ve seen myself with some sort of mental filter in my mirrors at home. The mirror at the gym has no filters, real or imagined. It is unforgiving. I did not like what I saw, but I did not let the figure in the mirror get me down:

  • I was at the gym doing yoga!
  • I even went without a friend, on my own!
  • I have grossly cut back on the amount of crap junk food and snacks I was eating!
  • I have been intentionally adding more fruits & vegetables to my diet!

These changes to my behavior and working on improving my good habits have resulted in this

2013-12-20 weigh in

This is SEVEN POUNDS down from September. I’m trying to make a big deal out of it because I’m not really feeling accomplished. I’m still measuring myself against where I was before I started slipping back into nasty old habits (in case you’re wondering, I have four whole pounds more to lose to get to my lowest since starting this blog). It feels like I wasted so much time by gaining that weight back. I don’t want to waste time again.

Which is why I’m sticking to my anti-treat goals and set some specific exercise goals (2 spin classes, 1 yoga class and at least one additional workout each week).

Not wanting to waste my time losing the same lbs again is good motivation to work hard. Really wanting to get below my lowest weight (since starting scale matters) is an even bigger motivator. The desire to be too small for my smallest pair of jeans, to fit back into a favorite skirt from years gone by, to comfortably spend an afternoon on my feet, to  hike/swim/bike at pace with my family, those desires are all reasons I can look into those harsh gym mirrors and see this…

2013-12 spin selfiewithout crying and running from the gym. (This was an emotionally difficult selfie to share. I hope you appreciate my courage!)

Sometimes I wonder what goes through the instructor’s head or the other people’s heads when they see me in a spin class. Those classes are intense. I get pretty beet red and watching all that fat jiggle when I’m giving it my all…it doesn’t look anything like those sexy, inspiring memes. When I start to worry that people are mocking me in my head, I remind myself that I’m not at the gym to be their eye candy (ha!) or flirt (happily married for 18 years) nor does it matter what anyone else interprets from my working out.

I am there for me.

Going to spin class means afterward I don’t seem to crave sweets as much. When yoga class is over my stress has decreased and I can relax more easily. Every day that I workout makes me less anxious stepping on the scale for my weekly weigh in. Every week that I lose weight makes it easier to accept my results, reinforces those healthy habits, and brings me a little closer to seeing the me I expect when I look in the mirror… even the mean & nasty gym mirror.

5 days until Christmas and I’m planning to stick to my goals even during these holidays. (If Santa brings me a pair of spin shoes that clip into the pedals, it would be even more fun to stick to my goals!)

 

Wish me luck!

…and may your holidays be merry!

 

 

 

Well, that wasn’t so bad.

224.8 lbs.

I expected worse. Way worse!

Why can’t my weight be like my cell phone, keys, or my son’s soccer cleats the morning of a game? Easy to lose, hard to find/gain!

Inspired by AB I started looking back and trying to find when I was this weight. I had to really go back, a long way back, and yet gaining it didn’t even take half the time. A Quarter of the time! What’s up with that?! It drives me a little crazy to see these little reports about how much a celebrity struggled to put on weight for a role. Brownies and cheeseburgers every day, you poor thing. I’m pretty sure if they are complaining about gaining weight, they aren’t doing it right! It is awesome to eat whatever you want. “Would you like mayo and extra cheese with that? Ummm, of course!” “Throw some chili fries in with that!” Have you ever had a slopper? What? No?! It must be a southern Colorado thing. Take an open faced hamburger, throw a heap of fries on top, smother in green chile, and blanket with cheese. “What do you mean that isn’t on the diet? It’s got protein, dairy, a little bit of carbs. Ok a lot o-carbs! Make the chile really hot and your body will sweat the calories out, right?”

Eating healthy is boring and so much work. Why does it have to be so much work? Shouldn’t the math skills we learned in high school and wondered when we would ever use Algebra, be used to fight cancer or something? Not for figuring out if I have 207 calories left to eat today and 1 cookie is x amount of calories, do I get to dunk them in milk while speeding to point B at 56 mph while driving toward me is the Ice Cream truck  travelling at a similar rate of speed but leaving 15 minutes later, what color is the number 7?

Can you tell I am having a rough food day? Maybe if celery tasted like vanilla I wouldn’t be frustrated.

I did get moving this past week……………………………once!

Yep, 1 stinking day for a workout. Pathetic I know! Big Sigh! Deep breath! Refocus! All hope is not lost! Once is better than none! This week we just shoot for doubling that. Small steps to get to bigger steps. I am too prone to frustration right now for not getting a workout in every day or eating well daily. Small goals, small accomplishments to build on and get the motivation going again.

I Hope!

Until next week weight warriors…..

Don’t let it creep up on you again

The title of this entry is a note to myself. When I started this blog I was devoted. I was not eating sugar/candy/cake/treats. Soda? Rarely. Healthy snacks and gum were my weapons against cravings for all those things I was skipping out on. I was working out at least 3 times per week and I was dropping the lbs in a nice steady manner. Since that first 4 months I gained back 10 of the 15 pounds I lost. How did that happen?!

Here a little and there a little.

“They make the best root beer here. I have earned a night of drinking soda!”

“I have to sample these treats before we deliver them. It’s a new recipe!”

“This is the only chance I have to taste this particular delicious looking dessert.”

“Gah. My kids need me. I don’t have time to go to the gym.”

“Tomorrow will be a better day for getting my workout in.”

You get the idea. Slowly, all those good habits I was building justified themselves right out of existence. The only thing I have been consistent about for the past year is working out, but even then it was only twice a week at the most.

Overcoming my own short comings is the biggest challenge in losing the weight.

I had been avoiding a real weigh in, but on Feb 1st I weighed in, not out of habit, but because I knew I needed a reality check.

2013-02-01 weigh in

More than 2 months since I stepped on the scale and my weight was still in the range of Yuck. I had to be realistic. At best what I was doing was not helping me lose the pounds. My knee had started being sore. My cute jeans were more tight than comfortable. I was tired way more often. I started to blame my clothes for the way they looked on me. Between the scale reading and the way I was feeling, I knew I had to stop making excuses.

So for the next 2 weeks I indulged in nearly everything. The week of Valentine’s Day I did not work out once. I ate everything I felt like eating. I wasn’t trying to lose weight. I just was. Last Friday I had my last lazy day. I went to the store with my husband to get, among other things, ice cream. He asked, “Are you sure you want to get a pint to yourself?” (He is a sweet, subtle man who knows how to talk to me without becoming the target for my anger)

“It’s my last one. After tonight I am not going to indulge myself any more.” Was I justifying? Did I mean it? Honestly, I was not sure. Saturday I woke up resolved. I stepped on the scale again.

2013-02-16 weigh in

That doesn’t even make sense. Does it? I ate like a pig, didn’t work out and lost 2 lbs. But maybe that was fuel for my fire. Imagine what the scale might have read if I had tried that week?! I was ready to go. Then a dessert that I enjoy appeared. I had to decide right then and there if I was going to stick with my plan to avoid treats. Could I?! I managed to walk away but didn’t stop thinking about it.

My weakness is late at night after the kids go to bed, so I concentrated on that battle. If I needed a snack that time of night it was going to be roasted almonds or string cheese or something with protein. It doesn’t make late night snacking as fun, but it was effective. After I eat them I always regret eating desserts late at night. The next temptation in my path was a little easier. Each day I have a little more strength and a little more motivation to eat right.

Monday was President’s Day and I took advantage of not getting any kids ready for anything and went to the gym! I don’t know why but Mondays and Tuesdays are the hardest days for me to figure out how to get a workout in. I’ve managed three workouts this week and I hope to find some active thing to do with my family tomorrow afternoon. If I can plan ahead for then when & where of my workouts next week I know I will be succesful again.

Things are looking up! And my weight…

2013-02-22 weigh in

my weight is down another pound. Thank heavens. I don’t know if all this newfound (re-found) determination could have handled anything less.

I know I’m going to have days when being good is more difficult than others, but I don’t want to let one bad day give me permission to go downhill again. This blog post is titled so that I can find it easily when I’m having one of those difficult-to-stick-to-my-goals days. Losing weight really does feel like a battle…or a war. I need to win it.

Wish me luck.

Enough is enough

It seems everyone has gone MIA, including our fearless leader/founder and my posts have been pathetic.

While a dear friend reassured me that this blog is about real life and real life isn’t always rainbows and unicorns, I have been a “Debbie Downer.” Yes, there is some heavy stuff going on in my life, I don’t have to let it drag me down into the pits of despair and undo all I have worked hard to do.

I have been trying to maintain my goals, but it definitely isn’t easy as distractions abound and I am just plain worn out.

Time to refocus, because being healthy will allow me to deal with things better. At least that is the plan.

I have gained 2 pounds but I am chalking that up to “that” week and not getting to the gym more than twice. Considering some would say that the 7 pound loss last week was too much in that time period, I am not too upset.

Going forward, starting now, refocused goals

5 1/2 weeks to the Turkey Trot- A 30min 5k would be awesome!

Sleep- Must get some! Not starting out too well considering that it is 1:18am. Must do better!

Food- I haven’t done badly here, but there is always room for improvement!

Quiet time- God misses me, I need to visit more often. (So to speak)

 

I can do it. You can do it! We can do it!

Enough is enough!

“Healthy” is Not a Bad Word

My mid-week decision to stop eating sugar seems to have made all the difference. I did pretty well this week! The day after my no sugar decision I came home from grocery shopping with some of my favorite healthy eats…

Being prepared with healthy foods I enjoy makes a big difference. The past few days I have also done well at not making exceptions to my no sugar rule, exceptions like “…but I’m at Disneyland” or “…it’s late and I haven’t eaten yet” or “…but I organized this ice cream social” or “…hey look, there’s a delicious cookie within reach”. The other thing that helped was my friend, Heather. She volunteered to keep me accountable and I’ve been reporting in to her (and she to me for that matter). Knowing that someone is paying attention to my sugar intakes ensures that I pay more attention to what I’m eating.

I ate better this week and did good at skipping treats, but my workouts…not so great. For several reasons I didn’t get to a spin/cycling class and I haven’t gone to Mandy’s Friday workout in too long. I went ten days between my last 2 workouts. Yesterday at Mandy’s class was so much more difficult than usual…and I think she may have been going easy on us! I was prepared to step on the scale (a day late) and be disappointed again because of my lack of exercise these past 2 weeks. Instead I was pleased….

I lost FOUR POUNDS this week!!!

The morale of my story this week is: It matters what you eat! Sometimes I think we (well, I) pretend that as long as I/we exercise then we’re doing fine. My month or so of gaining weight shows that is not the case. It’s the basic principle of calories in versus calories out. Simple as that. Miserable as that.

My semester starts on Monday and my boys go back to school, too. I’m already trying to plan out my workouts and packing lunches. Stupid planning. Losing weight is so much more work than gaining weight, but I suppose if it was easy there’d be a lot less fat people. I’m working on decreasing the number of fat people by one.

Wish me luck!

Love it, Hate it, Can I Live Without it?

I’m 41, married, a mother to three kids and I live in my own mom’s house. It didn’t happen on purpose and we’ve been here years (YEARS). Some days I have hope (or faith or both) that we’ll get our own home and others I feel stuck. Today is a stuck day. Don’t get me wrong. There are some great things about being here. This is not one of them…

She (Mom) came home from a weekend away for a family funeral and this is what was on the counter when I woke up. She cannot throw food away. It might be a physical impossibility for her. She loves treats, too, and no matter how often I ask her not to bring things like this home….she ignores me and does it anyway.

Oh my mother. How I love her. How she drives me crazy.

This isn’t a blog post to complain about my mother. It’s about all the dang sugar! I have given in to the sugar too much lately. I need a clean slate. I feel totally addicted. I choose easy, grabable (it’s a word), food filled with refined sugar to snack on, to replace an actual lunch, to fill me when I’m tired….need I go on?

I’m diabetic for crying out loud! Iwasn’t even eating candy a few months ago and now I don’t seem to know how to eat without it being something sweet. After seeing the many treats this morning I decided I need to go on a sugar fast. I don’t know for how long. I’m afraid to put a number on it and discourage myself so much that I give up before I start. So I’m doing it for today. Tomorrow is another day. I pray for the courage to stick to it tomorrow.

Wish me luck.

Isn’t talk about my blood sugar level exciting?

I’ve been playing the role of Swim Mom this summer since 2 of my 3 kids were on a city swim team. This last weekend was the big, final district wide swim meet. Am I glad it’s over? Yes and no. It was a great reason to leave the house every day and a required hour of exercise for them during the summer. But I’m ready to not have to schedule my day around evening practice. And we have less than 2 weeks before my oldest starts her school year. This is our one last stretch of relaxation and family play time.

So that’s sort of why I didn’t blog on Friday, but I did WANT to blog. Since Rae is coming home today from 3 weeks in Hawaii I didn’t think she’d mind if I crashed her day.

I weighed myself on Friday, but I think it is an unofficial weigh in. I didn’t do my normal routine and I weighed in with clothes on. Still…the scale claimed I lost a pound. If it had said I gained weight I might have cried.

This week I’ve been making better choices when I eat, and I have been doing something my nutritionist called “testing in pairs”. I test my blood sugar before a meal and then again 1 – 2 hours after the meal to see the change. I can gauge which foods/meals cause my blood sugar to raise more than others and avoid those or modify them to be healthier for me. It helped some, but mostly caused me concern because my morning blood sugar has been hovering around 170 (should be between 90 and 120). This week I’m going to be testing more often. If I can eat so my blood sugars are under control then I will definitely loose weight. If I can’t get my blood sugars under control then it’s time to get back to the doctor for an adjustment of medication. I don’t want that.

Other than my kids swimming and blood sugar level…this week Aims, Rae and I will be together for a few days! We’ll be each other’s support group, I’ll harass them about blogging more, and we’ll try to get a picture of the three of us together. Wouldn’t that be novel. As a matter of fact I just looked through my pictures for the last 5 or 6 years I don’t have a single picture of the three of us together. I’ll have to change that this week.

Wish me luck!

Why am I here?!

Have you ever been in an unhealthy relationship? When I was in college I dated a guy that I thought was The One. In our short relationship we’d even talked about how many kids we were going to have and where we would live. *sigh* Young (misguided) love. It took some years to get perspective to realize that when we had a fight and I ran to the mall to charge up my credit cards – which he hated – that it was not the best outlet for frustration and anger. I was literally paying for it years later.

Now I have an unhealthy relationship with the scale, because when it tells me I’ve gained 2 lbs in a week where I worked my tush hardcore doing 4 super sweaty workouts…then I want to go to See’s Candy, use my gift certificate for a pound of candy and E!N!J!O!Y! 

 

Well, maybe it’s more of a fairweather friend relationship, because when the scale shows I’ve lost I speak kindly to it, put it away more gently, and look forward to our next meeting. Right now I just want to throw it down the stairs. Yet, I’m reminded of that old saying “Don’t shoot the messenger!” It’s not the scale’s fault. Plus eating the pound of candy will cause me to pay and won’t really effect the scale (except when I throw it back in its spot and call it names).

So. With an attempt at humility I am willing to admit that getting exercise is not my problem.

I need to pay more attention and be more deliberate about my eating habits. Gah! It’s so hard and one of the things I HATE to do.

Even after seeing the nutritionist in May (or was it April) I still have not made a plan or checked my blood sugars or tried to be sure I was following her guidelines. I knew what she was telling me was right and good and would benefit me. It’s. Just. So. Hard. (Yes, I’m totally whining)

I think this is the point where I need some reminders about why I am doing this whole blog and getting outside my comfort zone and doing crazy things like being the fattest person in spin class. Here’s the list I came up with earlier this week. WARNING: I did not hold back. Some of these are kind of personal reasons, but I suppose if you are here reading you are not someone who gets uncomfortable with TMI. In no particular order…

  • I want to look the way I feel
  • I need to be able to keep up with/chase down my youngest child. He is 6 and quite fast
  • I want to be a good example to my teenage daughter
  • I want to feel more sexy
  • CUTER CLOTHES OPTIONS!!!
  • I want to control my diabetes and get off the meds
  • GET HEALTHY!
  • Live longer
  • If we get these same bodies in the hereafter….I really want to look good in the eternities and not kick myself everyday for getting stuck with a fat suit.
  • I don’t want to be self-conscious and/or wonder what others are thinking when they see me, especially next to my husband who is in good shape…and looks like he’s 27 (but that’s another problem all together)
  • Be comfortable on amusement park rides
  • Live the Word of Wisdom strictly (it’s a Mormon thing. click the link for a better understanding)

I think that is a good list for now. I’m sure my list will evolve throughout this journey. I hate using that word “journey” because it is so overused lately. But I’m not sure what else to call this attempt at reaching my long-term goal while sharing my experiences in writing. If you have a better word…share.

This week, unlike the girl from Oklahoma, I want to be the girl who CAN say “No” (or even “No, thank you”).  I also need to dig out my paperwork from my visit with the nutritionist. Her advice and guidelines will help me balance my glucose levels and get back on the losing weight track! Well, her advice and continuing to go to spin class.

Wish me luck!

 

Just Peachy

My husband is originally from Colorado. Near his hometown they hold the Palisade Peach Festival every year. Somehow we have never visited during the festival. Maybe it has something to do with the August heat and my in-laws not having air conditioning. I almost want to brave the heat, because I love peaches. Love them!

This is my favorite summer salad recipe. A distant but close cousin made it for us during a visit once. Some friends brought us a big box of peaches from their tree last week, so of course I made this salad. I took a picture to show it to you, but…it kinda looked like puke.

I promise it is super yummy!

Carma’s Peachy Salad

dressing

1/3 c – mayo (go ahead and use something super healthy like greek yogurt if you need to)

2 T – milk

1/2 t – salt

1/4 t – pepper

1/2 t – dried tarragon (or 1t fresh)

salad

2 1/2 c – cubed cooked chicken (if I cook it I season it with tarragon, too, but those roasted grocery store chickens work well)

1 c – red, seedless grapes cut in half

1 c – frozen peas

2 lg – peaches, peeled & cubed (I use more)

1 c – pecans halved (I chop mine up a bit)

If you want to be really super, uber healthy then you can serve it in a bowl lined with lettuce. Since I have diabetes I am trying to cut back on my carbs or eat more carbs from fruits instead of grains. This helps me do that easily! And…and there is no cheese in it. Every other salad I love has some sort of cheese in it. Cheese = fat.

I’m looking for a movie clip to share with you tomorrow (something to look forward to)…

Wish me luck!

 

Once Upon A Time…

I had this grand idea that if I became a blogger it would make losing weight fun, exciting, and practically easy. Combining something that I love (writing) with something that is hard for me (losing weight) was supposed to be a magical formula.

Wrong.

I gained weight this week.

Again.

I didn’t post Friday (when I’m “supposed” to post) because I could not have cared any less about blogging or weight loss. I sweated this week, serious work my fat off sweat…and not just because we had a few strange-for-L.A. humid days. I zumba-ed, swam, walked, and cardio/weight trained with effort!

But then again…

The week before I did a lot of sitting and enjoying of this scenery whilst beach camping:

I may have indulged myself a time or two in the last two weeks on less than healthy foods. I maybe even ate some candy which means I totally broke my promise to myself to not eat candy until I hit…whatever the goal was. It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten the exact goal. And all I’ve done is gain weight lately. I said at the beginning of this that feeling fat is not a motivator.

Gaining weight when you are trying to lose is not a motivator either. It makes me want to eat the entire carton of mint chocolate chip ice cream in my freezer.

Did you know that tomorrow (3rd Sunday of July) is National Ice Cream Day? I’d like to say that I’m going to have one single scoop, but I think that’s how my indulgences/overindulgence begin…with permission for a “special” treat and then it carries over to the next thing because I’ve already allowed myself other yumminess.

*sigh*

In theory, I know how I should eat and what I should eat. Why is it so difficult in practice?! I love to exercise and to find different forms of exercise to try (especially if it doesn’t aggravate my plantar fasciitis). It’s the food I can’t seem to get a handle on…at least this week it is.

Usually I am much more optimistic. I need to turn this whole thing around and find a way to start again! First thing on my agenda is to make a list of things that DO motivate me in my quest to lose weight/feel happy & comfortable in my body.

Can I really do this? Do I have the willpower? Some days I am not so sure, but I do know one thing. I do not want to give up. I am not ready to give in to the fat. I hate it. It makes me self-conscious all the time. The alternative is to reinvent, to figure out what I CAN do to accomplish my goal.

I want my happy ending.

Wish me luck!

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