Information Overload

Well, the Biggest Loser Bootcamp concluded last Sunday. My overall weight loss was not stellar, but I lost 5 lbs and 9.5 inches. The parts where I really improved were my overall level of fitness. At the beginning of the bootcamp, I could barely do a lunge and I definitely could not do any kind of jumping. By the end of the bootcamp, I am proud to say that I can do 15 burpees in a minute (minus the jump, just not there yet!), 20 full push-ups, and I am jumping and lunging all over the place. I also was able to beat my personal best on the Jacob’s Ladder by 100 steps, making for 350! And yeah, I think that’s a pretty BFD.

As I said, I only lost 5 lbs, but I totally own that it was all me. I have terrible eating habits, and the early weeks proved that all the exercise in the world wasn’t going to fix that. You can’t outrun your fork, people! After my last post, I found this site that basically told me that I was eating too much. The author was pretty much a dick about it, but regardless, it got me thinking about my food log and whether or not I was truly adding EVERYTHING I was eating. Well, it turns out, I wasn’t, so I started ruthlessly logging every little bite that passed my lips, and measuring everything I ate so I had the most accurate calorie count. That next week, I lost 3 lbs. Then we started shifts but I still managed to lose weight at a rate of 1 lb a week. Then-I got sidetracked yet again.

I wasn’t seeing results like other people in the camp, and so, of course, what’s my go-to? The Internet. The lovely, lovely, internet. I completely overwhelmed myself with information, and then I was questioning my overall diet. Should I go low carb? Maybe temporarily? Would Paleo be better? Maybe I should start hunting and killing and eating my meat (I laughed when I thought that. I like my meat on a styrofoam tray, wrapped in plastic, or flash frozen in neat little individual servings). Everything I read seemed to conflict with something else I had already read, or thought, or felt. It all started with a, “Hey, that recipe looks good” click, and I had opened the hydrant.

I went from Paleo to low carb to low carb/high fat to moderate carb/moderate fat/high protein. Grains were bad, sugar was worse, Fat was not the devil, as long as it came from x, y, z and not from a, b, c. Paleo sounded the best, I thought I could eat like that for the most part. But it seems really labor intensive to follow properly, not to mention the expense. I don’t have ready access to a large selection of organic produce. Grass fed meats are mega expensive and I don’t have that in my budgetmy budget can’t accommodate that. Also, the biggest drawback to the whole thing: I would be doing it solo, and I don’t have time to prep a bunch of food every week.

Then, admittedly, I got further sidetracked by a 48 hour crush on this hunter-athlete guy who doesn’t eat dairy, eats his carbs only early in the day, works out like a beast lifting and running several miles day, kills his own meat (with a BOW, natch!). I mean, how hot is that? Easy on the eyes as well, excellent example of physical fitness, blah blah blah. The life he leads is admirable, but ultimately, unrealistic for me.

But it had to stop. I *was* trying to drink from the fire hydrant. I was drowning in dieting information, man crushes, and eat this not that bullshit. I closed the browsers, but it was too late. The damage was done. I sort of just drifted along while I tried to process all the information I had gathered. There was just too much information out there, too many ways to do things, and no way to know what would work best for me unless I just straight up experiment.

So, on to the Next Big Thing. I have signed up for the Holiday Bootcamp, and also….I re-signed up as a Beachbody Coach. I bought the 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack to start and joined a challenge group to help keep me accountable. Yeah, I’m doing 2 programs. Yeah, I’m going to start doing the Coach training so I can be an awesome coach and make it my full time job. Hell yeah I want to get paid for being in shape and help other people reach their fitness and financial goals.

I managed to end the bootcamp at 233 lbs, officially. I made my goal for the Holiday Bootcamp to lose another 5 lbs in half the time. I can’t promise that in the future I won’t get caught up in more food hype. I might even try a few Paleo recipes. But for now, I’ll take my information in slow, steady sips from a glass, thank you very much.

Advertisements

Better Than Yesterday

In my last post, I discussed my decision to enroll in The Biggest Loser Fall Bootcamp. I wanted to post an update on the first 2 weeks of the program. First thoughts: It’s a solid program, the nutrition is good, if a little low on protein (for the food plan I selected), the daily motivation is good, and I like the little reminders and checklists they give every week to help keep you on track. You also set a mini-goal every week and you see it every time you open the page. The community forums are also nice, because you have people who have never done a bootcamp, to those who have completed several, and everyone has great advice and is really good about boosting each other up and keeping each other motivated.

Week 1. As I mentioned before, the first week of bootcamp I was off work, so at home and more in control of my food and activities. I stuck to the meal plans and only did not eat what was prescribed a handful of times, primarily there were 2 meals that I ate out. I did the prescribed exercises in addition to workouts I did on my own. Even with my meals out, and occasional off-menu snacks, I still managed to have a negative calorie deficit for every day, in fact, according to their calculations, I had a 9000+ calorie deficit for the first week. So, you can understand my frustration when I weighed in on Saturday and had only lost .5 lbs. Half a pound! I wanted to scream! Not only that, but some of my measurements showed a gain, so I also only lost 1.5 inches.

I was pissed and furious, and this my friends, is when I would have thrown in the towel. But the hubs told me to keep pushing and to at least finish the program. I tried to read everything I could get my eyeballs on about why I didn’t lose weight. This is where the forums really helped-I posted my absymal results, and turns out, I’m not the only one.

As the week went on, I could tell that my lack of progress was getting to me because I kept making poor food choices even when I had healthier options. Sort of a, “Who cares. I can’t lose weight whatever I do, so I’m gonna eat whatever I want”, attitude. I still pushed myself at the gym, and continued to make a calorie deficit, but I had that defeatist attitude through it all. A few days later, after I had missed a workout and then furiously tried to make up for it the next day, I came to a realilzation.

I had been asking myself what the point of all of this was. Well, the point was to lose weight, duh! But there had to be more than that, right? Reading the forums gave me the answer I sought. My priority couldn’t just be changing the number on the scale. I needed to also focus on learning to sustain myself after the boot camp ended. I needed to learn to feed myself for the rest of my life, not just these 8 weeks. So, I’ve readjusted my goals to focus not solely on weight loss, but also journey itself, and to make each day better than the last.

For Week 2, I struggled with the disspointment of my Week 1 results, comforted myself with the wrong kind of foods. I changed my overall goals for the boot camp, and decided that it was more important to learn what worked for me and what I can maintain for life than to focus solely on weight loss. In the end, I gained back that stupid half pound.

Going into Week 3, I am more determined than ever to make this week the best. I will be adjusting my calorie count and my macronutrient ratio because I don’t think I’m getting enough protein or enough calories to cover my Basal Metabolic Rate under the standard plan. So, we will see how this pans out and what adjustments need to be made. I can only operate under the plan to be better than I was yesterday.

 

 

Here We Go Again, Same Old Shit Again!

I’ve been away for too long again, but mostly that was by design.  I felt that I didn’t have anything productive to add, and I also felt that I all I wanted to do was bitch about how I keep gaining weight and how unhappy I am.  I didn’t want my writing to turn into the sort of “woe is me” type bullshit, when my unhappiness with my physical appearance is due almost entirely on the way I approach food.

Recently, I have been bitten once again by the fervor and obsession with losing this weight.  I have been scouring the internet, running numbers, scenarios, and planning my “next move”.  This all began at the end of August, when I feel like I officially hit rock bottom.  I had gained more weight (ugh!) and was on a trip to Vegas with my husband, my BFF and her boyfriend.

We were in the hotel room, watching a little TV while we got ready to go somewhere.  I was sitting on the corner of the bed, and across from me on the wall was a large mirror.  I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was me.  And I looked horrible.  I had never seen myself from that angle.  I can go on about how grotesque I looked, how I knew I was fat, but God DAMN!!!  Holy Shitballs.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  This was the pinnacle, the top, the rotten core of me, on display.  I did the only thing I could think of.  I took a selfie.

I will not post it now.  It is too much and too real, and I don’t need it spreading around on the internet as a meme.  As hard assed as I am, that would destroy me.  But I admit to taking other pictures of myself that showed me in the worst possible light.  I can’t explain why I do it.  Years ago, I would have said I did it to further beat myself down.  Now, I feel like I do it because it’s like an expose.  I can’t deal with it if I’m not honest about it.  I can’t deal with myself if I’m not honest about what I see.  I made a hard goal for myself then, and that was to lose 40 lbs by the end of the year, and I had 4 months to accomplish that goal.

So, I made that awful selfie my home screen on my new phone, and I chose a picture of Amanda Latona for my lock screen and a picture of Misty Copeland as my S-Health background pic. Every time I unlock the phone, I see this glaring reminder of my reality, and every time, I am struck not with despair, but with motivation.  Motivation to change myself.  Motivation to keep going. This month, I focused on trying to change my habits and eating less, especially at work. I started using the tools I had invested in, starting with logging my food regularly, and exercising regularly.  I managed to lose 6 pounds-the only weight I’ve managed to lose since starting work here!

The hubs and I have been fans of the Biggest Loser show for some years.  I know that the show isn’t realistic as far as losing weight, but the struggle of these people is real, and so many of their stories really touch me.  I can relate to many of their struggles. During a commercial break, they had the coaches selling their pitch for the Biggest Loser Boot camp.  Now, I am a cynic and a skeptic, but like anyone who struggles with their weight, I can’t help but pay attention.  So, I looked it up, and the hubs asked if I would be able to commit to something like that.  Of course, I wanted to sign up right away, but the hubs was right.  I was going to pay big bucks for this, was I going to be able to stick with this for the whole 8 weeks?  The eating, and the exercise, and the checking in?

After all, my track record for this sort of thing is pretty abysmal. Right now, I need that more accountability and that more structure this boot camp will offer me.  I feel like the start date was the perfect time to begin, because it’s the start of my week off and I will be working a regular schedule for the month of October.  The program ends right before Thanksgiving.  Previously, I spoke of the planets aligning, and everything falling into place, and I feel like this is exactly what has happened. 

It seems pretty solid.  So far, I have completed all the “Prep week” tasks.  Today was the first day, and so far, so good.  I haven’t done the prescribed exercise yet, but I did walk my kid to school this morning, and I had already planned to do this in the afternoon.   I’m excited, and I’m nervous. I want to succeed and I feel like I am finally going to make it.  I am determined not to make this phase feel like deja poo!

Yay for Monday! No, seriously.

Earlier I asked myself, “does sitting in my car in the parking lot count as going to the gym?”.  But, I made it in, I forgot my iPod, they were playing ho-hum music, but I got some weight training in followed by about 30 minutes of cardio.  According to my heart rate monitor, I torched a lovely 1000+ calories when all was said and done.  And this was in about an hour.  Plus, I had a pleasant conversation with the gal on the treadmill next to me as we were both on our cool downs.

meetings with the bossWhen I got to the gym, it was about 8:45.  I didn’t want to go in.  I wanted to go home and go back to bed.  So, I let myself sit there for 10 minutes with my eyes closed, telling myself my appointment is at 9:00.  About 5 minutes till, I cut the engine and headed inside. 

The workout was okay even though I didn’t go through it with my usual vigor.  I just didn’t have any energy this morning.  I don’t know if that’s going to be the way it is because of my shift, or if I could do something about it.  I know I would probably be better a little later in the morning, but I also know that if I don’t get it done before my day starts, then I won’t go.  I’m sort of hoping that as I continue to workout, I will be more energetic.

It’s one of those awful catch-22s in life, you know.  You’re tired, but you want to work out.  You know that if you work out you’ll have more energy, but you don’t have any energy to work out!  Bah!  It can really get you stuck in a rut.

Well, I have another meeting with the boss at 2:00 before I head into work!  Have a great week and keep moving forward.

Just like starting over….Again

I will just warn you now, I’m going to be cursing and carrying on a bit in this one.  So, if I’m going to offend your sensibilities by doing so, skip this post.


Earlier, I mentioned not trying not to get into the mindset that I am “starting over”, but trying to convince myself that I’m just “picking up where I left off”.  Which is such bullshit.  I am starting over, and my starting point is so much farther back than before.  Picking up where I left off would imply that I never gained back this 30 lbs.  Starting over means I have to start at the beginning.  This wasn’t a race where I had to stop to pee halfway to the finish.  This was a marathon that I feel like I turned around and went back not just to the starting line, but maybe I went all the way back to my childhood home and now I decided to walk back and finish the race.  Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration.  But anyone who has struggled with their weight knows that this *is* exactly how it feels.

Carry-On I got on the scale today and took my measurements and they are disappointing and sad, but overall have not changed much all summer.  I updated my menu planner-it’s just a simple spread sheet I print out and fill in.  I took pics a few months ago, but I guess I should take some updated ones so I can mark my “true start”.  Is it obsessive?  Absolutely, but it’s what I know I need to do to keep myself straight.  A month ago-yes, I’m a slow starter-I made out a list of sorts that I titled : “Things I need”.  It is more than a wish list.  It is a map of sorts.  I started with obviously, what I need, which is mostly time.  I had to ask myself what is holding me back and what I wanted what I really want and how I plan on getting there.  I really tried to get into my head and be totally honest when I was writing about the things that are holding me back.

And the biggest thing at this point is my past, which is never more glaringly obvious than the fact that my birthday is coming up very soon and I have yet to meet one fitness goal I made for myself 8 freakin years ago.  8.  Fucking. Years.  What. The. Fuck.  So, yeah, it’s hard not to beat myself up over my failures, or the fact that my goals are even farther away than they were back then.  It’s hard to let go of the past when I make goals and I just see myself walking backwards from them without really understanding why I sabotage myself that way.

I figured out that one reason is I am afraid of being successful, of winning, of achieving something great just for myself.  See, I’m not a competitive person in the way that some people are, where they have to be the best, or #1, or first.  I just honestly don’t care about that kind of shit.  What I care about is being the best that *I* can be.  Me. Only me.  But I look back and see that most of the time I’m just being a mediocre me, or below average me.  Am I being too hard on myself?  Maybe, but as they say, we are our own worst critics.  That’s the other reason.  I have a terrible, awful, horrible inner bitch and she likes to tear me down

So part of my “moving forward” and “starting over” is just that: moving on. A friend of mine recently decided to leave Facebook because she had had enough drama and was in a too fragile emotional state.  A lot of the comments I read after her post were her “friends” telling her not to give up and to stick it out, that signing off meant that she was letting him win.  I sent her a message that despite what some of the commenters said, she wasn’t giving up or giving in, she was moving on.  I realized later that I needed to follow my own advice and lay the demons to rest so I could carry on.  Maybe this time I can move forward.

Till next time.

I’m baaack!

Yes, my friends, after an unexpectedly long hiatus, I have returned! With an extra 30 lbs, natch, but hey I’m here. All the times I told myself that I needed to start the ol’ blog back up, and all the new “likes” and new followers compounded my guilt until I was forced to come to terms. I do so need you guys to keep me accountable! Knowing that there are people out there reading my shit, and following my progress motivates me to keep up with my workouts, to eat right, and to keep moving forward. You can cut to the chase if you don’t want to read the drivel!

Some days, it’s a constant struggle with me. I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist, but I’m realizing that some of my “perfectionism” is really “avoidance” and “rationalizing”. Like I kept telling myself that I can’t write my blog because I don’t have anywhere to sit down and do it. Or, I don’t have any privacy. Or my personal fave: I don’t have any time. The truth is that I just can’t wait around for the sun to be in retrograde with Venus when the moon is in it’s third day of waxing and the wind blows less than 5 knots from the east. I am teaching myself that if I wait for the ideal conditions to do something, I will never do it. I am teaching myself the hard truth: there will never be any time if I don’t make it and whatever time that is, is the perfect time and there are plenty of places to sit down and bang out an entry when it’s time to write.

I fully admit I fell into a bit of a funk a little after the move. There were days that I did nothing but read. And read. And read. There were days that I spent all day away from home, trying to track down stores where I could buy this last little thing I felt I needed so we could be officially settled. But then, we were settled, and I was feeling pretty good. I had amazingly only gained 3 lbs during the whole move. I was able to stay active by riding my bike with my oldest to and from school, and then I started going on extended rides after he went to school. I was pretty stinking proud of myself! I had had this bike for 12+ years, and this was the most I had ridden it in all those years put together.

Things were going pretty good and then….I got a job. Which was totally awesome because it meant that we could get out of the financial toilet we’ve been in the last few years. The sucky thing is my hours are wonky as all get out because some of the time I work shifts for about three weeks at a time, and the other part of the time, I work more normal hours. My job doesn’t allow cell phones, and there are limited computers to use, which doesn’t matter in the long run because I wouldn’t be able to blog anyway (policy and they block a lot of sites). My co-workers are funny, and I feel we get along pretty well. There are 9 people in my particular office, 4 of whom are diabetic. You would think we would be a lot more health conscious. But no. The pink bakery box is a common occurrence in our office. I also admit there are times when things are slow and I get the boredom munchies. This is even worse when we move to shifts. I was working the swing shift, from about 4 p.m. to midnight, but then I started working overnights. Oddly enough, it was easier to control the snacking during the overnights, but I ended up eating more because of my wake/sleep schedule so either way, I felt screwed! I’m currently back on the swing shift but there are a few days here and there when I have to be in at different hours.

I also quit smoking. YES! I know! All this time, I was a total smoking fool. But I finally bit the bullet and decided to quit, not just for my health, but to set a better example for my kids. I feel better about myself, sure, and I love that I don’t reek of nicotine and smoke anymore. However, up till the time I quit, I had finally managed to stop eating my way through my shift. After I quit, I gained another 12 lbs to bring my grand total to 30 pounds. Boo to that! But it is what it is, and the most important thing is that I have quit and I am not going to start that shit again. Previously I had quit for nearly 2 years and started back up-bad judgement on my part.

It’s been incredibly difficult not to get in the mindset that I have to start all over from the beginning. I try to tell myself that I’m not starting over, I’m just picking up where I left off-it’s sort of working. I’ve been sporadically exercising in an effort to establish some sort of routine. So far, this is the routine: I start working out, and I make it about 4 days. Then, something happens to disrupt my schedule and I can’t go to the gym or work out at home and then a week goes by before I can get back on track. If I don’t have to be at work early, then I prefer to get my work out in before the day officially starts. However, if for whatever reason I can’t do it, no matter that I say I will work out later, I just can’t seem to make it happen. Sooooo, the best thing for me is get my ass up and exercise first thing, except when I work regular hours and that’s where it gets complicated. I will discuss this in more detail later like on Whiny Wednesday because it sure is a whine more than anything because I just can’t seem to get my shit together and be more flexible.

And I guess the other big change was I started logging my food a couple months ago. Wow-now I can totally see why I have a hard time losing weight-you should see the crap I just randomly put in my mouth and the crap that I put in there on purpose. Sometimes I feel like I have no will power when it comes to food. I took one of those random quizzes the other day purporting to name my psychological problem. Guess what mine was? Food Addiction! I was all, well, I really didn’t need a quiz to tell me that! I was just bitching the other day to the hubs that I felt like I was on the “seefood” diet, you know, I “see food and I eat it”. Yeah, I know, I crack myself up. I started logging my food and exercise back in March. I haven’t made any progress as far as losing weight, but I’ve also managed not to gain anymore, despite my poor eating and exercise habits. In relation to that, I will say that restarting Shakeology has been a lifesaver for me.

 

CUT TO THE CHASE:

Last year, we moved to this wonderful desert. Here’s a shot of the boxes that were outside for like a month. It was the middle of a heat wave and it was like 115 for a week when we moved in, but it was another 2 weeks before we got our furniture. My poor dogs didn’t know what to do with themselves. We spent a week organizing the garage and going through every box as we set our house to rights. Sometimes I hate that we have so much stuff. Part of that is I have a lot of interests/hobbies that require supplies that I don’t have time to use as much as I would like. The other part of that is that we have successively moved into a smaller house each move and it has gotten increasingly difficult to find a place for our furniture and our things. On the plus side, since my kids have to share a room here, we were able to downsize their toy hoard considerably. We also were able to get rid of more stuff that we didn’t unload when we moved the previous year because we didn’t have room for it, or I was finally able to convince the hubs that we didn’t need to keep something around for another 10 years.

I got a job a few months after we moved here. The work load is easy, but it’s hard to stay on track with my diet and exercise because of the hours I sometimes work and also I have a hard time saying no to food I should not eat. A combination of work related eating habits and quitting smoking caused a 30 pound weight gain over the last year. Which now I have to convince myself that trying to is not starting over but continuing on my journey to a lifetime of health. This psyching myself out doesn’t really work because I’m a realist, but I’ve resigned myself to repeating it as a mantra as a sort of “fake it till I make it”.

To help me maintain my “nutritional honesty” I’ve started logging my food and exercise with an online program. It has helped me see that even when I was eating the right things, I was sometimes eating too much or not enough. When I wasn’t mindful of the food I ate, and ate the way I would have normally eaten, it was incredibly clear why I wasn’t losing weight. It’s also a good way for me to see what I’m eating in relation to the number of calories I’m burning during exercise. I am working on being consistent with my eating habits and eating better.

As far as exercise, I have been doing it sporadically, but am working on being more consistent with my efforts because it is part of my bigger plan to be a successful Beachbody coach. I had to let my Coach membership lapse last year because I couldn’t afford to keep it up when I didn’t have any customers. My job allows us a little more financial freedom while we meet our other financial goals, so we are able to get our delicious Shakeology again. I absolutely love this stuff because it’s made from whole foods and helps me meet my daily nutrition goals.

Until next time, then.

 

 

Here’s my sign

We are officially, technically homeless.  Yes, that’s right.  Between moves, we usually have no address.  But that’s okay as we are either with family or at a hotel for the night.  As sad as I was to leave such great neighbors, I was anxious to get on the road.

I’ll be perfectly honest and just say diet has been mostly iffy and as far as workouts, well let’s just leave it at I spent plenty of time humping it up and down stairs in our packing and moving flurry.  I also noticed I had had a few sodas, and yes a few burgers, but I tried to balance that out by eating lighter meals between.  We were doing pretty well with the meal planning.

We hit the road Saturday morning when we had finished all our business with our house and saying goodbyes. We stopped at McDonald’s for lunch because it was there, and on the turnpike there isn’t anything else.  I did okay-I went for one of those deluxe chicken wraps, grilled.  but then I also got fries and a coke. Bad, bad.

But some time after we had hit the road again, I heard this noise, and looked down and saw this:

Photo: Ewww. I'm going to take that as a sign.

Of course I had to laugh.  But then, I felt like this was a sign.  A reminder I didn’t need to finish that soda, and that in fact I had probably been drinking too many sodas, especially since I haven’t been eating all that great, and of course, not exercising.  I took it as a sign to keep my commitment to get fit closer to the forefront of my mind.

If you’re like me, there are times if someone is shouting and yelling at me to do one thing, to go this way, to whatever, I tend to dig my heels and go the opposite way.  The paw on my drink was a nudge, a reminder to keep to the path.  I haven’t had a soda since.  I think that’s a pretty big deal.