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.

 

 

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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.

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.

 

 

It’s Monday-again

Funny how that just keeps happening, isn’t it?  It’s Motivation Monday and I wanted to throw out a quick blurb out there to everyone.  I am hitting it hardcore with the final packing this week before the movers come.  You know, they have all those pesky rules about what they will and will not ship.  Of course, that just makes it harder on those of us who are trying to leave town with little more than a few changes of clothes.

I found some time to do some research last week about staying fit while traveling.  You know, like tips to help me eat healthier, workouts I can do in a hotel gym or in my room.  I’ll share what I’ve learned later this week.  Also, I’ll be keeping in touch during our travels with shorter entries over the coming weeks.  Next week is going to be a doozy and I’ll be busy “supervising” the packers.  You know, like making sure they don’t pack the trashcans with garbage in them.  Don’t laugh.  It’s happened.

So, I’m leaving you today with this little gem I found online from Nike.  Gotta love their marketing department.  They have a way of making me want to get up and go for a nice long run a la Forrest Gump.  Well, I’ve spoken about greatness before, about feeling great, and being great, and making yourself great, but this really sums it all up nicely.  Have a wonderful day and don’t let ‘you’ keep you from finding your own greatness.  We all have it in us.

nike greatness

Harmony in My Head

Good Motivation Monday to you all!  The other day I was reflecting on how, a lot of times when I wake up,  I have a bit of song playing in my head.  I used to wonder if I was crazy because it’s not something people talk about, and by the time I’m brushing my teeth, I’ve forgotten what it was.   But in that half-twilight between sleep and awake, I find myself playing a little ditty in my head, sometimes an old favorite, sometimes something new.

I love listening to music.  Mostly, I just tune in to the radio, but when I’m exercising, I like the hard, driving beats stored on my iPod.  I haven’t quite caught on to the whole iTunes and I’m terrible about ripping my CDs to my computer, which means I don’t have very much new music, and what I do have on there is pretty old. I’ve been listening to the same playlist for over 10 years now, but a good song never goes out of style.  I favor techno beats above all else, but there’s some rap and rock mixed in there too.  What makes it even better is that the songs I listen to on a run or in the gym are not songs that you hear on the radio, so when they queue up on my playlist, it’s like a little visit from an old friend.

music is my fuelSometimes, a song might come on that’s not what I need right then.  Maybe the beat is too slow, or the lyrics are not what I want to hear, cuz, you know, I’m not really feeling Taylor Swift’s “Today is a Fairytale” when I’m trying to get my cardio on.  Those are the times when I start fumbling with the iPod trying to find something else.  Something that keeps me going, pushes me to the end of the set or interval.  There’s just something to be said about the right song that motivates me to finish strong, that finds the little extra fuel I need to get to the end.  I especially need this when I’m running.

When the hubs and I go for our walks, we don’t listen to our music since we spend most of the time talking.  Well, I can’t speak for him, but I spend most of my time gasping out half sentences between steps and grunting in acknowledgement or dissent as we make our way on the route.  Sometimes, especially when we hit the hills (all up, natch), I wish I had my tunes to keep me going when my shins start burning and I want to slow down.  The hubs, who is in better shape than me, just trucks right on up, leaving me in the dust.   Gah, sometimes, I wish he’d get nicked by a car on one of the blind corners!  He’s nice enough to wait for me at the top of the last hill, bastard that he is.

In appreciation for those things that motivate us to keep going even when we think we don’t have the juice,  I thought I’d share with you 10 of my favoritist tracks from my meager collection, in no particular order.  Have a good Monday, and an excellent start to the week.

Song Artist
1 Sabotage The Beastie Boys
2 Lose Yourself Eminem
3 Spice Eon
4 Busy Child The Crystal Method
5 Millionaire Queens of the Stone Age
6 Feuer Frei Rammstein
7 Get Free The Vines
8 Lust for Life Iggy Pop
9 We Have Explosive The Future Sound of London
10 Kernkraft 400 Zombie Nation

Don’t Look Down!

Hello, Motivation Monday!  It’s time to rock and roll, shake the cobwebs out, and get moving and a groovin’.

new way to beThe weekend was fraught with peril-it was the hubs’ big 4-0, and Orthodox Easter (Kalo Pascha! to any other Orthodox out there).  Next weekend will be another whopper: our anniversary and Mother’s Day.  Will the insanity ever end?  Yes.  Yes it will.  Things are SOOOOO much less stressful since I’ve given up on the “all-or-nothing” attitude.  It helps me to put things in perspective, reminding me that a half slice of the hubs’ b-day cheesecake was not going to break the calorie bank, or undo all my hard work.

Of course, if I ate like I did last night, I would, but that’s the beauty of special occasions.  They are called so because they aren’t everyday occasions.  A big part of changing my life has been about changing how I think and react to things.  In the past I might have denied myself the cake.  Or I would have had it and then felt tremendous guilt.

These days, I like to redirect my mental energy into positively programming my subconscious.  Instead of focusing on what I want to avoid, I focus on what I want to achieve.  You know how you might be climbing to some precarious height, and someone else yells, “Don’t look down!”, and of course, the only thing you want to do is look down?  This is the same concept.  For me, this revolves mostly around food, but sometimes  around my workouts too.

For instance, I haven’t worked out yet today.  I feel bad about it, but I haven’t yet done anything about it.  However, when I was reading up for today’s entry, I realized that I’m the one holding myself back.  I have had rather dismal results in the weight loss department (I’ll post updates tomorrow), but I have lost significant inches in my hips and waist.  But instead of focusing on the improvements, I have unfortunately focused on the number on the scale.  So, in my head, I’m telling myself that I’ll never get where I want to be.  And of course, what is the outward result of that?  I ain’t done shit today!

I’ve determined I need to focus and shower myself with positive affirmations consistently.  I know, it sounds stupid, and my inner pessimistic cynic is sneering in mockery.  But here’s the truth:  if you’re already telling yourself that it’s not worth it, then it won’t be, whatever it might be.  Believing that positive thinking doesn’t work becomes a self-fulfilling negative affirmation.  You can’t think yourself thin, but you can change the way you think to make your fitness and weight loss goals totally achievable.

If I’m just sowing weeds with my negative thoughts, I’ll never see my goals achieved.  I have spoken before about changing my inner monologue, but like a lot of things, this is something I need to practice everyday.  And I have been neglecting that part of my growth.  Sometimes, I feel like I’m trying to juggle a toddler, a baby grand, a medium hippo, and 3 camouflaged balls, trying to keep up with all the things I need to do on the outside, I forget to work on the inside stuff at the same time.

So, instead of the voice in my head so insidiously whispering that I’m not going to workout today, so why did I bother with the sports bra? I’m whispering back to it that I’ll be working out when I get home from picking up my son from school.  That I will make time for anything I’m committed to.  That I love working out.  That the scale may not be budging, but my muscles are growing stronger.  That I am the only one responsible for my results.  To quit bitching and get fit.

Instead of telling myself not to look down, I’m going to tell myself to look up, and ahead.