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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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.

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

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.

 

I’m Not the Jackass Whisperer

Since I started changing my relationship with food and fitness, I noticed my Facebook page has sort of morphed from the usual fare of Grumpy Cat memes and other fun stuff to include more of my food, and of course, I also post a link to my blog entries to share them with my friends.  Now, I know that there are plenty of my friends who are happy with who they are and where they’re at, physically and mentally, and to them, I say, “awesome, more power to you!”

There are also the select few who poke fun at food or recipes that I’ve shared, commenting that it’s missing meat (egads!), or I’m converting into one of those health-crazed Californians when I post a Shakeology picture.  These guys are my friends, but it still annoys me that they are mocking my choices.  But, then I reminded myself that I am not doing this for anyone else but me.  There’s no point in trying to justify why I’m changing my life to people who are just trying to shame me.  I’m not the jackass whisperer!

jackassI’m reminded of a time when I was in college.  I had gained about 50 lbs since high school, and my cousin had commented on it.  He said something along the lines that the family fat genes were catching up to me.  And at the time, I accepted it.  Practically my whole immediate family on my dad’s side is overweight, so obviously, it’s genetic, isn’t it?  Most of them have been on some diet or another for most of their adult life.  My aunt has even had her stomach stapled, but it didn’t make her thin.

My dad had amazing results on Atkins, twice, but gained the weight back as soon as he went back to eating “normally”.  I remember back in the day, my grandmother had the cabbage soup diet posted on her fridge.  She was forever trying to diet and lose weight.  She doesn’t have to worry about that now, as she’s 89 and her health is failing and she can’t even keep weight on.

I firmly believe that my grandmother would be in better health today if she had been more active throughout her life.  I see her frailness, and I know that yes, everyone eventually will decline, but how much better would her life be right now if she had been physically fit, and not just skinny?  I see her, and all I can think is, I don’t want to grow old like that.  Wracked with pain from tiny fractures caused by osteoporosis, unable to walk without assistance, needing oxygen to breathe at night.

As far as I know, I’m the only one in my family trying to make a change like this.  Not just changing what I eat, but changing the way I feel about food.  I’m working out and building muscle, because I don’t just want to be thinner, I want to be healthy.  Thinness is not a sign of health, it just means you’ve got good genes.  I want to be fit, and most of all, I want to be happy.  Happy with myself, happy with how I look, and happy about what I have accomplished.

I can’t vanquish the naysayers.  There will always be someone, somewhere who just doesn’t get it.  There will always be people who are happy the way they are, at whatever weight that is.  And that’s fine.  Not everyone wants to get “ripped”.  It’s okay.  I’m not here to tell you that you’re wrong, that if you want to be happy, you have to look like Shaun T.  I’m not sure I want to look that ripped!  I want to be strong, fit, and try on clothes without being disgusted with myself.

I’m not saying that people who are happy about where they are, physically and mentally, are jackasses.  What I’m saying is that there are always going to be people in your life, wherever they may be, who will try to bring you down, by mocking your efforts, or making fun of your food choices.  Don’t let them bring you down!  Whatever your goals are, however much weight you want to lose, however much muscle you want to gain, those are things that no one can take away from you.  Don’t let other people determine your course; you are the master and commander of your own future.  Let them poke their fun, but in the end, you’ll have the last laugh.

*sorry for the edit, I hadn’t finished my entry and I accidentally hit publish.

Are You Inspired?

Hey hey! Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  It’s Motivational Monday today, and as I was thinking about something motivational today, I came across a meme posted by one of my Facebook friends that I thought was perfect.

don't give upI honestly don’t spend much time on the computer on the weekends other than to maybe look up a recipe of directions somewhere, but occasionally, I use the time to catch up and read posts from the other blogs that I follow.  One of the blogs that I find most inspiring is mydiabetesandme.  I don’t have diabetes, but Shannon’s story inspires me to keep moving forward and to not give up doing the right thing for my body.  In a lot of ways, I feel her story mirrors mine, as far as the emotional aspect of food.

I read a few of her past entries this weekend, and I was inspired. Her story is one of triumph, and love reading about her love affair with Adam Levine, learning to dance (and love it), and seeing how far she’s come.  Now, I don’t know Shannon personally, but as when reading blogs about personal journeys, I feel like I do.  She could have been me.  Struggling, unhappy, not knowing the best way to feed my body for my needs.

I read about her journey and where she is now, mentally, and physically, and I want to be her.  She is my hero, an everywoman who has been there, done that, and is now holding the torch for the rest of us.  I’m sure she’ll probably laugh as I’m extolling her virtues as if I’m nominating her for sainthood.  And maybe I am in a way.

You see, I saw the above meme on Facebook this morning, and I did not immediately think of me, and how I would want others to see me.  I thought about her first, and thought, “she is my inspiration”.  And one day, I hope to be able to carry the torch for others, and they can say the same of me.  One day, people will see my story and be inspired to change their lives.

Deciding to change your life and put your health and fitness first is daunting.  We are plagued by self doubt and our own negative nancys.  But every day, we have a choice.  I have a choice to eat my kid’s leftovers, or eat that chocolate, or fritter away my morning doing nothing.  Every day, I have the choice to do the right thing for myself.  And on the days when I feel my resolve falter, I have to ask myself what am I going to have to show for myself at the end of the week?

I decided on sharing my journey to health and fitness through this blog, making it public, because what better way to stay on track than to have an audience?  It’s my accountability, you are my support.  I know people are reading, and I can’t talk about the best parts of my journey without talking about the pitfalls, the hard times, and the temptations.  I know I can’t be the only one who feels this way about certain things related to food and fitness!

This is not just about losing weight; it’s the personal growth, the motivation, and the inspiration I find along the way.  It’s learning to love myself, from the inside out.  It’s finding simple pleasures that keep me going through a workout or a run.  It’s making delicious food that fuels my body in the right way.  And yes, it’s reading the other’s transformation journeys and how the number on the scale is not the endstate, it’s just the beginning.

What’s your inspiration?  Who, or what, keeps you going?  Do you hope that one day someone will see your words and be inspired by them?  I do.  Every day.

 

 

The 6 Ps

It’s Tactics Thursday and sometimes I think of Thursdays as being a sort of calm before the storm.  The storm being the weekend.  I always welcome the weekends, but in the past, it was also wrought with tension and  stress because they are unpredictable.  No kids to hustle off to school, no waking to the droning of alarm clocks, etc. I kind of always felt that the weekends were a sort of battlefield for me whenever I was “on a diet”.  I don’t have quite the same feeling of anxiety that I had in the past about it, but still, I fear the way a weekend can sort of unfold and undo all my hard work during the week.

When I was growing up, my dad shared with me the idea of the 6 Ps, and said not to forget them.  Well, I do, on occasion, when I stomp my foot and refuse to take charge of my weekends. So, I’ve decided that I should put it to use in my little toolbox of knowledge and not let the weekends unpredicability get the better of me.  Perhaps in the future, I will lead a more regimented life, but right now, it’s a pirate’s life for me, ARRRR!

6 Ps I present to you, the 6 Ps, in all their simplistic glory.  May they serve you well!

One of my family’s greatest temptations over the weekends is fast food.  We get so busy doing things, and running around, and all of a sudden, we’re totally starving.  And, how convenient! There’s a Mickey D’s right over there!  But we already got chicken out or whatever! But by the time we cook it and sit down to eat, we could have already eaten our fat pills.  Hmmm….okay, let’s just get burgers.  See how that works?

And that’s usually how it is in this house.  I’m determined to change that though, by planning ahead and sticking to that plan.  I’ve been working on my extraordinary productivity exercises from last week, and I’m determined to stick with it through the weekend.  I will not worry about every little thing that crops up on my radar and worry about when I’m going to find time to take care of it.

I have my plan and my schedule of to-do’s, and I will write it down and do it when it pops on the schedule.  I’m big on planning and making lists, but I try to schedule too much, or I spend too much time on one thing, so then I run out of time.  You would think I would be much better about the time management, but I’m actually pretty terrible at it.

I have a friend that once told me that when I had to be somewhere by 2 p.m., I would arrive at precisely 1:59 and 59 seconds.  And sadly, I have to laugh, because it’s true.  I thrive on routine and schedules, and I admit I am a little disappointed I need to regiment my schedule like that.  However, I’m understanding myself a little better now and realize I need more than a list of things to do, I need to learn to schedule the time to do it within the time I have to do things.

For instance, I know I have pretty much from 9-3 every day to do what I need to do.  That may seem like an eternity to some, but I find I can’t use my time wisely: frittering away a morning to read, typing away on my blog, reading other people’s blogs, checking my celebrity gossip, taking care of my little one, or putting out unexpected fires.  Well, remember when I said I was done with being an ostrich?  That was about the time I had to fess up to myself that I was wasting too much time wasting time instead of doing what had to be done.  If everything is an emergency, and has to be done right away, where does that leave me?  I’ll tell you: it leaves me with a pile of mail that need to sorted and floors that still need to be cleaned.

And so, enter the Covey’s time management matrix, and now the 6 Ps.  I’m still struggling to learn to use the matrix, as I don’t have enough information about it just yet, but I can no longer wait till I have all the answers to start something.  I know how I’m doing things right now is not efficient, and I sincerely feel it would be a mistake to wait, so I’m really going to have to jump with both feet without testing the water first.  Maybe I’ll find the water is just fine.