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.

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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.

 

 

A Tale of Two Women

It’s Whiny Wednesday.  Fair warning:  I do have a need to talk about something (someone) and this tale is sure to be loaded with snark with a few dashes of vitriol for good measure.  So, if you don’t want to read any further, it won’t hurt my feelings.  However, if you’re in the mood for some head shaking, guffaws, and drama, read on.

body imageThere are two women, Ethel and Maude, who are related by marriage.  They each have their own little lives, and their own families to deal with.  You would think that they might be good friends, but no.  Maude can’t really stand Ethel because of a variety of reasons, mostly because Maude thinks Ethel is a dumbass.  At first, Maude wondered if her dislike of Ethel was misplaced, since Ethel is skinny and sort of has the body Maude would like to have.  But Maude’s husband has said if she ever lost that much weight, he’d divorce her because he doesn’t want to have sex with a skeleton.  Maude thought that was pretty funny, but after spending more time around her, she’s decided the dislike is rooted in the stupidity of the other.

Ethel is stick thin, and her bone structure is small.  Maude, in all reality, could never be that thin without looking like an anorexic, and she knows it and has determined that she doesn’t want to be skinny anyway  She wants to be strong and fit, something Ethel in all her skinny glory, isn’t.  Over the last months, Ethel has started complaining about her body because she’s gained weight since she moved to the area, developing a nice pair of saddlebags (which you can totally see because she’s always wearing leggings) and a bit of a belly (big enough now it looks like she had to lay down to zip her jeans).  She even has a pair she keeps wearing that she can’t button, and then wears a little shirt that shows a little belly (and her undone jeans).  She thinks she’s so sexy, but it’s just sad.  She likes to make like she’s a supermodel if you see her pics on FB.

She knew Maude exercised at home, so asked if she had any old DVDs she could have so she could get in shape.  So Maude, being the nice gal she is, gave her 2 of her older DVDs that she didn’t use.  For all her complaining about wanting to get in shape, Ethel has only used the DVDs once.  Another time, she also went for a little run-1/4 mile and used her husband’s weights. And a time after that, she went for a little walk (4 miles).  These events occurred weeks apart from each other, after which she spent the rest of that week complaining about how sore she was from her exercise.  Maude just shrugged, because she knows how it is when you start a new workout, in shape or not.  Ethel thinks she’s healthy and fit because she’s not overweight, so doesn’t get that she isn’t healthy at all because weight is only one indicator of fitness.  She thinks she’s in such great shape, but Maude could probably toss her across the room without breaking a sweat.  Maude may be fat, but she’s strong as hell.

But you can’t talk to Ethel and explain these things, because despite a lack of education, she thinks she knows everything.  Like how Nutella and fried potatoes are essential food groups, and skinny means she’s healthy.   Seeing Ethel and hearing her complain about her body, yet does nothing about it only annoys Maude these days, and it just pisses Maude off to no end that Ethel is determined to make her kid just like her, by saying things like, “oh, you don’t like to eat that” just because Ethel doesn’t like it.   Just like doing all sorts of things for Ethel and her family annoys Maude because whatever they gave, it wasn’t good enough, what they wanted, or they wanted more.  Ethel pesters their mother-in-law to ask Maude for things or information, but Maude doesn’t have time for such ignorance or these annoyances because she’s on a mission.   Oh, she still does what she can (family’s family and all that), and tries to do it with a gracious heart, but still gets annoyed to have to be doing anything at all for that lot of ingrates.

See, Maude has spent most of her life overweight and out of shape and the last couple of years complaining about it.  She spent some time blaming her husband (his snacking), her kids (no time), and genetics (family is overweight too).  She spent probably too much time in negative self-reflection, wondering why she could never lose weight, and why she was a failure.  Recently, she realized she was doing waaaaay too much complaining and beating herself up for past failures and not nearly enough DOING.  So, she decided she’d had enough of making excuses and rationalizing her shortcomings away.  In short, she decided to quit bitching, because no one else was going to be living her life but her, and if she wanted to have a good one, she’d better “git-to-gittin'”.  So, she put on her big girl pants and decided to make her own destiny instead of waiting for someone else to give it to her, unlike Ethel, who didn’t want to learn about her new home (hers was so much better), learn the language (she hasn’t bothered, other than a few phrases), and expected her in-laws to help her find a job (which they did, and then regretted it when she acted like she was too good to work there).

Maude doesn’t think she’s better than Ethel, but she knows damn well she’s smarter and more determined.  Smarter being the sticking point-Maude knows that the random efforts Ethel makes toward fitness are not going to get her in “bikini-ready” shape.  Maude knows that to make it with anything-whether it is making a new life, or transforming the one you have-you have to want it, and you have to work hard for it.  Maude struggles with the slow pace of her weight loss, but knows the number on the scale is not the be-all-end-all of her journey to fitness.  She’s keeping her eye on the prize, because with every workout, she feels how much stronger she is getting.  She feels how rock hard her thighs are getting, and sees how her butt is looking more and more awesome with every set of lunges and squats.  She admits to flexing her biceps in the mirror to see those proud little bumps she never had before.

Whether it was more money, more fitness, more time, more things, Maude often dragged herself down thinking about what she didn’t have.  But realizing her wanting never got her anything but more heartache, she’s changed the way she thinks.  Maude now likes to keep her focus on what she wants and HOW she’s going to get it, instead of WHY she doesn’t have it.  Maude looks at Ethel, and sees a shadow of her old, unhappy self, who often wondered why she didn’t have “it”, whatever it may have been.  Ethel only sees what she doesn’t have and WHY she doesn’t have it and who’s to blame for the lack.  Oddly enough, she’s never the one at fault.

I can already see who’s going to get their “Happily Ever After” 😉

Chocolate covered morsels from the devil.

I am so proud of myself!  I am half way through my 6 Day Express and even though I’ve struggled a bit, I’ve done it with practically no cheating.  3 days of a strict diet may not seem like a big deal, but to me it’s phenomenal.  This tells me that I can succeed, that I can do this, and I will win!

I say practically didn’t cheat because usually, I’ll get all gung-ho about starting some new meal plan, and then cheat my way through the whole thing.  I’ll still lose weight, and then for some reason (*snarf*), I’ll just go back to eating the way I was eating and eventually gain anything I lost.  Or, even worse, I’ll be so focused on what I can’t eat for a measly few days, I’ll fall of the wagon for one meal, which becomes 2, and then 3… you see my point.

I haven’t done that this time.  In a perfect world, I could live somewhere like the Biggest Loser Ranch for a week, maybe 2, and not have to deal with constant temptation.  But I don’t have that option.  I live with my husband and 2 boys, and not far from “well-meaning” relatives who keep sending home sweets with my husband when he takes his mom back to their place.

Friendly gesture or Sabotage?

Friendly gesture or Sabotage?

Yeah, that cake my SIL sent home the other night that I only had a tiny bite of, that was the only bit I had of it.  In my previous incarnation, I would have been sorely tempted, and maybe would have justified eating half.  Then I would have felt tremendous guilt, which might have translated to justifying continued off-plan eating for the rest of the week.

Yesterday afternoon,  when I went to pick up my mom-in-law, I could see they had the doors to their apartment open.  When mom got in the car, I could totally smell the deep-frying that had been going on.  Apparently SIL was making donuts.  When I got back home, I told my husband that he would most likely be bringing donuts home tonight.  He was all, “Whaaaa???”  And I was all, “I know, right?!”  Yeah, yeah, we’re a coupla budding Shakespeares.

We decided to go for one of our long walks instead of the gym, so we hit the road and we get to the street that their apartment is on.  Guess what we smell?  Yup, deep-fried something or other. Mind you, we’re about 1/4 mile from their place, but apparently downwind.  And guess what he brought home after he took his mom back: chocolate frosted donuts!  Yay! NOT.  Why is everything she makes covered in chocolate?  WTF to that.

At first I was pissed-I felt like this stupid heifer was deliberately trying to sabotage me.  I told the hubs to just throw the shit out.  I don’t know why this woman has to keep sending these little fat pills home.  But he said to keep them, the kids could have them, like they had the cakes.  I don’t want the kids eating them either.  If I’m not going to eat them because they are DEEP FRIED and coated in chocolate, neither should they.  Anyway, I think I was too wiped out from our 5 mi. jaunt that I couldn’t form a coherent argument, so I just let it go.  For now.  *insert evil laugh here*

I was starving later that night.  I desperately wanted to chow down on something, but I didn’t think twice about the donuts.  Hey, don’t get me wrong; I love donuts. But I don’t like chocolate frosted ones.  I know, I’m such a communist.   Anyway, even though it wasn’t on my plan, I had a cheesestick and a piece of lunchmeat, and I had a few bites of DH’s bean soup.  The soup had a little rice in it, but it settled the rumbling in my tummy.  Just making full disclosure!  The thing is, I didn’t feel like I was making a bad choice, or cheating, even if I wasn’t supposed to be eating so late.  I ate a little off plan, but the world didn’t end.  I got up this morning, made my Shakeology, and in another 20 minutes, I’ll be doing my first workout.

I am finally doing it, and I couldn’t be more excited or proud of myself for sticking with it.  Three days may seem like nothing to a lot of people, but it isn’t to me.  I have committed to love myself and respect myself enough to do what I need to do.  It makes me feel strong to say no to foods I know aren’t right for me right now.  I don’t think my fitness and weight loss goals have ever been more clear or obtainable before.  I can’t wait to face the next challenge.

Mirror, Mirror

I’m trying to be a good little blogger and post more regular-like because it helps me stay focused on my own goals of improving my fitness and building my business.  Today is Whiny Wednesday, not necessarily for bitching, but we all have those times when we just need to unload-we can’t all live in a Disney movie!

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection lately.  I didn’t have a particular question in mind, I just wanted to figure out more about the “why” of me.  You know, actions, reactions, processes.  That sort of thing.  I don’t have anything definitive, but I’ve gotten a better sense of myself.  I’m the kind of person that inwardly seeks perfection, yet on the outside, I give off a “I don’t give a shit” vibe.  I think that dichotomy has made me continuously miserable, so I’m trying to change that by trying to make the outside match the inside.

011Part of changing my outlook was to see myself as I really am, not how I want to be, or how I should be, but me.  Just me.  I’ve known for a long time that I have really low self-esteem.  There.  I said it.  I don’t know how it started, or why, but here I am, and I look in the mirror and I don’t like what I see.  I think about my day, and I don’t like what I did.  Not good enough, because inside, I’m striving for this almost unattainable level of perfection that is just not humanly possible.

Back in the day when I lived in Fairytale Land, I used to cut out pictures from Victoria’s Secret catalogs and post them on my mirror so I could “be inspired”.  What a crock of shit!  All it did was make me depressed because I think I knew I could never look like that.  Too skinny.  Too tall.  Too busty.  No matter how much weight I lose, I won’t look like that.  I’m short, and I’m stocky.  I have hips, for crying out loud!

But you know, back in high school, that kind of thing didn’t bother me.  I was comfortable with myself, and I knew I wasn’t Helen of Troy, but I didn’t think I was ugly, either.  But, somewhere along the line, I must have decided I wasn’t worth it, and just gave up on myself.

I think a lot of women-and men, too-can relate to that.  As a woman, who became a wife, and then a mother, I forgot where I fit in the grand scheme of my life.  Work, family, friends, all that took precedence over ME.  ME!  The most important part of MY life!  I forgot to make time for myself, and then when I realized it, thought, “oh, I’ll fix it later.”  And then later became tomorrow, became next week, and before I knew it, here I am, on my way to 40 (!), and I still haven’t put myself first.

Guess what? Later’s here, right now.  I’m done not liking the person in the mirror.  I’m done feeling sorry for myself and making excuses about not exercising or eating crap.  I’m determined to put myself first for once and see how the chips fall.  I have a plan, I have support, I have everything I need to change my life and my mindset.  I’ve discovered “perfect” is just perception, and I’m done trying to be perfect for other people.  I’m going to be perfect for me.

A.H.