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!

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.

You want to order what?

anything to lose weightIt’s Food Friday, but no food today.  I wanted to share an interesting conversation I had with the hubs last night about supplements.

So, we’re sitting there watching “Hannibal”-great series if you’re into gory deaths, hallucinations, and dark imagery, and the ubiquitous Dr. Hannibal Lecter-and the hubs says, “Hey Pause it for a minute, I want to show you this stuff I think I should get.”  After expelling a long suffering sigh (I hate for my shows to be interrupted by chatter), he shows me his iPad, which is open to this page touting some “miracle” muscle building pills.  I give the article a readthrough, then open a browser window so I can see if I can find more information about this stuff.  I’m not surprised that most of the links that I find are more “testimonials aimed at selling more of this product.

But the hubs was all excited about it and keeps asking if I think he should get it, and wouldn’t it be awesome if he got all ripped like that, etc, etc.  Finally I look at him and ask if he wants my honest opinion.  He hesitates (because he knows my answer is not just no, but hells no-LOL), but then says yes, he wants to know what I think about it.  I tell him that he doesn’t need any pills or muscle-building supplements to get ripped.  If he would lay off his 3 scoops of ice cream nearly every night (!), the copious amounts of beer he’s been drinking lately, not sit around eating out of the bag of trail mix, crackers, chips, etc, and stuck to a exercise program, he would build muscle and burn the fat.

I showed him pictures of Tom Venuto, who wrote the ebook “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”-excellent read, great information, BTW.  He is a natural body builder, meaning he doesn’t take any enhancement drugs to be totally ripped.  He trains hard, and he gets results.  I told the hubs if Tom could do it, so could he.  I also pointed out that he would look like a total freak if he had too much muscle because he’s short, and that he should focus on building a lean and flexible physique, not a bulky one at any rate because I didn’t think I could love a man whose boobs were bigger than mine.  I think it was the last comment that swayed him.

There is NO substitute for exercise and eating right.  I don’t have a problem with using protein powders or drinking Shakeology, because while technically they ‘are’ supplements, they don’t do anything but add calories, protein, and minerals and vitamins to your daily diet.  You don’t know the long term effects of using metabolic “enhancing” supplements, especially ones that label themselves as an “steroid alternative”.  As part of the microwave generation, we all want quick results and yeah, I would love to be able to lose 30 lbs in 30 days.  But the reality is that shit is just going to come back.  I feel any advertisement you see that claims you can lose a ton of weight without exercising is a crock.  Sure, I guess it’s possible, but what exactly are you losing? And once you stop taking those precious little pills, how long before you put that weight back on?

The hubs looks at me, and says, “So, I shouldn’t get this?”  I just look at him until he huffs out a breath and says, “Fine. I guess you’re right.”

I pushed Play.

What do you think about all these ads for “steroid alternatives” and “lose weight without exercise”?

 

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” 😉

Tempus Fugit

Time flies, and man does it.  I apologize for my absence over the last 2 weeks.  I realized about that time that Holy Shit, we are moving in a matter of weeks, not months.  So, that of course got the whole pre-move hullabaloo rolling to its inevitable conclusion.  We are now looking at a short and hairy 2.5 weeks before the packers descend and all of our worldly goods get loaded up into a big ass truck to be taken to the other side of the country.  I signed up for this life, vicariously now, but nonetheless, while I dread moving, I also kinda like it because it gives me a chance to get rid of the crap you accumulate over the years.

dali clockI have, so far, taken 2 car loads of stuff to Goodwill, some of it my “fat” clothes.  Can you believe I was able to cull out 20 freakin t-shirts from my current wardrobe?  20!  And I probably still have another 20 left to wear.  Sad, and yet oddly amusing.  I got rid of all my jeans that I can pull down without unbuttoning, and other shirts that are too big for me.  I even delved into the boxes of my smaller clothes to see if anything fit.  Nothing did, but it’s oh so close.  I did find a pair of jeans in one size smaller that make my butt look awesome, though.  And it was good to see how many clothes I’m just that much closer to wearing again.  I know I won’t have to drop a bundle on a new wardrobe when I lose a little more weight.

Officially, I’m right at my dreaded 15lb mark. That particular point I have not been able to get past for whatever reason.  I have been trying to remember what I’ve done that keeps me there before I start gaining back.  I can’t think of it, but I highly suspect that it’s something to do with a combination of things.  One being I lost weight and “cheated” my way through it, so I don’t need to be so strict with my food.  Two being I get busy and forget what I’m all about.  And I’m guessing that not setting specific goals about what I want and how I plan on getting it have something to do with it as well.  Of course, these are just a few things that I’ve considered.  I’m sure there are tons of other reasons, which at the time, seem perfectly reasonable and true, but when I think back on just the few that I already mentioned, I am filled with a sort of mild disgust with myself.

It’s just so easy to rationalize bad behavior away.  I’m trying not to do that.  Doesn’t help when I don’t make time to exercise, yet, don’t feel overly guilty about running down to KFC because I don’t feel like cooking dinner.  Doesn’t help that I had a flare up of plantar fasciitis last week that pretty much killed any urge to exercise.  That pissed me off-how can I do my squats or go for our walks when I can barely hobble around in the kitchen to cook?  And then, the hubs was no help-I got the impression he thought I was making excuses for skipping our walk and not working out.  Well, fuck him.  It hurt like hell, but I can only blame myself as I wore flip flops for most of the weekend instead of regular shoes.

Heel’s all better now.  Nothing that wearing proper shoes didn’t fix over about 5 days, and I was able to go run at the end of the week, so that made me feel good too.  Now, I am trying to put together my plan to keep exercising while we are on the road visiting family and heading to our future place of residence.  I’m worried about the effects of being on the road all day will have on my diet, not to mention I’m apprehensive about visiting my family and the food choices that will be there.  I hope by planning ahead with my exercise and keeping the majority of my meals light, I can avoid at least gaining weight on the trip.

Secretly, I want to lose enough weight so I can fit into my smaller clothes as soon as I get there.  I can’t tell if I think actually making such a goal would be incredibly unrealistic or if it’s merely difficult, but possible.  Either way, the clock is counting down, and I’m feeling the crushing press of time as ours draws to a close in this place.  We’ll be on the road for about 2 weeks before we reach our final destination, and I can only hope that I’ve prepared myself enough mentally and planned enough physically so I don’t arrive back at my starting point.

 

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