Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The "New" Plan

So, I'm on Day 4 of my "new" diet plan. I say "new" rather facetiously because it's not really new at all. I'm just doing what I should've been doing from Day 1 - 3 years ago... I started counting calories and attempting to exercise regularly every day. What a novel thought! It's interesting that everything I read points me in this direction. All the experts say that the best way to lose weight and keep it off - healthily, I might add - is to eat right and exercise regularly. Most of them don't recommend trying any of the fad diets at all. So, here I go. Trying what has worked for years.

I'm amazed at how calorie-illiterate I am. For example, I made a very yummy breakfast pizza yesterday - crescent roll crust, eggs, bacon, potatoes and cheese - 428 calories per piece! I wouldn't have guessed there were that many calories in it. But I'm learning - fast, I might add. I found a very helpful website:
http://www.livestrong.com/
This site is awesome! I started by answering a few questions about losing weight and then it gave me my daily caloric allowance to help me lose 2 pounds a week. I'm able to track everything I eat and my exercise. It also lets me input my own recipes and gives me the caloric content per serving - which is wonderful, because I'm all about cooking from scratch! I am then able to track my progress and see what I need to add to my diet - such as more protein, etc. and I can see where I need to cut back - such as sodium, carbs, etc.

Another thing I really like about the website, is that it calculates how many calories I can have when I don't get any exercise so that I can still lose weight. This means that when I don't exercise, I have to eat a lot less! Just another good reason to exercise.

I really want to be successful at this. I don't need to look model-thin, but I do want to be healthy. And I don't believe that being 70 pounds over-weight is healthy at all. So, here I go!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

UGH!!!

Ok, this is getting bad - how many times can I go around this circle before I find a way out?! I gain weight, I lose weight, I gain  weight, I lose weight - round and round I go. I'm getting very dizzy! This has got to be the last time around the circle, because I'm so done with it already...

Setting new goals. Right now.

On black Friday I'm purchasing a new scale, my old one is dead and unreliable. (I've totally allowed it to lie to me....if I lean far enough forward on it - I weigh less...) So it's a digital scale for me. No more lies.

30 minutes of exercise a day. Starting now. This will be my daily goal. It's just got to happen, no way around it. I've slacked so much off since my 30 day challenge a couple months ago, it's not even funny... All progress made during that time is gone...

No more excuses. Plain and simple. How is it that I think that extra helping isn't going to do any damage? I mean, come on already!

Blog on a regular basis. It may not be daily, but it will be regular. I find that it's much easier for me to succeed when I know that people may actually read this. I think they call that accountability?

My 20-year class reunion is starting to loom large on the horizon. What can I accomplish in 8 months? I'm going to find out!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Boot Camp

Ever heard of Jillian Michael? Well, I've had a virtual introduction - via her "30 Day Shred". Holy Cow!!! That's all I can say. Who knew that in 20 minutes a person could feel like laying down and packing it in? I foolishly thought that my 30 days of exercise had somehow prepared me for this - HA! Literally 5 minutes into the workout I was panting like a dog and felt like my arms and legs were going to give out on me. It's insane...

For those of you who have never tried this workout, it's basically a 20 minute circuit. You have a 2-minute warm-up, then three 6-minute circuits. Each circuit is 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs, with a 2-minute cool down at the end. There are 3 separate workouts - Level 1, 2 and 3, each more intense than the other. I obviously am starting at Level 1, however, at this rate, I'm pretty sure I'll reach Level 3 before the end of 30 days. I borrowed this dvd from a friend, and after reading the jacket thought, "20 minutes, I can easily do that for 30 days!" Oh my. I know I can, but my body is screaming at me, and I'm dripping sweat as I type this. I had to write all this down before it fades from my memory...like that's going to happen...

Anyway, I've decided to make "30 Day Shred" my next 30 day challenge. Starting today. I think I'll call this "Boot Camp" because it certainly feels like it. I found out today that I've been doing cheater push-ups the wrong way! I've never been able to do a true push-up, so I've always done them with my knees on the floor. However, I've also always stuck my butt in the air, and that isn't correct. You're supposed to keep your body straight, just as if you were doing a true push-up, only with your knees on the ground. Oh my word! They are HARD! I only got 4 - how sad is that?!

I am seriously out of shape, and last month was only the warm-up. I am determined to get healthy and fit. That doesn't necessarily mean that I want to be a size 6, but I do want to be able to do jumping jacks without my stomach coming up and hitting me in the double chin... There's way too much flesh moving voluntarily during this workout. When Jillian says, "keep your abs tight", I swear I'm holding them in as tightly as I can - and I can still feel things jiggling...

I've got 30 days. They'll go by quickly. And at the end, I can measure myself again. I think the results will speak for themselves.

Join me!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 30 - Success!!!

I can't believe I actually made my goal - - 30 consecutive days with 30 minutes of exercise per day! I did it!! My little old exercise bike is being used regularly, my abs are loving pilates (so is my back!) and my legs are getting stronger. Before I do anything else - here are the results of my challenge.

30 days ago, I weighed and measured myself:
  • Weight: 225 pounds
  • Waist: 44 inches
  • Thighs: left 29 inches & right 29 inches
Today, these are my results:
  • Weight: 219 pounds
  • Waist: 42.5 inches
  • Thighs: left 28.5 inches & right 28.5 inches
I lost 6 pounds and 2.5 inches!!! I was really nervous holding that measuring tape. I was so afraid that there wouldn't be any change and then I would have to get discouraged, but NO! I'm actually seeing results! I measured my waist 5 times because I couldn't believe I was doing it right. But I was, in fact, to get it to measure 44 inches, I had to really stick my stomach out. I'm so happy!!! Honestly, I'm amazed that such a small change is making a difference. Sometimes I felt like my 30 minutes of exercise wasn't much - especially when all I did was pilates, leg lifts and push-ups - but obviously it's working and I'm going to continue doing it. This has been a permanent life-style change for me. Woohoo!!!!

Now, I'm so excited to reward myself. That haircut is going to feel like the best one ever, simply because I had to work for it and I was successful. It feels so good.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Days 17 - 25 Whew!

What happens to a blogger when she just doesn't take the time to write? At this point, the only answer I have to that one is - guilt... Or at least a somewhat guilty feeling. I would walk past my computer and think, "I really need to update my blog!" But then something else would grab my attention and by the time I thought of it again, well, let's just say it was usually an inconvenient time or when I was in the car. So, all that to say, I'm sorry that I haven't updated this blog in over a week. I hope that if there is actually anyone out there who reads this, that you will forgive me! Now, that's done so let's move on!

On to the 30 Day Challenge! Wow! 25 days of it, and I don't know about anyone else, but I'm still going strong! Only 5 days to go. Honestly, I think I'm going to come up with another challenge after this one is done - any ideas for me?

Here's what I accomplished in the past week...

Day 17: Pool
Day 18: Pool
Day 19: Pilates
Day 20: Walking
Day 21: Biking
Day 22: Pool
Day 23: Pilates & Exercise Bike
Day 24: Mowed lawn and did yard work - sweated like a pig!
Day 25: Pilates & Exercise Bike

And the best news - on Monday I stepped on that nasty scale (I just hate scales in general...) and it rewarded me with a 1 pound loss!! Woohoo! Down to 220 lbs - that's 5 pounds lost in 3 weeks - not bad!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Days 15 & 16

Day 15, Monday - Pool and pilates

Day 16, Tuesday - Pool

Pretty boring entries, huh? At least I did the exercise! lol!

Do you realize I/we are already half-way through this challenge? Yippee!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Days 13 & 14

I'm starting to see a pattern here...updating this blog every 2-3 days...need to work on that. It's just that the weather has been so great and warm - I LOVE hot summers - and the last thing I want to do is sit down at my computer...

On both day 13 & 14 I spent an hour at the swimming pool. I've figured out a way to tread water and give my abs a huge workout, while at the same time keeping an eye on my fish of a daughter. I love the pool! In fact, we're getting ready to head there now. I like to go late in the afternoon because it's not so crowded and I don't have to worry about a ton of other kids pummeling me or my daughter. Is that selfish of me, or what! But who cares, it's working for me. I stepped on the scale this morning for my weekly weigh-in and voila! I lost another 2 pounds last week!! Officially at 221 now.

Along with going to the pool the last few days, I've been doing some pilates each night - and leg lifts and stretching. I don't know if it's the combination of all of those, but my back is really feeling better. And after months of pain - this feels good! I'm hoping that my chiropractor visits will become fewer and fewer!

I know I say this a lot, but this 30 challenge is great! I can't believe I didn't do this before now. The weight loss is just confirmation to me that I'm making the right choices. I'm changing the way I eat - a LOT less. Sure, there are days that I'm ravenous and feel like I could eat everything in sight, but even on those days I'm finding that my self-control is getting stronger! I think it's just that my whole mindset is changing - and it's great! I never would've imagined that this challenge would have this kind of effect on me. It pays off to stick with something for more than a day...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Days 11 & 12

Tonight I'm in pain - but it's a good pain. It's the kind of pain you feel when you've had a hard workout and your muscles are crying out in protest. My abs haven't had a good workout in a long time, and I'm feeling it. But, man, it feels good!!

Last summer I took a Pilates class for several months and saw good results. However, as winter rolled around I stopped going and my back pain came back... You see, I've had chronic back problems since I was about 14 - several timely falls wreaked havoc on it - causing spasms and just general pain. About 6 years ago, I found a great chiropractor who helped me more than anyone had up to that point. Then last year I discovered Pilates. Of everything I've tried, that has been the most successful. There's something about strengthening those core muscles that keeps my back from hurting! Imagine that...

For some reason, I didn't continue with pilates - and yes, as I said, the back pain is, well, back. I have determined to fight it. So yesterday I added pilates into my exercise routine and today - - sore abs and a very happy me. I am going to stick with it this time!

If I'm learning anything during this 30 day challenge, it's that I can actually stick with something for more than a couple days. It's such a good feeling, knowing that not only am I improving my health, but I'm adding self-discipline into my life - something I've been in desperate need of...

This afternoon I went swimming for an hour with my daughter, and made a point to work my abs as much as possible. Which is actually quite easy when you're treading water. So, day 12 has been a success. Bring on the next 18 days, please!

Oh, and by the way, I lost 2 pounds last week! I weighed in on Monday at 223.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 10

Yikes! I haven't spent but about 5 minutes on my computer the past 3 days - and I'm making up for it today!

I bet you were starting to think that I've given up on my 30 day challenge? Well, you would be sooo wrong! I've had 10 consecutive days of exercise and I feel great! I still have to do my 30 minutes for today - but I'm going swimming with my daughter this afternoon, so that will give me at least an hour of good exercise.

The past 3 days have been a combination of biking, swimming and walking. It's hard for me to believe that I've actually been successful so far. It's just that exercise has been at the bottom of my long list for a long time. I never would've guessed that I would actually start to enjoy it, but I really am! I'm actually thinking of starting one of my many workout videos and see how many days in a row I can do it. One of my favorites has been The Firm with the Fanny Lifter. But once again, I've never stuck with it long enough to actually see results... It sounds like it might be kind of rainy next week, so that just might be my exercise of choice - we'll see.

By the way, I've been sleeping wonderfully and I can't help but attribute it to the exercise! I'll be back later with my Day 11 update!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 7 - Wahoo!!

Well, I thought I would be more "relaxing" in my exercise today...not so!! It was just so nice outside and since mowing and pulling weeds is actually quite therapeutic for me - that's what I did. I know, it's Sunday. But I really had a good time! Casey and Daddy were spending some quality time together, so I escaped to my outdoor haven - just me.

For those of you who are doing this challenge with me - WOOHOO!! We've got 7 days under our belts!! Only 23 to go. And we can so do it!

Don't give up. If you're tempted, think about how good you'll feel at the end of 30 days. Seriously. It'll be awesome! Let me know what and how you're doing - and what are you rewarding yourself with when you reach your goal?

Don't give up.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 6

I'll say it again - I'm so amazed that I've done this for 6 days in a row! And today was fun! I took my new bike out for a spin with Casey in the little bike trailer and whew! what a workout! It's nothing like riding alone or on my exercise bike. First of all, I was pulling an extra 50 pounds and second, I actually had to pedal up hills. Ouch to both. However, it felt amazing to get back, all hot and sweaty, and know that I've accomplished 6 consecutive days of exercise!

My hubby has been a great cheerleader. I think he was pretty skeptical when I first mentioned my 30 day plan to him - he has been married to me for 16 years, so I guess that would probably make him just a bit of an authority on my exercise habits... However, he's on the bandwagon now! In fact, he's the one who encouraged me to go on the bike ride today. He's also the one who bought me the bike - since I know nothing about them... It's got a nice wide seat, just what I need for the caboose I'm carrying around behind me - haha!! However, I still have an aching hind-end, but that's to be expected...

Tomorrow is Sunday. Typically a day of rest at our house, but that won't stop me from getting my 30 minutes in. I'm planning to do Pilates and stretching, both very valid forms of exercise and necessary in getting those muscles in shape and toned.

Counting down the days....until the next 30 day challenge! Only 24 days to go!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Days 4 & 5

I am so proud of myself! I haven't exercised for 5 days in a row since high school! Now I know that's a very sad fact to admit, but in my willingness to be open and honest in this endeavor - I'll do whatever I can! So far, days 3 & 4 have been taken the most willpower to complete. I so would have given up under normal circumstances - or at least procrastinated for a day or more. But I just focused on the goal and decided that I was going to get it done no matter what and no matter how late it was - and I did!!!

Today I rode my exercise bike from 6 - 6:30pm. Four hours earlier than normal... It felt really good. I was sweating like a dog and loving every minute of it. For some reason, it was so much easier today. Easier to decide to exercise, that is. The exercise itself...well, I already mentioned my sweaty self...

I have no idea what the weekend will hold as far as willpower is concerned, but it doesn't really matter, because I'm going to do this for 30 days - NO MATTER WHAT!!

5 down - 25 to go! Yippee!

Thank you for your encouraging feedback! And for those of you who are doing this challenge with me - don't give up! If I can do this, literally anyone can do it!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 3

I'm just going to admit it - if it weren't for this 30 day challenge, I think I would've skipped my exercise today. Isn't that terrible? However, I did NOT skip and so I am still on my way to a successful 30 days! Woohoo!!

I rode my stationary bike for 20 minutes and then did a combo of jumping jacks, push-ups, crunches and leg lifts for the remaining 10 minutes. I am really out of shape and was sweating like a dog by the end, but I feel really good!

How did you do? Only 27 days left! And it's not too late to join in on the challenge!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 2

Today's exercise consisted of mowing and trimming the lawn for 30+ minutes. Even though it wasn't a huge cardio workout - the sweat that poured from my body was very consistent with one! So I'm counting it!

Along with exercise, I'm trying really hard to eat healthier and drink plenty of water - especially necessary when outside in this hot and humid weather!! I feel like I did quite well today. Now I'm getting ready for a nice little bowl of popcorn and then some more de-cluttering and then bedtime!

Can't wait for Day 3!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 1 Exercise

Just a blurb here so you all know that I'm following through on my challenge!

15 minutes on the stationary bike @ 10 mph
15 minutes of core/ab work - ouch!

Feeling pretty good right now! Day 1 down, 29 to go!

Day 1

Ugh! I gingerly stepped on the scale this morning and quickly jumped back off. Could that be right?! Slowly, I stepped back on again, and yes - sadly, it was right. 225 pounds. Wasn't I at 217 just 2 months ago? I guess I have even more incentive to do this 30 day challenge! You know, the past 2 months have been very stressful for me and obviously, stress does not agree with me.

Here are my starting stats:
  • Weight: 225
  • Waist: 44"
  • Butt: 47"
  • Hips: 45.5"
  • Left thigh: 29"
  • Right thigh: 29"
You have no idea how much I do NOT want to post this info. I mean, seriously! Do you see the fat trend here? But I know how I am, and by putting this out there - I'm giving myself a huge reason to stick with this plan. I hope to see every single one of the those numbers go down in 30 days! My exercise post will come later - since I haven't done that yet today - but I will!!

Now for the reward part! I've been trying to come up with something that will really give me incentive to succeed. For me, that's a haircut - I really don't know why I keep letting my hair grow out because I end up hating it every time! So, at the end of these 30 days, after I've exercised every day and after the numbers have gone down - I will treat myself to a haircut and color.

For those of you who are going to join me, please let me know so that we can keep each other accountable! Think of a reward that will give you incentive to succeed. And if you're brave - post your "stats" too!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My 30-Day Challenge

How do you motivate yourself when it seems all motivation has flown out the window? For me, I'm going to try a 30-day Challenge. I figure that if I can stick with something for 30 days, not only will it become a habit, but I should definitely see results and find that ever-elusive motivation once again! I've been trying to come up with a challenge that isn't too easy but that isn't so difficult that I want to give up. It needs to be attainable - with some effort. So, here it is:

For the next 30 days (including Sundays!), starting Monday, July 26, I will do 30 minutes of intentional exercise each day. I'm calling it my "30/30 Challenge"!

Now, it may not seem like much of a challenge. However, for me, it is! You see, I'm very good at starting things and not so good at keeping at them until they're done. That is about to change. I need to do this, for my health and my sanity. I drive myself nuts thinking about how much progress I could have made by now if only I would've kept at it - and I'm done with that!! With God's help, I will succeed in this challenge and hopefully follow it with another one!

I would love to have you join me! Just knowing that I'm not doing this alone would be a huge motivator! (There's that word again!) Tomorrow I will post my starting weight and my exercise, and I pray there will be a difference by the end of 30 days! I know - I'll also measure my waist, hips & thighs (ugh) - seeing those numbers go down would be a HUGE motivator for me!!

I'm looking at this challenge as my best effort so far in the journey towards losing my double chin! Please join me, or at least send your encouraging thoughts my way! Because I know I'll need it! Woohoo!

Oh, I nearly forgot - I've got my 20-year class reunion coming up in 1 year, and I am determined to that there will be less of me attending that reunion than there is now!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Goodbye Stress!

Well, I think I'm back to stay. And not feeling quite so depressed either. Without going into detail, I will just say that I've been dealing with a health issue over the past couple of months that has led to feelings of great blah. But, thank God, He is taking care of me and has made a bleak situation fabulous!! Needless to say, I am ready to hop back on the horse and get rid of this double chin once and for all!

I feel like I need to write a little about how stress and even slight depression effected me. First, I totally started gaining weight. (Remember when my scale was "broken"?) Even though I wasn't eating more, I ate junk and with everything that was going on and my total lack of motivation - I gained. Plus, I wasn't sleeping well at all. I'm convinced that the stress just added to my health problem, making it worse! When I started this blog, my hope was that if a situation like this came up, that I would use this as an outlet to help me stay on track. What I found is that it was more depressing for me to try to come up with upbeat and motivational things to write. What I should have done, is wrote exactly how I was feeling and what I was going through. Obviously, I didn't do that. I guess you could say I failed, or, as I prefer to say, I've learned from this experience and will move forward with this knowledge!

So, what did I learn?
  • That my body doesn't like stress and won't respond well to it at all. 
  • I don't sleep well when stressed/depressed. 
  • To keep fresh fruits and veggies in the house and not bake stuff that's bad for me - because I will eat it!
  • I need to talk/write about it. Every time I spoke with someone about it, which wasn't very often, I felt better. No more pretending...
  • To make myself get up off the couch and away from the computer and move! Get outside!
  • To always trust that God is in control!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Baby Steps To Good Nutrition

Thanks for all the great snack ideas! They will be implemented into this previously unhealthy house of mine. This morning I went to the grocery store and as I was leaving, noticed that they had over-ripe bananas for .10 cents a pound! So I grabbed a couple bags - - for only .55 cents!! Smoothies, here I come! I already have frozen blueberries and strawberries, add some yogurt and a little milk and tada - delicious fruit smoothie. That should take care of our required fruit serving for the day.

Last week I went to a very interesting meeting about nutrition and how most of us don't eat nearly enough fruits and veggies. So, in addition to coming up with healthy snacks, I want to incorporate more fruits and veggies into our daily diet. I like fresh fruit, I'm just horrible about buying it and then not eating it. I tend to do the same thing with veggies. Kind of defeats the purpose, don't you think? I'm trying really hard to change that! Last week, when I got home from the store, instead of just putting the produce right into the fridge, I cleaned and cut it up. This meant that the grapes actually got eaten. I know, I should've been doing this long ago, but I wasn't. Now I am. This should put us on the right track to getting those important daily nutrients.

I've also started buying my eggs from a local farmer. I'm amazed at the difference in the eggs. Sunday morning I made pancakes for breakfast, and when my hubby walked into the kitchen he looked in the pan and asked if we were having corn pancakes. I laughed and told him that's what pancakes look like when you use farm fresh eggs - the yolks are a lot more yellow. It was pretty funny! That being said, I'm convinced these eggs are much better for us. Those chickens roam all over the farm and their eggs taste wonderful.

I'm slowly getting our family into a good nutrition mode. Slowly. But I am getting there, and that is what counts.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Healthy Snacks, Please

Good nutrition has been on my mind a lot lately, and I'm realizing that I really need to do something about it! My little 4-year old likes to forage for snacks in the kitchen and I haven't been good about keeping healthy things on hand - that needs to change. As I look at my shelves right now, I have Ritz crackers, chewy granola bars and oreos...and in the fridge I have fudge-cicles, icies, go-gurt  and carrots. Not much to choose from for snacks and not all that great for you - except for the yogurt and carrots, of course. So, I'm making a list of healthy snacks, things I can buy or make, that will be better for all of us. Oh, and all of that on a very limited budget. It's not like I can go out and spend $50 a week on healthy snack foods...

Some of the things I've come up with are:

  • mozzarella cheese sticks
  • veggies & dip
  • homemade granola bars

As you can see, it's not a very long list, pathetic actually - - I need suggestions!!! What do you keep in your house for snacks? Or are you struggling just like me? I really want to set a good example for my daughter when it comes to nutrition, and I haven't been doing so well. In spite of me, she's very healthy and I would like to keep it that way. In fact, I would like to say that she's healthy because of me. So that's my new challenge, starting this week - healthy snacks for the entire family!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Forgive & Move On

Ok, so I'm going to try really hard to not make a habit of waiting a whole week to post! Yikes! Anyway, I'm going to also be totally honest - and if you haven't figured it out yet: Last week was a bust for me weight-wise. First, I felt fat all week. Second, I snacked all week. Third, I didn't do a lick of exercise. This doesn't generally add up to a successful or healthy week, which it didn't. But, as a friend of mine so pointedly reminded me on FaceBook, "Don't give up! Forgive yourself and move on!" That is exactly what I intend to do.

I will 'fess up and let you know that my week of fatness gained me 3 pounds. Yep, 220 is the weight verdict this week. (I unbroke my scale...) I would really like to be at 215 by the end of June, so I have a lot of work ahead of me! Actually, as I think about it, it's not that much work. I just need to eat decently, get a little exercise every day and drink my water. Does that sound difficult to you?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Scale is Broken...

So I'm needing a pep talk. It's just been one of those weeks and the last thing I feel like doing is working on weight loss. I know that Wednesday is supposed to be my weight-down day, but I don't want to go near that scale - so I'm pretending it's broken. Then I don't have to feel guilty. Yesterday I ate too much. Today I haven't eaten enough. Maybe tomorrow will be better, we'll see.

I can't be the only one who goes through these rough stages. I want to be outside, not sitting at my computer letting the world know that I'm fat. But, if I'm honest with myself, I know that ultimately this is what helps me stay on track - keeps me from going off the deep end. This is my "weight watchers" - literally - because people are watching me try to lose weight.

I wish I had an encouraging word for today, but I'm going to have to dig pretty deep to find it. I guess I'll just say that it's important to not let yourself get discouraged. And if you do get discouraged, don't go out and do something stupid - like eat a whole bag of chips or something like that. Which I haven't done, thank goodness! Because then I'd have to 'fess up and that would be horrible!!

So, even though my scale is "broken" today, I will smile and drink my water and eat my salad and be thankful that I'm on the right track to a healthier me. After all, not every day can be perfect.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ugh?

All I'm going to say is that I'm having one of those "I-feel-fat" days. I hate these days.

I feel guilty for everything that goes into my mouth.

I'm dreading the Wednesday weigh in - I'm positive it will be a positive number and so I don't even want to go near the scale.

I want to be on "Biggest Loser" so that Jillian can kick my butt into gear and make me wish I was dead.

I think I could devour an entire gallon of ice cream if given the chance.

I have been searching all day for my motivation to get moving and I have no clue where it is.

I'm sick of drinking water. It tastes bland.

I would love to drink an entire bottle of wine. Moscato D'Asti if you're asking.

I want to sit on the couch and watch hours of tv.

I'm seriously craving fresh salsa. Or chocolate. Or ice cream. Or wine.

Funny, I'm starting to feel better just writing this.

Hmmm.

This is very interesting.

I think I'll do some jumping jacks and alternate with my exercise bike.

A glass of Crystal Light tea is sounding tasty.

Maybe a little popcorn.

Thank you for this! I really do feel better!

Healthy me - Here I come!

It's Challenge Monday - here's the challenge:

Don't get discouraged! Do significant exercise 15 minutes every day!

Friday, June 4, 2010

I Love To Swim

I am so excited! Our town pool is opening today! This year I intend to take advantage of the adult swim time and get some great exercise in. Swimming is exercise that I can handle. It's the best of both worlds - exercise and cooling off - at the same time! Last year, the few times I got to swim without having to watch my daughter, I realized just how out of shape I was. It's tough work and I'm looking forward to it!

I love summer. I love warm weather. I love being outdoors without a coat. I love working outdoors. I love to swim.

Don't forget your sunscreen!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Bye" Week Needed...

I think it's only fair to claim a "bye" week here. First of all, bloating makes me very afraid to step on the scale - so I'm not going to. Maybe that's a cop-out, but why make myself feel depressed when in a week I know I'll feel much better? Second, I've exercised once in a week - yikes! Another good reason to not step on the scale. I've been good with my diet, but that's about it. So, next Wednesday, I'll weigh in and let you know the results.

Speaking of diets, it seems like there is always something new and fabulous out there - touting its ability to make you lose tons of weight and feel great. I've tried a couple of them and have come to this conclusion: The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat/drink right, exercise and get plenty of sleep.

Eating right can mean a lot of things. For me, it means portion control and drinking plenty of water. I'm not as concerned about what I eat, just that I don't over-eat! I don't make a habit of taking second helpings, and I try really hard to keep my serving sizes small. Sure, I have "relapses", but not very often!

My exercise consists of doing something that requires movement and effort on my part. So just sitting outside watching my daughter run around doesn't count. Haha!! Seriously, though, I'm a terrible exerciser and I have to really make myself do it. Like I said, I haven't done a thing the past week except for a walk on Tuesday. That won't get me where I want to be. Thankfully, today is a new day!

What is plenty of sleep? For me, it's at least 7 hours with 8 being ideal. My hubby works 2nd shift, so he gets home around 11:30 and I usually stay up so I can spend some time with him. This means bedtime for me can run anywhere from 12:30-2:00am. This is ok if my daughter sleeps until 9, but that's not always the case. I need to be a lot more disciplined about sleep. I'm pretty sure that lack of sleep has been a big contributor to my weight gain... sad, isn't it?

With that being said, today is a new day with a new opportunity to do things right. I'm not going to give up - like I would have in the past - I'm going to take advantage of this day with its beautiful weather and get moving!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's Good To Be Back!

Well, I'm back. Finally. I've been dealing with a painfully sick child for the past week, which has greatly reduced my computer time. Plus, I just didn't have the energy to sit down and think of something to write. But, after a full night of sleep, I'm feeling refreshed and ready to face the day!

What was really interesting, is that I paid more attention to how stress affected my eating habits. I ate less, slept less, drank less, exercised way less and overall felt exhausted! I found myself just grabbing something to eat on the run and not sitting down to eat. Luckily, I've started keeping more fresh fruit in the house, so it was usually a banana or something like that. But I found I didn't do as well with drinking water, which was strange to me. I'm usually pretty good at getting my 10 glasses of water a day. When I weighed myself on Wednesday, I didn't lose at all, and I'm positive it was because of the stress. In fact, before I stepped on the scale, I contemplated not doing it all - I was afraid of a gain and that would've been down-right depressing.

So, this week I'm starting with a fresh slate, a much happier-healthier daughter and I think my sanity is still here somewhere. I'm looking forward to enjoying the outdoors and hopefully more exercise! And maybe, just maybe I'll get a little closer to my goal of losing this double chin that's been haunting me for 10 years.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Weight Down Wednesday

Wow! It's amazing how much a sick child can affect your computer time! Needless to say, it's been a stress-filled week and I was extremely apprehensive about stepping on the scale this morning. The good news is that I didn't gain a pound, but I didn't lose either. Stayed right at 217. That's ok! I'm going to chalk it up to a week of no sleep. Which brings up a very good topic - SLEEP.

Did you know that our bodies require sleep for a reason? In fact, here are 5 really good reasons to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night:

  1. Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory.
  2. Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain!Ouch!
  3. Safety: Sleep loss contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the day.
  4. Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Hmmm....
  5. Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.
A year ago, I walked several miles faithfully every day for a month. I lost an inch around my thighs, but not an ounce of weight. Why? I was getting about 4-5 hours of sleep a night. The lesson here is that it doesn't matter how much you exercise - if you aren't getting enough sleep, your body goes into preservation mode. We need sleep. Since that time, I try very hard to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Not only do I feel better during the day, I function so much better!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Eat. Think. Drink.

Eating without thinking about it. How many people do that? I've realized that I do it a LOT! For some reason, this week was especially bad. Maybe it was my weekly challenge to only eat 1 serving size without seconds, I don't know. In spite of all the temptations, I did really well. But like I said, I was made quite aware of my ability to just stick something in my mouth without even thinking about it.

So, I've come up with at least one way to avoid doing this and in turn over-eating. I keep a glass of water on the kitchen counter, when it gets emptied, I refill it. This way when I walk into the kitchen, the first thing I do is drink the water (and refill the glass) and then try to figure out why I walked into the kitchen in the first place. I must say, this has worked well for me this week. It's also helped me to drink plenty of water!

Now, the weekend is upon us. I used to approach the weekend as my "free weekend". Meaning that I could eat or drink whatever I wanted. However, I'm finding myself approaching it a bit differently now. I'm not on a diet, this is a change in my eating habits. So the weekend is no different from every other day of the week. Surprisingly, that doesn't make me feel bad at all. I know that if we go out to eat, I'll be good and not overeat. Plain and simple.

Enjoy the weekend. It's supposed to be warm and sunny here, so I'm thinking there won't be much time spent on the computer. Woohoo!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Weight Down Wednesday

I'm christening today as "Weight Down Wednesday". What does that mean, you ask? Well, typically when you join a weight loss group such as TOPS, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig - you name it - you have a certain day of the week that is your weigh-in day. For me, that day is Wednesday, and my goal for this day is to have my weight go DOWN, at least until I've reached my goal. That is, no more double chin! *grin* Thus, the name "Weight Down".

So, you may now be wondering if I attained that Wednesday goal, to which I will most happily answer, "YES"!!!! This morning I weighed in at 217. Down from 218 last week. Woohoo!!!! Losing 1 pound is far better than gaining 1 pound. And I should know....

Now, to do it again next week, and the next, and the next. You get the idea. Yay! I'm so happy!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why Eat Breakfast?

Let me start with a confession, I did not do any exercise yesterday. There. That's done. If I am to be successful in "losing my double chin", I have to get some physical activity into my day. So, since this is a new day - I'll start with a fresh slate. Never give up. Each day is a new opportunity to reach for your goals!

Now, on to my real topic for today - Breakfast. I struggle with breakfast. It's so easy for me to skip this most important meal, or to eat something that has me ravenous by 10am. I'm trying really hard to make breakfast a habit - and a healthy one at that. But, honestly, it's been difficult. So what do I do? First, I've found that a good oatbran muffin or a bowl of hot oatmeal satisfies me for several hours, even an egg and a piece of toast will do that. However, a blueberry muffin, bowl of cereal or a cinnamon roll has me starving in a couple hours. I'm not an expert, but I think the sugar content has something to do with that. (Side note: Pop Tarts are a horrendous "breakfast" food - they are made entirely of sugar!) It helps that I have to make breakfast for my daughter, however, I will admit that in the past she's gotten some pretty un-breakfasty foods...that's all I'll say about that. Except that I am changing my ways!

Why is breakfast so important? It's like your body's alarm clock - it wakes it up and gets it going for the day. If you eat a nutritious breakfast, you will be less likely to crave fattening snacks throughout the day. Also, did you know that if you skip a meal during the day - you will be much more likely to overeat at some point that day? That reason is enough for me! And I think it's played a major part in my weight gain the past 10 years.

What do you eat for breakfast? Do you struggle like me? I'd love to hear from you!

Here's my Oat Bran Muffin recipe:

4 cups oat bran
1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup dry powdered milk
1/2 cup unrefined or raw sugar
2 Tablespoons baking powder
2 cups dried fruit (I love Craisins!)
1-1/2 cups milk or water

Fill the muffin cups, these do not rise very much at all. Makes 6 jumbo or 12 regular muffins.
Bake at 350
18-21 minutes for regular muffins or 25-30 minutes for jumbo
These keep best in the refrigerator.
Delicious for breakfast and very filling. Enjoy!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Challenge Monday

My new-found willpower was severely tested this weekend - - by Monster Cookies! I have the best recipe for these delicious treats and they are most certainly a weakness of mine. I made them because my hubby was complaining that there was nothing in the house to snack on. I had a bag of m&m's that needed to be used, and so the idea for monster cookies entered my brain. I don't know about you, but there aren't a lot of things that taste as good as fresh-from-the-oven cookies - they're warm and chewy and gooey and - well, I could go on and on, but I won't. Needless to say, I managed to cut myself off at 3... on Saturday... and that's all I'll say about it...

Even though the cookies were delicious, and I ate plenty the first day, my willpower kept me from devouring a dozen. I must say that I was surprised with my ability to cut myself off. How did I get to this point? And can I stay here? I'm certainly going to try! Being able to say "NO!" to food, especially too much food, is a huge step towards a healthier and skinnier me.

I was with some friends last week and we got to talking about weight loss. One of my friends is a fitness guru, and she gave us this tidbit, "It doesn't matter how much you exercise, if you don't adjust your eating habits, you will not lose weight. Sure, you may be healthier and in better shape physically, but your weight will not go down unless you cut back on the amount of food you eat."

Excellent advice. Let's use it!

Today is Challenge Monday. I like to give myself a goal each week, something I can attain, but will stretch my comfort a bit. So this week, (and this goes through Sunday!) the challenge is:

Eat only the recommended serving size of whatever you eat. NO SECONDS.

For example, if you have ice cream, eat only 1/2 cup.  If you cook or bake from scratch, like me, be reasonable in your portion sizes!

We can do it!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Exercise - Yeah, right...

I need to confess - I really don't like to exercise. Knowing that I have to do it, just makes it worse. So I keep trying to come up with creative ways to get exercise without really calling it exercise. Did that make any sense at all?

The bike in my living room has helped, because I can ride while watching tv. Here are some other things I do while watching tv (which, I must confess, I enjoy too much):
  • Leg Lifts - they're way more fun when you're watching your favorite tv show
  • Leg Presses - I lay on my back with my knees to my chest and have my daughter lay on my feet and lift her up - she loves it!
  • Pilates - once you learn the basics, you can do this anywhere!
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Walking/running in place
For some reason, I am much more faithful at doing these things when I'm not following a dvd. I'm sure it's all in my head, but hey! Whatever works, right?! You don't have to sit on your butt the entire time you're watching a show.

With spring here, I love being outdoors, and that means all kinds of exercise - mowing lawn, gardening, weeding, swimming (soon!), walking, riding bike and so much more. Sure, these things don't burn as many calories as a full-on one hour workout, but they get the job done! Especially if you keep your food intake sensible! That's the topic for tomorrow...

Enjoy your Friday!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Start Somewhere

We all know what it takes to lose weight. We hear it all the time:

"Eat healthy. Exercise. Drink Water. Get Sleep."

It sounds so easy. Then why isn't it? For me, it's actually taking that knowledge and using it - I haven't done that. Until now. For some reason, when I stepped on that scale and saw 230 pounds, something clicked in my brain. The fact that I actually let myself reach that weight scared me! And I did do this to myself. I can't blame anyone else. So what am I going to do about it?

I really don't like to exercise. I have a lot of dvds that are gathering dust because I just don't enjoy doing them. So I needed to find something that would work for me. And I did - I found an old exercise bike at a thrift store for $5 - and I'm using it every day. Sure, I could've gone out and bought one of those fancy new ones with all the bells and whistles, but I wanted to be sure that I would actually use it! I know too many people who have bikes and treadmills that they never use! I'm at 10 minutes a day right now.
I have seriously cut back on my portion sizes. This has always been the hardest thing for me, because I LOVE food and I LOVE to eat! Lucky, or unlucky depending on how you look at it, I got really sick 2 weeks ago and basically didn't eat for 3 days. The result was that my stomach shrunk a LOT! I am determined not to stretch it back out. I am basically eating half of what I used to. For example, we went to Applebee's last weekend and I ordered my favorite, the Fiesta Lime Chicken. When my food came, I divided the entire dish in half - ate half and boxed the rest. I left feeling very satisfied. Before, I would've devoured the entire entree plus an appetizer and maybe even dessert. I'm a little stunned that it doesn't take nearly as much food to satisfy me as I once thought.

I drink lots of water and I'm trying really hard to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

I'm convinced that cutting back on how much food I eat will be the key to my success at losing weight. Yes, exercise is very important, but it doesn't have to be an hour a day at the local gym. It can start with a brisk 10 minute walk every day, or riding an exercise bike for 10 minutes - while watching your favorite tv show. Even chasing your kids around the yard counts. The key is to do something, anything.

I've been setting small goals for myself each week since the beginning of April. Something that's easily attainable, but will give me results if I stick to it. This week my goal is to ride my exercise bike for 15 minutes a day. 

So don't just sit there feeling bad about your extra weight. That's what I did for a long time, and look where it got me - nowhere! Start today. Don't give up when you mess up. Just start over. It's never too late!

Monday, May 10, 2010

And So It Begins....

Finally! My own official weight-loss blog! I've been thinking about this for a while and since today is rainy and my daughter is taking a nap - what better time to start, than right now.

Weight has not always been a struggle for me. I didn't even give it a second thought when I was in high school, and even when I gained the "freshman fifteen" in bible school, I still wasn't concerned. I was 5'9" 155 and a size 10. Then, I got married. I think it was the pill that started it. I gained 25 pounds in the first 3 years - yikes!! Then I went off the pill for various reasons, including the awful weight gain. I tried a natural diet pill with ephedra in it, and was able to lose it all within a year. But then, I went off that pill and let's just say, "The proof is in the pudding." And what a pudding it has been! 75 pounds have been gained in 11 years. It disgusts me to think that I've done this to myself. And for the past number of years I've let that disgust rule me. NO MORE!

That is why I'm starting this blog. I no longer want a discouraging voice in my head - I want an encouraging one!! These are my goals for this blog:
  1. To daily encourage myself and others to eat right and live healthy.
  2. To be real and honest about the struggles involved in doing the above!
  3. To have others share their struggles and victories, so we can all be encouraged.
  4. Honestly, I want to lose weight - and I'm hoping that this blog will help me find and keep my willpower to do just that.
  5. Weekly weigh-in.
  6. Contests. Who doesn't love a little incentive?

As I think of more goals, I'll add them. #4 really should be my #1, because that's really what I want! At the beginning of April, I weighed in at a hefty 230 lbs and a size 18/20. As of May 10, I'm at 218. That's been very encouraging to me, and makes me want to find my 155 again - AND I really want to lose my double chin!

Join me in this journey, because it's always easier with a friend!