Oh, By The Weigh | 5.27.12

Finally. FINALLY! Finally I think things are moving in the right direction. I was down 1.5 lbs this week. Which means I have lost a total of 30.5 lbs since starting this thing. I'm pretty much back where I was a year ago...but this time I have confidence that I'm going to keep this momentum going and get out of the freaking 180s! I'm in the best shape I have ever been in. I'm eating great 90% of the time. Only thing I want to work on is losing the booze. (But it's just so tasty and fun!)

  • Great workouts again this week. And I'm having fun doing it. AND! Running has really become a stress reliever. Instead of sitting on the couch and stressing, I'm getting myself outside and running. It feels good. 
  • I think I'm handling stress much better in general. I felt pretty great this week. A few moments of freaking out as I dealt with the not so fun stuff, but overall I'm doing pretty good. And most importantly, I'm not avoiding anymore. I'm being more proactive. And I think I'm figuring out what is really important to me and getting rid of the rest. 
  • I cooked a few great meals this week. Which is HUGE for me. I don't cook. But this week I made a great quinoa, mango and black bean salad (I added some grilled chicken to make it more of a meal) and I grilled all on my own (I made this, but cooked the meat and tomatoes on the grill). It's been fun! It's been fun to have someone to cook for. And hopefully I will continue to experiment.
  • I wasn't the greatest at tracking this week. Again...if it's hard to track, I usually don't. With lots of new foods and recipes this week, it was hard to track. But I would say that I fueled my body with good stuff this week. I'm still working on changing my attitude about food. Trying not to look at food as good or bad, but as fuel for my body so that it can keep doing the amazing things it's doing. And sometimes that fuel includes a donut on Sunday morning. :)   

  • Sunday: Rest Day
  • Monday: Gym - Arc Trainer for 30 minutes; Circuit with cardio 
  • Tuesday: 3.87 mile run on the boardwalk (a surprise great run...wasn't expecting it)
  • Wednesday: 34.21 mile bike ride to Sandy Hook (was a great morning, loved the ride!)
  • Thursday: Rest Day
  • Friday: 3.39 mile run in Nyack
  • Saturday: 8.15 mile walk to Piermont and back (not bad except for the HUGE blister I got)

  • Hmmmmm, always working on this one: Lose the Booze! The weekend included an extra bottle of wine that I really didn't need. Working on moderation! I wish wine would come in single serving bottles. ;)
  • Activity: I want to get to my May running goal of 26.2 total miles. I'm really close and after a run this morning I only need 3.2 more miles. I would also like to get back out on my bike...but perhaps I need to invest in some padded shorts first. And if I'm going to continue to spend more time in Rockland County, I need to invest in upgrading my gym membership so I can go here. I don't want my weight training to stop.
  • With temperatures rising, I need to get out on my runs EARLY in the morning. It was nearly 80 degrees when I was running at 8:30 am today. And it nearly killed me. If I want to keep working on my speed and endurance I need to have the temps on my side. I will eventually become a morning person!
  • Track, track, track. 
  • Try one new recipe this week (and track it).
  • I want to focus on my goal to get out of the 180s this week. It's so close now. And I think keeping this goal in the front of my mind might help with the everyday decisions. I'm not putting a date on when I think I should reach this goal, but I want to keep moving in the right direction. I'm getting out of the freakin 180s!!

What I'm Learning From Running

The more time I spend running, the more time I have to think. And the good thing about thinking while running, is that it's usually positive. Negative thoughts don't like all those exercise endorphins. ;) And with all that thinking and running, I'm realizing that running is teaching me a lot:

  • Sometimes you just can't look at the finish line. Because, you know what, sometimes it looks really, really far away...when running and in life. And so it's easier to just stay focused on the present. The next step, the current view, the pavement directly under my feet. When the finish line is overwhelming, just take it one step at a time. Cause if you keep going, you will eventually get to the finish line.
  • Focus on the present moment and appreciate each step. This is more than not focusing on the finish line. It's knowing that you will get to the finish line eventually, but you also have to get through the next step...and the next...and the next. And perhaps instead of just wishing each step would go by faster, I should appreciate each one of them. Appreciate that my body can do it. Appreciate the view. Live in the moment. I think this is big for me right now. A couple months ago I kept telling people I was 33. In my head I was thinking I was 33. Well, I'm not 33 for another 3 months. And it wasn't because I forgot my age, it was because I kinda didn't want be in the present. I didn't want to be an unemployed girl who was feeling lost. I wanted to be past the hard times. But that is so silly. I still have to get up and live each day and I'm learning that each day has something to offer. I have started to appreciate each day for what it might bring my way: the view, the lessons, the smiles, the tears, the love, the heartache, the struggles, the little victories...all of it.
  • Don't always focus on what other people are doing. Sometimes I'm running along, feeling great...on top of the world and fast. Wind in my hair...you know, the whole shebang. And then some dude comes striding past me...all light and airy and smiley and going, I would guess, at least twice my pace (at least that's what it feels like to me.) And I start to get all deflated. I question my ability, my progress...I question what I'm even doing out there. But then I remember how far I've come. How I couldn't even run a mile without stopping and now I'm running four. Right now I might be slow, but if I keep working at it I won't be as slow. And I know that...I have proof in my running times. So I just have to forget about those other people, stop comparing myself to them. And in life, it's so easy to look at other people and think their life is great. To think I'm not good enough or I will never be as good as the person next to me...as that blogger or that girl I follow on Instagram. But the truth is I'm also pretty freaking amazing. My time is coming. And it's ok to celebrate my little victories...and my 11 minute miles!
  • You always feel better after you've done it. Always! Sometimes I feel great while doing it, but I always feel great after I've run. Which you would think would be enough motivation to get up and do it everyday...but I'm not gonna lie. It's still hard to motivate myself. Life chores are that way too. I always feel better after I've paid my bills, cleaned up my inbox or made that appointment I've been putting off. I'm such a procrastinator, but I'm learning I always feel better after I'm done. And that is starting to be motivation enough.
  • I can do it! I use to think I couldn't run. I was too fat or too slow or not fit enough. People would wonder why I was doing it. Laugh at me. I use to think I wasn't physically capable. But I am. My amazing body is carrying me along farther and farther.  And I'm getting better and better every day. Doubt and fear are real things I deal with on a daily basis. And being unemployed and not exactly sure where I will end up aren't helping with that. But I'm learning to let go of that. To have faith that things will turn out exactly as they should. I recognize the doubt, I hear the fear...but I don't let it overwhelm me. And more importantly, I know I can work through it.
  • If you put the work in, you will see the benefits. I don't think this needs much explanation. The more I put into my training the better I get. But I'm also starting to recognize that I have been working really hard to live the most juicy, happy and full life I can...and it's really paying off. I have come so far. I can look back and truly know that I've learned from my past experiences...I have grown. And that feels good.

Oh, By the Weigh | May 20, 2012

So far I feel like moving my weigh-in day was a great idea. It's making me think about things a little differently. Making this new again. I've had to change some of my strategies. It has helped me be more aware of what I'm eating. Makes me think about my indulgences a little differently.

And it's showing up in the numbers. Down 2.9lbs this week!

  • Well, the obvious: DOWN 2.9 LBS! This is exactly the number I was hoping for. I like it! I love that feeling of stepping on the scale and seeing your hard work pay off. And I think it is going to help motivate me to keep moving in the right direction. It feels good to be successful on the scale again.
  • Lots of great activity this week: bike ride, runs, gym time. Lots of great things and making me feel good. 
  • Mentally I think I'm in a good place. I'm being productive and I'm happy. I'm dealing with stress a little better. I've also been able to see how far I have come in the last couple years. I'm learning what I can control and what I can't. Learning to have patience and a little faith. Focusing on the positive.
  • I tracked almost everything I ate. Best I have done in weeks. And I also photographed most of what I ate (you can see a feed of my Instagram food photos on the left hand side of my blog.) I still get a little afraid people are going to get annoyed with all my food pics...especially since I so often eat the same thing. But there were times when it did help: I thought about eating something and then realized I didn't want to have to admit to my Instagram world that I ate it. It helped me make some good decisions. 
  • My relationship with booze is moving in the right direction. I had wine a couple times this week, but didn't go overboard. I still love me some wine! But I'm just starting to learn it's not worth the damage it does to my body...short term and long term. On that note, I also saw this amazing frozen sangria I want to try! {Hey, I'm working on balance here.}
  • I didn't go overboard at the graduation party this weekend. Oh, and I wore a dress that I love (definitely making the switch to dresses this summer, it's been seven summers of shorts and camp t-shirts. I'm going to have as much fun with my wardrobe as my very tiny budget will allow me to.)

  • Sunday: Gym - Arc Trainer for 15 minutes; about 1/2 The Circuit
  • Monday: Gym - Arc Trainer for 45 minutes
  • Tuesday: Morning - The Circuit and 10 minutes on Arc Trainer; Afternoon - walk on the boardwalk
  • Wednesday: Walk on the boardwalk
  • Thursday: Gym - The Circuit (one round); Arc Trainer for about 10 minutes
  • Friday: 4 mile run on the boardwalk
  • Saturday: 25 mile bike ride

  • Activity: I want to get two good runs in this week! Hopefully the rain won't stay around too long. 
  • I want to add four items to my Etsy shop: www.dregetscrafty.etsy.com
  • I want to apply for two jobs. 
  • Track all week and have another successful week on the scale!
  • I recently found out my blood pressure is high. It could be because of some medication I was on (the doctor took me off it this week), or it could be stress. But there is a history of high blood pressure in my family. And this is just not something I want to deal with as I get older. It's funny how it's so hard to relate our food choices to something like high blood pressure. There is an obvious link and it should be enough to make it easy to make the right choice. But it's not. I often don't think about my blood pressure when deciding what to eat or drink. I think about my appearance or the number on the scale...but not my blood pressure. I want to try to be more mindful in this respect. That I have to ability to make my body the best it can be...and that it goes so far beyond looking good in a dress or seeing the numbers go down on the scale. I want my heart to be healthy so that it can keep my body going...so I can go on bike rides and climb mountains for many, many more years to come.

A Look At The Numbers

Things have pretty much stayed the same for the last 5 months. Although, I'm in better shape than I was when I was in Colorado. I was active everyday in Colorado...but it was usually just a walk with Cooper. Which is still good, but obviously not cutting it when I was eating so much. Plus I wasn't working up a major sweat...which is one of my favorite things to do. Since returning to Jersey, I have developed a pretty great workout routine. I can say I'm proud of my activity the last couple months. I can now run 4 miles without stopping to walk at a pretty decent pace. I'm faster than I have ever been and that happened relatively fast. I still feel slow, but I'm getting over it and I know sooner or later I will be running faster than I ever thought possible. I have also kept up a strength training routine. While Bob Harper and his kettlebells haven't become a constant in my life, I'm lifting weights at least two times per week. I'm getting my sweat on and I love it! And I think that shows in the numbers above.

I have lost inches everywhere...except my waist. So I think that goes to show that the few pounds I have gained by eating too many cheeseburgers, drinking a beer and a couple too many glasses of wine are going all right to my middle. Ugh...that's so annoying how that happens. But I'm determined to work it off. And I'm determined to put the right fuel into my body so I don't undo all my great work.

I'm still holding onto the goal to get out of the 180s! I have come so close once before, but this time I'm saying goodby to the 180s once and for all. But first I'm setting a little smaller goal. My first goal is to get to 30lbs total loss. So that is 3.9lbs. Easy, right? I want to put a new 5lb star on my board. And then I'm going to celebrate like crazy when I get out of the 180s. :)

So, here it is in numbers:

Current Weight: 187.9
Total Pounds Lost: 26.1

Arms: 12.5"
Hips: 43"
Bust: 40.5"
Waist: 37"
Thighs: 24'
Dress Size: 14

1. Get to Total Pounds Lost = 30lbs (need to lose 3.9 lbs)
2. Get out of 180s (need to lose 7.9 lbs)

I'm still a tiny bit hesitant to focus so much on the scale again. Because honestly, I'm feeling pretty good these days. But the truth is, I want to be thinner, fitter, lighter. I want to wear clothes that I still feel like I can't wear. I want to be more comfortable in my skin. And I want to be as healthy as possible. And also, I know I can do better than I have been doing.

I've got one life and I want to make the best of it.

Big Changes

Ok. Finally time for some big changes. I'm so over being stuck at the same weight....losing two pounds and then gaining them back. And I know I've probably said that like 50 times in the past six months, but I decided to make a big change that will hopefully kick start things back into gear, help hold me more accountable and hopefully help me get rid of some bad habits that are sabotaging my hard work (oh, and by the way, my workouts have been pretty out of this world lately...and I'm excited about that).

My big change:

I moved my weigh-in day from Friday to Sunday.

The Friday morning weigh-in was great for me before, because it allowed me to have some drinks and go out on the weekend and still be successful for the week. I indulged on the weekend, but not horribly. And then I was able to eat very good during the week. It worked. Knowing I could indulge a little on the weekend meant it was easier for me to stick to plan during the week.

But, it's not working anymore. I think for many reasons... For one, the structure of my week has totally gone out the window. There are no more workdays and weekends. And so when I indulge a little on the weekend it's harder to stop because there is no clear difference in my days. So I eat a little something extra on Monday...and then maybe on Tuesday. And I was still going overboard on the weekend. Just not working anymore.

I'm hoping changing my weigh-in day will help keep me more accountable everyday. I don't want to treat Sunday afternoon like Friday night. I want to try to focus on spreading out my indulgences. I want to listen to my body and feed it the fuel it needs. I want to eat as clean as possible. I want to have a healthier relationship with booze (you know, maybe one or two glasses of wine with dinner a couple nights a week, instead four...or six glasses of wine on Friday night.)

This is going to be a hard change for me...I really think a lot of my success came from the very structured ability to indulge in some of my favorites, and now I'm officially walking away from that. I probably should have came up with this solution months ago...but I just didn't want to. I guess I just have to be honest with myself. I'm not putting my best effort into fueling my body the best I can. Now that I'm running more and getting stronger, I can really tell the difference on the days I didn't put the best stuff into my body. I'm slower, sluggish...it's just harder to get a good workout in. I get anxious more easily. I'm less likely to motivate myself to get work done and apply for jobs.

I've got a couple weapons up my sleeve to help with this change:
  1. In addition to tracking everything, I'm going to start photographing everything I eat. I think I'm going to post to Instagram (at the risk of losing followers) and also do a daily wrap-up here (as long as it doesn't take up too much of my time...I'm trying to focus as much energy as possible at figuring out my life and getting a job). I need accountability. I haven't been thinking about what I'm eating lately. Hopefully this will help me take a moment to stop and think about what I'm eating before I put it into my mouth.
  2. I started reading Healthy Tipping Point by Caitlin Boyle this weekend. Even after only reading 10 pages I'm feeling really motivated by her book (I also read her blog pretty regularly). My favorite part is she focuses a lot on the mental side of being healthy. And she has a wholistic approach and preaches not berating yourself and to stop worrying about perfection. Two things I really think I could benefit from. 
So, that's that. It might seem like a small change, but I'm hoping it will be a huge one. Change things up a bit. Make me think about this get healthy journey in a new and refreshing way.

Cause, I still want to wear high heels and hot dresses. And I still want to climb mountains. And I want to feel great while doing it...

Oh, and now that I've caught the running bug, I might be tempted to add "run a marathon" to my list. :)

April Goals

After walking 7.5 miles this morning, I'm one mile away from my 50 mile walking goal this month. I'm going to pat myself on the back for this one...especially since I had tons of other amazing workouts in the gym, running, etc. 'Twas a good month my friends.

Oh, also, I was looking at some photos from about a year and half ago and whoa! I might feel a little stuck right now, but I've come SO far. Like, oh my gosh, who was that girl? And that is great motivation to keep working hard.  :)

Oh, By The Weigh | April 6, 2012

I didn't weigh in this morning. Not the greatest week. I could give you excuses (i.e. stress, stressing about money, allergies, lazy, fast food, wine...did I mention allergies?), but the fact is I just didn't give it my all this week and I'm not going to torture myself by getting on the scale. It doesn't mean I have given up. I've used this strategy in the past and I think it works and is fair. Makes it easier to have a fresh start, wipe the slate clean. One bad week out of four is not horrible. On the plus side, I got my first kettlebell workout in on Tuesday and I plan to do the circuit tomorrow to meet my April challenge. I set some ambitious goals for myself on RunKeeper and I'm making progress towards them. I had some great salads. And I tackled some major life chores that I have been putting off. All in all, not horrible. :)

Time To Get Strong: April

After the success of my Planet Fitness Circuit challenge last month, I was excited to come up with a new challenge for April. I wanted to push myself, but not make it too hard so that I would stop doing it. In the past I have loved doing Bob Harper's kettlebell DVDs, but of course never really stuck to it. But I think with this new plan I will.

Here is the challenge:

Do the Planet Fitness Circuit 1 time each week.
Do the Bob Harper Kettlebell DVD 1 time each week.
Bonus: Get a third toning workout in each week. 

I've made a little tracker chart, just like last month. I'm not exactly sure how that extra week is going to play into it...five weeks makes it look a little more daunting, but still totally doable. And it's all about progression, I suppose. So I will call the challenge successful when I get through all five weeks!!

I'm excited. A little nervous that the DVD might make me too sore to run, but I will deal with that if/when it happens. I just want to focus on how much I think these types of exercises are really changing my body...in great ways. I like feeling stronger. I like seeing the progress. I like doing things I haven't done before. 

Tomorrow morning: First Kettlebell DVD. {wish me luck}