Sunday, July 29, 2012

What I Know About ...

I know what it's like to try on 10 outfits only to end up sobbing because you hate how your body looks in every one of them.

I know what it's like to be seen by people who haven't seen you in 30 pounds and feel completely humiliated.

I know what it's like to be ashamed to be seen naked by your husband (no matter how beautiful they say you are).

I know what it's like to hide food that you're embarrassed to be eating.

I know what it's like to avoid mirrors that tell you the truth of how fat you've gotten.

I know what it's like to feel defeated in the dressing room.

I know about feeling horrified that someone, even the cashier, will see what size you wear.

I know how it feels to be, BY FAR, the heaviest person in your family pictures.

I know what it's like to have friends that, no matter how much you love them, you them resent for being thin without having to try.

I know what it's like to always tug at your clothes to keep them from defining your bulges.

I know what it's like to never feel like you have eaten enough, after you've eaten way too much.

I know all about having thighs that rub together when you walk.

I know about the, "I'll start my diet on Monday."

I know what it's like when that diet fails.

I know how it feels to be trapped in a body that you're ashamed of.

BUT ...

I also know how great it feels to run your first mile without stopping.

I know about the pride you feel when you the first person asks if you've lost weight.

I know about finaly crying after you've lost 10 pounds rather than gaining 10.

I know how great if feels to buy jeans a size SMALLER for once!!

I know how much better you feel after eating healthy for a few weeks.

I know how much energy you'll have again.

I know what an amazing sense of pride you will finally have when you've worked so hard for something.

I know what a relief it is to be able to get in a bathing suit without being completely mortified.

I know about finally looking like you fit in with your family rather than looking like you ate one of them for breakfast.

I know about the amazing, tear jerking, happy-dance-inducing awesomeness of getting on the scale to realize you have finally reached your goal.


So don't let yourself get away with thinking "It's too hard," or "I'm too fat to run." YOU CAN!
Don't say, "I'll start Monday." START TODAY!
Don't think it's not possible. IT IS!!
Just start. Start and keep going. Start and soon you will be where you have been wanting to be this whole time that you've been putting it off til later.
Just start.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Exercise Routine in a Nutshell

About 5 weeks ago I started exercising regularly. Well, I guess I should say that I worked up to "regularly".  When I first started I used Tony Horton's Ten Minute Trainer, which is great by the way, and made it for about two weeks.  Then I did nothing for two weeks.  Then i did it for another two and slacked for another two. During these two months of on and off workouts I lost only 6 pounds.


I was eating right but not staying dedicated to my exercising. So, one day, I found an amazingly do-able running guide.  It was the "8 Week Beginners Running Program" from Runners World magazine, which is a magazine my brother subscribes to.  It's fantastic.   Now believe me, I was the lamest of the lame when it came to running when I first started.  I don't even think the word "novice" quite covered the extent of my running rookie-ism. Som, don't believe those voices in your head saying "Running is out of the question," and "There is no way I can do this," because it can be done. No matter what condition you are in, it can be done if you just start moving.

So, here is was, 180+ pounds starting a running program. Climbing onto that tredmill I felt what I imagine Indiana Jones felt in that pit of snakes, scared and reluctant to move. But I knew that if I could just start somewhere and go at a pace I was comfortable with - slow - the rewards would be well worth the suckitude of working out.

So I ran. I ran exactly how the training guide said for 5 weeks.  Then I told myself "You know that you could go ahead and run 30 minutes.  You are just being a lazy ass."  So I got on the tredmill on day 36 and ran for 37 minutes without stopping.  I felt the way that Chuck Norris must feel on a daily basis, BAD ASS! On a scale of 1-Awesome I was STUPENDOUS!

37 minutes to many people is nothing to write home about, but to me it was the climbing of Mount Everest. I had had to work my ass off to get there and no matter what anyone thought I was proud of myself. Very Proud. Then this Tuesday, July 16th, I ran 4 miles. I don't think, in my 26 years, I have EVER run 4 miles. I was giddy! I jumped off the tredmill and did a well deserved happy dance. I dipped into my gusto reserves and gave that happy dance all that I could possibly give it. It was fantasmic.

Now, I don't want you to think that I never slipped during my 6 weeks of awesomness.  I did.  I would cheat with my eating on weekends, on walking days I would skip all together, and on some running days I'd say screw it.  However, the longest I went without a workout was 2 days.  I always made myself get back on the horse.  One of the best ways I found to combat the lazies was to weigh every Wednesday.  Its a day in the middle of the week, which gave me a couple days to undo what I had done on the weekend and see how much I had lost.  Knowing that I had gone down 1, 2 or sometimes 3 pounds was enough to keep me going.  Not only going but going harder.  Losing weight and gaining stamina just made me more motivated to run longer and eat better so that I could keep seeing those positive results.

In addition to weighing, I have also been keeping my measurments on this chart:

Body Measurement Chart

I keep my Training Program Chart, Measurement Chart, and Food Diary Sheets in a 1" Binder so that I can keep up with everything no matter where I go. I helps keep me honest . . . most of the time anyway.

Meal & Exercise Diary

Starting is the hardest part. But once you start and begin to see the results of your hard work, it is a lot easier to get motivated to get your ass moving. Just start. It is so worth it.

Thoughts? By the way if you want any of the charts/sheets and can't print them like this.  Just let me know and I will figure out how to make them printable for you ASAP.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My New Healthy Eating Habits

Since I graduated High School I have adopted seriously bad eating habits. Obviously, during college, I ate TONS of fast food, drank TONS of beer, and NEVER exercised (unless you count lifting the food and booze to my mouth). I also had horrible sleeping habits which is bad for weight loss as well. 
That all changed 3 months ago.

I am not sure what got me so motivated. I think it was a combination of four things: 1) We started planning a trip to Cancun and I was TERRIFIED to be seen in a bathing suit by anyone...ever. 2) We want to start a family and I was scared of the idea that I would get even fatter and my skin get even more stretch marked. 3) I wanted to be able to be naked in front of my husband (with the lights on!) without being so completely mortified about it. (My husband, bless him, has never made me feel anything but beautiful, but unfortunately the mirror was singing a whole different tune.) 4) My brother Austin. Who has told me from day one that I could do it if I just "got off my fuckin ass and made it happen." He also gained a bunch of weight in college from drinking and fast fooding and lost it all, and then some, by eat better, running, lifting and training like a champ.

So, in March I started to eat 5 small and healthy meals a day. Here is the basic layout of my daily eating habits:
Breakfast - Between 6:00-8:00 am - 200 to 300 calories + Water
Morning Snack - Between 8:00-10:00 am - 200 calories + Green Tea or Coffee
Lunch - Between 12:00-2:00 pm - 300 to 400 calories + Water
Afternoon Snack - Between 2:00-4:00 pm - 200 calories + Green Tea or Coffee
Supper - Between 6:00-8:00 pm - 400 to 500 calories + Water
Workout - 5:00-6:00 pm - 30-75 minutes - Try to eat supper within an hour after your workout and don't eat anything for at least 1-2 hours before you workout.

Total daily calories - 1,300 to 1,800
Calories burned during workout - 300 to 700
This may not be for everyone, but it works great for me.  The reason I have had such great success with this plan so far is because it is sustainable.  If you try to only eat 900-1,000 calories a day, you probably won't succeed and if you do you will still be doing your body a diservice. Your body needs more than that to stay healthy. I would rather lose the weight more slowly and be able to keep it off by sustaining my eating and exercising habits, than to starve it or just lost all the weight to gain it right back.

Falling off the wagon: It happens! Some weekends I drink a few beers or eat crappy food at a cook out.  Yes I gain a little weight when I do, but I also get back on the horse on Monday and lose it again. There are just two things you need to know about falling off the wagon: 1) Get right back on the horse. If you take forever or just stay off it will get discouraging and you will be in danger of quitting and reverting back to bad habits and fatness. 2) If you are too strict with yourself, you will never succeed because you will resent your healthy habits rather than enjoy them.  You can do it! Just keep getting back on the damn horse and know that it's ok to fall off every once in a while as long as you get back on again.

Let me go ahead an say that I am not a trainer or dietician and am not licensed or qualified in any way to tell you what is right or healthy for you to do.  This is just what I do and it has worked for me.  You should definitely check with you physician or a dietician before you make any huge changes to your diet or fitness plans.

Here are a few examples of what on a basic day now:
Breakfast - Luna Lemon Zest Bar + Water
Snack - Banana + Green Tea
Lunch - Sandwich Thin Roll with 1/4 cup cottage cheese & 2 slices salami + 1 cup cantaloupe + Water
Snack - 1 slice Mrs. Bairds Honey 7 grain bread with 1 Tbsp Organic Peanut Butter + Water/Green Tea
Supper - 2 tacos w/corn tortillas, lettuce, cheese, tapatillos + 1/2 cup rice + 1/2 cup black beans + Water

Breakfast - Pear + Coffee
Snack - 1/4 cup Trail Mix + Green Tea
Lunch - 10 cherries + 1/2 cup cottage cheese + Salad with 2 Tbsp Ranch or Italian Dressing + Water
Snack - Special K Protein Meal Bar (Strawberry) + Green Tea
Supper - Baked Italian Chicken Breast + 2/4 cup Corn (No salt added) + 1/2 cup Tasty Rice

Those are just a couple of basic days of eating for me now.  Used to, it would have been more like:
7:30 wake up and skip breakfast because you are running late
12:00 Heavily mayo-ed Chicken salad sandwich with potato chips and a diet coke
3:00 Skittles
8:30 Chili Dog with cheese and relish followed by a second chili dog with extra chili, cheese and relish.
10:00 Ice cream

So, as you can see, there is a huge difference.  With the new eating habits, coupled with exercise, I have lost weight, I feel better, and I look better.  And it wasn't that hard! I thought it would be a pain to plan eating 5 times a day and make sure they were healthy meals, under a certain amount of calories. I was wrong. Now, it is easy to eat healthy because it gives me more energy throughout the day and it keeps my emotions in check because there are no post-binge-eating guilt trips involved when you are eating healthy.

I hoped this helped someone in some way, to get a good idea of how to make better food choices. Just trust me, eating healthy is easier than you think, it does wonders for your weight, and it will make you happier with yourself.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Here's the Skinny . . . and Not-So-Skinny Of It.

I'll start off my story with the great stuff...
I am 26 years old. I have a completely amazing, sometimes maddening husband whom I love dearly.  I also have a 7 year old son that is the most fun and hillarious thing that has ever happened to my life.  Hopefully there will be siblings for him in the very near future! I have amazing parents, siblings, and friends.  They make my life so colorful and in more ways than their use of foul language.  I also have an amazing job working for hospice as a volunteer coordinator.  My co-workers and volunteers live in service to others with a smile on their face and love in their hearts. They make it easy to believe in the grace of God. All of these people rock my face off.
Now for the not so great...

Being Fat
I know what you're thinking, great family, great friends, wonderful job . . . I hate this hooker!  Well, now for the not so marvelous. Starting in my second year of college, which was about 7 years ago, I steadily put on weight until I topped 190 pounds (194 to be exact). (That was so incredibly hard to type, and much harder still not to go back and dial down or just delete all together. Gross.) While in college I drank WAY too much beer, ate WAY too much fast food and was a complete lazy ass. It was my own damn fault that I got so big.

Then at age 20 I started having intense panic attacks that completely screwed me up mentally and physically for a while. The ONLY good thing about that scary as hell experience was that I lost 30 pounds.  Then I met my future husband and after about a year of us being together and me finally learning to control my anxiety I was back up to 180. (Thank God he loved me for my personality too!) Then after I got married, well, I basically did the same things that screwed me in college minus the drinking. That's how I got back up to 194 AGAIN. I went through a mentally dark period of time where the only things I thought about myself were completely self depricating and aweful. I lived in a perpetual state of being completely disgusted with myself. I would avoid full length mirrors, scales, and sex with the lights on, at all cost.  I haven't been under 180 now for about 4 years. Anytime I would lose weight it would only last a short amount of time and then I would be right back in the 180's and 190's. It was a shittastic cycle fatassery and until now I was never willing to do what I knew had to be done to fix it.

I hated myself for letting it get so out of hand. Then I hated myself more for knowing how fat I was and never doing anything to change it. I attended family functions with all my tall slender/fit siblings and dreaded knowing that someone would want to take family pictures. Scratch that. I hated anytime someone wanted to take a picture with me in it. I hated how it felt to wonder if my husband could really find me attractive. Wondering if he was just saying all those sweet things to make me feel better but really just hoping to God I didn't get any fatter. I even worried what my family thought about how I looked and if they secretly pittied me for ballooning up like I did. I Hated Being Fat.
So, one day in February, I woke up and knew something had changed.  A switch had been flipped in my head.  I'm not even sure why that day or why out of no where I was finally so motivated to change my life but I just woke up and knew that it was going to change and that I was not going to make anymore excuses for my weight.  I was going to change it for good. I woke up and all I thought was FUCK BEING FAT ANYMORE!! It felt awesome!

That day I started eating healthier. I didn't say "Tomorrow's the day. I'm going to start tomorrow for sure," I started immediately.  I worked my metabolism by eating 5 small meals a day, I tried not to take in more than 1800 calories a day max, I quit drinking diet coke, and I drank between 2 and 3 Liters of water a day.  (I will go more into detail on my diet/eating habits in my next post.) Just by modifying my diet I lost 5 pounds in 2 months.  This just didn't seem like enough of a change for me.  So, in May, I started running. Let me just say, WOW! I was like, "So this must be why my marathon-runnin' brother is always preaching the religion of the road!" I dropped 10 pounds in the 4 weeks! CRAZE BALLS! Commiting to running has been the best decision I have ever made for my health. Did I enjoy the excessive and motionsickenss-inducing jiggling that was my thighs, stomach and ass when I first started? No. Hell No. BUT I knew it was going to and DID melt the weight off of me. (More on my running program in next post.)
SO . . . . Healthy Eating + Exercise + The Dance With No Pants = You become a sexy beast.
(If you didn't get that reference...what the hell is wrong with you?! Start watching the Big Bang Theory this instant!)
Hopefully I can help even one person feel and do better by their body and mind through what I write on this blog. If not, well, thems the shits...