Monthly Archives: July 2012

Happy Healthy-versary!

Today officially marks one whole year I have been striving/working toward a healthier lifestyle.  What a crazy year this has been!  Excitement, disappointment, anger, joy, desperation, and every other emotion in between has been experienced this year!  I would like to think the happy/joyful moments have outweighed the frustration and anger, though.  I certainly have a lot to be happy about, seriously.

I have gone from 315 pounds to 199.2 in one year (115.8 pounds lost).
I have gone from a size 28W to a 14/16 in one year.
I have gone from being in pain 24/7 to moving freely and comfortable in one year.
I have gone from miserable to pretty dang happy in one year.

This time last year I had a brace on my ankle.  I absolutely *could not* walk without that brace.  My back was *always* killing me.  I was constantly having headaches.  I was depressed and miserable.  My heart condition was running my life.  I wore only 3X T-shirts and stretchy pants.  I thought I would be fat forever.

Today I could not even tell you where that brace is because I have not needed it in such a long time (nor will I ever again).  My back *never* hurts.  I cannot recall the last time I had a headache.  I think it is safe to say I am no longer depressed, and I am certainly not miserable.  My heart condition has improved *dramatically* to the point where I can actually *live* my life without worrying so much about it.  I can wear most large T-shirts (not even XL) and I am actually wearing real jeans right now.  I know I will never be fat again.

I cried today.  In public.  I was out with my cousin, Maggie, and we were browsing through Rookwood Commons.  She was on the hunt for a job, and I was just along for the window shopping.  We stopped into Eddie Bauer, and I looked around while she filled out the application.  As I rummaged through their clearance racks I had a fleeting thought… “This time last year they would have shooed me out of here immediately because there would be absolutely *nothing* in this store that would fit me.”  I found a pair of size 16 jeans.  They were marked all the way down to $8.00 (can you believe that?!), so I just had to try them on.  They fit, folks.  They fit.  Eddie Bauer jeans fit my booty.  It was such an exhilarating feeling to be able to walk into a store like that and actually find clothes that fit. Me.

As I walked to the counter I began to tear up.  I could not help myself.  I turned to Maggie and said, “This is the first time in my entire adult life I have *ever* been able to walk into a store (other than Wal-Mart), pick something off the rack (that is not stretchy), and have it actually fit me.”  The lady behind the counter actually came out and around to hug me.  She said she was proud of me (never met her before, by the way) and she even got a little teary-eyed.  What an incredible moment that was.

The people I have met over the last year have made all the difference.  There is a saying out there somewhere about positive things happening in one’s life if one surrounds him/herself with positive people/things.  That is certainly true.  I have never had more positive people in my life, and I have never had so many positive things going on.  Denise, of course, is a huge driving force in my life.  She has changed my everyday life in such profound ways.  All the other trainers at the gym (Dorsey, Aaron, Ketrell, etc.) have contributed too.  Without them I would not have come *nearly* this far in one year.  I love them, and I am looking forward to another year with them.

I know I still have quite a bit of road left to travel, but I have come *so* far.  I also now know I can do it.  Whatever *it* may be, I have this.  I will get to where I want to be…regardless of what it takes, or how long.

I have only one regret.  I wish to hell and back I would have taken a picture (full body) of myself on this day last year.  I would absolutely give anything to be able to really *see* what kind of changes my body has undergone in a year.  Too late for that now, though, I will just have to take everyone else’s word for it.

Looking back over the last year…how has your life changed?  Are you happy with the kind of changes that have occurred in your life over the last year?  If not, what steps can/will you take to improve your life in the coming year?

-Erica

Weigh Day (week fifty-two)

This is my 52nd week weighing in.  It is absolutely insane to think how much things have changed since my first weigh in.  Of course, today does not mark (officially) one year since I began this journey.  That will happen on Tuesday (July 10th).

This week has been fairly boring.  I went to the gym a few days for cardio, but since Wednesday was a holiday my weekly training appointment was missing.  I lifted a *tiny* bit of weight this week, but nothing that even made me remotely sore the next day.  Bummer.

As for my weigh in…are you ready for this?

199.2

A 2.2-pound loss from last week.  Can you dig that?!  I am *finally* under 200 pounds!  This is the first time I have been under 200 pounds since I was a teenager!  Seriously.  To say I am excited would be the understatement of the year.  Elated.  Speechless.  Excited.  And so much more.

Going forward things are going to change a bit, I think.  I still have weight to lose, of course.  My initial goal weight is 185 pounds, so I still need to lose 14.2 to get there.  However, instead of focusing solely on the weight loss, I may start getting more into lifting weights…building the lean mass.  I know this will (in a sense) stall, or significantly hinder, the numbers dropping on the scale.  However, I want to make sure when the weight comes off, my body looks good…and toned (and strong) muscles is what I need for that.

Over the last couple months I have been lifting less and less…and doing more cardio and endurance exercises.  And I have been fine with that, of course.  I want to lose the weight, and I want my endurance to be high.  Now, though, that I have relatively little weight to lose (compared to what I had to lose before), it makes sense to really kick it up on the weight-lifting front again.

This will also give me an opportunity to put some things I am learning into practice.  In order to build a lean, toned muscle structure, you need to work toward myofibril failure.  That means lifting 80-85% of your 1RM (the absolute most amount of weight you can successfully lift only once).  With such a heavy, intense weight I will be limiting to only 4 to 6 repetitions.  This will do a couple things: build muscle (of course), and strengthen/increase my fast twitch fibers.  That is something I really want also.  As of right now, I am mostly slow twitch (endurance).  I want that explosive, raw strength…and that comes from fast twitch muscle fibers.

Please do not be mistaken…I am not looking to be a body builder.  I am not looking to bench press 150+ pounds.  I just want to be lean, toned, and strong…for a girl.

So, this week I will be determining what my 1RM is for various exercises and developing a plan to maximize my weight lifting.  That is my short-term goal for the week.  Of course, my longer-term goal is still to get these last 14.2 pounds off this body.  My goal is to accomplish that within the next two months (by September 1st).  The other longer-term goal I am working toward is, of course, to get my personal training certification.  That should be right around September 1st as well.

What short- and long-term goals are you working toward right now?

-Erica

Just Checking In

I have had my face buried in books quite a bit lately…not stacked quite this high, of course (thank goodness).  My brain is soaking up so much information…and I have only read through five chapters in my personal training certification manual.  It is a ton of information.  Really.

I can now successfully name all the major muscle groups in the entire body and even smaller muscles (that serve as antagonist, synergistic, or stabilizer muscles to major ones).  I can also successfully name all the bones in the body (that I am required to know).  This girl can even tell you what ribosomes do…and where they can be found in the body (myofibrils, in case you wanted to know where to find them).  Look at me go!

The heat.  It is awful.  I forgot how much I hate the summer.  Hate it.  Here in Cincinnati it is 99 and muggy.  We do not have central air here in the house, so these poor window units are struggling to even take the slightest edge off of that kind of heat.  I will say; however, the summer heat and humidity are easier on my 200-pound body than they were last year on my 315-pound body.  I still feel icky, though, but less likely to complain incessantly about it.

My one year anniversary is coming up on Tuesday (July 10th).  As my fellow blogger, J, mentioned in a recent post, the time has both flown and crawled.  An interesting mix.  I have been reflecting on the past year quite a bit as I inch closer to that milestone.  The changes that have been made are incredible…staggering, even.  I would *never* have guessed my life (my body) would be what it is today.  Of course, I still have quite a bit of path left in front of me to travel as well.  Although, I must admit…I look forward to it much more than I did this time last year.

How is your week going so far?  Any big milestones coming your way?

-Erica

Weigh Day (week fifty-one)

My, how time has gotten away from me!  It has (unfortunately) been two weeks since my last weigh in post.  Life has been *insane* – to say the least.  My 17-year-old cousin, Maggie, has moved in with me to attend college in the fall.  So, we have spent the last couple weeks attending informational seminars at various campuses, filling out applications, meeting with financial aid advisors (and admissions advisors, now that she has decided which school she will attend), scouring Craigslist for furniture for her room, searching for available positions at the local businesses (girlie needs a job), and so much more!  It has been exhausting, but a delight.  I am happy that I am able to help her get her life started.

All of this; however, means my schedule has been seriously interrupted.  Seriously.  I am finding that keeping an accurate food journal is nearly impossible when I am almost never home.  I am finding that keeping up with my regular weigh day posting schedule is nearly impossible when I am almost never home (and completely exhausted when I am home).  Between Maggie and studying for my PT certification…and, of course, working out…and my chicklets…and everything else.  This girl is pretty much tapped out.

I will say this, though, thank goodness I am not still 315 pounds!  I would *never* have been able to physically handle this crazy, busy lifestyle at that weight!  Seriously.

The down side is that I missed my June goal of being under 200 pounds.  Boo!  I was *really* wanting to see 19X on the scale before July 1st.  I was convinced it was going to happen because I was at 201.4 just two days after my last weigh in.  However, the very next day I bounced back up to 203, and 204 the day after that.  Frustration setting in…believe me.  Then I went back down to 202, and then 201.4 again.  Yesterday I even weighed in at 201.2, but this morning I was back to 201.4.  Sigh.

Despite being away from home quite a bit, I have been eating well (meaning eating foods that are typical of my daily life…and not eating out).  I will admit I am probably snacking more than usual…but I am busier than usual (and truly feeling hungry more than usual because of it).  Maybe the heat has something to do with the fluctuation?  Fluid retention and dehydration?  Maybe?  I seriously have no idea.  One thing I do know, though, is I have had enough of the 200’s.  I am ready to see 19X on the scale!

I am hoping this week will bring me closer to my regular schedule.  Now that we have Maggie’s school worked out and she has met with them,  I think life will begin to calm back down.  Hopefully.

How has life been treating you over the last couple weeks?

-Erica