Tag Archives: diet

{random} Thoughts and Happenings – Part One

So, I have been “collecting” (if you will) random thoughts in this head of mine – some for a while and some are brand new.  I decided to break this into two posts, though, so it is less cumbersome to those who wish to read it all (thanks, by the way).

1. My disconnect: I thought it would get better as I progress; however, it has not.  Not even a little bit.  Yesterday marked a momentous occasion (I hit exactly 70 pounds lost), and I could not help but get frustrated instead of happy.  The reason for my frustration is this stupid disconnect I am experiencing.  I thought (earlier on) once I hit a “decent amount” of weight lost it would go away.  I thought I would be able to look at myself in the mirror and see dramatic changes.  I thought I would finally start to feel happy with myself…feel proud of myself…feel more confident in myself.  Nope.  None of that has happened, and it bothers me more than words could possibly describe.  I have tried staring at myself in the mirror (naked) and I have tried taking pictures of myself in old clothes to see how much different they fit (or don’t fit).  None of that has worked.  I still *feel* fat.  I still *feel* gross. I still *feel* awful about my body.  Why?  I cannot help but wonder if I am destined to *feel* fat for the rest of my life…even if I am no longer.  My ex- said that I have spent years programming myself to hate my body, and that I will have to spend just as much effort to reprogram myself not to.  Does that makes sense to you?

2. In the same sort of vein as my disconnect: Boys.  That is a stressful subject (for any girl, probably).  I have a bizarre story to tell, but I am going to tell it cryptically…  So, I was at a local establishment Wednesday night and was talking with the manager.  Just a few minutes into the conversation he gets this look of sheer panic on his face and looks down.  Then he gets a look of relief on his face and says, “Oh, thank God.  I thought my fly was down.  That would have been awful.”  I laugh it off and joke, “Well, that would have just make me like you more.”  He proceeds with, “Don’t tease me.  That has always been on my bucket list: flash a customer.”  I follow with, “What an interesting thing to have on your bucket list.  Well, if you feel like you *must* just to get it over with…”  Of course I was *joking* and thought this entire conversation was a hilarious “what if…” kind of scenario.  Boy was I wrong.  The next thing I know he drops his pants…all the way to the floor.  After he “re-dresses” he tells me I am his favorite and that I simply must come back soon.  So, does he *like* me (you know, like me) or was that just some random and crazy thing?  As I was leaving I thought to myself, “No way he likes me…look at me (enter the disconnect malfunction).”  This disconnect will not allow me to even *think* a boy likes me because I don’t like me…and that is no good.

I feel compelled to add to the above story that this fella was not some creepy old sleezebag.  He was a decent distance away from me and never tried to touch me or anything.  He was actually quite attractive and funny…and aside from that incident…seemed totally normal.  I was not offended or upset, nor did I feel like I was being victimized in any way.

3. My body and my goals: My 30th birthday is coming.  Next month.  My goal, as you might already know, is to weigh 225 by 2/25.  I am almost certain that is not going to happen (especially after last week’s 0.6 pound loss).  I have already mentally prepared myself not to make that goal…and I think I am alright with it.  As long as weight loss continues, I should get really close to that goal (my guess is within five pounds of goal).  Despite knowing (or thinking) I will not make that goal, I have decided to still leave it.  It gives me something to really bust my butt for.

4. While we are talking about my body:  Summer is coming.  It will be here before we all know it (of course, it is only 15 degrees out right now and I am already worried about summer…yes, I am strange).  I have had the same bathing suit for six years (maybe longer, honestly).  Despite fluctuations in my weight during that time, I was always able to wear the same suit.  Some summers it was a little tighter than others, but it always fit enough to wear it.  I also typically wore a shirt over it to hide my icky arms and such.  This summer; however, I know this suit will not work.  Even if I do not lose another pound between now and May (which, let’s hope that does not happen) it still will not fit me.  The thought of purchasing a new suit scares me.  To death.  I thought at first I would just skip the added stress and anxiety and purchase one online, but that seems too risky.  I would lose the opportunity to try it on first…and purchasing one right now would be stupid (because I do intend to lose more before summer).  That means, I suppose, that I get to carry around this anxiety all through the rest of winter, spring, and into the beginning of summer…trying to figure out if I will have enough nerve to go suit shopping in public.  Sigh.

Do you struggle with body image issues?  Have you overcome any body image issues?  If so, how did you reprogram your mind to accept (or even love) your body?

Are you thinking ahead to summer (bathing suits) yet?  How are you preparing to rock out half naked in public?  Do you have anxiety about bathing suits (or even bathing suit shopping)?

-Erica

Goals…check!

I just wanted to share a little excitement with you all…

I was just able to cross three (yes, THREE) things off my list of goals!

– Do planks on the floor (not only can I do planks on the floor…I can do mountain climbers on the floor…and reptiles, too)

– Do the ab dipper with straight legs (I can totally do this…not quite as many as with bended knees, but I *can* do it)

– 250 pounds (CHECK!  I’m well into the 240’s right now!)

I also added a goal, which may seem a little peculiar:

– Trust myself

While working with Denise today she had me doing some new (challenging, very challenging) things.  One was to jump up onto a raised platform.  The other was to step up onto a workout bench.  Both of these things scared me…to death.  I was afraid to fall, afraid to hurt myself.  Denise had all the confidence in the world in me, but I did not.  I actually said out loud, “I do not trust myself to pull this off successfully.”  It sounded *so* strange to hear that come flying out of my mouth…Denise thought so, too.  So, I definitely need to work on trusting myself (because I actually did end up pulling both of those things off, by the way).  Trusting my own abilities and not letting my own mind talk me out of doing things.

How is your list of goals coming along?  Are you actively working toward accomplishing what you want most?  Do you allow yourself to self-sabotage (talking yourself out of doing good things)?

-Erica

Weigh Day (week twenty-six)

Alright folks, it has been exactly 26 weeks since I began my journey.  Twenty-six weeks of exercising regularly, making healthier food choices, working on this mentality of mine (still, and always, a work in progress), and writing to all of you.  That is exactly one half of a year.  Crazy how time has just zipped right on by.

To see how far I have come…here is an excerpt from week one:

I will admit I met the scale this morning with serious apprehension (which is typical).  I am always afraid to find I have not lost anything or worse – I gained.  Today; however, that was not the case.  As I stared at my kitchen window, holding my breath, I slowly peeked down toward my feet to find…

I cannot recall (off the top of my head) I felt such anxiety greeting the scale in the morning.  That is certainly not to say that I have never looked down and thought about stomping on the stupid thing…but anxiety has pretty much left the building (of my head) when it comes to the scale.  What an accomplishment that is in itself, let me tell you.  For those of you who meet the scale with dread and nausea, you know what I mean.  It is nice wonderful to actually look forward to hopping up on that scale these days.  I am excited to see more progress, to be one more step (pound) closer to where I want to be.

Of course, progress was in short supply this morning (week).  The scale was still kind to me, but I am disappointed (to say it nicely) in my results.  This morning I weighed in at 247 – even (68 total pounds in 26 weeks…68.25 inches, in case you were wondering).  While that *is* still progress…it is only 0.6 pounds down from last Sunday.  Ick.  The only thing keeping my head in tact over this little hiccup is the fact that I know why…

Monday I had an appointment with Gwen (trainer) to get my measurements.  She ended up doing an entire fitness evaluation, which ate up all my time at the gym that night.  Problem?  I never raised my heartrate for any length of time, so very little calories were burned.  Boo.  Wednesday I did not go the gym at all…not because I did not want to, but because I truly could not (complicated and dramatic story I will spare you).  Friday, same thing.

So, pretty much no gym all this week (with the exception of Sunday’s workout with Denise).  I guess I should be thankful I am down at all with the complete lack of gym time.  Let me just say it felt *amazing* to walk into the gym today to meet Denise…and walk out sweaty and gross.  Excellent workout, and I needed it desperately.

This week should be back to normal, so hopefully I can get moving on my birthday goal:

GOAL TRACKER:
48 days
22 pounds

Thinking about the last 26 weeks (six months), how has your life changed?  Are you where you wanted to be right now?  Where do you want to be in the next 26 weeks?  What changes do you need to make to meet that goal?

-Erica

Walking…It’s Healthy

Walking is such a simple thing to do…nearly everyone can do it and there is really no “wrong way” to do it.  No experience necessary.  There have been countless articles on the benefits of walking, and I have come across many blog posts documenting the same thing.  Walking is plain old good for you.  Apparently, there is some research showing 10,000 steps is the “ultimate walking goal” for each day.

I can say with confidence (not that I am proud of it, but I know it is true) I rarely, if ever, meet 10,000 steps during the course of one day.  I am busy most days, but busy often means sitting in my office chair or with my daughter doing schoolwork.  Housework also factors into my “busy,” but I am not racking up steps while stationary at the sink washing dishes or folding laundry.

So, while I have not really adopted any resolutions, per se, I have decided that I am going to start striving for those 10,000 steps per day.  I know it will be a challenge…especially on non-gym days (which is three out of seven), but I am up for the challenge.  A while back I began a challenge…and then pooped out before I finished.  Of course, I am not proud of that either, but I found I was working so hard at the gym (with Denise’s help) that I was often too sore to add things on my “recovery” days (non-gym days).  Walking; however, is something else entirely…something that will {should} not cause soreness.

Now…just how will I count all those steps during my day?  A fancy new toy, of course.  I am usually not really into gadgets and whatnot, but how else am I going to figure out steps each day, right?

This pedometer is (apparently) pretty awesome.  Here is an excerpt about it:

With 2D Smart Sensor technology and large buttons for easy navigation, the Omron HJ-203PK GoSmart pocket pedometer with activity tracker logs good athletic behavior in a slim and discreet device. Users clip the tiny step counter onto clothes, toss it in a bag, or attach it to an unassuming Olympian. The device faithfully chronicles up to seven days of distances travelled, as well as calorie- and fat-burning progress, and the activity tracker mode keeps workout data separate from everyday marathons.

Its features include:

  • Pedometer and activity tracker has large buttons for easy navigation while crowd surfing
  • Comes with clip and strap
  • Logs steps, distance, and calories and fat burned
  • 2D Smart Sensor technology for accurate measurement
  • Long-lasting lithium battery
  • Stores up to seven days of workouts

Does that not sound so cool?!  I cannot wait to get my hands on that baby…or, I guess, get that baby on my hip would be more appropriate.  And what better way to start a new challenge than to have a friend doing it with you, right?  So, I bought two…one for me and one for you (one of you, anyway).  Am I awesome or what?

To have a shot at winning the pedometer all you have to do is subscribe to my blog and leave a comment here about your current walking habits.  Do you already strive for 10,000 steps each day?  Do you incorporate walking into your exercise habits regularly?  Do you choose walking over methods of travel (such as stairs vs. elevator/escalator or even parking farther away from the entrance of work/store)?

I will be closing the drawing on Sunday, January 8th at 5:00 PM Eastern.  The winner (chosen via Random.org) will be announced in my weigh in post that evening.  Good luck!

-Erica

Does Competition Equal Motivation?

Competition is a funny thing.  Sometimes it brings out the best in people…and sometimes the worst.  It can be a motivator or a weight on your shoulders.  I think it is all in the mindset (again, how important mindset is…) of the individual participating in the competition.

With the mention of mindset I cannot help but wonder… Does competition really play a role in motivation or is it simply the mindset that drives a person to accomplish a goal?  A few course blocks ago I had to debate with classmates whether internal or external motivation drives a person to success more efficiently.  I chose internal motivation.  With internal motivation (and mindset certainly plays a part here), I believe anyone can accomplish anything.  In my opinion, external motivators can lose their appeal in a long-term goal (especially with a lack of internal motivation), which means their effectiveness is less.

My classmates (many of them anyway) disagreed with me.  Their argument was for external motivators (specifically monetary reward…and some went with just praise from others).  The common belief was that external motivators can create internal motivation when there is not any to begin with.  Do you agree?

I certainly believe that external motivators have a place, and that they can be effective (given the right circumstances and in combination with internal motivation).  I do not believe; however, they can produce effective results consistently (especially with the initial lack of internal motivation).

All that being said…I would love to start a group competition (because apparently that is the cool thing to do right now…with the start of Biggest Loser last night).  My initial thought is to have at least 10 people competing for 10 weeks.  After 10 weeks the person who loses the highest percentage of weight (because we are all going to be starting at different sizes) will win.  Win what you might ask…  Well, I was thinking each person would put in $10 to $15 to join the competition (and to emphasize commitment a little).  The winner would collect all money paid into the beginning pot.  So, with 10 people each putting $10, that would be $100 for the winner.  That’s a decent reward (in addition to health and fitness), right?

So, what do you think?  Do you believe internal or external motivators are more efficient?  Do you believe that external motivators can create internal motivation for long-term success?

If you are interested in participating in the weight loss competition group, please contact me via e-mail at addictblog@aol.com.  I will start a private group (probably on FB or Yahoo – depending on what everyone prefers) for competition correspondence and tracking.

-Erica

Weigh Day (week twenty-five)

Hello again.  These weeks just seem to by flying by…more quickly than I would really like.  We are now officially into 2012.  Can you believe that?  It seems like just yesterday it was 2011…okay, yeah, that was not really funny.  🙂

Anyway, this week has been a little rough on the workout schedule still.  I did not make it to the gym Monday because we celebrated Christmas with extended family all day long.  Wednesday brought a session with Denise, Friday I was on my own, and today brought another session with Denise (and she kicked my butt…just so we are clear).

This morning, I am happy to report, I weighed in at 247.6.  This puts my total weight loss at 67.4 pounds in 25 weeks.  Next week marks the official 1/2 a year (26 weeks), although my six-month mark will hit January 10th.  Go figure.  It is completely crazy to think how life changing these past 25 weeks have been for me.  Truly insane.

So, looking forward…my next goal is 225 by 2/25 (my 30th birthday).  That is exactly 55 days from today.  Will I make it?  Who knows…but I am certainly going to bust my hiney to find out!

GOAL TRACKER (sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?)
55 days
22.6 pounds

On a brief side note…I brought in the new year pretty sluggishly.  I sat on my couch with a friend and watched a movie (and then two episodes of How It’s Made so I would not have nightmares from the scary movie…and I am not joking).  Great movie, by the way, it was called Insidious.  Scary (as I previously mentioned), so if you are not into jump and scream your head off kind of movies you should skip it altogether.

Today (the very first day of 2012) was a great day.  I hit the gym and worked hard with my trainer, Denise.  Then I went out with my bestie, Leslie, for dinner.  Now, I am off to watch another movie while doing some “to do” items in the livingroom.  Perfect day…and hopefully an awesome year.

How did you bring in the new year?

-Erica

Weigh Day (week twenty-four)

This is the very, very, very late edition of week twenty-four’s weigh in.  Sorry, folks.  I honestly did not intend to neglect you so through the holiday, but it happened.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend.  My girlies were totally stoked since Santa went all out for them this year (thanks, Santa!) and got them both a new bike – complete with helmets and pads…among a million other things that Mom refuses to buy (like Play-Doh – LOL).

Anyway, onto weigh in for December 25th.  I weighed in at 249.4 on that morning, ladies and gents.  How excited was I that I hit the 240’s?  Well, let us just suffice it to say I was about as happy as my chicklets opening all their beautifully wrapped gifts.  That also means, of course, I successfully met my Christmas goal of 250…just barely, but I did make it!!!  My total for 24 weeks is 65.6 pounds.  Fabulous.

I behaved throughout the holiday weekend…completely.  I did not partake in any dessert (other than the fruit I brought to my mother’s parents’ house) and I did not eat anything I would not have eaten on any other day.  In fact, when I weighed this morning, I am already down from Sunday.  Not a whole lot because my gym schedule has been totally wonky since last Friday…but still down.

My next goal is 225 by 2/25 (my 30th birthday).  So, I have a little less than two months to kick it up and melt it off.  I have ~24 pounds to lose in 59 days to meet that goal.  Will I make it?  I certainly hope so, but I also realize that I may fall a little short.  After all, the weight cannot possibly keep coming off at the rate it has been…can it?  We shall see.

I am meeting with Denise tonight since our usual Sunday appointments are not possible (with Christmas and New Year’s falling on those days).  Here’s to another healthy butt-kicking from my amazing trainer.

How was your holiday?  Did you gain, lose, or maintain over this past weekend?

-Erica

Cryptically Malicious?

…and that is nothing like “magically delicious.”

Christmas is coming…which we all knew already, right?  Christmas, aside from the gift giving and celebration, is laden with food.  Especially desserts.  Lots of desserts.

I have read an abundance of posts from fellow bloggers about their holiday eating plans, and about the ridiculous amounts of food and desserts available throughout this season.  How does one stay focused and on track with so much temptation lurking around?

I was really quite relaxed about the whole thing until…

Each year we head to my mother’s parents’ house for Christmas.  The adults exchange gifts (which actually just migrated into an absurd exchange of gift certificates several years ago) while the children are corralled into a small space in the elegant home of my mother’s parents.  They, of course, are unable to actually touch anything since the pristine home is museum-like in many ways.  It is an uncomfortable gathering, and it has been for many years.  In light of this unbearably tense environment, everyone in the family stays pretty focused on eating/grazing.  After all, if you constantly have food in your mouth, no one can expect to have a conversation.

Traditionally, the entire family is divided by sisters (my mother and her four sisters) as far as food goes.  Their parents would provide the meat (usually a deli tray), and the rest of the meal gets divided up between the five sisters and brought in like a bizarre potluck.  This year is no different, with one tiny exception…

My mother and I are in charge of bringing dessert.  When she told me the news I about jumped through the roof.  Seriously.  My face immediately went red hot and I was saying all sorts of colorful words I will not share here.  Dessert.  Now, the whole family is well aware that I have lost 60+ pounds.  So, why ask *me* to bring dessert?  Is that being somewhat passive agressive?  I think so, personally.  Hence my cryptically malicious title.  I am livid.

In all the flustered chaos in my head, though, I am pretty sure I have developed a cryptically malicious counter attack.  Bring fruit…and nothing else.  So, this year the family will be gathered around the “buffet” on my mother’s parents counter top…in that crazy “picture perfect” kitchen where everyone is afraid to touch or use anything…with fruit as the “grand finale.”  They will be angry (and I am sure that is an understatement) and I will probably get asked at least two dozens times, “Where’s the *real* dessert?”  That is fine with me.

I bet I will not be in charge of dessert next year.

How are you planning to make it through the holiday food season?  Are you going to stick to your regularly scheduled programming or let things slide and have a free-for-all?

-Erica

Weigh Day (week twenty-three)

I know, I am a day late.  My yesterday was *busy* and I just never got around to posting, which made me sad.  So, here I am…first thing in the morning getting that together.

This week (the latter part of the week, anyway) I listened to your advice and added a little something into my daily consumption.  Actually, I only added one piece of fruit (either a pear or apple).  Amazingly, that  helped enough that I was no longer getting those hunger “attacks” throughout the day.  Awesome.

I also noticed that the scale was very cooperative after adding the fruit.  Thanks, scale.  So, this week I weighed in at exactly 252 pounds.  That is 2.2 pounds down from last week (and 63 pounds total), and that makes me happy.

Here are a couple other things about this week:
1. I am no longer in the “morbidly obese” category for BMI!
2. I have lost *exactly* 20% of my starting body weight!
3. I am only 2 pounds away from my Christmas goal weight of 250!
4. I have decided to set my “tentative goal” weight at 185*.

*I say tentative because I am not sure how I will look/feel at 185.  When I get there I will determine if I should/need to lose more weight.  Of course, 185 is not what the doctors say I should weigh, but I do not care much about that.  I will, instead, judge for myself based on body fat percentage, how I feel, and how I look.

With 185 set as my goal weight, that means I am just about half way there (48.5%) in only five months.  I would say I am not doing too shabby…if I do say so myself.

How did you determine what your goal weight was going to be?  Did you use the doctor’s charts as a guideline, or did you decide some other way?  Is *your* ideal/goal weight within the range the doctors say you should weigh for your height?

-Erica

Food…and Hunger

This hungry (probably starving, actually) little fella pretty much describes how I have been feeling lately.  The problem is, I cannot figure out why in the world I am feeling so hungry!

As my weight continues to decrease, my alloted calories also decrease…so why is my appetite increasing?  I am more hungry now than when I first started eating better (which meant eating less, of course).

The hunger is making me nervous.  I find that if I try to ignore it (meaning keeping myself occupied with something else) it just gets worse.  My stomach starts growling – out loud, mind you – to the point where other people in the room can hear it, easily.  This is not “emotional” hunger either…I have learned to tell the difference.  This hunger is coming on at random times throughout the day/night.  My emotional hunger usually popped up only when I was bored, lonely, upset, angry, etc.  Also, my emotional hunger did not cause my stomach to roar out loud (of course, because my body was not genuinely hungry).

So, what in the world do I do now?  I am afraid if I start eating more the weight will stop coming off.  On the other hand, though, I cannot allow myself to stay this hungry all the time, right?  Allowing myself to remain hungry (if my body genuinely needs more food) will also be counter-productive to weight loss.  Frustrating.  Really.

For those of you out there who may have experienced this before…or just generally know what you are talking about…what do I do now?  Do I increase the food intake?  If so, what should I increase?  Only fruits and veggies, protein…all of it?  Help, please.

-Erica