Weight Loss Presents #1 and #2

I’ve been thinking about it a bit today, and have decided what I’ll be giving myself for reaching my 5 lbs. and 10 lbs. goals. First off, a little background. I started concentrating on losing these stubborn pounds on Sunday, June 30th, at which point I was 179.4 lbs. I’m working to lose 2 lbs. a week, which means that I should (hopefully) reach my first 5 lbs. goal (174.4 lbs.) around July 15th if everything goes right. That’s 13 days from now, slightly less than two weeks. Who knows, maybe I’ll do what I’ve done historically and drop that initial weight quicker – typically I end up losing the first 10 lbs. super quickly, then my body slows down and goes back to the normal 2 lbs. a week thing. Sometimes it will be as much as 10 to 15 lbs. in a week, which would be fun but is definitely not necessary. I just want to keep this gradual and ongoing for the next four and a half months. Anyway, so if everything runs on schedule and I lose 5 lbs. by 7/15, I should lose the next 5 lbs. (putting me at 169.4 lbs.) by the beginning of August. I know, I know, this is all very boring and full of numbers. I’m not too fond of numbers, either, but it’s kind of how this thing works. Just wait until I start taking and posting body measurements – now that’s gonna get super irritating, right? 🙂

Anyway, on to the more exciting stuff – my presents!!!

I’ve decided that Present #1, on or around July 15th if all goes well, will be a day at the spa, with a facial, massage, and mani/pedi! Yeah, I know it sounds like I’m setting the bar pretty high, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m a member at Massage Envy, and I’ve got 6 months’ worth of services waiting for me to redeem them. Plus, my favorite nail place is right next door and it’s a bit of a hike to get there, so I might as well make a day of it, right? So I’ll get the massage and facial for free, and just have to pay for the mani/pedi. Totally worth it, since I’ve been doing my own nails for a couple of months now and it’s really just sad – I should not be allowed to dabble in nail polish. I think that this time around, I’ll treat myself to a fancier nail design than I typically get. Maybe rhinestones in my pedicure, or chevron nails, or something cool and different. I’ve always been scared to ask for a special design, so maybe this is the time to get bold with it.

As for Present #2, I’ve been jonesing for a seaweed body wrap ever since my last one back in January of 2013 (so sad that it’s been that long – ack!). For those of you who’ve never had a body wrap, they come in slightly different formats, but in general the process includes getting coated in a mud or paste infused with essential oils and other goodness, then getting wrapped up in saran wrap and covered with a blanket. It’s kind of like getting a mud mask, but on your entire body, and it generally is cold and weird and awesome. Afterwards, you shower and get a short massage, and you leave feeling like a million and one dollars. They’re supposed to help you detox, have tighter skin, and shed excess water weight, but really I just love being pampered. Plus, when you get out of that seaweed treatment your skin is unbelievably soft, like baby smooth. It’s amazing. I have a gift certificate to the spa that I’ve been waiting to use, so as soon as I lose that 10 lbs., I’m allowed to head on over to get the royal treatment. I might even put a little extra down and get a second treatment that day, like a short massage, or maybe a salt scrub to make me even more buttery soft. We’ll see.

So what do you think? Have you ever offered yourself incentives when it’s time to undertake an onerous task like weight loss? How’d it work out?

Shifting Priorities…and Pounds

Since going off of birth control a year ago, I’ve gained 25 lbs. Add that to the original 20 lbs. that I needed to lose to be at my optimum weight, and you can see that I’m kind of in a bind. (Literally – my jeans are cutting off my circulation.) So as of yesterday, I’m back in diet & exercise mode. Which, let’s be honest here, has failed every single time I’ve tried for the last 15 years, as I’ve swollen from 135 lbs. to 180 lbs. Argh.

My biggest two problems are being lazy and having an emotional attachment to eating. My favorite activities are all sedentary: watching TV, reading, sleeping, playing around on the computer. On top of that, my moods demand to be accompanied/assuaged/otherwise treated with food. Do I know it’s wrong? Yes. Do I care, and want to change? Definitely. When it comes down to it, am I able to resist swinging by Popeye’s for some fried chicken, or getting that late night burger after an evening with my friends? Not really. Every time I’ve tried to focus my energy on eating healthy food, working out daily, and quitting that horrible cycle of treating my emotions with a prescription of baked goods and fried meat products, I’ve ended up failing spectacularly. Each time I fall even deeper into the hole, and end up cycling through patches of intense guilt and sandwich eating.

But all we can do is try. And maybe this time I might have a little more to try for. I’m turning 33 in November, and it just so happens that LoseIt tells me that I have exactly enough time between yesterday and mid-November to get pretty damn close to my goal weight. If I lose 2 lbs. a week, it’s realistic that I could be really close to 140 lbs. by my birthday. Also important is that I’ll be seeing two of my oldest friends that month, something that NEVER happens since they both live across the country and none of us ever get to travel that far. One friend recently experienced some amazing life changes and is looking quite svelte, so I can use her as my friendly competition. After all, I’d hate to be the chubby girl in her vacation photos. The other friend has always been super-competitive and a tad bit mean to me, so I can use her as my less-than-friendly competition. It will be immensely satisfying to look good in all of her vacation photos. Plus, the odds are high that if she sees I’ve gained weight since we last saw each other, she’ll make sure to mention it, and I will lose my everloving shit if that happens.

To get started, I’m taking small-ish steps to add activity to my day-to-day existence, as well as to cut back on needless calories:

  • Tracking every bite I eat at LoseIt.com
  • No more drinking (except for special occasions) – in other words, no more margarita nights with the girls or glasses of wine at home with sexy awesome boyfriend. Boo.
  • Walking to and from work every day – at a little over 2 miles each way, that’s 400 calories right there.
  • Wearing my VivoFit to track my steps walked, calories burned, and activity levels throughout the day.
  • Joining up at DietBet.com and making my bid to lose 40 lbs. a little more exciting of a challenge.
  • Drinking lots of water. This time of year I tend to eat even more because I hate going out in the sun and love sitting on my ass in front of the TV, but also because I’m constantly sweating and mistake dehydration/thirst for hunger.
  • Eating more veggies, less processed foods, little dairy, and no wheat.
  • Most importantly, talking about this here on my blog.

The worst part of sharing this on my blog is that since I’ve failed every time I’ve tried to lose weight over the past few years, I’m embarrassed to even let people know that I’m trying again. But eventually this is going to work out, and I really do need to be held accountable for my actions. So I’m going to keep sharing my weight, my struggles with eating, and my daily activities here.

Eventually, I’m going to start building on more activities. I already do a little bit of weight lifting every day, plus some yoga and basic stretching, and I’ve been jogging one or two days a week, too. But for now, I’m just going to concentrate on watching what I eat and walking to and from work every day. I think that’s going to have a drastic effect right off the bat, and I don’t want to push it so hard that I end up giving up as soon as I start, like every other time. Eventually I’ll work up to daily yoga or dance classes or trips to the gym, and longer runs every day, that kind of thing. But it might not be for a month, who knows?

The other thing I’m going to do is pledge myself a present for every 5 lbs. lost. That’s EIGHT PRESENTS, y’all. EIGHT things that I covet, that will be mine as long as I stop eating crappy food and start making slightly more intelligent choices each day. I’m not quite sure what my presents are going to be yet, but I’ll probably start shopping around online tonight and plan them out so that I have something to obsess over. It’ll probably be all clothes, books, and jewelry, though I do definitely want some things for my house. Hmmm…

The other thing I should probably note is that even though I’ve taken one set of blood tests that confirms I have a thyroid imbalance, and one set where the levels were all normal, I haven’t had enough money to get any other tests taken or go to the doctor for an official diagnosis and drugs. So this weight gain could possibly be because of my thyroid. But first, since I’m not losing my hair, my cycle is normal, and my brain fog is largely gone now that I’ve drastically cut back on wheat products, I’m going to try the diet and exercise route to see if it’s possible to make a dent in my weight. Eventually I’ll be able to afford health insurance. One day. Maybe. Probably not. But I’m seriously not going to worry about that today because it will just send me back to the refrigerator. For now, let’s just do some walking and eat some veggies. The rest can wait.

 

 

The Soft Opening Of My New Life

It’s called a lifestyle, not a diet. It’s a change that I need to make for myself forever – not just for as long as I can play along. It’s actually very easy to believe that a permanent change could be possible. I’ve already lost 5 lbs since Monday, eating more than I ever did before, and exercising not as much as I should. Maybe I’ve got a shot this time.

It’s early, but I’m feeling positive about this, for the most part.

I’m working with a personal training studio called Hitch Fit, out of Kansas City, and have been told that it’s very possible for me to lose 13% of my body fat and as much as 30 lbs in the next three months if I just do what they say. It might sound odd, since in many ways I’ve prided myself for being a free spirit, but there are some aspects of my life I’ve acknowledged I just don’t have much control over. Diet and exercise are two of those aspects, so it fills me with a deep sense of relief and peace to just hand that portion of my life over to someone else, and do nothing more than just follow directions. The Before & After pictures are startling, motivating, insanely awesome. If I can achieve half of the success of some of their testimonials, I will be in the best shape this body has seen since high school.

And it’s not hard. Not at all.

I have to eat five meals a day, with a certain mix of carbs, protein and fat. It ends up being around 1300 calories, with LOTS of veggies and as much tea as I can drink. There’s no meat involved, no crazy supplements (other than the vegan, non-soy protein shake I was already drinking daily, and a green superfood powder with wheat grass and spirulina, which everyone should be taking, really), no diet pills or starving required – just eating at regular intervals, weight training three times a week, and doing cardio 5 or 6 days a week.

The nutrition plan reached my email inbox on Friday, and I was told to take a week to just read through everything, get familiar with the diet & exercises required, and think of any questions I’d like to ask before starting. So on Sunday I went grocery shopping and started loosely following the diet, figuring out how hard it would be to prepare my meals in advance (very little effort, as it turns out), and what it was going to be like to follow the plan. I figured it would be a little like the soft opening of a restaurant, just getting the lay of the land, figuring out what works and what doesn’t, making a few adjustments before the real work starts. Since then, every day I’ve worked a little harder to do exactly what I’m supposed to – 1 tbsp of peanut butter and not a bit more, adding the right amount of protein powder to my oatmeal, that kind of thing.

As of today, I’m down from 160 to 155.6 lbs., just following the meal plan and going to a couple of yoga classes. My dumbbell set came in yesterday, and I’ll start REALLY training on Monday, after a weekend of yoga. I’m excited. Scared of how hard it’s going to be to weight train and still find the willpower to do more cardio and go to yoga on a daily basis, but overall, feeling pretty awesome about this whole thing. It’s going to work, and I’m going to be in the physical shape I’ve always wanted. There have been, and will be, sacrifices made to this cause – most of the foods that I love, as well as alcohol (for the most part), and definitely lots of time – but I’ll figure out how to fit in the things that I need and say adios to the things that have just been weighing me down all of these years.

Wish me luck, folks. By March I’ll be ready to show off my bikini body 🙂

Day #37: Wrap Up

It’s time to go to bed, but before I do I want to post my calories from the day. I’m worn out. The in laws (elder and younger) came today, along with The Man’s little niece, who turns out to be quite adorable and not too irritating. I still prefer my quiet life with cats to having an excitable youngster in the house, but it was much more pleasant of a visit than I’d originally anticipated. OK, it’s time to pass out. Did well tonight, but I’m worn out now. Gonna go get in my Zaggora Hot Pants and hit the hay…

Day #37: The Hot Room Double Down

Whew! I finally went back to the studio yesterday, and class wasn’t too bad for having been away for a five day stretch. It was supposed to be a double day (to make up for all the classes I missed over the last week) but I didn’t make it to morning class, only afternoon. No worries, though – I’m doing a double today and tomorrow to start the process of catching up. To make it “official,” I even put together a Google calendar of all the doubles I’ll have to do to end the 30 Day Challenge on a high note.

Talking about high notes, wanna know something weird? Before class today, I weighed in at 159.2 lbs, which makes sense given that I’ve been almost a week without exercise. However, after class I weighed in just out of curiosity since I’d sweated what seemed to be an abnormal amount for me, and I was 155.4 lbs – almost 4 lbs lighter! It’s crazy to think that I sweated out 4 lbs of water in my morning Bikram class. Even crazier, I wonder if I’ll even be able to sweat anything out in the afternoon class. I ate a pretty good lunch of steamed veggies w/ cheese sauce, and a Plant Fusion chocolate shake (made with a banana and almond milk to give me extra strength in class), so hoping I’ve got enough electrolytes in my system to survive the second class without getting sick afterwards.

Tonight I’m going to meet The Man’s 1-year-old niece for the first time. She and her parents live in Florida, and I haven’t seen them in over two years now. It’ll be nice to get together again, but I’m a bit apprehensive. The Man’s parents, brother, sister-in-law, a baby, The Man AND me in our teensy tiny apartment is going to be nerve-wracking, to say the least. Plus, the house isn’t baby-proofed, it hasn’t been cleaned since last week, and where on earth are the cats going to hide from the baby? Miss Isabel will NOT be happy. But then honestly, neither will her mother. I’m just not as psyched about being an aunt as I seem to be expected to be, and I’m pretty sad that there’s so much pressure to be in love with this baby that’s not even related to me. It just seems so fake, but of course I seem like a heartless monster if I do anything but act delighted to be hostess. Argh. Wish I had another yoga class to go to so I could just escape the whole evening…

Day #34: Fitness, or Lack of

Ack! I haven’t worked out since Saturday, and it’s driving me crazy. Unfortunately, I have an afternoon meeting today, so I’m not going to be able to go to yoga again until tomorrow. My 30 Day Challenge is really screwed right now. I’m going to need to do five (5?!?!?) doubles to make up for my misses so far. Oy vey. I can do it, though. I’m going to get 30 classes in, one way or the other.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about how I’m conducting myself, and just trying to come to terms with the fact that though calorie counting is helpful, it’s not helpful enough. I’m not going to lose any more weight just counting calories and worrying about going to yoga every day. I have to be much more active, and that means making a solid fitness goal with measurable steps. I don’t mean my weight loss, though that’s obviously still something I’m very much looking out for. Instead, it needs to be something like working my way up to running a 1/2 marathon, learning to do a particular dance, going dancing at least once a week, perfecting my Triangle pose, training to hike the Santiago de Compostela, finish learning how to swim properly – those kinds of things. It just hit me the other night while watching Expendables 2 that those guys are all so incredibly fit, and so very capable as a result. Most of them are at least 25 years older than me (others 30+ years older) and they’re still so strong and vibrant. Where will I be then if I don’t start working towards strength and flexibility now, while I’m young and it’s relatively easy?

I should be getting my iPhone this weekend, finally, and when I do I’m signing up for Gym Pact to make myself a bet I can’t refuse. I need to be working SO much harder at this.

Also, last night I was thinking about all of the other tasks I’ve got on my plate that I just never get around to, like advancing spiritually, working on writing a book, sewing a baby quilt for a friend’s child, setting up my Etsy account again. I’m letting life just slip by me for no reason other than a hectic work schedule and a big dose of laziness. I think it might be time to set monthly life goals again. We’ll think about that over the next few days…

Day #33: Another Day of Blech – Except for Expendables 2

 

So yesterday was a pretty good day. No real stomach issues, and I ate a hearty lunch. I missed Bikram because of that work meeting – as I suspected, it ran over by a bit and I was too late to make the last class. That wasn’t such a big deal, though, because The Man and I headed out to watch The Expendables 2. AWESOME! I have a serious soft spot in my heart for Stallone. I just lust for Statham. Jet Li is a serious bad ass. Everybody else was pretty cool – even massively evil bad guy Jean Claude Van Damme. Oooh, he one BAD MAN! There were some gaps in the storyline. I saw at least one funny mistake that they didn’t catch in the editing room. But who the hell cares? It was amazing! They killed like 5 million people in the course the movie. In the first Expendables, the ‘good guys’ killed 1,593. This movie had at least triple that – probably way more, but I can’t find the count right now. That doesn’t count kills by the bad guys, which now that I think about it, weren’t that many but were either impactful or straight up plot points when they occurred. Anyway, I’m not here to write a review – just to say that if you need a mindless movie with hot older guys being incredibly physical and hunky, and you also happen to like watching shit get blown up…this is your film.

After yesterday’s great day, I was sure I’d also wake up fine today, but instead I awoke from a nightmare about being mugged (by ZZ Top, no less) into a strange physical sensation that is much like what I imagine the characters in the Alien franchise feel right before a baby alien pops out of their chest. I thought I might be having a heart attack, then I realized it might be heart burn, so I took a bunch of Tums and attempted to go back to bed. Then I realized that the sensation was now moving down my intestinal tract, where it stopped feeling so much like a burning pressure and began to feel like I was being stabbed by hundreds of Lilliputians. Fucking Lilliputians. Of course, my brainiac solution was to eat a sandwich – for some reason, sick Maus always thinks it’s a good idea to try to drown out pain with a sandwich (and sometimes soup, or mashed potatoes). That added to the twisty, stabby, awful pain in my gut, but now I’ve also taken some gas medicine and it’s also doing nothing, so all I’ve got left is to go to work, sit through several meetings, and try not to scare anybody with my “Help, there’s an alien about to explode out of my large intestine!” face. Fuck you, food poisoning. Yes, I know that I normally do not curse on this blog (I’m scared that my grandmother is reading – and if so, Hi Grandma!), but I just feel like shit today, and so I’m taking it out on the internet before I accidentally scare my coworkers with anything other than an alien baby.

OK, going to work to frighten clients now.

XO!

 

Day #32: Bikram Double, Food Poisoning & Weight Loss

So. I’m late for work but didn’t want to let another day go by without writing something. That being the case, I’ll make this kind of short. On Saturday, I made it to two yoga classes – whoot! It felt pretty good, actually, though by the time the second class was over, I was weak, woozy, had a bit of a fever, and was incredibly thirsty. I thought it was probably a loss of electrolytes from sweating so much that day, but by the time I got home, I knew it was something more. I had an awful headache, and my stomach started tying up in knots. About an hour later, I got a call from one of my friends that I got dinner with on Thursday night, who told me that everyone from our group who had eaten takeout from the same burrito place had been puking all day. We had food poisoning.

The stabbing, twisting stomach pains and fever/chills continued all day yesterday, along with other symptoms too gross to mention. I wasn’t able to eat on Saturday night, and still couldn’t stomach food until yesterday afternoon, when I choked down some of The Man’s unfrosted pop tarts (unfrosted? who eats those? oh, yeah – The Man. weirdo.) They didn’t stick around in my system for long, but later in the evening I ate some cream of mushroom soup that did make me feel a bit better. Then this morning I woke up feeling pretty good. Gassy, but good. Sorry, I’m oversharing, but hey – this is the spot to do it.

With the last few days being what they were, I’m at 157.0 lbs. I’m going to eat healthy and light today, with hopes of feeling good enough to get to Bikram class this afternoon. I have a work meeting I have to attend at 4pm, so it might be impossible to get to Bikram in time, but I’m going to try. Even with one day off, my body misses it. Gotta get crackin’ – time to make the proverbial doughnuts.

Wrapping Up Early

It’s 10pm, but it feels more like 2am. I am straight up exhausted. It was a long, hard week, and the weekend promises more of the same. I don’t mind, though.

I made it to yoga this afternoon, and it was an amazing class! I didn’t skip anything except for the sit ups, but I always skip them because of my bad back. I’m still so happy that I did all four reps of Triangle…it’s one of those things that makes you feel like such a badass.

My calorie intake was good today, though I didn’t eat well. Hopefully going grocery shopping tomorrow afternoon, and I want to stock up on enough fruits and veggies to not eat any meat in the coming weeks. It just makes me feel like crap, inside and out, when I eat meat, so really not sure why I’m still compelled to do it. For me it feels very similar to what it feels like to be an emotional eater. I don’t want to eat it, and I typically don’t have to, but something primal says that I must. I want to break that chain.

Going to bed super early tonight, since tomorrow I need to do two Bikram classes to make up for one of the two that I missed (with the other class just being my daily requirement). I’m going to start the day off with a yummy protein shake, go to yoga, do a little copywriting, then put together a grocery list and go stock my pantry. Gonna be a great day!

Day #29: Feeling Like a Failure

I’m not in a good headspace right now. I missed yoga on Wednesday, and straight up skipped class yesterday, then didn’t wake up in time for class this morning. I cannot miss this afternoon’s class for anything! And now I’m going to have to do two classes a day on Saturday AND Sunday to make up for my laziness and get back in line with where I should be on the 30 Day Challenge. To top it off, on Wednesday I ate far over my calorie limit, then topped that off with a bunch of beer. Yesterday, I was too scared to weigh myself, then I got taken out to lunch by my coworkers, and met up with girlfriends for a pre-planned burrito dinner, again blowing my calories out of the water. I’m going to do my best not to screw up today, but The Man woke me up this morning to tell me he was bringing home a pizza so we could hang out together and watch movies tonight. I know that things like this shouldn’t freak me out, but I’m already pissed at myself for eating a piece of pizza at 8:30pm tonight.

My only option is to take it easy on lunch, go to yoga this evening, only eat one piece of pizza, then go to yoga twice tomorrow and be really good to my body all weekend. It’s not hard, exactly. It’s just annoying to have to spend so much of my energy thinking about what I’m going to eat in the future, and being sad that I won’t like any of it because it’s not ice cream, pizza or fried chicken. Argh. I’ve got to get ready for work.

Again, I didn’t weigh myself this morning. I’m feeling bloated and horrible, so I’m sure I’m probably back around 162, and I just can’t look at the scale to see that this morning. I also ate a really shitty breakfast of eggs, toast and cheese. I think I’m going to stick to carrots and a granola bar for lunch. Meh. This post sucks. Sorry.