Sunday, December 22, 2013

End of 2013 Update

Holy, it's been over a year since anyone has contributed to this blog.  That is so weird that nobody is on a diet!  Just kidding.  I know for a fact that most of the people that have contributed to this blog have been watching their waistlines in the past year and a half.

Last May my friend Shelly won an auction for four free sessions with a personal trainer at Crossfit.  She asked me to go with her because I had been complaining about packing on the pounds last year.  I gained 15 or 20 pounds throughout the school year.  I had never heard of Crossfit, but told her I would go with her.

We went to our first session, worked out harder than we ever had before and decided to sign up for the summer.  I honestly never knew what real working out was before Crossfit.  I had done classes, and videos, and kayaking and walking and even a little jogging now and then, but I never really pushed myself before.

Two months into the Crossfit membership I had lost 5 pounds without even trying.  I went from not being able to even come close to doing a pushup to being able to do about 20 BOY pushups in a row.  I thought I was too old to be able to do that stuff anymore.  I told our trainer, Jeff, sort of jokingly that my ultimate goal was to be able to do one pull-up.  Then I was done.  I never thought I would actually be able to do it.

In August, after I had seen some surprising results in my strength, endurance, and weight, I decided to really commit to it.  I had Jeff take my bodyfat measurements, measure my chest, arms, legs, waist, hips and abdominals, weight and then I got serious.  I made myself a fitness manifesto outlining my goals.  Not goals about what I wanted to weigh,  fit into, or how I wanted to look; but goals about what I wanted to be able to DO.  I wanted to be able to do a pull-up, a standing ab rollout, climb the gym rope to the ceiling, be able to run a 5k, and improve my performance on the rowing machine with the idea of maybe joining the rowing team in the summer.

I got measured again at the end of October and improved GREATLY.  I lost many many inches, decreased my bodyfat percentage from 30% to 27% and lost a total of 13 pounds from when I started at Crossfit.  I was ecstatic.  So I set some new goals.  The one I'm concerned about now is getting my bodyfat/weight down.  I set an arbitrary goal of getting to 160 or below by January. I started Crossfit at 180 so it seemed like a good number to pick. I think by doing that I will be able to do more physically.  I can do a pull-up now.  I can do lots and lots of boy pushups, and I can even do a diamond pushup.  I am way stronger than I ever have been in my life, even when I was a teenage "athlete."  I'm somewhat competitive with the other people at the gym who are very fit.  When we have competitions I don't usually win, but I don't embarrass myself either.  Things that I found almost impossible when I started at the gym are just routine now.

Today is the 22nd of December and as of this morning I am 160.5 pounds.  Pretty close!  Jeff has helped me set up a nutrition plan.  I use an internet site called Slimkicker to keep track of my food, weight, and exercise.  I set it up for 1500 calories a day, 191 grams of carbs, 35 grams of fat, and 105 grams of protein a day.  It's kind of hard to do!  I find the protein goal hard to reach.  I don't really have a problem with the calorie goal, but I really love my carbs!

Ultimately I would like to get to 20% bodyfat, around 140 pounds, be on the rowing team as a real contributor, be able to run a 5k without cursing and swearing and getting crabby, do an ab rollout all the way (I'm pretty close, but getting flat to the ground without falling is proving to be hard!), backsquat 200 pounds, deadlift 300 pounds, bench 150 pounds, strict press 90 pounds, etc. etc.

My friends and I are planning on doing a 5K in April.  I'm starting the "Couch to 5K" running program this week.  I'm not really at couch level, so I figure I will start on week 4.  I ran two miles the other day, and think I could have continued on to do three, but it really really sucked.  My knees hurt and it was boring.  Now my legs hurt like they have been cramped up for days.  My legs need some work.

So I think I have finally figured out how to make the changes I've wanted to make for so long.  The "lifestyle" changes everyone talks about all the time.  For me it's all about working out.  If I make the investment of time into building my body how I want, then I think the nutrition and good eating will follow.  Maybe not all the time, but most of the time.  I also figured out that I need to be with people I like when I work out.  I can't do it alone.  For one thing, it's lonely and boring alone, and for another thing, I find that when I try to do something really challenging, I tend to panic a little and I need other people there to calm me down make me realize that it will be okay.  I don't panic out loud and I don't think anyone actually realizes I'm panicking, but I am, and if I was alone, I would quit.  I need help to push through the hard things.

Lastly, the best thing about working out hard is that I have cured my decades-long depression that I used to treat with medication.  I am totally off medication now and I feel great.  If I didn't lose a pound, an inch, or gain an ounce of strength; not being depressed would be totally worth all the work.   

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July State of the Diet Address

My Fellow Americans,
It has been a rough several weeks.  Things were going smoothly in May and in June but the beautiful weather, combined with leaving home and going on vacation were devastating for the diet.  I went from happily keeping track of what I eat and keeping a healthy ratio between carbs, fat, protien, etc. etc., to eating all sugar all the time.  I did manage to stay relatively active the whole time I was gone though, and that's something.  I walked and kayaked almost every day.  I haven't weighed myself yet because I'm just not up for that yet and also because I always forget to do it before I eat breakfast and there is no way I'm weighing myself with even an extra ounce of food in my body.  That's just crazy.

Now I'm back and I went shopping and only got good, healthy food.  I feel better already.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Survived My Reunion!

Well, I survived my 25-year reunion.  I ate as little as possible the three weeks leading up to it, and this past weekend it was party-hardy time.  I managed to get down to within 11.5 pounds of my goal weight, which was fine and dandy by me.  Today, three days post-party, I am bloated and puffy and haven't touched the treadmill or elliptical since Friday.  Today, I resumed eating lighter again.  Lots of water, tea, a little coffee, no alcohol, etc.  Low-calorie, low-carb, lot-fat, low-junk foods.  No wheat.  Fat-free dairy.  No refined sugar.  Basically, no more crap foods. 

I'm still committed to getting down to 125, even though the reunion is done.  I have felt so much better doing my early morning workouts, that I am hoping to just make them a permanent part of my life from now on.  I have no excuses; there is absolutely zero reason why I can't do that.

I also am committed to staying away from junk food.  Same thing; I feel 1000% better when I'm not eating it.  I'll eat a sandwich from time to time, or other things with a little wheat in them or refined sugar in them, but in general I've revamped the way I eat and I know it all helped with making me feel better.  When I do the early workouts, I have insane energy ALL DAY.  Still.  It still works.  Incredible.  And when I stay away from those foods that bog down my system and make me feel puffy and flaccid and lethargic, I feel healthier and happier and more content with life in general.  I feel empowered!  I'm not worried anymore about whether I will be able to keep the healthier eating and exercising going.  I KNOW I CAN do it.  It's a whole new life for me.

How're y'all doing out there?  Any July news?  I still love the feedback  - it always helps to know there are others out there dealing with the same crappy weight battle!!!  Comrades!    :o)

Me & my hubby, at my reunion on Saturday.    :o)

Monday, June 25, 2012

June State of the Diet Address

Hi again.  It's June.  I'm still dieting.  Pretty successfully too, I think.  I haven't weighed myself in quite some time because it's just so dang disappointing.  I feel like I've been losing tens of pounds and then I get on the scale and I've lost half a pound, or no pounds at all.  So I think I've only weighed in one time in the past month or so.  My shorts are loose though, and that is great because when I tried them on in April before my DC trip, they were all so tight that the pockets pulled.  I had to get new shorts for the trip.  Now my old shorts fit me again which is great but I'm worried I will get complacent now because if my clothes fit, why diet?  Because it's good for me, that's why.  I have been feeling VERY good lately.  In fact, I have noticed that I've not needed to take nearly as much Ibuprofen as I had been taking.  My hip feels better I think because I've been exercising and strengthening the muscles around it.  That's good.  I have ab muscles again.  Not a six pack, more like a two pack, but still; ab muscles.  I meant to get back to my workout videos but I just couldn't stand the thought of them anymore so I made up my own workout that I do a few times a week.  I do four sets of a circuit.  Each circuit has one round of shoulders, back, abs, legs, abs, legs, chest, arms and abs and legs again.  I do 25 reps of each exercise for each thing.  It takes about 45 minutes.  On the days I don't do that I walk four miles as fast as I can.  That takes about an hour.  Much better than workout videos.

I'm still on the Slimkicker website.  I find that I go over my sugar limit almost every day.  I would say I should work on making that better, but I go over the sugar limit with three pieces of fruit.  Big whoop.  I'm not very concerned about that.  Otherwise I've been "in the green" as they say on the site.  I've had a few hungry days when I totally blow it and eat what I want, but not too many.  I don't feel bad about it.  I even started doing some of the challenges on the site too to get more points.

That is the state of the diet.  Things are going well. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Still Going Strong!

It's crazy, I KNOW!  But since my last post 15 days ago, this is by far the LONGEST I have stuck to a "plan" and not ended up fizzling out along the way.  Two weeks, and I'm still dropping pounds.  I started at 152.0 on April 23rd, and today I am 141.5.  THIS IS BIG!  I am pumped.  I am still doing the every day early-morning workouts, and I am absolutely convinced the morning exercise - a treadmill jaunt, an elliptical session, a simple walk - ANYTHING - is the Magic Pill.  It gets my entire BEING moving.  Mentally, I feel GREAT right at the start of my day, and that keeps me motivated all day to eat the right stuff.  When I have moments of weakness (and believe me, I DO...), I indulge - but on a very small scale, and I make sure I record every single calorie.  This means that instead of blowing the whole day after I eat lunch at India Palace, because I convince myself stupidly that the entire day is a wash - I write it down, I recover emotionally, I MOVE ON - right back to my careful recording of calories.  I NEVER deny myself a bite of something others are pigging out on in front of me - I eat the cookie, or I sample the pizza - but instead of eating an entire serving of something unhealthy, I just taste - and then I STOP.  This is something I have never, EVER been able to do - until now.

My "eat light" efforts have been assisted somewhat the past 5 days by the fact that I got my tongue pierced last Friday.  I've been drinking a lot of Slim Fast shakes and iced coffee, LOL.  But today I found I could eat almost normally, and instead of being swollen to the size of a large potato, my tongue is now more plum-sized.  HOORAY!  We women do the most bizarre things when faced with crippling emotional upheaval and impending midlife crises... More on that some other time.

I hope y'all are still fighting the good fight out there!  Keep at it!  This is a battle that CAN and WILL BE WON!!!


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Having the flu is so inspiring!

Hello!  Anne is here and recovering quite slowly from the flu.  ugh.  Something about my body violently extracting all of the contents of my digestive system makes me all excited about eating real, good food again.  Then I visited The Chunkersons blog and Kristin, you have inspired me!  You wrote about snacking on veggies with some homemade dip and now that's all I can think of.   My mom makes this and actually, it's not all bad for us.

Veggie dip:

1 cup mayo (I know, I know)
1 cup cottage cheese
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt to taste
1 small onion grated (more or less to taste)
Mix well and refrigerate. 

I make a half batch for myself.  Mayo?  Yeah, it's not all that bad...and you could use less or substitute yogurt or sour cream if you'd rather.  I like it a lot!  And anything to make those veggies go down a little easier is always good.

I'm making my grocery list and I'm craving fresh strawberries and oranges.   Fish, shrimp, and steak done to perfection.  Sweet potato fries...  gah!  I never knew I loved sweet potatoes!    Now if I could just get enough energy to actually go to the store.  Jello and broth don't really do much for me there.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Could It Really Be.......? simple?

I SO would love to believe it.  I keep waiting (WEIGHTING???) for the bomb to drop, for the plateau to hit, or for myself to wake up.  I feel like I'm living someone else's weird, surreal life.  This is because I have been trying, and struggling, and fighting, and failing at this dieting bullshit for twenty effing months, and suddenly... the weight is suddenly falling off, and I'm not doing anything crazy, stupendous or monumental, and I'm not hungry, crabby, or starving.  It seems too good to be true, and when something seems that way... it usually is.  Except, this isn't.  This is actually TRUE...

I'll elaborate - but I'll try to condense:


I'm counting every calorie.  I've been doing this for over twelve years, almost every day.  I know it doesn't work for everyone, but I know that it DOES work for ME.  When I count, I lose.  When I don't... I don't.  So, I must.  So, I am.  I'm using the free website and app for my phone, and I'm entering in every single frickin' calorie, right down to my sugarless gum and chewy vitamin C.  I know that sounds obsessive.  I do.  But... I also know that when I'm 100% accountable to myself, I see the results that I want - the success I've been struggling so hard to reach.  I have now come to that point where I'm just SO sick and tired of these excess pounds.  I've been carrying, on average, 35 pounds more than I'm comfortable with for the past 20 months, and I've been yo-yoing up and down, up and down, every week/month with no real lasting progress.  I stick to my diligent plan for a week, maybe two, then I have a birthday dinner, or a Book Club meeting, and that ONE splurge throws my motivation and my willpower all out of whack, and before I know it, I've gained back anything I've lost, PLUS I add a few pounds onto that.  The yo-yoing is depressing, debilitating, and emotionally crippling.  And up to this point it has ruled my life, week after week, month after month, for twenty months.  On April 22nd, I finally hit my breaking point.  I was just fed-up.  I couldn't do the yo-yoing anymore.  I was just... DONE.  And that was that.  I re-evaluated everything I was doing, tried to pinpoint everything I was doing WRONG, and re-vamped my strategy - again. 


I am exercising EVERY DAY for 60-90 minutes EARLY in the morning.  This is the single-most amazing transformation that has happened in my life since April 23rd.  (The day I consider my most recent "start-over" day).  I set my alarm for 5:45 a.m., and I'm on the treadmill or elliptical machine by 6:15.  EVERY day.  Once the weather is warm enough that early, I could walk on the road out by our house - though I'll have to carry a handgun, to scare off the bears, cougars, and coyotes.  The more I think of it... I may just stay indoors.  I do not move fast.  Many days, I barely break much of a sweat.  But the early morning movement has completely changed how I feel physically, and mentally.  I used to lie in bed every morning for a full hour, listening to my teenager getting ready for school, and then I'd haul my ass up at 7:15 to say goodbye to her as she headed out to the bus stop.  Now, instead of just listening to her getting ready, I'm watching a movie or a Netflix t.v. show, and I'm moving and getting my blood pumping and my sluggish metabolism going.  I promise you, if this were not making me feel so much better, I would not say that it is.  But the craziest part of all is that my appetite has DISAPPEARED.  This can only be the result of the increased metabolism due to the exercise, because it's the only piece that's a major change for me.  I've done the 1200-calorie thing for twelve years, and most days, I stick to that.  What my new success proves to me is, I can't lose the weight - or have any hope of controlling my appetite or cravings - UNLESS I GET MY ASS MOVING.  And for me, the early morning time-slot seems to be the missing link.  I fly off the machine after 60 or 90 minutes and I cannot wait to start the day!  WTF?!  I used to drag my ass around all day with ZERO energy.  Now, I have so much energy all damn day long I don't know what the hell to do with it all.  The most insane side-effect is the decreased appetite.  It is 6:40 p.m. right now, and I have consumed exactly 450 calories so far today.  And, I've barely noticed!  I feel so good and so pumped up, both by the dropping number on my scale AND by the energy surge I have all day, that I literally have trouble hitting 900 calories by 9:00 p.m. most days.  Here's a news flash:  If you eat 900-1000 calories per day, and exercise (a.k.a., WALK) 60-90 minutes every day... you are GOING to lose 3-4 pounds per week.  PERIOD.  It's impossible to gain or even maintain when you're riding a calorie deficit like that.  If I was hungry, or lacking energy as a result of my low-calorie intake or my exercising, then I would not be able to do this!  But the exact opposite is happening.  I'm literally sitting here tonight scratching my head, saying, "Shouldn't I be starving right now?  Why am I not even HUNGRY for supper?"  It's weird and crazy and thrilling, all at once.


I'm eating right.  Healthy, REAL foods.  I'm also not eating white-flour carbs, or refined sugar.  And the nuttiest part is, I'M NOT CRAVING THEM ANYMORE.    I'm eating only when I'm hungry, and then only a single serving of something healthy, like a serving of fresh veggies with a little light veggie dip I make at home, or hummus; a bowl of mixed fresh fruits, a couple rye crackers with a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese on it (bleu cheese is my favorite!); a burger made with ground venison (no bun - and only a little mustard for flavor) or a taco salad with taco-seasoned ground venison, lettuce, tomato, a tiny bit of shredded taco cheese, and some salsa; a light string cheese or Greek yogurt when I'm craving dairy; a serving of dry roasted peanuts or raw almonds when I'm craving something crunchy; some fresh fish here and there, or a baked chicken breast.  I'm drinking only ice water, hot teas, cold-brewed iced teas, one cup of coffee in the morning, and I have discovered a NEW MIRACLE BEVERAGE that I have to share:  SoBe Lifewater - naturally sweetened (with a stevia-based extract), and 6 or 7 DELICIOUS flavors!  They're $1 per bottle at WalMart.  I actually found a picture of my three favorites - the Yumberry Pomegranate is UNBELIEVABLE!  I sip it all day, and I DO NOT CRAVE POP!  I highly recommend it. 

That's it, in a nutshell.  Three basic things.

1.  Count every calorie and stick between 1000 and 1200 daily.
2.  Exercise (walk) an hour or more every day, even slowly.  Just get MOVING.
3.  Eat healthy food.  No garbage/crap/junk.  No fast food.  No sugar or white flour.  A.K.A.. HEALTHY STUFF.

A final note:  I'm finding that the old mantra, "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels" applies to me today.  This morning, I went to Big Apple Bagel.  I ordered a Breakfast B.L.T. with plain cream cheese on a cheddar herb bagel - for my supervisor at work.  I ordered a plain bagel for my 3-year-old to munch on before gymnastics.  But even though Big Apple is one of my favorite snack spots, I didn't order a thing for myself.  Why?  HOW???  Because NOTHING - not even my beloved bagels - taste as good as the way I have felt the past 29 days.  I am nine pounds down in four weeks, and I don't just feel great physically as a result (I went out and bought a pair of size 5 jeggings at Deb, and they're NOT tight - WTF?!), but I also feel amazing mentally!  Totally empowered, completely in control of my eating (for once) and my food choices, and not willing to sabotage myself any longer.  I was SO in denial until now.  I would tell myself, "It's just ONE cookie!"  Or, "It's just ONE little McDonald's Junior Cheeseburger!"  I thought a single serving here or there of something unhealthy wasn't enough to derail me.  But of course, those cheats DO derail us.  Not necessarily physically, or diet-wise.  But emotionally, and mentally.  Those little cheats are what convince us that we're not going to succeed; that we're slaving away and starving ourselves for nothing, because we're still the same weight we've been for months - or years.  We have one or two little slip-ups and we feel like we're doomed to FAIL, and we feel like we can't do it and that we're NEVER going to succeed.  It's this revelation that allowed me to walk out of Big Apple this morning empty-handed, and that keeps me out of the McDonald's drive-through on the way to work, and out of the pop machines I pass everywhere.  I CAN'T eat the bad stuff if I want to lose this weight.  This does not mean that I will never taste a bagel again, or drink a can of Coke again, or go through DQ again.  Of course I will!  But what it DOES mean is, I cannot do those things right NOW - AT ALL.  Not even a little.  NOT EVEN ONCE.  One slip is all it takes to derail me emotionally, unfortunately.

Sorry this got so long, but... I had to share.