Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #22!

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 197
Current Weight: 197 (same!)
Total Weight Loss: 28 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining: 52

I don't know how it's possible... but I apparently did not gain any weight while I was on vacation.  There are many reasons for this.  I would hope that by this time I've boosted my metabolism, which would have helped process the additional calories.  My weight-training has probably added some muscle to my body, which helps burn calories as well.  Also, I've become used to eating small portions of food, and in turn, it took smaller amounts of food to fill me up, even though I was allowing myself to eat whatever I wanted.  Finally, I walked everywhere.   The trip was practically constant-walking.  I think the longest time I sat down beyond meals was for the Broadway play.

I'm very pleased with not having gained any weight, if a little dumbfounded.  I haven't even been able to exercise since I got back because my schedule has been so hectic.  It's also Thanksgiving tomorrow (!) so there's a lot to do in preparation.  I'm making about 80% of the meal for my entire family, so I'm a bit stressed.  But!  After this holiday, I'm going to get right back into it. 

I'm actually looking forward to getting back on track.  I don't like not exercising anymore--it makes me feel tired and lazy. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

I'm back!

Picture from the great blog Hyperbole and a Half
Hello everyone!  I have returned from my super awesome trip to New York City!  I had never been there before, so it was really amazing to see all the city has to offer.  I made the trip with my best friend who I don't get to see but a few times a year, so that made the trip even better.  What did I do, you ask?

Well, I got to see a Broadway play!

Not only did I get to see it, I won rush tickets!!  Which means my ticket only cost $27.00!  And I still had really good seats.  The play was really good--funny and touching all at the same time.  I highly recommend it.

Naturally, I had to visit Chinatown!

Jing Fong Dim Sum Restaurant
I bought a lot in Chinatown.  Everything is so cheap!  And they have these knock-offs of a brand of purse called Tokidoki, which I've always loved but have never been able to afford... until now >.>

My hotel was right next to Times Square, so I spent a lot of time there:


And of course... I ate.  Lots. Of. Food.  It was all delicious.  I was able to visit The Russian Tea Room, which is a place I've dreamed of going to for many years now.  I ate French macarons from Laduree and various mysterious dumplings in Chinatown.  There were breads and delicate pastries from Takahachi bakery and sticks of meat from street vendors.  For a girl who has been dieting and exercising steadily for 22+ weeks, it was absolute Heaven.  I took pictures of all the food I ate, but since this is a weight-loss blog, I think it would be kinda cruel to post them.

For my sanity, I haven't weighed myself yet.  I'm sure I've gained weight, though I did walk almost constantly, so hopefully that helped a bit.  Life was very busy as soon as I stepped off the plane, with work-related trips, Church dinners, and frantic grocery shopping, so I'm still very sleep deprived.  I have to work at my third job this weekend, too, so I'm not sure when I'll have a chance to finally catch up on my sleep. 

Even with gained weight and severe lack of sleep, it was totally worth it.  I had a blast and can't wait to go again!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #21!

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 196
Current Weight: 197 (+1)
Total Weight Loss: 28 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining: 50

Bah!  Wrong way, scale!  Honestly though, I think this gain is a retaining-water issue.  The ladies will understand.  /cough

Also, I do want to say that this Friday I'm going on vacation to New York City!  I'm very excited because I've never been there before.  I'm also going to probably be eating very terribly.  I fully accept this.  Hopefully, I'll walk most of it off, but if I gain weight, I'll just have to deal with it.  NYC isn't an everyday thing for me, and I will enjoy my Chinatown dim sum.  :)  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Operation October Overview

So, how did it go?

Operation October, which was my pledge to myself to incorporate at least 10 minutes of activity into my day, every day of October is all done now.  During the month I was a happy, aggravated, motivated, frustrated, and I'm sure a whole bunch of other emotions shoved in there, too.  The point is, it was a challenge.  But of course it was supposed to be.  Some days, getting that 10 minutes in was hard.  I literally was doing 10 minute YouTube videos right before bed some nights just to squeeze it in.

Still, as stressful as it was sometimes, I'm glad I did it.  I think it helped me break through my horrible plateau so now I'm finally losing weight again.  On the other hand, it's really nice to not have to worry so much about making sure I get that 10 minutes in on days when I'm really busy.  Overall, it was a good experience and definitely taught me a lot about time management and priorities. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #20!

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 198
Current Weight: 196 (-2)
Total Weight Loss: 29 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining: 51

Wow, I can't believe that it's my 20th week.  I don't know if I'm more shocked by how quickly the time went or the fact that I've actually stuck with this for once in my life.  But look!  Down 2 pounds!  One more pound and I'll be at 30 pounds lost.  30 pounds!  I honestly barely believe it myself.  Even better, I only have 6 more pounds to go until I reach my next mini-goal of 190! :)

I really tried to beef up my exercising this week.  I ran a lot and also did work out videos when I was stuck in the rain.  In the near future, I plan on writing a post about all the various Internet resources I've personally found to be helpful for weight-loss or fitness, so stay tuned!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stormageddon

I'm sure you've heard of the monster storm attacking the East Coast by now.  Here's a visual aid:

AHHHHHHHHHH
That, my friends, is currently what I'm experiencing.  Somewhere under all that white is my state.  You wouldn't believe the rain and wind!  My job closed for the day, so at least I didn't have to drive in it.  There's a high likelihood that it'll be closed tomorrow, too. 

While I truly do appreciate the day off from work (but still getting paid, woo!), it does put a damper on my exercising.  I've run in a bit of rain before, but running in a hurricane?  I don't think so.  But it's still Operation October, and more importantly I've been basically laying around doing nothing all day, so I really needed to get some sort of movement in.  Enter, the workout DVD!

So envious of that body!
Personally, I'm a huge fan of all of Ellen Barrett's DVDs.  This one in particular, called Skinny Sculpt, is one I have done many times.  It's fairly easy for beginners and offers modifications in case you aren't able to do the full workout quite yet.  In the beginning, I used all the modifications and no weights.  Now, I do the full thing, weights and all.

What I really like about her DVD's is how she somehow makes you feel pretty while you're sweating your butt off.  She talks about elongating your lines and using foot positions from ballet.  And she's very encouraging in a way that doesn't feel fake to me, which is something that really bothers me on other workout DVDs.  To help distract you while you're exercising, she also talks a good bit all the way through.  Sometimes it'll be explaining why a certain move is good for your or exactly what muscles you're targeting; it's all very interesting.

So, if you're in the market for some DVDs to try whilst being kept inside due to Frankenstorm, I do recommend Skinny Sculpt.  Her DVD's aren't that expensive either, which is definitely a bonus.

*Once again,  I was not asked to endorse this product, nor was I given anything to do so.  This is a review of my own free will**

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Book That Started It All...

Half-Assed: A Weight Loss Memoir by Jennette Fulda
If you've been reading this blog from the start or went back and read all the entries, you know that I started this blog in April of 2011.  By Winter of 2011, I was done.  I had a lot of issues going on last year that depressed me.  Keeping up with a new diet and exercise plan wasn't something I thought I could spend time on.  Which was stupid, because in the end I just ate and ate and ate to cover my feelings but all I ended up doing was gaining more weight and getting more depressed.  So stupid.


In May of this year, I posted my first entry of starting to live a healthier lifestyle again.  I never said it at the time, but one of the biggest motivators for this was reading the book pictured above.  Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir is an autobiography that covers the journey of the author, Jennette Fulda as she goes from weighing 372 pounds to being within 15 pounds of her goal weight (160 lbs). 

But this is not your typical weight-loss book.  What really amazed me as I read was that while this book was about losing weight, very little of it was focused specifically on food.  She never mentions what specific diet she is following.  She rarely mentions meals she prepared.  There's a good bit about figuring out what's good and what's not-so-good and how to navigate the supermarket, but even then I wouldn't say it's the majority of the book.  Instead, she focuses a lot on her physical activity and her mental health.  This was not a manual for how to lose weight, but a true autobiography about the strength and will-power it takes to accomplish a mighty goal.  And what really got me was how much I related to the things she wrote about.  Literally, there were moments where I wondered if the author somehow knew me.  She talks about playing the "Am I Fatter Than Her?" Game, which I play way too much.  Or how she pretended to forget her swimsuit at a party, which I've done more than once.

And she was forceful in her beliefs, which can be rare in overweight women who are often plagued by low self-esteem.

For example, "And even if I had been the laziest, weakest-willed person on the planet, being fat did not make me a bad person. Fat wasn't good or bad. It wasn't a scarlet F of shame written on my elbow. It was just fat. I deserved as much respect as any thin person and I shouldn't have to live under a cloud of shame." (pg. 48).

Exactly!!  I am fat, yes, but that does not and should not define me.  I am more than the fat on my body, it just happens to be that that's what you see first.  But if you take the time, you might find that I am so much more.

The author writes in such a way that I delighted in her triumphs and was saddened by her lows.  Her book truly touched me with it's wit and blunt honesty.  Before I even finished the book, I was inspired to start exercising and eating better myself.  This blog and the successes it has chronicled is directly a result of reading that book.  I'll think, "Man, I really want to just sit on the couch and watch TV," or, "I can have that doughnut covered in chocolate and sprinkles, right?"  But then I remember the blog and how much I really don't want to have to report weight-gain.  It keeps me on track.

I guess what I'm getting at here is that this is a good book!  A really good book!  And I definitely recommend you purchase a copy if you're looking for a new read.

**I would like to note that I was in no way asked or paid to say these things.  I have never met or spoken to the author.  I gave this review of my own free-will and received nothing for it.**

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #19!

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 198
Current Weight: 198 (-0)
Total Weight Loss: 27 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining:53

I'm the same!  Shedding the pounds has definitely become more difficult.  I recently read an article that says as you lose weight, your body burns less calories to operate, which is why people often have plateaus.  It really just comes down to the fact that I need to step up my game and exercise a little harder than I have been.  Honestly, I think my food habits are really good now, so I'm not too worried about those.  I eat a lot of fruits and veggies, not too many carbs and what I do have are whole wheat.  I don't eat a lot of dairy products because I'm lactose intolerant, but I do drink skim lactose-free milk and reduced fat lactose-free cheese on occasion.

So, here's to trying even harder!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Body Image... Again

It seems that women are constantly being assaulted from all sides to be thinner.  Mainly, I think we're all used to it because of consistently seeing ads with already-thin girls photoshopped to be even thinner.  But sometimes the media goes a little too far.  Has anyone seen this?

Photo: WWD/Barney's/Courtesy Photo
As this article explains, Barney's of New York is going to be running a holiday ad in which Minnie Mouse dreams of herself in Paris, with various other Disney characters joining her as models.  The picture above is how Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck will appear.

Let's all remember what Minnie Mouse usually looks like:

Traditionally, this icon from Walt Disney has been presented with a rather curvy figure.  The Barney's advertisement team has somehow felt it necessary to make her stick-thin.  Frankly, I find the new versions very creepy.  They're beyond runway model thin--they're more anorexic thin.  And in the world we live in where anorexia, bulimia, and body dismorphia are frequent problems for impressionable girls, is it really wise to be taking a beloved curvy children's figure and turning her into an impossibly thin version?

Minnie Mouse is not even fat, she's simply curvy.  The message it seems to send is that when you have curves, one of your biggest dreams should be to be thinner.  And I take issue with that.  Let's teach our children to be happy and healthy.  Being too thin can be just as detrimental to health as being overweight. 

The article also has a link to a petition to stop Barney's from running this ad on change.org.  If you go there, they list some shocking figures about children and body image:

•47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.
• 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.
• 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner.
• 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.

They're all pretty sad, but the third bullet point about 1st-3rd grade girls really depressed me.  At that age the only thing you should be worried about is if it'll rain and you can't go outside for recess.   I hope Barney's realizes the negative effects their ad could have on girls who view it. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #18!

Now, I know what you're thinking.  It's Thursday!  You forgot to weigh yourself yesterday!  Actually, I did remember.  And I really was excited too, since I finally lost weight last week.  So it's early morning, I just woke up.  Stumbling sleepily into the bathroom, I do my business and proceed to step on the scale... and it's dead.  Yep.  Batteries died.  And my scale takes those weird little flat round batteries that I don't just have lying around.  So, this post had to be delayed a day until I had a chance to go to the store and grab a couple.  Now, without further ado:
Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 200
Current Weight: 198 (-1 pound)
Total Weight Loss: 27 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining:53

Yay!  I'm finally done being on that awful plateau I wrote about before.  I cannot stress how awful it is to exercise your butt off (unfortunately not literally) and eat really well only to step on the scale and have it show you the same number for a month.  So I'm super excited to be on the downward slope again.  And look!  Only 8 more pounds until I achieve my new mini-goal! :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Running Update!

Truth.
Last time I wrote about running, I was up to 2 miles without stopping.  Now I can run 3!  However, I must say that it's really hard.  I feel like I moved from 1 mile to 2 miles fairly seamlessly.  For some reason, that third mile is a killer.  My legs and thighs hurt a lot by the end and I'm way more tired than after just 2 miles.  Still, it's very exciting to know that I could finally enter a 5K and not make a fool of myself.

As an interesting side note to this, the road I run on has undergone a transformation.  A few weeks ago, they took away the road's surface and paved it with small rocks instead.  I have no idea why they did this instead of repaving it.  And it was really annoying because I couldn't use that road to run on for awhile.  Now, the rocks on the road also happen to correspond with the sale of what used to be a golf course on the one side of the road.  It's now just park land and is no longer carefully mowed.  The grass and other vegetation has grown up significantly.

I mention this because apparently, now that the golf course is wilderness again and the road is less road-like, animals feel more okay with trying to go across.  However, just as many cars are still traveling down this road.  Because of this, I have now dubbed this road The Road of Death.  So far, I've seen two frogs, three snakes, a couple squirrels, and many fuzzy caterpillars that have met their end on this road.  It's very morbid.  I actually saw a live snake slithering across the other day and I totally cheered him on.  I did the same with the caterpillars I saw today.

Anyway, just wanted to do a running update!  Hopefully, I can get used to this 3 mile thing, because it's truly painful at the moment.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #17!

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 200
Current Weight: 199 (-1 pounds)
Total Weight Loss: 26 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining:54

Do you hear that choir of angels?  You'd better, because I HAVE MET MY FIRST MINI-GOAL.  Woooo!!!  I'm under 200!!!  I never want my weight to begin with a number 2 again.

I have also learned my lesson, and for my next mini-goal I will not set it so far.  17 weeks is a little much.  So!  My next mini-goal will be: 9 pounds!  Why 9?  I was going to make it 8, but if it's 9 that makes my weight 190, which is a nice, even number.  Also, my mini-goal after that will be 10 pounds, at which point my weight will be 180.  This is an important number, because it means that I will officially leave the ranks of the obese and just be regular old overweight. :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bullying

This video has been lurking around the internet for awhile, so I'm sure most of you have already seen it--but for those who haven't:


I actually got a little choked up while watching this clip.  It brought back all the memories (some quite recent) of the times I've been called fat, huge, mountain, even a beached whale.  And while I certainly agree that we should teach our children to be healthy, it's not okay to berate overweight people. 

All the bullying never inspired me to lose weight, in fact it did the exact opposite.  I felt more depressed and even less self-confident, so I would eat to take away the pain.  I wore huge clothes and for years, I mean quite literally, years, I refused to wear anything but black. I don't know that there's a picture existing of me from my high school years showing me in color. And it wasn't that I was some emo kid, at least not more than any other normal hormonal teenager.  Black was safe.  People don't notice you as much.  And that's what I desperately wanted--to simply be ignored so I wouldn't be made fun of.  It's only been within the past two years or so that I've begun to wear color and frankly I still find it a little odd. 

A friend of mine posted this video on his facebook, and I'm going to paste a person's reply.  A warning, though, it does contain some explicit language:


"That was really something. I want to take a minute to point out something that you probably already know, but that many people who see this may not understand. Anyone who reads this and knows me also knows that I've literally been overweight my entire life. I was over twelve pounds at birth, and I've only gotten taller and larger as time has gone on. This year, I have changed my life in some very profound ways and dropped nearly 60 pounds as a result. The ability to keep with a commitment like this for an entire calendar year is new to me, and bodes well for my future. For the first time in nearly three decades of life, I am 100% certain that barring serious physical injury or disability, I will be hold weight that can be considered "normal" within a year from this date, and that I'll weigh less than I did at my highschool graduation in just a few more months. 

What I want to point out about this is what it took for me to get to a place, mentally and physically, where this was possible. See, people like the man who wrote the letter in that video clothe their bigotry, hatred and disgust in concern. They pretend to be worried about your health, or the model you present for "the children", or the supposed healthcare cost impact on the country, but that's not the real motivation behind their actions. The true reason they do what they do is the same as it always is in cases of bullying - you're different, I don't like it, and tearing you down makes me feel better about myself. Everything else they say is simply justification - either to themselves, or so they look like less of an asshole to the public.  I'm here to tell you that ain't the way it fucking works. 

I've endured far more than my fair share of bullying in my lifetime and, while I'm prepared to admit that it did make me stronger in some ways, the one thing it never, ever did was to help me lose weight. It did not motivate me to work out. It didn't make me eat better. The bullying, the anger and the pain caused three things: drinking, self-destructive behavior, and several nights on which I came embarrassingly close to suicide. At no time did it help me make a positive change in my life. 

So what did? Well, the exact opposite, of course. Being around people who think highly of me, gaining some self-esteem, and living in an environment where I'm not spending every ounce of my energy fending off attacks and just trying to survive the day-to-day tragedy of my existence were all instrumental in creating a person that was capable of change. Oh, and education, too. Motivation to change is nothing without the knowledge of how to actually make said change.   

So let me make this clear just one more time. Bullying does not help people change. It doesn't make them better, it won't motivate them, and it won't make them stop being what you dislike. Nothing is more important to me than freedom of expression, so if you want to say some hurtful bullshit, that's your prerogative, but stop fucking justifying it, and stop acting like you're anything but an angry, intolerant prick when you get called out on it. Targeting fat people doesn't make you any less of a dick- it just lets you pretend you are."

Strong words, and I agree wholeheartedly.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Operation October

I have a new goal for this month, and I am giving it the unnecessarily epic name of Operation October.  I was inspired by a fellow blogger that I admire who has decided to make a blog post for every single day in October.  So, I have decided that I am going to exercise every single day in October.

Usually, I exercise between 4-5 times a week, sometimes more, sometimes less.  This month, I'm going to try for every single day.  Whatever activity I do doesn't have to be running a marathon, but has to last at least 10 minutes.

I haven't had the time to go running recently, but I have made sure that I at least get my ten minutes in.  If you haven't heard of Spark People, it's a great website and resource for those wanting to lose weight.  I like to refer to it as the Facebook of Weight-Loss, although it's really so much more than that.  Anyway, they have exercise videos to do that are usually 10 minutes and sometimes longer.  There are a lot and so far I've tried a cardio video that kicked my butt and also a Qi Gong video that made me sleepy at the time but that also made the muscles in my thigh sore the next day.

A couple of days this week I was able to use my job as my exercise.  How, you ask?  I have a part-time job giving tours in the evening in my historical town.  I dress up in a big civil war gown and walk for about a mile and a half.  It's actually very good exercise, especially since I'm wearing so many layers it adds weight.

Today is October 6th, and I have exercised for at least 10 minutes a day for 6 days straight!  25 more days to go!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #16!

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 200
Current Weight: 200 (-0 pounds)
Total Weight Loss: 25 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining:55


Believe it or not, I am still the same.  It's really depressing.  I weigh myself periodically throughout the week, too, in vain hope.  I range between 200-202 in the mornings.  A 2-3 pound variation is normal.  I just wish I could sometimes look down and see I've had a 2-3 pound variation in the downward direction.


However, my new resolution to take it a bit easier has been doing me well.  I've seen improvements in my mood and attitude already.  Being on this plateau last week may have killed me--this week?  Not so much.  It's nice to not be so stressed about it all the time.  I do still hope to lose weight this week and finally break through this horrible plateau.  It would probably raise my spirits tremendously.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Time Out

 

Hello, my name is Syhren and I am a perfectionist.  When I do things, I have to do them the best.  I wrap carefully planned and thought-out gifts with coordinating wrapping paper with crisp corners and matching bows.  The card has to be witty yet touching and include a personal message in a matching pen.  Weight-loss has been no exception.  No white flour, no refined grains, little refined sugar.  Vegetables, more, more, more!  Work out.  Work out everyday.  Never miss.  Wake up early.  Do more.  Moooore.

Exhausted?  Because I am.  I'm tired.  My posts have been few and far between lately not because I'm gaining weight (though I haven't pushed through that plateau yet), but rather that I've been very depressed.  I realize now that I threw myself way into this whole weight-loss and exercise thing too much. By the time I made sure I had exercised and eaten a proper meal and packed food for the next day and calculated calories and sugar and carb content and researched new recipe ideas... I had no day left.  Dishes piled in my sink, my house was always a mess, and I never had time to do the things I enjoy.  All work and no play, right?

I've kept it up for awhile, but within the past month my life has become very stressful.  I won't go into the sordid details, but suffice it so say that when things first happened, I cried myself to sleep for a week.  And then I had times when sleep just couldn't seem to happen.  I keep having headaches.  I wanted to lay around and do nothing but would berate myself for being so lazy.  And then I started having financial issues.

So this weekend I took a break.  I slept in.  I wore pajamas.  I walked around a mall and looked into shops.  I did some of my great passions in life--I read, sewed, and crocheted.  I watched new episodes of favorite TV shows that I was behind on.  As I type this, I'm drinking a pot of lightly sweetened tea and listening to the rain fall.  Maybe I'll take a nap.

The point is, I forgot to look after the health of my mind because I was so caught up with the health of my body.  They're both important, but I only focused on one, which I can see now was a terrible way of doing things.  Tomorrow is a new day, a new month, in fact, and I'm dedicating it to supporting the healthy growth of my body and mind.  I can't let this build up the way it did before.  Maybe this means that it'll take even longer for me to lose all the weight.  That's fine.  I'm young and I hopefully have many years to come.  

So.  Tomorrow starts a new transition.  I'm going to try and be more moderate towards my goals and less extreme.  My stress levels need to go down so I can sleep again, and get rid of my headaches.  Bring it on October.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ack!

Hey guys!  Just a quick post to say I'm not dead or anything.  I forgot to say that I was going to be gone for a few days visiting a friend.  Sorry!  Posts and Weigh-In Wednesdays will resume as usual this week :) 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #15!

Do you know what this picture is of, my friends?  It's a plateau.

Dictionary.com defines a plateau as: a land area having a relatively level surface considerably raised above adjoining land on at least one side, and often cut by deep canyons.

I would humbly offer my own definition: a horribly, demotivating experience in which a dieter works her butt off, tries new gym classes, eats very healthily and still does not lose any weight for no particular reason.

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 200
Current Weight: 200 (-0 pounds)
Total Weight Loss: 25 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining:55

Yes... I'm still the same.  And I don't know why.  I wasn't bad this week.  I didn't cheat.  I still ran.  I even started taking Zumba classes (I've done three since last week) in an effort to step up my game.  I went to the gym on Monday morning because I didn't have to go into work until late and ran on the elliptical, did the stationary bikes, and used the weight room.  I've taken walks.  I've eaten more broccoli than I care to think about.  WHAT AM I DOING WRONG!?

Now, a logical portion of my brain is calling out in a feeble voice, "Having your weight plateau is normal!  You'll get through this!  Keep it up!"  However, that voice is utterly and completely overwhelmed by the illogical portion of my brain screaming, "You're done!  You'll never lose another pound!  You'll regain all 25 pounds and be fat for the rest of your life.  FOREVER FAT."

Ugh.  And I'm only ONE MEASLY POUND away from my first mini-goal, too.  So. Cruel.  I need some motivation :(

Friday, September 7, 2012

Perks of Running Outside

I feel kinda bad for complaining about running outside.  This morning, I was reminded of some of the positive parts.  As I was running, I got to see two deer and a little baby fawn frolicking through the woods.  SO CUTE. 

Oh, and remember that Zumba class I took yesterday?  My body sure does. -.-;;

Thursday, September 6, 2012

So I Tried Zumba

Yeah, note that the title says, "tried." So after youtubing Zumba and peeping in on classes while at my gym, I finally decided to put on my big girl panties and go try it out.  I had heard that a girl I knew when I was 6 or 7 was now teaching the class, so I thought it wouldn't be so awkward if I at least knew the instructor.  And it was super nice to see her again after so many years.  She lost 50 pounds or so doing Zumba and now teaches it!  Which is just dumbfounding.  She looks wonderful.

As for the class--STUFF IS HARD.  And here I was thinking that I was being so healthy and was more or less in pretty good shape, 200 pounds or not.  WRONG.  I was dying halfway through the hour-long class.  I also found out I'm pretty uncoordinated.  My body was covered in sweat by the end of the class--even my hair was damp! 

And you know what?  It was awesome.  I can't wait to do it again.  I know right?  What's happened to me?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #15!

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 200
Current Weight: 200 (-0 pounds)
Total Weight Loss: 25 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining:55

I... stayed exactly the same!  Honestly, after losing 4 pounds last time, I really didn't expect to lose anything this week.  I hoped to, of course, but it's okay that I didn't.  My friend was also in town this holiday weekend and I had a combination of not eating incredibly well and not having a lot of time for exercise.  Still, maintaining is also good :)  And now that the holiday is over, I'm ready to start fresh again.  This evening, I picked up the new class schedule for my gym.  I'm going to try and take some classes!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Perils of Running Outside

So I've been running outside every morning before work.  I really enjoy running outside, even though it's way harder than on a machine.  On the elliptical at the gym, I can run four miles, but outside I have only managed two.  Still, I like being outside.  It's nice to see the squirrels scamper in the morning and then sun come up.  There's also a cool camaraderie that exists between other early-morning runners that I really like.  The nod and little wave while still running is really encouraging.  Plus, and this may be in my own head, but I feel like there's a twinkle in every person's eye that I run past that says, "AH IT'S EARLY WHAT ARE WE DOING!?"  Or maybe that's just me.

BUT!  One of the things I hate most about running is Monday mornings.  Which is garbage collection day.  Since yesterday was a holiday, today was that day.  I cannot explain how disgusting it is to run past all those stinking garbage cans.  It's really nauseating.  And of course I'm breathing hard because I'm running and that only makes it worse.  Groooosssssss!!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fad Diets

I don't think fad diets work.  Having said this, I will also admit to trying just about all of them.  The appeal is just too great--quick, easy, never feel hungry.  And then they always add in those buzz words--chocolate, cake, mashed potatoes, ice cream!  How could this be bad?  Except it always is.  The answer to weight loss is always going to be the same: Proper Diet and Exercise.  The end. 

My brother has recently started a fad diet.  He mixes up a protein shake for breakfast, one for lunch, and then gets a 'sensible' dinner.  Has he lost weight?  Yes.  But in all honesty it's no greater loss than I achieved in the same amount of time and I got to eat solid food.  Perhaps the most perplexing aspect of the whole situation is that my brother is a chef.  Not only does explicitly know how to make good, nutritious food, he has taught other people how to do it as an instructor. 

I asked him why on earth he was trying this shake diet, and his response was normal, I guess: "I want to lose weight faster."  Don't we all?  Does it suck that it took me fourteen weeks to achieve a 25 pound weight loss?  Yes.  Yes it does.  But that's life.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to make my brother change his mind, so the shakes keep getting made. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #14!

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 204
Current Weight: 200 (-4 pounds!)
Total Weight Loss: 25 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining:55

I'VE LOST 25 POUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So exciting!!!  That was such a great motivator for this morning's run.  I just want to tell everyone I meet!  That means I'm only 1 little pound away from reaching my first mini-goal!  :)  This time next week, I should reach that goal!!  It's taken me time, which is frustrating, but I know that it's the healthiest way to lose weight.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Running Goals

Oh man, if the above picture isn't the most truthful thing I've read in awhile.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been running before work.  This means that I wake up at about 6:20 AM so I can be out the door by 6:30.  I then proceed to run two miles, stretch, shower, and rush off to work.  It can definitely be hard to force myself outside when the sun isn't even completely up.  Still, I've kept it up and I'm pretty proud of myself.

Last week, I ran a total of 8 miles.  (I didn't decide to start morning running until Tuesday, so I skipped Monday).  This week, I hope to run 10 miles, meaning that I'll run my two miles Mon-Fri.  Next week I hope to run 12 by incorporating Saturday as well. 

I really think goals are very important.  They give you something tangible to strive towards.  I know I have a long way to go yet on my weight-loss, but I'm still trying!  Tomorrow is another weigh-in and I really hope I'm close to achieving my mini-goal of weighing under 200 lbs.  Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #13!

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 205
Current Weight: 204 (-1 pound!)
Total Weight Loss: 21 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining:59

Yay!  Another pound down.  I've started waking up at 6:00 am to run before work.  Somehow, I've become two things I never thought I'd be: A Runner and An Early-Morning Girl.  Running is something I loathed when I was in school.  I remember protesting having to run the mile and walking the entire thing.  Now it's my favorite way to exercise.  As for the early morning thing, I've always preferred mornings.  I feel like such an old lady already, since by 9:00 pm, I'm totally ready to go to bed.  Oh well, whatever works!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Body Image


Sometimes Most of the time, I find myself falling into the thought-pattern in the above comic strip.  My life will be better when I'm thinner.  I'll get a big promotion, my student loans will pay themselves, I'll get the perfect boyfriend, I'll finally get along with my family.  Now, the logical portion of my brain knows this is false, so why do I find myself thinking this way time and time again? 

I think it comes down to body image, and how it's been drilled in my head since I was born that thinner is better.  And it wasn't a healthy association.  Had I been conditioned to think that not being overweight is a sign of a healthy body, I think I'd be okay, but that's not what I think.  I don't care if the thin girl sits around all day eating chocolate and lard right from the tub and never exercises.  Her arteries may be clogging as we speak, but dammit, she's thin--and that's what matters.  It's no wonder that bad self-images can lead to depression, eating disorders and the like.

I know a lot of girls who are smaller than me but can't run as long or far as I do.  I know many who never go to the gym at all.  I would trade places with them in a heartbeat.  Is this awful?  Yes.  This next photo has been hanging around the internet for awhile, but I really do like it:

I like the idea of accepting yourself with however you look, although I do worry sometimes that all the Love-Your-Body movements can have the adverse affect of not encouraging women who are overweight to try and get healthy.  The plain truth of the matter is that it's bad for your health to be overweight, and so while I never condone discriminating against someone for being too heavy, I also feel we should always encourage them (myself included) to trying out healthier lifestyles.

Where is all this coming from?  The other day when I was at the gym, I had just finished and was in the locker room.  As I stood at my locker gathering my things, two ladies came in with a young girl who was about 7 years old or so.  The one woman was the little girl's mother, and she went to weigh herself on the scale in the locker room.  After doing so, she made her little girl also weigh herself and then commented loudly about how she was worried about her weight to her friend.  This poor little girl had to be subjected to such public scrutiny.  Truly, I was horrified.  I love the idea of exercising with your children and teaching them a healthy lifestyle, but that?  That was not my idea of building a positive body image.  I'm sure the mother wasn't actively trying to negatively affect her daughter, but I can't condone what she did.  It's such a shame, too, since studies have shown that the support of one's family can help shape positive body images.

Anyway, that's just my thoughts for the day.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #12!

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 205
Current Weight: 205 (same!)
Total Weight Loss: 20 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining: 60

I've lost... nothing!  But that's okay.  I've hardly had time to do anything, let alone exercise lately.  Still, I'm proud that I was able to maintain my weight through a Florida/Disney World vacation, a week of being horribly sick, and starting a new job that required 80 miles of travel per day.  Now that my training period is over, I'm finally getting settled into the routine of my new job.  This is the first week, so there's a lot to learn and it's pretty overwhelming.  I'm also traveling farther than I ever have for a job before.  (Though thankfully a lot less than the 80 miles I was traveling for my training).  I haven't figured out a good way to incorporate gym time into my new schedule yet, but don't worry, I will.  I was letting myself get used to the new job, but now it's really time to figure it out.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sick

Sorry guys for being gone so long AND missing a Weigh-In Wednesday.  I returned from my Florida trip and immediately came down with the death flu.  I haven't been able to do anything since I got back but blow my nose a million times and hack up gross stuff.  It probably goes without saying that I haven't made it to the gym this week either. 

I hate being sick.  I know that no one likes it, but I truly and honestly despise it.  This likely stems from the fact that I hate doing nothing.  I'm not really a lazy person.  Even if I'm just watching TV I like to be crocheting or cross-stitching or cleaning.  I always have to be doing something.  But when you're sick... you just sit there and do nothing.  I think of all the things I want to do and wish I had the energy to do them. 

I think I'm finally on the mend.  I haven't blown my nose nearly as much today.  Yes, I am still hacking up disgustingness, but it's managable.  I really hope to get rid of it soon so I can get back to working out.  Strangely, I miss it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #10!

Holy crap, I can't BELIEVE I forgot to post yesterday!  And on the tenth weigh-in, too!  Boo to me!  But I was super busy with preparations for my vacation (I'm leaving in about... ten minutes).  And I also got to go see Beauty and the Beast the Musical yesterday!  So busy day was busy!  But plenty of good news in store :)

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 207
Current Weight: 205 (-2 pounds!!)
Total Weight Loss: 20 POUNDS YAY

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining: 60


That's right, my friends!  I've achieved it!  I lost my first 20 pounds!  And right before my vacation to Florida, too.   I'm very very excited.  They're gone, and they'll never return!!!  (cue maniacal laughter).  Now---I'm off to Florida where I will enjoy sun, friends, and Disney World!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bad news, Soda

 
Like many of you, I like to read some news articles that pop up on Google or Yahoo or whatever webpage I happen to be on.  This article on soda happened to catch my eye:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,275736,00.html

Pretty much everything I read about soda scares me.  Regular, diet, it all seems terrible for you.  Which is upsetting because I have consumed A LOT in my life.  I may only be 24, but I used to guzzle that stuff down like crazy.  I switched to diet a few years ago, which cut out the sugar, but added in crazy chemicals.  To be honest, although they're both awful for your health, diet soda actually scares me more.  Here's some interesting articles about it:

http://www.newsinferno.com/health-concerns/diet-soda-may-up-heart-risks-study-finds

http://news.menshealth.com/the-truth-about-diet-soda/2011/07/07/

http://www.epbot.com/2012/06/just-dont-dew-it.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+epbot%2FfOpU+%28EPBOT%29

And here's a little bit about sugar/sweeteners in general:

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/06/14/sweeteners-101/

I'll admit it, though... I have 2 two liter bottles of soda in my refrigerator right now.  I caved and bought them a couple weeks ago.  Sometimes, I honestly just get so tired of water.  But.  I said I bought them two weeks ago.  They're still there.  I drank some of my Sprite Zero... and felt awful for the rest of the day.  Truly and terrifyingly awful.  I was sluggish and tired.  I went to the gym and could hardly do 1/2 of what I usually do.  So.  Yes, it's there.  It's almost a reminder now.  Drink me and feel like crap.  Drink water and yes, you may be bored, but dammit, you'll have energy.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Recipe!

Here's another of my favorite recipes.  I like it because it involves two of my favorite foods: egg and avocado.  I discovered it while trying to find a recipe for egg salad (I'm a die-hard fan) that did not have mayonnaise.

Mayo-less Egg Salad

Ingredients:
3 hard boiled eggs
1/2 avocado
1/2 English cucumber
2 spring onions or 1/4 red onion
Brown mustard
Lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
Roughly chop the hard boiled eggs into small-medium sized pieces and place in a large bowl.  Dice the cucumber and add to the bowl.  Finely chop the spring onion or red onion and add to the bowl.  Halve the avocado and put half into the bowl.  (Hint: to save the other half, do not remove the pit and it will keep it from turning brown.)  Place 1-2 teaspoons of brown mustard into the bowl, adjusting more or less to how tangy you like it.  Squeeze a lime wedge over the top of the mixture and mix it all together, being sure to really mash up the avocado.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

I like to serve this in a 1/2 of a whole wheat pita lined with lettuce leaves.  Simply.  Fabulous.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

New Exercise?

Today I went horseback riding for the first time in my life.  It was a 2-hour trail ride that told the history of my town.  It was really fun, even if the tour information was nothing new to my ears.  However, now I hurt.  A lot.  I hurt in places I didn't even know could hurt.  So here's my question:  Is horseback riding exercise? 

I mean I definitely used my muscles.  I know it wasn't exactly my usual cardio workout or anything, but I had to have burned something, right?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #9!

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 209
Current Weight: 207 (-2 pounds!!)
Total Weight Loss: 18

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining: 62

Another two pounds~!!!  Yaaay!  Next week, I'm going to Florida for a mini-vacation, and I'm hoping to lose another two pounds this week.  I really want to be able to say that I've lost 20 pounds when I go down there. 

Of course, being on vacation will also be very dangerous.  There will be food temptations everywhere.  Everywhere!  There will definitely be cake, because it's my friend's birthday.  There will be several restaurant meals.  Potentially buffets.  Self-control will have to be at optimum strength!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Motivation?

I'm tired today.  I'm physically tired, because I slept very poorly last night.  But I'm also tired of watching everything I eat, of having to push myself at the gym day after day, and of feeling like I have very little support in my immediate area.

Where is that girl who is so motivated?  So excited to sweat her ass off?  I am not her today.  Today I am tired, and grumpy.  I had to work way harder to accomplish hardly anything at the gym.  I'm amazed I even got myself there, to be honest.

I don't like having low-days, when I feel like it's all hopeless.  Somewhere, in the back of my brain, I know it's not.  Today, though, you'd be hard pressed to convince me otherwise.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #8!

 
Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 211
Current Weight: 209 (-2 pounds!!)
Total Weight Loss: 16

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining: 64

Oh snap, I'm under 210.  While I'm really excited about this... is it a little dumb that I kinda wanted to lose just one pound this week?  Somehow, saying I've lost 15 pounds sounds so much better than 16.  Maybe because 15 pounds is a nice goal-sounding number.  How many people start a diet and say, "I want to lose exactly 16 pounds."  That's just silly.  I feel like saying, "I've lost 15 pounds," sounds like I'm saying, I've met some sort of goal.  16 pounds seems like I'm working my way up to 20 but I haven't gotten there yet.  Which is true, but still.  This is all ridiculous.  I'm happy and I'll take whatever weight-loss comes to me.  Please ignore these silly ramblings.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Recipe #1

Since I started dieting and exercising, I've gotten a lot of the same question: What do you eat?  When I reply that it's mainly fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and small portions of lean meat, most people come away looking really disappointed with my answer.  I know what they want me to say--that I'm taking this magical little pill and the weight is simply melting off my bones.  But it doesn't work that way.  Weight-loss comes with hard work, and yes, that does mean sacrificing some things.  You can't eat everything you want, never exercise and still lose weight--no matter what the weight-loss commercials promise.

However, that does not mean that I eat bad or boring food.  On the contrary, a lot of the foods I eat now are more flavorful than those I ate previously.  The reason being, of course, is that when you take out a lot of the fattier parts of a meal, you have to replace them with big flavors to keep your mouth interested.  I actually have spices in my cabinet beyond salt and pepper now!  It's amazing what a spritz of lime will do to a dish.  So, to prove that eating well can actually be tasty and enjoyable, I'm going to share a favorite recipe or two from time to time. 

Today's recipe is: Zucchini Soup

Ingredients

Cooking Spray
1 Onion
4 Yellow Squash (small)*
4 Zucchini (small)*
1 teaspoon cumin
1/3 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 entire garlic head, minced
1 can green chilies
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 box reduced sodium chicken stock

Preparation:
Chop the onion, squash, and zucchini into 1/2 inch pieces.  Heat a pot over medium heat, and spray the surface with cooking spray.  Add the minced garlic, and saute for a few seconds before adding in the onion, squash, and zucchini.  Saute until the vegetables begin to get soft.  Pour in the can of stewed tomatoes, can of fire-roasted tomatoes, can of green chilies and box of chicken stock.  Add in cumin and chili powder.  Bring to a boil and cook until vegetables are almost tender.  Add in frozen corn.  Once the corn is cooked through, you're ready to eat!

~Optional Garnishes~ Shredded Low-Fat Cheese, Fat Free Sour Cream, Chopped Spring Onions, Diced Avocado

*I always choose the smallest size zucchini and squash that I can, because it means the seeds haven't had time to develop within the vegetable, and the seeds can often be bitter.  Not everyone minds this, however, so if you only have larger veg to work with, use only two of each.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sugar Content Horrors

I was at the grocery store today, and saw a bottle of cranberry juice sitting temptingly chilled on a shelf near me.  I love cranberry juice, so I picked it up and looked at the nutritional facts (which is something I do almost obsessively now).  The calories... not bad... good vitamin contents... whoa.  The sugar.  In just one small cup, there was almost 50 grams of sugar.  FIFTY.  I was so shocked, I actually gasped.  And then I quickly put the bottle back on the shelf.  I'll stick with my water.

Friday, July 6, 2012

New Food Friday #1

I'm starting a new weekly event that I'm calling New Food Fridays.  Now that I've entered my eighth week, I'll admit to being a little bored with food, so I've been branching out and either tasting some foods for the first time, or attempting to cook some foods for the first time.

Today's food is: Beets!

I've had beets before, and I've always liked them.  I only ever had canned beets growing up, and the first time I tasted fresh beets truly blew my mind.  They're like eating really tasty dirt.  Or something like that.  Anyway, I'd never actually made them before, but they had them for two bucks at the Farmer's Market, so I thought, let's give it a whirl!

First, here's my beets.

Cool, huh?  Next, I cut off the tops and put them in a pot of water.
I boiled them until I could stab them with a fork easily.  Then I took them out and let them cool in the fridge.  To get the skins off, I placed a beet in the middle of a paper towel and rubbed until it came off. 




Once the skin was gone, I simply sliced them up and put them in my fridge to be eaten whenever I desired.  Which was a lot.  Because I love beets.
I warn those who haven't had fresh beets before, the purplish-red color is very strong.  It will dye other things.  You will see the dye again, so don't be alarmed.  (pause for awkward moment). 

Moving on.  As a random side note, this vegetable always reminds me of the cartoon Doug.  Were
they not the coolest band back then?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #7

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 213
Current Weight: 211 (-2 pounds!!)
Total Weight Loss: 14

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining: 66

I LOST TWO POUNDS YAAAAAY!!  This totally gave me the motivation to run two miles before I went in to work today.  And the coolest thing happened when I was running.  Along the way, I saw a woman gesturing to me so I slowed down a bit and popped my ear buds out of my ears.  And this is what she said: "I've been watching you run for a few weeks now and you've come a long way.  I'm really proud.  Keep it up!"  Then she gave me two thumbs up.  I do not know this woman.  I have never met her in my life.  IT WAS AWESOME.  Best compliment ever, I think.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fund Raisers

Why is it that fund raisers always seem to sell really unhealthy food?  Bake sales full of cookies and pies, hot dogs and hamburgers, chips, pizza, those awfully tempting Girl Scout Cookies... it seems we're constantly being assaulted with readily available and cheap fatty foods--all for a good cause, of course.  It's almost ironic. All the cookies, pies, refined grains, sugars and meats being sold at these fund raisers are probably taking no small role in creating the various cancers/diseases that they're trying to support.

I was leaving the grocery store last week, and was immediately stopped and asked if I wanted to buy a hot dog and bag of chips for $1.00 to support a children's hospital.  This was sort of a no-brainer, of course.  A hot dog on a refined white flour bun, served with a greasy bag of salt laden potato chips?  Oh, and how about an ice cold regular soda to wash it down?  It was really telling how far I've come along since starting to eat healthy that I was almost disgusted to even be offered that food.  But instead of screaming at them to stop advertising their temptations, I politely declined and simply donated a dollar.  The girl did give me a very strange look, but oh well.  That decision was way better for my waist-line.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #6

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 214
Current Weight: 213 (-1 pound)
Total Weight Loss: 12

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining: 68

Sing it with me now, "Another pound bites the dust!"  I was afraid that I wouldn't lose any weight this past week because I started using a weight-routine at the gym a couple times a week, which I heard can make you plateau.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that I still went down a pound! :)

However, as nice as it is to have lost weight, I do miss those first couple weeks where I was losing four pounds.  I know it's healthier to lose it slowly over a longer period of time, but I'm human enough to admit that I'm impatient.  I want to be thin now!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Buffet

Ugh, I ate at a Chinese buffet today.  My brother invited me to lunch, and he seriously had a craving for Chinese, so I agreed to go.  Which was probably mistake #1.  I behaved quite well, I think.  I googled calorie content for Chinese food before I went and everything.  I avoided anything deep fried, and stuck mainly to sushi.  I also had a few steamed dumplings, some zucchini and shrimp, and a the World's Smallest Serving of chicken and broccoli.  For dessert I had a couple of those little sesame ball things that have bean paste inside and a piece of watermelon.  So yeah... probably overate, but I definitely did waaaaay better compared to what I used to eat.  I'm still shocked that not a single noodle landed on my plate.

After eating, I came home and went to work in my little garden.  I put poles in the ground and tied up my tomato plants, and then I started to remove grass because I want to enlarge my garden for replanting my herbs.  Somewhere during this time, I became aware that I was exhausted.  And my head was throbbing.  The last few minutes of clearing the grass were beyond painful.  I quickly put my yard tools away and went inside.  I figured I just needed to rest a bit (grass removal is a bit taxing), so I grabbed a book and reclined on my couch to read.  But my head hurt way too much and the complete exhaustion I felt overwhelmed me.  I fell asleep for at least an hour and woke up still feeling pretty awful.

I'm not entirely sure what made this happen.  Since the Chinese food is the only change in my usual routine, I'm leaning towards giving it the blame.  I phoned my friend and told her about it, and she suggested that I was perhaps too long in the sun.  Perhaps.  But I honestly feel I wasn't in the sun all that much.  I put some poles in the ground and cleared grass from a very small patch of land before I had to come inside.  So, I'm still thinking it was the food. 

I know that MSG can give some people some pretty wicked headaches.  I'm also wondering if the white rice on the sushi made my sugar spike.  I haven't really had any refined grains since I started this healthy venture of mine, so perhaps my body just reacted poorly to the sudden influx.  (which is awful, because sushi is one of my favorite foods of all time).

After I woke up, I made myself a cup of green tea, which seemed to make me feel a bit better and then I forced myself to go to the gym.  My plan prior to my surprise nap was to finish in my garden and then go to the gym, and I didn't want to let anything stop me.  (plus, for what I paid for the stupid thing, I'm going to use it).  So I went to the gym and hopped on the elliptical first.  I ran 2 miles in 15 minutes on it, although they were some of the hardest 15 minutes I've had in awhile.  I then switched to the bikes, and pedaled my way through another 20 minutes, whereupon I changed it up and went to another machine that I have no idea what the name of is.  It's like a stair master and an elliptical had a baby.  I like it especially because it has a fan built into the front console that'll blow cool air on you while you use it.  I used this machine for another 10 minutes before calling it an evening. 

And guess what?  I felt so much better.  My headache was gone.  I wasn't exhausted, even after all that cardio.  I felt more energized and all-around better.  So.  Lesson learned.  Chinese buffets are out.

Friday, June 22, 2012

I caved...

I resisted for a good while, but in the end, I gave up.  Yesterday, I purchased a gym membership.  It hurt, the amount I had to pay.  It was nearly $100 for just a month's worth, because there was a $50 joining fee.  Now, I won't have to pay that again, but still.  I, unfortunately, do not get paid very much, so that's a lot of money to just shell out.

That being said, I'm pretty glad I have it.  Yesterday, the temperature reached 102 degrees, which is impossible to run in.  But with my handy-dandy new membership card, I was able to run on the elliptical in the comfort of an air conditioned room.  I also got to use the bikes, which I've always liked and use the weight machines.  I haven't done weights since I left college and the lovely free-gym I had access to.  Believe me, my body is reminding me it's been a year since it's had to stretch those muscles.  *ouch*

The gym was, however, very intimidating to me.  At college, it was no big deal, really.  I would go with one or two of my friends and we went during times when we knew it wasn't crowded.  But this is new, uncharted territory to me.  And I have to go alone.  I felt huge in my black work-out shorts and shirt, especially next to the thirty-ish woman in her skin-tight tank top and yoga pants.  And there were lots of men there, lifting weights, running for ridiculous amounts of time on the treadmills, and generally making me feel uncomfortable.

In college, the gym class I took was called Fitness Programs for Women, which I adored because I didn't have to be near the boys.  Now, I'm thrown in with them, and it's really intimidating.  I'm so proud of myself in that I didn't let it stop me from using the gym.  Sure, I used the elliptical that was in the furthest corner of the gym, and carefully plotted my weight machine use so that no one was near them, but I still worked out.  From the intense soreness in my muscles today, I'm guessing I definitely accomplished something.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer



To me, Summer has always been my least favorite season of the year.  Fat girls don't like to be hot, I guess, and seeing all the thin girls in their little shorts and tank tops make me jealous and upset.  I'm so embarassed about my body, I don't even own a pair of shorts.  It may be in the 90s, but I'm still in jeans. 

However.  I am coming to appreciate Summer, at least a little bit.  I don't know that I'll ever be a huge fan of sweating and steaming heat, but there are things about this season that are definitely growing on me.  For instance, I live in very small town, surrounded by farms, so going to Farmer's Markets has been a new, and exceedingly fun experience.  This week, I'd say about 90% of my fruits and vegetables came from the local Farmer's Market.  And it's super rewarding to know that you're helping support the local farms.  And since we're on the topic of fruits and vegetables, I am also grateful to Summer for giving such an abundance of fresh produce and for also driving down the price.  I'm coming to love fruits and vegetables more than I ever thought I would, and having such fresh variety easily available is certainly something to be thankful for.

Yet, there are still then things about Summer that drive me insane.  The heat.  Ooooh, how I hate to be hot.  My favorite season is actually Winter.  I know a lot of people who become very depressed in the Winter, but I have some freaky opposite reaction wherein I become way happier at that time.  Snow, fires, and Christmas?  Yes, please!  I'll pretend that the hot cocoa and homemade cookies have nothing to do with it.

Yesterday, it was 100 degrees outside.  100!  And today it's supposed to reach that temperature again.  Even the overnight low was in the high-seventies.  I couldn't let myself go out and run in that heat.  I ran in 90 degree weather just the other week and felt exceedingly dizzy towards the end.  I want to lose weight and be healthy, not fall over from sun stroke.  I can clearly see where I could reap the benefits of a gym membership right about now.  I'm seriously considering it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #5


Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 216
Current Weight: 214 (-2 pounds)
Total Weight Loss: 11

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining: 69

Yay!  Not only did I get rid of that mysterious pound I gained last week, but I also lost another!  It definitely feels better to have lost weight.  I don't know what I would have done if I had gained weight again.  It would have been such a disappointment.

I must say, it's really hard to believe that it's been five weeks already since I started my new healthy eating ways.  Three jobs'll keep you busy, so I guess my weeks are going by quicker than I even realize.  11 pounds in 5 weeks is pretty good, right?  I'm sad that it's going to take so long to shed all the weight that I let accumulate over the years, but I'm still so excited to experience life as a normal-sized girl.  I can't wait in that little kid "oh-my-god-is-it-Christmas-yet-even-though-it's-only-March-when-I'm-asking" kinda way.  And even though I recognize it's a little silly, I don't care.  Whatever it takes to keep me motivated :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Special Occasions

Social events are hard in that they always seem to involve food, and a lot of it.  And it's hard to sit there while everyone else is nomming down their cookies and chips and either nibble a carrot or opt out if there aren't really any 'good' choices.

Yesterday was one of my best friend's graduation party.  I haven't seen that much food in a long time.  Entire racks of ribs, fajitas, two whole chickens, steak... and that's just the meat!  I did fairly well... until I saw the chocolate fountain.  I really love chocolate.  It's definitely a weakness of mine.  I let myself have two of the homemade tortillas with some meat, some grilled zucchini, corn and bean salad, rice and beans (did I mention she's Mexican?).  I let myself have a piece of strawberry cake and a few things from the chocolate fountain.

I could have done better, I know.  That damned chocolate fountain was just bubbling and gurgling decadently.  But on the other hand, I know I could have done far, far worse.  I got one plate of food and stopped after that.  I had dessert, yes, but only one serving.  I can tell you that I definitely wouldn't have stopped there before changing my eating habits.  I would have likely eaten a whole stack of tortillas, a mound of rice, lots of chips. 

I probably still gained weight.  I don't lose weight easily, and eating such rich food is not going to help.  (and it's wreaking havoc on my digestive system today).  But I can see how I'm changing.  My choices are more thought-out.  My focus was more on the conversation around me, than what was on my plate.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #4

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 215
Current Weight: 216 (+1 pound O.o?)
Total Weight Loss: 9

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining: 71

I... I gained a pound.   Maybe those two pieces of baklava were made of pure evil?  Bodies are dumb.  I don't understand them.  I've run two miles everyday since then, walked, and done an exercise video.  With the exception of the picnic I attended on Sunday, I have eaten very well.  Mainly vegetables, some fruit, a small amount of carbs that are always whole grain.  Maybe it's muscle?  Water weight?  I'm not sure what to blame it on, but I refuse to blame it myself this time.  I

I'm actually very good at blaming myself for things.  But I know in my heart that I've been doing my utmost best to lose weight.  And I know I have.  My pants are looser.  I can stretch with more ease.

So.  Minor setback.  Very minor, really.  Time to move on.