Category Archives: weight loss
You know what that means…it’s a brand new day and a brand new week, which always inspires me to get re-focused on my goals and the things I want to accomplish this week and beyond. Today is no exception!
In fact, today is probably the most important Monday I’ve had in a while.
You see, I’ve really let myself backslide. I debated sharing this on the blog at first but I know that it helped me A LOT to read other stories of people who’ve struggled in the same way and who recently overcame plateaus and whatnot.
So here you go — I’ve been eating too much, not exercising enough, and I am now 11-12 pounds over my “happy weight” which itself was 11-12 pounds over my original goal when I first started back in 2007.
The weight in numbers really isn’t what is important, just the fact that I’d lost control and in turn have been feeling like crap. It really hit me when my pants got tighter.
How did I get here?
These past several weeks, maybe even months, I’ve felt like I was falling into a hole I couldn’t dig myself out of. I’ve felt physically and emotionally spent. So I’ve comforted myself with “rest days” and lots of tortilla chips and chocolate (not together, ha ha). I quit blogging regularly. Things got sort of dark at times.
I tried to get myself to “snap out of it” but it just didn’t happen. The only thing I could do was wait and pray because God always gets me through everything! :)
Well, I’ve waited and I feel like I’m ready to get myself back now!
I’m still planning to see some doctors for a few different things, including this issue I discussed last week, but I can already tell that I’m on my way back to being me again.
I thank God for what’s been going on because I feel like this experience, as hard as it has been, has given me a whole new perspective on my life. I take so much for granted and my goal is to do that less and less. I am truly blessed.
So, what does starting over mean?
Well, I tried to think back to 2007 and what starting over meant back then. For a combined total of 20 minutes over the weekend, I considered joining Weight Watchers but then I remembered that I didn’t have that much success with it before; that’s not what helped me lose 70 lbs.
What helped me was being accountable to MYSELF and keeping this nifty little journal:
Back in December 2009, I wrote about how journaling was one of my keys to weight loss. I believe by going back to what worked so well for me the first time, I have a better chance of getting over this hump. I’m also interested to see if I am getting enough nutrients (fat, fiber, protein) that I haven’t really paid that much attention to recently.
Things have changed a lot since 2007, so I am interested to see what’s going on now and what I can do to improve and get back to my happy place, both with my weight and my life.
For example, on Saturday, I wrote in my journal for the first time and was a little shocked (but not really) that I consumed over 800 calories between 8:30 and 11 p.m. Do that a few times a week and it’s no wonder I’ve gained weight and feel bloated and sluggish.
Sometimes seeing something with your own eyes is just the wake up call you need.
I hope those of you who are struggling out there know it’s never too late to start over or start over again. Also, enlist a friend or two to start over with you, even if their goals are different than yours. It helps to have that support.
Happy Monday, everyone!
Remember the Pound for Pound Challenge? I almost didn’t.
Between my slight mental breakdown, subsequent recovery and then illness/allergies, I managed not to post about the weigh-ins and my thoughts on the challenge for the past two weeks. Guess I had other things on my mind?
Last time we “met” I had decided to give up calorie counting for a while and focus on choosing wholesome nutritious foods and eating intuitively. This choice was even more liberating than the last few times I’ve made it. I think it might actually stick this time too.
I had also mentioned cutting back on caffeine, but I’m sorry to say this has not gone well. In fact, I think I may have actually increased consumption of coffee the past two weeks. But as the weather gets warmer, my cravings typically become fewer, so we’ll just see how it goes. No reason to stress about it ;-)
Speaking of stress, during Week 9, I was in the midst of a stress meltdown. But, even though I took a step back from blogging, I did not hide away and drown my sorrows in food. I also took a step back from exercise even though it was a week before my half marathon. Sometimes getting your mental state back on track is more important! No, it always is.
Stress, less exercise and Aunt Flo led to a slight weight gain for Week 9:
- Week 8: 150.4
- Week 9: 151 (+ 0.6)
- 9.4 lbs to goal
But, during that following week, I had another major breakthrough. I finally admitted to myself (and others) that I do not handle stress well at all. Even if my mind tries to deny it or “fake it”, my body pays the price. I have to get control of what stresses me and do more to relieve myself when stress does come up to that uncomfortable level.
I kept my focus on healthy eating, easy exercise, relaxing hot baths and putting my trust back in God. I remembered what is good about my life and what I can do to change the things I’m not so happy with.
I remembered that I’m only human and it is okay to break down sometimes. In fact, I think it might just be the best thing that could’ve happened. I’ve learned more about myself the past few weeks than I have in a long time.
I finished my school work early so I could focus on the race and nothing else. And I didn’t stress about my race either because I knew I was going to have fun, no matter what. And I did!
I took two days off of work this week because I was feeling run down and sick. I gave my body the break it needed. Now I feel better, both mentally and physically. I’m in a really, really good place. Now if I can just stay here…
The weigh in on Monday was just a minor detail:
- Previous week: 151 lbs
- Week 10: 149 lbs (-2.0)
- 7.4 lbs to goal (9 weeks to go)
With 9 weeks to go, I have absolutely no idea what will happen. In 10 weeks, I have a net loss of 2.6 lbs. So in the next 9, I could lose another 2.6, or 1.6, 0 or 10.
But you know what? It doesn’t really matter!
I’m not giving up on the challenge, in fact I’m still very inspired to keep going toward my goal. But I am NOT going to put myself under pressure. I am not going to stress about it. Because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but when I’m under pressure and stressed, NOTHING goes well. I can’t live that way anymore.
Looking forward to what the rest of this week holds. If you missed past weeks and want to catch up, check out my Pound for Pound Challenge page :)
Check out my guest post over at Namaste Mari! Mari is such a great blogger and friend, it was such an honor for me to share my story on her blog. Thanks Mari!
I went into today’s weigh in quite confident and with a renewed focus, since I recently decided to stop counting calories for a while and see where that takes me.
Over the weekend, I had a couple of splurges but nothing too major. And I stayed quite active last week, getting in some runs, weight training and dog park trips with Suzie (which are good for exercise and the soul). The weather was absolutely gorgeous and continues today! :)
So let’s cut to the chase and see how I did!
- Last week’s weight: 150.8 lbs
- This week’s weight: 150.4 lbs (-0.4)
- Total lost to date: 1.2 lbs (8.8 to goal)
I lost the exact same amount that I did last week and I am grateful for it. Even though I have less to lose now than I did at the beginning of my journey, I still know that slow and steady wins the race.
Even though I have 8.8 lbs to get to my goal for this challenge, I still have 11 weeks to go. And even if I don’t get there at that point, I might a few weeks after that. I’m not concerned!
This week, I have decided to cut back on coffee. Not because I think it’s bad for me, but because I’m in a rut. I hate ruts, whether it be with food, exercise, etc.
I was drinking a cup of coffee every morning but just out of habit, not always enjoying it. Sometimes I’d have another during the afternoon because the first one wasn’t enough. So we’ll see. Today, I haven’t had any, just tea. I can definitely tell I have a caffeine addiction!
I’m also planning to follow my mini marathon training program as closely as possible this week. I’ll be reporting on that over at River City Fitness!
If you want to catch up on past weeks of my Pound for Pound Challenge, there is a page for that :)
What a difference a week makes!
Last week, I had a major revelation. It was a wake up call, to say the least. Even though I gave up eating bars for Lent, I really feel like this was what I was really meant to learn: that I need to treat my body well by eating wholesome, nutritious foods and not to rely on junk when my health or my emotions are ailing.
Since I am in the middle of a weight loss challenge here at work, let’s see how I did in that area:
- Last week’s weight: 151.2 lbs
- This week’s weight: 150.8 lbs (Difference: -0.4)
- Total lost to date: 0.8 lbs
Obviously, I feel pretty good about this number, especially after my huge gain last week. I almost expected a bigger loss, but I really feel like I did my best this week, which is all I could hope for. I ate nutritious and whole foods, kept processed stuff to a minimum, and had a positive frame of mind the entire week. Plus I ran 10 miles for goodness sakes!
I’m still a ways away from my original goal of losing 10 pounds for this challenge. However, there are still 12 weeks left to go, which is plenty of time. I just need to keep things in perspective and be patient with myself.
I also noticed that I blogged my eats for an entire week! I am definitely feeling like the old me again. When I am proud of what I am eating, it’s easier to share it here :)
This week, my goals are: keep eating the way I have been this past week, maybe even including some more variety in my fruits & veggies, take some walks with Suzie in the evenings, and to take at least one relaxing bath at some point this week — I did this last night and it was amazing. I soaked in some epsom salts for my muscles, lit a candle, and put on soothing music. Nice way to wind down a busy weekend :)
What are your goals this week?
In case you’ve missed previous weeks and wonder how I got to this point, check out my Pound for Pound Challenge page!
I can’t believe we are five weeks into this challenge already! We still have a long way to go (ends June 30th) but I’m sure it will fly by.
If you’ve missed any of my weekly updates along the way, check out my Pound for Pound Challenge page.
Last week, I felt like I had finally overcome emotional eating and I still feel like I am in control of that. I don’t think it’s something you get over permanently but I’ve definitely made a step in the right direction.
I also wanted to focus more on what makes me happy and stress less. I feel like I worked on that this week but I’ve still got a ways to go. Going to a conference with my husband and some really great Christian friends definitely boosted my spirits though!
I also challenged myself to get in two days of weight training, which I am proud to say I managed to complete!
And I journaled every day but had to break the 9:00 rule a couple of times while I was out of town just due to scheduling. But I only ate if I was hungry, so I am proud of that.
Overall, even though I was out of town Thursday-Saturday, I felt like I did pretty good with my eating and exercise. I wrote down everything and exercised in the hotel gym Thursday (ran 2 miles) and Friday (morning-elliptical and weight training, evening-ran 3 miles).
I did not eat ONE thing that was not vegan the entire trip, even though keeping it this way was very challenging at times. So I had a clear conscience as well.
Let’s see how I did…
Last week’s weight: 147.8 lbs
This week’s weight: 147.5 lbs (-0.3)
Total pounds lost: 4.1 (5.9 to go)
I am so excited that 5 weeks in, I am getting close to halfway to my goal (of 10 lbs). I definitely feel like I have faced a few challenges along the way so far (like going out of town) and yet have been successful. This is a great feeling!
I’m telling you guys: journaling, exercise and attitude. That is what is working for me. I don’t “diet” or restrict my calories, I just eat when I’m hungry and portion control so I don’t go crazy. I average 1700-2000 per day depending on my activity (I eat more on long run days).
I exercise about 6 days a week, sometimes running, sometimes weight training and sometimes taking the dog for a nice walk. It doesn’t have to be a certain amount of time or a certain intensity to be effective. Every little bit counts, just make sure you do something!
My attitude has to be positive. Even if I had gained weight this week, I would’ve been okay with it. I also didn’t expect to lose a lot, so I didn’t set myself up for disappointment that way. Just do the best you can and go with the flow. Be happy and confident!
It felt so good to stock up my refrigerator and pantry yesterday and I’m looking forward to a good week of healthy eating and moving. With the exception of today, the weather should be lovely this week so I am really looking forward to that.
Thanks again to all the ladies who guest posted for me while I was gone. You all rock!
Checking in with Lent
Did you all give up anything for Lent? How’s it going? I gave up eating bars for Lent, which seems silly but it has been quite the challenge. Like any good or bad habit though, I feel like a few weeks was all it took to break myself of eating them. I really think I’ll go back to eating bars sometimes but mostly Larabars (which have few ingredients) or making them myself.
I would like to get in 2 more days of weight training this week and make that a regular thing. I’ve been doing my own Body Pump style workout but I think I might change it up and try some heavier weights with less reps this week. Gotta keep the body guessing!
I also want to get outside as much as possible. Spring is finally here and after the long cold winter we had, I must take full advantage :)
What are your goals for this week?
In case you are interested in catching up on past weeks, I have made a new Pound for Pound Challenge page!
Honestly, I was not sure what to expect this week. Last week was sort of a roller coaster; it started off really good but then took nose dive toward the end of the week.
Nothing really bad happened, I have just been feeling a little blue thanks to hormones and the usual annoyances of adult life (like money, rent, banks, etc). So that is why I have not blogged until now. But I’m done complaining!
Going into today’s weigh in, I felt pretty confident that I had done the best I could this past week. I tracked my eating very well and felt good about that. I didn’t get my two weight training days in but I did get one. And a yoga class!
I managed to get some cardio exercise in Monday-Saturday, including taking some walks with my dog who needs more exercise in her life!
I ran three days last week, which is right about what I’m comfortable with. Four is good too, but any more and I’m tired, burnt out or hurting. No thanks ;-)
So, how did the weigh in go?
- Last week’s weight: 149.2 lbs
- This week’s weight: 147.8 lbs (-1.6 difference)
- Total lbs lost for challenge: 3.8
Obviously, I’m very pleased with that result. I even checked back through my old records and I have not weighed 147 anything since April 2009. Wow!
I also had a breakthrough over the weekend that I wasn’t expecting.
On Friday night, I was feeling pretty meh, so I went to Meijer on the way home and bought a non-dairy chocolate bar (because I’m a vegan emotional eater, after all).
But even though I was going to allow myself to have it, for comfort, I had to work myself up to even eat a piece of it.
Then yesterday, when I was feeling sad, I tried to think of a dinner or a snack that would “cheer me up.” But I couldn’t.
In fact, I was even more in tune with my hunger yesterday than normal. What’s going on?
I think I am a reformed emotional eater! I think I have finally realized that while food (including non-dairy chocolate) can be comforting, it does not make you feel better. It does not solve your problems for you. It’s temporary.
While I feel like I have been in control of my eating for a long time now, this is the first time I felt completely free. Has that ever happened to you before?
My goals for this week are:
- Work on my mood, doing things that make me happy and stressing less about those that don’t
- Two weight training days, attempt # 2
- Keep going with journaling and the 9:00 rule
What are your goals for this week?
Did you miss Week 1?
This week, I was feeling really good going into the weigh in. I did not care what the number on the scale said, honestly. I do care about this challenge because it is for a good cause but I figure, even if I don’t lose the weight I pledged, I can make a donation to my local food bank instead. :)
What really matters is that I am pushing myself, just a little bit, in the realms of healthy eating and exercising. This past week, I managed to get in some sort of activity every single day last week, thanks to a week long gym pass, and it feels so good. I took a body pump-type class, 4 yoga classes (!), and also managed to get 4 decent runs in (on the treadmill) over the course of the week.
God bless the Cardio Cinema! I am so sad my pass ran out though :(
My eating was also much improved over last week, with only two instances where I broke the “9:00 rule.” I had a little trouble with portion control (dang tortilla chips) at a gathering on Saturday night but one time isn’t going to kill me. However, I did journal every day!
I am also hearing great things from my team members so far. There are 9 other people doing this challenge with me, all at various levels of health and fitness. Being their “Captain” so far has been a great experience. I’ve been sending them emails and messages and hearing back from almost of all of them on a weekly basis.
Being able to share my knowledge and experience of improving my overall health (not just weight loss) is such an honor.
So, let’s see how I did this week!
- Last week’s weigh in: 151.6 lbs
- This week’s weigh in: 148.7 lbs
- Difference: -2.9 lbs
Now, I don’t usually lose that much in a week. I’m chalking it up to something being weird last week, since my weight was 148.5 just two weeks ago. But I did use the same scale as last week, wore the same clothes, etc. Just don’t look at my 2.9 lbs loss and be discouraged. This is just me and this is not normal!
This week, I also had my friend Farrah do my measurements and body fat, which I find to be much more important numbers anyway. This way, if the scale does not go down any further, I can at least tell in what areas I am making some progress.
Measurements (in inches):
- Neck – 12.75
- Shoulders – 41
- Chest – 37.25
- Waist – 32.75
- Hips – 39.25
- Waist-to-hip ratio: 0.83 (moderate risk – ideally this should be below 0.80)
- Arms – L: 12.75, R: 13.5
- Forearms – L: 9, R: 8.75
- Thighs – L: 23, R: 23.25
- Calves – L: 15, R: 14.5
Body fat percentage (using calipers): 26.2%
I am happy to have those measurements done for now and it will be interesting to look back at the end of June and see what progress I have made.
Ideally, I would like to see my body fat get at least under 25%, if not 20%. I’d like the waist-to-hip ratio to come down a bit too. Those are the only measurement-based goals I have.
As for my eating habits, I feel like I did pretty good on the goals I set last week. I will be keeping these up into the coming week and set a new goal when I get the inspiration!
This morning, I had my first “official” weigh in for the Pound for Pound Challenge.
I say “official” this time because I gave my official weight last week, but that was from my home scale and we all know the importance of consistency and using the same scale each week.
Today’s Weight: 151.6
I am up a bit from last week, but there were several factors at play here:
- I used a different scale this week
- I weighed at 11 a.m. instead of first thing in the morning
- I had clothes on
- My muscles are a bit inflamed from the awesome workout I had yesterday
So I’m not upset, concerned, etc. I wouldn’t be even if all of that weren’t true. The scale does not determine my happiness or my satisfaction with my body. I love me!
The last time I was in a weight loss program, I weighed in at the same time on the same day on the same scale once a week. I also wore the same or very similar clothing. The more consistent you can be, the more accurate your readings.
I might get rid of my home scale too. I originally did not have a scale at home, but since we are off work for two weeks around the Christmas holidays, I got one to keep me accountable around that time back in 2007.
Finally, I am counting today as my starting point and setting some goals for this week!
Goals for Week 1:
- Journal/Meal planning
- Portion control
- Obey the 9 o’clock rule (aka no eating 2 hours before bedtime)
If you are in a weight loss program, how is it going for you? What are your goals this week?
Those of you who still watch “The Biggest Loser” these days have probably seen the promotions for the Pound For Pound Challenge, a nationwide campaign to inspire people to lose weight by donating money to their local food banks.
Basically, for every pound you lose, 14 cents goes to buying food for the hungry in your community.
I don’t watch the show anymore (for reasons I won’t discuss right now), but I always thought that the Pound For Pound Challenge seemed like such an inspiring and rewarding thing to do and it was too bad that I couldn’t participate…until now!
Not long after that post, I got an email from a friend telling me about our very own “Pound For Pound Challenge” here at work and how I’d better start a team. So I did!
So now, starting February 22nd and running through June 30th, myself and four colleagues are going to lose some weight for a good cause.
Personally, I pledged to lose 10 lbs between now and June 30th and while I’m not 100% sure I’ll get there (fear of the unknown), I know I am going to try my best.
I am very excited to be participating in this challenge and I feel like it came at the right time for me. I’m also excited because two of my favorite brands, Larabar and Muir Glen Organics are partners :)
Having accountability (we have to weigh in at the gym) and a team to support and motivate you can make such a difference. Plus knowing that the pounds I lose are going to those who have less than me is something to keep in the back of my mind as I go along.
Speaking of accountability, I’m going to tell you my official starting weight now:
148.5 lbs (I have lost another pound on my own since last time I shared with you guys)
Assuming everything goes according to plan, I should be at or around 138.5 lbs by June 30th. We’ll just have to wait and see!
I will be reporting my progress every Monday :)
I should make it known that I am not a big fan of going by weight in numbers alone, so I will be closely monitoring other changes in my body as well, like waist/hip measurements, body fat percentage, etc. I need to get those done soon. I may even do before and after photos, who knows!
If you feel led to do so and it is healthy for you, I recommend participating in this challenge. I also recommend supporting your local food banks (click the link to find yours)! :)
Happy February 1st!
I love the beginning of new months because it always makes me want to start a new challenge. I’ve actually had something brewing for a while now and I feel like it’s finally time to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak.
Disclaimer : The following is about me only and should not be used to determine your healthy weight or how you feel about yourself!
I haven’t posted about weight in a long time. I’d noticed a lot of other bloggers have posted on their recent weight struggles, so I guess I’m joining the club. But really, their discussions have inspired me to finally talk about what’s been going on “behind the scenes” here for a while.
As most of you know, in 2007 I lost 70 lbs. My heighest weight ever was the year after I got married (2006). I remember weighing myself and seeing 225 show up on the screen. I was absolutely stunned. I also remember the day (March ’08) that I got on the scale and saw my lowest weight ever, 144. I was stunned again, but in a good way that time.
I have been far from that number for a while now. I’ve gone through my share of ups (hitting 160 in July ’09) and downs with weight the past year or so, but I’ve managed to maintain in the low 150’s for a while now. I think I needed to rest here for a while, to get comfortable in my skin and to change my attitude toward my own body image and where I thought I needed to be.
I have done lots of experimenting in my diet this past year too, including lowering my sugar intake, going back and forth with carbs, introducing new foods, and finally making a decision to try a vegan diet, which I have now stuck with officially for 4 months today!
At this moment, I am the happiest, healthiest and most confident I have ever been. I have learned quite a bit about myself over these past three years and I really feel like I have this blog, other bloggers, and all you readers to thank for a lot of that.
Because of this, I’m ready to get moving again. I’m ready to go to the next level. Not in a negative “ugh, I need to lose weight” way, but more of a “hey, let’s see where this goes” way.
I’m not going to fret over anything because even if nothing changes, I’m perfectly happy the way I am, like I said before. This is just a challenge I am issuing to myself to see where it takes me.
My original goal in 2007 was to get down to 135 lbs. I don’t know if that is even attainable, since I’ve never been there. But based on my height (5’4″), frame (medium), age and activity level it seems to be. I know BMI isn’t the best thing to go on but I feel like I should mention that for my height, build and age, 150’s is considered overweight, just on the borderline. I really don’t have that much muscle ;-)
However, I’m not going to focus so much on getting to any certain number as I am making sure that I’m at a more “appropriate” weight for me. I am healthy now and I am happy now. But achieving optimum health is something I continue to strive for. If losing even just a few more pounds improves my life in some way, then I want to go for it.
When I started officially training for my next half marathon, I weighed in at 153.5 lbs. In the 4 weeks that have followed, I have lost 4 lbs, down to 149.5 today. So I must be doing something right.
So what am I doing?
Well, for the past two weeks, I have been journaling again. You may remember a post I did on journaling and how it really helped me lose weight in the past.
Basically, I plan out my day in advance. In the evening of the day before, I’ll write out what I’m going to have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the day, leaving only an after dinner snack up in the air. Sometimes I need one and sometimes I don’t, so I let that one just determine itself later.
I also write little notes to myself like “running 4 miles today” or “no eating after 9:00″ as reminders of what I’ve got going on and what will help keep me on track. That 9:00 rule helps more than I ever would’ve imagined!
Yes, I do total up calories, most of the time, when I am able. Sometimes I don’t feel like it, so I won’t, and sometimes I just plain don’t know the calorie info for something so I leave it blank and go on. I feel like as of right now, I have a comfortable relationship with this system. I don’t obsess, I don’t worry if something had 700 calories and I missed it. I just stay positive and move on. It’s just so good to be aware again.
I don’t set a “goal” or a “limit” for myself in any way. I just portion control the food I think I need to eat for the day (since I spend most of the day away from home), I judge my hunger levels appropriately and then tally everything up as best I can at the end of the day. Most of the time, over the course of a week, I eat an average of 1700 calories per day. Sometimes 2000, sometimes 1500, it just depends on what I had going on that particular day.
No day is the same, I tell you. Obviously I need to eat more when I run and my hunger lets me know that. I eat less on rest days naturally. I’m going to eat a little more (and perhaps have a glass of wine) at special events and my Wednesday night potluck dinners with my girlfriends. Whatever I do has to fit into my life or else it’s not worth doing :)
So I’m going to keep using this system for a while. Seeing, writing and planning ahead for what I eat is very helpful to me, plus it also helps me make an easy grocery list and use stuff up around the house which is good for my financial situation too.
It’s a win-win for me, but I realize that this way of doing things does not work for everyone so please don’t take my word for it, find out for yourself what is best for you.
If this ever becomes a burden to me in any way, trust me, I will move on to something else. Have I told you how eating vegan and practicing yoga again has made me so much more positive and peaceful? Anyway…
- I keep a food journal where I plan meals, snacks, etc. and total up calories most days
- I run, weight train, and practice yoga
- I’m eating a vegan diet and loving every minute of it
- I listen to my body and eat an extra snack if I need to or talk myself out of one if I don’t
- I stop eating at 9:00 p.m. (an hour before bedtime) most days of the week (with an exception if I’m up really late and feel hungry again)
- I only weigh once a week, on Mondays
- I have no specific goal in mind, only to try this out and see what happens
- Positivity all the way!
Hope the first day of February is a good one for you! Thanks for reading.
Edited to add: Check out this post from a year ago! Funny how as much as things change, they remain the same :)