Feelings, Calories and Another Fresh Start

This is an exciting time in my life because I’m surrounded by so many amazing people.  After the end of my not-quite-relationship, I needed some time to process my feelings, so I took the time I needed.  I was almost over the heartache by the time I posted about it, and now I can honestly tell you that after spending the day with that man today, I’m okay.  It feels good to see him and not feel like I’m falling apart.

As I was chatting with friends earlier, I realized that I’m not romantically interested in anyone.  There’s a guy that I would be interested in if I thought he’d be interested back, but there’s no one calling me every night before bed or texting me 20 times a day.  I like the feeling I get when I think about the possibilities of liking someone who might like me back, but I’m back to focusing on everything that I do have.

I possess a lot of characteristics that someone would be attracted to, but right now, I feel like those characteristics are hard to see because of the cloud of my obesity.  For a long, long time I’ve said that I don’t want to have to change to make someone want me, and it’s true.  I wish that there was a smart, talented, funny, handsome and interesting man in my life who would let me bake for him, sing for/with him, laugh with him and play Scrabble with him.  I wish that I could have that without feeling like I have to change first, but the truth is that I’d like to change regardless.

It’s no secret that I suck at losing weight, nor is it a secret that I need to lose it anyway.  I take responsibility for it, and I think it’s time to change my perspective.  I want a tall, honest, intelligent man who loves Jesus to think I’m beautiful, but I also want to think I’m beautiful.

My priorities haven’t been weight-loss related in a long time.  I’ve changed so much spiritually and emotionally, and I’ve made positive strides in so many areas.  I feel good about many areas of my life, but I’m still letting my weight affect me in ways that I wish it didn’t.

I’m going to try again…What else can I do?

Since moving to New Orleans I have visited several Weight Watchers meetings, but I haven’t found one that makes me want to go back.  I underestimated the chemistry of the meeting that I went to in New York, but I have to start somewhere.  I’m going to start counting calories today, and my goal will be to stay between 1500 and 1700 calories per day on days that I exercise.

We’ll see how that goes.  I’ll also be accountable to people in my everyday life about the numbers on the scale.

Time will pass whether I try to make changes again or not, and right now I don’t care about the numbers nearly as much as I care about creating healthy, controlled habits.

Am I the only one who has to start over again and again and again?

 

I Weigh More Than I Should, But…

There’s actually no “but” to follow.  I still have an incredible amount of weight to lose, and every time I think about how big the numbers are I feel like throwing in the towel.  I don’t feel as energetic and awesome as I did when I weighed 50 pounds less, but I realize that I still have the same power to change that as I’ve had all along.

This week I participated in a health screening, and these are my results:

Blood Pressure: 132/70  – Yikes!  Last time I gave blood it was 118/78, which is where it typically falls.  My guess is that a lack of exercise and an incredible load of emotional stress has played a role in my higher systolic over the last two months.  I’ll be checking it frequently to see the pattern.

Oxygen Saturation Level – 98%  According to the medical staff, the acceptable range is 94% to 100% so I’m okay there.

Resting Heart Rate – 59 bpm  I’m not on any medications so I’m not sure why my heart typically beats less than average, but I’m guessing that it’s the five years of pretty consistent exercise.  I’m not a doctor, and I haven’t asked Google to explain it either so it’s just a guess.

Fasting Blood Sugar – 97 mg  The American Diabetes Association says that 70-126 is acceptable.

Total Cholesterol – 164  Less than 200 puts you at a low risk for coronary health disease.

HDL (Good Cholesterol) – 53 Less than 50 means a major risk of heart disease.  It looks like i made the cut, but not by much.  I’d like to figure out what I can do to make this number higher.

LDL (Bad Cholesterol) – 88  Less than 100 is optimal.  Whew!

TRG (Triglycerides) – 114  Less than 150 is normal.

In my limited understanding of this information, it appears that my numbers are pretty good (especially for someone who weighs as much as I do.)

I’d like to make these numbers even better, and I know that it will take time, consistency and sweat.  In addition to exercise, I’ve been eating more vegetables and fruits.  That’s something that I haven’t done consistently in ages, but I’m doing it now.  I crave the organic green juice that I mentioned in a recent post, which is awesome because I get added nutrients when I drink it without taking a big caloric hit.

When was your last health screening?  Are you happy with your numbers?  Are you doing anything in particular to improve them?

I’m Thankful For My Fat Body

I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a long time, and I stay connected through social media.  I constantly see motivational quotes plastered all over photos of women who are cut and airbrushed, making generalizations and promises even though they’ve never spent a day in my shoes.

I think it’s amazing when someone loses a substantial amount of weight, and I think it’s even more amazing when they keep off the weight that they lose for more than a year or two.  It’s hard….really hard.  I am constantly proud of myself even though I’d be a lot more pleased with myself if I could get back into a weight-loss groove and stay there.  Though I’m nowhere near my numbers goal, I’ve learned a few things throughout this process.

Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey…there will always be room for improvement.  I think it’s important to reflect on where we want to go, but it’s equally important to appreciate ourselves where we are.  (Seriously, Kenlie? Yep!)  If we never stop to appreciate everything that we do have, we’ll never be content, no matter how much we receive.

My body is *not* where it should be according to society, my doctor, Weight Watchers, etc.  I need to weigh less if I want to be considered healthy and beautiful.  I get it.  At the same time, I find it difficult to hate myself because, in my mind, I’ve come so far.  I love myself, and even though I’d like to wear a smaller size, I think it’s important to appreciate who I am and what I have right now.

I spend a lot of time being thankful for my life and the changes that have made it wonderful.  I thank GOD constantly for my family, my little home, my friends, my church, my travels, my things – all of it, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been as thankful for my body as I am today.

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It’s easy to whine about why it’s so hard to lose the next hundred pounds.  I don’t want to have surgery, and even if I did, it’s not a realistic option for me.  Sometimes I don’t feel like exercising, and I rarely ever feel like restricting my food intake enough to lose weight.  Losing 250 pounds is tough, but I still don’t quite believe that it’s impossible.

Even though the weight I’ve lost feels like part of my past, I’m choosing to be thankful for my body today. My blood pressure and cholesterol are normal, my heart is strong and healthy…My legs allow me to walk up hundreds of steps, and they carry me everywhere that I need to go.  My smile is sincere and  bright, and I typically feel good about my eyes, lips, skin and finger nails.

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I know a lot of people (who are much smaller than I am) who live with chronic pain and sickness, and I do not.  I’m blessed that my body is strong enough to do what I need it to do.  I remember what it was like to feel such intense pain in my feet that I struggles to walk, and I’m constantly thankful that I no longer feel that way.

I am more aware than anyone that there’s plenty of work to be done in order to be the best version of myself, but I’m also keenly aware of how lucky I am.  I’m not a size zero, but I’m happy and capable of change.  I’m strong, independent and active, and I’m thankful for who I am today – extra weight and all.

 

Omron Fitness Mamavation Steps Challenge: One Month Later

If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you probably know that I have spent the last month participating in a Mamavation challenge using an Omron Fitness pedometer.  You may also know that I have become mildly obsessed with counting my steps.

Omron Pedometer

The challenge has been a spectacular motivator for me because it required me to do more basic, yet effective cardio than I had been doing.  I’ve used that motivation to explore my neighborhood, my city and surrounding areas, and I’m happy to report that I feel better about my fitness goals than I have in months.

When I learned that I had been selected to be a paid to use the product and share my thoughts on it, I was excited, but I had no idea that I would love it as much as I do.  The challenge officially ended today, but you will still see daily updates as I continue to challenge myself to exceed 10,000 steps everyday.  I’d like to exceed my personal record (over 20,000 at some point in the next week as well.)

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Throughout the challenge, I was asked by many people whether or not I thought the pedometer was worth the money, and the answer is absolutely yes.  Uploading the info (which I only had to do once during the challenge) allowed me to track my progress, and it is awesome to see my work in numbers.  Another added benefit is that I lost 7.8 pounds during the challenge!

Over the last month I walked over 293,000 steps.  My personal record exceeded 20,000 steps, and there was only a couple of days in which I didn’t reach my goal.  I’m proud of myself for pursuing this goal and exceeding my expectations almost everyday.  I love that I can keep track of my information on OMronFitness.com, and I can’t wait to complete another successful month.

The official challenge ends today, but I wish it didn’t.  I’ve met some incredible people through the Mamavation community, and I’m pretty confident that we’ll continue to count our steps together.

Do you count your steps?  If so, what’s your daily goal?  How has it changed the that way you view fitness?

 

 

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post about the Omron TriAxis Pedometer through the Bookieboo Influencer Network and Mamavation, a disease prevention campaign for moms. All opinions are my own.

 

 

A Quick Update

It’s been a good week, but I’m excited that it’s Friday.  I have a busy weekend of fun things planned, and it will start with sushi and a hot tub/pool party with a few friends tonight.  There’s a lot more coming up, and I’m sure I’ll share more than anyone wants to know about it later. ;)

I’m enjoying making it through Bikram Yoga, and I noticed a distinct improvement in myself yesterday.  I was able to do a posture that I hadn’t been able to do previously, and it helped me push through the rest.  I also noticed that I’m exhausted when I’m done.

I typically exercise in the evenings, but I have been doing Bikram in the mornings.  I actually took a nap before class yesterday because there was no way I would have made it through a three hour lecture (no matter how interesting it was) without one.  I might try some evening classes next week, but maybe not.  I like getting it done early, and I’m guessing that my body will adjust if I keep doing it.

In giving Bikram an honest try, I’ve also imposed a cupcake ban in my kitchen that will last indefinitely. My plan is to refrain from eating one until my birthday because I’ve had too many bites and tastes recently.  After being asked to make them for some events, I figured I could do it without eating them, but that’s a lofty goal for someone who isn’t a sugar addict.  It was just silly for me to think that I could do it.  Even if I could, why should I torture myself?

I love to bake, and I’ll still do it.  That said, I’m going to stay away from baking cupcakes for the next month as I try to reform some of my habits.  I made a decision to work on making healthy food choices, and I’m feeling good about it.  My goal is to wait to step on the scale until my birthday, and at that point,  I hope to see some positive results.

I don’t really have anything else to share today.  I’m feeling a little giddy for reasons that I may or may not get into at some point later,  and I’m looking forward to the good things I mentioned.  Right now it’s time to sleep so I can be productive tomorrow.  (Have I mentioned that I’m exhausted?)

Until later, friends……

 

 

 

 

No More Shame, Or Why I Almost Decided Not To Go To Fitbloggin’

If you know me, you probably know that I go through phases in which I travel a lot.  You may also know that Fitbloggin’ has been one of my favorite events to attend over the years.  The first two years I attended were in Baltimore which, for me, was a no-brainer, but I gave it more thought this year for a few reasons.

First, it’s in Portland, OR which has never been on my list of places I’d like to go.  I’ve heard that it’s a beautiful city and that the hotel in which the conference will be held is equally beautiful.  (That’s good to know!)  I’m just an east coast girl so it has never been on my radar.  After doing some research and hearing some amazing stories about it, I’ve extended my trip, and I plan to spend a few days there after the conference.   (I’m obviously excited now.)

Secondly, it’s a much longer flight that requires a connection.  If you know me even a little bit, you know that I despise connecting flights.  When I lived in New York, it was easy to say that I’d fly direct, or I wouldn’t go.  That’s not as easy flying out of New Orleans, and it seemed to be impossible when I was perusing flights online.

The third reason is much bigger though.  I haven’t lost any weight since the last one.  The conference is designed for fitness-minded bloggers (many of whom will weigh less than they did last time I saw them,) and I’m going to be about 10 pounds heavier this year than I was at the last one.  Do you know how ridiculous and shameful I feel when I think about how I’ve spent the last several months moving in the wrong direction?! 

Here’s the thing about Fitbloggin’ though – it’s about growth and progress, self-acceptance and a lot of other positive things.  Maybe folks will notice that I’m a bit larger than I was at the last one, but I can’t imagine imagine missing out on giant the giant hugs, learning experiences, awesome workouts and happy reunions that are imminent because I’m not happy that my clothes fit a bit tighter right now.

Many of the people in attendance, some of whom are dear friends, know how much I’ve struggled to hang on by a thread, and some of them understand it because they’ve lived it.  Some of my best friends came as a result of Fitbloggin’ too, and they’ve never liked or disliked me based on the size of my clothes.

It may not be quite as easy to face old friends and new ones as it would be if I were at least a few sizes smaller, but it would be far more difficult to let the opportunities pass me by because I’m not happy with myself.   I’ve been trying to listen to my body lately, and it seems to be working better than I imagined that it would.  I’m also feeling good about my workouts, and I’m in a happier, much more settled place than I was during the previous years.  I’ve made tremendous amounts of progress within my mind, and my body is still strong as well.

I’m glad that I’ve decided to get over the embarrassment so I can attend Fitbloggin’ because when I go, I always feel as though I’m right where I belong, and I can’t wait to have that feeling again.

Get ready, Portland.  I’ll be there soon.

Have you ever attended Fitbloggin?  Will you be there this year?

 

 

 

Forget Yesterday

Okay, so it sounds like everyone agrees that my 1,200 calorie target is silly.  (Thank God!)  I’ve never been a successful calorie counter, and I’m taking a break from Weight Watchers (which has worked incredibly well for me in the past.)  So…What do I do?  I don’t really know, thus the reason I’m here struggling to figure it out.  I’m tired of being a slave to points, but how is being a slave to calories any different?

Weight Watchers taught me a lot about portions and guidelines for healthier living, and I know that it’s better to eat cantaloupe than a cupcake.  I know that I can eat as much fresh baby spinach as I want to eat without it adversely affecting my goals.  I know that it’s better to eat lean protein and lots of veggies than it is to eat fried junk food.  I know what  healthy diet looks like, and that’s what I’m going to try to do over the next 29 days.

I’m not obese because I don’t know what to eat.  I’m obese because I don’t do the things that I know I should be doing I’m spending my birthday in DC and birthday weekend in NY.  For me those things include tracking my food.  (When I write it down, I think a lot more before I eat.)

I also need to find my exercise groove again too.  I’m bored at the gym, really bored so I need to make some changes in that area.  I signed up for a week of Bikram Yoga, and if it goes well I will sign up for a month.

My commitment to myself for the next month is to stop telling myself  that I’ll deal with this tomorrow and to make little choices that I know are good for me.   I’m going to start by heading up to the gym since that’s all I have time for today (boring or not.)

 

 

One Month From Today

My birthday is one month from today, and I’m using that date to set some short-term goals.

I liked the Weight Watchers meeting that I was attending on Thursdays, but I’m no longer an official member because it was silly to pay $40 per month when I wasn’t  committed to going.

I do know the importance of tracking my food and weight so my plan for the next month is to consume 1200 calories per day.  That means that I don’t have a lot of calories to waste so I’ve planned out healthy and delicious meals that will help me stick to my plan.

I’m also committing to  four tough workouts a week over the next over the next four weeks, and it all starts today – right now.

I want to do things differently, and my goal is to create some habits (consistency) over the next month and strive to do the same thing next month.   I don’t know why I depend on food the way that I do, but I do know that eating too much of it, doesn’t give me anything that I need.

There’s nothing keeping me from doing what I need to do for my health, and I’m going to remind myself of this over and over and over.

I’m worth the effort.  I’m worth the effort.  I’m worth the effort.  I’m worth the effort.  I’m worth the effort.   I’m worth the effort.

I’m going to keep repeating that to myself until I believe it again.  There’s no better gift to give myself than a healthy life so over the next thirty days I’m going to strive to do that.  I’ll worry about the rest later.

 

Baking, Bruises and Bouncing Back

Today is weigh-in day, but I’m out of town so I won’t officially weigh in until next week.  My scale at home told me that I was down almost two pounds, but I know that I can do more than I’m doing.  That will be my goal for the upcoming week.

My brain has been scattered this week, and I know that I need to get more sleep.  I know that my workouts will be longer and more effective if I’m not exhausted, and I won’t make mistakes like I did yesterday.  I’ve been taking the stairs to get to the roof of my tall building (where the gym is,) and my legs were feeling it yesterday.  I stepped onto the treadmill to do inclined intervals, and as I was stepping off, I twisted my ankle a little.  It’s not so bad that I can’t walk, but there’s a bruise just about my ankle bone that is screaming at me today.  I did manage to do some floor exercises too before heading back downstairs to shower and pack.

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Today will be a rest day which should be okay because I’ve planned out my meals.  I’ve been dodging cupcakes more than usual this week, but that’s over for now.  I baked over 100 red velvet cupcakes Monday for a movie themed party (that I did not attend,) and I didn’t eat them.  I didn’t even taste them, but I did receive compliments on them which made me happy.

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(Photos: Courtesy of Graceful Event Productions)

I whipped up a batch of tie dye cupcakes for game night at a friend’s house Tuesday too.  I tried those so I can tell you that they were good.  I didn’t take any with me when I left because I knew that if I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t eat them.  As long as I can stick to that plan I should be okay.

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Baking allows me to feel artistic, but it’s a complicated practice when you’re addicted to sweets.  I don’t eat them nearly as often as I talk about them, but I know that I have to be careful.  I like them too much.

I’m baking a little more often (and on a larger scale) lately, and I’ve given some serious thought to whether or not it’s something I can do.  I haven’t decided yet.  I thought about whether or not I should mention it here too.  I know that by discussing this I’ll be judged harshly by some, but I’m judged by them anyway so why not?   This blog is about my life, and it’s something that I’ve been doing lately.

I also shopped for dresses this week because I am seeing His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak Saturday, and I want to look my best.  I chose two dresses, and I’ll probably definitely post photos on Facebook and Twitter to ask which one I should wear.

It has been a good week, but it has also been long.  And it’s not over yet.  Is anyone else ready for the weekend?  What do you have planned?

 

Common Sense and Resentment

Last week I was talking with a friend about the quiet struggles I have faced as someone who needs to lose an incredible amount of weight.  It seems as though many of us reach that first giant milestone before allowing ourselves to hover around the same weight.  I’m not the only one in the world who has done this, and I’d like to delve into some of the reasons I’ve allowed myself to do it for so long.

I feel like I’m coming out of a tough place in which I have spent far too long being stagnant.  I’m a month into my new Weight Watchers meeting now, and the weight is coming off slowly again.  The most important part of the prior sentence is that it is coming off again, but some days, some weeks, I want food more than I want to see healthy results.  I experienced that earlier this week, and the only solution is to admit it and move on.

Anyone who has ever been overweight or been close to someone who has been overweight probably knows that emotions play a big role in the way that we consume food.  I don’t sit around and eat and eat and eat everyday.  I wouldn’t have kept off the majority of what I’ve lost if that were the case.  I’m not eating 2,000 calories a day more than I should, but I am eating a few hundred more than I should if I want to lose weight.  Period.

It’s easy to tell someone how to change it.  “Eat less. Move more.”  Those words make sense, of course, but we all know the obvious stuff already.  The note that I need on my cabinet would say something like, “The food will taste good for a few minutes, but think of how incredible you feel when you’re really in control.”

It’s so easy to forget that weight-loss is a mental challenge more than a physical one. I push myself hard at the gym, and these days Ron pushes me harder.

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It’s an incredible feeling to accomplish things that seemed impossible before I did it.  Earlier this week, he walked in while I was working out on my own and asked me to jump.  He asked me to do a few more things, and before I knew it I was doing jumping jacks.  I’ve been modifying them for years, and now I can do them just like everyone else.  I felt so incredible, so normal, that I cried.

It’s hard to feel like I’ve come so far and still struggle so much with just eating a bit less on a regular basis.  I eat fruits and vegetables and lean protein, but I find myself struggling with my desire to eat extra, unhealthy things most evenings.

I fight feelings of resentment because friends who exercise can throw back a few beverages and an unhealthy meal and just work it off at the gym.  I also fight feelings of resentment when I think about how I’ve lost more weight than many people ever dream of losing, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg for me.  I get tired of hearing what I should be doing from people who haven’t accomplished as much as I have, and I get frustrated by those who assume that I sit around and eat Cheetos all day.  If I did that, I would have gained the weight that I lost back, plus some!

The last couple of months have opened my eyes to the fact that these feelings of resentment don’t solve the problem.  They don’t make me feel better about myself, and they don’t bring my closer to my goals.

I know that I have to accept that this is my life, my struggle and my journey.  I know that the opinions of others shouldn’t matter to me, and they don’t carry much weight as they used to.  Instead, I am focusing on the fact that I am making progress again.  It could be faster, but it’s better than being complacent.

Yesterday would have been weigh-in day, but for reasons that were out of my control, I didn’t weigh in today.  My plan is to go to a Weight Watchers meeting Monday since I’ll miss next Thursday, and I feel confident that I’ll see a loss.  I’m looking forward to heading out of town, but I plan to stay on track this week and while I’m gone as well.

This journey is not easy for me, but I am still working my way into a healthier place.  I’m going to try hard to make this a healthy week, and I’m going to do my best to squelch any negativity or feelings of complacency that try to creep into my mind.   My goal is to be consistent in making smart choices.

Do you ever struggle with resentment as you work to better yourself?