Numbers Mean Something

I know I’m going to get some flack for caring about the numbers on the scale as much as I do right now, but I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m going to say what I feel whether it’s popular or not.  I’m relieved that most of you understand and support me in that because I’m tired of fearing this number.

I have been within a few pounds of this number for what feels like an eternity, and I’m tired of it.  Right now it seems easier to climb Mt. Everest than to reach the 270’s, but I am determined to do it.  This is what I weighed at my last Weight Watchers meeting before I left New York for good, and it has haunted me since I left.

For a long time I let myself believe that I didn’t deserve to lose, and I didn’t.  I have already admitted that I’ve spent far too long just getting by, but I deserve it now because I’m working for it now.  I’m so close too, and I have decided that I will allow myself to succeed.

I forgive myself for the time I’ve wasted and for the mistakes I’ve made, and I am claiming success.  And right now, success feels like letting go of the past and moving into a stronger, healthier future that I am creating for myself.

I’ve taken a lot of steps toward the life I want since January, and shedding weight needs to be among my primary focuses again.

I want to do better, and for the last several days I have been.  I just need to keep it up, and that’s the plan.

Maybe the numbers don’t matter to you; maybe they shouldn’t matter to me, but the fact is they do.  I’m going to crush this goal, and the reward will be believing that I can finish what I started.

Do you have any short-term goals?   If so, what are they?

Small Goals That Seem Big

What I’ve been doing isn’t working. I gained 8 pounds while I was away from my Weight Watchers meetings, and while it would be easy to hang my head in shame and waddle away into an abyss of junk food and self-loathing, I’ve decided not to do that.  Big surprise there, huh? ;)

I’ve gotten comments lately (that I haven’t published) suggesting that I give up, admit defeat, have surgery and/or accept that I’ll always be fat.  Those folks have a right to their opinions, but they don’t carry any weight here.

I’ve also gotten comments on Facebook saying to lose the scale, but the fact remains that my biggest focus has been (and needs to be once again) on healthy living with a focus on weight-loss.  And it’s glaringly obvious that I need the scale to help me stay accountable.

Weight-loss is what I want.

Feeling good in my clothes is what I want.

Believing my boyfriend when he tells me I’m pretty is what I want.

Looking in the mirror and realizing that I’m doing what it takes again is what I want.

So I will…..track my food intake (every bite) in my little Weight Watchers tracker. I will exercise at least 5 times (I think I need to do something more intense than shredding if I want to reach this goal so I’ll hit the gym as well) and focus on reaching my immediate goals.

My goal for the next month is to lose 14 pounds.  It’s a lofty goal, and I’ll be proud of myself if I get close to it.  But I cannot see beyond those 14 pounds so I’ll worry about everything else later.  For now, my goal in numbers is 14.  Losing 14 pounds will bring me to my lowest recorded Weight Watchers weight – the point in which I looked like this:

A less bloated version of myself (with Dad) from this time last year...

I don’t know what to do except try again. I’d ask you to wish me luck, but I think it’s strength and willpower and discipline that I need.  And that has to come from inside myself.  But hey, you can wish me luck anyway.

 

Not Really Sure What I’m Doing

Yesterday was a fun day for me. Cal came over late afternoon, and he accompanied me to the gym before heading back to my place to help me make dinner.  He grilled steak for fajitas and I chopped and sauteed vegetables.  And we even made salsa with my KitchenAid blender.  Have I ever mentioned that I love fresh cilantro?  It’s true.  Our dinner was amazing, and I was so ready to eat it that I forgot to take a picture…Can you believe that? ;)

After dinner we watched the Presidential debate on Bloomberg (which is so much fun when I can watch with someone who understands what’s going on in my head!) But I have to admit that I was pretty self-conscious before that  (when we arrived at the gym.)   He’s never really seen me sweat (apart from a slight glisten when we took a walk near the Mississippi River) until yesterday, but it’s a big part of who I am so I didn’t hold back.  I tore up the elliptical for a few minutes before working my upper body, and I felt great at the end.

My workouts have been pretty solid since I joined Anytime Fitness.  And while I know I’ll experience a gain on the scale this week (after how I ate last week when Uncle W was in the hospital,)  I’m still pleased with the direction I’m moving in now.  And I know that the scale will start reflecting my efforts soon.  I’ve been killing it at the gym this week, but I worry that I may not be making the most of my time at the gym. I did managed to climb the height of the Empire State Building 2.89 times before hitting the weights.  (Thanks for calculating it Ron and for pointing it out, Anne!)

On the elliptical....

I’m trying to get comfortable with the weight machines at my new gym, and while I have pretty good form, I am trying to utilize machines that I haven’t used up this point.  And now that I’m comfortable with how, I really need to know how much.  I’d like to hire a trainer soon, but I’m not sure where to start with that so I’ve been taking notes and using google to figure out what I should be doing.  I’ve also been keeping a journal of my workouts.  (Yes, I carry a little notebook to the gym so I can remember what I did.)  I write in it after every set.  But there’s no rhyme or reason to my weight training, and I need to change that.  I’ve been feeling sore over the last few days, but not overly sore so I wonder if I’m doing too much or not enough.  I really don’t know.  If you click on the picture below, you’ll see that I’m putting in effort.  But you’ll also see that I’m making it up as I go along.

There's a bicycle on the front of my book, and it says "Life's a Journey." Just saying...

 

Richard Simmons, while famous for his cardio workouts, teaches the importance of weight training in his classes.  Did you know that he makes toning videos too?   He ends every class with weight training and floor exercises,  And though I’m not at Slimmons every week anymore, I strive to do the kind of workouts that would make Richard proud.  And it’s important to me to make the most out of the time I spend at the gym so it’s my goal to make a better plan.

Uh, for the record, I'm not usually looking up and smiling while I do leg curls.

I’m doing my best right now, but if anyone has advice to offer, I’m willing to listen.  Until then, I’ll just keep doing what I think is right and hoping that I can start seeing the reflection of my efforts on the scale and in the mirror.  Is weight training part of your routine?  Are you nervous to try it because you’re not sure where to start?  Do you have any advice to offer yours truly? :)

Failure, Self-Doubt and a Side of Onion Rings

I feel like a complete and utter failure right now.  Most of my posts are filled with a bright side, but right now need to face my truth.

I’ve only had two solid workouts in the last week.  I have eaten crap and too much of it.  I feel bloated, lazy and exhausted.  I’m not sure if I’m fighting feelings of stress and uncertainty or just lethargy.  Regardless, it does not feel good, and it needs to change – NOW!

I made some lofty goals for the month of May, and I didn’t achieve most of them.  I would be proud of myself anyway if I had done my best, but I didn’t do my best – not even close.  And again, I have to face the harsh reality that I have wasted time that I cannot get back.

These were my goals:

  • Complete at least 1,000 minutes of cardio – a piece of cake when I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing…(I’ll accomplish this one today…)
  • Complete at least 10 5k’s – I’m pretty sure I did this in March and maybe other months, but now I plan to document it.  I completed my first one today.  Only 9 more to go!
  • Lose at least 8 pounds – I can and should be losing at least 8 pounds per month…period.
  • Do 101 crunches everyday – I’m going to start again after falling out of my groove.

Um, I could make excuses, but they’d be just that – excuses.  I worked out hard several times in the last four weeks, but I didn’t do nearly as much as I should have.  My travels were intense and unexpected for half of the month,  but I worked out with Richard and friends a couple times.  Kent and I went for a hike at Griffith park one afternoon and walked around San Francisco for a while another afternoon.  I also rocked the elliptical at Fitbloggin’ while Emmie joked that she might have to come tear me away to join the impromptu pool party that I enjoyed post workout. 

I did some good things for my body this month, but I also did some things that are not so good.  I downed a few bottles of champagne (though not all at once.)  I ate trail mix like I wasn’t popping 10 P+ at a time, and I ate a burger after midnight one two different nights – one with onion rings and one with a milkshake (which might have been okay without all of the other garbage I indulged in all month.) 

I’ve been under pressure lately though it seemed to ease a bit over the weekend.  I’m not sleeping well at night so I’m constantly tired.  My mind is screaming at me to give in and be lazy while my body is craving purposeful movement.  I’m fighting inner demons that tell me I’m a failure…that I haven’t done enough, and that I’m not really going to reach my goal.

Hey, inner demons…F*** you!  You are not going to win!  You will not convince me to give up or make me believe, as I once did, that I’m not worth the effort it takes to accomplish these life-changing goals.   Fear will no longer rule my thoughts or rob me of rest.  And the heartless, faceless jerks who hide behind their computer screens will not convince me that they’re right about me.  I admit that I’ve been overwhelmed and tired and uncertain, but I will not give up.  I will not back down.  I will do what I need to do today.

When I started writing this post, my friend, Britt, suggested that I go back and read a post that I wrote earlier this month.  And something I said at the end spoke to me.  I wrote,I can tell you that by starting and not giving up, we’re better today than we were yesterday.”  My actions over the last month matter, and i regret not doing more.  But they don’t matter as much as what I will do today.  I have the opportunity to start making positive choices for myself – choices that make me much happier than a burger ever could, so I’m going to go for it,

I know this is true, and I know what it takes to turn these feelings of self-doubt around.  I know how good I’ll feel after a few days of mindful eating and heart-pumping workouts.  And I know that forgiving myself for the mistakes I’ve made is an important part of this process, and it’s really my only option. 


I’m moving forward right now.  I hit the restart button in my brain today, and tomorrow is going to be better than yesterday because I’m going to make it that way.

Try..Tri…

I want to compete in a triathlon.  Is that a weird thing for me to say while my weight is still in the upper 200’s?  I know I can finish.  Does it matter that I’m quite sure I would finish last?

My friend, Brad, has decided to coach me through my first (and second) tri, and I’m ready to do what it takes.  I’m not sure what this means for me today, but I’m ready to face it and find out.  Check out this message from Brad.  It’s so powerful! He truly believes that we can accomplish the goals we set because he’s done it.  Check out his blog, http://bradgansberg.wordpress.com, if you feel like being encouraged and inspired..

Wish me luck…training begins now.

*****

And check out this beautifully delicious looking salad made by Zepherine!  She’s doing great with this challenge!  Wow..I wish I had one of these in front of me right now!

 I’d love to see your pics too!

Pros and Cons and Immediate Plans

I’ve admitted in previous posts that I’m not sure what the future holds, but I finally feel like I’m starting to see the light at the end of this tunnel of uncertainty.  Changes are coming, and decisions have to be made.  And the time is now.

New York is the only place that has ever felt like home to me.  From the first day I was there, I knew I was where I was supposed to be.  I can’t explain why a girl from the middle of nowhere would find herself at home in such a place, but some things just can’t be explained.  Sometimes you just know.

During the last few months I’ve been quietly trying to make plans for the future…figure out where I’m going..where I’ll settle down…and though it hasn’t be easy to admit over the last few months, my heart still lives in New York.  When I’m honest with myself I know it’s where I want to be, but I’ve overcomplicated it in my mind so many times that it has been nearly impossible to make a plan.

I’ve considered going to Austin, at least temporarily, and I think it’s a good idea to move there at some point over the next month before moving back to New York in September (at which time I will go back to school.)  Does this sound like a good plan? Yep.

There are countless (obvious) reasons to love NY so I’ll just share my thoughts on Austin.  I’d like to go somewhere easy for a while – where I can find people who are like-minded and friendly.  And Austin is definitely a hot spot for intelligent, cultured, single people who want to enjoy a scaled-down city life. 

And I know awesome people there already.  A few of them are on the same journey as I am so I’d have an inside track to the best Weight Watchers meetings, a workout buddy and friends who will watch chick flicks and eat sushi with me and join 5k races, etc.

The weather is another plus because I could ride my bike to work and to the gym most days and find pretty trails to enjoy in my free time.  It’s a great place to be active, and that would be a big plus in weight-loss.  Seriously, as I write about Austin I think I could fall in love with Texas again and even stay there…maybe?

But the point is that I don’t need to commit to spending the rest of my life in Austin or anywhere right now.  I’m 30 years old, single and going back to school to take my life in an entirely different direction.  That’s a lot to take in especially when I add the pressure of finding all of the answers today. 

Right now I know that I love New York, and I can’t imagine not going back.  I also know that I have enjoyed living close enough to Dad over the last few months to see him once a week or head to his house when I just feel like visiting with him for a few days so staying Tulsa is an option too.

I also know that I really like the Mountain Man, but he would agree that Texas is a great place to live.  He’s a Texan, and he’d want you to know it. ;)  And while we are slowly building a strong relationship together, he would probably laugh or scream if he thought I’d consider staying there to see how things go with him.  We haven’t been dating long enough for that kind of pressure…not even close.  But Mountain Man and I will talk about that if the time comes.

Dad is a Texan too, by the way, who absolutely loved living in Austin.  He’s definitely in favor of me heading back to Texas, but he’ll support me in whatever I choose to do.  Mom will too (even if she takes a little more convincing, right Mom?)

So now that I have a few options laid out, I will take a few days to think them over.  I’m quite sure that if I stay in Tulsa it won’t be forever.  And while I’m not willing to say I’d stay in Austin forever either, it could be kind of awesome now.  And it’s a place I could stay long-term if I wanted to.  And New York is definitely on my mind, but the earliest I’d go back is September.  And I have to live somewhere until then.

I’m not sure if I wrote this post to ask for advice or just to simplify these options in my mind.  As I said earlier, I have overcomplicated it so much.  I’ve looked at my future as a problem instead of an opportunity.  I was dreading these changes, and now I’m looking forward to them.

My workouts and eating habits have been solid this week, and I’m ready to move forward with the rest of my life too.

New Month, New Goals

I started tracking cardio in June of last year, and my goal was to complete 1,000 minutes per month. I have done it a few times, but it’s been a couple of months since I hit 1,000 minutes. And it seems that exercise is a big part of my weight-loss success and slow down. So this month, my goal is to workout for at least 1,000 minutes. If I work out 50 minutes per day with a day off per week, I can easily exceed this goal. Working out makes me feel good. I was reminded of that last week so I’m going to do my best to make this a successful workout month.

Last week, I was unable to weigh-in, but I look forward to seeing progress next time I step on the scale. Until then, how’s everyone? What are your exercise goals for the week?

My First 5k

It’s time to talk about my first 5k which was supposed to happen Saturday morning. It did not. I chose not to do it after a woman dug her stiletto into the top of my right foot Thursday night.

On Friday, I walked the distance, but my foot hurt when it was over. I struggled with whether or not I should do it the next day, and ultimately, I decided that it was silly suffer through my first race alone when there would be other opportunities to do it with friends and without pain.

Looking back, I guess that choice still makes sense, but I’m disappointed in myself and the circumstances because I need to accomplish this for myself. I know I can do it because I have, but I really want to make it official.

Instead of waking up early and getting my workout done for the day Saturday, I stayed out all night and skipped my regular workout. ( I had a great time, and I don’t regret any part of Saturday evening.) I walked a little, but not nearly as much as I would have had I completed the 5k that morning.

I’ve decided to do another 5k. Missing my first doesn’t mean that I can’t do a different one making it my first. So while I feel a tinge of disappointment, I know that all I need to do is make a new plan.

I’m arranging one for June 6, making it available to my WW group, friends and people in the New York area who want to walk with a supportive and encouraging group. (More on that later.) But before that, I’d like to accomplish what I set out to accomplish when I signed up for a few weeks ago. I want to complete my first race.

A few days ago someone totally wise and awesome said “I tweet therefore I am?” And I jokingly agreed. I think his point was that going public with our goals can sometimes help us reach them. I make a lot of statements on my blog, and I tell the truth. Today, the truth is that I missed the first 5k so now I still need to complete one to reach that milestone. Of course, I’ll keep you posted. ;)

Five Pounds More

I’m only five pounds away from losing my first 100 pounds…and I celebrated tonight by dancing the night away with my ladies. :) Several of us ate dinner at the pub then watched a super fun band, The Amish Outlaws, perform. They were just as awesome this time! :)

(My workout buddy and friend, Carol.)


I’m ready to kick it into high(er) gear because I’m ready to look myself in the mirror and know that I’ve lost 100 pounds. It’s so close I can taste it. ;) And I’d rather have that than any amount of junk food.

While dancing tonight, a stupid, drink woman dug her stiletto into the top of the foot that I broke last year. It hurts, and it must feel better by tomorrow because Saturday is my first 5k! :) It’s frustrating because it’s swollen and blue, but I’m also reminded of just how far I’ve come since my foot broke last year.

(Check out the ice pack my friends made for me. It’s nice to be surrounded by Lady McGyver types. LOL)


I’m a new person who is achieving big goals. I feel better. I look better. And my energy level is astounding. I actually jumped a lot tonight. Seriously…it appears I can do that now.

(Fomerly Amish, Ezekiel the bass player, saw me trying to take a pic of him as he played so he
came down mid-song and posed with me. He’s super cute!)


It’s a happy night….change has come. And I cannot wait to see and feel the changes that come with losing the next 95 pounds.

Mind Over Matter

If I had known that I could enjoy the weight-loss process so much I would have started it much sooner. I think I had a lot of misconceptions about losing weight because I thought the only way to do it was to diet – to forsake every food I had ever enjoyed, replacing all of my regular hobbies with grueling exercise. Wow..I was so wrong!

It’s not easy every day, but I certainly do not live a life of depravity…not. even. close. I eat real foods that are healthy and filling, but I eat cheesecake sometimes (not often..just sometimes) too. Over the last year, I’ve learned how to balance my cravings with what I actually need, and I’ve even seen big changes in what I crave.


I don’t diet. I dislike the word immensely because I believe it sets people up to fail. I make good food choices most of the time. I eat healthy foods and journal what I’m eating (good or bad) so I know I’m consuming just enough to lose weight. Before I began losing weight I had no idea that eating enough was just as important as not eating too much.

And I actually enjoy exercise. Who knew that was possible?! I certainly did not. I don’t always enjoy lifting gigantic weights or doing squats until I puke, but at this point, it’s not necessary for me to do that on a daily basis (though some days I try.)

I do lift light weights, and I do squats and crunches and plank exercises. I also ride my bicycle, walk with friends or solo, dance to exercise videos that have a fun beat and I use a fitness stick to tone my arms. I mix up my workouts, and I do things that I enjoy. It’s much easier to stay motivated when you don’t hate what you’re about to do. I’ll never understand why people put themselves through that!

So, for me, this experience has actually been a fun one so far. Sure, there have been times (more than a few) in which I suffered through saying no to a Kit-Kat or a slice of pizza, but I don’t remember most of those instances. I do, however, remember how happy I feel each time I step on the scale and weigh less. I also remember the first shirt I bought off the rack at Old Navy and at Kohl’s. I remember the first time I jogged up a flight of stairs without feeling winded and the first time I could button one of my winter coats. I also remember the first time I could buckle the seat belt in the car without an extension and the first time I could use the table in front of me on an airplane. I also remember the feeling I got a few days ago when I put a belt through the loops of my jeans. (More on that later…that was a huge accomplishment!)


Weight-loss is not easy, but it’s also not as terrible as I thought it would be. I have learned that I can do so much more than I thought I could do with my body, my heart and my mind. I have ups and downs, but when you add it all up, you see one big success. I’ve said this before: I’m nowhere near my goal, but I already feel like a new person who possesses a bit of personal style, class and confidence. And while I certainly wish I could have felt this way sooner, I’ll just remain thankful that I feel it now.