Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 365 - I DID IT!!

WOW!! A whole year has passed since I started this crazy goal! I honestly can't believe how quickly time passes in a year. When I was a child, a year seemed like a decade, now a year seems like what a month used to be.

Anyway, it's a bittersweet day! I was a little bummed because I have pretty much maintained my weight the last 6 months. Am I complaining, NO WAY! But I don't have an "after" photo to share today. I think I may have lost focus. The goal at the beginning of the year was to workout 365 days in a row. That was it. I made no mention to weight because weight wasn't the focus. Had I hoped it would effect my weight in a positive manner, sure. But it wasn't the focus and I knew it couldn't be because when you focus on something that naturally fluctuates, you can loose sight of the goal.

Tonight, after I finished my workout I walked out to a bunch of cheering when I walked into the living room. My hubby reminded me of the success that I achieved, success which I may have missed if it weren't for my family to remind me. Dang! I worked out 365 days in a row, rain or shine, traveling or home bound, sick or healthy!! That IS an accomplishment even if I am not feeling it right now.

2010 is the beginning of a new decade and this is going to be the year that I continue with what I started. I plan on continuing my daily workouts, minus Sundays. So I really can't make another 365 days in a row goal or a 730 day goal either. But I can say that I learned a lot this year. The biggest thing is that if I can workout daily and watch my portions, I can have a weight that I am happy with. Simple.

I am going to continue to blog my progress. I have more things to learn and share because as the title of this blog states, it's my weight loss journey, and I am not to my goal weight yet. Being at the upper end of a healthy BMI is like playing with fire. I want to be in a healthy range that is strong.

Happy New Year!! May 2010 bring many blessings to all!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 350 - A Journey With No Ending (A Personal Discovery)

FINALLY, my 3 week virus has finally died a permanent death! I have learned a lot during this time that I wanted to share.

1. My body and appetite are directly effected by my exercise program. While I was sick, I lightened my workout and ate often. During this time of year, eating often isn't a good thing. I haven't binged, but if you take a bite of all the yummy things you are given or make, it tends to add up. With these two things happening, I noticed the scale starting to creep! I am grateful that my mentality now is that if the scale starts to creep, I get back into my good habits and it creeps back down. Before, I would just say, "Whatever", continue eating and doing what I was doing that brought on the extra weight and just not look at the scale for a time since I knew it was going up. Needless to say, if I don't workout, I will not be able to maintain and I will most certainly gain weight. Maintenance is NOT an option if I am not working out.

2. Even though I have worked out every day in 2009, lost 40 pounds and gained a body I can be happy about, I have found naughty eating patterns slipping back! When I realized this I was thinking, "What the heck? Have I learned nothing??" It became apparent to me that this journey doesn't have an ending, it's a journey for life. I can be thin and doing the things that bring health, but inside me, there is always that part that if left unchecked, will cause weight gain and will enjoy unhealthy behaviors. Which leads me to #3.

3. I ALWAYS NEED TO BE ON MY GUARD!! If not, bad behaviors will creep back when illness or stress are experienced. This realization is what brought me to the computer tonight. When I first started this journey and decided to make better food choices so I could loose weight, I was in the mindset to make good choices, to do the things needed to loose weight. To find the tricks and substitutes needed to bypass those things that would prevent me from being unsuccessful. As months went by, and these new behaviors became routine, I didn't have to think so much about it. They were positive habits, things that were coming naturally and that would give me the results I liked. I entered the holiday season with a plan, but the mindset wasn't there. I got cocky and didn't really think so much about the decisions that needed to be made to continue weight loss. I find myself today, with a plateful of Christmas cookies. I didn't down a bunch like I normally would have, but I did use a knife and take a taste of each of them. Those little bites add up! I didn't use the technique I used to use when I would stop, take a moment and think about what it would taste like and realize that I didn't really want it after all. That is a necessary thing to do this time of year because there is just TOO much good stuff. You CAN'T take little bites because when you have 12 things you take a bite of, it's like eating a few! Any other time of year, a bite or two of something would be fine, but this is the season where there is just too much.

So I end this post with a reminder to myself, never let your guard down, never search for that light at the end of the tunnel, and NEVER, NEVER, EVER take your foot off the elliptical for more than 24 hours.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 341 - Still sick and getting tired of it.

Yes, I am still sick! I don't know if this is a continuation of what hit me around Thanksgiving, or something new. It's been a week now and I swear I am only feeling worse! There are nasty viruses our there so TAKE CARE of yourself!! Lots of Vitamin C and good food so that you can stay healthy!

So while I am feeling down, I have still been working out! Of course I have shortened the time and intensity so that my body can focus on killing the virus. I feel so lame climbing off the elliptical after 5 minutes, but what do you do when your sick, your lungs are burning and you can't stop hacking? Honestly, when I start working out, I could go for a lot longer, but I know I would pay for it.

I thought I would share a yummy recipe that I made that makes be feel so good while sick. The whole family gobbled it! I got it off of a friend's website here. It's creamy chicken noodle soup. So easy to make, certainly not low fat, but full of real ingredients (Unlike the weird ones you'll find in canned soup). With a portion of this soup, you are left feeling warm, full, and I swear, a little bit healthier! The epitome of comfort food!

I am feeling super motivated for next year and a new goal!

Hope you are enjoying the Christmas Season and are staying well!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Day 336 - A Little Kettlebell

Since I accept the fact that I will unlikely loose 8 pounds this month, that doesn't mean I don't have a plan. A dear friend of mine got some wonderful results from adding Kettlebell to her workout. I am going to add it to mine and try to firm up a bit this month. There are a ton of videos online that show kettlebell exercises. No matter what, you build muscle when you use them!

Today I have had some fierce cravings for some sweets. I had sweets over Thanksgiving weekend, and with leftovers, a few now and then the last few days. I have learned that it takes a few days to get it out of your system. Sugar is really an addictive substance because you crave it when you don't have it. Luckily, it's not hard to kick if you are at home, have no plans to leave and there aren't any sweets in the house. By tomorrow the cravings will subside, or at least lesson.

I now look at sugar and know that I will have to battle the cravings later. Understanding how sugar effects your body gives you information to use to your advantage later. So much better than wondering why I have such cravings. I used to hate to have such strong cravings I couldn't really control. I felt out of control and I would eat so much because of it. Now, understanding what sugar does, I can control IT much better. I can stay in control and keep my weight where I want it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day 335 - You CAN have your cake and eat it too...

...only have a few bites!  Seriously!  There is no reason to ever deprive yourself of the things you enjoy to eat.  The quantity, yes!  You can't fill yourself with your favorite foods AND be healthy.  PERIOD. It's not going to happen.  Either you want to do the things to bring health. Or you don't.  If you are not able to control the amounts of food you consume, you are accepting your current state of health.  You have agreed to stay there too.

With our bodies and the desire for weight loss, our mind is more powerful than we give it credit.  It plays tricks on us.  We play tricks on it.  We try to fool ourselves and say that "tomorrow I will do better."  If you say this, you are basically saying that right now isn't a good time.  That you are not worth the time or the effort.  Waiting until tomorrow is procrastination.  Think about it.  If you REALLY want to do something about your health, if that desire is true, then right now is the time to make the change.  Anything other than "right now" means you aren't serious with taking care of yourself.  So the next question would be, why?  Why are you not worth the effort right now?  I have found myself saying these same questions to myself.  Some days, I don't want to hear it.  Other days, I ponder, try to figure it out, and usually, I have the ability to do better "now."

Over the last few days, getting back into my typical workout and making better food choices, I lost that extra weight I found during Thanksgiving. :o) I am starting to believe myself that it really isn't that hard to maintain if you only listen to yourself.  Stop ignoring the inner voice that wants to make good choices.  I had such a hard time before because I didn't want to hear myself.  I would give myself excuses why now isn't the right time to do better and how tomorrow would be.  There is so much psychology in weight loss and health maintenance.  I honestly believe that if we are honest with ourselves, we can overcome many of the obstacles that we have put there.  But if we aren't honest with ourselves, we are working against ourselves, and that doesn't work when trying to achieve a better lifestyle.

One of the biggest hangups I had when I was going through my life in a binge state, was looking at foods as being "bad" and "good."  When having a bad day, how easy is it to justify eating the "bad" foods?  You had a bad day, you deserve to relax and have some of the food that makes you feel good.  Honestly, if you have had a bad day, eating a bunch of carrots and brocolli isn't going to cut it.  But if there isn't such a thing as "bad" and "good" in foods, how much more free you are when a bad day comes around!  That alone will help free up brain space to deal with the day itself.  No guilt because you jammed a half a dozen of the nearest cookie down your throat.  If a cookie makes you happy and feel better, enjoy your cookie!  1 cookie won't make you gain weight, 1 cookie won't keep you from loosing weight either.  It's the ones you eat after that one that cause the trouble.  Sometimes, when I have had the kind of day where I used to binge after the kids are in bed, I now just have a bite of something, if anything at all and then I go do my workout.  After my workout, any desire for food is usually gone.  If not, just have a bite.  Seriously.  I know that the saying goes to "replace negative behaviors for positive" and I agree with that.  But often times, when you are just getting started on your journey, or if you have partially or even completely fallen off the wagon, that isn't easy and it's the little hang-ups that make it hard to get started or to continue.  I spent years saying "I'll do better tomorrow" and tomorrow took years to come.  So if you are starting to be serious and ready to make the changes needed to get on your journey and stay there, cut yourself some slack and take things slow.  Slow and steady wins the race.

I really would like to finish my secondary goal of loosing 10 more pounds before the end of the year, but realistically, it most likely won't happen.  I have 31 days, it's the holidays, life is beyond busy, and if even one virus gets into the house, there is no way I'll be able to focus on such a goal.  Just the pressure of the goal itself is enough to make me want to eat.  So, I'll give it a good effort, maybe I'll reach the goal, probably won't, and I am okay with the outcome because I am okay with where I am.  Take the pressure away and you have more control.  Just getting through December at my current weight is a huge accomplishment and I can't discredit myself for that. 

So you CAN have your cake and eat it too.  Enjoy a few bites and get moving!!  Who wouldn't want to enjoy the foods they like AND wear the size and have the health they truly desire?  It is possible and I am proving it to myself each day!!