Friday, March 20, 2015

"You Did It Once, You Can Do It Again!".... Right?

Sometimes I'm really amazed at how I lost 50 pounds in the span of around 8 months in 2010. I'm still the same person I was a few years ago, but at the same time so many things are different. I keep telling myself this time around that "Hey! You did this once before and you were awesome! You can do it all again!"

 Well, if only it was that simple.

The truth that I've realized is that past success doesn't guarentee I'll be successful this time. And that just replicating what I did last time will work this time. 5 years is a long time, especially when you're a 20-something and things change quickly. I was just starting a new job, I had never really made any attempts to lose weight before that, and I was starting an entirely new lifestyle as a full time employee living on my own and in a new area. It was really that so many things were changing, why not add in being healthy to all of that. And it worked amazingly well! But a key component of that was being able to give my weight loss effort almost all of my attention and time. I didn't have a boyfriend, I wasn't taking grad classes once or twice a week at night, I didn't socialize as much since I was new to the area and didn't know many people. It was a completely different set of challenges. And I managed to conquer them. But it was basically by being a diet hermit (as I've coined the phrase). I didn't really eat out, so it wasn't an issue to make healthy food at home. I still thought craft beer tasted funny so I didn't drink it. And I wasn't spending large portions of my time staying at someone elses's apartment where I don't have my usual snacks or exercise time.
So I've come to realize that I can't just "redo" what I did 5 years ago.
I think that's an issue a lot of us who are restarting are facing. Everyone thinks "you did it once, it shouldn't be that hard!" But a lot of times the reason we gained back weight is because our lives are different. Now I have a work schedule were I'm working for 7 days straight and getting off on Monday and Tuesday instead of every other weekend. I'm in grad school where I don't get one night a week to eat a normal dinner or workout. And I have my boyfriend, where I spend many of my weekends over there and his health habits don't line up with mine most of the time. And we go out and drink beer and I generally don't workout over there. So I can't just lock myself away for the next 6 months and do this all over again. I have to make it work with the hand I'm dealt now.
The last week and a half has been focused on all the little things I can do to be successful. I've been much more conscious about choosing food at restaurants, budgeting for the calories (i.e. working out that day to "earn" it), and limiting myself to 2 beers. I've been bringing breakfast, lunch, and snacks to work so I'm not tempted to eat something unhealthy. And most importantly, I've made time for exercise instead of excuses! Working on the weekend isn't always a bad thing, I have time in between satellite passes or after they're complete (usually around noon) to workout at the office gym in the building. It's nice because no one is there. Or I can run on the trail next to work. If I have the day off, I can head ot the gym or fit in a workout at home. And of course, logging on MFP has always been part of hte equation then and now.

The moral of this post is that I totally understand how frustrating it is to hear "you did it once, you can do it again!"  Even I was kicking myself and saying the same thing. Why the heck not?! But it really takes looking at your situation now and adapting. I'd love to have that time back 5 years ago when I could focus 100% on all this, but it's not realisitic. A lot of you have had a kid, gotten married, changed jobs, had an unfortunate life event... and you can't just do everything over again. But we can make it work. I'm hoping all these little things I'm changing add up. So far I'm down about 3 pounds from the day I said I'd had enough, which was 10 days ago. Probably water, but if I hadn't made that change then I would have been worse off. I just have to keep reminding myself that it won't take overnight and that I won't get there if I get defeated now. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Absence Make the Waist Grow Wider

So 6 months off from MFP is not a good idea. It's a terrible idea in fact. I took the one major component of my weight loss success and maintenance and I slacked. And where did that get me? 200 lbs. Yep, it needs to be written out (and bolded) because I swore to the high heavens I would NEVER EVER see that number on a scale again (barring pregnancy or something). And now I have. And I HATE IT. I know I did this to myself. Every single lazy and bad choice I made where I could have done better led to this. Every day I skipped logging because I was too lazy to look something up or I just didn't care how many calories went in and out. And now my clothes don't fit, I'm wasting money on new pants, and I feel like sh*t. Honestly, I wake up every morning kicking myself for not doing better and I've let it really get to me. I switched to a new postion at work, let working every other weekend mess up my schedule, and that only made things worse. I was already being lazy and that only gave me yet another excuse.

So, now what? I've admitted I got myself to this point. Now do something about it! I know I have stuff coming up in my life where I don't want me weight holding me back. I'm still dating my boyfriend of 4 1/2 years, so I'm anticipating that progressing to the point where I need to look amazing in a beautiful white dress ;-) Not to mention at other people's life events, the beach, etc... I want to walk up a few flights of stairs and not be winded at the top. I really want my entire closet back!! It's not that every single item of clothing doesn't fit, it's just that I looked 10 times better it all of it. I really want my Lilly Pulitzer dress to fit again!!! Plus I'm wasting a ton of money eating out when I can easily bring lunch or cook a healthy dinner. This past week was slightly weird circumstances (getting snowed into a hotel down the street from work for 2 days so I could get there in the snow storm, the joys of being an essential employee). 

So I need some rules.
- GYM! I have an awesome gym and there's no excuse not to get there. I'm shooting for 4 days a week at a minimum. I have grad class one night a week, so that leaves the other 4 evenings. On the weekends, there must be some activity (getting up and exploring with my bf or walking or helping with condo rehabbing) or an actual workout if I have to work that weekend. My work has a gym, I can go in between satelllite passes to workout for an hour.
- FOOD! The junk nibbling has to stop. I keep buying crap that I nibble on and it just adds up to hundreds of extra calories. From now on it's healthy and filling meals and snacks. MFP logging will keep me in check and make sure I'm getting enough protein in there, otherwise I'll default to bad carbs. 
- STRENGTH! It's been months since I ventured downstairs at my gym to the weights and strength machines. That was definitely a part of my sucess to build up some muscle and endurance. Not just slacking on the Crossramp machine.
- RUNNING! Ah yes, my nemesis. Even when I was in super awesome shape, I wasn't that great. But it was a workout. And it pushes me like no other kind of exercise can. So I need to hit the treadmill at the gym or the running trail right next to my offie building. I can easily run on the trail on the weekends instead of using the office gym. I might look for a 5K to run in May, although I'd only have 2-ish months to prepare from being really out of shape. I never stopped going to the gym, but my cardio endurance isn't great right now.

So, now that I've laid it all out on the table, I need to stick to it this time. I really can't keep going like this wallowing in my own self loathing. I can get myself out of this, but some things have to change. NOW!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Southwest Veggie Burger!

I've recently discovered delicious Morningstar Farms classic veggie burgers. I got over my slight skepticism that because they were veggie burgers, they had no protein in them. WRONG! They actually have 15g of protein in them, 130 calories, and 74% less fat than a regular burger! So I tasked myself to come up with a delicious burger substitute for dinner that was healthy too.

Morningstar Farms Southwest Veggie Burger

- 1 Morningstar Farms classic veggie burger patty
- Half an avocado, sliced\
- A scoop of salsa (I used Trader Joes Pineapple Salsa)
- A honey wheat english muffin

Step 1: Microwave veggie burger per instructions.
Step 2: Slice up avocado and layer it on both sides of the english muffin.
Step 3: Add the veggie burger patty and scoop on some salsa.
Step 4: EAT! Om nom nom...

380 calories, 40g carbs, 18g fat, 22g protein, 12g fiber

If you want to knock out most of the carbs, go naked and ditch the bun!

Here's a photo of my delicious creation! As you can see, I got too impatient and started eating it before I took a photo.

Presented to you by Morningstar Farms and Bzz Agent!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

So This Is Harder Than I Thought!

A month after I set some goals to do Insanity, lose weight, and improve my habits, I'm having issues. The scale is UP! My clothes definitely don't fit better. And I'm still having issues getting everything going in the right direction at the same time.

My basic goals were to get down to 170 (from 173.5), do Insanity 4 times a week, log daily, and not drink beer during the week by last Friday (when I left for a weekend trip). Of all that, I'm happy that I did manage to log daily and I didn't drink at all Sundays-Thursdays during that time. I didn't really drink that much to be honest. But the scale went down to 172.5 and then promptly back up and stayed between 173-175 for the next 2 weeks. And the last 2 weeks I only got to do Insanity 3 days a week. This clearly isn't going to be enough!

I've noticed my eating hasn't been crazy on calories, but it could be healthier food. There's a big difference between 1300 calories of junk or takeout and 1500 calories of healthy stuff. So, I'm starting there. I already grocery shopped and picked up bananas to eat with lunch, baby carrots and hummus for snacks, and chicken breast and sweet potatoes for dinner.

The other issue is my workouts. I have a love/hate relationship with Insanity (and Shaun T, who I bitch out on a regular basis when he tells me to get moving). It does kick my butt, but it is a lot of cardio and I haven't been able to do it as often as I wanted. I keep going back to the fact that lifting put me in the best shape I've been in. I was able to eat more, my shape was much improved from the added muscle and less body fat, and I just felt better. Powerful even. So, I'm going back to my roots, so to speak. Alternating strength days with cardio days by combining Insanity and New Rules of Lifting for Women. I'm already through almost 3 weeks of Insanity, so this will just stretch out the 60 day schedule. My initial plan is Insanity Mon, Wed and Fri or Saturday morning and then lifting at the gym Tues and Thurs. Depending on how it goes, I might reverse it to 3 lifting days and 2 cardio days, but for now I'll start this way.

And of course, I'm gonna need some more goals to help me along the way. I'm giving myself the month of February, since I don't really have any major events until my friend's wedding in May to aim for. But monthly is how I'd do it before, so I'm sticking to it. March 1st is my goal deadline for this month.

1. Get down to under 170 lbs - Right now I'm sitting at 175. And I hate it. I also had a lot of sodium the pst 2 days from traveling, so that's also not helping. Either way, that's a little over a pound a week if I can keep things moving in the righte direction.

2. Stick to my 5 workouts a week plan, initially with 3 Insanity days and 2 NROLFW days - I'm leaving myself some leeway to reverse the number of lifting and cardio days, but either way, I'm shooting for 5 workouts a week. I've been avoiding the gym entirely during the month of January, so hopefully everyone has given up on their resolutions by now and it's less crowded. The exception will probably be the week of Valentines Day, since it's on a Thursday. I'll probably only get 4 in that week.

3. Keep logging daily, EVEN ON THE WEEKENDS! - That did help me stay accountable and I ate less junk with that in mind. So I'm sticking to it.

4. Replace processed foods and snacks with healthier ones where possible - I still really like my protein bars as afternoon snacks, but adding in carrots and bananas are a good way to eat less processed foods. 

Thinking in the future, I'd LOVE to be under 160 by my friend's wedding, and that gives me 3 months to do it. And honestly, I'm not super focused on the number. If weight lifting can get my body fat percenage down again, I'm flexible with where the scale ends up. I just really want all the jeans stacked in my closet to fit again!!!! I honestly infuriates me when I try on a pair of jeans that fit perfectly fine last spring only to find that they're giving me a disgusting amount of muffin top. It makes me never want to eat again. But, I just have to work to get back into the jeans. I need to save money anyway so new ones aren't allowed.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Week of Progress

A skinny ass wasn't built in a day, but in a week I've managed to get things going down the right path again.

I started Insanity last Friday and I've done 4 workouts total in it. Definitely a butt-kicker in a good way! I've been easing into it so I'm not too sore to function, but so far I've really liked it. I admit, I have never cursed so much at an on-screen workout instructor in my life as I do with Shaun-T, hahaha. But I keep going.

My awesomeness continued this morning with a loss of 1.3 lbs for the week! WHOOT! I'm down to 172.6, so I'm hoping that I can manage to match that amount the next 2 weeks before I leave for Phoenix to visit my friend. That would put me just under 170 for my goal. It's definitely been a week of detoxing from all the crap and booze I drank over Christmas and New Years. I'm not starving all the time at least from the reduced calories now. I shifted my meals around and added a banana with lunch and went back to chicken breast and veggies for dinner. Much more filling! Which reminds me, I really need more vegetables... my sweet potatoes were brown and icky.

So for my 4 goals, here's the official progress, for every thing I complete I get to buy something with my friend in Arizona!:

1. Get down to 170 by Friday, Jan. 25th - I went from 173.9 lbs to 172.6 lbs this week, so I'm on track!

2. No beer during the week! - Honestly, I haven't had a single beer since New Years Eve! That massive hangover put Randy and I off beer for a while, and last weekend I drank sake at the Hibachi place and then had a mixed vodka and Sprite Zero drink. Tonight there will be NO BEER with my movie at home! If I really want something, I have like, 4 oz of wine left in a bottle in the fridge to sip with the movie.

3. Do Insanity at least 4 times a week - On track! I did it Mon-Wed, skipped it last night because I got home at 7 after running errands after work (and came home to a dead Keurig coffee machine), and I'm doing it tonight. Depending on when I go to Randy's in the morning, I might try to squeeze one more in!

4. Log ALL MY FOOD! - Done! I logged over the weekend and I plan to keep it up! It actually helped a lot to see the food in my diary and keep a mental tally of what I can eat throughout the day. Defnitely a missing piece in the puzzle.

So, I'm happy with progress. So far 2013 has been kind of sucky, so at least this is going in the right direction for me. It's going to be a nice weekend so I fully plan to get out and get some fresh air and exercise!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Shopaholic Meets Foodaholic

I'm starting to realize that my lack of control with eating goes way beyond food. I have the exact same problem with shopping! Its not like I'm completely oblivious to either issue, I have a account for budgeting every dollar I spend and I keep a food diary on MFP. However, I go over more often than not and there's not deterrant for it. The scale goes up and my bank account goes down.

For being a control freak, I don't like that I get out of control with both issues. It's a very "in the moment" sort of thing, self-gratification instantly. I want that dress, so I buy it. Victoria Secret has their sale, so I buy yet another bra to add to the 2 drawers I already have full of them. Or I'll eat a few cookies because a coworker brought them in.

Either way, the consequences aren't making me stop and think about what I'm doing. There is no NEED for any of it! I don't need cookies to live, I don't need yet another dress or purse or something. It was just Christmas! I did need the new running shoes, but that's about it. Makeup is another addiction of mine, I counted 53 eyeliners last night in my collection. I know... I'm nuts.

So, my solution to both problems is to tie them together! No shopping without being a reward for doing something right! I have a trip to visit my bff in Arizona at the end of the month, and I'd like to be able to go shopping together without blowing my budget. So... here's the plan.

By time I leave for my trip (Friday, January 25th), I want to accomplish the following goals. For each one I do, I get to buy one thing with my friend.

1. Get under 170 lbs. I'm right around 174 after the holidays, so that's about a pound a week. Doable!

2. Complete at least 4 Insanity workouts each week. This gives me some leeway for a gym day.

3. Log my food daily, and yes that means weekends! I never log on the weekends anymore and I'm pretty sure that's a major reason I'm having issues. I'm just not accountable for it.

4. No beer allowed during the week. This is a major source of calories and while a beer or two on a weekend day isn't bad, there's no real reason for one during the week.

I think these are achieveable and should help make some progress with the scale and my budget! In between now and then, no extraneous shopping! No makeup, no going crazy in Victoria secret, no bored online shopping. I have a stack of giftcards from Christmas and such that I can use if I need something specific (Macy's, Kohls and Express, so that has me decently covered). Of course I pick the month after Christmas with all the good sales to do this... but it's time to get things under control. I hate feeling out of control and lately it's been stressing me out. I'm not happy with myself, but I keep going back to my old habits with comfort food (and beer) and shopping. Hopefully this helps get me motivated again!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012: A Year of Ups and Downs

I've been filling out a year end survey since I was 17 or something. Kind of crazy, but I like having a way to keep track of what I've managed to do every year. This year was definitely some ups and downs, mainly on the scale! I started out the year doing incredibly well, I moved into my condo, I started lifting heavy and I was down into a size 6 and in the 150s by the end of Spring. Then came summer, and some laziness, and then Fall was lots of travel. And before I knew it, BAM 10 lbs came back... and then a few more. Right now I'm about 13 lbs above where I really want to be. I'm starting to get out of shape from not running or lifting on a regular basis. So, things need to change. Workouts are taking priority again, eating crap is not going to happen. Randy has agreed to eat in more so we can save money and cook better food. I'm gonna make us healthy tacos this weekend!

Anyway, here's my take on the last year, and hopeful this year will have more downs on the scale and more ups for my personal life!

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?

Moved into the condo that I bought, celebrated 2 years with Randy, traveled to Colorado for the Great American Beer Festival, traveled to Boston (last time I was there I was 5 and don't remember much), won an award at work for a proposal we wrote, got my own satellite program to oversee, did some pretty amazing things with weight lifting (who thought I could do man pushups without thinking twice!).

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions?
Well, last year I wanted to maintain my weight... and I didn't. I'm up like 13 lbs from where I really want to be, but I've still maintained a large majority of my weight loss. My resolution for this year is to get my weight back down to where I'm comfortable (under 160 or so), fit back into the pile of jeans that I had to put away because they were too small!!!, and get my healthy habits back on track. I really need to stop making excuses and letting will power go out the window.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
I stayed in the US again this year, but I did get to see a new state: Colorado!
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
My will power back! I've been lazy and I really need to find that drive that I had in the first place when I lost all the weight. It's inside there somewhere, I just need to light the fire.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day I moved into my condo, all mine!!! A lovely Valentine's Day with Randy, Dana's wedding part 2, my cousin's wedding in the summer, two awesome trips to Boston and one trip to Colorado, a fun business trip to California (more breweries to see!), my birthday/anniversary with Randy, and the day we found out we won the Warp 10 award at work!

8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?
Winning the Warp10 award with Randy for our proposal. And the fact that I could dead lift like 125 lbs and squat 120 lbs. I need to get those skills back!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Putting back on the weight in the fall that really didn't need to happen. I got lazy.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing terrible, just some ill-timed colds. Oh, and then were was the day that a bad pair of flipflips gave me Weasel-toe... wiki what it is, it's amusing...
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I technically bought my condo last year, but I moved in January.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Randy and my fabulous family and friends
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Nothing stands out too much.

14. Where did most of your money go?
My shopping habits, a few trips that I paid for, and my mortgage payment every month! Really looking forward to a giant tax refund from the mortgage interest deduction tho!
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Lots of fun travels with Randy, having my own space, drinking great beers.
16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
The Scientist by Coldplay
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? I'm about the same I think
b) thinner or fatter? UGH, fatter... I'm fixing that tho!
c) richer or poorer? I'd say I'm probably richer, since I've built some savings back up after the condo down payment. I need to budget more cafeully tho in 2013.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Dilligently exercising and eating better!
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Excessive eating out and skipping workouts.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I went to my aunt and uncle's house for my mom's side and my granny and pop's house for my dad's side. The usual...
21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
I have Randy, can't get better than that!

22. How many one-night stands?
Nada... that would be bad!

23. What was your favorite TV program?
I really like Dance Moms, I'll admit it! I also love Big Bang Theory.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Eh, probably not.
25. What was the best book you read?
I just finished the first book of the Hunger Games. Gotta download the next one!

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I'm kind of on the Taylor Swift bandwagon...
27. What did you want and get?
I wanted my condo, and I got that and the nice space it comes with.
28. What did you want and not get?
I wanted a new car, but I'm going to hold out for another 6 months at least. It's so much cheaper without a car payment!
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
I really liked Skyfall and Argo. I'm going to see the Hobbit soon too!
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 26 and it was my 2 year anniversary with Randy too! It was kind of a chaotic day. We got up at 5am, flew back from Boston, made it to the Warp10 awards ceremony just as they were announcing us!!! Then I worked for a bit, went over to Randy's, had dinner at Firework Pizza (great beer!) and then we went back to my place and hung out and slept. Then I had to wake up at 5am again for a 7am flight to California for business! It was such a whirlwind...
31.What was one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not gaining weight.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
I'm a big fan of skinny jeans and knee high boots at the moment! I haven't changed much besides that, work casual, lots of dresses in the summer.
33. What kept you sane?
Hanging out with Randy while drinking a good beer.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don't really know... Daniel Craig makes an awesome James Bond.
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Oh so many to choose from... lets go with the election. I knew Romney was a goner, but I wasn't so sure everyone was smart enough to recognize that and not vote for him.

36. Who did you miss?
I miss everyone that lives all over the place! It's nice to get to see people tho when I visit.
37. Who was the best new person you met?
Dunno.... there's an assortment of people from work that I've met.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
It is really easy to get wrapped up in the moment and forget about the bigger picture. I'm disappointed that I completely let myself go in the Fall, but I recognized it and I'm working to get back on track. By Spring, I want to be in shape!
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Dust yourself off and try again!