Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Guide To Losing 50 Pounds in 2011

I think 2010 has been a pretty awesome year. It started out with lots of potential. I had a new job to start in February, I was moving to Virginia for it, and I was FINALLY DONE WITH SCHOOL! Entirely too much time from the past 5 years has been spent focusing on school and everything that goes with it, instead of focusing on ME! So I started off 2010 at 200 lbs (I actually lost 15 lbs from 215 in my last semester of college), size 16, single, and while happy with myself professionally, I was NOT happy with how I looked.
I also don't really do New Years Resolutions, I made one once in 5th grade to stop biting my nails. I did... and started biting my cuticles... haha. But for 2010, I figured with all the crazy changes, now might be a good time to get into some healthy habits. So I did, started eating healthy (and less of what I was eating), and started to workout. It's now December 21st, and in those 12 months I've lost 49 lbs. And I really didn't start til February so it's more like 11 months and 49 pounds. WHOA BABY! I don't think I could have predicted I'd be this far along by now. But I'm 11 pounds from my initial goal, barely a size larger than I ultimately want to end up (I bought size 6 pants last week... I nearly cried). I'd say that's one successful New Years Resolution. I get asked this a lot when new MFP members add me as a friend, so... Here's how I did it!
1.  Don't go cold turkey.
I love treats, sweets, candies, desserts, ice cream... you name it, if it has sugar or chocolate I want it. So a "diet" that doesn't include any of the above just isn't gonna work for me. But I earn my treats. I had a piece of chocolate cake at the Christmas party for work on Friday. And I drove straight to the gym right after that party and worked out for over an hour. I'll have a little bit of ice cream in the evening, if I have the calories to spare. I'll eat out for dinner with my boyfriend and not feel guilty because I worked out every other day that week. It won't last if I didn't cut myself a little slack for being a normal person.
2. Find your soutmate workout. 
I'm stealing that phrase from Chalene Johnson, but I've gone through a bunch of different kinds of exercise, mainly because I have a short attention span. I've done EA Sports Active for the Wii, 30 Day Shred, Chalean Extreme, Turbo Fire, jogging, spinning... you name it! The fact that I mix it up has two purposes. The first is that I don't get bored, and the second is that my body doesn't get used to any one thing. I've found Interval Training to be useful, but I also like to run... and I like to do Turbo kickboxing. Just keep trying new things.
3.  Don't focus on the scale. 
We've all realized it at some point. The scale is evil. It was sent to our bathroom to ruin our mornings, mess with our heads, and in general cause pain and suffering. Except on those wonderful mornings where you suddenly lose a pound and jump around the bathroom dancing and fist pumping (yeah, I'm from Jersey... haha). However, DON'T LET IT DEFINE YOU! Take measurements EVERY MONTH, keep trying on smaller clothing sizes, have your bloodwork done and see your numbers fall back into a healthy range. Anything to measure progress is good! The scale is really a bad way to do it. I've finally realized that as I've shurnk and my progress (on the scale) has slowed. But I'm still shrinking. I lost about 4 lbs in the past month. But I lost an inch off my hips and waist and now am starting to fit in a size 6. Even though I've hit plateaus on the scale, I've dropped a pants size every 2 months like clockwork. So, PROGRESS!
4. Just because you didn't log it, doesn't mean you didn't eat it.
I'm guilty of this at times. I'll eat out, have NO clue the nutrition info, and I won't log what I eat. So it doesn't count right, it was a cheat? Nope, not how it works. I've found the more faithful I am to logging, the better success I have. That's the whole idea this website is built around. Keeping yourself accountable. I have my food diary open to MFP friends, it helps me stay on track, and others can see how I eat too. If you can't find nutrition info, find something in the database that's close. It's at least something. 
5. Yes, Virginia, there is a Starvation Mode!  
And unfortunately, I've been there. I thought it was a wonderful idea to drop 5 lbs really fast for my birthday by eating 1000 calories a day and working out every day on top of that. It worked for 3 weeks... I got to 155 for my birthday on time. And then I got stuck... for A MONTH! And I wondered "but I'm not eating a ton, I still workout, why is the scale not moving". Yep, starvation mode. My metabolism was dead.So after realizing this, I got my act together, changed my goals to lose 1 lbs a week (I have 1270 calories a day now) and started eating back some exercise calories (I eat between 1300-1400 a day total now). And miracle, the scale started moving again! But it's been a slow recovery, my metabolism is still working on revving up again, so I've lost 4 lbs in the past month. But I'm happy to see them go, and the inches are dropping off even faster. 

So those are my 5 pieces of advice for how you too can lose 50 lbs in 2011. I'm gonna keep following them, and I'm aiming to reach my goal of 135-140 sometime this Spring. With 11 lbs til 140, I'm confident I've set a reasonable pace for myself (those last 10 lbs are killer!) and I've set up a plan to do it. I just joined a gym. Yes, I lost 50 lbs this year WITHOUT JOINING A GYM! I worked out at home, outside, and occasionally in the free (and crappy) mini-gym in my office building. So you definitely don't need a million dollars to lose weight. A few DVDs, some determination, and healthier food was all it took. I didn't waste my money on diets, books, or meal plans. 
I'm happy to answer questions if anyone has them, just post below. And have wonderful Holiday Season and a FANTASTIC 2011!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Year In Review Survey (For the 7th Year In A Row!)

This is a survey that I've been doing on my old Xanga blog (anyone remember that site? haha) and I started doing it when I was a senior in high school. And I've done it every year since so this is the 7th time I've done the survey. The old ones are on my xanga blog at http://traynor-on-a-sugar-high.xanga.com/

So here's my take on 2010, what a year...

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Started a legit, grown up full time job, now that I've got my two shiny diplomas hanging in my apartment. Yeah, definitely done with school! I also managed to lose 50 pounds since the beginning of 2010! I've never really had any success in that department so I'm happy. And finally, I started dating someone. Only took 23 years... haha. But things are going very well so far :)
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions?
Last year I said learn to cook, and I've been pretty good about that this year. This year I'm committing myself to hitting my goal weight and keeping it there in 2011.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my aunt had a girl so I have a new cousin.
4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
Belize, Mexico and Honduras from my Caribbean cruise for spring break this year. It was AWESOME! I also had a blast visiting friends in California and Arizona.
6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Last year I said that I really want to enjoy my new job in Virginia, with new friends and places to explore, but I really want to stay in touch with all my amazing friends from Cornell. And maybe I'll find a nice guy in Virginia with an equally awesome job (ehh hem, and salary) as me... lol. I'd say mission accomplished on all those! Like, freakishly things worked out pretty much exactly as I wanted them to... wow. That's a new one. 
This year, I can't think of anything I'm really missing in life. Things have really fallen into place. I'll say a flat stomach... hahaha. I'm getting there. 
7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Starting my job at Orbital in February, the insane snowstorm in Virginia the second week of work, an awesome Spring Break cruise in the Caribbean, lots of fun visits from friends in DC, the meetup Booze Cruise (where I met Randy), my birthday weekend (where Randy and I started dating).

8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?
 Actually finding a guy to date, something that has eluded me for many years... haha. And losing 50 pounds. I'd say that's a pretty impressive feat.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Hmmm... nothing really jumps out at me as a failure. I've been trying to see the positive in everything lately.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Well, there was the fateful day that the resistance band attacked my face during a Turbo Fire workout. Resulting in a fabulous black eye for Halloween weekend where I visted California. I learned my lesson about the power of a reistance band... haha

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My workout stuff and gym membership, my awesome hot pink Coach purse, and all the adorable and hot clothes in increasingly smaller sizes! I've basically replaced my entire wardrobe by now.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My friends and family (both in person and on MFP) have been incredibly supportive this year. I don't know if I would have made it this far without everyone.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Ehh... nothing really jumps out at me. Perhaps the guys that live in the apartment above mine and stomp around the place like elephants. It's just appalling...

14. Where did most of your money go?
LIVING! Now that I'm on my own, I've realized it's kind of expensive. Lots of bills and rent and such. But I've been able to buy new clothes (definitely a good portion of my spending money), and save money for vacations and a new car (hopefully purchases that I'll be making in 2011!). But mostly clothes...

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Starting my new job in Virginia, that I now adore. It's fun to come to work every day and play with the satellites... lol 

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
I think I listened to music from Glee entirely too much this past year. I don't know if I had "a song" this year.  I may have been entirely too obsessed with Bad Romance by Lady Gaga... hehe
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Quite happier!
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner....  much much thinner!
c) richer or poorer? Definitely richer, I love having a full time job instead of being a poor student
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I definitely traveled a lot, but I could always use more of it... hehe

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Working perhaps? haha. I'm a bit lazy, but I do get decent vacation time so I can't really complain too much.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I was at my aunt's house with one side of the family, and then Granny's house with all my younger cousins on the other side. Nothing exciting, it's what we do every year.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
I don't want to get ahead of myself... lol

22. How many one-night stands?
Umm... I'm done with those
23. What was your favorite TV program?
Glee and Big Bang Theory win yet again. Although I keep up with a lot of TV shows (too many really).
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't think so... I hate the scale sometimes... hehe

25. What was the best book you read?
I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. It was a good money management book for 20-somethings. I needed a few tips now that I have a regular paycheck. 

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
More music from Glee, plus I started listening to Muse and anything that DC101 plays on a regular basis.

27. What did you want and get?
I love my job, that was something that I really wanted. I could never be someone that works at a job that they hate. And I also got size 6 pants... whoot!!! This time last year I was a size 16, now I'm a 6/8??? WHOA! And a boyfriend... yay for boyfriends :)

28. What did you want and not get?
Haha, last year I said a boyfriend. This year I don't know... I'm pretty satisfied.
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Harry Potter... haha. Love those movies. Inception was also pretty awesome.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I had the best birthday ever. I turned 24 and it was the first date for me and Randy. Thai food, walk along the Potomac River in Alexandria, and drinks in DC. Totally won me over :)

31.What was one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not sure, I'm just entirely too content about the past year... haha

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
SMALLER! Hahaha. That's been the theme this year. All my clothes that I've been buying are smaller and tighter and hotter than I've ever been able to pull off. I love it. I like a nice fitted top with some dark skinny jeans and knee high boots. And mini skirts with heels are my new favorite thing, now that I have the legs for it... haha

33. What kept you sane?
Being able to work out when I was stressed, it's a good way to relax.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Ummm... I'm not really sure.... I don't keep up with celebrities much.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Finally Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed, so I was happy about that. The whole unemployment aid has had me paying attention to the news, since it's definitely a personal issue for me (my mom has been out of a job for almost 2 years now).

36. Who did you miss?
I miss all my friends that are scattered across the country for jobs or grad school. And my family is now 4 hrs away in Jersey. But it's easy enough to keep in touch and I save my money for visits when I can.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
My coworkers are awesome, and so is my boyfriend :)

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
If you want to achieve something, go for it! Don't give up even if the goal seems incredibly hard to attain. I thought losing 75 pounds was an impossible task. Well guess what, I've lost 64 of those already! I just kept with it, didn't let myself get too discouraged when I wasn't really seeing results, and I've been making my way towards my goal. I hope to reach it in 2011.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"I think I'll try defying gravity, and you can't pull me down!" ~ Wicked the Musical
"Don't stop believing!" ~ Journey

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Hazards of Minigoals

I tend to be a very goal oriented person. I like to have something I'm working towards, it keeps me on track. But it also has the potential to be all-consuming. It'll be all I think about, I'll put ALL my energy into it, and it might not be the healthiest thing to do. But being a bit OCD, it's how my brain works. So naturally, mini goals along the weightloss journey should work well for me to help get to my ultimate goal. But I think I've realized that not the best idea...
First off, I can definitely go to extremes to meet my goals. The result of that for meeting my birthday mini goal was eating under 1000 calories a day and dropping 5 lbs in 3 weeks. Then I got stuck. I would have been much better off accepting that I won't hit the mini goal and just continuing to do what I was doing (which was working! But slowly). I've since lost about 3 pounds in 2 months. Which is TERRIBLE. But...
Mini goals don't really take the unexpected things in life into account. I may have lost 7 lbs one month, but something can easily change the next month. And for me it did. I've already blogged about my new relationship and when thinking about goals, that's gonna play a big role. So, the question is, are the goals really worth it?
I'm starting to think they aren't. I know I'm committed to this. I'm not about to stop completely and put 63 pounds back on again. At the same time, I'm not about to stop without reaching my ultimate goal. It's just that I've learned that it's OK to take my time. Sure it's fun to join challenges to lose so much by Christmas or Valentines Day (both ones that I'm in and enjoy), but it's not the end of the world if I only lose 3 lbs instead of 7 lbs. The point is that I weigh less than when I started. As long as the scale is trending downward, I'm happy, however slow it may be (3 lbs in 2 months is pretty darn slow). I'm still enjoying myself (which includes drinking delicious beer with Randy), and I'm still happy with how I look. So, I still have minigoals, but no more concrete dates for when to meet them. I'd love to be under 150 for the new year. Perhaps I will be, but I won't beat myself up if I'm not. It's the holidays after all (and I'm addicted to peppermint bark cookies and ice cream...).
So my ultimate goal you ask? To weigh between 135-140 lbs by time it's bikini-wearing season :D That gives me about 6 months. For 15ish pounds. SO doable, not stressful, and with all these winter clothes on, you won't really see those 15 pounds much anyway. But once I'm all uncovered in the summer, it will have been worth the wait and patience. And hopefully the skin will have made my tummy all nice and flat by then (I can tell it's shrinking, it's looking loads better in recent months). So I'm gonna relax, stay on track, live a little, and keep the end of the journey in sight. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dating + Dieting = Maintenance... Uh oh...

When I planned out this whole weight loss journey, I figured I'd get stuck every now and then, lose more slowly as I got smaller, etc. But I forgot to account for one major influence in how quickly I lost weight... dating someone! I was single from when I started until mid-October, and I was losing at a pretty decent pace. I went from 200 lbs to around 155 lbs in that time frame, which is AWESOME! I finally felt good about my body, I'm fitting into tiny clothes that looked like they'd never fit over my thighs or waist, and I don't feel trapped anymore. I'm guessing its a combination of those things giving me a confidence boost that I ended up meeting Randy and we started dating.
That's where things get complicated. I didn't go out and drink/socialize much in the previous 8 months. It was probably about once or twice a month, when I tracked down my friends or visited someone, etc. The weekends I was able to stay on track easily. I could work out both mornings, eat properly, and I didn't drink, except for maybe one beer or a glass of wine. OK, maybe I was a bit of a diet hermit... haha. But it worked.
The past 2 months of dating have been amazing, I go out on the weekends, we socialize, go for drinks, eat dinner... basically like a normal person. That's the problem though, being a normal person for me makes it hard to lose weight. When I go out, I don't want to order a salad every damn time. Or skip having anything to drink. I want to enjoy myself and the time with Randy. He's a beer connoisseur  so w'ell order some pretty tasty beers when we go to dinner. And then usually followed by drinks somewhere. And honestly, I don't want that to be something I have to give up just to keep shrinking.
So I'm a bit torn. I really am happy with how I look, despite being (according to a very messed up BMI system) 10 lbs overweight still. But I'm a size 8 in pants, which in my opinion looks very good on me. And I'm a size S/M in tops. SMALL CLOTHES FIT ME! I always hated having to pick up XL shirts, I'd discretely grab one from the bottom of the stack and hope no one saw where it came from. So being able to grab one right off the top is amazing. And I'm actually fit, my arm muscles (not to brag) are kind of amazing... haha. Like DEFINED MUSCLES.  I still have a muffin top tummy and my thighs are a bit chunky, but it's shrinking still. So, basically these last 10-15 lbs are vanity pounds. I don't look bad by any means, Randy still thinks I'm gorgeous, and I really am happy.
So the conclusion of all of this is that taking everything into account, I think I'm doing pretty darn well. I've taught myself enough this year that I've maintained my weight (even lost 1-2 lbs slowly since Oct.) with all this going on. Not gained, not an ounce. I've slowly been going from around 154-156 to now being around 152-154. Honestly, I'll call that success, and it's Christmastime to boot! Plus I killed my metabolism by not eating enough in Oct/Nov so it's still playing catch-up.
Maybe I'm saying all this to make myself feel better, but I know I'm eventually gonna get to where I want to be. It is just a number on a scale. I'd be happier with how my clothes fit (or a bikini or lingerie... hehe). Sure, I want to be a size 6, but is that really that much different than a size 8? I keep looking at my latest profile picture and thinking "Damnnn I look good. For the first time, I really don't look fat AT ALL!" And I think that's the mentality I need to have. Pounds after this are really a bonus, I'm happy and healthy and I know what I need to do. And that includes spending time with Randy and enjoying it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Some New Progress Pictures

I haven't posted some new pictures in a while, not since the beginning of October. I went out last night wearing a shirt that I had a picture in from back in the very beginning of June. At that point, I was just wearing size 14 and still weighed around 180 pounds I think. I took a picture wearing the same shirt last night (it's stretchy so it fit well still, a bit baggy in parts). RIght now I"m 152 and a size 8. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! I can really see it in my waist and face, but everything looks so much smaller. I'm starting to realize I'm happy with how I look. I'm gonna keep going til 140 since it's a healthy weight, but I'm not rushing myself as long as I don't get the scale stuck again. Slow and steady, I still look gooood! hahaha.



Friday, December 3, 2010

25 Things About Me

A few MFP friends have done this recently, and I've done it once before on Facebook, but since you all don't really know me in person, I figured I'd share a bit more about myself that I don't talk about regularly on here. So, here's 25 things about me, not necessarily weight-loss or health related, just some :
1.)  I've never been a healthy weight in my entire life. I found a picture of myself in kindergarten and I was chubby. I remember not wanting to go to jazz class when I was 10 because I looked bad in a leotard. Part of it is definitely genetics/bad habits my parents passed on growing up. Lots of fast food, and overweight mother, not a ton of exercise, basically setting myself up for being overweight. Then when I got to high school and college, I didn't know how to eat healthy, and I definitely didn't make time to exercise. It was really only a revelation I had when I moved out on my own, away from my family to a new state, that I got my act together.
2.) I'm a NERD! I mean really nerdy. My eyes light up and I get all excited talking about space stuff, the Apollo program, satellites, science articles, anything. I've been an astronomy nut since I was in 1st grade and I could read kids science books for myself. My favorite movie is Apollo 13 and my favorite vacation was when i saw the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
3.) I used to be a really picky eater (stemming from my parents' picky eating), but lately my best friend Joey has forced me to eat new foods and I'm better now. I now eat seafood (and LOVE it), raw sushi, mushrooms, more types of meat/steak, and a bunch of other  foods I never dreamed of touching before. And they taste good! And most of them are really healthy foods too.
4.) I love living alone. I need to have my own space that I can control and have the way i want it. And I hate sharing a fridge and bathroom. 
5.) I've been driving the same car (1997 nissan altima) since I was 16 (now I'm 24) and I'm gonna keep driving it until it decides to die I think. I'll give it one more year and hopefuly by then I can afford a new one. I'm saving up now!
6.)  I've come to love high heeled shoes. I never could wear them until recently after I lost a lot of weight. My feet were too wide and they just hurt. Now with some foam tape in the back to protect my heels, I love wearing them. They hurt a bit if I try to walk too much in them, but at least I'm not 10 inches shorter than my boyfriend.
7.) Speaking of my boyfriend, I guess I can kinda call him that now. We've been dating for just about 2 months and he's the first actual relationship I've ever had. I never dated in college, just random encounters and such, but no one I'd say I was in a relationship with. I'm really like this in comparison to someone who's only around for one night.
8.) I have OCD. Not the kind where I wash my hands every 2 seconds, but I have littler quirks. My closet is organized by color and type of clothing. I can only turn the TV volume up in increments of 2 and 5. I LOVE things to be neat and orderly. I didn't realize i was somewhat OCD til I was 20 and my mom told me that she knew since I was a little kid... haha.
9.) I've always envied my little sister because she was skinny and had no trouble with guys. Now I'm almost the same size as her, only weigh 20 pounds more, and we both have boyfriends. But growing up, I was jealous.
10.) I landed my dream job right out of college. I knew it was possible but it would be hard work. And I definitely had a little luck on my side. It was even in the area of the country I really wanted.
11.) I'm not really a redhead... haha. I dye my hair, but it's a medium brunette color. But since I'm Irish, I can pull it off without anyone noticing.
12.) I went to All Girls Catholic High School. Yep... ALL GIRLS! It wasn't horrible, I was pretty into my schoolwork and the Yearbook staff. But I definitely missed out on having guy friends. Now, I hang out with guys more than girls, I work with all guys, and I prefer guys actually. Girls are mean and have drama, so I'm really picky with girl friends. I adore my guy friends and they're great to talk to.
13.) I wish I had more money to travel. I do save some each month for plane tickets to see friends and such, but I mean travel like Europe or other parts of the US. And now that I'm dating someone, I'd have a travel buddy. We just collectively need to win the lottery to be able to go all the places we want to go. We might do Disney World next year.... haha
14.) I'm in general a really outgoing and bubbly person, but I've become WAY more so with the weight I've lost. My confidence is the best it's been, and it shows.
15.) I have a bit of an obsession with Coach purses.... I own like 6 of them, all bought at discounts or from the outlet mall or as gifts. My favorite is my hot pink large purse that I use every day, and my little teal one for going out at night.
16.) I'm still a bit addicted to the game website Neopets. It's probably aimed at 12 yera olds, but I've been playing it since I was 14 (my account is like 10 yeras old) and it's fun to pass the time.
17.)  I LOVE TO SHOP. And having a much smaller body to buy clothes for has only fueled the fire. 
18.) I'm really close to my grandparents on my dad's side. They babysat me every day when my parent's worked growing up, and I attribute a lot of who I am today to them.
19.) I'm not much of a cook, but I'm learning. Until this week, I had never in my life cooked raw fish or chicken for myself. Turns out if it's defrosted, I can throw it in a glass pan with veggies (roasted red potatoes that I cut up and seasoned) and leave it to bake for 20 minutes. Who knew it was so easy?!?!
20.) I have SUCH a sweet tooth. I'd rather kill my claories for the day eating ice cream or red velvet cake than have a gross greasy cheeseburger and fries. If you look at my diary, it's definitely healthy meals and some yummy desserts and treats.
21.) I have designed things/worked on things that are being launched into space. The first thing I ever worked on for a small student satellite project at Cornell, is going to launch next year sometime. I wrote some flight code for it.
22.) For being an engineer, I wasn't very good at Calculus and Physics in college. I hated the subjects and didn't get great grades. At least in my job now, I never have to do any of that... haha.
23.) I have a pretty big family. On one side my cousins are ages 6 months to 17 years old (my sister and I are the oldest). On the other side the cousins are ages 11 (a cousin's kid) to almost 40 years old. It's nice having a big extended family and they almost all live in Jersey.
24.) I've never seen a scary/horror movie in my life. I HATE THEM. I don't enjoy being scared, I don't like gory movies, I don't ever want to see one. The Disney movie Hocus Pocus scares me still. 
25.) I never really drank coffee until I started having to cover the 8am meetings every day at work. That was starting in Sept. Now I drink 2 cups a day and I'm experimenting with all the yummy kinds out there. And it keeps me awake, which is nice... haha

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Cautionary Tale About Starvation Mode

For someone who loves food so much, I didn't think starvation mode was ever an issue that I'd have to deal with. If anything, I was scared of overeating and that's why the scale wouldn't move. But, that fear of eating too much turned into eating too little on a daily basis, and this is why I have a lesson learned to share with everyone.


Seriously. It's so important to get those 1200 calories a day. I wasn't under by a lot, it would be 50 less one day, and then 100 less another... but then it would become 200 less, or "I'm really not hungry so I'll just have 950 calories today". It's a TERRIBLE HABIT! I actually found myself putting in overestimate of portions of what I ate so that my calories wouldn't look so low. And I was convinced for a few weeks that this is how I have to lose weight. I'm smaller, I don't burn as many calories from a good workout as I used to, and my body needs less to lose weight. SOOOO WRONG!!!!
What I really was doing was increasing my muscles mass from doing Turbo Fire and Chalean Extreme dilligently, working out more in general, and then depriving my body of the calories it needed to function. No wonder the scale was stuck around 154 for a solid 4 weeks. What little calories I gave my body it held on to for dear life! So, Thanksgiving provided a good opportunity to eat more. The food wasn't horribly unhealthy, just plentiful. So I ate until I felt satisfied (which definitely took less food than it has in past years). I've been focusing on getting 1300 calories at least a day for over a week now (several days I went over that by a few hundred, but I was walking a lot and exercising). And guess what the result is...
I'm down to 151.6 lbs!
That's just ONE week of EATING MORE! I'm not using it as an excuse to have a cheeseburger and fries. But I'm just eating more healthy food, which I really think is the key. And it's a bit of a cushion for little indulgences like the frozen strawberry margarita I had with Randy last night on our date. I had been eating around this much in the past, but somehow the idea that I needed to starve myself got into my head for October/November. Well, I'm back to normal, so is the scale. Hopefully this lesson shows everyone that you really do need to eat enough, otherwise the scale will hate you and you'll just be sad and hungry... haha. 
Now I'm definitely not educated in all this stuff by anything more than what I read on here and pick up on my own. But I do know that I've seen much better success in the past week than I have in a month and the ONLY change I've made to my routine is adding a few hundred calories of healthy food back in. I've even worked out a bit less than usual, but still had my days of intense workouts for 30-60 minutes. I'm happy things are turning around, I'm excited to hit my goal of under 150 for Christmas. Since last year, I weighed 200 lbs on Christmas, a 50 lb loss since then (65 overall) would be an awesome Christmas gift.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Who Said New Years Resolutions Had To Start on January 1st?

I've already been thinking about New Years Resolutions, something that I've never really done in my entire life. I've been the type of person that if I wanted to change something, it started tomorrow, not January 1st. I did have a sort-of resolution last year to start losing weight and I did, but on Feb 15th once I had started my full-time job and relocated to Virginia for it. I've now lost 47 lbs since that day. And I hoped from last New Years Eve that I might be able to spend the next one with a boyfriend, and Randy and I have been going out since Oct 9th :) So, I've decided to make a few goals/resolutions to start right now to help me get rid of the last 15-ish pounds and put some things in perspective.
1.) EAT MORE! For most people, this isn't a problem that usually comes up. But for me, I admit I've been under my calories entirely too often, and not a little bit under. I had days where I came in around 1000. And dropping my calories that low worked for about 2 weeks when I lost like 4.5 lbs. And then it stopped dead. And I wondered why the scale wasn't moving, maybe it was the traveling or something. But no, I KILLED my metabolism! It couldn't survive daily workouts for 45-60 minutes AND 1000-1150 calories. So, I've changed my weight loss to 1 lb a week, which gives me 1270 calories and I'm eating all of them! And maybe even some exercise calories. I was eating all my calories before October, and I was losing steadily. Starvation mode is an ugly thing, and I'm never doing it again.
2.) Change up the exercise/intensity.  I'm nearing the end of Turbo Fire/Chalean Extreme hybrid. I have I think 6 weeks to go. So I'm planning to continue with that but I think I might need to incorporate running or something back into my routine. I've been avoiding the free gym in my office because I don't really like it and there are only 2 treadmills, one of which doesn't incline. So, I think I just need to suck it up and start going again 2 times a week, no excuses! Please hold me to this people... haha
3.) Focus on eating real, healthy, and fresh food. I admit, I'm a bad and lazy cook. I love things I can microwave in 3 minutes and eat. But I've been using Shakeology as a complete raplacement for protein with dinner and I'm going back to regular food I think. I'll still drink it a few times a week, but I can't swap a shake out for a real dinner. So I'm going to focus on having chicken or fish or some form of protein with a side of veggies for dinner. I was doing that and I was losing weight fine and getting enough protein and carbs and stuff. I'm going food shopping tonight to pick up a few things, lately my food shopping has been buying yogurt and soy milk and little else. Maybe getting a bit adventerous with cooking will help with eating better, because right now I'm just lazy.
4.) Take my time! I'd love to lose these 13 lbs to get me to 140 and a healthy weight in the next month, but it's not realistic. Given that I'm that close to a healthy weight, it's gonna come off slowly whether I like it or not. I admit I sabbotaged myself with eating too little and it's the reason I haven't lost more than a pound in the last month. But now I've got things back on track, and I'm shooting for 1 lb a week. That's it. At this pace, I'll reach my goal some time in February, which is what I wanted. Plenty of time to tone up, perhaps lose a little more, and let my skin bounce back before Spring and Summer and bikini wearing time!

So that's my gameplan, starting this week, not Jan 1st. Why waste 4 weeks of improving my habits and enjoying the holiday season. My goal is getting close, might as well start today :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Think I've Gone Overboard...

I think I've fallen into ANOTHER plateau... the last one was in August when I got stuck between 163-165 for a month. Now I'm stuck between 153-155 since my birthday weekend Oct 22nd. I've seen the scale dip as low as 152.8, but it jumps back up to 154ish as soon as I have a day of eating like a normal person... which is starting to worry me.
I'll be the first to admit, I can be kind of obsessive. And I'm someone who likes numbers. Combine this all with trying to lose a large amount of weight and it can be a successful but potentially dangerous combination. I've been looking back at my food diary from the past month. On days where it's not some special occasion (like a visit home to Jersey or date night with my recently acquired boyfriend), I average around 1100 calories. Which are tightly rationed, planned, counted and worked off after I get home from work in the evening. Breakfast is a Vitatop (100 calories), lunch is often a salad (350ish calories) and dinner is Shakeology and something small like veggies or a lean pocket that will usually total 400-500 calories. I don't really snack during the day, I drink coffee. And this information scares me a bit. It seriously looks like I'm starving myself! 
Maybe I am, I mean, 1100 calories isn't enough. I can't live off of a meal replacement shake forever.  I can't drink coffee instead of eating real food. I can't workout for an hour every day and expect my body to just magically burn off all the fat if I'm not feeding it. I swore I'd never get to this point... I'm only 13ish pounds away from my goal and a healthy weight. But I really don't think I can keep going as I am. 
So, I think I need a new gameplan. First off, I need to eat. On days where I let myself eat normally, it feels good, I don't go crazy, but since my body isn't used to the calories it holds onto them and I'm up a pound or two for a week. So, I need to get my body used to 1300-1400 calories a day again, which is what I was eating. I also need to start eating real food again. I would have chicken or fish or something for dinner, not a shake that replaces all of it. And perhaps my workouts need shaking up, I'm gonna get back into running at the gym two times a week like I used to. Turbo Fire has done wonders for my stamina (after a HIIT interval my breathing is back to normal in like 30 seconds even tho my HR is in the 170s). 
Hopefully mixing it up with help me get rid of these last few pounds that I want gone. I mean, realisitically I could stop here. I'm a size 8, I'm happy with how I look... kinda. Now that I've seen how far I can go, I really want to be confident in my bikini, not just passable. So, I'm gonna keep going because I know I can, However, I know for sure I can't keep going like this. It's not healthy in the long run and my body has been telling me that for weeks. I'm just finally realizing that I have to listen to it! Weight loss is a tricky thing... not enough committment and results are hard to get... too much focus and obsession can easily lead to the situation I'm in now. At least I see it and I'm working on it. Plus, I want to enjoy the holidays, starving myself isn't the way to do it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

If 92 Year Old Great Aunt Rita Notices, I'm Doing Something Right

Family can be awesome for weight loss, or turn my willpower into a non-existant afterthough whilst chowing down on yummy food. This weekend, it was both!
I had a family wedding shower for my cousin's finace yesterday, a rare chance to see all the women in my extended family on my mom's side. The last time I saw them was at my Grandmother's wake/funeral in May 2009 (so a solid year+ ago). I weighed 215 pounds and was a stressed out college Senior. When I went up to say hello to my relatives yesterday, a few mistook me for my sister! She's 130 pounds, size 4, and with all the weight that I've lost we look quite similar now. A few other relatives didn't realize it was me at all, they were like, "wait, Sara... Patty's daughter? WOW!" And then there is my Great Aunt Rita, essentially the family matriarch that keeps us all in line. I walked up to her to say hello and she looks at me and said "where is the other half of you?" LOL!!!!! In Aunt Rita terms, that's quite the complement. She also asked if I have a boyfriend yet, and I was incredibly happy to tell her yes for once! After a nod of approval and a hug, I was sent on my way, finally passing muster with her. 
At that same wedding shower, I did eat quite a bit of food and some cake, and the night before my parents and sister took me out to dinner and I had some delicious Shepherd's Pie. But it's nice to have a normal family weekend every now and then. Yes, the scale yelped in pain when I stepped on it this morning (water and normal healthy food is on the menu for the entire week to make up for it), but it was a great weekend. It was nice to show everyone (especially Great Aunt Rita) how much I've changed in a year. I was grinning the entire shower, between being fabulous in a wool mini skirt, knee high leather boots, and a cute top and cardigan and actually having a guy that I'm dating to tell people about.
At this point, I can worry about the scale all I want but it's important to keep it in perspective. I'm already SO TINY in comparison that I still look in the mirror and wonder, like Aunt Rita, where is the other half of me???? I'd love to hit my mini goals of 150 for Thanksgiving and 145 for Christmas. But I'm not going to miss out on family time and eating like a normal person... haha. So if I can get to those goals in time, fabulous. If not, I'll hit them soon after. I've got a whole winter of wearing cute clothes that cover up everything until i'm thrown into sundress and swimsuit weather (when I REALLY want to be at my goal of 130-140). February, March, April... whenever I get there, I'll be thrilled. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Dangers of Dessert

I'll be the first to admit that I have a sweet tooth. I always have since I was little and my granny would let me stir the cake mix or something when we'd bake together (I was about 2 in a high chair). I always wanted dessert after dinner, or lunch even. Holidays were dangerous because of all the desserts my family would have out on the table. And then I'd bring home leftovers. But I've realized something unfair, and terrible, and maddening about desserts...
It is hard to find a good dessert that doesn't double the calories from eating a sensible meal beforehand. It's a terrible tradition, really. I realized this today logging my sensible Thanksgiving lunch from the work cafeteria. I told the woman dolling out giant scoops of mashed potatoes and easily 5-6 slices of turkey per plate to keep the portions small. I ended up with one scoop of mashed potatoes, 2 slices of turkey with a drizzle of gravy, and a scoop of corn. Grand total was around 350 calories for the meal. And then it came with a slice of pie. Delicious apple pie with whipped cream on top (just a little). And then I try to enter that slice of heaven into my food diary. To my horror (altho not exactly surprise), the total calories for the meal jumped to 700. FROM PIE! I mean, it's bad enough I took the biscuit against my better judgement, but even that didn't break the food bank. It was THE PIE. So yummy... SO DEADLY!
So I think I'm gonna need a gameplan, because I've realize that despite all my amazing self control that I seem to have, I cannot say no to dessert. And that's kind of a problem.Given how many dinners and family meals and the like I'm going to be encountering between now and January. So we can take a few approaches here:
1.) LEARN TO SAY NO! Yeah, easier said than done. It's easy when I have to pay for it, I'm not shelling out another $5-7 for something of unknown calorie content. I'll skip it. But if I'm home or at a homemade meal, it's really hard not to take one. Which leads me to my next plan.
2.) PORTION CONTROL BABY! I do it with everything else, I still eat yummy meals, I'm not depriving myself, I just eat small portions. For some reason, that slips a bit with dessert. But if I can stick to one small brownie, one scoop of ice cream, or a tiny slice of pie, it's much better than trying to hold out and scarfing down a giant slice of pie out of weakness. Or I could...
3.) EARN IT! I can easily go home today, Turbo Fire my buns off and burn 400 calories and negate the pie! It's math! EASY! Work out = pie goes away. Except for that junk that I put in my body... oh the delicious junk. My tummy usually isn't happy either way. But it's feasible to trade off a workout for a dessert. As long as I don't go crazy and get a giant plate of desserts and eat them all (totally used to do that...), I can easily negate the dessert. It's like it never happened!!!

But it did, and it's not entirely healthy. And I know how much I love dessert. So, I might need to employ some combination of these tactics to get through the holidays. I'm thinking I'll skip dessert when it's not something I absolutely love, not worth the calories. I'll stick to small portions when possible and only sample a few things when I have a selection. And if I'm presented with something amazing that I cannot say no to (red velvet cupcakes and anything pumpkin fit into this category) I will live a little, eat my favorite things, and work it off. I can't stay on a diet forever, in fact I don't consider myself on one now. I just make sensible choices of what is worth putting in my body. And damn it, a red velvet cupcake belongs in my tummy!!! That doesn't mean that the extra poundage from consuming it belongs on my ass. 
Now that I have a gameplan... let's see how the next 2 months goes. I've got 7.8 lbs to reach my Christmas miracle goal of 145.  In between lies two Thanksgiving dinners, a couple dates with the guy I'm seeing, a holiday party, and everything Christmas.  Looks like I might be doing a lot of exercising... teehee