Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's Not Rocket Science, It's Harder!

So I know Rocket Science, I spent my days playing with satellites and other complicated stuff. But weight loss is somehow eluding me the past few months, it shouldn't be this hard!!!
I realized something last night when I was with my personal trainer. I had been to the gym for an hour on Monday, I had eaten hardly 700 calories by time I got the gym last night, and I was starting to feel tired during warmup! The trainer hadn't even gotten to me yet! When he did, good lordy! I thought I was going to pass out and throw up and die all at the same time! And he said he knew exactly what I was doing wrong. It wasn't that I was out of shape, he said I'm actually in pretty decent shape. It's that I'm exhausted and starving myself! My response was... "I'm eating what MFP tells me to eat" and he had a pretty clear answer to why that isn't going to work for me anymore.
Basically MFP is assuming I'm lazy, and that is indeed what I put in here since my activity level is "Sedentary".  I had 1270 calories to lose 1 lb per week. And I wasn't losing that one pound either, I'd go down a bit, and then when I'd spend a day or two eating more normally, I'd put on a pound. I'd workout and have hardly any energy. I'd given up on running because I would just be exhausted after 5 minutes. My daily routine might be sedentary, but my metabolism isn't anymore. I can't survive on 1270 calories!
Clearly, something needed to change here! And I'm happy that my personal trainer is willing to work with me to do it. So I've got a gameplan that will hopefully help me get rid of the last 10-15 lbs. How I was doing it worked for a good 9 months, now that I've stalled, someting has got to go.
1.) EAT MORE! I've changed my activity level to "Active" and now I have 1530 calories a day. That definitely doesn't mean eating more ice cream and cookies. It's really so I can get more protein in my diet. I've been neglecting it lately, and it was working for me when I was focusing on it more. I'm planning a food schedule more like this:
Breakfast: Breakfast sandwich, or peanut butter on an english muffin, or Kashi Go Lean cereal in greek yogurt.
Snack: Something with protein or a Kashi bar
Lunch: I've got options, but either a salad or chicken sandwich with side salad would be good.
2 Snacks: Eat around 2pm and 4pm so I have energy for a workout after work
Dinner: Fish or chicken, and veggies
Snack: Something tasty, preferably with protein
So it looks like protein is the new focus. I'm not doing any Atkins diet or anything, I don't believe in diets with their own names. But I'm going to make a conscious effort to eat less empty carbs and add some protein in throughout the day for more energy.
2.) Stop killing myself with half-ass workouts. I asked my trainer yesterday how many times a week I should be working out.  He said 3-4! I've been averaging 6 a week when I don't have things interrupting my schedule. It's better to get 3-4 quality, longer workouts in than a half-ass workout every day because I'm too sore, tired, and hungry to put any effort into it. So I'm aiming for 4 times a week, taking a rest day if I killed it the day before (like the day after a training session...), and aiming for an hour at least when I do workout.
3.) Don't focus on calories so much. I'm gonna try to focus on the quality of food I'm eating and the protein, fat, and carbs in them. And trying to eat more often. I shouldn't be eating when I'm already hungry, every 2-3 hours is a more reasonable schedule.
No guarantee this will work, but I'm giving it a shot since what I'm doing right now isn't working and it doesn't seem healthy. I can't imagine how on the Biggest Loser last night, they are eating barely 1100 calories for the day and working out 8 hours! I barely had the energy for my hour of training yesterday eating more than 1200! It seems like on here, I'm not the only one who has realized that at this point in the weight loss, eating more to lose more is the way to go. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Old Habit Die Hard (Especially in Southern California)

I went into this business trip with a game plan. I was spending 5 days in Southern California, where healthy food is plentiful, the hotel had a gym, and even if I didn't count calories, I was going to try to pick healthy food.
Easier said than done!
First I didn't count on being so tired, traveling across country just takes a lot out of me and I was basically tired all week even though I stayed on East Coast time and went to bed around 8pm every night.  The other thing I didn't count on was how not having to pay for food would change my thinking! I really wanted to try some yummy food while I was there, and the company was paying! $71 a day is a lot... so I ate full breakfast, a decent lunch... and then came dinner. I ended up drinking every night I was out there, partly because they have great beer in Southern CA. And partly because the business side of the trip was NOT going well at all, therefore Happy Hour because a common occurance. And of course my food decisions are never that great when alcohol is involved. Def didn't stick to my eating healthy plan most of the time. I had a bit of a "food bender" on Thursday night. Crab cakes and 2 beers, then a small ice cream, then another beer and a small salad, and then ANOTHER beer and a giant piece of red velvet cake. I couldn't resist... haha.
But, that's in the past, I had a really fun week otherwise when I was out there. It was nice to have 70s and sunny weather, now that the East Coast is in a deep freeze! And I'm going to the gym today after work, despite having some allergy issues from the change in climate. It's just one week, and the scale will adjust back to what it should be in a few days.
I'm starting to realize that as important as reaching my goal weight is, I'm not in a huge rush to do it. Things like business trips and weddings come up and I don't want to restrict myself so much that I don't enjoy it. I've only got 10 lbs ot go, 10 stubborn pounds but it's not a huge number. Summer is still 5 months away. I could lose a measly 2 lbs a month and still get there! That doesn't mean I'll slack off, but it's at least a nice cushion. I'm 95% happy with how I look now, I'm a size 6, small or medium in tops, and I seriously feel TINY when I look in the mirror. I just want to lose these last 10 or so pounds so that my muffin top goes away... hahaha. No fun being in size 6 jeans with that hanging over the top! 
So, my goal for the next few weeks is to get myself under 150 for good (I saw it once 2 weeks ago and then California happened and I'm up above 152, but that won't be for long). And to eat and workout when it's feasible. I won't be skipping the wedding cake, but I don't need to pig out (which happened a bit in Cali). February should be a pretty easy month with only Valentine's Day on the calendar to mess up the routine. Anyway, no point in stress when I'm happy about things. I'll get there soon, I just don't have to live in a bubble to do it :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Joy Of Cooking (And Working Out)

Now that I've had a bit of time to recover from the madness of Christmastime and all the temptations that have come with it, I can focus on how I want to start the new year so I can finally reach my goal. No one is perfect, so even if my New Years Resolution isn't  solely to lose weight (like it was last year), there are definitely still things I can improve on. The last 10-15 lbs are definitely going to put up a fight, and it's clear that they have been the past 2 weeks.
To start with, I think I'm actually starting to ENJOY COOKING! That's one I didn't see coming. It always was such a chore to have to prepare food. It had to cook, I had to pay attention to it (and I have a short attention span and like to multitask), it burns, it's expensive... blah blah excuses. This year I'm making an effort to cook! And I've realized since I'm only one person, I can make enough one night to last me a few meals. So here's some of the things I've been cooking
- fresh fish, and I get with something yummy already done to it like crab stuffed or coconut crusted... mmm mmm
- roasted potatoes (SO easy, and lots of leftovers)
- Chili! I got a crock pot for Christmas, so easy
- chicken breast (yes, I know it's the easiest thing ever, but it was a step up for me)
- ground turkey breast for tacos and meat sauces
I'd say that's a pretty good start, and it incorporates protein in almost all of it, which I never liked to cook before since it's a bit harder than just making some pasta. So I'm resolving to avoid eating out of my freezer unless it's freshly made leftovers. No more frozen meals, altho frozen veggies and such are OK to add as sides. 

My other resolution is to make use of my new gym! I've got the personal training once a week, but I'm really trying to get there at least 4 days a week now. As much as I love Turbo Fire, it's just not doing it for me anymore. It's not a challenge at all, and I don't want my body getting used to things. So I'm going to the gym as often as I can to take advatage of a big variety of ways to workout. It's fun too, I like being around other people who are working out, it's motivation to work harder. I went last night, I'm going tonight, and I might wake up and go tomorrow morning. I'll definitely work out in the morning at least, it's just a matter of where.
So those are the two things I'm really focusing on. I want the scale to keep moving (with the new workout routine it's a bit stuck this week) and I think upping my game is gonna work. My body is stubborn, giving it frozen "healthy" food and working out for 30 minutes just isn't gonna do it anymore. It worked when I was 200 lbs, now I'm 150 and it'll take effort to get down to 135. The important thing is that I really enjoy it, working out and cooking aren't chores anymore. They're just part of a new lifestyle that I'm gonna keep up with.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Less Than 10 Pounds To Go!!

Well, after months of bouncing around in the 150s, eating awesome, eating terribly, working out at the gym with my trainer, skipping a week of workouts for the holidays, and getting on the scale every morning hoping that it will finally show a new decade... this morning it did!
149.8 lbs!!!!!!! WHOOOOOOOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!
I almost didn't think I'd get here. I hit the 150s the first week of October. A full 3 months later I'm now seeing the 140s. This has definitely been the hardest decade to get through. And I fully expect moving through the 140s to be equally hard (at least Christmas and stuff isn't in the middle there!).  But I also learned quite a bit while struggling through the 150s.
First off, EAT! I don't mean cookies and Christmas pies and everything delicious like that (which I admit, I totally ate) but I also had a solid month where I wasn't eating much. I'd replace my dinner with a shake regularly, never ate more than 1200 calories exceprt for a cheat day on occasion, and it just wasn't doing anything good for me.
So now that I've gotten my eating squared away, life is better... haha. I've been really focusing on cooking FRESH DELICIOUS FOOD! And ya know what, it's not hard! That's another major change I've started to make, more fresh food. I've made chili, ground turkey breast for meat sauce and taco filling, baked fish, roasted potatoes. It's all so simple! And it's SO much better for me than frozen meals and protein shakes. I've been getting 1300-1400 calories of quality food in my system, with a little treat here and there. 
On top of that, I recently changed up my workout routine. I was getting used to Turbo Fire and it just didn't have the impact it used to back in Sept and Oct. So I joined my local gym, signed up for the personal training, and it's really helped! I love using all the different cardio and strength machines, and it's great having someone to guide me, and more importantly, PUSH ME! I used some sit up machine last night where I was literally hanging in the air. And I was freaked out (I don't like heights....) but the trainer encouraged me and I did it! TWO SETS! It's nice being in a social environment instead of my living room. And let's face it, I need to get out more as it is... haha.
So, some magical combination of food and exercise got me to 149.8 lbs this morning. And I feel confident about where I'm at. I don't know if it'll be another 3 months before I'm writing a blog about reach my goal healthy weight of 140. I might do it faster... or slower. But I will be there before it's summertime. Ideally I want to be at my FINAL goal of 135 by summertime, Memorial Day when the pool opens. I'm gonna use everything I've learned to lose the first 65 lbs to lose the last 10-15 lbs. And with everyone on MFP being SOOOO supportive, I know I'll get there. Size 4 jeans and a hot bikini, here I come!

Monday, January 10, 2011

They Weren't Lying About The Last 10 Pounds

I definitely had a great week last week, there's no denying that. I kept my snacking and bad eating to a minimum, I worked out every day Mon-Thurs, and I logged a pound lost on Friday morning (down to 150.3 lbs now). I thought I had some good momentum going for this next week and I might finally see 149 on the scale, it's insane the power that number has in my mind.
But I lost it a bit. Friday I had Thai food with Randy on our date night... and 3 beers. That by itself isn't terrible. But then Saturday I COULD NOT STOP EATING! It was horrible. I slipped back into old habits where I would eat when I was bored. I was at my aunt's house babysitting my cousins ALL day, stuck inside, with nothing but a stocked kitchen. I arrived to breakfast food from Panera, so a bagel and half a souffle became lunch. Then I found the coconut  creme chocolates. Then the popcorn. Then dinner of pasta and a sweet potato (OK by itself), but then I had white rice and seaweed. And then dessert was coconut sorbet. And another chocolate. And some coffee almonds Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh
There, I confessed to every bite I can move on now. I went to the gym Sunday morning and glued my feet to a Crossramp machine for an entire hour, then I went on a 2 hr shopping trip: burned 1200 calories. I feel a bit better. But the scale this morning is still a mark of my transgressions (up 2 lbs over Friday, thank you TOM and a tummy ache). 

I'm now realizing how darn hard it is going to be to get down into the 130s. I've been SO CLOSE tothe 140s for like a month now, with being 0.3 lbs away on Friday I thought I had finally done it. And then I sabboaged myself. I was OK with indulging a bit with Randy, but I didn't need to eat any of the stuff I did on Saturday, and sit on my butt all day on top of it (I seriously barely got off their couch). So I need to make sure that I go into these siutations with a game plan. I'm spending half this week out in San Diego on a business trip. Airport food, airplane snacks, probably eating out a majority of my meals. I need to resolve to keep the eating under control and get some workouts in (the hotels have gyms, thank goodness).
I knew these last 10 pounds were going to put up a fight, but I didn't realize what a battle it was going to be! It will be helpful that I have my trainer to keep me in line and give me some pointers, but losing weight is like 80% food. And I've been having a bit of trouble with that side of things. So, here is my public declaration that I'm getting that stuff in order and resisting temptation! I don't plan on giving up everything, but I've been indulging in situations where it's just not necessary. I'm not gonna start turning Date Night into salad and no drinking night, but the rest of the week I don't need to be eating crap. I can't have this pattern of doing well during the week and erasing it every weekend continue, at least now. I've at least shown myself that I can handle maintenance... the problem is that I don't want to maintain right now! lollll 
This blog entry has ended up being a bit of a vent, but it helps when I put things in writing. And I guess it shows people that this isn't easy, and it's all something we deal with every day. So, I encourage you to do the same, look at your habits and see what you can fix. I'm gonna be working hard on that the next few months, so that when summer rolls around, I'll be ready for it :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Personal Training and the Stairmaster of Doom

I made a bit of a crazy decision at the end of December. I had just joined a gym, after losing weight on my own for the first 11 months, and I had a consultation with a personal trainer. I wasn't planning at all to sign up for anything, I just wanted to see what he said about my progress. I got an A+, but I was really interested in how much further a trainer might be able to take me.
First off, I do believe that I could finish what I started without all this training business. I have a gym membership, but there are a lot of machines and stuff in that gym! I look at some of them and I'm like, what are they even supposed to do? How the heck do they work? What muscles?I'm sure I could have figured it out from trial and error (except I couldn't figure out how to even turn on one of the treadmill models, so that's an issue... haha). Anyway, I would have gotten to my goal, eventually I'm sure. By summer is what I'm shooting for. 
So in comes the idea of a personal trainer. I know a lot of people on this site don't believe in spending money on such a thing, or question how useful it is. So this is just based on my experience. It's something I'm willing to spend money on (and it's not that pricey either, $100 a month for 3/4 sessions, on top of $20 a month for gym access, cheap).  I like the idea of being held accountable every week for a buttkicking of a workout. I know at home I'll do what's comfortable, like Turbo Fire. I'll skip working my abs because it hurts, I'll skip some of the strength training because I find it painfully boring. But with a training workout, it's not an option. He will stand there counting until I do every single rep, even if I'm making weird faces and whining
So, I guess I'm paying for someone to tell me what to do, but I like that he tells me what other workouts to do the rest of the week. It's starting off with just do 3-4 good cardio sessions a week, where I really get my heart rate up. Turbo Fire at home is good, or come to the gym and use the cardio machines. Once we get further, I'll add in strength training on my own. He said he can get me to 25% body fat by April. That would be amazing. I think I can do it, as long as I keep the scale moving in the right direction. I definitely have fat left to burn (hello flat stomach, are you out there somewhere???), and I'm willing to keep myself in line with eating and indulgences (I'm actually happy that Christmas is over). 
So enter the Stairmaster of Doom! Last night was my first time on one of those things. And it really is a stairway to NOWHERE! And I feel like without an extra push, that's how my weight loss journey would continue. I've been losing a pound or two a month since October, I admit a little bit of my drive had gone out of me, and I'd just be climbing those steps forever and not really getting to my goal. But I'm happy with this decision, I think it gets me off the Stairmaster of Doom and onto a path to somewhere. I don't really know where I'll end up after a year of training once a week. 135 lbs? 130 lbs? A tiny hot chick in a bikini with a flat stomach (oh I sure hope that's in my future...). I don't plan on taking it too far, I like my curves, I just don't like my curves when they still jiggle... haha.
So that's my rationale for this decision. I just wanted to get it out there why I did it since my family in particular was questioning my motives. I look forward to my training each week, I'm bummed I'll miss next week for a business trip. But now I'm confident that I'll reach 140 by summer, maybe even by Eastertime! I'm SO close to breaking into the 140s right now, I'm thinking that by Friday this week I'll see it. I was 150.7 lbs this morning... whoot! So onward and upward, but not on the Stairmaster of Doom. This time I'm going somewhere.