Thursday, March 31, 2011

concerning green lake and accomplishments

Last Monday I got to stroll Green Lake in Seattle with a friend. It was lovely.
I'm a dork and didn't even so much as take out my phone and get a picture. I need to get a better blogger brain!

It was a beautiful day; a tiny bit of sun, but overcast so it wasn't too hot. Pretty much perfect for a walk in my opinion. The loop around Green Lake is about 2.8 miles, all paved. There are so many people there! It's a fun place to people watch. People are walking their dogs, with friends, with babies, rollerblading, biking, jogging... I even saw a guy walking with what looked to be 25 pound weights in each hand. (his arms were HUGE)
I've been to Green Lake one other time with some other friends, a few years ago. I remember we got about a third of the way around and I had to ask them to turn around instead of finishing the loop. I blamed my flip-flops, (they were pretty uncomfortable) but the main reason was that I was hot, sweaty, and just plain wore out. I remember feeling so defeated because both of my friends at the time would have had no problem whatsoever finishing the loop, even on a hot day. I was so out of shape.
The other day I was talking to my brother and telling him that one of my goals was to be able to hike with my honey and keep up this summer. Last summer we didn't hike at all because I didn't even want to try. Before we were married we hiked a few times and my short legs (compared to his very long ones) and extra pounds meant I was seriously lagging behind. I love the outdoors, but dreaded every time he would suggest going somewhere because it might mean a trail, and me trying to keep up. I started making excuses or coming up with other things to do just so I could avoid the situation. That panic that would hit me when my husband suggested outings is the same panic I used to get when I would get together with certain friends, because they were so in shape and athletic, I knew even if our meet-up wasn't activity oriented, that it would probably still involve a good amount of walking. (to and from restaurant, around the city, so on and so forth...)  So one of the things I mentioned to my bro was that I don't want to have to have that hesitation when people ask me to do things, just because I'm worried about my physical inabilities. How many things have I missed out on because of my limitations?
Well, as luck would have it, I was planning on getting together with my friend and she suggested going to Green Lake. I remember my first thought after she asked was "how do I get out of this?!" because my mind was so used to trying to avoid these types of situations and the embarrassment/defeat they might bring.  I looked away and then looked back at her and thought, no- I'm doing it. I have been working out, eating better... I'm 22.4 pounds down for goodness sake! That's got to count for something, right? I can do this.
We had such an amazing day! Of course the company was awesome and the walk felt sooo good. (anything feels better than running, right? this couch to 5k is going to kill me.) I felt so accomplished when we got in the car that I had conquered the defeat that had been haunting me for years. It wasn't walking the 2.8 miles, it was more the fact that I was actually excited for the walk and finished it without that 'i'm-dying-when-will-this-be-over-can-someone-get-me-some-water-and-a-ride-back-to-the-car-please' kind of feeling. It felt... invigorating, if that's not too cliche of a word to use.
I'm loving these little, tiny, unexpected victories. Do you have any tiny or unexpected victories that keep you going?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

treadmill inspiration


 Just thought I'd show you my little treadmill set up.  Unpredictable weather here in the northwest and one too many sex offender notifications in the mail means I will be doing the bulk of my running indoors for the time being. Because my bland wall isn't the most motivating sight to see when I'm huffing and puffing away, I decided to make myself a little inspiration wall. I wanted to make a more elaborate collage-type thing, but the other day I was wanting to get my workout in and sorely needed the motivation, so I ripped a few pages out of my magazines and taped 'em on up.  When I'm in a running part of the workout and just wanting to quit, I pretend I'm the girl second in from the left. Doesn't she make running look easy? Someday, someday...
And of course, on the far left, Miranda Lambert. I just love her.  Her looks, her voice, her attitude. She's the whole package.
Do you keep visual cues or motivators for yourself? I'm constantly pulling stuff out of magazines and sticking them in my planner. (pictures, quotes, etc..) Or perusing clothing websites and dreaming of all the choices there are in regular (non-plus) sizes.
Or staring in the mirror and realizing if you squint and turn your head to the side, you can see the beginnings of what might actually be a waist...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

perfect 10

Week 10:
Weight: 182.6
+/-: -5.2
This week, I feel like I kicked butt. I worked out every day this week, a couple of days even going for an hour or hour and a half. The best part? I’m starting to crave activity. I thought it would take me a long time to get to that point, because I have never been an active person. Working out is still a challenge, I’m still very out of shape, but I can feel it get a tiny bit easier each time. (and when I feel discouraged I just feel my biceps, haha) I also learned that variety helps me with staying motivated. I always thought that was just something people said but that didn't apply to me: “oh, just throw some variety in there, don’t let yourself get bored.” Instead of getting on my Wii every day, or only doing the treadmill, I’m trying to mix it up a little. I’m finding that on days I do the c25k program, I kind of miss my Wii, so I’m excited about it the next day. And then the next day, I’m excited about the treadmill when I go back to it. (Excited being a relative term here. Come on folks, I’m not one of those people.)(Yet.) And then other days, when I'm feeling like a glutton for punishment, I put in a Jillian Michaels DVD. Ugh, she's so tough!
Another motivator for me this week was the fact that, as of week 9’s weigh in, I was 3.3 lbs away from losing 10% of my body weight. (FYI for those of you not in Weight Watchers: 10% of your body weight is one of the first goals they have you go for, so that if you have a lot to lose you don’t get overwhelmed by a huge goal.)  Remember in my first post, on my way to a new me,  when I mentioned how bad I wanted that 10% so that I could get the key chain?

key chain, baby!
sorry for the crappy iphone photo.

Technically, 10% for me is 20.5 lbs and right now I am at 22.4 pounds lost! Even more exciting than the pounds lost and the key chain (I know, I know, what could be more exciting?) is the way I’m feeling right now.  In on my way to a new me I talked about how I’ve never really been a goal setter or a go getter. Part of it was laziness, part of it was just thinking I’d probably never get there, so why try? This week I had an epiphany. Since starting weight watchers one of my goals was to run a 5k. I kind of enjoy running (or, the way I do it, slow jogging, with a lot of walking, haha) and I think it would be fun to get out there in a real race with other people. My epiphany this week? I don’t want to just run one, I want to win one. I want a picture of me, hands in the air, medal around my neck. Why not? Other people do it all the time. What’s stopping me?
Okay, so I may never win a medal, and if I don’t I won’t be heartbroken, but I’m sure gonna try. I’m tired of making ‘just’ goals.
-oh, I just want to be able to run a 5k, I don’t care if I’m last
-I just want to be able to shop somewhere other than the plus sizes
-I just want to eat better.

No, no more. I can do this! I am not less than anyone else unless I let myself be that way. I want to do big things!
-I want to win a 5k. and maybe a 10k.
-I want to be a single digit size proportionate to my height. (I would love to be a size 2, those jeans would never be too long! Too long jeans, the bane of my existence, sigh…)
-I want to eat healthy, and when I have kids, I want to be a great example.

This week wasn’t just exciting mentally, but physically. I’m feeling strong, and energized. (remember my biceps? I’m not going to let you forget, haha) I work at a 911 center, so I am chained to a desk for 10 hours. (Literally, our headsets are connected to the desk. If you’re not on break, you’re not going anywhere.) We have adjustable desks, so they can be set to your height, or even raised so you can stand at your desk if you’d like. Before 2 weeks ago, I’d maybe raised my desk twice at the most. These past two weeks I’ve been standing at my desk more than I’ve been sitting. Like, probably 08/20. (granted, I do lean on the desk sometimes) I’m not feeling bounce-off-the-walls energetic, but I can definitely tell a difference in my energy levels, which is so exciting!

I realize this post and the last are very rose-colored-glassesish, I hope it’s not too over the top. (blame the anti-depressants, haha) With all of positives I've been experiencing I'm trying to prepare my mind for the inevitable plateaus and possible negatives.  Just running 'what-if' scenarios through my head, like, 'what if I have a 12 week plateau?' I was reading on the Weight Watchers forums about a lady who had a crazy long plateau like that. That would be so frustrating! So I'm trying to make sure I'm keeping non-pound goals in mind as well, so that I have other things to strive for and to gauge my success if (and when) the scale stops moving.  Things that I'm trying to focus on other than the pounds are: how my clothes are fitting (getting a little looser!), my energy levels, and my progress on the couch to 5k program (week 3 is hard!!).
Have you ever had a plateau, or a run of gains? How did you keep motivated?

it's been too long: a recap

I’m back! I hate that I’ve been gone so long, the past few months have been crazy.  Forgive me?
As for my time away, there were some low points, but overall it’s been very, very good. And not just weight good, (oh, we’ll get to that) but just… good. No- great, I’ll say it.

So, to make a long story short, the reason for my silence started because I had some anxiety/panic issues.  This has been simmering under the surface for awhile, but it finally came to a head resulting in me going to the doctor and getting some anti-depressants. I knew things weren't perfect, but until I'd been on the meds for awhile I didn't realize how bad things had gotten. Now? I feel awesome. I keep walking around the house telling my husband, "I feel so... normal. I'm like a normal person again! I love it!" I took for granted how amazing it feels to be able to think clearly without the fog of depression hanging over me. Meds + husband/family/friend support + lots (and lots) of prayer have made me feel like a whole new girl.  God is always good, but I'm feeling especially blessed right now.

So, without further ado, the long awaited week-by-week recap of my time away:
Week 3:
Weight: 193.8
+/-: -5.4 lbs
I lost 5.4 lbs because I pretty much wasn’t eating. (Probably on average 10 out of my 29 daily points) This weigh in was the day after my anxiety issues peaked, so for most of that week, I was too nervous/nauseous to really think about eating.  So, while not the greatest reason for (or healthiest) weight loss, I'm not complaining. I'll keep that 5.4 loss, thankyouverymuch!

Week 4:
Weight: 193.2
+/-: -.6
Because of the issues from the week before, I decided I was going to be a little more lax in my eating, just to “get back into it.” Happily, because I was still in the ‘points’ mindset, I still lost .6 lbs, even though I was hardly tracking and not eating as great as the weeks before. I thought I was going to gain, so a .6 loss was awesome! The end of this week was also when the medicine started taking affect, so I think this new found ‘normal’ was good for my weight loss.

Week 5:
I totally skipped this meeting. My birthday was the 15th which I spent at my mom and dad’s. I ate out 3 times in two days, and my mom cooked me some amazing food. I tried to be reasonable, but come on, it was my birthday! All I wanted was a Three Rivers burger, Pacific Pizza, and my mom’s mashed potatoes. Obviously I don’t know because I didn’t weigh in, but I'm sure I gained. 
Plus I was exhausted from the trip (Thursdays are my 'Monday', so on meeting days my sleep schedule is a little wonky) so I figured it was better to get some sleep.
Um… and my honey got me a Wii and Wii Fit for my birthday, and I just really wanted to set it up and play. Okay, there, I said it- I just wanted to play with my birthday present!

Week 6:
Weight: 188.8
+/-: -4.4 lbs
LOSER! I couldn't believe that even with my birthday binge, I was able to get it back together for a loss. This was exciting for me because it showed me that even when I had 'birthday week'-type situations that I had the power to get myself back on track. I’ve felt pretty positive through this whole process, but that was definitely a high point. Kind of a ‘nothing can stop me!’ feeling.

Week 7:
Weight: 189.4
+/-: + .6 lbs
Loser has a totally different meaning this time, haha. I wasn’t happy with the gain, of course, but I handled it pretty well. I kind of decided I was just going to forget about it and move on. Honestly, 4 months ago I was not like that at all. I was the queen of not letting it go. Changes, changes everywhere!
I think part of the reason for the gain was that I wasn’t eating great foods. I was staying within my points, but ate out a few times and ate generally crappy at home. Also, 1)it was that time of the month, (I totally whispered that in case there are any men around or reading...) and 2) this was the week that I started working out more. My leader (who weighed me in that week) said sometimes when you start working out you gain.
Or it could be the fact that I wanted to eat EVERYTHING IN SIGHT that week. (see #1 above)
Others have excuses, I have my reasons why. (If you can name that song you’ll be my favorite.)

Week 8:
Weight: 187.6
+/-: -1.8
There we go, that’s more like it. I tried to be a little better about my food this week. I'm sure not craving chocolate and salt and every bad thing ever made really helps with that.

Week 9:
Weight: 187.8
+/-: +.2
Uh, oops. Another gain. I’d love to say it’s because I started the Couch-to-5k program (I did, can you believe it? And I love it… when I’m done running. During the running? not so much) and I gained all sorts of crazy muscle, but I’m pretty sure it’s because I wasn’t very disciplined with my eating. (Are we noticing a pattern here?) On a positive note, I spoke during the “how’d your week go?” portion of the meeting for the first time. I had to share the fact that on Monday of that week I had discovered a small line of muscle definition on my arm!! I’ve never had muscle before, this is so exciting!! (<- note the overuse of exclamation points, this is a big deal people.)
I made my husband take a picture of my unflexed and flexed arms.
And I also make him feel my biceps like, every day.

muscle copy

Does anybody want tickets to the gun show?
Oh yeah- I just went there.
I went there and I bought property.

Whew, that's a lot of ground for one little post. This week's weigh in totally deserves it's own post, so stay tuned!