Bob Harper, Where Are You When I Need You???


Last week I worked hard and I pushed myself further than I thought I could. I upped my strength training both in intensity and duration. I did more cardio than ever before. I was really hoping that it would be the week that I would hit my next big goal. Every day I hit my burn and most days I went well over my burn. I ate at or below my calorie goal every day. When I got on the scale Sunday, I was totally disappointed. I needed to lose at least 4.6 pounds, but I was hoping for 5. When I saw 2.4 I was crushed. I was sad and disappointed. I felt more defeated than I have in a while. I wanted so badly to hit that mark, that goal, that number that I was temporarily blinded to all else. I saw only the failure, not the success. I lost 2.4 pounds in 6 days. That is almost half a pound a day, at home, on my own. I don’t have a nutritionist, a trainer, or a food plan. I don’t have a gym membership. I’m here with my Wii and my computer and I’m figuring it out on my own. I am working hard and doing my best. It is always the right way? No. I make mistakes. Maybe I would do better if I had professional help. Maybe. But that’s not in the cards for me right now. I can’t afford it, nor do I have access to it. So, I don’t focus on what I don’t have, what I can’t do. I focus on what I have and what I can do. I am doing the best that I can with what I have. I know people who pay a lot of money for a gym membership that they never use. I know people who pay for a weight loss food plan that they cheat on. I know people who buy expensive exercise equipment that collects dust or holds clothes. I don’t have those options and if I did I don’t know that I’d use them. I don’t want anyone telling me what to eat when because I need to learn how to eat for myself. I don’t feel coordinated enough to use most exercise equipment and I’m still a shy exerciser, so I don’t know that I’d go to the gym. Maybe some day when I feel more capable and no longer afraid of breaking the machines with my fat butt. The one fitness accessory that I WOULD absolutely LOVE to have is a trainer. I would love to have Bob Harper come to see me, even if only for a day or two. I would love to know how do some of the exercises that I fear I am doing wrong. I would love to know how hard to push and where to work more. Sometimes I am so hard on myself and sometimes I know I don’t so as much as I can. It’s hard to be your own coach. I know that working out with someone else makes me push harder. I am competitive 🙂 I think having someone standing over my shoulder saying yes, no, more, harder, faster, etc. etc. would be good for me. I would love to have a basic guideline that says do this and you will success. Yes, I am succeeding on my own, and yes, I will continue to succeed, but a little extra guidance couldn’t hurt, right? Either way, tomorrow is another weigh in. I am so hoping that I lost at least 3 pounds. If I did you may hear me screaming and cheering. If I didn’t, I may need to do some adjustments to my routine, but I won’t be defeated. Any loss is a success. I will keep moving on, keep movin on!

Push


Today I was running. Take a moment to let that sink in before I move on. Today, I, in all of my fatness, was running. No, I wasn’t running late, running behind, or running from trouble. I wasn’t running after the ice cream truck or running into McDonald’s. I was exercising and as part of my exercise routine I was running. That in itself is an amazing feat. When I was at my most fit, which arguably was never really all that fit, I did not run. As a child, I never ran unless I was forced and even then I only did it half-assed. Seriously. I am not a runner. I never in my life thought that I would enjoy running. For the last few weeks I have been running several times a week in short bursts. I run for about 1 or 2 minutes at a time several times in between other exercises. Today I pushed it a little further and ran for several minutes in a row. It was, as expected, incredibly difficult. My chest tightened up, my heart raced, my legs cramped, and I poured sweat. In short, I felt like I would die. The first time. I did a long run at the beginning of my EA Active routine. Then I did a medium run in the middle. It went ok. At the end of the routine, the final exercise was another long run. I ran. I hurt. I poured sweat. I cramped. I almost gave up. I thought of my bad left ankle with the arthritis and the bursitis. I thought of my bad right calf with the compartment syndrome. I thought of my bad back with the arthritis and the compressed vertebrae. I thought of the sheer magnitude of my weight and the fact that NO ONE thought I could run at this weight. I thought of all this and for a split second I almost stopped…BUT then I thought of my strength, my will, and my stubbornness. I thought of all the people who are watching me and cheering me on. I thought of all the people who are waiting for me to fail so they can say, “I told you so”. I thought of all the strong people who have come before me and I thought of my daughter who is learning from everything I do. Within a few seconds, a hundred thoughts passed through my mind. Beside my tv, I have a picture of my wedding day. It is me and Shawn with my Gram. I look at it every day. I like to think that Gram is still with me. I think she watches over us and keeps us safe. I feel her give me a nudge every now and then. Sometimes I hear her say, “Use your head girl. God gave you a brain for a reason.” Believe it or not, but that actually makes me smile. I remember when it used to piss me off when she’d say something like that, but now it makes me smile. Even when she was pissed at me, she still loved me. Even when she thought I was acting stupid, she always believed I was smart. Today I was so tired and I hurt so much, but as I was running I kept looking at that picture and thinking, “Help me Gram” and suddenly I had a little burst of energy and I pushed a little further and I finished my run. I felt sore and worn out, but also a little stronger and very proud. I know that I am capable. I know that I did the run, but I also really believe that I had a little help, especially there at the end. I said, “Thank you Gram”. I miss Gram a lot, some days I miss her so much it is hard to focus on anything. Yet I know that she’s still around, and she’s still pushing me and cheering for me and loving me. I know that I am blessed, tired and sweaty, but blessed 🙂

YOU Make The Choice


It is your choice. YOUR choice. Just like it is MY choice. You can support me. I can support you. We can encourage each other all day every day, but in the end it all comes down to choices: yours and mine. Today I woke up stiff and sore. I woke up with no energy and a bad attitude. No rhyme or reason for my mood, but here it is. I have been talking about exercising for 2 hours, but here I am, still sitting on my ass doing nothing. That’s the choice I have been making so far today. I know that I need to do strength training today. I also need to shower and get ready to go to the grocery store. Tick tock goes the clock and time keeps stepping on, yet I have accomplished nothing. I am reminded of how, not so long ago, just showering and getting dressed took about all the energy I had. I am reminded that, again, not so long ago, I couldn’t do 15 minutes of SLOW walking without feeling like I was going to die. I have come so far since then. I am so much stronger. I didn’t get stronger by sitting on my ass moping. I made the choice to get up and move. I made the choice to keep moving even when it hurt, even when I was tired, even when I didn’t want to. I made the choice to change my life and myself and I am SO glad that I did. No matter how much anyone loves me and wants me to be healthy, they cannot make the choice for me. Every time someone asks me my secret for weight loss I laugh. EVERY time. I tell everyone the same thing. There is NO secret. There is no magic pill. There is simply the truth. You make the right choices, every day, every time. You eat right. You move more. You don’t get to take the easy way out. You don’t stuff your face full of anything you feel like eating. You eat portion sizes and in the right proportions. You eat more vegetables than anything. You eat lean meat. You drink a lot of water. That’s a big one because another big one is you sweat. Yep, you gotta sweat. You sweat and then you sweat some more and then you drink some water so you can sweat some more. You make the right choices every day and every day you notice things starting to change. Your clothes get looser. You can walk a little further. You can move a little faster. You can reach a little further. You feel better. You breathe better. You look better. It doesn’t happen over night, but it does happen. The only way for it to happen is by you making the decision. Yes there are fad diets. There are surgeries and pills and drinks that can make you lose weight, and yes they do work for some people, but the shocking and sad reality is that most of those people gain the weight back. The best way to lose the weight is to do the work to take it off. It works because not only do you earn every pound that you lose, but also because it changes your life. Eating right becomes a habit. Exercise becomes more than work, it becomes a part of your life, part of your routine, and you actually miss it if you skip a day. When you diet, yes you probably will lose weight, but then at some point you stop dieting and usually all the weight comes back, if not more. When you start eating right for life, you never stop eating right. When you learn to balance food and exercise you learn what is right for your body. Last week I ate Cadbury creme eggs and ice cream and I lost weight. I didn’t eat a whole box of chocolates. I ate one piece. I didn’t eat a quart of ice cream, I ate a cup and I enjoyed every bite. I got what I wanted and I fit it into my calories/carbs/fat ratio for the day. It’s not about being deprived. It’s about making the right choices. Now its time for me to get off my ass and exercise. That’s MY choice. What’s yours?

689


What will you be doing 689 days from now? Do you have any plans? Any goals? I hope that I know what I will be doing. Hopefully I will be celebrating. If I keep hitting my burn every day and eating the way I have been, if all goes well, I will hit my goal weight in 689 days. On the one hand, 689 days seems so far away, but it is less than 2 years from now. It took me many years to get this heavy and it is going to take me over two years (start to finish) to lose it. I’m okay with that. I am working for every single ounce that I lose. I am working so hard to lose this weight and I hope that means that I will keep it off FOREVER! Because I have worked and fought so hard to lose every single pound, I appreciate it so much. I am changing my life and it is a life long change. Yes it will take me a long time to lose the weight, but it will better the entire rest of my life. 689 is the goal, but in reality it is just another day. Don’t get me wrong, if I wake up on that day at my goal weight then I WILL celebrate. BUT, if I hit my goal a week before or a month after, I will still celebrate. I will do a REALLY crazy happy dance. I may even record it and put it on YouTube for all the world to see. I will celebrate hitting my biggest goal, just like I celebrate all the little goals along the way, but the journey doesn’t end when the scale says the magic number. I will continue to keep setting goals, pushing boundaries, and maintaining a healthy weight. I have suffered through pain and illness, weakness, shame, and fear for more years than I care to admit. Now I am getting stronger and I am realizing my strength more and more. Today I pushed myself to do more and to do it better and faster. Every time I think that I can’t do something and I prove myself wrong I grow. I am not yet what I am going to be, but I will get there. Tonight I am tired, sore, and hurting, and tomorrow I may, very well, hurt like hell, but even if I do, I will feel proud of myself. One day at a time, one step at a time, one foot in front of the other, and I will get to where I need to be.

Happy Dance, anyone???


Today was a good day for me. It didn’t start out that way. I woke up still tired and hurting. I so badly wanted to go back to bed, but I had to get Rissa on the bus. Of course I was a little grumpy and it got worse when Rissa and I got into an  argument right off the bat. After Rissa was on her way to school I debated going back to bed, but Shawn said we needed milk and bread so off we went to the grocery store.

Now, you might think that I like grocery shopping. I mean, you know how much I love food, so being surrounded by it must be a good thing, right??? WRONG!!! First of all, I hate how much food costs. I HATE that healthy food costs much MUCH more than junk. I hate that there is five times as much junk food as there is healthy food. Most of all I hate, really HATE, the way people look at me. Some people walk by and stare at me as if I’m about to do a trick. Maybe they are shocked that fat people have to shop for food too? Some people stop to see what I am looking at. Because I’m fat I must have good taste in food? The worst people of all are the ones who break their necks to look in my cart and see what I am buying. Ooh, let’s see what the fat lady is buying. Sometimes they look shocked by the fact that my cart is full of vegetables and healthy food. Sometimes they look past all the healthy food and focus on the one or two unhealthy foods, then they snicker and judge me. Not everyone is like that of course, but EVERY time I go shopping there is at least one person who is, and often there are a few of them. I guess it’s human nature to judge others. I get mad when I see parents put back healthy food because they don’t have enough money to pay for their beer. Healthy food for my daughter will ALWAYS be bought before anything else, but I digress.. Today was a mostly okay trip. As we were checking out with our cart half full of fresh and frozen vegetables, healthy meat and fish, skim milk and whole grain bread, the woman in line behind me, who was about 50 years old, 110 pounds and  wearing daisy duke shorts, said something ignorant about the ONE item of junk food we bought (chocolate ice cream). Meanwhile her cart contained beer, whiskey, vodka, soda, chips and frozen pizzas and she was also buying cigarettes. Hmmm, I wonder who is the more unhealthy person is here??? So, instead of getting offended, I laughed at her and walked away. I am glad that Shawn didn’t hear her though because he would’ve said something very unkind about her to her and I didn’t think she was worth the effort.

So I got home, only to find that we had no water. I forgot to pay the bill. Fantastic! I called them and found out that I have to pay the bill, in cash, tomorrow before noon and they will have the water back on tomorrow afternoon. No water for the whole day today and maybe no water for the weekend. Fabulous! Like I said, it did NOT start out a good day, but then it got better.

First, for some unknown reason, I got into my drawer and got out my wedding rings. I don’t mean the cheap set we got married with, I mean the nice set that Shawn bought me a few years later. They have been in a drawer since we 2007 when I started gaining weight and they got too tight. Today I took them out and put them on and they fit! They are a little snug, but they fit! I was so happy. For some reason it made Shawn and I both really happy to see them back on my finger where they belong. So happy dance #1 was danced.

Then I started looking through boxes that have been packed for months and months. I not only found the part for my scale that has been missing, but I also found my bodymedia arm band AND it still works! Yay!! Happy dance #2!

I was excited to try EA Active with my arm band and see how many calories I actually burn as opposed to how many calories the game says I burn. The first problem with EA Active’s count is that the highest you can say you weigh is 300 and I am way heavier than that. So after I exercised, I plugged in my arm band to check it out and saw that I am burning way more than they say! EA Active says I burned 350 but I actually burned 500! Yay!! Happy dance #3 was a combined dance for burning more calories and for loving EA Active 2 🙂

The final happy dance, happy dance #4, was danced all over my house. I stepped onto my scale for the first time in several months. I figured I had lost about 30 pounds since October. I was hoping for 35, but I was expecting 30. When I saw the number, I jumped back off the scale, thinking it was broken. I called Shawn in to weigh him and he weighed exactly what he thought he weighed. So I got on the scale again and again it said the same thing. I was SOOOOOOO excited. I even weighed myself a third time to be sure. Since the middle of October I have lost almost 70 pounds!!!  I am at my lowest weight since 2007! The last time I weighed this was before the doctor put me on all those crazy pills that made me gain even more weight. I have lost some weight before. Right before my Gram died I was down to about 20 pounds more than I am now. That was in September of 2010. After that I started gaining weight again. Then I lost some. Then I gained some. For the first 6 months in 2011 I gained and lost the same 15 pounds over and over until I gave up. In October I was creeping back up to my all time high and I started to panic. I started exercising more, but still eating junk. Then in January a few things happened that kicked me into high gear. I started exercising more and I started eating better. Today the scale told me that what I have been doing has been worth it. Every time I passed on desert, ate only a serving size, and made a healthy choice, it was worth it. Every stretch and strain and bead of sweat that I have had, have been worth it. I am SO proud of myself. Shawn is SO proud of me. I was so excited to show him my weight. I was SO excited to call my Mom and tell her. It is awesome to have the people who I love be proud of me, but more than that, it is SO awesome to be SO proud of myself. And I AM SO proud! I’m so proud that I am looking forward to hitting my next goal of losing 50 pounds by the end of July. I know that I can do it. I don’t think I can. I know I can and I know I will!