Why Now?

 

nowIt may seem that I am a little over the top about my fitness goals lately.  See, I recently purchased a fitness planner (excellent find on Kijiji) that has required me to set some goals.

Defining my goals has been difficult, but I managed to come up with a  very inspiring one.  I’ll discuss that in another post.

What I found more inspiring to me than the goal was the question “why now?”.  And that answer is what makes me want to affect long term change.

Here’s why

“IF I don’t do something to change my body NOW, I am VERY likely to suffer from obesity, and therefore be more prone to the diseases that accompany obesity.

They include:

Heart disease and stroke
High blood pressure
Diabetes
Cancer
Gallbladder disease and gallstones
Osteoarthritis
Gout
Breathing problems (sleep apnea, asthma) ”

I’m a fact driven, analytical person. The fact is both my mother’s and father’s family have a history of obesity. My mother manages her weight well now, but has gone through her struggles. My father, after years of carrying a “rotund” belly. has lost a large amount of weight since he retired.

My aunt on my dad’s side is quite obese, as was my grandmother. My mother’s sister is obese and my cousin is overweight. So, the fact is, I am EXTREMELY likely to be predisposed to being obese.

I see the diseases that my family suffers, and I feel for them. And I know that, if they could wave a magic wand, they would lose weight. I see how my aunt, who fell on ice a few years back, has had such a hard time healing. How do you lose weight if you can’t walk? How do you avoid putting even more on?

If I do not want to go there, I’m going to need to work. I need to counteract genetics.

That’s really what it boils down to. The luck of the draw is that I’m not one of those chicks who can eat whatever she wants and stay rake thin. (I had one of those friends once. She ate anything and everything and she was super thin. Yep, I was jealous.) Whether it’s now, or later, it’s going to take work.

Sigh…

I know that food and exercise go hand in hand.  But, I just gave it my best shot with the food and I didn’t do so hot.  While the end goal is to change my eating habits, I realize this is a process that will happen over time.

What I can do now though is exercise.  My kids are of the age where they can entertain themselves for an hour while I do squats and bicep curls, or while I run and watch Judge Judy.

The time to make this change is now. Last week I got in my prescribed workout and this week I’m starting off on the right foot.

And with that…I’m off to clean the house.  Kids are in bed, I play my music as loud as I want in my headphones, have a glass (or two), dance my ass off get my house tidy.  I actually love Saturday nights….

 

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Changing Gears

imagesWell, hello strangers…

It’s been a while.  I have been on vacation from work, and from life. I have been avoiding my blog, and my diet/lifestyle change.  In short, I’ve been failing.

So where am I in my pursuit of my goal?  Well, I had aimed to lose 25 pounds by the time the kids went back to school.  I am not going to make that goal.

Crazy – it seemed like such an achievable goal.  And for the first few weeks, it was working.

I’m not sure I can pinpoint where I started to slip in my eating – but it started as a the smallest of slices of pizza here, to a small bowl of chips, to an “occasional ice cream” to eating the same as I was before.  I’ve even found myself eating ice cream at 3 a.m. in the morning.

Sigh….

Over the past two weeks, while I have been on holidays, I have eaten like crap.  I have gained 5 pounds.

But, I am not bidding goodbye and throwing in the towel.  I have decided to change gears.

One of the things I HAVE achieved in the last few months is that I’ve renewed my “love” (I use this term loosely) of exercise.   I have been dedicated, and even though I did not exercise for a week while on holidays, I did return to it, and was excited to get back at it.

In fact yesterday, I got on the treadmill to do a 10 minute warm up (I was planning on doing a lower body workout with free weights), and ended up jogging for 30 minutes, without walking once.  Rewind to the beginning of the posts and I couldn’t do 2 kilometres, and yesterday I did 4.5.  Granted I did it on the treadmill versus outside – which is physically easier – but those are the minor details.  I’m celebrating the success!

What this all boils down to is that I’m changing gears.  When I take the time to think about it, the one thing that I have managed to stay committed to, through the ups and the downs, over the last 3 years, is spinning  That tells me that somewhere in me (waaaaaaaaaaay deep down), there is a person who loves exercise.  I just need to find her, and help her come out.  And I need to find the things that I enjoy to do.

Part of the reason why I love spin is because of my instructor.  She has an incredible way of saying the right things, of making me push myself harder, of making me believe that I can accomplish great things.  I’d hazard a guess that without her, I would be in a much worse physical state right now, as I would have given up long ago.  I am thankful for her every Sunday – although I must admit I don’t like her much between 11:30 and 12:00 when she’s yelling at us to go faster.

Unfortunately, I can’t put her in my pocket and take her home and have her be my personal coach for those times I need motivation to get moving and push myself.  I think they call that kidnapping.  Her family might take issue with that.

But what I can take home is the message she sends and the confidence she helps me build in myself.  I have been taking her resistance training class before spin and have been really enjoying it.

The thing about resistance training is that when you really work, you see results.  It may not be physical (like say dropping 50 pounds – I wish!) – but more so, the ability to make it through a set you couldn’t make it through before, or being able to up the weights.  I find this type of achievement just as rewarding as losing pounds on the scale (okay….so maybe I’d be a little bit happier to see the scale drop – but regardless – I’m still happy).

For now, my goal is to work out for 5 days a week for the next month.  Sounds extreme, but it’s not.  Finding the time is a bit difficult – tonight I started my workout at 9 PM because of soccer.  Luckily I am working locally tomorrow and can sleep in a little bit.  But I’m on day four of five and I feel fabulous – very accomplished.

So where am I going with food?  Food is still a big problem for me.  I am recommitting to eating clean-er.  I’ve come to realize that I’m not going to make it on a 100% clean eating diet.  While the concept is extremely appealing to me, I also have to deal with…..well…life.  Like, if I have a chance to go out for a meal with my hubby or friends, I don’t want to feel guilty or refuse it.  I want to go out and have a beer and wings, and laugh, and have a good time and not worry.

What I need to concentrate on and change is my snacking, night eating and binge eating.    That is my main focus right now.  I know, I know – if I eat properly during the day, I won’t crave the snacks in the middle of the night.  Easier said then done though – and I speak from experience.

I’m hoping that as I continue to exercise, and start to see results in my body, that I will be driven to fuel my body better.  But for now, it’s one thing at a time.

I may be down, but I’m not out.  Don’t give up on me yet!

I’m gearing up – time to climb a hill….see you at the top!

Small food = Big Enemy

fruitI love the summer.  There are many reasons (like the fact that I hate winter, love not having to pack the kids lunches, it’s the season I spend quality time with my family) – but, like most things in my life, one of the reasons has to do with food.

Cherries and blueberries to be exact.  They are two of my favorite foods (though to be honest, I have many favorite foods).

I’m sure your thinking “So?  Those foods are good for you?” and yes, they are …. In moderation.  And moderation is something I don’t do well.

I’ve come to realize this year that the size of a food has a huge impact on the amount that I will eat.  For instance – I could EASILY sit down and devour an entire bag of cherries or 2 or 3 pints of blueberries.

Let’s analyze this.  Currently, cherries are on sale for $2.99/lb.  I bought a bag the other day that cost me $6.97 which is equal to 2.33 pounds.  When I look up the nutritional value of cherries, I find the following:

100 Grams of Cherries =

Calories:               63

Carbs:                   16

Fat:                        0

Fiber:                    2

Sugar:                   13 (ouch)

Protein:                1

 

So, let’s do the math.  There are 454 GRAMs in One pound – so 2.33 pounds is equal to 1057 Grams.  See where I’m going with this?  At the end of the bag of cherries, I’ve consumed:

Calories:               665.91

Carbs:                   169.12

Fat:                        0

Fiber:                    21.14

Sugar:                   137.41

Protein:                10.57

And I kid you not when I say that I could eat a bag of cherries a day.

Here’s the thing – when food is small, finger food like, I have no shut off.  Popcorn, cherries, blueberries, almonds (so high in fat), hor d’oeurves, those little Halloween sized chocolate bars…the list goes on… I lose all concept of serving size and end up gorging myself.  Part of the reason is that I think “one more won’t hurt – it’s so small”, and part of it is because I am not satisfied off of what is a normal serving.  And part of it is my compulsion to eat.

Here’s a perfect example.  Put 5 apples in front of me and I’ll eat one apple.  One will be enough.  But if you cut up those apples and put the slices in front of me, I could probably eat the entire  5 apples piece by piece.

I would never think about sitting down and eating an apple, followed by an orange, followed by a peach, followed by blueberries.  BUT – cut all those up and make a fruit salad, and I’ll polish off the whole bowl without a second thought.

I’m sure your thinking “just measure out a serving” – but it’s not that easy.  I might measure it out and put it in a bowl – but while I’m measuring, I’ll have “a few”, and when I’m done, I might go back for a “few more” and then, before you know it, the whole bag of cherries is gone.

It’s the compulsive eater in me.  The hard to break habit of “just a few more”.  I don’t know how, but somehow I have to rewire it.

That, or pray that farmers start growing 100 gram cherries.

State of the Union 2

keep onI realize that I haven’t written a post in a while.  Life has been a bit hectic, and as sometimes happens, things fall off your priority list.  It was difficult to sit down and write something when I knew that there were a million other things to do.    I tried a couple of times to sit down and write, but always got distracted,  Last night I made a promise to myself that I’d sit down and write, so here I am.

So, where do I stand right now?  I haven’t fallen off the wagon, but I have been failing dismally with my eating.  I’m snacking on chocolate, and not eating on plan.  And while I am sucking with the food, I’m rocking it with the workouts.

I have been pushing myself harder and harder and challenging myself when it comes to the physical activity.  I am starting to notice the increase in strength that I’ve had, and I’m also starting (slowly) to tone.  I know that if I continue working as I have been that I’m heading in the right direction – or at least a better direction, but I also know that by not being diligent with my diet, that I won’t notice the quick weight loss that I want to.

I’m finding it hard.  Summer has always meant burgers and hot dogs, Pasta salads and ice cream.  Or pie.  Or pie and ice cream (yum).  Food plays a big part in summer nostalgia, and I’m having a hard time having a pre-packaged, pre-portioned meal that is calorically appropriate for me to lose weight – over a juicy burger with the works and a side of potato salad.

Why is it that I need that burger and potato salad?  I guess part of it is that I don’t want to feel like I can’t, that others can and I cannot.  I have lost the sense of empowerment that you have at the beginning of a diet, you know – where you are “making the choice” to eat something different… and am now at the point where I feel like I am being deprived of life.

However, all is not lost.  I have not given up, and I am aware of what is going on.  I also haven’t fallen too far off the beaten path at this point, and I feel I am still making better choices overall than I was before I started.  I feel the effects of having changed my eating habits because I do get fuller faster.  And I am making 75% smart choices.  Okay – maybe 60%.

I haven’t gained weight in the past three weeks, but I haven’t lost anything either.  I know that my diet is to blame.  But I don’t know at this point what is going to have to happen to change that.  I keep making poor food choices, and while I can sit here and tell the world about it – I am not willing to say that it’s going to change this week – or next.

What I can give is that I’m committed to working out.  And if anything is going to save me, it’s that.  I am finding that challenging myself and succeeding in this, is enough to keep me satisfied for now.  Perhaps I’m lowering my standards, and not believing in myself enough or challenging myself with the task of maintaining workout and diet – but I know me enough after the last 36 years to know that if I try to do it all, I’ll fail at it all, and then I’ll really, really have a hard time picking myself back up.

I have been doing a lot of research into CrossFit lately.  I am no where near the point of being able to commit to something like this – but as I continue to build my strength and ability to maintain intensity aerobically, I may throw this type of training in the mix one day.  You never know – I might be passionate about it.  4 years I ago I signed up for a spin class – and I’ve signed up every new season since AND Hubby has joined the classes also.

I’m not perfect.  And while this is definitely still a journey to lose my 25 pounds, I’m not going to hate myself for adjusting plans along the way.  The goal is the same – the journey might just be different.

And really, it’s my journey to take, so I have to set myself up for success and not sabotage myself with negative energy.  I know my weaknesses, and I could dwell on them and my failures, or I can push myself in the places where I am successful and forgive myself for my faults.

Onward and upward – it’s the only way to go.

Week 9 Results and my inability to find balance

yes, I came up with this idea...hmmm - remind me why I'm not losing weight?

yes, I came up with this idea…hmmm – remind me why I’m not losing weight?

My week 9 results are coming a bit late because we were away for the long weekend camping. But, in a nutshell I was not a loser nor a gainer. I stayed right at the weight I was last week.

I have to say, June disappointed me greatly. I expected great things since I had added in an additional two days of working out per week, and when all was said and done I only really lost 4 pounds in June.

Booooo. Hisssss.

But I know why. I got lax on my diet. I made excuses with myself that, since I was working out, I could afford to eat those extra calories. I’m still not sure why exactly this is NOT true – but the proof is in the pudding (mmmm…pudding – another thing I love) and I didn’t get the results I wanted because of the things I stuck in my mouth.

Heres where things get tricky.

It’s summer – and with summer comes camping, and amusement parks and trips to my uncles and parents – and all of that spells FOOD – yummy, tasty, calorie laden food.

This weekend I suppose I could have brought my pre-made food. Because it’s in the sealed bags all I’d have to do is throw it in a pot of boiling water to warm it up and voila- healthy, nutritious, portion controlled meal.

But I didn’t. I ate burgers and potatoe salad, corn on the cob with butter and bacon on bagels. And S’mores.

Let me tell you about S’Mores….I love those things. Now, I know I’m supposed to be sharing all my “good nutrition” tips – but I have to share this horribly calorie laden, freaking yummy tip for making S’mores.

Reese Peanut Butter Cups.

Use these instead of chocolate and you have a S’more to die for. We’ve also used Aero, Skor (not great), and Caramilk.

To add insult to injury – last year I came up with an idea that I wanted to try – and this year, I did try it. A S’more with Reese Peanut Butter Cup and Bacon (pictured above)

Is anyone surprised that I have not lost much weight this month?

Finding the balance – allowing myself to have a “treat” and then walking away is SO difficult. It’s an all or nothing thing with me. I’ve never been the type of person that could have a bag of those individually wrapped chocolate bars and make it last for more than a day. I may not eat it all in one sitting, but over the day I will eat it all. It will become my obsession. I will find a reason, an excuse to have one more.

I always come back to the WHY? Why do I have so little self control? What do I need to do to stop it? Do I just like the taste of food or is it something more? Why, when every fibre in my body knows that it is wrong to eat another S’more/chocolate bar/handful of almonds/pick a food….do I convince myself that it’s alright. Where does that voice come from and why can’t that voice tell me to chew some gum or eat a carrot? At the age of 36 is it too late to learn the art of self control? I’m beginning to think it is.

Camping is over, the food has been eaten, and the fun has been had. I will work out tonight, and continue to push myself to be accountable. I will try to stay on track – until the next vacation away, where I’m sure I’ll lose all sense of responsible eating again. And, afterwards, I’ll beat myself up again for going so far off the deep end.

I’m not making any goals for the month of July – I’m still aiming for my 25 by the time September rolls around – but the clock is ticking and I’m only inching my way to that goal.  July will be a make or break month.  If I don’t lose 8 pounds this month, I’ll be hard pressed to make up the difference in August.

Time to do some serious self reflection and work on a work out plan.  If I make working out my priority I might just make it.  And if I find some sort of self control along the way, that will be even better.

Boot camp blues

image courtesy of robsobsblog.blogspot.ca

image courtesy of robsobsblog.blogspot.ca

Damn, it’s hot.

At 6PM this evening it was 33 degrees C (or 91 degrees F).

I’m not good with heat.  Normally, I’m one of those people that sits outside for a half an hour max, and then I need to seek shade or air conditioning.  Or jump in a pool.

Otherwise, I start to get dizzy – and then, I start to get a headache – and then, I start to feel nauseous.  Without fail, this is how my entire summer is spent.  Sun…shade…air conditioning…repeat.

So, you have to realize that the thought of doing boot camp in the heat tonight almost made me feel like throwing up before I even left the house.  I was fearful of what would come.

I’m happy to say that I walked away in one piece, without throwing up, though I do have a headache now.  I really do need to focus on drinking more water throughout the summer, and avoiding those spells of heat stroke/dehydration.

I have one more day of boot camp left in this session, and will not be signing up for another session until September.  I just can’t over the summer.  I was lucky that there was a bit of a breeze tonight – but as I stood there, the thought “what if there was no breeze??” kept crossing my mind.

Also, I didn’t push myself as hard as I could – as hard as I should.  Most of that was fear.  Although I have loved boot camp for the excitement of not knowing what is around the corner, and the opportunity to try new things – that not knowing caused me to hold back a lot tonight.  I didn’t know if the next rotation was going to require me to do sprints, or jump squats, or burpees (excuse my language – but I fuckin’ hate burpees!  It needs to be said!).  And, since I didn’t have a watch, it was hard to monitor when the session would be over and how much I had to hold back to make it to the end of the class in one piece.

I will continue to do my videos throughout July and August, and as I’ve mentioned, I have a Groupon for another bootcamp – and I’m pretty sure this one is indoors (crossing my fingers, toes and hairs…)

Now that I’m committed to my exercise, I have to commit again to my diet.  My boss is on holidays, and there is a bowl of chocolates on her desk.  I find myself wandering to her desk more and more while she is gone – since I don’t have to see her there and feel bad.  I’m looking forward to her return.

I’m eating well – but there is room for improvement.  More water is the key for the rest of the week, and I need to stay away from the ice cream and freezies.  It’s hard – sitting on the porch, eating freezies or ice cream with the kids is a treat – both food wise and time wise.  I guess I should look into some healthier options – so that I’m  not feeling deprived of “my life” while I’m trying to build a better life.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the cycles I’ve gone through with my weight, and have started plotting them out in my mind.  I’m planning on writing a post in the not so distant future that will share my ups and downs with my weight (literally – ups and downs as I lose and gain, lose and gain).

It leaves me to wonder – what will be different this time?  What will make this stick?  If I lose the 25 lbs – or 30 or 40 – how can I keep it off – really keep it off – for good?

This is what has been weighing me down (no pun intended) for the last few days, and something that I’m going to have to eventually figure out.

Or in 4 years I’ll have another blog called “Life before Forty-Five”

 

Envelope Please, Week 8 results

Envelope, pleaseIt’s hard to believe that I’m 8 weeks in.  I am proud of myself for making it this far, even with the ups and downs.  But of course, I’d like to have lost more by now.

Last week I was up 1.6 pounds (total weightloss 9.2 lbs).  I’m happy to report that I’ve lost that 1.6 lbs plus another 1.6 lbs for a total loss this week of 3.2 lbs – and a total weightloss now of 12. 4 lbs.  Considering my end of summer goal is 25 lbs, I’m well on my way.

I’m feeling really good about my decision to scrap running from my exercise regimen and instead add in some more weigh lifting.  I did my video yesterday afternoon, and managed to get through the majority of it without skimping out.  I haven’t aced the video yet, and did take a few breaks, but I was able to push myself beyond my comfort zone.

I’m sure that my higher weightloss this week was due to my commitment to bootcamp and a concentrated effort to be more active.  My diet choices haven’t been exactly on plan – I’ve had a thing for ice cream lately – but overall I am doing much better than I was 9 weeks ago.

I’m realizing my 10 pounds for June is not going to happen.  How we ended up at June 23 so quickly, I don’t know – seems like we blinked and here we are.  Since I’m only at 4.6 pounds, it hardly seems likely that I’ll lose 5.4 pounds next week without starving myself – and that’s not going to happen.

The spring session of spin ended last week, so I have no spin for the next two weeks.  That means that I have to rely on myself to get in my cardio for the next two Sundays.  I have a bike in my basement – it’s time to use it.  I wish I taken a recording of my spin teacher yelling, cause I work better with someone yelling at me.  Maybe I will give hubby the honour?

Mood wise, I’m doing well.  I seem to have left my funk behind me and am moving forward.  Hopefully I get a long stretch of this elevated mood.  That is one of the hardest things with this disease – who knows what is around the corner?

Today, I am making 50 or so chicken burgers.  They are a really good protein snack that I have every afternoon.  I have 6 packs of ground chicken to work with today.  I mix the ground chicken with some quinoa and freshly grated ginger and add some garlic powder.   Today, I’m going to bake them on a baking sheet instead of frying them – so it’s a little bit of an experiment for me.  The most time consuming part of it will be packaging them all up in the individual freezer bags.  Sigh…nothing is easy.

I guess that means it’s time to get the day going.  Chicken burgers, soccer game, cleaning and getting ready for next week.  It never ends (unless of course I’m lying in bed blogging…)

Happy Sunday all!