Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Out With the Old ...

I've had this picture on my sidebar for years but I think it's about time to take it down. Deleting the picture is my way of taking a hammer to it without the cool metal smashing sounds. I was always too ashamed to display the cold hard numbers so I just used this "too much" scale as a reminder that I wasn't where I wanted to be. I should look for one that says "just right" now. I may not be at goal just yet but I'm at the point where I'll be content as long as I never go above the weight I am right now. I'm determined to never venture into the 150s again, that is going to be my line in the sand.

I think I'm going to replace the above picture with this one:

I wish I had taken progress photos regularly but I had a habit of deleting every bad picture of myself and they were all bad when I was racing my way up the scale to top out at 242 pounds. When I started this blog shortly after my 40th birthday in 2007 I weighed approximately 225 and somehow managed to gain 17 pounds the first two years even though I spent almost every waking moment thinking about how much I wanted to lose weight. I've learned that thinking about it just gets you fatter.

I'm sure nobody in their right mind would want to follow in my footsteps and take almost 4 years (only a year and a half of real effort) to get close to goal but I am proof that it can happen if you don't give up. You will get there no matter how long it takes if you keep trying things until you find what works for you. What worked for me is the anti-diet diet, the slow and steady mentality and lots of sweat. Oh, and losing my job and having the time to go to the gym everyday certainly helped. I'm not sure it would have ever happened if I didn't get laid off which is why I believe everything happens for a reason. It ended up being such a blessing. I think this may be my reward for putting up with all that b.s. for so long.

If what you're doing now isn't working, try something different. Nothing is off limits in my diet because I know as soon as you tell me I can't have something it's the only thing I want. Here's an example: DO NOT THINK ABOUT ELEPHANTS! So, what are you thinking about right now? Elephants? right? See?

If I give myself permission to have absolutely anything I want in moderation it loses its hold on me. It's no longer a temptation. I can have if I really want it. It's just food and most of the time I've tasted whatever it is before. Do I really want it? or do I want to make a better choice? You'd be surprised how often you'll make the better choice if you just give yourself permission to have what you really want (in moderation).

If you hate the elliptical, try the bike. If you hate the gym, take a walk around the block. If you want to feel strong, take a kickboxing class (I LOVE IT!!!). If you want to relax, try yoga. If you want to dance, try zumba. If you want to feel pain in every single muscle of your body, try tabata. If you can't get out of the house do some sit ups or squats throughout the day, throw some punches, do a few jumping jacks, anything to get you moving. Whatever it takes to make it work for you is what you need to find. Keep looking and don't stop until you find it.

It's time to get rid of old habits that aren't working for you and replace them with new and better ones. What small change can you make today to get you one small step closer to where you want to be? Out with the old and in with the new and improved version of you.

Second Annual 101 Days of Summer Challenge

Summer is unofficially here in the northern hemisphere! Took long enough, huh? I hope you all enjoyed the long Memorial Day weekend. I took my first swim in the pool and for the first time in a long time didn't freak out about being seen in a bathing suit. I didn't even wear shorts over my bathing suit like I've done for years. Now that is a NSV!

I had so much fun last year participating in Biz' 101 Days of Summer Challenge I decided to jump in again this year. It's interesting to look back and see where I started a year ago and the progress I made during the challenge. Last year I started the challenge at 215 pounds and broke through to Onederland by losing 17 pounds. This year I'm starting at 149 pounds and only have 8 pounds to go to reach my goal of 101 pounds lost! Sometimes I need to pinch myself because it seems so unreal after struggling for so long.

My goals for the 2011 101 Days of Summer Challenge are:

1. Get to goal FINALLY! I have 8 pounds to go to reach 101 pounds lost and get to a (high range) normal BMI.

2. Drink more water. I'm shooting for those 100 ounces per day.

3. Keep working on the C25K (I'm up to week 3 these days). This was one of my goals last year that I still haven't mastered. I thought about accepting the fact that I'm not meant to be a runner but I'm going to keep working on this one.

4. Start the hardest part of weight loss ~ maintaining it.

I tweaked my goals a bit from what I first told Biz because I decided to turn down the job that I was supposed to start tomorrow. I'm not sure if I made the right decision but I feel more at peace now that I have made the decision so that must mean something. I'm sure I'll be heading back to the work force very soon but it will not be tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to meeting new challengers and cheering everyone on. I'm sure it will be a great summer if we can all reach our goals or at least make good steady progress. As you all know by now, I'm a firm believer in slow and steady.

Rock on!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Freedom is NOT Free

Many have paid the highest price. Please remember to thank all of those who have made sacrifices for our freedom.

Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Photographic Proof I am NOT the Biggest Loser

I've watched every single season of the Biggest Loser and was thrilled that this season ended with an all women finale. I was so excited to see the sisters, Oliva and Hannah, make it to the finals together. I love seeing people transform their lives and reach their goals but I have a few issues with the show. You can read about my love/hate relationship with TBL here. There wasn't too much drama this season and I believe almost all the "Losers" this year were there to change their lives and not just there to play the game and win the money.

I'm happy to say I no longer qualify to be on the show even if I were brave enough to get weighed in wearing a bra for all the world to see. I could barely stand to take progress photos of myself but now I wish I had. I love seeing before and after photos and wish I had the nerve to post them like many of you do. Whenever I saw a photo of my fat self I would think "who is that?" "that can't be me," "do I really look like that?" "I must destroy these photos!" Pictures can be altered and different angles can be better or worse than others but for the most part they don't lie.

In May 2010 I attended the step challenge for Season 10 of the Biggest Loser after already losing approximately 40 pounds. You can read all about how Jillian kick my ass and how burnt I was here. It was so much fun watching Season 10 with the "Boston/NY" team (Brendan, Frado and Elizabeth) after meeting them all at the challenge so I felt a special connection to their season. I have since lost an addition 50+ through Season 10 and Season 11 and I'm still not at my goal weight. I have been losing weight for over three seasons of TBL and still haven't lost as much as they all did in only 5 months. Of course we all wish the weight would come off faster but I am a firm believer that slow and steady wins the race. I've lost weight quickly before and it came back on just as quick. It really doesn't matter how long it takes you to get there as long as you are moving in the right direction.

Even though I didn't take many progress photos I did manage to find a few I didn't destroy so I could show you. The first one was taken at my 40th birthday party shortly before I started this blog in 2007. The three in the green/blue shirt were posted for Tony, the AntiJared's Missouri 60 Challenge and were the first photos of myself I put on this blog and totally freaked out about. The one in the pink shirt from May 2010 was taken at the Biggest Loser Season 10 Step Challenge after I had already lost 40 pounds.

I'm looking forward to being at goal by the time the next season of the Biggest Loser starts. Remember, it doesn't matter how long it takes to lose it. Keep making those small changes and you will get to the finish line. I'm happy to say I am NOT the Biggest Loser.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Decisions, Decisions ...

How do we ever really know when we make the right ones?

I think I'm going out of my mind. I've been having second thoughts about taking the job I accepted. I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday afternoon thinking that this time next week I'll be back to the daily grind. I know I have to go back but I don't know if I should take advantage of the time remaining to look for something better. I won't have another opportunity to have this kind of time off until I retire (unless I hit the lottery).

I also can't help but feel a bit guilty as well because there are so many people out of work that would jump at the chance to take this opportunity and the others I have turned down but I can't help how I feel. Help! I just don't know what to do.

I'm heading out to my kickboxing class and plan to stay for yoga as well. I'm hoping after two hours of all those endorphins surging through me the right decision will be clear so I can be at peace with it, whatever it is. Maybe I should just leave it to fate and flip a coin.

How do you know when you are making the right decision?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Slimmer this Summer Challenge

I'm excited to join Debbie's Slimmer this Summer challenge to help keep me focused on my goals especially during my transition back to the working world. You can check out all the details here. The challenge doesn't start until June 6th so there's plenty of time for you to join in too.

Here's what I'm hoping to accomplish during this challenge:

1. GOAL!

I'd love to finally get to my goal of losing 101 pounds. Over the years I've changed the amount but I think a 101 pound loss is a pretty good number to shoot for. It sounds pretty impressive, huh? It will put me in the high end of the normal BMI range but I think it will be a good weight to settle in at where I won't have to kill myself to maintain. I like curves and have no intention or desire to lose all of them if that were even possible. I've got a little more or a little less than 10 pounds to lose depending on what day's weight I go by.


I'm going back to work next week so I won't be able to get to the gym whenever I want. My goal is to go to my kickboxing classes twice a week at lunch and hit the gym for an elliptical session and weights at least once a week. I'm also planning on walking to and from the train station when the weather cooperates so I will get at least 2 miles of walking in each day as well.


I think increasing my water intake will be easier once I go back to work. I get enough water while I'm working out but when I'm out and about running around I sometimes forget to stay hydrated. I have my giant water bottle ready to bring to work and will shoot to get my 100 ounces a day.


I'm going to try to limit my lunches out to once or twice a week and plan on brown bagging a healthy lunch and snacks the other three days. I'm also going to do my best to avoid all the candy and crap that is always being passed around the office. I have to remember that boredom is not a reason to eat. I also want to avoid the temptation to order take out or go out for dinner because I'm too tired to cook. This is probably going to mean that I will be eating dinner later than I have been but that might prevent my nighttime snack attacks.


I need to stay positive and remember that food doesn't make stress go away. There is no need to stuff myself just because I feel stressed out. I'm going to start each day with a positive affirmation that it will be a good day. Some days it is just mind over matter, right? If we believe it will be good, it will.

I'm looking forward to reaching these goals by the time August rolls around. Who's up for a challenge? Come on, join in, it will be fun.

I'm off to get my ass kicked at TaeBox and then I'm having lunch with a dear friend. Hope you all have a great day!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Time of My Life

I've had the time of my life the past 18 months and sadly it's all coming to an abrupt end. If you've been coming around here for a while you may remember how much I hated my job and how stressed out I was. I felt sick every single day I walked off the elevator into my office to be tortured and abused just to collect the almighty paycheck. I put up with that abuse for way too long and I don't ever want to go back to that life.

I spent the first two and a half years of this blog wanting to lose weight but never actually making much progress. It wasn't until I got laid off in November 2009 that I started making any real progress on the weight loss front. The past 18 months have been such a blessing and I'm so thankful I was able to take advantage of the time I had off. I know instead of going to the gym almost every day and dropping 90 pounds it could have easily gone the other way if I sat home in front of the tv and stuffed myself from boredom.

I spent countless hours on the elliptical. I attempted to complete the C25K program (still working on that one). I've learned how hard yoga is even though it looks so damn easy. I started lifting weights and feeling strong. I've Zumbad and I found out how long 20 seconds is doing Tabata. I found out I LOVE cardio kickboxing and actually enjoy going to the gym now. I stopped binging on crappy processed foods but still indulge in foods I love. Nothing is off limits and everything, even cake and ice cream, is fine in moderation.

I have to be honest and admit I'm extremely nervous, almost terrified, about going back to work next week. Is it too soon? Should I have held out for more money? Should I have waited until I got to my goal weight? How do we ever know if we made the right decision?

How will I find the time to get to the gym after working 40 hours? How will I resist eating the crappy food that is always in the office? How will I deal with the stress? How will I make sure I don't fall into the same traps that tripped me up before? Am I strong enough to handle it now?

I'm really scared. I don't want to go back to that miserable life. I don't want to be sad, depressed, tired, lazy and fat. I am stronger now but am I strong enough? I'm hoping I've learned enough over the past 18 months to make sure I don't lose myself again going back to the daily grind. I don't ever want to gain back all the weight I lost or lose the self-confidence I found.

What really scares me is the fact that I've been here before. I've been so close to reaching my goal weight only to go back to bad habits and regain all the weight again and again. I can't let that happen again. This time will be different. I'm different. I'm not going to let a job and my need for a paycheck take that from me NO MATTER WHAT!

The transition will be hard but I pray once I get into the groove I will find a way to make it work. I see YOU making it work and I just need to learn how to do it too. Please, show me the way. I don't want to get lost again. Please let me know if you have any advice on how not to lose myself again now that I found a job.

As always, thank you so much for all the support! You are the BEST!!!

Last call ....

Friday, May 20, 2011

Good News/Bad News

Good News: I got a job!!
Bad News: I have to go back to work ;(

Good News: I'll be getting a paycheck
Bad News: The paycheck will be so much smaller

Good News: I'll be working at a low-stress office
Bad News: I'll be working in an office

Good News: I'll be working close enough to the gym to continue to go to kickboxing classes
Bad News: I'll be rushing to get there, work out and get back in a lunch hour

Good News: I've lost over 90 pounds since getting laid off in November 2009
Bad News: I'm still not at my goal after 18 months

Good News: I've lost a total of 90.3 pounds in the past 18 months
Bad News: I gained 1.6 pounds this week

Good News: I only have to lose 10.7 pounds to get to my goal
Bad News: The last 10 pounds are the hardest

Good News: I feel blessed to have had this time to take care of myself
Bad News: It's going to be much harder to find the time to take care of myself

Good News: It's Friday!
Bad News: I only have one more free Friday after today

Good News: It's all GOOD!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Steppin' It Up Challenge

PriorFatGirl and Polar USA's Steppin' It Up Challenge is complete and I'm very proud to report that I was able to log 65.75 miles of activity in 15 days which is an average of over 4 miles a day. Here's the breakdown:

Date and Distance

5/2/2011: 9.25 (2.97 elliptical; 6.21 walk)
5/3/2011: 5.00 (2.64 walk; 2.32 taebox)
5/4/2011: --
5/5/2011: 7.00 (4.82 walk; 2.3 taebox)
5/6/2011: --
5/7/2011: 3.00 (3.08 walk)
5/8/2011: 4.00 (3.92 walk)
5/9/2011: 4.50 (2.46 elliptical; 2.04 walk)
5/10/2011: 5.00 (2.78 walk; 2.33 taebox)
5/11/2011: 5.50 (2.78 elliptical; 2.77 walk)
5/12/2011: 6.5 (4.29 walk; 2.28 taebox)
5/13/2011: 6.0 (2.99 elliptical; 2.94 dreadmill)
5/14/2011: 2.5 (2.52 walk)
5/15/2011: 2.0 (1.93 walk)
5/16/2011: 5.5 (3.21 elliptical; 2.15 C25K)

Total Activity Miles: 65.75

Not too shabby, huh? I'm excited to find out how I did compared to the other competitors but I'm pretty happy with those numbers except for the two days I wasn't able to get a workout in.

Here are my FitBit weekly stats for 5/09/2011 to 5/15/2011:

TOTAL STEPS: 103,883
DAILY AVERAGE: 14,840 steps
WEEKLY BEST: 21,600 steps

TOTAL DISTANCE: 45.06 miles
DAILY AVERAGE: 6.44 miles
WEEKLY BEST: 9.33 miles

DAILY AVERAGE: 2,232 cals
WEEKLY BEST: 2,433 cals

LIGHTEST: 150.1 lb
HEAVIEST: 150.7 lb

As you can see, I was so damn close to breaking into the 140s. I don't know when I'll get there or when I'll reach goal (soon, I hope) but I know it will happen because I'm not giving up, no matter what.

Jen has been inspiring me for years as she has taken us along on her healthiness journey and she continues to inspire me every single day through all of her ups and downs. In her recent email to the challengers she wrote "You cannot give up. Push hard, end with a bang and give it all you have. There are no winners or losers in this challenge - this is about you pushing yourself beyond what you think you can do."

Have you been giving it all you got? Have you been pushing yourself beyond what you think you can do? Have you been steppin' it up? If not, why not? You are worth it. Get moving and Step It Up!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Steppin' It Up

Every single journey we take starts with one single step and now it is time for me to step it up and finally get to my goal. I decided to join Prior Fat Girl's Steppin' It Up Challenge which is a two week competition to log the most miles. I'm not sure how my miles are stacking up against the other competitors but I've logged almost 30 miles in the first week and I'm hoping to step it up even more the second week. As much as I would love to win the fabulous prize of a Polar Heart Rate Monitor, I'm not in it for the prizes.

For almost a year now I've been keeping track of my steps with a FitBit. It may not have all the bells and whistles of the Polar HRM but it definitely keeps me motivated to reach my goal of getting at least 10,000 steps a day. Some days are much harder than others but I've noticed that I don't come close to those 10,000 steps unless I get to the gym or go for a LONG walk.

FitBit recently started sending me weekly stats in an e-mail so I plan on recording them here so you can see how active (or inactive) I've been. Feel free to give me a little kick if you notice I've been slacking off.

Here are my stats for the week of 5/02/2011 to 5/08/2011:

WEEKLY BEST: 25,137 steps

TOTAL DISTANCE: 42.31 miles
DAILY AVERAGE: 6.04 miles
WEEKLY BEST: 10.88 miles

DAILY AVERAGE: 2,242 cals
WEEKLY BEST: 2,717 cals

LIGHTEST: 151.2 lb
HEAVIEST: 151.7 lb

I'm still struggling to get under the 150 pound mark but I'm not stressing out about it. Just like the past 90+ pounds I've lost, these last pounds will come off slowly but surely as long as I continue doing the right things to make it possible. I figure the longer it takes me to get to goal the more likely I am to learn what I need to do to stay there and not relapse like I've done in the past.

Summer is just around the corner for those of us in the northern hemisphere. What are you doing to step it up?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day! May Day!

Happy May Day!

It's almost time to break out the bathing suits for those of us who have struggled through a long cold snowy winter. Spring has finally sprung here in the Northeast and my itchy, watery eyes and non-stop sneezing fits prove that things are bloomin' and pollen is flying everywhere.

I've been dancing around the 150 pound mark but haven't been able to break through to the 140s yet. "They" say that the last 10 pounds are the hardest to lose but I disagree. Every single pound lost is hard and takes effort but it is worth it. I managed to gain 1.3 pounds this week but I'm used to the roller coaster by now and know that it's just how my body fluctuates. I generally have a few good weeks of losses and then a gain.

I'm planning on joining a couple of challenges to keep me motivated and hopefully help me reach my goal this month or next. I'm a very slow loser but I'm getting there, slowly but surely. As soon as I get all the challenge details I'll let you know all about it.

Have a great May Day!