Monday, December 31, 2012

Accepting the Unexpected...

Happy New Year's Eve Readers!  Do any of you have any plans for the evening?  I'm happy to say that I do.  I'll be spending the evening with my sister enjoying a lovely meal at Hyde Park Restaurant in downtown Cleveland.  After that... who knows.  But it's nice to know that I actually have plans and not spending my New Year's secretly wallowing in self-pity like I normally did.  I was good at hiding my true feelings.

There is so much on my mind right now as we're leaving 2012 behind and stepping into 2013.  This year was completely unexpected.  I didn't start 2012 with the plan to lose weight. As you know all know, it unexpectedly crept up on me.  I was actually trying to come to terms with the fact that I'd always be fat and there was nothing I could do about it at the beginning of 2012.  I know I was only fooling myself because I truly would have never been happy as morbidly obese individual with only food to console me.  I'd always made secret resolutions to lose weight thinking to myself, "This year will be the year that I do it."  But I never lost weight.  Low expectations = low results, which also means no disappointment.

As unexpected as this year was, I'm glad I accepted it and ran with it.  Along the way, I brought some others with me. I'm not the only one in my circle that lost weight this year.  My sister has made great progress, and my great friend started around November, and she's lost 16 pounds so far.  Yes folks... I've got a revolution on my hands now.  Several people are asking me... curious as to what I'm doing.  What's motivating me.  Every time I hear the word motivation I cringe.  You guys know how I feel about that, and I gladly share it when people ask.  I feel that motivation is only a small part of what keeps me going.  The decision I make about food and exercise are part of my life now.  It's my routine.  Once that routine is settled, and you fully commit to it, it's hard to fall off.  My health and well-being is my number one priority now.  That's why I feel this is working for me

So, we all must be ready to embrace the unexpected blessing that come to us.  Mine came as an email to join a fitness change.  I bet the individual who sent me that email has no clue how the little challenge changed my life.  It changed the way I live.  We must always be ready to take what is giving to us - whether good or bad - and run with it.  I've made some very poor choices this year too.  But I didn't let those choices derail me.  I accepted them, and moved on. Most importantly, I learned from them. 

Accepting the unexpected can be easy... and it can be difficult.  But no matter what life gives you,  

ACCEPT IT.  EMBRACE IT.  LEARN FROM IT. 

Isn't it Ironic, I'm having trouble with accepting the unexpected that occurred this morning.  Today was the deadline for my 30 by December 31st goal I made several months ago.  I was trying to get to my second milestone by December 31, 2012 knowing it would be a difficult challenge. If I met the challenge, I would reward myself with TWO charms and not one.  Well, it seemed like I wasn't going to meet the challenge, and I was cool with it.  I ordered the two charms and I was going to enjoy both of them once I hit milestone #2.  Milestone #2 isn't due until 1/25/2014 at 220.2 pounds.  That would be a total of 124.8 pounds lost since I started.

I weighed myself this past Saturday as usual, and I weighted 222.2.  So I know I couldn't lose two pounds in two days.  No biggie.  I competed a heavy Zumba workout on Saturday.  Yesterday, I did a hellacious Kettlebell/Plyometric workout that I created off the top of my head, and I ended that workout with 100 squats before I fell out in the floor.  Hey!  Don't judge!  I was earning a cheeseburger and fries...which was delicious. 

So, I decided to step on the scale today and report my results to my readers since a deal is a deal.  What does the scale say?  Something unexpected.

220.2

I must have stepped off and on that scale at least five times.  Same results.  I was quite baffled.  I came upstairs then went back downstairs and did it again. 220.2  That's can't be right.  I can't lose two pounds in two days.  That's insane.  So, should I take my own advice and accept it?  I updated my weight on the widgets on this page, but I'm not quite sure of this miraculous weight loss.  So, I guess I made my deadline?  WHO CARES!  I'm getting my Tiffany charms and celebrating! 
 
Happy New Year everyone.  Be safe.  Have fun and most importantly, Keep Calm and Move On!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Did I Open a Can of Worms?

Hi Readers!  Did you miss me?  I missed you guys, and it's great to be back.  It's nice to take a week off here and there, but so much happens in that time, and I feel like I have monstrous entries when I return.  So get ready for another one. 
 
First up, Dave Matthews weekend was THE BEST!  I had a great time down in Virginia, and CWN and family were such gracious hosts.  Thank you so much for opening up your home to me and the greatness that is The Dave Matthews Band.  It was like going to Graceland for DMB fans.  It was a weekend filled with fun, food, and friends.  And, believe me, I made sure to enjoy all of it. 
 
It can be difficult to manager your food intake when you don't journal everything, and I admit that I didn't document everything that went in my mouth.  What I did do is remain cognizant of what I was eating and how much.  I also shared some meals with my friends.  Sharing meals is a great way to limit your calorie intake.  Sometimes, all you need is a 1/2 and not the whole thing.  It's also a great way to get your sweet fix.  I love sharing desserts with people. 
 
So, after Dave Matthews Stellar Weekend, I was back to work and working out.  I missed two days so I was a bit concerned as to how I'd jump back into the gym.  I tell you... I MISSED THE GYM.  Badly.  I was so ready to get back in there.  Of course, it was Tuesday so I'm jumping into Metabolic Conditioning, which is one of my hardest workouts of the week.  I'd say I did great.  I was energized and ready to go.  This week's class focused on using your own body weight instead of barbells or other tools.  There was a lot of planking, sit ups, push ups, and so on.  I don't think many of us consider how our own bodies can be used as resistance tool.  Great stuff.
 
Next up was my last Kettlebell class of the quarter.  There were four of us including the instructor and each person picked their four favorite moves, and we did each circuit twice.  I picked some doosies... Snatch, Dead Lift, Clean to Overhead Press, and Double Bell Thrusters.  Wow!  That was one of the hardest classes we've had, and I loved every minute of it.  I'm hoping to take Kettlebells again in January so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

So I worked out hard, and it's time to weigh in on Saturday.  Didn't know what to expect.  I ended up losing a pound over two weeks.  Hmmm.... I'm wondering about my 30 by the Dec. 31st goal I set back in October.  Will I meet it?  Did I open a can of worms by giving myself a deadline to lose weight?

Well, there are many differing opinions on this topic of goal setting by a specific date or for a specific occasion.  Many feel that it's not a good idea because if you don't meet your goal, it is very discouraging.  A person may feel like a failure for not accomplishing their goal by their due date and give up completely.  I've even done this myself.  When I was on the low carb diet, I bought a size 14 Ralph Lauren white eyelet skirt that was sitting in my closet as my "skinny goal skirt."  Well, I never got wear it.  I think the closest I got was a size 18 at that time.  When I gained all the weight back, I just threw the skirt in a box and forgot about it.  That skirt was a sign of my failure and I wanted to get as far away from it as possible.  I remember how optimistic I was when I bought it.  Now, it's just another albatross hanging around my neck along with the 100+ pounds I gained back.
 
Now, I compare myself today to how I was several years ago when I was in Low Carb Hell.  Mentally, I'm in a whole other place.  I came to grips with why I ate the way I did.  I acknowledged that the only reason I was overweight was because I PUT MYSELF THERE.  I took responsibility for my actions, and most importantly, I FORGAVE MYSELF.  Before, I looked to low carb as the solution to make me happy.  Low carbs meant lost weight = I'm happy now.  Not even close.
 
So, going back to the worms.  Am I leading myself to failure if I don't meet my 31st goal?  HELL NO!  Does that mean I'm not going to reward myself with TWO charms if I don't get to my second milestone by the 31st?  NOPE!  Those two charms are hiding somewhere in this house, and when I reach 220 pounds - whether it's next week or next month, I'm going to be looking for them.
 
If there is one thing I can say about goal setting, it's that it must be realistic... FOR YOU.  No one should set your goals.  You set them.  You know what you are capable of doing.  My long term goal is to be 160 pounds and off all my medication... So, does that mean that if I'm at 155 and still taking my diabetes meds, I'm not going to London.... No.  My goals are set for me.  My ultimate goal is to be healthy, and healthy can come in many forms.  My doctor and I will make that decision.  I do know that at 160 is a great starting place, and losing that weight over three years is realistic and achievable.  You mind MUST be in the right place in order for you to be successful.  Forgive yourself.  Heal yourself.  And Move.
And moving has it's rewards.  That skirt is going to have be to taken in when I go to Jamaica in June.  Yes.... that means it fits me TODAY.  And those pretty blue boxes are more incentives for me to sign off and go downstairs and work with Jillian and Zumba.  I did visit Tiffany's in Richmond,VA and purchased a ring and a Zodiac charm.  Happy New Year to me.  Those worms are going to Squirm their ass right back into that can.  That can is closed.

PS - I owe you guys new pictures (another 15 pounds down).  I think I'm going to wait until I hit the next milestone to post them.  You've guys know what I'm looking like anyways. :)
 
 
 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

My Heroes



Hey all!  Another week has come and gone.  We are quickly approaching the end of 2012, and it certainly has me in a pensive mood.  I've been through so many changes this year - changes that I feel are for the better.  Makes me wonder what's in store for 2013.  I'm definitely not making any predictions because that's not the kind of person I am, and I'm not a person who makes New Year Resolutions either.  If I was, I would have lost weight a long time ago because I secretly make that resolution every year and to no avail...until this year.

Funny that it was really a move to save money that kind of spearheaded my journey.  At this point, I'm grateful for anything that got my ass moving into action. And as soon as I saw positive results, my entire being just changed and I got behind this endeavor 100%.  I remember getting on that scale back on 1/28 and seeing that 15 pounds gone.  That was a huge motivator for me.  But it wasn't just the scale.  Something...or should I say someone...made a even larger impact on me.  More than that number on the scale could ever show.

My supporters.  My motivators.  My encouragers.  My listeners.  My cheerleaders.  

My friends.  My family.  My readers.  My Heroes.

I have the most amazing support system.  I am truly blessed to know all of you.  I am fortunate to have you in my corner cheering me on.  You tell me when I need to stop.  You also tell me when I need to push.  You tell me never to give up.  You tell me to let my detractors be my motivators.  You tell me to ignore the scale and listen to my body.  You tell me to enjoy myself.  You tell me to run faster and jump higher and shake it harder.  You give me advice and point me in the right direction.  You hold my hand.  You understand, and even if you don't, you empathize.  Many of you have never been in my shoes and had the weight to carry that I did, but you never let me forget that you carried it with me.  And as I lost it, so did you, and your weight became easier to bear.
 
You always tell me that I'm your inspiration.  You say, "I'm setting the example.  I'm letting people know that it CAN be done." Well, I'm here to tell you that you are all my heroes.  You never gave up  on me, even when gained all that weight I lost several years ago.  You didn't criticize, laugh or talk behind my back.  You didn't push me, and you didn't question me.  You know how I felt about gaining all that weight back and you didn't point fingers or blame me.  You accepted me.  You were patient.  You had more faith in me that I had in myself. 
 
So I will make this promise to you.  I refuse to let myself go back to how I was.  I will always work hard to continue on the path I've chosen for myself and LIVE.  I will move forward. 
 
To all my family, my friends, my Bestie Eliza, my Zen Master K.R., my mini-Zen Master H.K., Bryn, my work mom and sister, The COOL GIRLS club, my Sorors, my Frat, my readers, and anyone else I forgot...  Please don't take it personally, you are all My Heroes, and you deserve so much more than I could ever give you.  Just know that I appreciate and love you all, and I won't let myself go.  Never again.
 
On a happier less sappy note (rolling eyes), I will not be blogging next week since I'll be in VA with one of my heroes listening to the awesomeness that is Dave Matthews Band.  Only 5.6 pounds left to 220... Let's keep that momentum going.  30 by the 31st!
 


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Uncharted Territory

Hey everyone!  I know I didn't post during Thanksgiving week.  It wasn't because I completely derailed and fell off the wagon.  I honestly didn't have anything to report.  My weight pretty much stayed the same.  I worked out really hard that week so I could enjoy my Thanksgiving with my family and friends. 
 
I also spent a little too much time online enjoying the Black Friday sales.  I couldn't help it.  It's amazing that I actually have choices now.  Skinny jeans, leggings, platform heels... These are all things I thought I'd never be able to wear.  I tried on a outfit that I got from Macy's, and I asked my mom for her opinion.  She just looked at me with her mouth wide open.  So, I'm thinking it must look pretty bad.  She just shook her head and said, "I can't believe I'm looking at my daughter.  You look amazing."  Okay...I had to go compose myself after that.  That meant so much coming from her because she has seen me struggle my entire life with my weight.  It's support like that from her and from all of you that makes it worthwhile.
Taking the Plunge!
So, how am I doing after Thanksgiving?  I'm doing fantastic.  As a matter of fact, I have some very important news to share.  I'm heading into uncharted territory so from here until the end of my journey, every experience is going to be brand new for me.  Why is that?
 
Well, I'm at my lightest ever adult weight.  Each pound loss is another milestone.  When I was on the low carb diet, my lowest weight was 229.  It was at that weight that my physician had to remove me from the plan due to medical complications, and as you know, things went downhill from there.  I never weighed lower than 229... until today.  Thanks to hard work, dedication, a kick ass run on the treadmill combined with a hellacious kettle bell class, I now weigh 228 pounds.  And I thank the good Lord for that! 
 
It hasn't been easy lately.  I had a lot of ups and downs over the last six to eight weeks.  My weight went up.  It went down.  I stayed in the 230's for a long time, and since my weight remained the same last week, I didn't know if I was going to make my "30 by the 31st" mini goal.  Sometimes, it's difficult to stay on task when you don't see the scale move, but it didn't get me down this time like usual.  Sure, I was frustrated that the scale didn't move, but I experienced other things that gave me hope.  
  • I'm able to complete full bodied push ups.
  • I ran my fastest time and speed on the treadmill.
  • My endurance is improving.
  • My planking is amazing.
  • My shoulders, arms, and legs are stronger.
  • I actually completed 100 full squats in less than 5 minutes.
  • I wearing a size 16!
It's these observations that make it easier to buckle down, work harder, and stay focused.  I'm only 8 pounds away from my second milestone... that would be 125 pounds in less than one year. At this point, it's hard to wrap my head around it.  I mean... that really ME I'm seeing in the mirror.  I'm not looking at other people and wishing I was them.  I AM THEM.
 
Can you imagine yourself strapped with an additional 125 pounds on your back?  Can you imagine trying to go up one flight of stairs or walking to and from the bathroom?  Imagine completing your basic routine with all that extra weight.  It's difficult to comprehend, isn't it?  I was doing that everyday, and hating every minute of it.  People ask me all the time how I started this journey.  How did I make the decision to lose weight?  Believe me, when any person truly gets sick and tired of something in their life and honestly cannot live with it anymore, they will get rid of it.  That's how I stared.  I hated how I looked.  I hated how I felt, and I was just tired.  I didn't want to do it anymore.  That was my turning point, and the changes I made were gradual.  Small changes that added up to big results.  I didn't even add exercise until I knew I had my appetite and eating managed.
 
So, what's next?  Same as always.  I will continue to work out and monitor my food intake. After all, I got charms to buy and a trip to plan.  Thanks to all of you who read my blog, support me, and encourage me.  I know I've said it before, but it bears saying again.  These journey is so much easier knowing I have all of you with me.  And to those of you who are struggling with your weight or any other personal situation, please know that you have a friend out there hoping you will Find Your Way.