Wednesday, August 31, 2011

As I end out another month

I realize how much of this is becoming a part of my life. The trying to fit in exercise. The way I eat. It's become normal, part of my routine and it feels good and most days, not difficult to maintain. I've even gotten used to the new, thinner me. Not that I'm thin, but my mind is now "Melissa is working on being fit!" And I'm glad my body is catching up to what I want it to be - fit.

I still have a long ways to go to get more fit and to drop these last twenty? Thirty? pounds, but I'm working on it in a slow and steady manner that I can maintain. It feels right and I feel good and man, does it ever feel good to 'feel good'. Even with all these crazy lack of sleep nights, I'm much better off than I was last year at this time. I'm not at that same level of exhaustion.

And it is so wonderful to realize that my husband (and my older son) is proud of me. Yesterday after bodypump I told him the instructor was eye candy (looked like Mark Harmon) and I said there was some eye candy for women in the class. And he said, "well, I didn't really pay attention, but yes I think there was one pretty girl I noticed - besides you of course."  And then a bit later he grabbed my waist and said, "I got the girl I married back."   This man who NEVER gives compliments gave me three, yes three compliments yesterday. Wow... it meant a lot. And it's not just the weight. It's my attitutude, my energy, my fitness level - all of it.

And.... so that's why I will keep on keeping on. Today it's bodystep after I drop off my younger son to school. Big brother is still sick.

Stats for 8/31/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 190.2
Exercise total hours in 2011: 254
Total miles walked in 2011: 729/1000

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My husband gave me the look-over this morning!

It was a bit cool this morning, so I put on my new pair of size 12 pants and a new shirt and my goodwill find zip up fitness jacket. Nothing fancy, but he just looked at me and shook his head in a "wow... look at you!" So, I said, "What?" and he said, "you are looking thin." OK, I'm not thin, but this man never says anything he doesn't mean. He will never give a compliment unless he means it, so it meant a lot.

And... that came after a very difficult day of eating for me. it was the first time in 8 months that I had no feeling of control. I was tired, I was stressed, I was bored and my hormones were playing part of it too. I ate and ate yesterday. The good news is that I'm not feeling like that today, but too little sleep and lack of exercise and hormones are not a good mix - at all.

And because of the big food day the scale is up this morning, but I'm not going to stress about it as a. it's a temporary upswing on the scale due to lots of food and b. I've had too little sleep again and c. even if it were real pounds gained, it's temporary. This is life and in life there will be days I eat too much and then I'll just have to make up for it by eating a bit less at other times. I can't beat myself up about having one day of bad decisions when it comes to food.

I also now know that cake is a trigger food for me - especially unfrosted cake. I simply cannot have it in the house because I cannot resist it. That should be easy enough to avoid as I rarely have cake for the family. Of course, my son is wanting a cake for his birthday as soon as he gets better, but that will be a dark chocolate cake which is not a trigger for me as I can't eat large chunks/pieces of dark chocolate anything.

Today is the first day of school, so I walked my younger son to school. He was so excited, but nervous too with all the new teacher faces (he's a bit shy on top of his autism), but all in all I think it will be a good first day. Well... we'll see. He was up at 4:30 am this morning because they are working on a ramp to the highway about a mile away. The sound carries over the lake and woke us all up and the little guy wasn't able to go back to sleep.

My older son was up at 5 am with his fever going up to 103, so he's not in school today, obviously. I really did try to get a full night of sleep last night, but it didn't happen. I got to bed about 11:15 and was mostly awoke from 4 am onwards. Not what I wanted, but what can I do?

Tonight is bodypump - first time in 8 days for me to get to that class and I'm looking forward to it. Other than that, I'll have a couple miles of walking with walking my son to and from school this morning and after school. I really, really love that I can do that and even take several different routes to keep it interesting. I am so lucky to live in such a wonderful area after so many years living in very unfriendly walking areas. I'll never, ever take that for granted.

Ok, off to get some work done today! At least the little kid is out of my hair!

Stats for 8/30/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 191.4

Monday, August 29, 2011

1st day of school canceled, my son's birthday and blah!

Well, I'll start with the blah! I think hormones and lack of sleep are messing with me because I feel like I have zero motivation today. I'm tired. There are no interesting classes today until 6 pm at the gym and it will probably be super crowded as one gym is still without power and the other is on summer shutdown for cleaning.

Then my younger son keeps waking up at the crack of dawn and I'm not ready to be up then and really, he isn't either. He's been a bit difficult with his moods too. Two people in the house with two little sleep leads to a bit of tension.

And then today was supposed to be the first day of school. However, 27 out of 72 are still without power (or were yesterday evening) and there is still debris on the sidewalks and roads making it unsafe to walk/bike/take a bus to school. My younger son was very disappointed as I have been psyching him up for school for weeks. But, he finally understood why.

My older son has the flu. He's still sleeping this morning, so I'm not sure how he is, but today is his birthday. His 15th birthday and we've postponed everything first because of the hurricane and now because of the flu. We aren't even making a cake.

I have a refrigerator full of foods I can't make because they were bought with the idea of making spicy Indian food but with someone in the house with the flu, Indian food isn't on the menu.

And, I didn't get to exercise as much this past week which always brings my mood down. First, because I feel bad for not carving out time for it, but also the endorphins aren't present and boy do they make a difference in my mood!

Basically, like the last time my mother in law left for her vacation, I had plans and they got ruined due to sick kids. Here I am with no mother in law again and first an earthquake, then my son fell off his bike, then my son got the flu and then we had a hurricane and school was canceled. ARGH!!! I'm dying here for a few minutes to myself - with no kids. Doing what I want to do. it's been a very, very long summer and I was ready for a change to something different. But... hopefully all will be back to the 'new' normal with kids in school tomorrow.

Stats for 8/29/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 189.4
Exercise total hours in 2011: 252.5
Total miles walked in 2011: 723/1000

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Little hurricane issues, a new job and this new found energy

First, to all who might be worrying, there was very little issue with the hurricane. I must have been a bit nervous because despite very little sleep the night before, I couldn't fall asleep last night. The storm really started to pick up around 10 pm and when I finally fell asleep about 1 am it was still roaring outside.

Upon inspection, the only things in our area that seemed to have been affected is that the screen blew off the window from the master bedroom (and it is always a bit loose). The little half cage protecting the turtle nest blew into the neighbor's yard and about 10 tomatoes fell off the tomato plant and several twigs fell from trees. No water damage, no electrity problems or anything. The gyms around the city are still closed do to lost power at all three, but we never lost it here (maybe older neighborhoods are better equipped?)

I'm also psyched up a bit because I have officially rejoined the workforce, even if quarter time only (for now).  I have a lot of ideas and feel I also have the skills to actually make a positive impact. And well, that feels great. I have been out of the workforce for 8 years (wow... 8 years!) while staying home with the kids and while I think that was the best decision for our family at the time. I'm really itching to get back to work.

But I also have this new found energy. I'm healthy again. My thyroid is working normally. My fitness level is getting better and better and I'm not hauling around all that weight which slowed me down and wore me out. Basically, I feel like the 'old me'. And I missed the old Melissa and I'm sure my family did too! Of course, I have the feeling of, "I wish I would have known". But I'm not looking back except to learn from the past and move on!

Ok, back to work around the house. Tomorrow is my son's 15th birthday, but guess what? He has the flu! Can you believe that? So, not only was the first day of school on his birthday which was kind of sucky, but now he'll be out sick on the first day of school, on his birthday. Poor kid! Not a nice way to start his sophomore year!

Stats for 8/28/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 188.6

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane is about upon us and life around that

Yesterday afternoon I stocked up for any hurricane inconveniences - lighter, batteries, food in case we lose power. Then, I made a cake for my mentee's birthday party (which was now postponed for a day due to the hurricane weather) Here's the cake:

This cake has a story to it. When I was doweling it (you put wood support pieces to hold the tiers up so they don't sink into lower layers of the cake and then you put one center dowel through the center to keep the cake from sliding off the side), the top tier's cardboard cake plate buckled in half instead of being pierced and then that cake plate plunged into the middle tier, ripping it apart. I was in a panic at midnight with a destroyed cake. I was so lucky to have had spare pieces, so I disassembled it, took out the middle tier, put in a new middle tier and then placed to top tier back on top. Because of the accident, this cake isn't as smooth or as tidy as I usually make them, but all in all, it was a success as it meant I got some sleep at least and the birthday girl loves it, so that's all that really matters, right?

So, I went to deliver it this morning after a meeting I had in Virginia (an hour drive for me). After the meeting, the rain was already beginning to come down because of the hurricane. Now, I should have just come home, but to have time with no kids underfoot, and in a larger area, I wanted to go shopping. It was cooler today and I was wearing my only pants and I don't even like them (one of my goodwill finds this winter which I was excited about at the time, but in the end, the cut of the pant isn't very flattering in the leg). Anyway, I called my husband and said that since the storm wasn't coming in until later, I wanted to do a bit of shopping.

And that's what I did and I was successful in finding 3 pairs of pants - brown, black-ish and dark blue jeans. And, two shirts - all for a grand total of $69 (yay for clearance racks!). Used the $50 rewards card we just got and it was a $19 success! Yay! I still need a coat and sweaters, but I am pretty set now for early fall at least and some of that is professional wear, which is better than any of my summer attire which is strictly casual.

After I came home, it was dinner time, kid time and now soon, bed time as the hurricane is making it's way closer to us. I only got 4.5 hours of sleep last night and the bed is calling me. Plus, despite the weather, rain soothes me. Plus, we live an hour's drive inland from the coast, so we're not in a super dangerous zone, but we could lose power overnight, but shouldn't be at risk for anything more than that. It is steadily raining, but not really more than other really rainy days we get frequently around here.

Tomorrow will be staying around home and baking and cooking. Monday is the first day of school and my older son's birthday. Of course, said son has had a fever for the last 36 hours, so who knows what's in store for Monday, but I have to plan as usual.

No exercise today, but that's OK. Believe it or not, spending hours on your feet in the kitchen burns lots of calories too (as long as you don't eat it all back with finger dippings in the frosting bowl!)

Stats for 8/27/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 189.4
Total # of hours exercised in 2011: 252
Total # of miles walked in 2011: 722/1000

Friday, August 26, 2011

Husband said I shouldn't be frustrated, but I am!

So, last month I mostly missed the whoosh because I was on vacation. I still lost a bit last month, but less than I would expect. Then this month my cycle was a bit off and I ovulated early (by about 4 days - I think) and I had a whoosh for a week and since then I've been bouncing around. So that means this month I'll have one week of loss and three weeks of being stuck. That is so hard to deal with psychologically, I can't even tell you!

My husband says, "You know what you are doing is working and your body has been so very predictable, so you should be happy with your progress." And yes, I'm happy with my progress, but I cannot express how very difficult it is to keep doing everything right and to see the same 1-2 pounds bounce around on the scale week after week. I would much rather see slow and steady losses throughout the month than this start and stop business my body does. Because, like now, I'm questioning my plan. Why when normally I lose now, I am not? Am I way off in calculating my caloric intake? Have I somehow messed up my metabolism? Or is this some natural pattern and I shouldn't worry about it? I have to at least another 3 weeks to figure out if it is 'all good' or if I need to change things up because I'll be going into my stall-out again. Argh!!!!

So, I guess I'm feeling frustrated today. BodyStep this morning. Woohoo! (Trying to psyche myself up for it) and then I need to get some stuff in case the hurricane knocks out power/water.

Stats for 8/26/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 189.2

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Got almost everything accomplished yesterday

Yesterday really was a very, very busy day. And, I somehow managed to squeeze most of my plans in.

First, I did bodystep in the morning. A good class and a tough workout, but I felt great afterward. I came home with my son, had lunch, got him lunch and then I was about to go mow the lawn when I got a call from my older son - he had an accident with his bicycle and flew over the handlebars. He sounded calm, so I knew he was OK. He was close to home and so got himself home. He took a shower and then we dressed his wounds. For what he did, he actually got quite lucky. He was riding home on the sidewalk going downhill. He hit a bump and both wheels came off the ground, when he landed, he hit a tree root which mostly stopped the bike, but threw him over the handlebars. He went feet first, in front of him over the handlebars and landed on the side of his leg, butt, and back and a tiny bit on his elbow. His leg got quite a gash, but it's small. His butt took a scrape as did his waistline and then mini scratches up his back. Fortunately, he was wearing his helmet and double fortunately, he didn't hit his head.

This whole event, however, did change plans for the afternoon. I got him cleaned up, took him back to band camp to talk with the band director (I wasn't comfortable having him in camp after such an accident, especially marching while carrying a sousaphone!) and then fed him lunch, indulging him in his favorite drive thru meal.

Then, I needed to get to Target to get a few items my husband needed as well as some new bandages to better fit what we needed for that accident. Finally, at 5 pm I got to mowing.

All day yesterday I wasn't very hungry (even before my son's accident), so for dinner I just ate a salad while the rest ate leftover pizza. I finally got to making bread and yogurt in the evening and got to bed a bit after midnight.

Only thing that I had initially planned that I didn't get to was bodypump. After my bodystep class, I was feeling it a bit in the knees. (I still feel it this morning) and thought, "Why am I doing two classes AND mowing today?" So, I dropped the class. I'll just do my weighted routine in the basement tonight. That one I can stomach doing, unlike cardio. At least I 'say' I will do it. I'm realllllly tired today, so we'll see.

Plan for today is to go to Virginia to meet up with my mentee. We are going to paint some pottery. That should be fun! I'll see if I can do any shopping while out there too. I would love to find one more pair of pants, a raincoat/windbreaker and a top to match a pair of pants I have. I want to be able to feel dressed when fall hits!

Oh, and much of the water weight left me overnight  - thank goodness, but I'm still not back down to my all time low.

Stats for 8/25/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 188.6 (67 pounds lost)
Total number of hours exercised in 2011: 251
Total miles walked in 2011: 718/1000

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Seems if I can't make it to the gym, I don't exercise

For some reason, I just cannot force myself to go down to the basement to exercise. You know, my preferred way of exercising for months is now not acceptable? Me who was afraid to go to the gym to workout, now prefers it?

I think it's the being alone factor. In class I'm around other people. At home I feel the isolation and I don't like it. Same with walking around the lake. If I have company, great! If not, I don't want to do it. What's up with that????

So, what it means is that I didn't exercise at all yesterday. We had an earthquake here yesterday and because of it my husband's work dismissed early, so he mowed the back half of the lawn which was supposed to be my exercise for yesterday. I really tried to talk myself into doing a step routine down in the basement, but I couldn't do it! In the end, I just added second workout routine at the gym for today.

Today then, I'm doing bodystep in the morning, will mow late morning at home the front half of the yard and then this evening at 8 pm I will go to bodypump. I wanted to take it at 5:30 pm, but the class was full. My husband got the last spot in that class. So, back to pumping iron with the corporates again. I'll survive.

Scale is up 2 pounds today. I know why - pizza two nights ago and stir fry with soy sauce last night. Two super high sodium meals in a row will add up to a significant water gain. I'm not too worried/disturbed by it, but would also like to see it gone before I hit my monthly stall-out.

I was at the international grocery store when the earthquake hit yesterday. My son was running and jumping in the aisle and the shelves started to shake. First thought was, "Must be an earthquake". Then my more rational brain said, "More likely there's some loose flooring (as it's a mishmash of flooring) and my son's running and jumping is making the shelves shake". I asked him to stop and the shaking stopped. About 5 minutes later then radio interrupted saying an earthquake was just felt in Manhattan. Huh, it was an earthquake!

I was at the store to buy more Indian food supplies. WIth my mother in law gone - it's spicy food time and we love, love, love Indian food! Good for you too! All those beans and veggies! Yum!

OK, busy, busy day today. I have class, I need to mow and then I need to make bread and make yogurt and something for dinner and then do class again. Phew! Better get started!

Stats for 8/24/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 189.8 (up 1.8 pounds from yesterday!)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What no milestones today? Nope!

With so many exciting things happening the last few days, there is actually a day that is just the normal stuff. Me doing what I need to do to lose the weight and keep it off. Eating less and moving more with a lower carb twist added to the mix.

Yesterday was a different kind of day for me. First my younger son has been getting up at some whacko early times, so his mood and behavior has been less than spectacular during the last few days, yesterday was no exception. I also had several errands to run in the morning which didn't allow me to work out when I usually do. And then I had to drive my mother in law to the airport - not the closest airport, but the furthest local airport, Dulles. Which is a 1.5 hour drive typically. I set up the little guy with a movie in the back seat (love the portable DVD player) and off we went. Before coming home, we went to the bookstore for him to look at some books and next to it, Nordstrom Rack to maybe find some nicer, cheap clothes for me.

I was sadly disappointed in Nordstrom Rack. I was there a couple weeks ago but decided not to get anything even though there were several things I liked. This time, none of what I looked at before was there and their selection was very 'eh'. That's what you get for a clearance store, but still. I was looking forward to some good finds. It didn't help that little 6 year old was a beast in the store either. We didn't spend much time there.

I had my husband pick up pizza as I was on the run all day. I had budgeted the calories for it, but by the time it arrived I was famished, but boy was it yummy! And definitely worth the slight water weight gain this morning. Ever notice some of our favorite foods are really salty? Pizza, popcorn, tacos, bacon... SALT!!!

Anyway, in the evening I had signed myself up for bodypump. Since I knew with that long drive in the middle of the day, regular class times might not work, I scheduled one that I knew would work. So, at 8:15 to 9:15 pm I was in a weight lifting class. And boy, is it a different vibe at that time than during the day. First, people come in a rush to claim their spot. There's no "let me make room for you" or stopping to say hi to people you know as you set up and it's not like this class is any more full than other classes - they are all full. Just different kind of people. More of a "look after myself" vibe.

Then there was the chit-chat between people in class with friends who do the class together or people who are used to seeing each other in class. It's different - really different kind of vibe and talk. And of course, people look different. Every single person in that class has nice fitness clothes whereas during the day it's a mix of sweats and the nicer stuff. And, every one of these people worked during the day, so their hair is all nice, just pulled up (if a woman) for the class - full make-up everything.

As a new person in the class, there was no one to chat with, but more than that, the vibe was just 'off'. I've never worked the corporate world. I worked nonprofits and mostly education. It's just different in business. The people are different in the business world and it make me realize - that's not me and never will be me. I'm stereotyping a bit as I know not everyone fits this mold, but it felt so superficial... people trying to impress kind of thing... eh... not my style.

Anyway, after the class I felt like a limp noodle which is great for coming home to relax and going to bed at an earlier time. I went to bed with the windows open and sleep was great. My little son was up a bit later this morning. What woke me this morning was the darn big tractors/machines for my neighbor's lawn service which arrived promptly at 7 am - ugh!

.2 increase in weight for today from the pizza, but no regrets! That's just sodium! Today's exercise is mowing and trimming the lawn. Not looking forward to it, but it will be a gorgeous day to do it.

Stats for 8/23/11:

Beginning weight 255.6 Now 188.0
Exercise total hours in 2011: 250
Total miles walked in 2011: 711/1000

Monday, August 22, 2011

No longer obese according to BMI charts - just 'overweight'.

I don't pay BMI numbers much mind. They aren't meant for an individual, but for tracking populations, but for some reason the public and doctors use them as guides for individuals too, even though it's a really flawed measure. It  makes the assumption that all people fit within those guides for their height, but there are always outliers. And, just because a range is, say, 120-140, that doesn't mean 120-140 is the ideal range for everyone of that height AND that if you are within that range, you are at your optimal weight.

I'll take my mother in law as an example. She was 5'8" tall and has tiny, tiny bones. For people her height, her range should be 125-160. She typically weighed 130 until she got to be about 50 years old and she looked just right. Weighing 160 and she would look chubby. She weighs 175 now and is significantly overweight (she has shrunk to 5'6" now), but by BMI charts, she would just be ' a little' overweight. (and no worries, my mother in law thinks weight is no big secret. As a matter of fact she doesn't get why Americans are so secretive about their weights).

Me on the other hand have a very large frame. For my height, I should weigh between 117 and 153 according to the BMI chart. Yet, I know I looked like this when I was about 150 and 5'5.5" tall and 15 years old. I grew another inch since then and filled out a bit more too (I was a late bloomer):

There is no way I could ever, ever weigh 117 pounds and be healthy (or even alive?) Doctors have predicted in the past that 155-160 for me would be an ideal range. I wasn't even very fit in this photo!

Well, if that is right for me, and I think it is, that would mean I fit in the overweight range for my height.

So... while technically, I've just reached the 'overweight' range according to BMI charts, I've been just 'overweight' for awhile now, and not obese. And, well, I don't think I look obese.

Man.... I look at that photo above and I felt so fat back then because I knew I weighed more than anyone else on the squad. Why didn't I understand that I was destined to weigh more on the scale and just work on toning my body? Why didn't I (or anyone around me) realize that the number on the scale was not important? Ugh... I think of all the angst I had as a teen and college kid - feeling huge because of the number on the scale when other girls weighed 120-135 typically.

And that's why I hate charts. They are a guide and a guide only - not the bible on how much people should weigh!

Stats for 8/22/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 187.8

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lots of milestones soon - met one yesterday!

I detailed eons ago some milestones I was looking forward to. One that I was looking forward to was losing the same amount of weight as my son weighs. I thought I had hit that milestone when I lost 66 pounds, but no, the kid had a growth spurt and gained a pound, so I hit it yesterday. I had lost 67 pounds exactly and he weighed 67 pounds exactly. Here's the picture (as always click on it to make it bigger if you wish):

This was a special milestone because he was a big reason for my motivation to get healthier. He was only 5 years old when I found out that my health was in a very bad place. To be 40 years old and find out you are diabetic, have a nearly non-functioning thyroid, high cholesterol and super high blood pressure is a huge wake up call. Being that age with a very young child is an even bigger wake up call. I want my kids to have a mom. Not only that, I want my kids to have a healthy mom they can be proud of!

Yes, I have an older son too and he's 14. At 14, he's almost grown, so while I wouldn't want him to be motherless either at a young age, that guilt wasn't quite as strong for him as it was for my younger son. Not that I love my older son any less. Just that he's more ready to be on his own than his younger  brother, of course. But yes... they both deserve a healthy mom and I felt guilty that they didn't. That's not fair to them.

So.... hitting the milestone of losing the same amount of weight as my son weighs was a huge one for me. But I have a couple other big ones coming up too! First, is getting to 185 pounds. That's the weight that I got to when I lost weight last time. That time I lost a total of 50 pounds to get down to 185. I have already surpassed the 50 pounds lost mark, but not to the all time low of that weight loss journey. That is in just 3 pounds!  Another milestone I just passed like the same day as when I met the same weight of my son milestone is that I am now at my wedding day weight. And, I'm actually smaller than then because I'm more fit now. And then another milestone coming up is 179. That is how much I weighed when I had my college entrance physical when I was 18. That one will be HUGE as that means I will weigh the same as when I graduated high school. Of course, I felt heavy then and I was a bit heavy, but it's all perspective. I have never, ever weighed that little since then.

After that weight... it's uncharted territory. I have no idea what I weighed when as we didn't have a scale at home and I avoided them at all cost. All I know as that when I was 14 and on the swim team, I weighed 140. I was thin and fit and not completely grown or filled out yet. I grew another 1.5 inches and my hips and breasts expanded after that too. So, one thing I do know is that getting to 140 is an unrealistic goal. Other than that... I'm clueless as to where my ideal weight is and more clueless about where my body will want to settle into a weight.

Down another .4 today.

Stats for 8/21/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 188.2 (67.4 pounds lost)
Total hours of exercise in 2011: 249
Total miles walked in 2011: 707/1000

Saturday, August 20, 2011

So, when will I hit my initial goal? The future and my physical flaws.

I decided to look at my progress the last few months as I've slowed down. Seems, for now, I'm losing about 5-6 pounds a month. So far for this month I'm at 4 pounds and I have one week left until I stall out. If I can manage this month to get to 5 pounds lost and just 4 pounds a month (or roughly a pound a week) for the next three months, that will get me just past my goal by my birthday. When I set that goal, I thought it was ambitious and said I would be happy with losing jut 50 pounds in a year (well 50 weeks), but now it looks like I really could make it to 80 pounds lost if I just keep doing what I'm doing.

I know that this is not where I will end. My body will decide on where it will settle. I'll just continue to eat lower carb and to exercise 5-6 times a week and see where that takes me. It might be 170, 160, 150. Who knows and I'm not going to stress about it. But... now that I've lost over 65 pounds this journey, I can see that I have a lot more blubber on my body than just 15 pounds (which I knew would be the case, of course). But I don't know how much more fat there is for real. Especially since my skin is still looser with fat layers attached.  That could take 2-3 years to tighten up to it's end point even if I don't lose an ounce more after my goal. So, it's hard to look at my body and know how much is skin and how much is fat.

My guess is that I can get to 165 fairly easily if I keep up the exercising. Not sure beyond that and I'm not going to go crazy trying to get to some magical number on the scale. It's more I'm curious where my body will feel 'ok' to settle based on my frame size, height, activity level and so on. It's a mystery.

What I have been doing recently, which I never have done is to look at women's body's around me at the gym especially. I' curious about these fit women. We really do come in all shapes and sizes. Three of my instructors this week were bigger built and had some weight on them, but no one would deny they are fit, fit, fit. One, is big all over (spinning instructor). She weighs over 200 for sure, but you can also see her legs and arms are solid muscle, but she has some fluff in her tummy. Another, step instructor, is thin everwhere, but has a stomach on her - not like my gut, which is below the belt level, but hers is more like a pregnant belly - above and below the belly. Not very big, but there. Another instructor is smaller on top, but has quite a bit of extra in her hips and butt (one of the bodypump) teachers. Then the ladies in the class - they are all shapes and sizes. Some are very, very thin and very fit. Some are athletically built. Others have trouble spots - but they rock the fitness. It's really, really interesting to see how nearly everyone has areas of their bodies they probably aren't happy with. And I'm not saying that to be super critical. I'm taking note of these things to help me realize that hardly any of us are perfect and that's OK.

I say that when I stare at my lower gut. I have had problems with my gut since I hit my teens. I think it must be genetic. It's never been flat - ever. And even now with all the toning I'm doing, its a big rounded ball. Even before I gained an ounce of weight - I had that rounded abdomen - hard as a rock, but not flat. I know I will never be rid of it. Especially at 41. Especially after being so heavy. Especially with it just being my weak spot. Sure, I can work on it and tone more, but I need to accept my flaws - not get discouraged about them. And remember that we all have spots we wish we could improve. I will not be a bikini model, or any model. But I can be a healthier Melissa and that's all that really matters.

OK... need to get moving on the day! BodyPump in an hour and a bit. Oh, and did bodystep yesterday and it felt great. So much better than the last couple weeks. I was able to do more of the cross training elements - the most ever, so yes... I am continuing to build strength.

Stats for 8/20/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 188.6 (67 pounds lost)
Exercise total hours in 2011: 248
Total miles walked in 2011: 702/1000

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bye-bye 190s! Good riddance!

I was really, really hoping I would see the 190s gone this morning. I knew it was a long shot, but when I did my nightly weigh-in before going to bed, I saw it would be close and then, there it was staring at me in the morning 189.8. Close, I know, bit it's there. And if things go as they usually do during my whoosh, I shouldn't see any regain.

Yesterday I decided on doing a studio cycling class. I have to admit it's not my favorite. I like choreographed classes better, but it was good and a change from what I have been doing. The big bummer was that my heart rate monitor wasn't picking up my heartbeat very well. I would be feeling, "man, this is getting tough", but my monitor said 124 bpm. That doesn't add up. I would fiddle with the chest strep and voila! It would jump up to 148. Huh. Then it would be at 132 steady, non-moving and I would wonder, what? and then readjust to find it at 118 (during rests). Ugh... So much for that helping me gauge how hard I was working. I was having a hard time figuring out if I was getting my heart up there with not a lot of resistance in my legs and vice versa, was my heart going up with more leg resistance, or was it just muscle fatigue?

Anyway, it was good and I would do it again, but I'll be sure to have padded pants next time. By the end, my crotch was somewhat numb and then extremely painful as feeling came back. Yuck!

Today is BodyStep. I'm feeling some aches and pains in my glutes and hip flexors from cycling, but nothing too bad and since I missed this class on Wednesday, I'm really, really looking forward to the class today.

And back to the weight. .8 pounds and I'm at my wedding weight. And in 1.2 pounds I will have lost the same amount of weight that my younger son weighs. He's a huge 6 year old that weighs 67.0 pounds (checked it this morning). Soooo... I'll be doing some celebrating here very soon. I'll do a photo with my son when I hit that milestone, which I hope will be very, very soon. Woohoo!

Boy, this time of the month is way nicer than the stall-out!

Stats for 8/19/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6 Now: 189.8 (65.8 pounds lost)
Exercise total hours in 2011: 247
Total miles walked in 2011: 698/1000

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Since I missed last month's whoosh, I'm interested to see where it goes this month!

These past few weeks have been a struggle. I was happy to see I still eeked out a loss during vacation, but my whoosh part of the month was so small and so short that mentally, it's been a bit difficult dealing with two months of a virtual standstill. Of course, I also had craving issues and such this month too, which it seems is finally under control with keeping my carbs lower.

When I stepped on the scale this morning, I definitely felt some glee. 1.8 lower than yesterday. It basically confirms to me, that yes... I'm still in weight loss mode that what I'm doing is working. I ate a bit more this month per day, but also worked out harder this month, so I was really curious to see how it all balanced out. And, if you have been following along, that means, for me, waiting for my post ovulation weight loss whoosh - weeks of standing still on the scale and slight gains mid cycle. Ugh!

But, it's all good. As of right this second, I weigh 1.4 pounds less than I did last cycle, so that's something and I have about 9-10 days left until it all ends.

My plan yesterday was to go to bodystep and bodypump. However, my son with severe ADHD messed up the morning plan and I missed the class (and boy was I fuming!). I did manage to get to bodypump in the evening with my husband. My shoulders are feeling it a bit this morning, but that's good. Means I'm building muscle.

There wasn't much I wanted to take today, so I'm getting brave and taking studio spinning - bike riding on a stationery bike set to music. That class is super popular - probably the most popular, so there must be something to it, but I'm a bit afraid. I will gut it out though! And will hope I can walk afterward!

Now I'm itching to get out of the 190s. Felt like I've been here forever! Onward!!!!

Stats for 8/18/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 191.0 (64.6 pounds lost)
Exercise total hours in 2011: 246
Total miles walked in 2011: 694/1000

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shopping when you are 41 years old

Yesterday I did a full day of shopping. I did a 3 hour stint of shopping last week too. What's sad is that in all that time of shopping, I have bought only one thing and that was a black suit - pants and jacket for $20 total. Everything on sale is too summery in the stores and I have absolutely no idea what size I'll be wearing next year, so I'm not stocking up like I usually would. And, the fashions are weird. I suppose that means I'm getting old, but all this crepe-ish material in weird porportions doesn't do it for me. The stuff I like, I can't afford. I'm simply not paying $50 for a cotton shirt. No way.

But I need some fall clothes. As soon as the weather cools down I have: a spring weight/design pair of jean like material (very lightweight) and I have a khaki knee length skirt that has two shirts to match, and I have a slightly too tight longer pencil skirt in navy blue linen. That's it. I have no sweaters, no blouses, no nothing to match. All my summer clothes are too casual and 90% of them are workout clothes. Which is great as I can continue to wear them for class (that was a smart move on my part), but no long sleeve shirts to my name? That might get me through mid-september but then I'll need some clothes. Oh, I have no coats either. I have one sweatshirt jacket, but that's it.

So, I'm shopping again today and probably tomorrow and maybe the day after that. It's no tax week in Maryland, so I'm trying to make the most of it, but I'm just surprised that no sweaters or anything have hit the stores yet. Or are they too old fashioned? No one dresses for the weather any more or something?

Ironically, I see lots of dresses I like, but they are more expensive and impractical. With a shirt and skirt or pants, I can mix and match. I can't do that with a dress. Ugh... I thought it would be easier shopping in smaller sizes and while it's definitely fun to fit in the smaller sizes, I'm not getting far in finding a wardrobe - even a small one! Time is ticking!

My kids are set, however. My younger one has a complete fall and winter wardrobe and same with my older son. Backpacks are here and we will buy school supplies tomorrow. Classes start on August 29th, my son's 15th birthday.

OK... that's it for me. 1.5 hours until class.

Stats for 8/17/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 192.8
Exercise total hours in 2011: 245
Total miles walked in 2011: 690/1000

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Got to thinking of my memento for losing all this baggage

Someone on the weight loss forum recently said that she was getting a charm for each 5 pounds she lost to add to her charm bracelet. I thought that was pretty cool and wished I had thought of something like that for this journey and that got me to thinking of what I wanted to do to celebrate when I got to my initial goal of 175.

Then, the other day while I was at that boutique in the mall, I saw these beads. They were fun and artsy and I saw you could mix and match to make your own bracelet. I was shocked when I realized the price tag of $80 was per bead, not per bracelet! Wow! Really?

But then I started thinking that wasn't the route I wanted to go and then I got an idea. My sapphire and diamond rings would be perfect. Here's the story behind these rings:

It goes way, way back. When I was in college, my mom gave me a star sapphire ring. I loved that ring. Like really loved it. But, one homecoming weekend I was in a parade where I had to wear gloves. I noticed the ring was catchign on the ring, so I took it off while waiting for someone. Not being careful, I got up when my friend came and the ring stayed behind. Of course, when I checked for it later, it was gone. I was devastated. My only other nice jewelry was my high school class ring.

Skip forward a couple years and my husband and I were going to get married. My dear husband doesn't believe in engagement and engagement rings. I get where he is coming from and really, when I think about it, I agree. A ring to be bought off? A ring of monetary value to promise that I will follow through on marriage? Eh... it doesn't sit well with my feminist side, but on the other hand. I wanted a beautiful ring! Instead, we got plain gold bands when we got married. Which of course meant the world to me too because it was exchanged with love. Now, yes, it's still a monetary thing and still a "I'm bonded to you" kind of thing. But it's mutual in this case. And, as my husband said, by wearing it, it signals to other people too, "I'm taken and not interested". That might be what it means to him, but when I look at that simple band, it takes me back to the day we decided to live together forever as family and I take that very seriously and with much devotion.

Skip a few years again and my wedding ring is too tight. And, being at a real bad spot in our marriage, I was feeling bad about not having a ring to wear and in not having a nice ring. So, I did some searching online and ordered these rings from an etailer. I think I paid $500 for the pair. I wore those for years and years as my engagement ring/wedding band combo. Later, when my mom gave me my grandmother's engagement ring, I wore that diamond and the sapphire and diamond band under it as my wedding ring combo and wore the solitaire sapphire on the other hand ring finger. When I get my wedding band resized, I will wear that on my wedding finger and I want to resize my grandmother's ring to wear on my other hand as well as others I've received from my mother in law over the years. One ring on each hand is plenty.

Finally, in October last year when my mother in law was looking for something to get for me for my anniversary I thought of my wedding band. I no longer needed the sapphire ring set. I was over it and treasured my wedding band far more and I wanted to be able to wear it again. Plus, at the time I was feeling horrid. Like death warmed over actually. I had been having daily headaches for several weeks at this point (all day, every day headaches) and I had no energy and I just knew I would never lose the weight to be able to wear those rings again. What a couple months and getting treatment can do, huh?

So, what better way, really to celebrate my new lifestyle than to recycle these rings into something to wear every day to remember where I have been. Not only that I once weighed 100 more pounds than I would by the time I got to my initial goal (just 17 pounds more to go), but also mentally where I was back then. I had less confidence. I wasn't very happy with myself or with where my marriage was when I got those rings. I've grown so much as a person. It would be a visual reminder of where I have been and don't want to be again.

I've thought of a lot of different things, but I think what I would like to do is to keep the same layout because I think if I change the look too much, like this (which I like, btw):

I would just see a cool brooch that could only be worn with some outfits. I thought about a pendant necklace, but I rarely wear necklaces and again, it would disallow wearing other necklaces. But then I thought about a bracelet. I've never been able to wear bracelets. I have large wrists. Bangles? Can't fit over my hand. Wristbands can't fit around. I've had to order men's watches over the years. Wouldn't it be appropriate to get a bracelet? Sure, it still might need to be made slightly larger as I do have large wrists for a woman, but it would be a reminder of that now I can wear a bracelet.

I can't find anything specific to what I'm thinking, but if I keep the same design with the top row being the sapphires - small rectangle, the oval sapphire, and then another small rectangle and have below it the row of channel set square diamonds and sapphires, it would have the same look as the ring, but repurposed and would fit with most outfits as a modest bracelet worn on the left hand. To keep it in place, I would do a cuff style. Closest I could find was something like this:

But, I have to get there first! Not putting the cart before the horse!!! Down another .2 today which isn't bad considering I had very salty pizza last night. Wow was it salty!

Stats for 8/16/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 193.6

Monday, August 15, 2011

Seems my body is just hungrier, so I'll feed it

I have decided that if my body isn't satisfied with eating at the lower calorie area where I was eating, then I need to eat a bit more so that I feel better. I know this shouldn't be something I have to think about it and decide upon, but sometimes it's hard to decipher bodies' signals. What feels like hunger signals could be from so many things - being used to being fed at a particular time. Cravings unrelated to hunger. And just your head messing with you.

But, I'm eating very healthy, working out every day and my body seems satisfied when I end my day eating about 1600 calories and still unsettled, asking for more when I try to settle around 1500 or 1400.

1600 is still a deficit in calories (especially with working out), so I should follow this pattern and not worry about trying to maximize my weight loss per week. I need to be able to sustain my lifestyle and to do that, I have to follow my body's lead. Right now with what I'm doing, it simply wants more to eat.

Other than that, I did ovulate early this month and as  gift to me the water weight associated with ovulation that usually sticks around for 3-4 days is leaving early too. So, time to see where this month's weight loss takes me. I want to break into the 180s. Anything more than that I will be happy with. At this point in my weight loss, it will happen slower and slower, but it's still progress!

Stats 8/15/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 193.8
Total hours exercised in 2011: 243.5
Total miles walked in 2011: 687/1000

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Feeling a bit more optimistic today and enjoyed Zumba!

Yesterday was a tough day. I fought the hungries all day and in the end was doing great, but that chocolate chip cookie that was staring at me ALLLL day finally won. I ate it. I savored it and enjoyed it. And you know what? One cookie was enough and today I feel stronger and more capable of having an on plan day.

Did BodyPump yesterday with my husband. He took it easier on weights this time and isn't in pain today. For everything except the chest exercises on the bench, I can lift considerably more than him, but then I looked around the room at the other men in the class and you know what? I can lift more than many of them. There were a few women in class that lifted pretty heavy and by looking at them, you would never guess how strong they are because they have those thin, lean muscles. Which just goes to show that you can't tell by looking at someone how strong they are or not.

Then today I did Zumba. It was the same instructor as the bodypump instructor and she is so much fun and full of energy. I wish she were the regular instructors for each of these classes instead of a substitute.

I'm going to do Zumba tomorrow too instead of bodystep. Bodystep is just so hard that adding in a hot gym (which is the only place I can take it on Mondays) is too much for me. Though, I say that and I'm finding with Zumba that I have to really push myself hard to get a good workout in Zumba. It's feeling like it's a bit too easy. Which wouldn't be true if I knew the routines and could move at tempo from the beginning with the instructor, but what happens is that the instructors keep substituting dates/times and rarely do you get the same routine twice in a row. You end up stumbling around for a bit trying to pick up the steps and by the time you get it, they have switched it up again. Maybe eventually I'll be exposed to enough of the songs to get a good workout as they will all be more familiar, but that hasn't happened yet.

Other things are that I need to help my son reorganize his room It's a disaster and he has far too many things in there that he doesn't use or need. He's gone from kid to nearly an adult and his needs are changing, so time to purge! Monday he starts band camp and then back to the school routine we go. I don't envy his schedule either.

He's entering 10th grade and his schedule goes like this. Fourth period is lunch too and the classes are twice as long and alternate every other day for that period only. Though, I have to say for this kid starting the day with Chem and Pre-calc is a lot better for him than last year that was US History and Health:

1st period: Chemistry GT (gifted and Talented)
2nd period: Pre-Calc GT
3rd period: Band
4th period A: English Honors
4th period B: Economics/American Government GT AP
5th period: German II Honors
6th period: Art I

He's wanting to start to run too, so I'm going to try to start with him. Maybe it will be good mother/son bonding. Instead of me being super nag all the time.

Speaking of nagging. I need to go nag him to start cleaning his room!

Stats for 8/14/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 194.4
Exercise total hours for 2011: 243
Total miles walked in 2011: 686/1000

Saturday, August 13, 2011

As I'm in my stall-out, I was thinking, "I don't think I could do this again".

It was a strange thought and I don't even know how my brain wandered to there. I was driving somewhere and started thinking about how much weight I had lost from my top weight and my current weight loss effort and was feeling pretty good about my progress when all of a sudden I thought, "but you know, what if I gain it all back? What if I don't keep it off? Would I be able to lose it again?" And my head said, "I don't think I could do this another time."

And it's not because this is hard. Yes, some days are harder than others (the last few have been more difficult). And it's not that I plan to stop exercising and go back to bad eating habits - my blood sugar can't take that - or my blood pressure. But I don't know if I can continue to sustain the same mental effort or would be willing to put my head in this "do it" mental state again, especially if ultimately I fail.

It took me over a decade to try to lose weight after failing at my last major attempt. Staring failure in the face is hard, but trying to convince your brain that you will not fail again is even harder. Right now I trust myself that I will stick to it and that I will keep it off (though that resolve has been a bit shaken by how hard these past couple weeks have been). But, if I were to fail again? How could I ever believe that the next time will be any different? I would need to believe that I could succeed to even attempt it.

And these past few weeks have been very hard. I was so careful during vacation. I didn't pig out. I walked for hours every day, yet I lost so little that month. It shook me a bit. Was it less working out the week before vacation when my elder son was sick and during vacation? Was it that I'm just getting to a slower part of this journey and I should expect that from now on? Or what?

The hunger feelings and especially the cravings for carbs have come back and that is even worse. I had no problem saying no to carbs for months and months and now it's harder to deal with. What is that about? Did vacation and the bit more of carbs do it?  Did making my mother in law's birthday dessert do it? What is it? I'm now being ultra strict with the carbs - all of them, to get over this craving again, but that's hard too! The kids' cookies are staring at me. The rice at dinner is staring at me. and so on. But avoiding carbs isn't even a losing weight thing. It's trying to keep my blood sugar in check that is the reason for the low carbs! I do not want to use drugs to control my blood sugar!

Ack, full of doubt today as I deal with my gain towards ovulation. I guess I'll know in about a week how this month stacks up to previous months. Sometimes it's really, really hard to accept my body's patterns. Keeping that belief that it will happen and the resolve to make it happen can be very, very trying.

Doesn't help that the workouts have been kicking my butt this week. I thought a day off would help (the day we did the zoo - so just some walking), but no. Yesterday's step routine was H.A.R.D. Different instructor who was pushing us really hard. It's good for me, but I feel like I'm trudging through mud and I can see how much more fit the other ladies in the room are while I stay at my low impact watching them jump around. I've come so far, but man, I have a long way to go too!

Stats for 8/13/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 194.8
Hours worked out in 2011: 241
Total miles walked in 2011: 679/1000

Friday, August 12, 2011

Right on cue a gain and loving trying on clothes!

So far I've been able to avoid the temptation of buying clothes, but after years and years and years of hating trying on clothes, (Man... most of my life actually!) I'm actually finding it enjoyable. It's funny because as I was gaining weight and reached my current weight of 190s, I felt huge and felt I looked horrible in clothes. I would zone in on the flabby tummy and thick legs. Now, with over 60 pounds gone, sure I still see the negative things, but they are so much less than they were 60 pounds ago - or even 80 pounds ago, that I can appreciate the good things I see in the mirror too.

And of course, being able to shop in all the cool shops is really fun! I have never stepped inside any of these stores before: The Limited, Forever 21, Ann Taylor, JJill, JCrew, Banana Republic, American Eagle Outfitters and so on. My shopping was limited to stores like the major department stores in the women's section: Nordstrom, Lord and Taylor and Macy's. And stores like Talbot's Women. Not that I ever shopped there. I'm too cheap and as a stay at home mom for the last 8 years, who needed nice clothes? I bought from the Women's sizes at Marshall's and TJMaxx and sometimes Nordstrom Rack.

The store I've been dying to go into and to be able to buy in is a cute little main street type boutique store - Kokopelli . I used to go in that store and just sigh at the cute, artsy dresses. Size 14 being the largest size. I went in there the other day and just for kicks decided to try on a simple dress. They had a 14 and a 12 and feeling lucky, I grabbed the 12.  And got a happy surprise of it being a good fit. I was seriously tempted by it, but with a $118 price tag, no way. Not for now when I don't know what size I will be in 2 months. I feel bad about the dress I bought for $24 and only wore once!

It's a huge motivator for me right now actually, to feel I look good in the clothes I wear. It's been so very, very long since I've felt that way - if I ever felt that way.

So,  isn't it ironic that I'm having a hard time keeping my food intake in check? and that I have a one pound gain on the scale this morning? I just have to shake my head. Today is day 11 of my menstrual cycle which means I'm gaining for ovulation. I know it. It's predictable, but as always, it has me a bit worried since I have been eating a bit more lately.

Can't dwell on it. I just have to keep plugging away. Going to BodyStep today.

Stats for 8/12/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 194.2

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day at the zoo - and my creeping up calories

Sorry all for the late entry. This morning my little guy was up at the crack of dawn because he was so excited about going to the zoo today. Problem with that was that the entire house was asleep. I really needed to get to the grocery store as I had been trying to make the fridge as empty as possible to make it easier to clean. I cleaned it last night and then afterward, exhausted from being up since 5 am, I realized that I wouldn't have anything to make lunches to take to the zoo next day. So, my son's early rising make it possible to get to the grocery store.

We had a leisurely breakfast and then headed into DC. Getting there was a snap, though we were later than we had planned on and because of it, all parking was gone. We drove around for awhile before I realized that it would be better just to drop the rest off at the gate and go searching for parking while they enjoyed the zoo. I finally found something, but all parking around DC is free parking, but has a limit of two hours. So, we walked around looking at various exhibits and after two hours I went to move the car - walking a mile to get to the car! I moved it closer to the zoo and rejoined the family. We finally came back around 4 pm, getting home around 4:45 pm.

And now to the upping calorie thing. I don't understand it, but I have been needing more food. Seems 1600 is the magic number. Only a couple days in the last couple weeks have I eaten less than that. While that is still at a deficit, especially with exercising every day, but I don't this new hunger. I can't figure out if it's from heavier/harder exercise, vacation eating still sticking with me, or if I'm just losing my focus.

I don't think it's the latter, because I'm really pushing myself at the gym and I'm super motivated to drop sizes. I want to be firmly in a size 12 and would love to get to 75 pounds lost by my anniversary. The latter is beginning to look unlikely, but I'm definitely not off track. I'm not snacking on junk, but eating an extra piece of meat, or an extra cheese stick, etc.

Even now, with just eating dinner, I'm feeling a bit hungry. hmmm... maybe it's because I've had a few caffeinated drinks? And caffeine makes me hungrier? Or, the more fruit carbs are make me hungrier? I don't get it, but I don't like it!

I can't even know if it's having an effect with the scales because I never lose during this phase of my cycle. What I can see is that I haven't gained so far and I'm on day 10. That's good, but it doesn't mean much. Sometimes I actually manage to lose a little between days 6-10 of my cycle before the ovulation gain happens. Ovulation should be in about 4 more days and then another 3 days of holding fluids. So I have survived 10 days of this cycle and the stall and have about another 7 days (Gee whiz that's a long time to stall out on a regular basis!). I'll see how much effect eating 1600 calories has when I hit my next new cycle. That is so frustrating!

Every day I say I won't eat as much and every day I am just too hungry not to eat a bit more here and there. It's not a lot more than my goal calories, but it's about 200 too high. Maybe it's the weight lifting? That's the only thing that has really changed. I started that about 2 months ago and at first did it twice a week, but I have increased my weights and now do it 3 times a week (except this week I'm doing it twice).

Ok, today I will show the workout from yesterday (which was hard, but not as hard as when I was in a hot room, thank goodness for that!) So, tomorrow it will look like an off day, but not really! Walked 5 miles at the zoo (3 of those miles was fairly fast walking as I got to and from the car a couple times for parking). I actually got 6 miles in, but I'll only count 5.

Stats for 8/11/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 193.2
Exercise total hours in 2011: 240
Total miles walked in 2011: 674/1000

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Been up since 5 am and I'm about to face that tough class again

So, my mind still freshly remembers how hard that step workout was on Monday evening. I'm set to take that same class, same instructor today at 9:30 am.  Now, it's in the morning, in a cooler gym, but egad, I'm getting tired already. I definitely think a nap is in store for today to make it through, but I also need to clean out my refrigerator (perfect time as it's getting bare bones in there) and while I'm at it, my kitchen floor needs a good mopping (or two). My kitchen is big and the tile includes the front entryway and side entryway too. Takes a bit of time and muscle to mop it all. It's well past due though... I should do it, but will I? We'll see. It all depends on how I feel after this really tough class. I liked the old release routine so much more than this one. This one kicks my patooty!

Yesterday was my weights class. That went well, but this is the week the instructors can switch up the routines now that it's been a month since the new release. Well, when they alter the routine in the step class, it's not that big of a deal - same with zumba. You just follow the instructor and learn the new steps. With weights, however, a different routine can fatigue the muscles differently. So, just when I have figured out how much weight to put on the bar for each song, they go and change it up on me! This instructor yesterday changed the lunge section to one I felt was a bit easier. But she changed the biceps section to one that was much more difficult. My arms couldn't do all the reps with the weight I had on the bar. What was perfect weights for the song with the new release, is too much for this older release. Problem is, I won't know what song the instructor is doing, until she starts it! Too late!

I've also realized in that class, that for the leg work, I have the heaviest weights on the bar. For the chest/arms work (except for standing triceps work), I have almost the lightest weight on the bar. I know why too. Until recently, I was walking around and carrying around and exercising with an extra 60 pounds. My legs have muscle. My upper body started from zero strength and has needed to increase to get stronger. I'm glad to have kept my leg muscle and I'm hoping my upper body will catch up on strength eventually.

Other than that, yesterday was getting ready for school shopping. My children have enormous feet. My 14 year old has size 14 men's shoes. Holy wow! My 6 year old wears a 3.5 youth. They both need new socks too and finding XL socks means ordering them online as the ones in stores go up to size 12. For the past 4 years the kid has been the same size shoe as age. I really hope this trend stops here though!

One other thing is that I've noticed that since we've come back from vacation, my daily calorie intake has been higher - around 1600. I'm hungry! I'm keeping the carbs below 100, but having a hard time keeping my calories around 1400. I don't know if it's that I got used to more food during vacation or if the strength training is increasing my appetite. We'll see how it goes from here, I guess. I'm in no race to lose this weight, but I don't want to stall out either.

Stats for 8/10/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 193.2
Exercise total hours in 2011: 238
Total miles walked in 2011: 665/1000

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

When a class kicks your butt

Just as I'm feeling strong and healthy, I get a reality check. I'm still a fitness fledgling. I still have a long way to go and sometimes exercise kicks my butt.

Yesterday I was feeling so good. I was getting lots of positive comments on my progress pictures on the weight loss forum. I can see how far I've come and then I took the step class last evening. I went to a different gym and took the class at a different time. I usually do Zumba on Mondays, but I felt like doing the step workout. I get to class and it's the same instructor as teaches the Wednesday morning class I take and she's good.

Then we start, no problems, it's OK, but very soon I realize this room is HOT. First, it's in the basement of this gym. Second, the ceilings are lower and the room is smaller - more bodies in a small space makes the heat build up.

At about halfway through, I'm tired. Really tired. I usually do some of the propulsion stuff, but every time I try, I can feel I'm over doing it. I forgot to wear my heart rate monitor, so I couldn't confirm my feeling, but phew... wiped. out.

I finish the class and I don't remember the last time I felt that wiped out from a routine. Three hours later and I'm ready for bed. I slept all night and still feel tired this morning. I'm so glad I'm not doing a cardio class today. Today is the strength training class and while it's a cardio strength training class (our heart rates get up there), it's a different kind of exhaustion.

My husband was going to do the strength training class with me today, but he's still really hurting from the class on Saturday. Unbelievable! He went swimming yesterday and he said that felt so easy, so effortless and then he got out of the pool and instantly felt the same muscle pain. So odd. He is stronger than me. Can bike up hills on the bike that I can't. Lift heavier things and so on, so this is just odd that when it's sustained use of strength he gets so sore, but with a burst of strength, he's fine.

Anyway, hoping this feeling of fatigue passes!

Stats for 8/9/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 192.4 (new low!)
Exercise total hours in 2011: 237
Total miles walked in 2011: 661/1000

Monday, August 8, 2011

Updated picture day!

That I regularly ask my son or my husband to take pictures of me is very odd. I want you all to realize this. I have never, ever liked having my photo taken, so to voluntarily step in front of the camera on a regular basis for them, and for me to occasionally take pictures of myself is just odd. I still don't like it and I feel stiff and unnatural in front of the camera, but I'm glad I'm doing it. Photos, for me, are the best way to chart my progress. Sure, I need the scale for the daily motivation, but I don't really see the difference in how I'm changing with the scale, or even the measurements and how things fit. When I step in front of the mirror every morning, what I see are my imperfections - a 41.5 year old body with lots of battle scars. These photos I have been taking every 20 pounds really show my progress to my head, even if not immediately.

Like, yesterday I saw these photos and thought, "Eh, my face hasn't changed much in the last 20 pounds." But then I just added the newest picture to the sidebar and heck yes I can see a difference. Each time more of my facial structure can be seen. It is true, my overall shape hasn't changed much. My legs look like my legs, just smaller. My gut looks like my gut, just smaller. My bust looks like my bust, but just smaller (yes, the girls have shrunk a bit too even though they don't look like it in the pictures).

So, onto more pictures. That's what you all want to see, right? Just remember, if you are dying to see them full sized, just click on the photos and you can see them larger.

First, my new head and shoulders shot:

OK, I couldn't resist with that one. I was making faces at my son as he was adjusting his camera.... That's about how I feel about standing in front of the camera.

Here's the 'good' head and shoulders shots. The first one was taken in the shade and the second one a bit earlier in the glaring sun:

And some full body shots:

Some comparison shots:





So, that's the photo story so far. I will be adding some pictures every 10 pounds from now on because it's getting longer between each 20 pounds and because I think there should be more difference seen at ten pounds as I get closer to goal. I guess we'll see.

Stats for 8/8/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 193.4
Exercise total hours in 2011: 236
Total miles walked in 2011: 657/1000

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Well, no pictures and here's why

Yesterday morning my husband and I did the BodyPump class together. I had no idea what to tell my husband to use for weights and advised him to ask the instructor. The instructor said to use the same weights as she does to start out. Well, that was too much for him. Turns out, for almost all the exercises, I can lift more weight than he can. Where he's stronger is in the places we were on the bench lifting with chest, shoulders and triceps.

The biggest problem was that the first weights we do are squats. He had 10 kg on the bar, same as me. At the end he was ready to collapse and after that got the shakes and wasn't steady which threw him off for the rest of the sets. He dropped down in weights (below what I could do) and still needed to step out and get some water and sit for a bit.

I was kind of shocked. My husband isn't unfit. He swims a mile every other morning at the pool. He is thin and is getting more muscle definition too with what he's doing. But, he doesn't use his butt much in swimming it seems, or his quads, so it was too much yesterday.

I have to admit, I got some enjoyment out of seeing I could lift more than he could simply for the fact that I used to be way weak and it just showed me how far I've come on this journey!

He enjoyed the class though and realized how great a workout it is, so he wants to do it again midweek, so we will take a class together again on Tuesday evening.

The strength training is definitely helping probably the most with reshaping my body at this point. It's reshaping my arms, my abs and my legs. I realize that I always hold in my stomach now and not because I'm trying to hold in my stomach, but that it's natural state is held in instead of bulging out. Still got a gut on me, but at least it's a stronger core with all that gut. My arms and legs are looking better too. Little by little.

So anyway, I wanted to have my update pictures taken yesterday, but... ready for it? My husband couldn't hold the camera steady! His arms were too fatigued from the workout - 2 hours afterward!  He tried, but nope, the little camera was too heavy to hold up. So, hopefully today I can get those photos taken.

Yesterday I also went out with my mentee for some shopping. We hit a bunch of teeny bopper places. I tried on a size M shirt that looked nice, but I didn't need it. We went to a couple other stores for older people like me and I discovered I truly wear a size 12 now! Wow! While I was trying on a size 12 and was at the 3 way mirror a sales associate saw me and said I might want to try a size 10 as their pants tend to stretch out after a couple hours. I thought she was crazy as I was still in shock that I could fit into a 12, but a 10? I went back to the rack, picked up two jeans with some stretch and a linen skirt in a 10 and figured I wouldn't be able to get them up over my hips, but no! The 10 jeans fit pretty well (gave me a bit of a muffin top) and the skirt did too, just a tad tight in the thighs/butt region. What? I went to a couple other stores and sure enough, the 12s all fit (as long as they weren't low rise jeans - in those 12s don't fit and look horrid anyway - too much gut on me!).

I didn't want to get much of anything as my summer wardrobe of 14s and those athletic clothes are still working for me. I got the linen skirt in a 10 that was on the clearance rack, but I need to shrink into those a bit. I'll see what size I need when the weather gets cooler. It would be a waste to get 12s if I'm getting close to 10s by September (though I can hardly imagine that).

I'm taking Zumba this morning (in about an hour) so when I'm done with that and shower and get all prettied up, I'll have my husband take photos today - if he can handle the camera. If not my son can. His camera yesterday had a dead battery.

Have to admit, yesterday was a big motivator to keep on chugging along! I feel great and am looking better and better!

Stats for 8/7/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 193.0
Exercise total hours in 2011: 235
Total miles walked in 2011: 653/1000

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Taking pictures today! and more of course!

I realize I'm overdue for an update picture. I said I would do a picture every 20 pounds and it's been more than that. From here on out, I will take a picture every 10 pounds as I get closer to goal. I'm doing that for two reasons. One, it will take me longer to get to each ten pounds lost and the other reason is that I think the 10 pounds will look about as different as the 20 pounds as I get closer to goal.

I am finding now that my legs and arms are shaping up, but my gut/waist are my big trouble spots - all mushy. Of course, I still have extra everywhere, but it's more in the middle and probably always will be.

The weights classes are helping a lot with reshaping my body and today my husband is taking the weights class with me! I hope he likes it! I sure do and I'm finally not sore from the tough workout I did on Tuesday!

Other than that, today I'm going mostly window shopping with my mentee. She loves to shop and I'm in desperate need for clothes for fall. She should like that, I hope! But, we're also going to swing by the paint your own pottery store and see if we can do that or at least get ideas for what we want to do or make there.  Busy day, but at least we got to sleep in a bit!

Stats for 8/6/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 193.2

Friday, August 5, 2011

Beginning to seriously think about the job market as fall approaches

We said when kids were in full time school, I would go back to work. Well, that was last year as kindergarten is full day here in Maryland. We decided, in the end, to have me stay home one more year as the little guy might need extra support with his autism and too many changes too fast might be hard on him. Also, my older son was starting high school and well, needed the same thing - mom around and stability. However, here we are, pretty much adjusted to life  and we need the money in the bank.

I have no idea what to do or where to look. That's probably the scariest part of it. I really just want something not very stressful, flexible and normal hours. I know I'll probably have to do some grunt work as I head back in after years and years off, but that's OK. So, time to polish up the resume (again) and to start scouring websites for job openings.

One thing I have going for me now is that I've lost enough weight to look more normal sized, so I'll feel more confident and I will appear more healthy. Those things do matter once you get to the in person interviews.

Anyway, that's a project for next week. I'm busy today and this weekend. But soon, very soon.

Stats for 8/05/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 193.4
Exercise total hours in 2011: 234
Total miles walked in 2011: 649/1000

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Step class and a day in the kitchen - thinking of fall.

Yesterday morning I did my first cardio class in 1.5 weeks and I was a bit worried, I have to admit. That step class is tough.  I was dreading it a bit actually, but it was OK. Once I got the lead out of my legs from the weights class the day before, I was good to go. I was OK during the first part and even the first cardio peak where we drop down and do the burpees, but I couldn't do the 3rd cardio peak as they wanted... That time we drop down to the step and do rock climbers or something like that. My heart was already racing, so I just stayed up and used the step while they did those. During the cool down I was able to do about 2/3s of the plank section (the most I have done yet), but it wiped me out. The intensity level from this routine and the last is huge.

After class, I came straight home and then started working in the kitchen. Started with doing the cake dishes from the night before (lots). Then went to making homemade mango strawberry ice cream. Then, started the sauce for lasagna, then made a white cake with the leftover egg whites from my mother in law's bday cake chilling in the fridge. Then I started some loaves of bread. Then started the rest of the lasagna stuff and finally washed up all the stuff for salad. Delivered the meal to my neighbor who had surgery (lasagna, homemade bread, salad and ice cream) and fed my troop - lasagna and salad and mother in law's birthday cake and then did more dishes. Oh, yesterday I also started a slow ferment bread too, but now I realize I forgot to work with it last night! I wanted to let it ferment about 10 hours, then knead it up and let it rise in the fridge overnight. oops! Hope the mixture is still good this morning!

Basically, I was in the kitchen for about 6 hours yesterday. As a result, my calories were a bit high yesterday, but nothing horrible, but too high for sure (about 1850 when I usually eat around 1500). I don't want to be standing in the kitchen long today. One reason lasagna is worth the effort - leftovers!

It was a bit cooler yesterday and that got me to thinking about fall. I have absolutely nothing for fall and winter. Well, I currently have a pair of jeans I bought in May, but they are getting loose. I have a pair of slacks from 1997, but again, they are getting loose. I'm currently in a size 14, but will I be in 14s by fall? I'm thinking no (which will be very odd for me... I haven't worn a 12 since I was like 15 and then it was like for a minute as I jumped from 9/10 to 13/14s really fast. Of course, today's  misses 12 is like a junior's 15/16 'back in the day'. But I haven't worn those measurements since I was 17 or so!) For tops I have absolutely nothing except for a couple shirts my mother in law handed down to me and I'm pretty sure those are getting loose too. I love to shop, but I really don't want to go shopping for winter clothes! Yes, it's summer, who can think of winter clothes, but when you are looking at a dresser and closet full of size 18s and 20s for fall/winter, and you are currently wearing a looser size 14. You know you can't even find a way to have them 'make do." Summer clothes you can get pretty cheap, but fall and winter? Not so much. But, it's still summer, so I'll stop thinking about that for now!

Stats for 8/4/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 193.2
Exercise total hours in 2011: 233
Total miles walked in 2011: 645/1000

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Weird results from my weights class

Yesterday I went to a weights class. My first class of any sort for one and a half weeks. While I had walked a lot during our vacation, I didn't really exercise formally. So, I was really curious how it was going to go. Would I be able to keep the same weights on the bar? Or would I need to drop it? If I kept it at the same weights, would it feel tougher? or the same?

What I decided to do was to start as if I hadn't missed a couple classes. I was about to up my weights in class anyway, so instead of increasing the weights I kept it the same. I'm still a beginner, so my weights are fairly low. I used 3.5 kg on each end of the bar for warm-ups, 4.5 kg on each end for squats and rows, and 2.5 kg on each end for chest and triceps, 3.5 kg on each end for biceps and overhead presses, and I use handweights of 8 lbs for triceps, and 20 lbs for lunges.

For the warm up, it felt right. Then I added a bit for the squats and it felt right. We have a mirror in the classroom and I see I'm able to squat really well and low (but not too low). It felt great. Then we moved on, but I could feel my legs shaking. I was wondering from what? They've never shaked like that before. I wondered almost if I was having a low blood sugar attack, though I couldn't see how with what I ate for breakfast. Then I realized, my legs were just super fatigued!

When we got to the bench, I found for the first time ever that the reps didn't seem so tough which means I should add a bit of weight to the bar. When we switched muscle groups I add a kg to the bar and sure enough, I could do all the reps and only got slightly fatigued.

We did the rest of the routine and I realized I had lost zero strength and probably gained strength over the last 1.5 weeks. Great! (Not sure it will be the same with my cardio class today though!)

After class I needed to go to the grocery store and oh boy, everything was heavy. Coming home, my leg about gave out going up our huge front step. What? DId I work it that hard? By evening my legs were aching - nothing in the arms. And now, it's morning and my quads and glutes are feeling it. I feel a touch of something in my biceps, but mostly it's my legs.

Now, I don't quite understand that. I walked all vacation. I did nothing with my arms with vacation except lift suitcases and bags a couple times. Why would my arms get stronger and not ache while my legs, the muscle groups that got exercise, get more fatigued? Or, was I actually working it harder yesterday with deeper lunges and squats? (Possible with the squats, not so much with lunges). Maybe my legs were stronger and I just did more work with the same weights?

Other pluses with working out more is that now I can do a few full length push-ups and I can do planks now. Not as long or as many as they want us to do in class, but a few weeks ago I couldn't do them at all, so it's improving. And like the instructors said, I'm not bulking up, I'm leaning out. I caught a glimpse of my legs yesterday and I couldn't believe they were my legs. They looked shapely and youthful. Me???? Wow! Of course, I was far back from the mirror and couldn't see all the dimpled flesh, but weights especially are really reshaping my arms and legs in a good way.

Step class today! Yeehaw!

Stats for 8/3/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 192.6 (63 pounds lost)
Exercise total hours in 2011: 232
Total miles walked in 2011: 641/1000

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Eating is already back on track and back to the gym today!

Wasn't hard to get back into the groove. Though I'm TIRED. Maybe tired from lack of exercise? Or days of more carbs? I don't know, but I feel like I'm slodging through mud. Plus, I'm hormonal as I wait for TTOM which should start today.

I had brought with me a set of 5 pounds hand weights and even bought a new DVD to use while on vacation, but I didn't use it. I kind of knew that would happen, but I wanted to have the option to workout if we found we didn't have an active day for whatever reason. On the one inactive day we did have, we were staying at someone's house and I was too self conscious to go off on my own to workout.

Anyway, here we are and I'm going to BodyPump today. In a bit less than an hour. Before we left for vacation, I was about ready to up the weights a tad, but with a week and a half away from working out, I'll keep it the same and hope I don't need to drop it any. Tomorrow I'll do BodyStep. I'm not loving the new BodyStep routine. I think I'll be taking the riser out of the step for now. We go down and do burpees in one song and in another drop down to do pushups on our finger tips on the step. I can do it, but it's tough and tougher than the last routine which the instructor acknowledges at least.

For August I have a goal of doing 26 hours of workouts. Hope I can do it!!! And I reallllllllllllly want to lose more than 5 pounds this month. Closer to 10 would put me over the moon! Though, I'm not counting on it at this point of my weight loss journey. If I stick to my plan like glue, I should be able to do it. Now, please no one get sick!

Other news is that my son with autism started seeing a psychologist yesterday. So we have new strategies to help him with trying new things. It bummed me out yesterday because it means several battles in the near future and I hate the entrenched battles because I feel no one real wins when there is no middle ground/compromise. But, I also know with the little guy that he needs that as he's sort of 'stuck' in his routines and needs to break out of them to be able to move forward. So far so good, but the tough stuff hasn't been delved into yet.

Also, I find it a bit hard to take parenting/strategic planning from a young, male psychologist who has never had kids, let alone kids on the spectrum. His experience is still mostly from the book and it's sooooooo very easy to tell a parent, 'don't ever give into the whining' when you haven't been the parent listening to the whining for 3 hours straight. I know he's right because I've read the same books, but I think he should have to suffer through it a few times himself to really be able to 'get it' for what the kid and the parent have to go through while doing it.

Anyway... that's it for today!

Stats for 8/2/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 193.2

Monday, August 1, 2011

Facing the scales after vacation

I kind of knew where the scales would be this morning by my going to bed weight and I could tell I would see a loss in the morning from before I left for vacation, but still, that morning step on the scale was initiated by a sigh.

So, from the start of vacation to now I lost 1.6 pounds. That means for the month of July I lost 4.2 pounds. That is like half of what my next lowest weight loss month was. Of course, vacation wasn't a help and neither was weird eating while my kids were sick and gym time being thrown off a bit with sick kids too. But, all in all, I cannot complain. 4.2 pounds is still about a pound a week and my hope was to lose a pound a week from the beginning and anything above and beyond that was icing on the cake. I can't lose that perspective because I'm doing well - period.

Today is also measurements day and like I told my husband, I could tell where my losses were coming from - my hips and bust, but not the waist. I felt a bit more straightish and yep, that's what's happening.

Going to the gym later today to jump start August!

Stats for 8/1/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 193.2
Exercise total hours for 2011: 231
Total miles in 2011: 637/1000

Monthly Measurements:

Starting chest: 47"  Now: 42" (change since last month: down 1" for a total loss of 5")
Starting Waist: 43" Now: 35" (change since last month: down 0" for a total loss of 7")
Starting Hips: 50" Now: 43" (change since last month: down 1" for a total loss of 7")
Starting Upper Arm: 18" Now: 15" (change since last month: up 1" for a total loss of 3")
Starting Upper Thigh: 30"  Now: 25" (change since last month: 0" for a total loss of 5")