Monday, October 10, 2011

Checking in / On the road...

Oops... I am behind on my blogging. I'm going to have to work on that.

Things have been coming along. My birthday came and I had a great celebratory weekend... and it showed on the scale. It's crazy how much of a change is seen with 3 dinners out (it turns out that most of it was water, but pretty disheartening nevertheless. What was worse was the struggle I had to get back on track the next week; I rely on that momentum to stay on track!

Which brings me to now. On Friday I left for a conference for the medical informatics part of my job. Given my track record I was naturally apprehensive about the disruption in my routine... Not only that, but I would have limited control over what I would have available to stay on track. What's a girl to do?

Well, I decided to develop a gameplan. First, I called on my support system to help keep me accountable. They have given me fitness assignments for the 6 days I'm gone. Also, I've been posting my food choices on our Facebook group page. So far, it's been pretty motivating to make a better choice knowing I have to report back later. Perhaps most importantly, I am focusing on doing my best and not beating myself up when I make a less great choice. There is always an opportunity to make a better one next time.

Today is day four and I've been doing fairly well. I have exercised every morning except this one (I needed extra sleep). We are walking all of the time. Aside from the social alcohol, I have been making healthy choices from the available options. And I've been focusing on the positives rather than beating myself up for the mistakes.

That's all for now... Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Catching up...

Two more days until I begin the second-half of my thirties... (maybe I should stick where I am?). I've managed to keep my craziness at bay so far. I have been filling my time with friends and fitness, and to be perfectly honest, the season premieres on TV. Biggest Loser is so much better of a show when I am doing what I need to in terms of my health - there is much less guilt! I love how optimistic everyone is at the beginning of the show; I remember that feeling. Now my optimism is guarded, and probably will be until I reach that first very important goal (less than 300).

Oh yeah, that's right... I never actually shared absolute numbers on here. Maybe I will catch you up. At my heaviest, I imagine I weighed 365-370 (I remember stepping on a scale once and it said 363, but I avoided them so I really don't know. That was in 2007. When I was having trouble walking from the back pain because of all that extra weight, I knew I needed to do something about it. I started with my first personal trainer on Feb 14, 2008. I weighed 359 lbs at the time. Initially, I had unbelievable results; in 9 months I lost 97.5 lbs. Of course, to do that I was a little neurotic - I was working out twice a day most days and taking supplements to keep the weight loss coming. I slowed down to a healthy and respectable pace, but then I slowly started gaining. It was really hard and disheartening -- I was doing everything I should, and I saw all my results slowly slip away. My trainer pushed me harder and harder and I tore my rotator cuff because I didn't stop when there was pain. That was a bigger setback and more sadness. I'm not sure how I didn't completely throw in the towel when my weight crept back over 300 lbs, but my efforts were not the same. I would go to the gym and work with my new trainer, but I would never go to the gym by myself and I would make excuses not to go if I was too tired. And my eating pattern also reverted back to what I used to do. I was at the point where my life was closer to what it was before I started than when I had success. I had reached my breaking point. I knew I had to break the pattern.

I started my first Body Back session weighing 354 lbs -- just 5 lbs less than my starting point. What a huge slice of humble pie!! (I'm pretty sure humble pie is calorie free, right?) The workouts were hard and I managed to get tendonitis in my hip from running almost immediately. But, this time I was smart about my injury and I persevered. I lost 15 lbs in that first session. I even maintained it during my 3 weeks of dormancy afterward (2 weeks on wards, followed by the hurricane with no power). I had never been so happy to not lose weight! But still, I was ready to hit the ground running and get serious again (no pun intended). I've lost about another 10lbs so far, and I hope to lose 20 by the end of the session. But more important than the numbers is the hope and faith that I have back in my life; I feel my goals are achievable even if it takes a long time.

I love what Body Back has given me. Confidence, encouragement and support. I workout with some amazing women. They are super supportive and I am honored to have them on my journey. They even tolerate my nulliparity (everyone else is a mom). These women showed up in my life at the exact moment I needed them most. Like I said before, I am blessed.

So, Saturday marks my 36th birthday and I will continue celebrating my accomplishments and my blessings. I look forward to what the future holds, and with any luck I'll be even less crazy come next September...

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I'm still here...

So, this is going to be a crazy fall. September is here and it is my birthday month! I do try and celebrate me all month long, mainly because I tend to get really sad and a little crazy. Before I tell you why, let me acknowledge a few truths... I have been blessed in many ways. I have friends and a family who love me, a successful career which I worked hard to obtain, and a strong (relatively) healthy body that allows me to do a lot. I thank God for all of these things in my life, and I trust that he has a special plan for me. But every year around this time, I am reminded of how many things I had hoped to do in my life by now (well years before now). I thought I would have found love and had started a family of my own. I thought I would have reached my healthy weight goal (and probably, if the jouney had been hiccup-free, I would have). And while most days I try to put on a happy face and be optimistic and hopeful, sometimes (especially this month) it's harder than others.

A friend of mine posted this blogpost that really struck home... I have definitely lost my awesome, and I am fighting to get it back. Maybe writing here and recounting my journey will help.

I started my second session of BodyBack. The first one was a success (I lost 15 lbs, and improved on all of my fitness tests including shaving a minute off my half-mile walk/run). I learned that I have a lying scale -- it was too kind to me and told me just what I wanted to hear even if it wasn't true. The doctor's scale is what I use for accuracy now (although I keep the other around just to make me smile when I need a little white lie...).

My goals this time:
- lose 15-20 lbs.
- run the entire half-mile
- keep up my healthy habits while on business trips or on breaks from class.

My plan:
- journal my food everyday
- workout 5x a week
- blog once a week
- utilize my support system when I need it

Well, wish me luck...
Happy Tuesday!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

My friend Lisa...

So, I went back to Body Back class this morning. I had to modify just about everything, but it was good to be there. It's great to be with all of these wonderful, supportive women. Everyone cheers each other on and it is just such a positive environment. I'm grateful that they've taken me in even though unlike everyone else, I am not a mother.

Which brings me to Lisa... She is a rockstar! She is only 9 lbs away from a big milestone and I am 100% certain that we will be celebrating this milestone really soon. She is truly amazing. Lisa pushes herself each and every day and always with the biggest smile on her face. She is such a fighter; today we were doing (or really, they were doing...) these crazy crabwalk/dip things across the room. There was a modification that we could do if we were not at that level yet but rather than opting to take the modification, she perservered and did it. I admire her resolve so much; I think of her every time I want to say "I can't" (and then I do it!).

Thank you Lisa for being an inspiration. I am honored that you are on this journey with me. Rock on!

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Hope everyone had a fabulous fourth of July weekend!

Mine was rough... work has been very busy and I am tired. I was supposed to have today off, but I worked today, too. It's just been exhausting. Plus, morale has been low. I am looking forward to the weekend, so that I can relax a little.

The hip is slowly on the mend... I have been trying to be good with my prescribed rest and scheduled ibuprofen. It's hard to rest a hip, especially when your job entails walking 3-4 miles a day (I wear a pedometer; that's how I know). Most of the time I'm pain free, but every now and again I feel it...

My nutrition has been okay. I have been good about making healthy choices. I have avoided my common pitfalls like ordering-in or indulging in the goodies that nurses bring in. I have packed my meals each day, including healthy snacks. The problem is I find it hard to hit my calorie target -- one day I was over, but the majority of days I have been under. Writing down my food makes me honest, and my "all-or-nothing" mentality makes me choose better foods.

I know I need to fix this way of thinking... it is the trap I have fallen into many, many times. It's great in the beginning -- my motivation is high and there is a definite honeymoon phase. The scale rewards me with positive results and I keep going. BUT EVENTUALLY, it all falls apart... I plateau, start taking shortcuts, and then the downward spiral. You would think that if I can identify the pattern I should be able to fix it, right? Easier said than done, but I'm working on it.

Speaking of honeymoon periods and positive reinforcement... by my scale (I didn't register on theirs) I have lost 12 lbs since starting the BodyBack program! That's pretty cool. I think I'm going to enjoy my success while it lasts...

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

That which does not kill us...

"You're on the road to success when you realize that failure is only a detour."

Went to the doctor for my hip pain; it turns out I have tensor fascia lata tendonitis. And the prescribed treatment was complete rest, ice, nsaids for at least a week or until pain is gone. Then I can stretch and walk, and then I can start training again.

I was so frustrated I cried in her office. I just got the enthusiasm up. I am determined and going strong and now, ROADBLOCK! I don't have a good track record with when I lose momentum... What was I going to do? I was able to negotiate the ability to do upper body workouts and swim if it doesn't hurt. So, I went to Mom's Treehouse and talked to Alex and Rachel (my Body Back trainers). And I cried again when I told them. But then I was able to calm down and develop a game plan. I will focus on my nutrition, do upper body workouts, and just keep the routine of doing what I can.

I realize that I have a unique opportunity for growth. I can let this defeat me (as I would have so many times before) OR I can persevere and come out the other end stronger and better for it.

Well, that's all for now...
Happy Wednesday!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Good News / Bad News

Let's start with the good...
I've been going strong for the past week. I am energized and excited still. And, although I may be imagining things, my pants feel a little looser today :)

And the bad...
My hip HURTS! It's been hurting off and on since I started this class. I have a hunch it's from running (I vaguely remember a similar pain the last time I tried to run). I'm really hoping that there is an easy fix (like some stretching that I should be doing), because I don't want to stop now (and I don't really want an EGD or kidney problems from all the advil I've been popping)!!!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A surprising decision and starting points...

Finally, a decent night's sleep!

I woke up this morning and decided to do a 5K... One of my new friends in my Body Back class organized the 'Jack and Abby 5K' in memory of her twin babies that became angels while in the NICU. I wanted to show my support and also, get my exercise in for the day. I decided to walk in honor of Delaney Hope, my friend's daughter who spent her entire life in the NICU.

It was a lovely day and a beautiful event. There were lots of families and everyone was very friendly.

Not having trained or prepared for the race, I decided to just see what happens. My goal was to finish it and I hoped to finish it under an hour. I figured that it would be a great place to start -- I can't wait to see myself improve!!

And I did it! Finished in 57:55. Lots of room for improvement, but today I will celebrate my success.

Thank you Stefanie for hosting a wonderful event and to Jen from Body Back who rooted me on!

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Starting over with a renewed spirit...

I had to get honest with myself...

My journey has taken a serious detour for the worse. Since I was still going to the gym, I tricked myself into thinking that I have been doing what I know I need to to be healthy; I knew in my heart this was not true. All of the healthy habits that I incorporated started to slip out of my life, until I got to a point where my lifestyle was pretty close to what I was doing before I began. And as a result, my weight is pretty close to my starting weight... very disheartening.

But, I could either continue my pity-party or do something about it... and I'm choosing the latter.

One of my neighbors, Rachel P, has taken her Stroller Strides business and expanded it into much more. And even though I am not a mother, I decided to challenge myself and enroll in her Body Back class (even though I don't remember when I actually had the body in the first place). The first day wasn't a full class and I was sore! Today was the second class and it's hard - but I am doing it! I've met some super cool women - they are always cheering me on! Thank you Lisa, Rebekah, Stephanie and Alex for getting me though today's workout...

I am so proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort-zone! I am so excited and enthusiastic of what is to come...

Happy Thursday!